Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

11th October 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 November 8th 2005

 Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on October 11th 2005


Cllr P Whapham – Chairman                                                    Cllr C Friend

Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Vice Chairman                           Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr Mrs G Scott

Cllr M Conway                                                                        Cllr Mrs B Swain

Also present for his report was Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council.

Apologies for absence, Cllrs Mrs R Ashton, R Brown and J Rymer-Jones.

Eight parishioners were present.

 1   Initially the Chairman welcomed Cllr Friend to his first meeting of the Council.

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

 3   Items raised by parishioners present.

The following points were raised,

  • The scale of the earthworks resulting from the drainage pipe constructed from the Old Mill Corner development beneath the Millennium Field car park. The Chairman said this would be covered later in the meeting. (see min.10)
  • Rubbish dumped by the Squash Club. The Chairman said this too would be covered later but that there was no easy answer to this anti social activity.
  • The Chairman allowed Mr Matt Corden of Tenterden Tigers football club to make a proposal for the use of temporary floodlighting of some pitches for evening (until about 8.30pm) training sessions. Generally the Council supported this valuable youth activity but wished to see a trial of the equipment to check on noise and light levels. Mr Corden would arrange via the Clerk.


4   The minutes of the Council meeting held on September 13th were approved and signed by the Chairman.


5   Update on matters arising not covered elsewhere.

  • Cllr Conway said he had established information on the latest speed camera equipment. It appears this is two person kit, one to operate the camera and one to record the car number. If speed is excessive the offender is reported to the police for follow up action. The cost of the equipment is about £3000 and it is suggested it is shared by two or three parishes. (Our earlier £250 grant for a speed camera can be retained at this stage probably as part payment for the new equipment if we go ahead.) The new kit will be demonstrated at the KAPC  AGM on November 5th  and the Council will consider again on November 8th.                                  


6   Post Office scheme.

Cllr Mrs Scott gave the following update.

Design work.

Our architects (Cyma) had produced detailed plans which had slight modifications to the initial designs. These were considered to be improvements. It was thought that building tenders could be sought in about two weeks time. The plans were displayed to the meeting.

Some initial cost estimates (subject to actual tenders) are,

Post Office - £6000 design fees, £36,500 construction + (reclaimable) VAT = £50,000

New toilets - £10,000 design fees, £50,500 construction + (reclaimable) VAT = £79,500

(The toilet cost may be reduced by design amendments and Ashford Borough Council may be willing to help with the costs. Cllr Bell would progress.)


Actual grants could not be established until firm building costs were available following tendering. However grants would be split between those available for the Post Office and those for new toilets.

Temporary toilets.

It was hoped to avoid the (expensive) use of temporary toilets during the construction phase by using existing toilets at the Village Hall or at the back of the Squash Club. Discussions were taking place with the Hall management.

Ashford Borough Council.

Heads of Agreement for transfer of the car park and toilets to the Parish Council were under discussion but it was likely that we would only be asked for a peppercorn rent under any lease terms but that we would assume responsibility for maintenance. Two particular issues to be resolved are restrictions on the use of the building should it ever cease to be a Post Office and access rights to the revised car park.

Cllr Richards thought the total costs had escalated out of hand and that the village would be unwilling to meet these costs. The Chairman said the total net cost to the village would not be known until the grants were established and he proposed, seconded by Cllr Mrs Cansdale, that the Council goes ahead to establish firm costs, by tendering, and then check the available grants. The net cost will then be clear and firm decisions can be taken. All councillors agreed to this except Cllrs Conway and Richards who abstained.

It was agreed that the architects fees be paid as and when presented.


7   Recycling committee.

In his absence the Clerk reported that Cllr Rymer Jones had established that “Blue Boxes” were unlikely in Biddenden until ABC had established their budget for 2006/7.

He would also like to develop a “recycling awareness” campaign for the village.

His proposal for a Salvation Army textile bin in the Cheeselands area was supported and he and Cllr Mrs Cansdale were asked to select a suitable site.


8   Traffic and Pedestrians Committee.

Cllr Friend had agreed to lead this and would report to the November meeting.                                                                                                                                               


9   Report by Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council.

  • Cllr Bell had assisted with the Post Office report (Min. 6 above)
  • He said the “low cost” Cheeselands housing development had already started (or was just about to.)
  • The Holden Farm telecommunications mast proposal had not yet been decided by ABC but in any event he wanted it decided at Planning Committee rather just by the officers. He understood further sites were now being considered.


10   Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Committee.

Minutes of the meeting held on October 6th were circulated.

Cllr Richards said that the Committee had agreed to move the Millennium Field sign to a location in, or adjacent to, the village car park where it would be safer and more obvious to visitors. Directions to the actual field would then be given with a simple “Millennium Field” sign where the existing sign had been.

Further information had been received from DeFRA about the proposed (private) footpath from the MF car park to the school. DeFRA had agreed a compacted gravel surface was appropriate with a fence one side and a hedge the other side of the path. Grants are available for gates and fencing. Cllr Richards proposed, and Cllr Mrs Cansdale seconded, that the scheme now be pushed ahead speedily. All agreed.

