Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

12th March 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 12 March 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. B. Wingham
  Cllr. Mrs. E Cansdale Cllr. Conway
Apologies: Cllr. Mrs. B. Swain Cllr. E Farris
  Cllr. Mrs. E. M. Griffiths  



The minutes of the meeting of 12th February 2002 were approved and signed.


Annual Parish Meeting (23 April 2002) - Vanessa Norley, Outreach Services Co-Ordinator at the Silver Felix Youth Group has confirmed that she will make a presentation on the night. A draft notice of the event was approved and its distribution discussed. Refreshments are to be provided (S137 payment as recommended by KAPC) AGREED.

Clerk Vacancy - Following interviews held last week (attended by Cllr. Mrs. Scott, Cllrs. Farris, Wingham and Richards) to which all Councillors were invited, an offer has been made to and accepted by Mr. Graham Smith, 15 Orchard Glade, Headcorn, Kent TN27 9SS. Mr. Smith will take over the duties of Clerk on 23rd April 2002, the day of the Annual Parish Meeting. AGREED.

Jubilee Celebrations - With the permission of the Chairman, Mr. Rymer-Jones gave a progress report on behalf of the Steering Group. A timetable of events is to be published in the parish magazine and the Kentish Express. He also addressed concerns expressed at the meeting with regard to financial viability.

Tree for Village Green - Cllr Raffe reported that the Holm Oak he had hoped to secure through Hilliers has been sold but that he will attempt to source an alternative. NOTED.


Concerns were expressed over the general poor condition of the roads within the Parish and reference was made to the 'disappearing' road shoulders in the Bounds Cross area. These concerns are to be passed onto Cllr. Bell. The No-Entry Sign at Turner's Stores and review of the minor junction alterations are to be pursued with the Highways Unit. AGREED.


Full Council Decisions:

02/00219/AS Apsley Farm, Pook Lane, Biddenden
NO OBJECTIONS Proposed extension and alterations to the main house
02/00227/AS Sofala, The Nightingales, Sissinghurst Road
NO OBJECTIONS Open canopy extension to existing porch
02/05012/AS 58 North Street
OBJECT To fell three Conifers (T1,T4 & T5), one silver birch (T3) and two tree/shrubs (T2 & T6)
  3 letters of objection received from residents and one from WKPS
Reason: The Council agrees with the comments of the WKPS and therefore objects to this application. The site is within the conservation area and must have screening.
02/00261/AS Marlands Cottage, High Halden
NO OBJECTIONS Conservatory

02/00164/AS - Stede Quarter Farm

Erection of swimming pool building. New vehicular access. Conversion of redundant farm buildings into professional and holiday letting units.

Letters of objection have been received from 8 residents and WKPS. The Planning Department is to be advised that as the original view to raise no objections was based on information given that neighbouring properties were happy with the proposals and this is not now the case, that the comments of residents be taken into account. AGREED.

Planning Green Paper - Copies of a draft response prepared by Cllr. Raffe were tabled and APPROVED.



Authorisation to pay the cheques presented was given and receipts noted.

Field Appeal - A further 1,664.47 has been received (including 600.00 received on the night) making a current total of 6444.74. This sum also includes a donation of 150.00 from BEST which the Millennium Field Committee has asked be put towards the additional land purchase and 184.74 raised by the Mother & Toddler Group.

Mr. Rymer-Jones made a statement on behalf on All Saints PCC in which further information relating to the benefits of the additional land were requested to enable the PCC to consider the possibility of a donation. Cllr. Conway agreed to provide a copy management plan.

Replacement of Christmas lights - BEST wishes to pass on thanks to the Council for its donation. NOTED.

Internal Audit - The audit was conducted by Cllr. Wingham on 1st March 2002. It was recommended that the current National Savings Account be closed. AGREED. The Chairman thanked Cllr. Wingham for his assistance.

KAPC membership renewal falls due on 1st April 2002 at a cost of 556.69. A cheque will be presented to the Council for payment at the next meeting. AGREED.


Works to tree at Children's Play Area, Gordon Jones Playing Field

G Bridgland

To fell dead oak situated near the playing area to hedge height. All wood and arising to be removed from site. 280.00 + Vat
OR Remove overhanging branches 140.00 + Vat

A resident has expressed concern that the tree overhanging the children's play area is dangerous and should therefore be removed. Mr. Bridgland was contacted to give his opinion and quote to make it safe. He has confirmed that the tree is dead and can deal with its removal as a priority case. (Due to the urgency of the situation only one estimate has been sought.)

As the tree may not be on Parish Council property the landowner is to be contacted in the first instance, however it was agreed that the tree must be made safe as soon as possible. (Post meeting note: Cllrs Farris & Richards believe the tree to be on Council land as the ditch is the boundary and not the fence, as first thought. Having spoken to the Vice-Chairman and the landowner instruction have been given to G Bridgland to cut it down as soon as possible.)

