Minutes of the online virtual meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council
held on Tuesday 10 November 2020


Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); John Firrell; Andy King; Andrew Price; Bella Spurrier, Diana Maston; Maggie Walsh (Clerk).   


1.    Apologies Cllr Mark Roberts

2.    Declarations of interest None

3.    Co-option of Parish Councillor – Diana Maston It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Spurrier and carried unanimously that Diana Maston be co-opted to the Parish Council to fill the long-standing vacancy. The Chairman welcomed Diana to the Parish Council, saying he felt sure she would make a valuable contribution to the village.

4.    Democratic time N/A - no local residents present

5.    Approval of minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on  8 September 2020 It was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Price and carried unanimously that these be approved.

6.    Approval of minutes of the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on 13 October 2020 It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that these be approved.

7.    Matters arising since the previous meeting not part of this agenda Chairman Bill Orchard reported that, after a number of years of service, Cllr Kathryn Brooks had stood down as Parish Councillor.  During her time on the PC, Cllr Brooks had held the briefs for Risk Assessment, Transparency, Data Protection and, more recently, Planning and Climate Change.  Planning was inevitably the most active area of the PC’s responsibilities.  Cllr Orchard wished to minute the PC’s thanks to Cllr Brooks for her wisdom, diligence and hard work in carrying out her duties.  She would be much missed and the PC wished her well in life beyond the PC.  These sentiments were echoed by all Parish Councillors.  The vacancy had been reported to Electoral Services and the PC had published a statutory notice giving 14 days during which time 10 or more villagers could request the post be filled by election.  Any election would not take place before next May.  If no such request were submitted to Electoral Services, the PC would be free to co-opt to fill the vacancy.  The Chairman, on behalf of the PC would write a letter of thanks to Cllr Brooks.                                                                                                                  BO

       Dorset County Museum had kindly donated a duplicate copy of a tithe map to Litton Cheney Parish Council.  It was hoped the map could be framed and displayed, possibly in Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall or St Mary’s Church.

8.    Dorset Council overview – N/A Cllr Mark Roberts not in attendance

9.    Finance report and invoices for approval (Clerk and RFO) At the time of publishing the agenda, Parish funds stood at £21,573.48. Spend since the previous meeting was £852.24 comprising £621.85 salaries; £14.39 for September’s Zoom licence; and £216 for works to The Rocks by Richard Randall.  Income since last meeting was £5,400.04 comprising £5,300 precept; £100 donation to the playground and .04p interest.

       The PC noted the kind donation of £100 to the playground and asked that their thanks be recorded in the minutes.  The RFO wished to highlight the anticipated year end underspend of £1,300 as there had been no year-to-date spend on the Bridport TC lengthsman.  The PC was awaiting an invoice for some work already undertaken by the lengthsman and further works were being arranged.  Whilst the External Auditor might question this significant underspend, it had been an exceptional year and the RFO anticipated many Town and Parish Councils would show significant budget variances at the year end.

       The PC would need to agree the Precept for 2021-22 at the next PC meeting in January and the RFO would shortly circulate draft budgets for discussion.

       The following invoices were for approval:

Dorset Council for grass cutting


Lexis Nexis for  the 12th Edition of the Local Govnt Handbook


Nick Lunn for stonework at The Rocks


Clerk’s expenses: inc. reimbursement for Oct and Nov Zoom subscription.


       It was proposed by Cllr Firrell  seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that these be approved.                                                                                                                     MW


10.  Proposal to make £500 annual donation towards the upkeep of the churchyard Cllr Firrell proposed that the PC once again donate £500 towards the upkeep of the churchyard.  This was seconded by Cllr Price and carried unanimously.                                                 MW

11.  Councillors’ portfolios:

Footpaths/Rights of Way/Risk Assessment/Transparency Code/Annual Report  (Bill Orchard, Chairman) – nothing to report

Highways/Transport (Andrew Price): The Parish Council’s request for a 30mph limit had been agreed by Dorset Council and was in their programme for implementation during 2020-21.  Once implemented, the village would be able to monitor vehicular speeds if volunteers were willing to undertake training.  He would send Cllr Firrell some text for December’s issue of the BVN and village website.                                                                                           AP

Meanwhile Cllr Price felt the “20 is plenty” signs were helping to constrain the speed of vehicles through the village.  Whilst the volume of traffic had reduced since the summer, a number of building projects appeared to be underway through the village and Cllr Maston had noticed an increased number of construction vehicles.

The new Community Highways Officer (CHO) had been effective at addressing problems and had arranged for drainage channels to be cleared, flooding near to Litton Lakes to be addressed, repairs and new white lines to Whiteway, with a new keep left sign still to be installed.  The CHO would also liaise with Dorset Waste to ensure debris cleared by the Premier Crew from the bottom of Whiteway was collected.  He was seeking funds to upgrade roads in the Bride Valley and was discussing signage with the Highways Authority as it was felt current “not suitable for HGVs” signage was placed too far down Whiteway to prevent lorries from using it and thus damaging the verges.

