Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

9th August 2005




Meetings 2005
11th January 2005
8th February 2005
21st March 2005
12th April 2005
Annual Parish Meeting
10th May 2005
14th June 2005
9th August 2005
13th September 2005
11th October 2005
8th November 2005
13th December 2005

 These minutes are subject to approval at the Council meeting on September 13th 2005

Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on August 9th 2005


Cllr P Whapham – Chairman                                                    Cllr M Conway

Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Vice Chairman                           Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr J Rymer Jones

 Apologies for absence, Cllrs Mrs Ashton, R Brown, Mrs Scott and Mrs Swain, also

Cllr N Bell, Ashford BC.          Seven parishioners were present.

1   There were no alterations to members Register of Interests.

 2   Items raised by parishioners present.

Sue Boon queried progress on possible weed killing in the High Street. It was noted that the Lengthsman was willing to undertake this but it was unclear what “safety criteria” he must adhere to. The Clerk would check with Ashford BC.

She also queried the amount of money likely to be available next year for planting the Village Green. The Chairman said money would be available but the exact figure would be determined in the budget to be prepared in November. It was suggested Sue gave an estimate to the Clerk so that it could be considered in the budget process.

 3   Minutes of the meeting held on June 14th 2004

These were approved by the Council and signed by the Chairman.

The Chairman raised the following matters arising,

·        Was there any progress on acquiring the Bethersden Marble offered to the Council ?  (None of the councillors present knew.)

·        It was for noting that the football pitch drainage had been completed.

·        Cllr Mrs Ashcroft said she understood that the pavement at Curtis Corner would be tarmaced.

·        The Clerk informed the meeting that the new fence for the Gordon Jones playground was delayed as the wrong wire had been supplied. It should be finished shortly.

·        The faulty drain covers in the Millennium Field car park were still in need of attention. (Subsequent to the meeting Cllr Richards contacted a representative of Southern Water to check whether it is their responsibility.)

4   Update on the vacancy for a Parish Councillor.

The Clerk reported that following the Borough Councils “Notice of Vacancy” no request for an election had been received by ABC and therefore the Parish Council could co-opt to the vacancy.

The Clerks notice of vacancy was displayed on the village notice board (until August 12th) inviting applications. So far two had been received. The Chairman said interviews would be held as soon as possible after August 12th.

5   Progress on Post Office scheme.   

In the absence of Cllr Mrs Scott (Chairman of the Post Office Committee) Cllr Mrs Cansdale gave the following information,

  • Ashford BC favoured leasing the car park and toilets to the Parish Council rather than a freehold sale. (The Clerk had established they had a 99 or 125 year lease in mind). However they would not progress the matter until Planning Permission had been granted.
  • If a lease was eventually agreed then it was likely ABC would give the Parish Council a grant to resurface/improve the car park.
  • The (parish) Post Office Committee wished the planning application to go to ABC Planning Committee.
  • The (parish) Post Office Committee would shortlist two or three architects to draw up the final building specification. The (full) Parish Council would approve the final choice of architect.
  • Discussion on the rent the Postmaster/Mistress would pay to the Parish Council for the building would be discussed at a later meeting.

Cllr Richards asked that a proper Business Plan for the whole project be prepared. He said he had raised this on several previous occasions.

The Chairman said this issue had been discussed many times over the past months and sufficient information was now available for decisions to be made. If Cllr Richards wished to press the matter he could attend a PO Committee meeting as all councillors had the right to do this.

 6   Parish Plan.  (The Chairmans paper had been circulated to all Councillors)

The Chairman said he felt the Council must be seen to make progress on some aspects of the Plan and he had highlighted,

  • Traffic and Pedestrians
  • The Post Office
  • Recycling

These were not the only items to be progressed but they could be “a start”.

It was agreed the Post Office was in hand but that it would be useful if two further Council committees could be set up to progress the other two subjects.

Cllr Rymer Jones agreed to be Chairman of a Recycling Committee and would report back at the September council meeting.

Traffic and Pedestrians would be discussed further at the September meeting when (hopefully) all councillors would be present.

 7   Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow.

