LITTON CHENEY PARISH COUNCILMinutes of the Annual Parish Council Meetingheld on Tuesday 9th May 2017at Litton and Thorner's Community HallPresent: W. Orchard (Chairman), Mrs K. Brooks, A. King, Dr H. Lantos and Clerk J. Firrell. Also attending – six local residents reducing to five.1. Apologies for absence: S. Kourik and Mrs A. Spurrier.2. Declarations of Interest: None.3. Democratic Time: It was considered that on this occasion sufficient democratic time had been given at the Village Assembly for concerns and views to be expressed.4. Approval of the Minutes of the Village Assembly held on 10th May 2016: These had been circulated well in advance of this meeting and were deemed to have been read. Proposed by Dr. H. Lantos, seconded by Mrs K. Brooks and carried unanimously that they be approved.5. Matters Arising: Given the 2016 Assembly mirrored that discussed at this year's Village Assembly the discussion became an update of where we are at this point in time. Neighbourhood Plan: A recently held survey of local residents resulted in a 60/40 percentage in favour of no neighbourhood plan, the belief being that currently the Local Plan was sufficiently robust to prevent unwanted development in the village. In confirmation of this, it was proposed by W. Orchard, seconded by A. King and carried unanimously that no further action would be taken at this point to create a Neighbourhood Plan. It was however agreed that information relating to housing needs would be sought involving the WDDC Housing Enabling Team in readiness for a discussion at July's PC meeting.Children's Playground: This item too had progressed further from the preliminary status of last year. It was proposed by A. King, seconded by Dr H. Lantos and carried unanimously that costings be put together to refurbish and maintain the present playground equipment using the funds (approx £1500) currently ringfenced for this purpose. 6. Approval of the Parish Council Meeting held on 14th March 2017: These were accepted as read and it was proposed by Mrs K. Brooks, seconded by W. Orchard and carried unanimously that the Minutes be approved.7. Matters Arising: Bus Service – Contact had been made with DCC regarding the decision not to continue to subsidise the 210 bus service. Whilst this did not necessarily mean the service would discontinue, investigations were underway by the Parish Council as to the various alternatives on offer. DCC had provided contact details of other organisations who might assist and we had been contacted by Dorset Community Transport who may be able to offer an on-demand bus service. There was clearly more to come on this subject. The Rocks – DCC were providing details of possible finance that may be available to surface The Rocks with a non-slip covering. We would then seek costings from suitable contractors. Parish Clerk – As previously indicated John Firrell was stepping down as Parish Clerk after nine years in the post. We have been fortunate in finding a new Clerk, Mrs Maggie Walsh, who brings with her considerable local authority experience during her time with Aylesbury Vale District Council's planning department. Suitable references had been sought and furnished and subject to the approval of the Parish Council, Maggie would assume the duties of Parish Clerk towards the end of May. It was proposed by Dr H. Lantos, seconded by A. King and carried unanimously that Mrs Maggie Walsh be employed in the role of Parish Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer on an annual salary of £2300 based on 20 hours per month. A review would be carried out in three months’ time and adjustments made as agreed were necessary. The Chairman formally welcomed Mrs Walsh to the Parish Council, as did the other parish councillors. Verge Damage – A continuing problem and it now appeared verge maintenance may become the responsibility of smaller councils, the task being devolved from the principal authority. This may become one of those tasks that is dealt with via liaison with other councils so that a contractor may possibly be shared amongst several councils in the Bride Valley.8. Approval of Minutes of Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 30th March 2017: It was proposed by Dr H. Lantos, seconded by W. Orchard and carried unanimously that the Minutes relating to the Donkey Plot planning application accurately reflected the outcome of the meeting.9. Election of Chairman: On an indication that he was willing to continue if re-elected, it was proposed by Dr H. Lantos, seconded by Mrs K. Brooks and carried unanimously that W. Orchard be re-elected to the office of Chairman of Litton Cheney Parish Council for the coming year, 2017/18.10. Election of Deputy Chairman: Although absence at this meeting S. Kourik had indicated a willingness to continue as Deputy Chairman if re-elected. It was proposed by W. Orchard, seconded by A. King and carried unanimously that S. Kourik be re-elected to the office of Deputy Chairman for the coming year, 2017/18.11. Co-option of New Parish Councillor: Due to the resignation of I. Homer, and there being no request by ten or more electors for an election, permission had been given for the Parish Council to co-opt a replacement. Although stepping down as Parish Clerk, J. Firrell had indicated a willingness to serve on the Parish Council if selected. It was proposed by W. Orchard, seconded by Dr H. Lantos and carried unanimously that J. Firrell be invited to