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Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on 10 th September 2019
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in the Bride Valley Litton Cheney Dorset
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Tuesday 12 th November, 7.30 pm at LATCH. Come and support your local councillors in their work, and also have your say on local issues. In the meantime should you need to contact a councillor or the parish clerk their contact details can be found here….
LITTON CHENEY PARISH COUNCIL Minutes of the Meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council held on Tuesday 10 September 2019 at Litton and Thorner's Community Hall Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); Kathryn Brooks; John Firrell: Andy King; Maggie Walsh (Clerk) and 4 local residents 1. Apologies: Andrew Price; Bella Spurrier; Mark Roberts 2. Declarations of interest: Cllr Orchard declared an interest in the planning application for proposed development at 2 Charity Farm Cottages as he owned the adjacent property. 3. Democratic time: an update was requested regarding reinstatement/refurbishment of the barriers/turnstiles at The Rocks. Cllr Firrell explained the barriers had been removed in anticipation of equipment requiring access for drainage repairs to The Rocks. Until very recently there had been insufficient rain to assess the effectiveness of the works and no decision had been taken regarding the future of the turnstiles or barriers. Cllr Firrell undertook to reconvene the working party to consider this. JF 4. Approval of Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 9 July 2019 - it was proposed by Cllr Firrell seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that these minutes be approved. 5. Matters arising not part of the agenda: none 6. DC overview – not available as Cllr Mark Roberts was not in attendance. The PC appreciated that since local government organisation, Dorset Councillors were spread more thinly but were disappointed that Cllr Roberts had not been able to attend any meetings since the elections and hoped he would be able to attend the next meeting. MW 7. Annual Finance Report (Maggie Walsh, Clerk and RFO) 2018/19 MW had received the external auditor report that day. The auditors had raised no concerns. Details would be published before end of September. 2019/2020 Parish funds currently stood at £13,260.93. Spend since May’s meeting was £914.86 comprising £580.72 clerk’s salary; £225 donations agreed at previous meeting; £54 room hire; £35 annual GDPR registration; £20.14 for purchase of weed killer. Income since May’s meeting was 21p interest. Invoices for approval There were 2 invoices for approval: £240.00 for the External Auditor (appointed by central government) and £216 + VAT for the allotment gate. It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that these be approved. Major Works at LATCH Cllr Firrell explained that previously major works undertaken by LATCHhad been administered and processed through Parish Accounts as the PC was the freeholder for the village hall and the surrounding land. Whilst no major work was imminent, he asked that the continued principle of this practice be verified and confirmed. This was agreed in principle subjectto MW checking the VAT position. MW 2020-2021 Precept The PC would begin to consider 2020-2021 budget in November so as to agree the precept at January’s meeting. 8. Councillors’ portfolios: Footpaths/Rights of Way/Mobile Phone Mast (Bill Orchard, Chairman). Cllr Orchard invited Steve Kourik to explain the position with regard to Watery Lane. SK explained that, when the Rights of Way Definitive Map was drawn up following the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act becoming law around 1949, every English and Welsh parish council was obliged to draw up a map of all the existing footpaths, bridleways and byways in their parish. Litton Cheney's draft map included a footpath that ran from Chalk Pit Lane just west of the bus shelter along what we know as Watery Lane and up to the A35 road, a second footpath branched off to the east of this path close to the Old Rectory Garden and up to the A35 further east (FP W12/1). A challenge had claimed the western path had not existed as a public footpath and should be deleted. This objection was accepted, but resulted in the eastern footpath, W12/1 being left with no connection to any public right of way or highway. Since then people had used Watery Lane to access the eastern footpath with no objections from landowners. However, should there be a change of owner occur or the land owner(s) decide to object, the right to use Watery Lane could be lost and, therefore, access to the footpath W12/1 also would be lost. The PC could either accept this risk or take one of two courses of action before 2026: a) The landowners could dedicate it as a public footpath. This held an advantage to the land owner in that it passed on