Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

10th August 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 meeting to be held on September 14th


Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on August 10th 2004


Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Chairman                                               Cllr M Conway

Cllr Mrs G Scott – Vice Chairman                                            Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr J Rymer Jones

Cllr Mrs R Ashton                                                                    Cllr Mrs B Swain

Cllr R Brown                                                                            Cllr P Whapham


Cllr Mrs U Ainscough and Cllr N Bell (ABC) were absent.

Five parishioners were present.


1   There were no alterations to members Register of Interests.

 2   Under parishioners questions Mr Greensted raised,

  • Could the council offer any help in trying to reduce the very high temperatures (92 F) in the Post Office when the weather is exceptionally hot (as recently). Mrs Ashton said fans and an air cooler were in use but the building, being temporary, was not easy to cool. It was felt that if Mrs Ashton wished to close for a long mid day period in very hot weather this would be understood by the villagers. It seemed the only practical option.
  • The severe cutting of the trees around the tennis courts. (Advised this was an issue for the Village Hall Management Committee)
  • Should the local CPRE representative attend Parish Council planning meetings when issues that the CPRE had a view on were to be discussed.  It was noted that the Council received the CPRE views but may not necessarily agree with them – however all parishioners were permitted to attend planning meetings if they wished to.


3   The minutes of the meeting held on July 13th were approved.


4   Matters arising.  

Youth Club

Cllr Mrs Ashton reported that one lady volunteer has come forward to offer help run the Club from next season. Another one or two were required.

The Chairman reported that KCC had agreed a grant of £1770 to the Club for purchase of equipment. This was warmly welcomed by all present.

It was noted that there would be a “Youth Activity” day on the playing fields on August 12th – free to all village youth.

Speed signs      

It was noted the “flashing” sign on the Sissinghurst Road was still not working.

(The clerk would follow up)

As regards temporary, mobile speed “notices” we were awaiting advice from the police as to their possible location and training for their operation.

It was agreed that as soon as we had a minimum of 8 volunteers to organise speed checks with hand held cameras the council would purchase the necessary equipment.

(The clerk would place adverts on the village notice boards)

It was suggested the KCC “speed issues” officer (J Pearce) be asked to address a future council meeting. (Clerk to arrange)                                                                       

Village newsletter

It was agreed that Parish News inserts would be put in the September and December issues of the Church Magazine. This would cost the Council £200 per issue and allow a free copy to be distributed to all homes in the village. (Cllr Rymer Jones asked that copy for the December issue be with the editor, J Betts, by November 1st.)

Looking forward to 2005, and possible “Quality” council status, Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft, Conway and Rymer Jones would suggest a permanent way forward for the necessary council newsletter to meet “Quality” conditions.

(Subsequent to the meeting Cllr Rymer Jones established that for small parishes an insert in another village magazine, rather than a free standing parish council newsletter, was acceptable).

Village Gateways

Cllr Conway referred to the recent “gateways” erected at Sissinghurst which had cost about £3000 – however these had been funded by their Borough Council. (Tunbridge Wells)

It was unclear whether Ashford BC was willing to contribute in the same way and Cllr Conway would pursue the matter and report back at a later meeting. If we went ahead we would need three “gateways” one each on the three main entrances to the village.

Jubilee Meadow

In answer to a question from Cllr Mrs Scott Cllr Richards confirmed that the Stewardship agreement with DeFRA for the Jubilee Meadow was with the Parish Council rather than an individual councillor.


5   Reports from lead councillors.

Cllr Mrs Ashcroft said she had received some useful updates from ABC on their programme for minor road repairs etc. and information sheets on road issues.

Cllr Richards circulated the latest MillenniumField/Jubilee Meadow Committee minutes.

Cllr Rymer Jones reported on KAPC matters including,

  • The need to establish who carries out the formal “assessment of village housing needs” and what is our assessment.
  • The issue of RPG 9 from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister which indicates the (substantial) growth areas for Ashford.
  • An important “concurrent grants” meeting at ABC on September 30th

            (We should diary to attend)

  • There was an “epidemic” of ragwort around Kent and we should report significant areas to KCC for action.

Cllr Mrs Swain said the ROSPA playground inspection had not yet taken place.

(Subsequently Clerk ascertained the  inspection has been completed and the  report is due next week)

It was noted that the grass cutting was now to a high standard after a poor start and the Clerk was asked to write to Mr Sowery to thank him. (Done)


6   Parish Plan

The Chairman closed the meeting to allow Mr Greensted to report.

Mr Greensted circulated an initial summary of the survey results to councillors and said two public meetings would be organised for October to explain the findings to villagers once all results were collated.

Eventually each household would receive a summary of the survey results.

Mr Greensted wished to record his thanks to all councillors and other parishioners who had helped in organising the survey.