It was noted that the reinstalled MF sign had been vandalised again. In view of the constant (high) cost of repairs it was agreed consideration should be given to moving the sign to a safer location. Cllrs Richards and Conway would advise the Council their recommendation as soon as possible.

Cllr Rymer Jones proposed, and the Chairman seconded, a vote of thanks to everybody who made the June 4th MF Fete such a great success. All agreed. The Fete accounts, showing a profit of £927.10, had been circulated to all councillors.

Cllr Richards said the MF & JM Committee would manage the organisation/construction of the proposed (private) path from the MF car park to the school. He was awaiting the return of the Headmistress from holiday to progress matters.

8   Cheeselands development.

Whilst this is a fully approved scheme it was noted no work “on the ground” has started yet.

9   Reports from councillors.

Although absent Cllr Bell (ABC) had reported that he would be attending ABC Planning Committee on August 10th when the Townland Close planning application for an additional house would be discussed. (Subsequent to the meeting Cllr Bell advised that ABC Planning Committee would hold a site visit before making a final decision.)

 Cllr Mrs Ashcroft said the Youth Club was on holiday until mid September and that Ian Brooks (the KCC officer) was looking at the possibility of further grants for the club.

 Cllr Rymer Jones had attended an Ashford area KAPC meeting on August 3rd when there was discussion on ABCs Local Development Framework. Two key areas were highlighted, namely that it was possible to review the boundaries of “village envelopes” and the criteria for expansion of affordable housing was clarified. Also villages could organise and manage mini bus projects if there was sufficient local demand.

The Chairman reported on a Local Footpath meeting chaired by Peter Whitestone as a result of which the required questionnaire was returned to KCC. Footpath grants may be available.

10   Planning. (See below)

 11   Finance. (See below)

There was a query on British Gates account for repair to the MF sign but Cllr Richards subsequently checked with the firm and the account was paid.

 12   Correspondence. (See attached)

The Clerk circulated a list of all correspondence received since the last meeting. On the subject of a new Parish notice board at the church end of the village it was agreed that this should be undertaken as per the design already circulated. The Clerk was asked to negotiate either a small reduction in price and/or the addition of a “Maydes” symbol.

 13   Quality Parish Council status.

After discussion the Council agreed it would wish to achieve Quality status but accepted this was of no personal benefit to the Clerk who intimated that he was unlikely to be Clerk for more than another five years at most. It was agreed that if the Clerk achieved the necessary qualification (following an intensive period of study) the Council would expect to “reward” him with an appropriate grant and enhanced salary scale. Details to be agreed.

 14   Other information.

The Clerk said that the possibility of sharing a “Community Warden” with one or two neighbouring parishes was still under discussion with Smarden in the lead.

 15   Next meeting. September 13th.

Graham Smith, Parish Clerk                  01622 890596.                                               


The Council considered the following planning items.

Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council

05/00650 Weeksland Farmhouse, Weeks Lane. New doors and replacement windows (retrospective). Permission granted.

05/00653 Gate House, Headcorn Rd. Extension. Permission granted.

05/00694 Garden Crafts, Sissinghurst Rd. Application for lawful development certificate re sale of specific goods. Not lawful – enforcement action possible.

05/00701 & 702 4 Dashmonden Mews, High Halden Rd. Roof lights and dormer window. Permission granted.

05/00728 Old Mill Corner, Tenterden Rd. Advertisement board. Consent granted.

05/00751 Mount House, Benenden Rd. 3 bay hay store. Permission granted.

05/00787 Victoria Cottage, Fosten Lane. Rear extension. Permission granted.

05/00851 Broadoaks, Fosten Lane. Extension to garage and bedroom over.

          Permission granted.

05/00866 Moonrakers, Mockbeggar Lane. Manege and keeping of horses. Withdrawn.

05/00884 Folk Meadow, Tenterden Rd.Additional room & extension.

          Permission granted.

05/00941 2 Little Mannerings, Benenden Rd. Extensions to side and rear.

05/00943 Little Monks Cottage, Monks Hill. Erection of stables. Permission granted.

Permission granted.

