Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

9th November 2004




Meetings 2004
13th January 2004
10th February 2004
9th March 2004
13th April 2004
11th May 2004
8th June 2004
13th July 2004
10th August 2004
14th September 2004
12th October 2004
9th November 2004
14th December 2004

These minutes are subject to approval at the Council meeting on December 14th 2004

Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on November 9th 2004


Cllr Mrs E Cansdale                 Chairman                                  Cllr M Conway

Cllr Mrs G Scott                       Vice Chairman                          Cllr J Rymer Jones

Cllr Mrs U Ainscough                                                               Cllr P Whapham

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft

Cllr Mrs R Ashton

 Apologies for absence were noted from Cllrs R Brown, H Richards and Mrs Swain.

Two parishioners were present.

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

 2   Mr Leney, a parishioner, raised the subject of the already proposed development of homes at Old Mill Corner. (A decision on this is still awaited from Ashford Borough Council)  Mr Leney said the present bungalow is faced with bricks from the original windmill on the site and in the garden are remnants of the old mill stones. He felt that where possible these should be preserved. It was agreed that the clerk would write to the Borough Council asking them to investigate this issue and see whether any items were worth saving.

 3   The minutes of the meeting held on October 12th were approved and signed by the Chairman.

 4   Matters arising,

  • Cllr Conway was asked to establish whether the school could have direct access to the Jubilee Meadow via the locked gate on the school premises. He thought not as it would contravene our stewardship agreement with DeFRA but agreed to check.

  • Cllr Mrs Ainscough had investigated whether cheaper Broadband access was possible for the computer classes held in the Village Hall but she confirmed that Training Highway had the cheapest option for their particular need which was for a 3 month connection.

 5   Post Office

Cllr Mrs Scott reported that a meeting of the Post Office Committee had been held last week and minutes were being prepared. A plan of the proposed building to be sited in the car park was tabled and it was generally agreed to be attractive. The cost was likely to be in the order of £55-65,000. It was noted the large toilet space was a

requirement for disabled facilities. It was also noted that Ashford Borough Council may give grants towards the porch and clock features.

It was agreed that the scheme should be submitted to Ashford Borough Council for planning permission and that the necessary application costs be met by the Council.

(Cllr Mrs Ashton declared an interest and did not vote and Cllr Conway abstained)

Cllr Conway expressed reservations about the viability of the project and felt that in a few years the Post Office facility (not just in Biddenden) would cease to exist and we must be certain there was a long term use for the building.

The Chairman said we must now consider fund raising towards the costs and Cllr Rymer Jones agreed to pass details of a professional fundraiser to Mrs Cansdale.          

6   Speed cameras.

Whilst funds had been received for the purchase of a hand held camera (largely for monitoring the Tenterden – Headcorn road) the police had advised that there was a legal problem and that no further action should be taken at present. They hoped the matter would be resolved shortly.

It was noted that our two police contacts at Tenterden Police office were Sgt Beavan and PC Burns.

7   Parish Plan.

The Chairman closed the meeting to allow Richard Greensted to report. He said an open village meeting had been held on the 8th November to explain progress to villagers and answer their questions.

Ashford Borough Council had already given their initial response to the survey results and had raised points that would be addressed.

The survey results would be distributed to all parishioners via the December Parish Magazine.

Mr Greensted asked that the Council grant about £250 towards distribution costs. This was agreed on presentation of the actual sum required.

8   Village Lengthsman.

The Clerk explained that two applicants had applied following the first advertisement in September but both had subsequently declined the post. A second advertisement had attracted two more applicants one of whom subsequently declined the post. However an appointment has been made following an approach from Ashford Job Centre and the appointee will be at no charge to the Parish Council until December 31st 2004.

9   Village Fete.

Cllr Conway suggested a Village Fete be held on June 11th 2005. This was agreed.

He also suggested that the Council consider buying a “party tent” (about 30x20 feet) for use at the fete and subsequent events. He had received one estimate for £960 and Cllr Mrs Ashcroft agreed to obtain an alternative quote.

10   Reports from Cllr Bell, ABC, and lead councillors.

Cllr Bell reported on the transfer of highway responsibilities in 2005 from a joint KCC/Borough organisation to a stand alone KCC organisation. He felt this would be beneficial. He suggested that at handover time the Parish Council may like to engage with the new organisation giving a “shopping list” of the parish highway wishes.

