Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

14th October 2003




Meetings 2003
9th December 2003
11th November 2003
14th October 2003
9th September 2003
12th August 2003
8th July 2003
10th June 2003
13th May 2003
Annual Parish Meeting
8th April 2003
11th March 2003
11th February 2003
14th January 2003

Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on October 14th 2003


Cllr Mrs E Cansdale Chairman                                               Cllr M Conway

Cllr Mrs G Scott Vice Chairman                                            Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr Mrs B Swain

Cllr Mrs R Ashton                                                                    Cllr P Whapham

Cllr R Brown

Cllr N Bell Ashford Borough Council

Apologies for absence Cllr Mrs Ainscough and Cllr Rymer Jones

4 parishioners were present.

1   There were no alterations to the members Register of Interests.

2   Items for discussion by parishioners present.

Mr Dillon queried whether the Council had followed up possible representation on the Headcorn Airfield Consultative Group in view of his concerns about noise. The clerk reported that representation was possible but the view of councillors was that aircraft noise in Biddenden was not a major concern at this time and therefore did not feel representation was necessary, however the matter would be considered again if a real nuisance occurred.

Mention was made of the "promise" last year of blue box doorstep recycling bins for the core of the parish. Cllr Bell would be asked to establish the current situation.

3   Minutes of the meeting held on September 9th 2003

These were approved and signed by the Chairman.

4   Matters arising not reported in 5 below.

                  The wood surround containing the bark chippings by the "Sputnik" had been repaired.

                  The clerk reported that he had investigated purchase of new "dog fouling" signs for the various parish fields and councillors agreed that three should be purchased, two "thin" ones suitable for fixing to gates and one thicker one suitable for pole mounting.

                  Mr Keeler from Chulkhurst had applied for the advertised post of village

                  "odd job person" and was present to meet councillors. It was agreed that the    clerk and a councillor would meet him in a day or two to consider formal appointment. (Another applicant invited this evening had failed to attend as            agreed.)

                  The clerk had met Mr Ian Brooks of the Tenterden Detached Youth Project who had reported on the youth activities he was organising in the village and he confirmed he would attend the next council meeting on November 11th along with Shelia Jones of the Ashford North Youth Centre.



5   Reports from lead councillors.

              Cllr Mrs Ainscough advised (in her absence) that she had considered two recent reports which had no urgent impact on the parish and she would report   fully at the next meeting.

                  Cllr Mrs Ashcroft reported that the recent "litter week" organised by Mrs Scales had been very successful and some 70 bags of litter had been collected from around the parish roads and lanes. Councillors unanimously thanked Mrs Scales for her efforts on behalf of the village.  Mrs Ashcroft also reported that the Borough Council had repaired some "proud" manholes that had been brought to her attention.

                  Cllr Mrs Ashton confirmed that the managed youth activities were continuing in the car park but that fewer were attending because of the dark evenings. Possible expansion of the project would be explored at the November meeting,  (see 4 above)

                  Cllr Mrs Cansdale had attended a recent police liaison meeting where it was explained that recorded crime in the parish was lower than last year  - Biddenden is basically a safe place!

                  The police are proposing to trial "do it yourself" speed cameras in three parishes but it is not yet decided which locations will be chosen.

          Cllr Mrs Cansdale also reported that the pamphlets for the Parish Plan public meeting at 10.30am on November 22nd were mostly now printed and she was arranging distribution via councillors and other volunteers. The actual format of the morning would be confirmed at the November 11th council meeting.

                At the invitation of the Chairman Mr Carr reported that the Village Design         Statement was now printed and distribution to "officials and helpers" had      taken place, they would be on sale in the village by the coming week end. He thanked the council for the balance of their financial support. (see Finance          appendix attached)

                Cllr Richards reported that sheep were grazing the Millennium Field and that      any "plug planting" of wild flowers by the school children in the Jubilee             Meadow must await wetter weather. On advice from our insurers the tree       overhanging the main pond in the Millennium Field must be cut down to avoid

            potential accidents from children falling in. Cllr Richards said the tree      concerned was not of particular merit. Field working parties would be starting          again very soon.

