Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

14th March 2006




12th December 2006
14th November 2006
10th October 2006
12th September 2006
8th August 2006
11th July 2006
16th May 2006
Annual Parish Meeting
11th April 2006
14th March 2006
14th February 2006
10th January 2006

These minutes are subject to approval at the Council meeting on April 11th 2006

Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on March 14th 2006


Cllr P Whapham – Chairman                                                    Cllr C Friend

Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Vice Chairman                           Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr J Rymer Jones

Cllr M Conway                                                                        Cllr Mrs B Swain

Also present Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council and 30 parishioners.

Apologies for absence-Cllr Mrs R Ashton, Cllr R Brown and Cllr Mrs G Scott.

 1 There were no alterations to members Register of Interests.

 2  Items for discussion raised by parishioners present.

The Chairman asked that any comments on the Post Office be reserved for item         below when he would allow discussion. The formal Council meeting was closed at this point.

  • Mr Kingston was concerned about vandalism in the parish and felt that if there was a Biddenden football team this could provide a valuable channel for youthful activity. It was mentioned that Tenterden Tigers, who use the pitches, would always welcome new players if they came forward. Cllr Mrs Cansdale said she knew that many of the youth played in teams outside the village. Cllr Conway said the police were currently conducting an anti vandal campaign including within Biddenden parish.
  • Mr Rood commented on his recent Planning Applcation (06/00236) and said councillors would be welcome to inspect the site.
  • There was also comment on the lack of cardboard and plastic recycling facilities. Cllr Rymer Jones said these would not be provided as Ashford BC had no outlet for these items.
  • Mr Churton commented on the missing “drop post” at the Gordon Jones car park but he was advised that this had been fitted in the last few days.

            The formal Council meeting was reopened.

 3  Minutes of the meeting held on February 14th 2006

  These were approved and signed by the Chairman after it was noted re item 7 that       Cllr Mrs Ashton did not support the (agreed) ban on Christmas Tree advertising on the Jubilee Meadow.

4  Post Office/new toilets update

Cllr Mrs Cansdale reported that the formal approval of the 999 year lease of the      existing car park and toilets from Ashford BC to Biddenden PC would be discussed by Ashford BC on March 23rd. Assuming approval was given then  building work  could start. Our architects were clarifying Health & Safety and  work site issues with the builders

The Chairman closed the formal meeting at this point to allow parishioners to speak.

Mrs Stokes said she felt she was speaking for the majority of the parishioners by          saying that demand for the Post Office was overwhelming and personal support for the Post Mistress was equally strong. The Council had voted to adopt the current proposal and it should now be allowed to get on with it without constant threats of delay pending yet more investigations. If the parish did not support the Council it could be voted from office next year. Mr Nicholls spoke in favour of Mrs Stokes summary of village views.

The Chairman reopened the formal Council meeting at this point .

Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft, Conway, Richards and Mrs Swain emphasised that they were  not against the need for a Post Office but were very concerned about the lack of clear information prior to the Council reaching its decision at the January 10th  meeting. They felt their legal and financial concerns had not been addressed prior to the vote and still had not been investigated satisfactorily.

Cllr Rymer Jones said all councillors had an obligation to be well informed on council matters and it was up to them individually to press for facts they felt were unclear.

Cllr Richards said he was pleased to see copies of all recent correspondence to the       Chairman on the Post Office issue as this underlined his own concerns.

 In view of the alleged inadmissibility of Cllr Mrs Scott’s vote at the January 10th             meeting Cllr Rymer Jones said the Council should reaffirm its decision (in Cllr Mrs Scott’s absence) to go ahead with the chosen scheme. Cllr Conway felt this was unnecessary however Cllr Rymer Jones proposed that,

        "This Council reaffirms its wish to retain a Post Office in Biddenden and agrees
          to the conversion of the public lavatories in the car park and building of new
          toilet facilities."

 The Chairman seconded the proposal.

Cllrs Mrs Cansdale, Friend, Rymer Jones and Whapham supported the proposal,

Cllr Conway voted against and Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft, Richards and Mrs Swain abstained.

The Chairman referred to the threatened Judicial Review by Mr Greensted which           had been copied to all councillors. He felt that to agree to his demand to involve  the council’s solicitor would cost the parish a great deal of money. It was suggested the Chairman met Mr Greensted with a view to putting his questions to  KAPC/NALC as this was a free legal service. Should Mr Greensted not agree to this councillors would then be asked whether they wished to involve our solicitors and incur the associated costs to the parish funds.

5 Traffic and Pedestrians Committee.

Cllr Friend referred to the current position concerning local speed monitoring and           said PC Sharp (the responsible officer) would be present at the Annual Parish   Meeting on April 18th to explain all. Messrs Ridge and Whitestone has completed a survey of road signs in the parish and a copy is attached. This could be considered in detail at the next meeting.

 6  Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Committee.

 Cllr Richards gave councillors a copy of the Committee minutes of March 8th.   There was discussion of a suggestion of an all weather foot/cycle path around parts of the Gordon Jones and Millennium Fields. This would be discussed at the next meeting and councillors were asked to come forward with their ideas.

Cllr Richards said the Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow funds (about  £12,000), which are a separate Parish Council account, were in excess of the MF & JM needs and about £10,000 could be used to reduce a future precept. This was  agreed subject to further discussion. (It should be noted that the annual payments  (about £6,500) to the Public Works Loan Board for the purchase of the MF & JM  have always been made from the councils general accounts and for a year or so  could be debited to the MF & JM account if councillors agree)

 7 Report from Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council.

 Cllr Bell referred to the free bus travel available to all over 60 from April 1st 2006. The only restriction was for journeys prior to 09.00.