serve on the Parish Council. It was agreed that the effective date would be 1st June 2017 once the turnover to the new Parish Clerk had been completed.12. Annual Finance Report: The Clerk & Responsible Finance Officer offered up his Annual Report by stating that parish funds stood at £10,140.63 in the bank, plus a cheque held for £619.95, giving a grand total of £10,760.58 as of 8th May. Income since March amounted to £4582.56 made up of Interest of 0.11p, Precept & Grant £3612.50, Playground Donation £350.00 and Shared Proceeds of Variety Show in aid of the Playground Project £619.95. Expenditure since March was Lengthsman £15.00, Clerk £173.00, NP Printing £78.00 and Playground Inspection £114.00 and amounted to a total of £380.00. It was proposed by W. Orchard, seconded by A. King and carried unanimously that invoices be approved for payment for the following – Fingerposts (£131.98), PC Annual Hire of Meeting Room (£65.00) and Annual Insurance Premium (£427.58), a total of £624.56. Confirming that the amounts were catered for in the 2017/18 budget projections, it was proposed by W. Orchard, seconded by Dr. H. Lantos and carried unanimously that donations be made to the following charities – Bridport CAB £75.00, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance £75.00 and Bride Valley News £50.00, a total of £200.00.Concerning the Annual Report for 2016/17, the balance carried forward to 2017/18 was £5580.54. The amount currently ringfenced for the Playground Project stood at £1469.95 made up of £500 (PC Funds), £619.95 (Variety Show) and £350.00 (Donation). The Parish Council were asked to approve the Annual Governance Statement 2016/17 shown in the Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2017. Proposed by A. King, seconded by Dr. H. Lantos and carried unanimously. The Parish Council were asked to approve the Accounting Statements 2016/17 shown in Section 2 of the Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2017. Proposed by A. King, seconded by Dr. H. Lantos and carried unanimously. S106 Funds currently accrued to Litton Cheney stood at £7337.73 and it was suggested that these funds should be utilised given that the bulk of the funds had been unused for some time.13. Councillors Portfolios & Reports: Highways/Transport (W. Orchard) – Although discussed in some detail at the earlier Village Assembly, the emphasis was clearly on monitoring HGV's entering the valley and ensuring they took the correct route for vehicles of that size. The Parish Council was working with Ashley Chase Estates and Long Bredy PC to ensure this happened. Playground/Playing Fields/Allotments (A. King) – This had been discussed at great length both earlier in this meeting and at the Village Assembly and there was nothing useful to add. Superfast Broadband (Dr H. Lantos) – Those who had ventured into fibre had seen their download speeds increase considerably. Footpaths/RoW/Lengthsman/Mobile Phone (S. Kourik) – In the absence of S. Kourik, it was decided to set aside most of this report. The Parish Footpaths Officer (Madeleine Hickling) who was present at this meeting did comment that the footpath/right of way issue in Watery Lane was in the process of being dealt with by DCC although there was some frustration it was taking so long. The Chairman confirmed that the mobile phone mast company representing 02 and Vodaphone had submitted their planning application for a 12.5 metre monopole in Chalk Pit Lane and we awaited to be officially informed by the local authority. Risk Assessment/Transparency Code (Mrs K. Brooks) – Little further to report. It was confirmed that the PC's insurance policy covered the risks that had earlier been identified during a recent review.14. Planning Applications Pending/Outcomes: The two outstanding planning applications – Charity Farm and The Orchard - would be dealt with at a separate meeting on Thursday 18th May, 7 pm at LATCH.15. Correspondence not covered in this Agenda: The meeting was informed by the Clerk that the South Western Ambulance Service had written apologising for the lengthy delay in attending Mrs Peggy Patterson.16. Date of Next Meeting: Tuesday 11th July 2017.17. There being no further business the meeting was closed at 9.30 pm.J. FirrellParish Clerk
Minutes of the Village Assembly on 9 May 2017 at Litton and Thorner's Community HallPresent: Bill Orchard (Chairman), Hugh Lantos, Andrew King, Kathryn Brooks, John Firrell (Clerk), Maggie Walsh (new Clerk), District Cllr John Russell and 45 local residents. 1.Apologies: Bella Spurrier, Steve Kourik2.Chairman's View Bill Orchard invited those present to remain for the Parish Council meeting that follows the assembly for an update on a number of ongoing parish matters. The Precept had increased by 94.8% from last year but this was from a low base and it was still lower than adjacent parishes. The increase was necessary partly because John Firrell had taken only a nominal salary as Parish Clerk but he would shortly step down and his replacement would have to be paid the going rate. The rise was also in anticipation of devolution of responsibilities from County/District Council to Parish Councils. The precept may need to increase sharply for the next few years to cover these costs in case the Government caps parish councils as they have done unitary authorities. Preliminary discussions about possible shared services had commenced between Litton Cheney Parish Council, other Bride Valley