Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

12th February 2002



Meetings 2002
10th December 2002
12th November 2002
8th October 2002
10th September 2002
13th August 2002
9th July 2002
11th June 2002
14th May 2002
Annual Parish Meeting
9th April 2002
12th March 2002
12th February 2002
8th January 2002

Minutes of a meeting of the Biddenden Parish Council

Held on Tuesday 12th February 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Club House

Present: Cllr. Mrs. G. Scott - Chairman Cllr. D. Harrison
  Cllr. G. Raffe Cllr. T. Richards
  Cllr. H. M. Stokes Cllr. Mrs. E. M. Griffiths
  Cllr. Mrs. E Cansdale Cllr. B. Wingham
  Cllr. E Farris  
Apologies: Cllr. Mrs. B. Swain  

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC IN RESPECT OF NON-AGENDA ITEMS - After taking questions from members of the public present, the Chairman proceeded with the business of the Council as follows:


The minutes of the meeting of 8th January 2002 were approved and signed.


Code of Conduct - Copies of the NALC Guidance for the Ethical Framework have been sent to all Councillors. Terry Mortimer, Ashford BC Monitoring Officer has written given further guidance (tabled) this includes an offer to advertise the Council's adoption in the press with its own as well suggestions on administering the required records.

The Council will consider the adoption of the Code at its next meeting (a further copy of the code will be sent to all Councillors beforehand). AGREED.

Tree for Village Green - A Holm Oak is to be purchased by the Councillors to mark the Queen's Jubilee and this will be presented to the village (proposed by Cllr. Raffe, seconded and AGREED). Cllr. Raffe will select one of the trees on offer at Hilliers (at a cost of 158.99) for planting in the middle of the Green at the appropriate time.

Drainage problems at the Bowls Club - Notice to enter into contract with G & S Brown on 19th February has been given following receipt of the required confirmation as to the extent of the works. The Village Halls and Sports Committee has forwarded a cheque for 600.00 towards the cost. NOTED.

Speed Checks - WPC Williams conducted speed checks in the village during January but no data has been received to-date. NOTED.

Ashford BC car park - The promised work to the hedge has been carried out and repairs to the potholes should take place within the next 28 days, weather permitting. NOTED.

Jubilee Celebrations - The Chairman gave an update from the meeting on 8th February. The next meeting will take place on 15th February. NOTED.



The Chairman confirmed that she had received notice of the Clerk's resignation, which is due to personal reasons. The Clerk is due to complete her service with the Council on 23rd April 2002. A draft advert of the vacancy was approved and authority given to pay the cost of advertising in the Kentish Express and Wealden Advertiser. A submission is also to be made in the KAPC Parish News. Cllr. Farris agreed to follow-up applicants who had previously applied for the post.


Full Council Decisions:

01/01822&23/AS Little Bedgebury Farm, High Halden
NO OBJECTIONS Full Planning Permission and Listed Buildings Consent
  Replacement of modern corrugated roof on barn with tiles and slates on new oak roof structure
02/00095/AS 9 Glebelands
NO OBJECTIONS Ground floor addition and first floor extension to provide utility room, bedroom, bathroom and porch
02/00100/AS Birchdene, Benenden Road
02/00120/AS 28 High Street
OBJECT Change of use - A3 to residential (resubmission)
Comment: The Parish Council does not have access to any marketing data supplied in respect of the conditions of Policy RE2 of the Ashford Borough Local Plan 2000. Its previous objection to this application therefore still stands.
02/00122/AS Unit G, Smarden Business Estate, Monks Hill
NO OBJECTIONS Erection of new site fencing and mains gas
02/00147/AS Old Royal George, Cot Lane
NO OBJECTIONS To pull down existing dwelling and build new 4-5 bedroom dwelling further back from the road
02/00179/AS Saxton House, The Nightingales, Sissinghurst Road
NO OBJECTIONS Two storey extension
02/00164/AS Stede Quarter Farm*
NO OBJECTIONS Erection of swimming pool building. New vehicular access. Conversion of redundant farm buildings into professional and holiday letting units.
02/00159/AS Batchelors Barn, Sissinghurst Road
NO OBJECTIONS Replacement of existing stables with new ones and relocating

(* The applicant addressed the Council with the Chairman's permission at 8.10pm)

01/00837/AS - Brown's Yard

A resident of Headcorn Road has asked for the Council's support in his request for a 'no processing' condition to be added to this application. AGREED.




The cheques presented at the meeting were authorised and receipts noted.

BEST - A donation of 300.00 towards the cost of replacing the Christmas lights was AGREED (248).

Angley School Farm donation request - After further discussion the Council felt it was unable to contribute at this stage. AGREED.

Impact Computer Accounts System - Authorisation was given for the purchase of the new version of the system at a cost of 30.00 (plus 15 to transfer the existing data), should the Clerk feel this to be beneficial. (The 5 increase in the annual support fee was also noted.) AGREED.

Lengthsman's Cart - A bill for the repair of a tyre will follow in due course. NOTED.

(Details of the Councils Finance for the year to-date ere tabled at the start of the meeting.)


