Councillors present.  J Wright, C Cudmore, G Harris, F Higgins, V Taylor


Apologies:   T Schlechter will be late.


THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING of were accepted and signed.




Footpaths – still awaiting list of numbered stiles from B Loten

Grit for footpaths and highwaysin hand

FH stated that the Footpath sign at the Rec Field has been set in chippings rather than concrete to preserve the post from rotting.


CC proposed that a letter is sent to Steve Anderson in recognition of his work for the Parish Council                                                                                                                    ACTION JA



Following a query from members of the public attending, Conditions regarding the S106 were explained.  We have been informed that Mendip Housing Dept have not yet informed Knightstone Housing of their list of nominees.  Contact will again be made with Mendip Housing to check that this is in hand and names of those nominated will be passed to the Parish Council    ACTION CC


TS joined the meeting at 7.50 p.m.



Plastic Recycling – The Rec Field Committee requested that Parish Council write to MDC to request plastic recycling facilities at the Rec Field                                                     ACTION JA


Renewal of Lease – following discussion concerns were raised regarding various aspects of the proposed lease.  It was agreed that should the Trust be discontinued the land would revert to the Parish Council and not the Charity Commission, and the length of the lease would be 30 years.  It was agreed that amendments would be made, and the Lease signed in order that the application for a grant could go ahead


The Rec Field is not registered with the Land Registry, and it was requested that the land be registered.  It was agreed that the Parish would bear the cost of registration.          ACTION JA


It was agreed that the Planning application be submitted by Parish Council on behalf of Rec Field Committee but all costs borne by the Rec Field.  The Parish Council asked that they see the plans before they are submitted.




Following discussion it was requested that amendments were made to some areas and the full plans shown to the Parish Council before the application is made.


The Memorial Hall land is not registered with the Land Registry, and it was requested that the land be registered.  It was agreed that the Parish would bear the cost of registration.  ACTION JA


It was agreed that the Planning application be submitted by Parish Council on behalf of the Memorial Hall Committee, but all costs borne by the Memorial Hall. 




Land adjacent to 17 Park Hayes, Erection of detached dwelling house – 118795/001.

Recommend approval


Ivy Cottage, Conversion and extension of outbuilding to farm shop and ancillary accommodation – 108035/003.  A decision was made by MDC but the Parish Council have not yet been advised of the outcome.


Cookswood Quarry, development of holiday retreat – 067818/010.  Following lengthy discussions it was agreed to recommend refusal due to the many concerns arising from the reported studies by the landowner in consideration of this request.  A full list is being sent to Mendip Planning Dept and a copy will be kept with the Minutes. 



The full details of the government proposals on the future of post offices will be studied and the questionnaire will be completed at the next meeting.


PARISH PLAN – GH stated that the plan has been well received and he has been asked to give a talk to other Parish Councils on how to complete a successful parish plan.  The Committee will also need to do a Final Report and Financial Report due on 1st March.

It was agreed that all proposed actions will be prioritised and their status will be recorded at Parish Council meetings. This to be discussed at the next meeting.



Financial Statement – The Financial Statement was accepted and signed

Admin Expenses – These had not been included last month. Chq No 484 agreed and signed.

Parish Plan Costs – C Peat Chq No 486 agreed and signed

Mowing – The Rec Field Committee have been requested to submit a quotation for grass cutting at Park Hayes.



Repairs to wall – loose stones on the outer of the wall nearest to the church at the front have been reported.  As a closed churchyard, responsibility lies with MDC.                                       ACTION JA

Mowing Tender – quotation for mowing of cemetery to be obtained from one other source.  D Jarvis to be engaged should his be the lowest.                                                   ACTION MM






Footpaths – FH reported that the report on repairs required to the footpath and stiles along the Mells stream have been passed to S Petherbridge.

TS reported a footpath to the quarry (8/23) is overgrown and needs attention.


SALC -CC reported that the next SALC meeting is on 5th march


Road Cleaning -CC reported that the road sweeper is due on 30th January


Highways – the white lines at Townsend are already wearing off and need attention

Also gullies have not been cleared, which causes flooding throughout the village.

GH reported that cones have appeared opposite the garage, their reason for being there is unknown.

CC reported that a sign showing the length limit for lorries has been erected at Soho.



CC reported that he had attended the Planning Board meeting on 3rd Jan. re Ivy Cottage


Correspondence – Parishes Information Bulletin; Mendip Times; Clerks and Councils Direct; Public Transport Timetable; Booking Clerk – Memorial Hall; The Clerk. Avon & Somerset Police update; Mendip Strategic Partnership; Card from D Heath, MP; SCC re Unitary Council; Local Election info.


