DRAFT MINUTES

LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

 HELD ON MONDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2013 AT 7.30 P.M. IN THE MEMORIAL HALL

 

Present

Chris Cudmore

CC

 

 

Gill Boden

GB

 

 

Ian Barnes

IB

 

 

David Mattick

DM

 

 

David Sparkes

DS

 

 

 

 

 

In attendance

Anthea Brooks

AB (Clerk)

 

 

Val Horler, District Councillor (part)

VH

 

 

Phil Ham, County and District Councillor

PH

 

 

Paul O’Hara, G2 Energy Ltd (item 3)

 

 

 

Joseph Thomas – David Lock Associates (item 3)

 

 

 

Vicky Higgins (item 4)

 

 

 

Nick Hiscox (item 9)

 

 

 

Chris Langdon (item 9)

 

 

 

and approximately 50 members of the public (item 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies

Alan Dagger

AD

 

 

 

 

 

1

APOLOGIES

ACTION

 

 

 

1.1

Apologies were received from Alan Dagger

 

 

 

 

2

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

 

 

 

 

2.1

No interest was declared and no dispensation was requested

 

 

 

 

3

PRESENTATION BY G2 ENERGY – PROPOSED SINGLE WIND TURBINE

 

 

 

 

3.1

CC addressed the meeting and welcomed representatives from G2 Energy and David Lock Associates who were to make a presentation on the single wind turbine.  CC explained that the meeting was fundamentally a Parish Council meeting and that there would be an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation but if there was enough interest than a public meeting would be arranged to discuss the subject further at a later date.

 

 

 

 

3.2

Paul O’Hara, Project Manager, G2 Energy gave a presentation on the proposed single wind turbine which would be situated on the borders of Downhead, Chantry, Mells and Leigh-on-Mendip parishes following which the following issues and questions were voiced by the members of the public who were present

 

 

 

 

 

3.3

·                        Is there any connection with the turbine at Chewton Mendip - No

 

 

·                        Is there any connection with the proposed turbine development on the A361 - No

 

 

·                        Consideration should be given to the visual impact on the countryside

 

 

·                        Would the application proceed if the feed in tariff was not available – probably no

 

 

·                        What is the cost of such developments – 12% is being spent on renewable energy at present but what happens when the wind does not blow

 

 

·                        More consideration should be given to a vision for the future and development and use of other natural materials for producing energy such as waste

 

 

·                        Who will own this particular turbine – G2 will maintain ownership for 25 years

 

 

·                        How is it to be funded – private enterprise

 

 

·                        Was the approach to install this turbine in this place made by G2 to the landowner or by the landowner to G2 – made by G2 to the landowner who has agreed to have the turbine on his/her land

 

 

·                        What duties do you have to inform the local neighbourhood of such developments– each house should be notified within a 2.5 km area and a company was employed to make sure that all houses within that area received a communication (Note: communication was very patchy and not all households have received information)

 

 

·                        How will the outcome of the planning application be made known – the application has not yet been officially validated by the local authority but there will be a statutory period of 21 days public consultation and public notices will inform of this.  (Note: Once the consultation starts the Parish Council will be informed and a public meeting will be set up)

 

 

·                        What is the likely noise burden on residents nearby and potential issues with frequencies that cannot be heard but may disturb sleep patterns?  Confident that there will be no noise pollution in any wind conditions.  Not allowed to exceed 35db (wind gale force 5) in any direction

 

 

·                        How many households will the turbine supply minimum of 200

 

 

·                        Consideration should be given to the positioning of this turbine next to Asham Wood which is a site of biological Special Scientific Interest and is the most diverse of the ancient semi-natural woods in the Mendips with a wide range of ancient flora and fauna.  The environmental reports attached to the application will be studied with interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.4

It was agreed that some questions to be raised at the Public Meeting would be provided to G2 Energy in advance and to this end a notice would be put in the October edition of the village magazine requesting any such questions to be sent to David Mattick, Parish Councillor or the Clerk.

Clerk

 

 

 

3.5

On behalf of the Parish Council CC thanked Paul O’Hara and Joseph Thomas for attending the meeting.  They then left the meeting together with the members of the public.

 

 

 

 

4

PUMP TRACK PLANNING APPLICATION

 

 

 

 

4.1

Vicky Higgins attended the meeting and presented the Parish Council with the Application papers for the Pump Track.  It had been agreed that the Parish Council would act as the applicant for this application and the Clerk’s name and address was added to the document which was then signed by the Chairman.  The Parish Council agreed to pay for the planning application.

