In  attendance  were  B Chubb. J Davis, P  Rooke,  D  Turner  and  
D Yelland, who took the chair, as well as some parishioners.

Mr  Yelland  started the meeting by welcoming Mr  A  Merrick  the 
Somerset County Councillor to the meeting.

Mr  Yelland read out a letter he had received that day from Mr  G 
Lee in which he resigned as a Parish Councillor.  Notices will be 
posted  on  the  PC Notice boards advising of  the  vacancy.  If, 
within  14  days  10  parishioners write  to  MDC  requesting  an 
election  then MDC have 60 days to respond to their request.   If 
no requests are received then the PC has the power to co-opt.  

Mr Yelland had been told that the cost of an election would be in 
the  region  of 4-500 & that the Parish would have to  bear  the 

Apologies for absence had been received from A Gould.

The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting were accepted & signed.

MATTERS ARISING - A PC representative on the RFMC will need to be 
elected to replace Mr Lee, this will be put on the agenda of  the  
next meeting.
RECREATION  FIELD - Mr Yelland had spoken to Mr Lee, Chairman  of 
the  RFMC  as decided at the Annual Parish Meeting.  Mr  Lee  had 
explained that the 100 granted in June 1987 had been spent on  a 
new boiler.  Of the 250 granted in November 1988, 108 had  been 
spent on refurbishing the seats in the field, it was proposed  to 
spend  49  on a rubberised baby swing, and the residue  will  be 
spent  either  on  mending/replacing the  guttering  &/or  window 
sills.  Mr Yelland pointed out that the RFMC manage the field for 
the  PC  on  a  21 year lease which  expires  this  year  and  he 
suggested  that when a new lease is  negotiated  responsibilities 
must be clarified.  It was agreed to write to Mr Lee thanking him 
for the information concerning the spending of the grant money  & 
expressing the support of the PC for the work of his committee.
FINANCE - YOUTH CLUB GRANT, still awaiting information.
UNDER  13  CRICKET CLUB REQUEST - A request from  the  under  13s 
cricket club for a monetary donation to help towards the purchase 
of equipment had been received.  About 15 to 16 children meet  on 
a Saturday morning at the Field & practice under the tutelage  of 
Mr Featherstone, they have now joined a league & funds are needed 
to  buy  equipment.  They had suggested the sum of  50.   Parish 
Councillors were willing to be more generous than this but it was 
decided  to donate 50 initially and suggest that they apply  for 
more  money later if it is still needed to swell their  own  fund 
raising  efforts.   Mr Turner proposed the payment of  50,  Miss 
Chubb seconded & all were in favour.  The Clerk will contact  the 
Club  over  the  possibility of the PC  making  the  purchases  & 
reclaiming VAT.
HIGHWAYS  & FOOTPATHS - From the floor the information was  given 
that  the  permanent diversion of the  Northern  Footpath  around 
Halecombe  Quarry was being opposed by Avon &  Somerset  Ramblers 

Attention was drawn to the removal of footpath signs on  gateways 
along the road from Soho Corner to Leigh Woods.

WYVERN WAY 100 FOOTPATH - Mr Davis expounded on his conversations 
with  Mr Griffiths, Rights of Way Officer, about the  section  of 
footpath between Shepton Mallet & Frome.  He had suggested to  Mr 
Griffiths  that a link be made between the Northern and  Southern 
routes  through the Parish of Leigh so that the less hardy  could 
complete a shorter walk than the 25 mile between Shepton & Frome.  
The  link  will be on existing footpaths from Ham  through  Leigh 
woods along the high street from Towns End along the footpath  to 
the  south of Halecombe Quarry to Park Corner, along the road  to 
Finger Farm & then on existing paths to either Bulls Green or the 
Frome  side of Chantry.  It was to be hoped that if the  District 
Council were willing to include this link in any information they 
published about the Wyvern Way 100 it would bring visitors to the 
village.  Mr Griffiths had greeted the proposal with enthusiasm & 
had offered to provide materials, stiles etc, if the PC organised 
the work schedule.  It was agreed that it was only worth doing if 
the  Council would definately publicise the link & a letter  will 
be  sent  to Mr Griffiths & Mrs Rowena Smith (CC  Rights  of  Way 
Officer) seeking such an assurance.

PLANNING  - District Council conditions of approval/rejection  of 
applications  received  were:-   LAND  ADJACENT  TO  IVY  COTTAGE 
approval of details  the Parish Council were very disturbed  that 
the use of Cotswold Stone had been recommended & wondered how  it 
was  possible to get their views across to MDC Planners.  It  was 
agreed  to write to the chief planning officer about this with  a 
copy to Mr Hewett.
METHODIST CHAPEL & SCHOOL HOUSE - conditionally approved.
CLIVONNE  COTTAGE  -  permission  refused  on  grounds  of   over 
development of a small site.