7   Planning (see below)

The Chairman received a request from Mr Beaney to comment on applications 04/01221 and 04/01227. She closed the meeting and Mr Beaney then asked that the reasons the council objected to these two applications be explained to him.  The Chairman said the matter would be looked at again and a written response would be prepared. Mr Beaney agreed this was acceptable.


04/01187  Honeybee Farm (Cllr Brown declared an interest and did not vote)

After much discussion the Council supported this application on condition that ABC was happy with the access from the A274 and that neat signage was installed.


04/01235  Greenacres (Cllr Rymer Jones declared an interest and did not vote)

After much discussion the Council decided to support the fishing lakes but object to the provision of a clubhouse. In view of the residential nature of the area they wished use to be restricted to dawn to dusk only, also they would wish ABC to consider access problems from the A262.


8   Finance (see below)

The payments were agreed.

The 2003/4 Audit was agreed for forwarding to the Audit Commission.

The latest budget outturn was noted. Cllr Rymer Jones said he considered the £200 in the budget for Churchyard Maintenance should not be debited with the war memorial flower bed expenses. This was agreed.


9   Correspondence.

The following items were noted,

  • It was agreed the Design Statement could go on the village website as requested by Mr Carr on behalf of ABC.
  • A local walks leaflet from Mr Mannerings was noted and complimented.
  • A KCC Youth Conference on September 25th was noted – nobody was available to attend at present
  • A useful KCC publication on “Unauthorised encampments” was noted and the clerk was asked to retain for reference.


10   Post Office. (Cllr Brown left the meeting and Cllr Mrs Ashton did not vote.)

Cllr Mrs Scott had circulated a paper on the current position reached by the BPOLG and the Chairman circulated a paper on outstanding questions that were being asked.

Cllr Mrs Scott explained that she had asked KAPC and NALC for clear guidance on funding issues including the role the Parish Council could “legally” play in funding and support. Once these issues were clear then an urgent meeting would be called to finalise ownership, funding and location of the proposed building.

It was agreed the BPOLG should continue its work to present these matters to the Council as soon as possible.


11  Next meeting

September 14th.  

NB Cllr Mrs Ashcroft to take minutes of the meeting in the absence of the Clerk.

Cllr Rymer Jones apologised in advance for his absence.

The meeting closed at 9.55pm


Graham Smith, Parish Clerk, August 11th 2004 01622 890596                        



Planning items considered at the meeting on August 10th 2004


Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council


04/00326   Browns Yard, Smarden Rd. Change of use from contracting yard to                        general industrial (retrospective)  Refused.

04/01047   6 High Street, Biddenden. Replace two existing windows and decorate.

            Consent granted.

04/01149   Forgefield House, North Street. Rear extension. Permission granted.

04/01206   Ashenden Farm, Bell Lane. General purpose barn.

            ABC content for development to proceed.


The following were considered by the Planning Group (Cllrs Brown, Rymer Jones, Mrs Scott)


04/01106   16 High Street. Interior repairs and improvements. No objection.

04/01145   3 Church Cottages. Installation of skylight. No objection.

*04/01221   Priory Wood, Tenterden Rd. Change of use to caravan site for one mobile home and one touring caravan.(Retrospective) Object.

*04/01227   Priory Wood, Tenterden Rd. Change of use for keeping of horses including erection of stable block. (Retrospective) Object.

04/01238   Anjolea, Sissinghurst Rd. Change of existing annexe to independent             dwelling.  No objection.

04/01248   The Old School House, High St. Timber framed car port. No objection.

* See main minutes.


The following are for consideration by the full council.


04/01187   Honeybee Farm, Headcorn Rd. Variation of planning permission 97/810 to allow sale of fish and chips to the public.

No objections subject to ABC views on access suitability.

04/01235  Green Acres, Sissinghurst Rd. Creation of fishing ponds, clubhouse, car        park etc. in relation to fishing club.

No objections to ponds. Object to Club house. ABC to consider access suitability.

04/1375   Rogley Farm, Cranbrook Rd. Addition of “barn entrance”.  No objections.



The Council has asked that application 04/00958 Medhurst Barn, Cranbrook Rd. (which the Council objected to on July 13th) should go to Planning Committee.




The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on August 10th 2004


£291.47           J Mannouch, Lengthsman, Wages  (includes 5 hours overtime) 489


£412.55           G Smith, Clerk, Salary                                                       490


£329.00           Wealden Consultancy – Internal audit of 2003/4 accounts         493


£87.89             Ashford Borough Council. Supply and fixing replacement dog bin 492


£220.00           Commercial Mowing Services (AJ Sowery) Grass cutting for July  491


£28.20             Turners Stores.  Black sacks for Lengthsman                            494




The following money has been received


£50.00             West Ham United FC – use of football pitches in July


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