Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

13th September 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 October 11th 2005

Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on September 13th 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      

Cllr Mrs R Ashton                                                                    Cllr Mrs B Swain

Apologies for absence received from Cllrs R Brown, C Friend and Mrs G Scott

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

21 parishioners were present.


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


2   Apart from the parishioners comments on the proposed telecommunications mast at Holden Farm (see below) the only other parishioners comment was from Brian Wingham who volunteered to join the Chairman’s proposed “Traffic and Pedestrians Committee”.

Mr Wingham said that a neighbour would also be willing to assist. (At the end of the meeting Mr B Gaertner also volunteered to be part of the committee). The Chairman thanked them for their support.


3   The minutes of the meeting held on August 9th were approved and signed by the Chairman.


4   Planning

The Chairman said that in view of the parishioners present this evening he would deal with the Planning item next. He closed the meeting to allow parishioners to speak.

Four parishioners expressed the views of those present on application no.05/01334 for a telecommunications mast at Holden Farm on the Sissinghurst Road.

The gist of the objections was that the site proposed was inappropriate for a mast 22m high as it would be obtrusive in a location of high landscape value and although in/near mature trees would be very visable for half the year when there were no leaves.

Mr Carr, speaking for the Weald of Kent Preservation Society and as leader of the recent village Design Statement, said that the various main “gateways” to the village should be protected from unsightly development. This was supported by Ashford Borough Council.

Some of the parishioners said they had not received notification of the proposal from Ashford Borough Council before the parish council Planning Group had responded to ABC with “No objections” and they would have liked to lobby the parish council earlier.

The Chairman said the council Planning Group had considered the proposal carefully and whilst few welcomed new masts the view of the Group was that this proposal was not too objectionable, but the full council was able to review the decision of the Group.

Following discussion amongst councillors it was agreed that the Clerk would write to ABC saying that the council had changed its mind and now wished to object to the proposal on grounds of inappropriate location. All councillors supported this revision except Cllr Richards who abstained as he had an interest in a different mast location.

The parishioners welcomed this change of mind.

The Chairman then reopened the meeting and the other planning applications were considered (see below)                                                                                       



5   New councillor

The Chairman said that two applicants had been interviewed for cooption to the council vacancy and whilst both were excellent the final decision was to appoint Chris Friend of Glebelands. Mr Friend was absent this evening due to a prearranged commitment.


6   Post Office update   

Cllr Mrs Cansdale reported that planning permission had been granted by ABC on August 22nd for both the conversion of the existing toilets to a Post Office and provision of new toilets. The existing “modesty” wall outside the Ladies could be removed.

Nine architects were approached for a detailed design and five were interviewed.

Cyma Architects were then selected as the successful bidder to do the design work.

Their initial estimate for the total works is £65,653.

There is a range of possible grants towards the work (eg from DeFRA and the Post Office) but none of these grants can be confirmed until the final design and the final cost is known.

Once this information is available builders will be asked to tender for the work.

Cllr Mrs Cansdale proposed, and Cllr Rymer Jones seconded, approval for the appointment of the chosen architect to take the project forward. All councillors supported this except Cllr Richards who abstained and Cllr Mrs Ashton who declared an interest and did not vote.


7   Parish Plan developments  - Recycling

Cllr Rymer Jones presented his initial report which is attached to these minutes.

Cllr Rymer Jones proposed and Cllr Conway seconded that ABC be asked to provide “Blue Boxes” for Biddenden. All agreed and the Clerk would write accordingly.

It was also agreed that a textile recycling facility be sought.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Rymer Jones for his prompt and thoughtful report.

Traffic and Pedestrians Committee

See 2 above


8   Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow

Cllr Richards said there had not been a meeting of the Committee since the last council meeting. However the Committee were agreed that the vandal prone MF sign should be moved and the final location had still to be recommended.

Cllr Richards agreed to take forward the already agreed (school children only) path from the Millennium Field car park to the school and a meeting was scheduled with the Headmistress for 15th September. Cllr Mrs Ashcroft and the Chairman also hoped to attend.


9   Gordon Jones children’s play area

Cllr Mrs Swain reported on the considerable work required as stated in the RoSPA report of 11th July. The Clerk reported on the renewal of the fencing, which was now largely complete, and other works in hand but it was agreed that most of the play equipment needed a thorough overhaul and possible replacement of some items. The Clerk was asked to approach appropriate contractors to get some idea of the costs involved.