public liability to the Highway Authority. However, currently the PC did not know who owned part of the path. b) The PC could provide evidence to DC that the path had been used for no less than 20 years without objection. This required public notices, sworn statements from 8-10 witnesses, notification of landowners and research at the County Records Office. Cllr Orchard proposed that the PC proceeded initially with research to see if ownership could be established as this was required for both of the above options. This was seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously. Steve Kourik kindly offered to assist with the research. Cllr Brooks undertook to check land registry. MW would contact Wessex Water, who had used the path for access to ask if they owned any part of it. BO, KB, MW On other matters, Cllr Orchard would draft a letter to Rights of Way requesting enforcement with regard to Bridleway at West End Farm. DC had been quick to fix potholes once reported. BO Playground/Playing Field/Allotments (Andy King): the allotment gate had been replaced very well. In October, he would request quotes for several options for grass cutting including halving the number of cuts to the playing field and adding cutting grass on the perimeter of the allotments. The revised quotes would be reported at the November meeting to inform next year’s precept. AK Cllr King had met Ken Hussey about playground repairs (Mr Hussey had been recommended by the Bridport Town Council). Mr Hussey had suggested a number of repairs/ improvements and his quote was awaited. The PC had received three quotes for the annual playground inspection, which was due in October: £95 and £114 for a lengthy, written report with photographs and £45 for a shorter spreadsheet type report (all net of VAT). However, Mr Hussey also undertook more regular 3 monthly inspections and would provide a spreadsheet type report and (subject to agreement of cost) effect any required maintenance/repairs. The PC agreed that a short report was adequate and that there may be some advantage to more frequent inspections and agreed to await Mr Hussey’s quote and reach a decision by exchange of email. Village Fabric/Maintenance/Devolved Services (John Firrell): The double decker school bus was now running. Dorset Council’s Chief Executive had assured the PC that lessons had been learned with regards to better communications and consultations. The debacle had also helped forge a closer working relationship with adjacent parishes. The damaged finger post was being repaired and should be replaced in the same location within a month. It would be taller and would carry more information, Litton Cheney PC was grateful to the Litton Cheney Trust for its offer of up to £250 towards the cost of repair. There would also be a new footpath sign. The turf would be replaced at no extra cost. Cllr Firrell had attended a DAPTC Western Area meeting and expressed surprise that nobody from the DAPTC or Dorset Council attended. The “Premier Crew” of volunteers would clear up the debris from the foot of Whiteway. JF The bus shelter litterbin should be emptied weekly but was occasionally missed, as it had been prior to the recent bank holiday weekend. Councillors were encouraged to report occasions when it was not emptied. Highways/transport: (Andrew Price) – In Cllr Price’s absence, Cllr Orchard reported that the proposal to strengthen the stream bank opposite the entrance to the Tithe Barn would cost more than £3,000. Although funds were available from the lengthsman budget, the PC wished to satisfy itself that the works would last. The PC had obtained structural advice (at no cost to the PC) which recommended that concrete, although not as attractive, would be more durable. The PC would put a formal proposal to Highways and await their response. Risk Assessment/Transparency Code/Annual Report: (unallocated) The Privacy Statement and Data Protection and Email Polices had been updated and circulated to Parish Councillors prior to the meeting. It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Orchard and carried unanimously that these be approved and published. MW Planning (Kathryn Brooks): The following planning matters were outstanding:- WD/D/19/000958: Erect two storey rear extension and detached garage - TOWNSEND COTTAGE, 2 CHALK PIT LANE – Cllr
Brooks understood they were trying to overcome concerns. No update available. WD/D/19/001128: Erection of agricultural storage building (Retrospective) - CHARITY FARM, MAIN STREET. No update
available. WD/D/19/001613: Erect front and rear extensions MEADOWBANK, SCHOOL HOUSE LANE, DT2 9AU – no update available. WD/D/17/000758: Erection of 6no. dwellings & conversion of a redundant agricultural building to a dwelling (with variation of
conditions 4, 5 & 6 of planning permission to amend approved plans) - CHARITY FARM, MAIN STREET, DT2 9AP – had been
