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White Colne Parish Council Minutes

January 2010


                               

WHITE COLNE PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at

The Village Hall, Bures Road, White Colne on Monday 18th January 2010 at 7.30 pm.

 Present :          Cllr M Abrahams, Cllr S Adlem, Cllr K Nolan(Chairman), Cllr C Pearcey, Cllr J Taylor, Cllr J Watt

                                      Also Present:  Clerk D Williams and 6 members of the public attended.


131. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE - Cllr J Brace, District Cllr C Siddall, District Cllr G Spray,

Community Warden S Brady


132. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS – Cllr Taylor declared an interest in minute 135 as she is a neighbour of the Fox and Pheasant Centre and will leave the meeting whilst this matter is discussed.


133. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETINGS - The minutes of the last parish council meeting of 16th November 2009, which had been previously circulated, were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

The meeting was suspended for questions and statements.

(i)Why is the planning application for 7 Colne Park Road on the agenda when the parish council has already objected to the application?

(ii)Referring to the planning application for 7 Colne Park Road, why did your reply refer to a 4 bedroom property when the plans state that the application was for a 2 bedroom property

(iii)Why did Cllr Abrahams oppose the planning application for 7 Colne Park Road and then seek approval for a 4 bedroom property himself?

(iv) Referring to the planning application for 7 Colne Park Road, why object to back building when there is to be back building behind the village hall and a similar back fill of properties has been built in the village?

(v)What is the position regarding the planning permission for properties at the rear of the village hall?

The meeting was resumed.


134. CONSIDERATION OF ISSUES RAISED AT PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

(i)Cllr Nolan said that the planning application for 7 Colne Park Road was on the agenda for ratification of the response which had to be made before this next parish council meeting. The parish council merely give comments and have no powers of approval.

(ii)Cllr Watt said that the planning application form referred to 4 bedrooms but the plans showed 2 bedrooms.

(iii) Cllr Abrahams made a statement regarding the planning application for 7 Colne Park Road. He said that last year he was interested in the infill or second plot at 7 Colne Park Rd and made an offer to purchase subject to planning in March 2009. This offer was accepted subject to contract and planning being obtained for a house on the plot. He undertook at his expense to see if the ECC conservation officer would reconsider the building of a house that was sympathetic to the conservation area. This was refused and so in the middle of August he withdrew his offer for the rear plot. He asked at that time if the front plot was available but was advised that it was sold. He could not see any conflict of interest arising after that time.

(iv) Cllr Nolan said that the parish council also objected to the backfill development that you refer to.

(v) Cllr Nolan said that the land at the rear of the village hall is owned by Essex County Council (ECC) and the parish council can express views as can residents of White Colne.  ECC has not yet submitted a planning application for the development of this land.


135. PLANNING MATTERS

(A) 09/01481/FUL -  FOX & PHEASANT CENTRE, COLCHESTER ROAD – REMOVAL OF CONDITION 3 ATTACHED TO PLANNING CONSENT 90/01116/FUL RELATING TO THE USE OF THE UNIT; VARIATION OF CONDITION 7 OF 90/01116/FUL RELATING TO VEHICULAR MOVEMENTS TIMES;CHANGE OF USE OF UNIT 1 TO HEALTH AND BEAUTY SALON – Cllr Taylor withdrew from the meeting.

Comments ratified - We object to any of the proposed changes to conditions 3 and 7 of the planning consent 90/01116/FUL relating to use of the unit and vehicular movement times. This is because the parking availability is totally inadequate for a small retail centre and a 40 seat cafe/restaurant. Furthermore the removal of conditions will also reduce the amenity enjoyed by local residents. We also consider that any amendment/removal of Conditions 3 and 7 would mean an increase in traffic movements and a corresponding impact on highway safety for vehicles exiting and entering the premises to and from the A1124.

We note that Wakeswood Restaurant at the Fox and Pheasant Centre is advertised for sale, and that the advertisement states that there are 34 covers with a potential to expand another 20 onto the patio. This means a potential for 60 people (including 6 staff) all trying to park their cars when the original application was for 44.  

 We also request that the Planning Committee reconsider the overall activites of the Fox and Pheasant site


Further comments were then ratified:- We received planning application 09/01481/FUL  and as a Parish Council can either support, object or offer no comment on a planning application but as a responsible Council we would be failing in our duty if we did not look at the wider picture or implication of this application.   

 

As we understand it Conditions '3' and '7' were imposed in 1992 on planning approval 1116/90 when there was a restaurant in situ and the rest of the commercial activity on the site was much smaller. At that time Unit 2 (now AK Hairdressers) was the only retail unit allowed on site and this was an outlet for the woodworking goods produced in Unit 7. (The restaurant closed within a few years).