Cllr Conway reported that a Flora and Fauna survey of the MF and JM would take place next year.

Cllr Richards said he was disgusted with the new outfall arrangements for the drain from the Old Mill Corner development and at the removal of some areas of hedging to construct the drain. He considered that we had not agreed to this work. The Clerk had examined the site with the Site Manager on Monday and explained what the finished work would look like. Cllr Conway said he had kept close contact with the Site Manager and agreed with the Clerks summary. It was unfortunate that the Easement Agreement for the drain had not been signed earlier but the work was approved by the Parish Council although the detail was not – it had to be built to Southern Water standards which were perhaps more stringent than some councillors anticipated.

It was agreed that two councillors would meet with our, and the developers, solicitors plus the site manger for a signing of the easement documents. The two councillors were authorised to sign on behalf of the full council. (The Chairman would be one of the two.)


11   Planning. See below


 12  Finance

  • The payments (see below) were approved.
  • Cllr Mrs Scott said she would call a meeting of the Finance Committee in November, principally to prepare the 2006/7 budget.
  • Cllr Friend agreed to join the Finance Committee.
  • Cllr Mrs Ashcroft said the Youth Club had received a £150 donation from BEST.


13 Correspondence


  • The Clerk read the Chairman’s reply to Mr Churton’s letter of  September 6th
  • The Chairman and Vice Chairman agreed to “look after” the Mayor and Mayoress of Ashford at the Blaze on November 4th.
  • Cllr Rymer Jones would attend the KAPC AGM on November 5th
  • A proposal (yet to be received) from the Village Hall management to extend/improve CCTV coverage around the sports field and car park areas would be sympathetically considered.
  • The Clerk was asked to seek the views of playground contractors on new items or heavy maintenance of the playground equipment which was looking “tired”.
  • It was mentioned that the large chestnut tree on the village green blocked traffic sightlines – Cllr Friend was asked to look at this as part of his new Committee’s work.
  • Cllr Rymer Jones had asked the Clerk to mention the need for the Council to consider the future size and shape of the “village envelope”. This would be taken up at a later meeting.


14   Next meeting.

 November 8th 2005


Graham Smith, Parish Clerk.     01622 890596                                                            



Planning items considered by the Council at its meeting on October 11th 2005

Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council: 

05/00909   Old Elmstone Cottage, 98 North Street. Extensions and resiting conservatory.

                        Permission granted.

05/00924   Chart hills Golf Club. Provision of a sign facing Headcorn Rd..         Withdrawn.

05/00955   Priory Wood Farm, Tenterden Rd. Retention of utility room.           Refused.  

05/00996   Goldwell Farmhouse, Tenterden Rd. Tennis court.   Permission granted.

05/01138   Land at Moonrakers, Mockbeggar Lane. Manege and stabling.

Permission granted.

05/01148   10 High Street. Change of use commercial to residential. Permission granted

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

05/01206   Garden Crafts, Sissinghurst Rd. Sale of relavent goods (garden ornaments and furniture). Not lawful with reference to original planning permission in 1990.

05/01271   The Colt House, Cranbrook Rd. Double block built garage. Permission granted

05/01312   The Oak House, Tenterden Rd. Extension and internal alterations.

                        Permission granted.

TP05/0005  1a Mansion House Close. Work to various ash trees. Consent granted.

TC05/00097  Orchard Lodge, Tenterden Rd. Fell one poplar tree. No objections.


Decisions made by the Councils planning group:

 05/01534   Cheeselands. 7 replacement car parking spaces.                  No objections.

05/01538   9 Glebelands. Erection of decking (retrospective)    No objections.

05/01544   41 North Street. Extension and alterations.              No objections.

05/01580 & 81   24 High Street. New rear wall and gate.                     No objections.

Decided by the full Council at the meeting:

05/01609 (Listed building consent, see 1544 above)  

41 North Street. Extension and alterations.                    No objections.

05/01631   Jungalow, Bell Lane. New “eco barn” dwelling.                   Object.

05/01632   Jungalow, Bell Lane. Replacement “eco barn” dwelling. No objections.

05/01637   Golden Fleece Farm, Tenterden Rd. Two storey side extension

                                                                                                             No objections.


The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on October 11th 2005

£607.40           S Keen, Lengthsman. £368.00 Wages and £239.40 Tax Credit.

(By February 2006 Tax Credit will be paid direct to Mr Keen by the Inland Revenue rather than via his employer ie.BPC.)        614

£444.67           G Smith, Clerk, Salary                                                  615

 £37.71             Staples, Stationery                                                                    616

£50.00             BTCV (Tree and Pond Wardens) Donation. Agreed at September meeting.


£35.00             Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group. Annual donation.  618

 £30.00             Biddenden Club House – Youth Club meetings in village hall  619

 £90.00             Biddenden Club House – Council meetings in village hall            620


Monies received

The second half year precept of £26,428 was received on September 30th giving the Council a Reserve Account balance of £76,718. Of this £10,476 “belongs to” the Millennium Field account but is held in the Reserve Account to earn interest.

 £150 from Tenterden Tigers towards football pitch drainage.


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