MINUTES OF LEIGH-ON-MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 15 MARCH 1990 IN LEIGH SCHOOL. Councillors present were D Pattison, D Turner and J Davis who took the chair. Apologies had been received from Mrs H Park and P Rooke, D Yelland had informed the Clerk that he would be arriving late. Mr Davis opened the meeting by welcoming District Councillor Mr R Hewitt, County Councillor Mr A Merrick and Mr R Evans, County Minerals Officer, as well as some parishioners. The Minutes of the last two meetings were accepted and signed. MATTERS ARISING - a cheque had been sent to Mr Taylor for his work on the footpaths. PLANNING Concern was expressed by Mr Pattison on behalf of the Council over Mendip's Planning Guidelines. Mr Hewett was given a copy of a letter sent to the Planning Department in October 1989 asking for a copy of the District's guidelines to which a reply has not been received, his offer to pursue the matter was gratefully accepted. Mr Gould arrived. Councillors expressed their anger that the use of reconstituted stone rather than natural stone for buildings in the village was becoming the allowed norm, Mr Hewitt pointed out that the stone weathered and expressed his belief that different textures and building materials could add to the ambience of village life. Councillors questioned Mr Hewitt over the decision by the Planning Committee not to allow Parish Councillors to discuss matters at Site Meetings. Mr Hewitt said that it was a continuation of the policy extant in the Council Chamber where applications were decided on written evidence only and only Councillors and Council officials could speak. Mr Turner said that the matter had been discussed at the SALC meeting and concern had been expressed that the views of locals would not be voiced but Mr Hewitt assured Councillors that the Chairman of the Site Meeting still had the right to question a member of the public if he so desired. The Parish Council will still be notified of site meetings and perhaps be invited to speak. A letter had been received from the Planning Inspector detailing matters to be discussed at a Pre-Inquiry Meeting to be held before the Inquiry into the Halecombe Quarry Extension Plan takes place. The Inquiry will now take place on 6 - 16 November 1990. QUARRY MATTERS A letter concerning Halecombe Quarry Waste Disposal had been received from Mr Evans. Mr Evans stated that because the company had agreed to retain the existing hedge and an oak and ash tree the bank would be slightly reduced. He had stressed to the Company the importance of constructing the front face of the tip first to screen work behind. The construction will be done in phases and the tip was for long life quarry waste. Councillors felt that this seemed to defeat Condition 19 of the 1985 conditions. Mr Turner asked why overburden could not be stripped at the start of work and banks constructed to shield the workings of the quarry from those outside as had happened elsewhere, after all most of the overburden from Phase 2 had already been stripped. Mr Evans said that the new crusher W-H plan to install will reduce the amount of waste so it was difficult to predict amounts. Mr Turner expressed his view that W-H did not want to do anything on the Southern side of the quarry until their appeal has been judged, but stressed that the PC would like the bank constructed as soon as possible. Mr Davis asked why waste cannot be tipped on the quarry floor and used to back fill as happens elsewhere. Mr Evans said he had requested new drawings from W-H showing a planting scheme, phasing, estimates of annual production of waste and capacity of tip. he had been told that the new crusher would be sited on the quarry floor and would hopefully be in situe and operational by January '91. The Company had also been informed by him that their lorry park and stock piles would need Planning Applications. W-H had said that the thought that existing stock piles could be processed through the new crusher in the next 2-3 years. Mr Dixon, from the floor, thanked Mr Hewitt for presenting Leigh's case on the proposed extension to Halecombe so ably to Mendip District Council who had voted to add their voice to that of the County Council and oppose the plan. He expressed concern that the long term dumping of spoil would damage the landscape. Mrs Dixon suggested that an environmental bank could be constructed in less than 3 years. Mr Evans said that environmental banks were quarry waste tips and therefore took time to construct. (Mr Hewitt had to leave, Mr Davis thanked him for coming.) However it was felt by most present that as other quarries managed to construct their banks sooner rather than later W-H should also be able to. When Mr Evans commented on the fact that the quarry floor was covered in piles of stone Mr Davis assured him that they had only appeared over the last 12 months. Mr Turner expressed his grave concern that W-H always seemed to apply for Planning Permission in retrospect. The Council had received a letter from Mr Evans stating that he had proof that 800 cubic metres of top soil had been returned to the Halecombe site out of a guesstimated 1000 cubic metres removed and that he proposed not to pursue the matter further. Those attending the meeting were rather sceptical at the amount stated to have been returned and suggested that Mr Evans ask Pennys for lorry weigh bridge tickets for both the days on which soil was removed and returned to the site. He agreed to do this. Mr Evans asked for the Councillors opinion on a fence between the quarry face and footpath at Halecombe of 2 rows of barbed wire, sheep netting and 4 foot high wooden posts. The planting of a hawthorn hedge was suggested but Councillors agreed