assigned to a new case officer. The following application had been decided since the last meeting: WD/D/19/000916 | Compliance with conditions | CHARITY FARM – approved Other planning matters Various activities at the Fishing lake had been brought to the attention of the PC and Parish Councillors had met with the landowner. Parish Councillors concluded that numerous works, including an unauthorised dwelling, were in breach of planning control and should be reported to the Local Planning Authority. MW 9. New planning applications for consideration at the meeting – WD/D/19/001427 (householder permission) & WD/D/19/001428 (listed building consent): erect single storey extensions and internal and external alterations – 2 CHARITY FARM COTTAGES, MAIN STREET, DT2 9AP. Parish Councillors discussed the scale of the proposed extension and its proximity to the boundary. It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Brooks and carried unanimously that the PC respond that Litton Cheney PC had no objection to the proposed development but trusted that the Local Planning Authority would satisfy itself that it would not affect the amenity of neighbouring properties. Cllr Orchard abstained from this item. WD/D/19/001843: conversion of single garage to additional living accommodation – 3 BAGLAKE, DT2 9DP. It was proposed by Cllr Brooks, seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously that the PC had NO OBJECTION to this planning application. WD/D/19/001897: demolition of double garage, and erection of 1 no dwelling, garage, block access and parking – LAND EAST OF 7-8 GARDEN CLOSE. There would be an extraordinary meeting of the PC at 6.30pm on Tuesday 24 September to consider this application. MW 10. Correspondence not dealt with as part of the agenda – None 11. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 12 November 2019 12. Meeting closed Maggie Walsh - Parish Clerk
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Minutes of Extraordinary Meeting held on 24 th September 2019
LITTON CHENEY PARISH COUNCIL Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council held on Tuesday 24 September 2019 at Litton and Thorner's Community Hall to consider planning application WD/D/19/00187 LAND EAST OF 7-8 GARDEN CLOSE – demolition of double garage and erection of 1 no dwelling, garage block, access, and parking Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); Kathryn Brooks; John Firrell: Andy King; Andrew Price; Bella Spurrier; Maggie Walsh (Clerk). Also in attendance were Paul Hoffman (planning agent) and 16 local residents 1. Apologies: none 2. Declarations of interest: none 3. Cllr Orchard invited Paul Hoffman, agent for the application to give an overview of the proposal. PH summarised the proposed development and said that, as a village without a development boundary, new dwellings within Litton Cheney would be contrary to Local Plan policy. However, as Dorset Council does not currently have a 5 year housing land supply, the Local Plan was superseded by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which carried a presumption of approval unless the harm significantly outweighed the benefits. The site was within a Conservation Area (CA) and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and adjacent to a Listed Building. However, the site was enclosed by development on 3 sides and was screened by hedges. The applicant had obtained independent advice that the proposal was acceptable in heritage terms. No wildlife would be affected and nesting bird boxes would be erected. The Housing Needs Survey had identified 30 respondents would require open market housing. In his view all villages needed some level of new housing to sustain them. The application was for a 145m 2 4 bed house which was appropriate for the size of the plot. The proposal would deliver 1 dwelling towards the 5 year housing land target; provide local employment during construction and the inhabitants would contribute to the village. He therefore felt the benefits outweighed the harm. 4. Democratic time 2 local residents said they either had, or planned to object to the proposal and hoped the Parish Council would object to the application. Concerns were raised about the impact on the amenities of neighbours. Concern that the situation regarding the 5 year housing land supply left the village vulnerable to opportunistic applications for new dwellings Query as to why the proposal was for a 4 bed house – most families could not afford a 4 bed house at open market prices and a number of 3 and 4 bed dwellings in the village were proving difficult to sell. The proposed dwelling was more likely to be purchased by a retired couple or for a holiday let. Would the proposed dwelling be accessible to emergency services? The coal delivery lorry was unable to use the access road. Concern that the junction between Garden Close and Chalk Pit Lane was dangerous, PH responded that Highways and Technical Services had been consulted and raised no objection with regard to the proposed access arrangements; the nature of the junction of the junction between Garden Close and Chalk Pit Lane was not relevant to this application as both roads were already adopted. The proposed house would fill in a green space and be out of keeping with the village. 