05/01026 Land rear of 65-67 Cheeselands. Replacement parking spaces.

          Permission granted.

ABC advise stationing of a mobile home at Oaklands Farm Holdings, Fosten Green is to go to appeal.

Decisions of the Council Planning Group

05/00808 Conversion of toilets to Post Office, Biddenden. No comment.

05/00856 Land adjacent to 16a Townland Close. Erection of detached house.

          No objection (following site visit)

05/00866 Moonrakers, Mockbeggar Lane. Manege and keeping of horses. No objection

05/00870 & 952 24 High St. Alterations to rear wall and door. No objection.

05/00905 53 North St. First floor extension and dormer & new garage No objection.

05/00924 Chart Hills Golf Cl. Erection of temporary sign (since removed) No objection

05/00930 River Hall Oast, River Hall Lane. Change of use of garage. No objection

05/00941 2 Little Mannerings, Benenden Rd. Extensions to rear and side. No objection.

05/00943 Little Monks Cottage, Monks Hill. Erection of two stables. No objection.

05/00996 Goldwell Farmhouse, Tenterden Rd. Building of tennis court. No objection

05/01066 Hales Place, Cranbrook Rd. Two storey extension & internal alterations.

(Re application) No Objection

05/01138 Moonrakers, Mockbeggar Lane. Manege & keeping of horses. (Resubmission)

No objection.

The following are for decision by the Council on August 9th.

05/00909 Old Elmstone Cottage, 98 North St. Ground & first floor extension

05/00955 Priory Wood Farm, Tenterden Rd Retention of a utility room at a reduced size

05/01142 Pinnock Farm, High Halden Rd. Outbuilding moved due to electricity cable

05/01148 10 High St. Change of use to residential

05/01149 Little Monks Cottage, Monks Hill. Horse exercise area

05/01182 Oakdale Farm, Tenterden Rd. Two storey extension and dormer window

05/01232 Olivers Food, Bell Lane. Erection of telecommunications mast

The Council had "No objection" to any of the above 7 applications.


The Council approved the following payments:

The following payments have been made since the last Council meeting on June 14th.

£30.00 Donation to Kent Wildlife Trust. (Agreed at June 14th meeting)

£20.74 Payment to Mrs Cansdale for War Memorial flowers

£250.80 Sue Boon. Flowers for Village Green

£607.40 July wages for S Keen, Lengthsman. (£368 Wages, £239.40 Tax Credit)

£444.82 July salary for Clerk

£70.21 Price Whitehead. Mapping for Single Payments agreement for MF and JM

£3235.37 July 18th. Half yearly Direct Debit payment to PWLB for MF & JM loans

Payments to be agreed on August 9th

£607.40 S Keen, Lengthsman, £368 Wages and £239.40 Tax Credit 588

£444.67 G Smith, Clerk, Salary 589

£50.00 Biddenden Club House. Hire of village hall for Youth Club 590

£104.00 Biddenden Club House. Hire of village hall for Parish Council 591

£80.00 AJ Sowery. Mowing for June 592

£1599.88 John Bourne Ltd. Drainage of football field. (Agreed at June 14th meeting) 593

£520.41 British Gates. Repairs and installation of MF Sign 166

£312.67 Mid Kent Water. Half yearly account for Gordon Jones Field 594

£250.00 TT Pearson. Restoration of "Maydes" village sign 595

£2.38 Turners Stores. Black sacks 596

£18.00 Mrs G Scott. Phone calls January – March 2005 597

£652.52 KAPC Annual subscription £619.52 and publications £33.00 598

£25.00 Kent Men of Trees subscription 599

          £107.14 Webbs Tenterden. Equipment for Lengthsman. (Shears, hoe, weedkiller,

          new tyre for wheelbarrow) 600

          £6.71 KAPC. Publication 601

          £50.56 Staples stationery 602

          £100.00 G Smith, Clerk, Imprest account (expenses) until 09.08.05 603

Councillor Conway has reported a profit of £927.10 from the Village Fayre on June 4th.

Drummond Randall has made a donation of £355 to the M Field fund from his Open Day on July 24th. (Lower than he expected due to poor weather.)

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