 

 

 

 

4.2

The following points were noted

 

 

 

 

 

·                    The site has been in use as a recreation field for 90 years

 

 

·                    The particular piece of land which it is proposed to develop has been largely waste land for many years.  The land has some trees and a building which has the character of a domestic garage which is in poor condition and is used as a storage facility for mowers etc.

 

 

·                    The proposed development is less intrusive than the skate park already permitted, it is further from the nearby houses, less visual from the road and less noisy because of the solid construction

 

 

·                    The proposed pump track will be surfaced with tarmac and the rest of the area will remain as grass.  The existing trees will remain and the concrete pad of the existing shed and another old pad which was used for cricket practice will be reused

 

 

·                    The current storage shed will be relocated to the east and will be replaced with a new one of the same size on a new pad

 

 

·                    The proposed track area is approximately 23m x 8m, the shed is approx. 3m x 6.2m

 

 

·                    The track will not be lit and will therefore only be usable during daylight hours

 

 

·                    It was noted that the track is something that the children have asked for and they have been very much involved in the planning and fund raising

 

 

 

 

4.3

CC thanked Vicky Higgins for attending the meeting.  Vicky Higgins then left the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

5

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15 JULY 2013

 

 

 

 

5.1

The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 15 July were agreed as a true and accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.

 

 

 

 

6

MINUTES OF THE PLANNING MEETING HELD ON 6 AUGUST 2013

 

 

 

 

6.1

The minutes of the Planning Meeting held on 6 August 2013 were agreed as a true and accurate record and were signed by the Chairman

 

 

 

 

7

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 15 JULY 2013

 

 

 

 

7.1

(6.1) Internal Audit and Risk Assessment – The risk assessment is ongoing but the asset review/audit is complete with minor points for action (email from DM of 24 May 2013 refers).  The Clerk will study the documents and this will be scheduled for discussion at the October meeting.

Clerk

 

 

 

7.2

(6.2) Letter to new Police Commissioner – AD to write letter - ongoing

AD

 

 

 

7.3

(6.3) Pursuance of land for Cemetery extension

 

 

 

 

7.3.1

The land opposite the Broad Bean Farm Shop has been identified as belonging to Hanson and the Clerk will write to them to query whether they would consider donating or selling some land to the parish council for use as a cemetery. 

Clerk

 

 

 

7.4

(6.4) Collapsed wall on pavement to Barnsclose Quarry – ongoing

Clerk

 

 

 

7.5

(6 .7) Dog Fouling - include field behind the Rec Field carpark – ongoing

AD

 

 

 

7.6

(6.8) Footpath sign – installation of a footpath sign in the field adjacent to the recreation field – exists, complete.

 

 

 

 

7.7

(6.10) Churchyard – CC reported that the site visit with the Tree Officer from Mendip District Council to discuss the yew tree in the churchyard which is leaning over the roof of an adjacent shed and also the trip hazard of the roots on the front path had taken place.  The Clerk will check on the outcome of discussions on the result of the meeting at the recent PCC meeting on this subject and report back to the next Parish Council meeting.  The removal of the overhanging branch has been agreed.

Clerk

 

 

 

 

7.8

(6.11) Solar Array at Soho Farm – VH reported that she had been unable to find any contact details. 

 

 

 

 

7.9

CC agreed to contact the Planning Officer to obtain contact information so that the Council can approach the company involved to find out what benefits there will be for the Parish if the solar array goes ahead

CC

 

 

 

7.10

(6.13) Internal Auditor – the Clerk to check the rules and regulations for appointment of a new auditor - ongoing

Clerk

 

 

 

7.11

(8.3) Legacy Grant – the proposals as listed at the last Parish Council meeting will be considered by VH and PH

VH/PH

 

 

 

7.12

(9.1) Cemetery Fees – the clerk produced a comparison with the current cemetery fees and those in use by the Church of England which were higher in almost all cases.  It was agreed by CC, seconded by DS and agreed unanimously to increase the cemetery fees in line with those of the Church of England.  The Clerk would produce a laminated notice for the cemetery and would inform local Funeral Directors and the PCC.

Clerk

 

 

 

7.13

(9.2) Land for Cemetery Extension – CC reported that he had contacted Cooper and Tanner and once the sale of the land north of Sparks Farm had gone through they would approach the buyer and get them to contact the Parish Council. CC to monitor

CC

 

 

 

7.14

(10.3) Pharmaceutical Services at Mendip Country Practice – CC reported that the letter from the Parish Council had been sent as agreed at the last meeting and a response had been received from Yeovil – no further action required at present

 

 

 

 

7.15

Quarry – it was agreed that the clerk (on behalf of the Fair Committee) would send a letter of thanks to Tarmac for their donation to the Village Fete and also to Jorgen Nielson thanking him for the use of his field as a car park

Clerk

 

 

 

8

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MEETING HELD ON 6 AUGUST 2013

 

 

 

 

8.1

The actions arising from the planning meeting regarding decision on the planning applications had been sent to MDC by CC.