10  Report from Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council

He reported on four main topics,

·        He will oppose the Holden Farm mast at Borough Council level

·        He supports the Blue Box scheme (see 7 above) but warns that ABC may not have sufficient funds in the near/medium future

·        KCC Highways have now moved their area HQ to Aylesford

·        The grant to the parish council from the Mill Corner development should be to hand shortly. (The clerk confirmed that there was no disagreement between the Council and Developers solicitors on the matter but this sort of legal paperwork always takes time)


11   Finance

The payments on the attached sheet were approved.

The Council accounts for the year ending March 2005 had been “internally” audited and were approved by the Council, signed by the Chairman, and could now be forwarded to the Audit Commission.

The Chairman said he would like a meeting of the Council’s Finance Committee to be called in October to consider the 2006/7 budget and other matters.


12   Correspondence

See attached.


13   Item for future consideration

Cllr Conway queried whether the parish council (like all parish councils) was able to undertake local traffic speed monitoring using a hand held speed gun. He thought this was not “legal”.

The Clerk said that following a recent Kent Police meeting in Maidstone the legal hurdles had been cleared and assuming there were sufficient volunteers, and the police approved the location, speed monitoring was now possible. Cllr Conway said he would follow this up as the council already had a grant for a “speed gun”.


14   Next meeting

 October 11th 2005


The meeting closed at 9.15pm


The Council considered the following Planning matters at its meeting on September 13th 2005


The following decisions have been received from Ashford Borough Council

05/00808   Conversion of toilets to Post Office and new toilets at Biddenden car park

                                                                                                            Permission granted

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

05/00870   24 High Street. Lower rear yard wall & replace with railings etc. Withdrawn

05/00924   Chart Hills Golf Club.Erection of sign.                                             Withdrawn.

05/00930   River Hall Oast, River Hall Lane. Change of use of garage to office and

                        extension of oast.                                                                      Refused

05/01066   Hales Place, Cranbrook Road. Two storey extension etc.    Withdrawn

05/01138   Moonrakers, Mockbeggar Lane. Horse ménage & stable    Granted

05/01142   Pinnock Farm, High Halden Rd. Replacement outbuilding moved due to

                        electricity cable.                                                                        Granted

05/01148   10 High Street Biddenden. Change of use to residential.                  Granted

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

05/01182   Oakdale Farm, Tenterden Road. Two storey side extension.           Granted


04/00958   Medhurst Barn, Cranbrook Rd. Change of land use for gypsy family and stationing of one touring caravan and one mobile home. This appeal will now go to Public Enquiry at a future date.


04/01235   Greenacres Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. Fishing ponds, clubhouse, showers, toilets etc. Appeal to be heard at Ashford on September 28th 2005.


The following were recommended by the Councils Planning Group on August 23rd and are subject to full Council approval.

05/01262   2 Chulkhurst. Rear ground floor extension.              No objections

05/01310   The Granary, Crosswell Farm, Cranbrook Rd. Change of use of former agricultural building to office and residential.                                No objections.

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

                                                                                                            No objections. 

*05/01334   Holden Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. 22m Telecomms mast and equipment.

                                                                                                            No objections.

*Council has now decided to “Object” – see minute 4.


The following are for consideration by the full Council on September 13th.

05/01271   The Colt House, Cranbrook Road. Double block built garage. No objections.

TP/05/00095   1a Mansion House Close. Various tree works. No objections.

TC/05/00097   Orchard Lodge, Tenterden Rd. Fell one poplar tree      No objections.


The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on September 13th 2005


1          £667.25           S Keen, Lengthsman. £368 Wages and £299.25 Tax Credit     604

2          £444.67           G Smith, Clerk, Salary                                                  605

3          £10.98             Staples, stationery                                                                     606

4          £450.00           Wealden Management Consultancy. Internal audit 2004-2005  607

5          £18.06             Cllr Mrs Scott. Photocopies, postage etc. re PO Committee      608

6          £64.56             Cllr Mrs Scott – Attending Standards Board meeting (car mileage)609

7          £200.00           All Saints Church – Council insert in Parish Magazine    610

8          £1100.00         TH Legg. New parish notice board at west end of village           611

9          £25.99             Webbs, Tenterden.Balance owing for various Lengthsmans

                                    purchases                                                                                 612

10        £108.10           Playground Management. RoSPA report on childrens play area. 613      


The following monies have been received,

£10.00             Additional donation from D Randalls Open Day

£12.00             Additional money from Millennium Field fete

£50.00             P Whapham – hire of Council marquee

£200.00           Donation from CC McKinnon for 2006 Village Green flower beds


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