Mr. Shah wishes to thank the PC for supporting his grant application for the refurbishment works at his shop. Cllr. Wingham advised the meeting of the problems Mr. Shah is experiencing with Ashford BC regarding his window displays. NOTED.

Cranbrook Road - Notice of road closure from the Castleton Oak junction heading towards Tenterden, has just been received. This is as a result of resurfacing work. Comment was made that Benenden Road was in an even worse condition and the potholes in the section up from Woolpack Corner are to be reported.

Beacon - A resident of the Weavers has asked if approval can be given for the siting of the beacon so that it may be used to mark the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. The Chairman confirmed that the lighting of Beacons is covered in the 'Jubilee Celebrations Toolkit', however the lighting route only applies to coastal locations.

Vacancy at 38 Cheeselands - No objections were raised to the Southern Housing Group's nominated applicants.

Public Footpath AT16 - Ashford BC is to be notified of erosion, which is affecting access. AGREED.

The following items of correspondence were noted:

Mid-Kent Water - A letter has been sent complaining about the chaos caused by its contractors.

Chart Hills Golf Club - Notice of transfer of licence has been received.

KCC is to produce a new free bi-monthly magazine "Around Kent". It is trying to ensure that Rural areas are not neglected and is therefore asking if they can publicise a location such as a Village Hall or similar where residents may collect a copy.

KCC has re-launched the former Ashford Out & About Service. From 11th February this wheelchair accessible service will be called The Ashford Kent Karrier Dial-a-Ride Service. Rural areas will receive a service into Ashford Town Centre at least once a week ( Biddenden - Thursdays). Membership is now open not only to those with impaired mobility but also to those from rural areas living more than 500m from a bus route. Details will be placed on the noticeboard.


The Chairman reported on various constructive activities involving young people, which have recently come to light. This included the idea of a Youth Parish Council (as covered in a recent edition of the KAPC News) and the Silver Felix Youth Centre, which provides an outreach service including a mobile unit with various activities for the 12-20 age group.

Feedback has been received that the loan to purchase the additional land should in fact be spent on facilities for the young people of the Parish. It was clarified that the Council is unable to borrow funds for this purpose. As the Council feels that the youth issue is an area that needs attention, a representative from Silver Felix is to be asked to speak at the Annual Parish Meeting. AGREED. (Post meeting note: attendance at APM has been confirmed).


Cllr. Richards reported that the Committee is awaiting a draft contract from the Solicitors, now that issues relating to conditions appear to have been resolved.

The Chairman reaffirmed the reasons for buying the land as follows:

    Maintain the field opposite the Church, thus preserving the rural approach to the village from Sissinghurst.

    The School is keen to have direct access to the millennium field and nature trail.

    Protection from developers

    Possibility of an Environmental Centre.

She also confirmed that NALC/KAPC recommends that the Council buys the land and then creates a trust, thus raising its profile. Funds under the existing borrowing approval must be drawn down by 31st March and as the Council is keen to only borrow the budgeted figure of 37,500 every effort needs to be made between now and then to raise the remaining funds. It was agreed to write to those residents who offered support to the project at the Extraordinary Meeting on 6th December 2001 - Cllr Farris will assist with distribution. In addition a note of thanks to those who have contributed is to be submitted to the Parish Magazine and a reminder of the appeal placed in the Kentish Express. AGREED.



Goal Posts - A quote from British Gates for wooden posts plus ground sockets totaling 159.00 (incl. Vat) was presented at the meeting. This sum was considerably less than the previously obtained quotes for metal posts and, as it offered best value, was accepted. AGREED.

Woodfill at Children's Play area - quotations for topping -up the woodfill are to be obtained (Fairway Engineering, Bournes)

RoSPA Check for 2002 - AGREED at a cost of 85.50

Other maintenance issues - Mr. Brightling has carried out the required work to the hedge and has quoted an hourly rate for the removal of the weeds in the play area. He is to be asked for a price for the complete job. AGREED.

Sputnik - A decision needs to be made whether this popular piece of play equipment is to be repaired or replaced. This is to be considered further at the next meeting. AGREED.



Cllr. Richards reported on the minutes of the meeting of 22 January 2002.

Since that meeting Mr. John Wheadon has resolved the problem with the top pond and it is now holding water. He has also worked with Mr. Hugh Richards to provide steps down to the dipping platforms (wire still needs to be placed on one set.) A handrail will be erected down the centre of the steps - the posts and rail required for this will be sourced from McVeigh Parker and British Gates and expenditure up to 100.00 was AGREED. It was confirmed that Mr. Wheadon had carried out his work on a no-fee basis and a letter of thanks is to be sent accordingly.

The next meeting of the Committee will take place at 7.30pm on 20th February at Wealden, Cot Lane.


Charges to Clubhouse for maintenance at playing field, leases etc., charges for football pitch hire, Annual Parish Meeting, Code of Conduct, Sputnik roundabout plus an item relating to the condition of roads and pavements (Cllr. Bell is to be asked to report on this at the meeting).


The next meeting of the Council will take place on Tuesday 12th March 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Old Village Hall.

The meeting was closed at 9.35 p.m.

Back to top