Date of next meeting – 19th February 2007










List of concerns submitted to MDC ref.







Planning Application considered at Leigh on Mendip Parish Council Meeting on 15th January 2007


From the Report




Peter Brett Associates are reliable experts and are familiar with the methodology used, so apart from the fact that they did not measure the topography but used ‘data supplied by R Massey’ (source unknown) it is expected that the data would be satisfactory.


Environmental Statement


P10 – 2.7.1   Reinstatement works phrase “as soon as practical" is too loose and needs to be tied down to say a deadline of 6 months after the completion and opening of the site otherwise it may never happen


P12 - 3.4   Alternative of 113 hectares of farmland - this was never a possibility and should be questioned as to why it is even mentioned other than to pad out the paperwork

P13 - 3.5.4   Issue of noise is dismissed rather casually and needs to be properly assessed

P27/28 -  Mendip District Local Plan - permit the development provided "it does not lead to increased visitor pressure on such a scale as would harm the natural heritage or distinctiveness of the locality.  It is felt that with 143 chalets and over 300 people this would have a detrimental effect on the locality.

P29 -   Policy Q12, further restrictions on noise issues, which cannot be quantified

P34 – 5.4.8   Other potential species of nature conservation interest.  No mention of Deer that roam freely.  Also the established Rookery at the south west corner of the site has not been included in the survey.


P48 -   and again P50 - The location of the findings of the Great Crested Newts and Smooth Newt are reported to be in the Accompanying Map in Appendix 1, Volume 2 but this was not found.  There is no named Appendix 1, but assuming that this is the report by Country Contracts then the Indicative Habitat Plan GW.T11 has no newt locations identified.



Without knowing when the surveys were carried out it is impossible to know whether proper assessments were made.  The report by Country Contracts is dated February 2006 so presumably the surveys were carried out in the winter months before then.  Winter 2006 was abnormally cold with lengthy frozen periods.  The presence of newts in ephemeral sites would be expected if sampling was in summer as newts would migrate to these areas, or if conditions were severe in their normal rest area. the report acknowledges that there will be damage to habitats and injury will be avoided by moving newts to safe areas.  However, disturbance by visitors will be avoided by permanent barriers around the habitats – which habitats?; does this include the lake habitat?   Error in statement as it repeats statement and does not refer to the state of the developed site.   The results of the survey indicate that the site is important for invertebrates but the survey was constrained by the time available, which limited the survey methods applied.  But a proper survey was necessary given the magnitude of the proposed development.   Implies that there were constraints on the time allowed for the work to be done, or the brief was restrictive.


5.5.9   More extensive surveys would be required to complete a comprehensive species list for the entire site!


5.5.10   Consideration should be given to completing more extensive surveys to support management of the site for invertebrates


Given all of the above statements by Country Contracts, how can the conclusion be reached that there will be minimal impacts from the development?   On the traffic count is states “  ….no recent traffic counts and it is considered that if local traffic counts were undertaken now (spring 2006) they may not be indicative of likely traffic patterns during the summer months in a tourist area”  The single day sampled (3 July) was done in school term outside of the peak traffic periods (i.e. done 1000-1400)   States that traffic counts were not gathered from July to August as there would possibly be very little change in vehicle movements – but no local evidence produced to substantiate this.   Underestimates likely number of vehicles at 157 (1.1 per chalet) whereas it is quite likely that two or more cars may turn up, therefore the car park will be woefully inadequate.  Also inbound visitor vehicles assumed to be evenly proportioned over a four hour period from 1500h – 1900h.  No evidence for this and more likely to be 1500-1630h. Comparison with existing (2006) traffic presented incorrectly, “ …. 0800-1100 (inbound) and 1500-1900 (outbound).”  It is the other was around.   Without proper traffic counts the statement here that the increase in traffic will not be detrimental to the existing traffic cannot be supported or substantiated.  This is an important area to local residents.   The development will need to be linked in some way across the existing public highway.  This statement is vague and full details of any link submitted.



8.8.5         It is understood the developer will undertake to provide a minibus to pick up visitors from the nearby railway stations.  [Surely the developer is submitting this application and what is the frequency to be of the minibus, this cannot be found anywhere]  The Transport Assessment in Volume 2 provides no information.   There is a public right of way which runs through the site and is elevated above the level of the surrounding land.  ‘It is understood that this will be retained’ – a vague statement given that the application should be by the developer!


There is a lack of any firm proposals regarding lighting of the site.  This should be addressed more fully especially with regard to environmental issues. 

Also extending the street lighting from Holcombe to the entrance would not be welcome as it would increase light pollution overall quite dramatically.




Leigh on Mendip Parish Clerk