Parish Councils and Bridport Town Council. Chairman Bill also used the occasion to introduce new Parish Clerk Maggie Walsh who would be taking over from John Firrell shortly.Bus service 210 would cease at the end of July as Dorset County Council would stop subsidising village buses to focus on main routes. Parish Councillors had discussed the issue with Damory and its parent company who were clear that they considered the route not to be commercially viable. It would not be known if there might be an alternative service until the outcome of the current tender process was known. The Parish Council is represented on the WATAG (Western Area Transport Action Group) pressure group looking at ways to maintain village bus services and was also exploring a community run bus service (Dorset Plus) with other councils but this needed further work.The Parish Council were maintaining pressure to ensure HGVs' keep to preferred routes. This was particularly relevant to transport heading to and from Ashley Chase Estates often via Hines Mead Lane.The Chairman appealed again to local residents to get involved. He anticipated there could be a forthcoming vacancy for a Parish Councillor later in the year. West Dorset District Council had now changed its approach on how the views of Parish Councils were counted on planning matters. When the Parish and District Councils planners are at variance on a planning decision, there would now be a meeting between the case officer and the district councillor to discuss whether it should be passed to the Planning Committee.The village now had superfast broadband. A new proposed telecommunications mast was likely to be approved under permitted development, providing mobile phone reception.Finally, the Chairman thanked John Firrell, who would shortly stand down as a "model" Parish Clerk after 9 years, and presented him on behalf of the Parish Council with a case of wine. John said he had thoroughly enjoyed his time as Clerk but felt it was time for someone else to have a go. He thanked the Parish Councillors for their constant support and, somewhat tongue in cheek, James Williams whose “interest” in parish council matters had assisted in moving the Council to become more transparent. 3. Neigbourhood PlanRichard Jones, Chairman of Litton Cheney Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group gave an update on the outcome of the recent village survey. Approximately 30% of those surveyed had responded, 59% of whom felt a plan was unnecessary. The Parish Council would take these results into account when deciding what action to take. Richard thanked his colleagues on the steering group.4.Creating a "revitalised" Village PlaygroundAndrew King gave an update on the work of the sub-committee. New goals and nets had been acquired. After approaching a number of contractors about boundary fencing and additional playground equipment and seating, he would be proposing that the Dorset County Landscape Team be appointed to implement the improvements, including upgrading existing equipment and providing refurbished equipment from Damers School, which is in the process of moving to Poundbury. The cost would be £16,000, to be met from a combination of S106 funds, donations already received, fund-raising events and a lottery grant. Some preliminary works could be carried out in the short term but substantive works could not commence until after the summer holidays without affecting the lottery grant. James Williams proposed that funding be provided for new goal posts, basketball nets, and tennis court marking. In response the Chairman stated that there was a finite amount of money available which currently would be targeted at the play equipment area. Dorset County Council had been given the grass cutting contract this year. The issue of dogs fouling the playing field arose again. The Parish Council would be reviewing the no dogs situation, and possibly allowing dogs on a leash access, but it would call for all dogs owners to comply with the rules if they are changed. There was already a public notice at the entrance and villagers were again urged to pick up after their dogs and take it home. Unless someone would like to volunteer as dog warden (courses are available) there was little else the Parish Council could do, unless residents were prepared to “police” the area and name offenders.5.Open FloorThis was an opportunity for local residents to raise matters they wished to bring to the attention of the Parish Council and/or other residents. Affordable housing was discussed - the Parish Council would decide how to proceed now the result of the Neighbourhood Plan consultation was known.James Williams suggested funds might be available for improving rights of way and signage. It was suggested he might like to be involved in bidding for funding. David Jones enquired as to who was responsible for footpaths in the parish. Madeleine Hickling who was at this meeting is the Parish Footpaths Officer but Steve Kourik is the first point of contact for the Parish Council.Vicky Thomas asked if it would be possible to have Parish Councillors' photos on the website as she was relatively new to the village.A number of other matters arose: Parish Councillor attendance at village café; publication of planning applications on notice boards, maintenance of verges and Magna Green.Freddie Spicer thanked the Chairman, all Parish Councillors and Clerk for their efforts on behalf of the village.After informing local residents that a separate planning meeting would be held on 18 May regarding the Charity Farm planning application, the Chairman closed the meeting, at which point most local residents left.J. Firrell/M. WalshRetiring Clerk/Incoming Clerk