 The conditions were imposed at that time for the following reasons     

 Condition 3  " for the protection of the amenities of the area as the site lies outside an area allocated for industrial, commercial or retail use and to ensure that the traffic likely to be generated by the use of the buildings is not detrimental to highway safety".

 Condition 7  " in the interests of the amenity of the residents of the locality".  This suggests that even one retail unit had a detrimental impact on the locality.

 The site today bears no resemblance to what it did in the early 1990s when only one retail unit was allowed and as we can find very little evidence of any planning regulation since that time feel we have no alternative but to object to any amendment to these Conditions if we follow the above criteria.  The applicant himself states that there are now five businesses on the site but we believe there to be more. 

 It is difficult therefore to look at this application in isolation without considering the impact of the rest of the site and hence our request that the activities of the whole site be looked at.  This would allow a proper plan to be implemented with planning regulation for the benefit and safety of all the users of the site or those affected by it, be they the businesses themselves, customers, residents or highway users.

 Finally, the complexion of the site has been dramatically altered by the Planning Committee's decision to approve Wakeswood Restaurant in March of this year.  Obviously this decision will have a 'knock on' effect with every subsequent planning application we are asked to consider on this site in respect of parking, turning vehicle movements and safety.

 The Parish Council do not have it within their power to close down a business and would be unhappy to see any business founder. On the contrary it is in our interest to see businesses within the parish flourish. 

The meeting was then suspended for a public question:-

(a)Would the parish council object to change of use for Unit 1 to a Health and Beauty Salon which it has been for 9 years. I was advised by Braintree District Council (BDC) that change of use was not needed.

The meeting resumed.

Cllr Nolan said that the planning application was for the whole site and there is nothing that we are aware of which would cause us to object to this and you should contact your landlord who should resolve this with BDC through a planning application for change of use if necessary.

Cllr Taylor returned to the meeting.

(B)09/01495/FUL – BAGGARETTS FARM, DAWES HALL ROAD – ERECTION OF DETACHED DWELLING FOR POULTRY UNIT MANAGER/STOCKMAN (TO ENSURE FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY OF EXISTING UNIT) Comments ratified - No objections but suggest that any approval is subject to neighbours' views and subject where applicable to the conditions as set out by the Planning Inspector in Appeal Ref APP/Z1510/A/08/2082351 dated 7th April 2009.

(C) 09/01507/FUL – 7 COLNE PARK ROAD – ERECTION OF DETACHED DWELLING

Comments ratifield - We object to this application as we consider that this proposed development will cram the site and is against policies RLP3 and RLP4 regarding development of infill plots and inappropriate backland development in this conservation area. The site is in a very sensitive area as it is adjacent to the Village Green, which has considerable historic importance to the character of White Colne. In the recent Village Design Questionnaire 200 out of 200 responses (of which 137 strongly agreed) wanted the current character of the Village Green to be retained. If the planning application is allowed then it would set a strong precedent for some of the other plots around the Village Green to apply for similar backland development and infill. We note that on the planning application point 19, it states there that the new dwelling will be a house of 4+ bedrooms, but the plans only show a plan of a ground floor with two bedrooms. We are also concerned with the siting of the garage for the front house which is now proposed to be at the front of the plot whereas we wish to see it sited at the rear of the front property.


136. CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT ON THE HEADS OF AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF     

     WCPC LAND TO ESSEX CC IN RETURN FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE VILLAGE HALL AND   

     LAND TO WCPC, TOGETHER WITH THE DRAFT PLANNING APPLICATION FOR THE FUTURE

      DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE.

Cllr Nolan said that matters are still with ECC and surveyors considering issues prior to submitting a draft planning application.


137. WHITE COLNE MEADOWS

Cllr Taylor said that she went with Cllr Pearcey to a function run by the Rural Community Council of Essex who said that they have funds from ECC and they want to undertake work on the pond before the end of March.


138. VILLAGE HALL

Cllr Adlem said that the hall has been redecorated by volunteers and the toilet refurbishments have been completed. The final cost of the toilets is £19,000 of which the village hall funds have contributed £11,000 and there are little reserves left to fund any emergency expenditure. The volunteers Colin Armstrong, Peter Norris, Sue Norris and Jocelyn Watt were thanked for their considerable work.


139. COMMUNITY LIAISON

Cllr Taylor said that the Calendar will be distributed shortly. The Carols on the Green was a success being well attended with donations of £117. The Pancake Race and the Easter Egg Hunt will not take place this year as both events were poorly supported last year. The web site is to be revamped and Cllr Abrahams asked whether adverts on the web site was a good idea, and Cllr Taylor said that it could be considered.