Cllr Mrs Ashcroft reported that the Youth Club hoped for support from a fund raising village Karaoke to be held on December 18th. As this was a village event for a village club Cllr Whapham agreed to see whether reduced Village Hall hire charges would be possible.

Cllr Conway said he was still awaiting a reply from KCC concerning possible “village gateways” for Biddenden.

Cllr Conway had also attended the recent ABC Parish Forum where the complexities of the new Licencing Act were discussed. Also discussed was the Ashford Local Development Framework which indicated some housing development for Biddenden.

In the absence of Cllr Mrs Swain Cllr Conway reported that the Bonfire Night had been very successful earning a considerable sum of money. The presence of the Mayor of Ashford was much appreciated and the Clerk was asked to write a letter of thanks, also one to BEST for their organisation of the event.

11   Planning.  See below.

12   Finance. See below.

13   Correspondence.

  • A request had been received from Little Teds Playschool in the village to support expansion of their facilities. Councillors agreed a grant of £250.

  • A request from the John Aspinall Foundation for a donation was declined.

  • The KAPC AGM was being held on November 13th and it was noted Cllr Rymer Jones was attending for the council.

  • ABC has sent a paper on “Good Practice Protocol for Dealing with Planning Matters”. Relevant sections would be copied to councillors.

  • Cllr Mrs Ashcroft tabled an example Newsletter that the Council could consider producing as part of its “Quality” requirements. The colour sample shown would be £320 per 1000 or £235 for black and white. It was agreed this would be considered further at the December meeting.

 14   Next meeting    December 14th 2004.   

                                    The meeting closed at 9.30pm.

             Graham Smith, Parish Clerk      01622 890596.


The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on November 9th 2004

 £112.12           J Mannouch, Lengthsman, Wages. (Mr Mannouch is only working limited hours pending appointment of a new Lengthsman. This                                       payment is for 25 hours.)                                              512 

£412.45           G Smith, Clerk, Salary                                      513

£42.77             G Smith, Advert in Wealden Advertiser for new Lengthsman.   514

£293.75           Audit Commission. Audit of 2003/4 accounts                      515

 £110.00           A J Sowery. Village mowing.                                              516


Councillors will recall that KCC granted the Youth Club £1770 funding on September 3rd for new equipment. This money was paid into the PCs account as the Youth Club had no bank account at the time. £1200 has been withdrawn, in cash, on November 4th to allow the Club to purchase its chosen equipment.


The Council considered the following planning items at its meeting on November 9th 2004

Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council:

04/01227   Priory Wood, Tenterden Rd. Change of use for keeping of horses and erection of stable block. (Retrospective)            Permission granted.

04/01238   Anjoela, Sissinghurst Rd. Change of existing annexe to independent dwelling.           Refused.

04/01248   The Old School House, High Street. Car port. Permission granted.

04/01380   Land adjacent to 20 The Meadows. Construction of off road car parking.

                        Permission granted.

04/01443   Townland Farm, Townland Close.  Proposed dwelling.  Approved.

04/01497   Whitfield Farm, High Halden Rd. Reinsate oak windows and gables.

                        Consent granted.

04/01692   32 Mansion House Close. Conversion of garage to residential.

                        Permission granted.

04/01079   Standen Barn, Smarden Rd. Single storey extension and glazed link.

                        Applicant is to appeal against ABCs refusal.


The Council’s planning group considered the following applications.

 04/01719   Little Monks Cottage, Monks Hill, Smarden. Change of use from agricultural to keep a horse.         No objections.

 04/01754 & 55   Little Bedgebury Farm. Conversion of barn to annexe to main farmhouse.                               No objections.

 04/01779   Little Whatmans, Gribble Bridge Lane. Access stairs to first floor extension.                         No objections.

The full Council is asked to consider the following applications:

 04/01717   2 Worsenden Cottages, Sissinghurst Rd. Vehicle crossing over public footpath (drop kerb)  No objections.

 04/01816  58 North Street. Two storey and single storey side extension to existing cold store.  (Some residents have already objected)          Object.           

 TP 04/00150  58 North Street. Fell two silver birch and one conifer tree. Object.

 04/01866   Standen Barn, Smarden Rd. Single storey extension. No objection.

 04/01881   The Barn, Randolphs Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. Conversion of barn to dwelling. This is Listed Building Consent for an application the PC has already said “No objection”  No objection.

04/01889 & 90   Island Farm, High Halden Rd. Single storey extension and minor internal alterations.    No objection.

 04/01901   Omenden, Cot Lane. Tractor shed and implement store.      No objection.


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