            The claim forms from DeFRA to allow us to obtain field maintenance grants       had just been received and would be actioned.

          Cllr Mrs Scott said the new Post Office Liaison Group had been formed. She also reported that the old Post Office had not, in fact, been sold to date.

            On the subject of "Quality Parish Council" status for Biddenden she said that     there were no specific points to report but councillors agreed that the council     would work towards achieving "Quality" status over the coming months.

          Cllr Mrs Swain reported that the ROSPA inspection report of the play area had been received and there were no major items of concern. The minor points would be followed up. Of particular concern (although not a physical danger) was the offensive graffiti on some of the equipment. Removal and treating of surfaces would be a task for the new village "odd job person". The clerk would check on the safety and suitability of the proposed treatments.

            (Subsequently established all products are suitable for play areas)


          Cllr Mrs Swain queried when the new posts would be installed protecting the car park from the playing field. The clerk explained there had been a subsequent quote from Mr Brightling (the village mowing contractor) who would provide the specified posts, fit them and provide two drop posts for 1200/1300 inclusive. This would be done by November 7th (bonfire day)

            Councillors agreed this all inclusive price with completion by November 7th        should be accepted. Cllr Richards would verbally advise Mr Brightling and the       clerk confirm in writing.

          Cllr Whapham reported that he was making contact with the new KCC Community Paths Officer.


6   Planning.  See below

Cllrs Conway, Richards and Whapham would make site visits to the applicants at High Brooms, Sissinghurst Road and Tate Door, High Street before a council decision was made.


7   Finance. The attached payments were agreed.



          A letter had been received from a parishioner in Glebelands suggesting the need for a pedestrian crossing in the High Street . Councillors did not feel the Borough would support this and the clerk would write to the parishioner.

          The Rural Housing Trust had advised that there was now a possibility they could build 18 new dwellings in the village during 2004/5 and it was important that a village meeting be called to gauge support. This would be done after establishing when the Trust manager was available.

          The Boundary Commission public hearing into the proposal to transfer Biddenden from the Ashford to the Maidstone parliamentary constituency (and other proposals) would be held in Ashford on 20th November . Cllr Richards would attend provided he could speak for the council at a specific time rather than need to attend all day.

          The KAPC AGM will be held on November 8th. Our representative, Cllr Rymer Jones, will be unavailable and Cllrs Mrs Ainscough or Whapham were asked to be available to attend in view of the importance of the meeting.

            (Subsequently Cllr Whapham agreed to attend)


9   Report from Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council.

Cllr Bell wished to emphasise the importance of the Parish Council having an input into the Ashford Local Development Framework which was being prepared (a central government requirement) during 2004. The original target for input by this November had been eased to early 2004 but this still left little time. To prepare a full Parish Plan would take at least a year but a shorter "wish list" or statement of requirements would suffice at this stage, but whatever was drawn up must have broad village support which is why the open meeting scheduled for November 22nd is so important. Cllr Bell would attend this meeting.

It was agreed that Cllr Bell would join Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft, Conway, Richards and Rymer Jones in forming some initial ideas for a "wish list" that could be put to the November 22nd meeting. Mr Greensted of the Design Statement group would also be invited to attend.


10  Tenterden Tigers. This item from Matters Arising had been deferred until the arrival of Cllr Bell and Mr Graham Smith of Tenterden Tigers, who would be able to answer councillors questions if asked. (For clarity Graham Smith of Tenterden Tigers is not the same person as the Parish Clerk!)

Cllr Mrs Scott summarised a meeting she and Cllrs Mrs Ashton, Mrs Cansdale, Brown and Mrs Swain had had with Mr Croucher, Chairman of the Tigers on October 10th. In brief the Tigers are a much respected football club offering training to youths

(both boys and girls) under 18. They had grown to a membership of about 250. Currently they play at a variety of locations, including Biddenden, but would like to develop on one site and Biddenden has the potential to be this site. To achieve their aims the Tigers would need to buy the fields (about 9 acres) beyond the tennis courts and provide new changing room facilities as well as enhancing the existing sports facilities at Biddenden in coopertion with their current management.