Minutes of Parish Council Planning Meeting held on 18th May 2017
Minutes of the Extraordinary Parish Council Meetingheld on Thursday 18th May 2017at Litton and Thorner's Community HallLitton CheneyPresent: W. Orchard (Chairman), S. Kourik (Deputy Chairman), Mrs K. Brooks, A. King, Dr H. Lantos, Mrs A. Spurrier, Clerk J. Firrell, Clerk Designate Mrs M. Walsh, Dist Cllr J. Russell and 26 local residents.1. Apologies: None.2. WD/D/17/000850 – The Orchard – Retention of Double Garage – Certificate of Lawfulness. The matter had been overtaken by events, and due to there being no objections or proof provided that the garage had not been inexistence in excess of four years WDDC had granted approval.3. To Consider Planning Applications WD/D/17/000758 & 59 – Charity Farm – Erection of 6 no. dwellings and conversion of redundant agricultural building to a dwelling, and dismantle pig barn.The Chairman invited the applicant's architect and agent Andrew Stone (AS) to present the details of the planning applications to the Parish Council and those attending. Andrew Stone gave a general overview of the proposed development, and felt many would have referred to the planning documents which were available on the Dorset for You website, and would therefore be au fait with the proposals. The second application (000759) dealt with the pig barn and redundant bull pen under a Listed Building label due to being within the curtilage of the nearby tithe barn. AS explained that it was the intent to make three of the new dwellings affordable and the applicant would be willing to enter into an S106 agreement setting out the parameters for this to be established. Various other aspects of the development were enlarged upon and AS indicated he was prepared to answer questions from the Parish Council and local residents.The Chairman invited those attending to use this “democratic time” to ask questions of Andrew Stone and Andy Romans (AR) prior to the Parish Council going into “closed session” to consider their submission to WDDC. It was later explained that “closed session” did not mean “in secret” but that local residents would not have the same opportunity to contribute to the debate as during “democratic time”. Mr F Spicer took the opportunity to ask about the colour of the pig barn roof once it had been relocated. The indications were that it would be black (its original colour) although Mr P. Dyke whose property it would be adjacent to preferred the current “rustic” finish. Mrs M Anderson asked for confirmation that construction transport during building and residents vehicles would not use the current northerly access which runs alongside her property up to the tithe barn. Both AS and AR gave an absolute assurance this would not happen. Mr P. Dyke queried whether what is now 6 proposed dwellings whereas previously it had been three are necessary in a Conservation Area and ANOB with a reducing infrastructure. A number of people raised the possible spectre of inadequate parking at the development which might lead to vehicles being parked on Main Street. AS suggested that more parking spaces might be possible. Nicola Chitson had been led to believe that the spaces might be rented to those who require them, but that was considered unlikely. AS pointed out that the piece of land earmarked for the development was “not a beautiful site”, nor suitable as agricultural land, although others pointed out it was in partially in a conservation area. James Williams highlighted the fact the applicant had indicated their intent to incorporate the “affordable” criteria within an S106 at which point AS explained further what that meant indicating the applicant would be willing to work with WDDC and the PC on the eligibility factor. AS was asked if a level of housing need had been formally established to determine if affordable housing was required in the village. He stated that the “need” was based on anecdotal evidence, rather than a specific survey. Charles Innes expressed concern about the boiler (biomass) house that would provide heating and hot water to the properties, and how its appearance and emissions would impact on the surrounding properties. AS stated that once installed it would be eco-friendly/carbon neutral and fuelled by wood pellets along the same lines as that installed at the tithe barn. Andy Romans offered to give interested parties a tour of the biomass installation at the tithe barn. AS stated that more landscaping and planting could be carried out to lessen the impact of the new dwellings on nearby residences. After further comments a commitment to amend the drawings to include a solid fence along the east boundary was given by AS. It was confirmed that other than the two car ports in the pig barn there would be no garages or other car ports as part of the development.The subject of access via the tithe barn track was raised again, with mention that several people had shared and right of access along this track, it being owned by a third party (CG Fry & Son). Its width and state suggested it was not suitable for additional access during construction should the development go ahead, or indeed access given to the new owners of the