 

 

 

 

9

GROVE SHUTE FARM – PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT

 

 

 

 

9.1

Nick Hiscox and Chris Langdon attended the meeting to provide the Parish Council with an illustration of the proposed redevelopment of Grove Shute Farm.  The proposal involved seven properties in all, three two-bed, three three-bed and one four-bed with some water being supplied by rain water harvesting and heating by bio mass boilers.  It is also proposed to create a wild meadow area on the site and plant more trees.  It was noted that a firm application is to be made to Mendip District Council very soon.

 

 

 

 

9.2

CC thanked Nick Hiscox for attending the meeting and updating the Council.  Nick Hiscox then left the meeting.

 

 

 

 

10

DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORTS

 

 

 

 

10.1

VH had nothing to report.

 

 

 

 

10.2

Somerset - PH stated that Somerset were about to start considering the budget and further savings will be required.  Information will be available ‘on line’ for councillors to consider and PH will pass the link to CC.

PH

 

 

 

10.3

PH reported that the Scrutiny Committee had been investigating the flooding which had happened last year in Somerset and the routes which will be taken by the electricity from Hinckley Point, some of which will be underground and some overhead.

 

 

 

 

10.4

PH reported that a Task and Finish Group are looking at the Minerals Plan which is in draft form at the moment, consideration is being given to methane gas from coal and fracking etc. 

 

 

 

 

10.5

The next Halecombe Quarry Liaison Meeting would be on Thursday 17 October 2013.  It was noted that the minutes of the previous meeting have not yet been received and therefore any actions identified may not have been implemented.  This will be discussed at the next meeting.

 

 

 

 

10.6

Mendip – PH reported on the Rural Isolation Statement which was now available on line and stated that a community pilot is to be considered for Coleford which will aim to carry out the following

 

 

 

 

 

·                    work with public service agencies to identify opportunities to better coordinate service delivery in the rural areas

 

 

·                    develop community anchor organisations which are rooted in the community underpinning the work of other organisations and improving access to services

 

 

·                    work with community transport providers to establish whether provision is meeting all types of need

 

 

·                    investigate the potential for business hubs providing premises for small and start-up enterprises and offering a range of business support services

 

 

·                    with the local community explore the new localism tools, including neighbourhood planning, community right to build and neighbourhood development orders and consider whether they can be used to provide locally owned social housing available to local people

 

 

 

 

10.7

PH stated that the chairs of local Parish Councils are being invited to an initial meeting where the possibility of Coleford becoming the rural hub for the area would be discussed.

 

 

 

 

10.8

The first meeting will take place on Thursday 26 September at 6.30 p.m. at Coleford.  As CC was unable to attend GB agreed to go.

GB

 

 

 

10.9

PH stated that the Mendip has to make further savings from their budget.  Consideration is being given to new initiatives with reference to the Leisure Strategy which runs out in 2015.

 

 

 

 

10.10

Finally it was noted that Mendip have a new planning system which will include an enhanced facility to view planning applications on line which will go live on 28 October.  However between 7 and 25 October it will not be possible to enter new applications into the current planning system or send out any consultations.  New applications received will not be available to view in the current on line planning application search facility.  After the new system goes live on 28, consultations will be sent out and the normal 21 days to respond will be available.

 

 

 

 

11

PLANNING

 

 

 

 

11.1

Planning Applications

 

 

 

 

11.1.1

Planning Application 2013/1711 – Diversion of Footpath 8/26 – Aardvark EM Ltd, Higher Ford, Wiveliscombe, Taunton, Somerset TA4 2RL

 

 

 

 

11.1.2

This application was discussed.  It was agreed to support the application with three conditions, proposed by CC, seconded by IB and agreed unanimously.

 

 

 

 

 

·                        when the solar farm is decommissioned the footpath should be reinstated

 

 

·                        the stiles, of which there are potentially three, are implemented as kissing gates

 

 

·                        the footpaths are regularly maintained specifically the cutting of the hedges

 

 

 

 

11.1.3

The Clerk was asked to write to MDC informing them of the Councils decision.

Clerk

 

 

 

11.2

New Applications

 

 

 

 

11.2.1

CC reported that a new application for Virginia Cottage had been lodged with the council and the Clerk was asked to contact Mendip to ask for an extension for response.