Councillors raised many concerns including the increased traffic to such a sports centre as well as increased noise and the possibility of "urbanising" the village.

Graham Smith readily agreed these were all legitimate problems that needed careful consideration but at this stage the Tigers only wanted to know whether the Parish Council would be willing to discuss the potential development further or whether it ruled it out entirely, in which case the Tigers would cease to consider Biddenden.

After more discussion councillors agreed by 8 votes to 1 to be willing to discuss the concept further on the understanding that until much more information was available they were not in a position to give a more considered answer. 


11  Next meeting.

November 11th  followed by the

Parish Open Meeting on the future for Biddenden on November 22nd.  

Graham Smith, Parish Clerk, October 16th 2003



                                                 Planning matters considered by the Council at its meeting on October 14th 2003


Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council


03/01177   20, High Street. New double garage.          Permission granted.

03/01231   29, North Street. New single garage.          Withdrawn by applicant.

03/01245   Dashmonden Coach House, High Halden Road. Single storey rear extension.      Permission granted.

03/01247 & 8   Henden Hall, Tenterden Road. Rebuilding defective front wall.   Permission granted.

03/01276   Hill Crest, Sissinghurst Road. Roof alterations for loft conversion.    Permission granted.

03/01282   The Old School House, High Street. Alterations and extension.        Permission granted.

03/01301   Little Mockbeggar, Mockbeggar Lane. Conversion of barn to holiday let.

              Permission granted for holiday use only. Record of guests to be kept.

03/01322   Tree Tops, Mockbeggar Lane. Two storey addition. Permission granted.

03/01399   Little Crampton Farm, High Halden. Resiting dutch barn.

              Permission granted

03/01403 & 4   Stede Quarter Farm, High Halden Road. Conservatory and porch.

              Permission granted.

02/01807   Fernwood Caravan Park, Cranbrook Road. Change of use to touring site.

            Appeal against ABCs refusal of permission dismissed.


Application considered by Councillors Mrs Cansdale, Mrs Scott and M Conway for approval by the full meeting.


03/01476   Hawthorn, Sissinghurst Road. Provision of conservatory. No objections.



To be considered by the Council at the meeting.

03/01607 & 8   Tate Door House, 7 9 High Street. Demolition of existing outbuildings and erection of new extension. Site visit to be undertaken.

03/01617   15 Chulkhurst. Two storey rear extension. No objections.

03/01639  High Brooms, Sissinghurst Road. Single storey extension and alterations.

            Site visit to be undertaken.

03/01694  9 Glebelands. Provision of patio/deck (retrospective) No objections.

The Council to note.

03/01095  Frogs Hole Farm, Sissinghurst Road.

This application was considered by ABC Planning Committee on September 24th but a decision was Deferred for further information.


The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on October 14th 2003:


241.75           J Beeken, Lengthsman Wages

393.39           G Smith, Clerk Salary

750.00           Biddenden Design Statement Publication costs. (Council agreed t  fund these costs at its meeting on April 8th 2003 (min.5) but of the  750 some 250 is likely to be refunded to the parish council after  grants from Ashford Borough Council.) This cheque was authorised on 27th September by Cllrs Mrs Scott and M Conway to meet ABCs   timescale.

47.00             KAPC  Councillors course fee for Cllr Richards

94.00             KAPC finance course fees for Cllr Mrs Scott and the clerk.

160.00           BTCV. (Conservation Volunteers) Donation agreed by the Council on               September 9th.

152.75           ROSPA Play equipment inspection.

37.65             Chairmans expenses May September 2003 (telephone, mileage etc)

22.98             Staples print cartridge

280.83           Four Jays Group. Balance of marquee and toilet  hire charges for                                   Millennium Field fete 14.06.03  (Deposit of 94 already paid)

                        Fete accounts allowed for this bill which was received on 30.09.03


The second half of the annual precept was received from Ashford Borough Council on September 30th 2003 in the sum of 14,541.61


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