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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.
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)
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.
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 following decisions have been received from Ashford Borough Council
05/00808 Conversion of toilets to Post Office and new toilets at Biddenden car park
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.
*05/01334 Holden Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. 22m Telecomms mast and equipment.
*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.
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
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