Clerk

 

 

 

 

12

FINANCE

 

 

 

 

12.1

Financial Statement – statement to 16.09.13 was agreed and signed

 

 

 

 

12.2

Cheque for Clerk’s Salary – a cheque for the Clerk’s Salary for £450.02 being three months’ salary was signed.

 

 

 

 

13

COUNCILLOR REPORTS

 

 

 

 

13.1

PCSO – minutes of the recent PACT meeting on 29 August are awaited.

 

 

 

 

13.2

Footpaths – IB reported that the new kissing gates have been fitted although one is in the wrong place.

 

 

 

 

13.2.1

There has been some activity in a disused quarry on Whitehole Hill where hard core has been laid and timber is being harvested.  CC will contact John Patch to try and find out what is happening.

CC

 

 

 

13.2.2

IB reported that he has carried out some strimming and if anything further is required to let him know. 

 

 

 

 

13.2.3

The Enforcement Officer is considering the new gateway on the junction of Stocks Lane and Pitten Street and the unauthorised gateway on Pitten Street by the sump.

 

 

 

 

13.3

Highways  - CC reported that Highways recently repaired the pavement outside the Old Chapel within two weeks. 

 

 

 

 

13.3.1

CC reported that consideration will have to be given to some sort of fence or barrier on the right hand bend just past Barnsclose Quarry where the quarry drops within five yards of the road.  CC will contact Highways regarding this.

CC

 

 

 

13.3.2

CC thanked GB for distributing the leaflets regarding the road sweeping which took place on 3 September. 

 

 

 

 

13.3.3

It was noted that the street lights are now off overnight but there has been no feedback to the Parish Council.

 

 

 

 

13.4

Recreation Field – it was noted that the Cricket Club have not made payments to the Recreation Field for using the field.  It was agreed that if the Recreation Field Committee want to raise this as an issue then they should do so. AD to raise with the Recreation Field Committee.

AD

 

 

 

 

 

13.5

Memorial Hall – DM reported that he had not attended the last meeting but there was a potential issue with non-hirers using the car park.  It was noted that the AGM will take place on 4 November.

 

 

 

 

13.6

School – CC reported that he had received an email from the school requesting a grant of £500 towards the purchase of IT equipment.  It was noted that this subject was first discussed at the meeting in November 2012 which the Headteacher, Mary Sturgess, had attended. 

 

 

 

 

13.6.1

The Clerk had investigated the possibility of the Parish Council being able to provide a grant towards IT equipment and had been told that the Parish Council did not have the power to award a grant to the school for something which was deemed to be fulfilling a direct educational need and is therefore the responsibility of the County Council’s Education Department.  This had been reported at the Parish Council meeting in December 2012

 

 

 

 

13.6.2

CC reported that the Parish Council had identified an amount of £200 for the school towards the purchase of a scooter/cycle rack and this money was still available if an alternative could be identified by the school.  GB agreed to respond to the school in this vein.

GB

 

 

 

13.7

SALC – GB distributed a briefing note from the last SALC meeting.  It was noted that the Annual General and All Area General Meeting would take place on Saturday 28 September 2013 at Edgar Hall, Somerton.  It was agreed not to send a representative.

 

 

 

 

13.8

Quarry – DS gave an update on local quarrying activity.  It was noted that it is planned to plant wild flowers on the grass banks facing Knapp Hill and hedge trimming around the perimeter roads will take place within the next few weeks.

Clerk

 

 

 

14

MEETINGS ATTENDED/TO BE ATTENDED

 

 

 

 

14.1

AD attended the PACT meeting on 29 August in Frome.

 

 

 

 

14.2

SALC AGM to take place on 28 September (as noted above) 

 

 

 

 

14.3

Halecombe Quarry Liaison meeting scheduled for 17 October – details to follow.

 

 

 

 

14.4

Parish Council Training – 18 September at Wells to include a progress update on the draft local plan, how applications should be considered in the context of the Government’s planning policy and Mendip’s adopted and draft Local plan policies.  DM agreed to attend.

DM

 

 

 

14.5

Helping Communities to Help Themselves – Local Choices Events – 21 October at Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet.  GB agreed to attend.

GB

 

 

 

 

16

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

 

 

16.1

The Clerk had received the following correspondence

 

 

 

 

 

·                     Mendip District Council letter regarding neighbourhood plan area application to notify us that Shepton Mallet Town Council had applied for the designation of a Neighbourhood Plan area  

 

 

 

 

 

·                    Letter from Mendip Community Transport asking for the support of the Parish Council by way of a grant.  It was agreed that the Clerk would scan this document and distribute to councillors for consideration at the next meeting.

Clerk

 

 

 

17

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

 

 

17.1

Monday 21 October 2013 at 7.30 p.m. at the Memorial Hall