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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,
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.
6 Post Office scheme.
Cllr Mrs Scott gave the following update.
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.
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.
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.)
14 Next meeting.
November 8th 2005
Graham Smith, Parish Clerk. 01622 890596
Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council:
05/00909 Old Elmstone Cottage, 98 North Street. Extensions and resiting conservatory.
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.
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.
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.
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
£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
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.