to Mr Evans' suggestion. Mr Turner, who had attended the SALC meeting, said that concern had been expressed by some delegates about the set up of the Quarry Liaison Group Meetings in particular the Yeoman Liaison Group. Mr Evans agreed that there were problems with this group but felt that they could be dealt with. Mr Yelland arrived. The next meeting of the Halecombe Liaison Group will be on 2 April at 6.30 in the Council Chamber, Shepton Mallet. It was agreed that PC representatives would be decided nearer the time. TORR WORKS Councillors living in the Tadhill area of the parish said that operations at the Torr Works Quarry were now much more visible and nosier. Mr Evans said that he was hoping to monitor the noise. WHITEHOLE QUARRY Mr Turner gave a resume of the background to negotiations to stop fly tipping in the area. Mr Evans offered to look into the matter, Councillors gratefully accepted his offer. Mr Davis thanked Mr Evans for attending the meeting and answering questions from both Councillors and Parishioners. HIGHWAYS AND FOOTPATHS The Clerk will write to SCC concerning the re-errection of a road sign by the water treatment works. The need to sign post the footpath through the woods on the Jackson land was raised and will be looked into. Mr Pattison had met with Mr Gadd from W-H at Nailsea and it had been agreed where stiles would be installed by the Company on the Southern Footpath. SALC REPORT - Mr Turner MENDIP VOLUNTARY SERVICE RURAL INFORMATION BUS had been discussed, Leigh councillors agreed to support this. The question of BANK CHARGES for cheques returned for the Auditors had been drawn attention to. Concern had been expressed at the meeting by Norton St Phillip reps that because of the introduction of the Uniform Business Rate Village Post Offices might be under threat. BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION - Councillors decided not to enter. A copy of THATCH was available for perusal. Information was to hand concerning HOUSEHOLD SPRING CLEAN WEEK - 26 - 30 MARCH and will be posted on the boards. 28 APRIL TO 7 MAY was designated as ENVIRONMENTAL WEEK. It was agreed to ask the Youth Club if they were interested in organising a clean up of the area and to write to W-H and LJH telling them about it. Official notification of the FOOTPATH DIVERSION AT HALECOMBE QUARRY had been received for display from 23 March. FINANCE A payment for the WATCH-THE-BOX SCHEME of £5 had been received a cheque was made out in favour of Mrs Lee. The Clerk claimed Expenses of £ 39.34 Salary for 1/10/89 - 31/03/90 £190.00 TOTAL £229.34 Mr Turner proposed payment, Mr Pattison seconded & the motion was passed & a cheque made out. The bill for the AUDIT FEE was £40.25. It was agreed that the fee seemed a lot higher than last year. Mr Davis proposed payment Mr Pattison seconded & the motion was passed. A letter from MDC stating that the PRECEPT could be applied for after March 31 had been received. SOMERSET PLAYING FIELDS ASSOCIATION subscription was due, minimum payment £5. Mr Yelland proposed payment, Mr Gould seconded and all agreed. The subscription for the SOCIETY OF LOCAL COUNCIL CLERKS of £13 was due. Mr Yelland proposed payment, Mr Pattison seconded, carried. A form from SCC asking details of the amount spent on the PARISH PATH MAINTENANCE SCHEME was to hand. To date £60 of the £100 grant has been spent. The Clerk will fill out & return the forms. A transfer form from the Investment to the Current Account was signed. The Clerk had visited the VAT Office in Bath for information on reclaiming VAT spent in 1989-1990 and had written with details of the claim to Southend, Mr Yelland signed the letter. INTRA-VILLAGE QUIZ TEAM - not enough Council members were available to form a team. Mr Yelland reminded Councillors of the £24 in the Councils hands from the winnings of previous years Inter-Village Quiz teams. He suggested purchasing a salver for the second placed team in the Intra-Village quiz. It was not agreed to by other councillors they felt it ought to be an award for something - more discussion will take place on this matter later. VILLAGERS VIEWS ON VILLAGE FUTURE - Mr Yelland had received and replied to a letter from a Parishioner expressing her concern at Mr Yelland's handling of this question at the January 29 meeting. He had corresponded with the Parishioner who was now re-assured. It was suggested that the matter be left to the Annual Parish meeting. CORRESPONDENCE Mr Merrick had written concerning HGV traffic in the Mendip area. From the floor he stated that a road improvement plan will be made public next month for the area from Cheddar to Great Elm and public meetings will be held. Mr Yelland asked if Mr Merrick had seen the plans proposed by Wiltshire CC which could have a great effect on Great Elm, Mr Merrick said he would look into this. An invitation to join the COUNCIL FOR THE PROTECTION OF RURAL SOMERSET had been received, as no cost was mentioned the Clerk will pursue the matter. Details were to hand of the new SCC LIBRARY VAN SCHEDULE they will be posted in the village. A new MENDIP DISTRICT OFFICIAL GUIDE is to be introduced and contributions have been requested. The Clerk will progress. The PLANNING APPEAL findings on TWEED FARM were to hand. Notification of an increase in subscription to COMMUNITY COUNCIL FOR SOMERSET had been received. Mr Davis, Mr Gould & either Messrs Pattison or Turner will attend the Halecombe Liason Meeting on 2 April. The AGM and ANNUAL PARISH MEETING will be on May 21 at 7.30 & 8.00 respectively in the Village Hall. A NEWSLETTER will be sent out 2-3 weeks before and a notice inserted in the Parish Magazine. The Meeting closed at 1050h.
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