Charges for the following are to be increased by 5% for 2002/03 to:

Club House - (for maintenance, leases etc. at Playing Field) 288.00

Football Clubs:

    Over 18s = 178.00

    Under18s = 131.00



Cllr. Bell confirmed that despite large scale restructuring in order to reduce costs, the Ashford Borough Council portion of the Council Tax is to rise by approximately 9% next year. (Cllr Bell left at 8.55p.m.)


Biddenden Parish Design Statement - With the Chairman's permission Mr. Carr gave an update on the group's progress. A secretary (Mrs. Scales) has been appointed and a bank account opened. The Group now has a formal constitution (copy supplied to the Clerk for circulation to all Councillors).

Permission was granted for a sign to be placed on the Village Green for meetings on 24th and 27th April. AGREED. Details of the Annual Parish Meeting are also to be displayed at the same time.

The Beacon and other matters - A resident of Tenterden Road has put forward several suggestions and comments for consideration relating to the Gordon Jones Playing Field and administration matters. NOTED. He also requested the removal of the beacon, currently stored on his land.

After consideration of recent correspondence and a review of the history of this matter a proposal was made stating that "as the Council has not formally accepted the beacon its disposal is a matter for the correspondent and not the Council". This was seconded and AGREED (Vote for: 7 against: 1).

Safety issues on the Cranbrook Road, Fosten Green (between Park Farm and Fosten Green Lane) - The Highways Unit is to be advised that this is an area of concern and request that it be included in any future programme of investigation. AGREED.

High Street pavements - the planned work has been delayed as a result of imminent mains renovations work by Mid-Kent Water. The block paving will now be carried out as soon as these works have been completed as advised by the Highways Unit.

The following items of correspondence were also NOTED:

New Kent Structure Plan - As part of the consultation process a public meeting has been arranged for 7pm on Friday 26th April in the Council Chamber of the Civic Centre. The Council has been invited to send a representative and replies are required by 28th March.

Residents of Ongley Lane are asking for assistance with a problem relating to unmaintained land adjoining their property. A copy has been passed to Cllr. Farris, as there has been mention of a link to Charity Land

Mid & South East Kent Council for Voluntary Services wish to remind the Council of its services which are available to any group with charitable objectives. Wendy McGeachy, The Local Community Development Worker, is happy to outline the role of the CVS at a future PC meeting.

DEFRA is seeking the assistance of Parish Councils in its Campaign against the illegal poisoning of wildlife - leaflets have been tabled and a poster is to be placed on the noticeboard.

Matters raised by public at last meeting:

Land at Townland Close - following questions raised by a representative of Lakehurst Developments the Council feels unable to add to its previous comments. AGREED.

Weavers Estate - Complaints about cars parking on the pavements and the state of the verges have been reported to Ashford BC - no response to date. NOTED.


A proposition from the Chair to adopt the Code with effect from 12 March 2002 failed to gain agreement due to strong feelings over the intrusive nature of the information required for the Register of Members Interest. After lengthy discussion it was decided that the matter should be given further consideration at the next meeting. In the meantime the concerns of the Council are to be made know to the Monitoring Officer, Ashford BC. AGREED.


Details of recent solicitors' correspondence were given.

A proposal that the Council borrows sufficient funds to complete the purchase was seconded and unanimously AGREED. Authority was also given to draw down the required funds (now 43,500, with the remaining 6,500 to be covered by the appeal fund) from PWLB immediately and instructions are to be given to the Council's solicitor to proceed as soon as possible. AGREED.


Sputnik - Cllrs. Richards & Farris are to provide replacement seats and attend to the bearings as appropriate. Expenditure up to 100.00 was AGREED.


Cllr Richards gave a verbal report in the absence of the minutes. Tree planting will take place on 16th March (Cllr. Stokes will replace Cllr. Richards who is to attend a Planning Information Day on that date). Wire has now been secured to the Dipping Platform steps. A request was made for authority to plant up the area alongside the steps and use bark to cover the mud - AGREED up to 100.00.

As there will be no Millennium Field Event this year - in light of the Jubilee Celebrations - members of the Committee are involved in arranging village jubilee activities in conjunction with the School as part of the planned village celebrations. It is hoped that activities for the 7-14 year age group will take place on the field on the Monday. NOTED.

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


Include: Code of Conduct, Police, KAPC and Parish Forum Reports.

Cllr. Mrs. Scott announced that she would be standing down as Chairman with effect from the end of the meeting, due to personal reasons. Cllr. Richards thanked her on behalf of the Council for the work she has done.


The next meeting of the Council will take place on Tuesday 9th April 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Old Village Hall.

(Post meeting note: an Extraordinary meeting of the Council will take place on Wednesday 20th March at 7.00pm in the New Village Hall, to elect a new Chairman)

The meeting was closed at 9.40 p.m.

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