dwellings. Again it was confirmed that access would be restricted both during construction and subsequent to the dwellings being occupied, and access would only be via the southern entrance, the new road being constructed before work commences. AR admitted that the track and kerbing needed attention.The Chairman, in the absence of further comments from the floor, invited councillors to ask questions of the agent and applicant. Dr Hugh Lantos enquired further about the car parking situation and how it equated to the information contained in the Design & Access Statement. AS indicated that the spaces would probably not be rented but at least one space provided for each dwelling. The Chairman asked how additional cars such as second cars, visitors and trade vehicles would be accommodated, echoing the concern of many that excess vehicles would be parked in village lanes not suited for such purpose. The use of cars in the village was always going to be a concern in a situation such as exists in Litton Cheney and was likely to get worse with the demise of the bus service. Several councillors raised the matter of the neighbourhood plan, the village having decided in a recent survey that they felt a NP was not required believing that the Local Plan would guard against any unwanted development. In a village that did not have a defined development boundary it was difficult to see how a development of “open market” housing albeit with affordable elements would fit with the Local Plan. AS felt the Local Plan was somewhat opaque, given indications that WDDC did not have sufficient building land available to fulfil their housing quota. It was pointed out that a revised Local Plan was out for consultation indicating where additional houses would be built in order to fulfil WDDC's quota, and that until that was adopted the current Local Plan would be applied. Steve Kourik wondered if the Local Plan had total relevance in Litton Cheney, while others questioned the affordability aspect of the proposed dwellings, and the density of the development within the space available. James Williams on a point of order stated that he felt the Chairman, Bill Orchard, had a pecuniary interest in the matter at hand, given he owned a property nearby and should therefore not play any further part in the decision process. The Clerk directed that it would be for other members of the Parish Council to decide if indeed there was a personal or prejudicial interest when the meeting went into closed session.After an hour and a half of discussion, with everyone having had a chance to put forward their view, it was announced the Parish Council would now discuss the matter in a closed session, which would preclude members of the public from speaking unless they were invited to by the Parish Council. At this point there was a mass exodus by local residents, leaving only a few people including the applicant, agent and associate.The first matter to be resolved was the question of conflict of interest. After a relatively short discussion, not involving the Chairman, and perusal of a map it was proposed by S. Kourik, seconded by Mrs K. Brooks and carried unanimously that no conflict of interest existed in this instance.The Clerk reminded councillors that they had three options with regards to the planning application response – support; object; comment. Aside from those local residents who had spoken at this meeting, there were also comments made online and councillors had kept abreast of these comments. Several consultees had yet to respond including Highways and Housing Enabling Team Leader. Individual councillors after considerable discussion were asked to highlight their concerns. S. Kourik saw no reason to object, but several councillors continued to echo their concerns about parking and the impact of the development on nearby houses despite the assertion by the applicant that he would address these concerns and incorporate subsequent resolutions within the application documentation. Material considerations as identified by WDDC planning department (spatial policy) were gone through one by one and it was apparent that most had been satisfactorily covered, and those that were not including highway safety, traffic generation, local, strategic, regional and national planning policies and disabled access would need to be addressed by others. The question had yet to be answered – how did this application fit with the Local Plan? It was agreed by all that should WDDC be minded to approve the application, the Parish Council must surely be involved in putting together the terms of the S106 agreement along with the applicant and planning department.Overall, it was agreed that on several fronts insufficient information and the need to formally commit to additional undertakings by the applicant directed the Parish Council to unanimously agree that at this point they would submit their response under the heading of “Comment”. This should not be taken as a negative response, indeed it should give the applicant the incentive to improve on the application in consultation with the case officer, place in writing the various undertakings verbally given at the meeting and hope to conform to any necessary requirements requested by other consultees.4. There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.30 pm.After note: A submission has now been made to WDDC and can be found on the Dorset for You website.J. FirrellParish Clerk.