8 Planning (see below)

 It was agreed that the council would not object to the felling of trees at Mill Hatch, Tenterden Road to allow a proposed development (which it had supported) but would want replacement trees provided.

A copy of a letter from Mrs Stokes to Ashford BC had been received about the            proposed felling of a willow at Olivers Foods in association with a telecomms  mast application.

9 Finance (see below)

 The Council agreed to:

a)      Reaffirm its decision of October 12th 2004 to grant the Tennis Club £2000 towards court resurfacing.

b)      Repair the bus shelter (by the Weavers) for £750

c)      Provide the Clerk with a new printer up to £250

d)      Continue with the existing mowing contract for 2006

10  Correspondence

11  For information.

 Cllr Rymer Jones advised that the Rector would be leaving from May 15th 2006 and a Priest in Charge would be appointed between September and November.

 12   The meeting was closed to the public at this point.

Discussion centred on the Parish response to Ashford’s Local Development      Framework and the pressure for new housing. It was agreed that limited new             housing was acceptable but that we should press for “affordable housing” and that    suitable for older people who wished to “downsize”. Cllr Rymer Jones would    prepare a paper for discussion prior to submission to Ashford BC.

It was suggested the Council tries to establish just who occupies the village housing originally designated for older peoples use.

 Letters from Gillian Clark and Richard Greensted were considered and it was    suggested how the Chairman should reply.

 13  Next meeting.

     April 11th

     April 18th Annual Parish Meeting.  

 Graham Smith, Parish Clerk.           01622 890596


The Council considered the following at its meeting on March 14th 2006:

Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council:

 04/01221   Priory Wood. Tenterden Rd. Change of use to caravan site, stationing of one mobile home and one touring caravan. “Disposed of undetermined”

05/1870   Biddenden car park. Renewal of temporary Post Office Portacabin until

April 2007.                                                       Permission granted.

05/02071   Elmstone House, North Street. New access from highway.

                                                                        Permission granted.

06/00007&8   Hales Place, Cranbrook Rd. Various alterations to house.

                                                                        Permission granted.

06/00017   Birchdene, Benenden Road. Erection of car port. Permission granted.

06/00067   Pell House Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. Two storey rear extension, garage alterations etc.                                                            Withdrawn.

06/00159   Pell House Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. Extension to rear and kitchen alterations.


FC06/00017   Beale Lands Farmhouse, Shawlands Lane, High Halden. Coppicing.

                                                                        No objections.

04/00160   Great Omenden Farm, Pook Lane. Appeal against refusal of ABC for a new farm bungalow.                                               Appeal dismissed.


The Council’s Planning Group made the following decisions.

 05/01232   Olivers Foods, Bell Lane. Installation of telecommunications mast.

                                                                        No objections.

05/02046   Old Beer Garden and Cellars, 30 High Street. Change of use to offices.

                                                                        No objections.

06/00210   15 Headcorn Rd. Rear and porch extension and side dormer window.

                                                                        No objections.

06/00217    Biddenden car park. Conversion of toilets to PO building and new toilets.

                                                                        No comment as PC application.

06/00236   Great Batchelors Lodge, Sissinghurst Rd. Conversion of redundant agricultural building to dwelling.              Object (for various reasons)

06/00312   Summer Hill, Fosten Lane. Conversion of barn to dwelling. No objections.

TC06/00024   Mill Field, Tenterden Rd.  Various tree works.         No objections.

TC06/00021   John Mayne School. Fell 1 willow.                                       No objections.

 For consideration by the full council:

 TPO No 4 2006  Mill Hatch, Tenterden Rd. Proposed TPO. The Council decided to oppose the TPO but request replacement trees are planted.


The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on March 14th 2006

 £368.00           S Keen, Lengthsman, Wages                                                    1652

 £444.67           G Smith, Clerk, Salary                                                  1653

 £46.67             Staples, Stationery                                                                    1654 

£2330.00         A J Sowerey – Construction of footpath MF to school  1655

 £250.00           A J Sowery – New scrapes in Jubilee Meadow             0169

£1458.34         G D Brightling – Supply of stone for new MF school footpath  1656

£26.00             Subscription to Campaign to Protect Rural England                   1657

£688.32           KAPC Annual subscription including “Parish News” publication. 1658

 £52.88             KAPC Course fee for “Planning” day. (Richard Carr is going and he has                                   already paid the Parish Council the fee.)                                1659

 £2000.00         John Mayne School. Contribution for MF-School footpath        1660

 £105.75           Mrs Ashcroft. Reimbursement for Gordon Jones Field drop post  1662

 £1820.67         Cyma Architects. Stage works for new PostOffice/toilets           1663

 £34.17             R King. Installation of drop post, tidying war memorial. Time and                                              materials.                                                                                1664

  The following money has been received.

 £135.00           Ashford Borough Council. Refund of overpaid PO planning fee.

Councillors may recall that at the October 12th 2004 meeting it was unanimously agreed to make up to £2000 available to the Tennis Club towards resurfacing their courts. The work is now finished at a cost of £21665 and the Club would now like to take up our offer. Do councillors confirm their earlier decision?

(Yes, Agreed to make the £2000 available)

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