5. Consideration by Parish Council Cllr Brooks confirmed that Dorset Council currently had 4.88 years of housing land supply and so the balance shifted from the Local Plan towards the NPPF. However, each planning application was assessed on its own merits. The balance of weight between the NPPF and the local plan, where there was a shortfall in 5 year housing land supply, would vary with the Local Planning Authority and/or Planning Inspector. Parish Councillors were disappointed that so much planning weight should be given to the 5 year housing land availability target, when Dorset Council had exceeded the housing delivery test by 29% over 3 years. There was already extant permission for 7 new dwellings in the village and Parish Councillors were concerned that pressure to build new houses in the village would continue whilst the 5 year housing land target was unmet, even though the local plan policy was that villages without development boundaries were unsuitable for new dwellings. Whilst the NPPF carries a presumption in favour of sustainable development, the bus service extremely limited and Parish Councillors thought that the village school may be full. Villagers were reliant on cars and on street parking also caused significant problems. Litton Cheney was therefore not a sustainable location for new dwellings. One additional dwelling would not make a significant contribution to the 5 year supply. Concern about how the proposed back land development would impact on the amenities of the occupants of Garden Close given the proposed narrow single lane access track for use by 4 properties running around existing dwellings and the proximity of the proposed dwelling to no 8 Garden Close. Parish Councillors did not feel there was a need for additional 4 bed houses within the village and felt the agent had misinterpreted the Housing Needs Survey. 6. Conclusion and decision It was proposed by Cllr Orchard, seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously that the Parish Council OBJECT to the planning application for the following reasons 1) The proposal is contrary to Policy SUS3 of the Local Plan as the village has no defined development boundary and proposed dwelling would not meet any identified needs within the village. The recent Housing Needs Survey did not confirm a substantial need for housing in the area other than for some respondents who supported the need for affordable housing. 2) Notwithstanding any reduced weight accorded to the Local Plan as a result of Dorset Council currently falling short of the 5 year housing land supply, and the NPPF presumption for sustainable development, the proposed application site is not in a sustainable location as the village has a limited bus service and facilities are limited to a pub, school, village hall and church. The occupants of the proposed dwelling would therefore need to rely on cars to travel in and out of the village via narrow and steep roads. There is already extant planning permission for 7 new dwellings in the village. If permitted, one additional dwelling would not make a significant contribution to the 5 year housing land supply but would have an incremental impact on the village. The adverse impacts of the proposal therefore outweigh any benefits. 3) Loss of amenity for the occupants of Garden Close: the proposed location is an infill site in back gardens but with the proposed building very close to the rear of other properties in Garden Close, particularly no’s. 7&8 - which means this is a backland development and should be designed with full care and consideration for these properties as they are the ones most affected. The proposed dwelling is pitched about 45m from the rear of no 8 and with an access road to four garages running between the two properties. Larger vehicles are unable to use the access due to restricted turning space on the plot. The access to the site would be via a private lane off a cul-de-sac head, serving 4 properties with all their collections and deliveries, and passing within 10m of the principal (south facing) elevation of no 8 before turning at right angles and running past their rear windows as well. There are considerable adverse effects to be expected for the owners of this property in terms of privacy, outlook and quiet enjoyment, and others in the Close will be impacted to a lesser degree by this development and increased traffic movements. The Parish Council also wishes to record its disappointment that Dorset Council’s significant achievement in exceeding the housing delivery test does not appear to mitigate against its shortfall of 0.12 against the 5 year housing land supply. 7. Meeting closed Maggie Walsh, Parish Clerk
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2019