Plans  had  been  received  for  a  2  storey  rear  extension  & 

Plans  had  been  requested from County in  connection  with  the 
errection of the environmental banking around Halecombe Quarry at 
Soho Corner & had been received that morning.  The plans were  of 
latter was a reserved matter from the 1980 planning consent & the 
former  was new.From the floor great concern was  expressed  that 
Condition 3 of the 1980 consent -that environmental works  should 
be  decided by the authority within 6 months of the  granting  of 
the  planning permission - had not been met & that SCC seemed  to 
have no way of enforcing compliance with consent conditions.  The 
piecemeal nature of the environmental banking plans was  alarming 
&  the plans before the PC provided insufficient  protection  for 
road users from the quarry as the banking was neither wide enough 
or  high  enough.  Miss Chubb expressed concern at  the  lack  of 
relative  levels  indicated in relation to the existing  banks  & 
wondered whether the existing bank along the Frome road could  be 
regraded so that the side nearest the quarry sloped steeply & the 
one adjacent to the road sloped gently.  Mr Davis put forward the 
view that if the bank came out another 20 yards two trees on  the 
quarry  side  could be retained & the bank would be  20-30  yards 
further   away  from  Soho  Cross  roads,  shallower   and   more 
acceptable.  It was querried why a tree mix should be planted  on 
the quarry side of the bank when mainly shrubs were listed to  be 
planted  on the road side - Mr Yelland felt this may be  for  the 
view from Knap Hill.  
After  much discussion it was agreed to respond in the  following 
terms - 1) Plans 9 years too late.
        2) Better to consider banks in total not piecemeal.
        3)  As  the  plans are 9 years too late it  was  felt  an 
indication  of timing of their errection in advance of  quarrying 
ought to be given.
        4)  The  PC  was informed by a former  resident  of  Soho 
Cottage that assurances had been given that the banking would  be 
further  back  from  the corner, therefore the  past  history  of 
correspondence ought to be consulted.
        5)  Could  the bank at Soho Corner be  set  further  back 
leaving a greater area between them & residences.
        6)  As the PC were anxious to avoid banking  similar  to 
that  already  errected on the Frome Road it was felt  a  request 
that work be done to improve the existing banks be asked for.
        7)  Overall  height needs to be checked  in  relation  to 
existing banks.
        8)  Why was the inside planted with hardwood trees &  not 
the outside.
        9) Could the banks be regraded to be gentler on the  road 
side & steeper on the quarry side.
A copy of the letter will be sent to Mr Merrick.

After  listening to the discussion Mr Merrick said that  he  felt 
that there was a need for tighter controls over the quarry &  the 
CC  were  in  the process of trying  to  recruit  an  enforcement 
officer to deal with quarrying & peat workings.

HALECOMBE QUARRY - Miss Chubb & Mr Yelland declared an interest & 
Mr Davis took the chair.
Mr  Davis  asked Mr Merrick for a report on the meeting  at  Ston 
Easton where samples were taken from a pile of soil some of which 
was alledged to be top soil illegally removed from the  Halecombe 
site  at the beginning of May. Mr Merrick outlined the events  to 
date - on 5 May he had viewed the soil heaps at Halecombe  Quarry 
from the footpath after complaints from Mr Davis & Mr Dixon  that 
top soil was being removed from the site by Pennys &  transported 
to  Ston Easton.  Mr Evans,CC Minerals Officer,  also viewed  the 
area that day.  On May 10 Mr P Woods a MAFF soil expert, Mr Evans 
&  Mr  Merrick  visited the Halecombe site where  they  tried  to 
quantify  the  amount of top soil left on the  site,  no  samples 
could  be  taken at Ston Easton that day as they were  unable  to 
gain access to the site. When access was granted on 22 May and Mr 
Woods  took soil samples, however in the intervening 12 days  top 
soil from Chepstow & Charterhouse  had been added to the original 
heap  &  Mr Merrick believed that due to the  similarity  between 
soil from Halecombe & Charterhouse it may be difficult to prove a 
case against Wimpey Hobbs.    
Mr  Turner expressed concern at the delay of 12 days  in  gaining 
access  to the Ston Easton site & wondered if there had been  any 
way  to  circumnavigate it?  Mr Merrick explained it was  due  to 
prior  committments of Mr Penny & Mr Harris who needed to  be  in 
attendance  during the inspection.  Mr Turner felt that what  the 
village  wanted was not for the Company to be prosecuted but  for 
the  top  soil  to be returned so that it could be  used  on  the 
environmental  banking.   If  the  top soil  from  the  site  was 
available  then  perhaps  more  gently  sloping  banks  could  be 
constructed as the steeper the slope the less soil in needed.  It 
was  generally  felt that the Village had lost  faith  in  Wimpey 
Hobbs  Management team & were loosing any faith they had  had  in 
the CC to enforce the planning conditions.  
Mr  Dixon  from  the  floor thanked Mr  Merrick  for  his  prompt 
response to this matter and expressed his belief at the  apparent 
lack  of goodwill between the Company & the local  community,  he 
felt  that  Wimpey Hobbs were relying on the goodwill of  SCC  in 
their current action.
It was agreed that letters would be sent to the CC concerning the 
removal  of top soil and also a letter to the Planning  Committee 
stressing  the  need for the proposed enforcement officer  to  be 
sited in the  quarrying area not in Taunton.

CPRE REPORT - Mr Yelland & Mr Davis had attended a "Quarrying  in 
Somerset  Day".  Mr Moon of SCC had spoken on the subject of  the 
pressure on the County to provide stone especially for the SE  of 
England.   He had stated it as his opinion that nothing would  be 
able  to  act completely as an adequate  substitute  on  economic 
Mrs  Franklyn  had spoken on Nature in Disused  Quarries,  and  a 
BACMI representative had spoken on "Why Quarry".
At  the  end  of  the day it was  decided  that  quarrying  would 
continue in the county but better demand management was needed.
It was felt that a well balanced day had been presented.

Mr Davis took the opportunity of asking Mr Merrick to look at the 
Torr  Works  planning application to see if it  stated  that  all 
lorries  should be sheeted & to see how such a measure  could  be 

CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED - Letter about grants made by the Bridget 
Parker (Olympic) Commemoration Fund.
Somerset County Council Minutes of 26 April Meeting with list  of 
members  of  various committees.  Mr Merrick stated that  as  yet 
there  was  no Minerals Panel as the Council  were  investigating 
Sub-committees  so  all  such matters would go  before  the  full 

MATTERS  FOR THE NEXT MEETING - Youth Club Grant. Council rep  on 

NEXT MEETING - 17 july at 7.30 in the School.

Back to list of meetings