Playground/Playing Field/Allotments (Andy King): Appropriate action had been taken in relation to the vandalism and no further problems were anticipated.  He would liaise with the Clerk and Cllr Firrell to arrange for Bridport TC lengthsman to remove the tree that was in danger of blocking the stream and to repair the climbing wall.                                             AK

The hedge had been cut (an invoice was anticipated) and the last grass cut had taken place.  The playing field was not much used for field sports and the PC would discuss its future maintenance options and costs at January’s meeting.                                         AK

Village Fabric/Maintenance/BLAP/DAPTC (John Firrell) – The turnstiles had been replaced and these, plus the stone work undertaken by Nick Lunn looked wonderful. He asked

colleagues to look at how the turnstiles and gates operated and let him have any comment

they thought was relevant. The PC would receive the bill for this work but The Litton Cheney Trust had kindly undertaken to make a donation to the PC to cover the cost.

A meeting was scheduled for 12 November with Long Bredy PC and Ashley Farm Estates to discuss the travel plan including a possible link road.

There was nothing to report regarding BLAP and DAPTC, although DAPTC were actively corresponding with PCs.

Cllr Firrell proposed that the PC sign the BT legal agreement and pay £1 to adopt the telephone kiosk.  The PC had already voted in principle to adopt the kiosk.  Under the terms of the legal agreement, BT would remove the telephone equipment but any maintenance going forward would be the responsibility of the PC.  This proposal was seconded by Cllr Spurrier and carried unanimously.                                                                                                               MW

Once restrictions allowed, Cllr Firrell would convene a group of interested parties to propose ideas for use of the kiosk.

Agricultural Liaison (Bella Spurrier): Nothing to report

Planning/Climate Emergency (Vacant)

Planning issues arising since the last meeting:

·           The application for Demolition of double garage and erection of a dwelling, garage block, access and parking at LAND EAST OF GARDEN CLOSE, which was refused by the LPA had been allowed on appeal.

·           An Appeal had been lodged against the LPAs refusal of the proposed Erection of 12m monopole mast on the A35 SOUTH OF LAY BY. This would be dealt with by written representations. Meanwhile, the applicant had submitted a new planning application to erect a mast in a different location (item 12 on the agenda).

The following planning matters were outstanding:

·           FISHING LAKE AT CHARITY FARM. Siting of a mobile home for seasonal occupation; construction of hardcore access track for caravans and parking.  Construction of small fish “stocking lake” (WD/D/20/001114).  The Parish Council met on 13 October to revisit this application in light of an amended description & further information about number of proposed pitches.  At that meeting, the PC voted to support the application but wait to see AONB’s comments before submitting its consultee response. AONB comments highlighted the visual impact of the site and Parish Councillors, felt this underlined the importance of effective screening and the need to ensure the number of pitches do not exceed the numbers outlined in the agent’s supporting information.

·           1 THE GREEN MAIN STREET. Demolition of existing single storey rear extension and erection of two storey rear extension (WD/D/20/001955). Parish Councillors had considered this application by email and saw no reason to object.  Since then, the tree officer had become aware of trees on the site and the applicant had submitted new plans showing the location of those trees.   A TPO has been served on the Tulip tree and the tree officer wished to see further information about how the tree would be protected during the proposed development.

The following application had been decided since the last meeting:

·           BEECH HOUSE, HINES MEAD LANE internal alterations and installation of flue.   Approved on 20th October 2020 (WD/D/20/000562& 561)

Finally, prior to her resignation, Cllr Brooks valiantly co-ordinated the PC’s response to the government’s consultation on the White Paper proposing fundamental changes to Planning legislation. 

12.    New planning applications for consideration at the meeting

·           LAND EAST OF, WHITE WAY, GRID REF 355396 91227 Application to determine if prior approval is required to erect an 11.97m pole with 1no. antenna, 2no. 0.3m dishes, 3no. equipment cabinets, 1no. meter cabinet and 1no. 1.2m satellite dish within a compound surrounded by a 1.2m high stock proof fence (WD/D/20/002620). The proposed site had been identified as the 2nd best option in the supporting information accompanying a previous application to site the mast in the lay-by on the A35.  When considering that application, whilst supporting the need for the mast for use by emergency services, the PC objected to the proposed location on grounds of visual impact within the AONB, stating that the 2nd option was preferred.  Spatial Policy and Implementation – Landscape’s consultation response was awaited.

Cllr Firrell proposed that the PC submit the following comment on the application "The proposed mast would be located within the AONB and visible from numerous locations within the Bride Valley.  Nevertheless, Litton Cheney Parish Council recognise the need for this facility and feel this location is preferable to the original proposal (application reference WD/D/19/003166:) which is currently at appeal."

This was seconded by Cllr Orchard and carried unanimously.                                                MW

13.  Correspondence not dealt with as part of the agenda none

12.  Date of next meeting Tuesday 12 January 2021

Meeting closed

Maggie Walsh
Parish Clerk