140. FINANCIAL MATTERS

(a)Payments The following payments were approved:-

Cheque Payee Details                                                                                                                      Amount £

1201      Warwick Network Ltd Community Design Group                                                            £   309.17

1202      Reward Matrix - Community Design Group                                                                           £    67.16

1203      Claire PB & Jonathan PR Ltd newsletter printing                                                              £  180.00

1204      Braintree District Council temporary event notice for carols on the green                   £    21.00

1205      White Colne Village Hall - Community Design Group                                                         £    84.00

1206      B Alderman – web site maintenance August - October                                                       £   60.00

1207      Claire PB & Jonathan PR Ltd printing for carols round the tree                                      £   40.00

1208      D Williams clerk salary December & January                                                                    £  731.83

1209      R A Mortimer – path sweeping & phone box clean                                                              £  75.90

1210      JRB Enterprises Ltd dog poop scoop bags Meadows                                                  £   64.39

D/D      Anglian Water - village hall chargeback £ 138.87, allotments £ 32.50                               £   71.37

D/D      British Gas – village hall chargeback                                                                                      £  103.89

D/D      E.On village hall chargeback                                                                                                 £ 193.26

TOTAL PAYMENTS                                                                                                             £ 2,101.97

(b)Funds Received

Since the last financial report, the following funds have been received:-

Allotments – plot rentals £ 31.00

Nat West Bank – interest £ 1.02

TOTAL RECEIPTS £ 32.02

(c) Financial statement & Bank Reconciliation

Following the above transactions there is a credit balance on current account of      £ 9,126.71

on reserve account          £ 10,171.21

                       Total £ 19,297.92

of which the balance held in reserve for the White Colne Meadows project is                 £ 449.36

and the balance held in reserve for the Local Heritage Initiative Fund is                         £ 1,280.25

and the balance held in reserve for the Community Design Group is                               £ 3,798.46

Total of allocated funds is          £ 5,528.07

        Balance of unallocated funds is £ 13,769.85

Bank Balance 16.11.09                      £ 21,367.87

Plus total receipts                                     £ 32.02

Sub Total                                           £ 21,399.89

Less Total Payments                         £ 2,101.97

Bank balance 18.01.10                     £ 19,297.92

The bank statements were signed by the chairman accordingly.

(d) The budget for the financial year from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 was discussed, and draft figures were

considered in detail and amended. Income figures agreed included £264 for allotment rentals, and £175 for newsletter

adverts. The parish support grant is to be continued by BDC at £1,711, and total income including the grant but

excluding the precept is estimated at £3,149. Expenditure figures agreed included thclerks salary increased by £44 to

£4,435, audit fees of £500, telephone box adoption reserve of £500, meadows maintenance of £1,000 and village hall

maintenance of £1,000. Total expenditure estimated at £12,427.

Cllr Nolan proposed a precept of £9,788, the same as last years figure. This was agreed and total income of £12,937

was agreed, resulting in an excess of income over expenditure of £510. The council tax for each band D property will

be £47.94, a reduction on lasyears figure of £49.59.141. HIGHWAYS

Cllr Pearcey said together with Cllr Adlem they met ECC Highways regarding the siting of bus stops, which are at present both formal and informal, and we await confirmation that the proposals are acceptable. We will have this same new contact at ECC for the installation of the bus shelters.

Cllr Pearcey said that following further damage to the wall at Colneford Hill a meeting with ECC Highways has been arranged and it was agreed that a letter be sent to ECC Highways before the meeting giving details of the letters that we have sent to residents at the bottom of the green asking them not to park. Cllr Pearcey agreed to prepare a letter for the clerk to send. Cllr Abrahams said that the damage was due to the turning circle of lorries at the junction.

Cllr Pearcey referred to a letter received from ECC Highways regarding the parish council’s application for funding for a Speed Indicator Device (SID). They advise us that they will not maintain the SID after 2 years from installation, and their scale of charges was advised. This was noted and as these charges were similar to those originally advised, it was agreed that the parish council wish to proceed and the clerk was asked to reply accordingly.


141. HIGHWAYS

Cllr Pearcey said together with Cllr Adlem they met ECC Highways regarding the siting of bus stops, which are at present both formal and informal, and we await confirmation that the proposals are acceptable. We will have this same new contact at ECC for the installation of the bus shelters.

Cllr Pearcey said that following further damage to the wall at Colneford Hill a meeting with ECC Highways has been arranged and it was agreed that a letter be sent to ECC Highways before the meeting giving details of the letters that we have sent to residents at the bottom of the green asking them not to park. Cllr Pearcey agreed to prepare a letter for the clerk to send. Cllr Abrahams said that the damage was due to the turning circle of lorries at the junction.

Cllr Pearcey referred to a letter received from ECC Highways regarding the parish council’s application for funding for a Speed Indicator Device (SID). They advise us that they will not maintain the SID after 2 years from installation, and their scale of charges was advised. This was noted and as these charges were similar to those originally advised, it was agreed that the parish council wish to proceed and the clerk was asked to reply accordingly.


142. WHITE COLNE COMMUNITY DESIGN GROUP

Cllr Adlem said that the design statement was being put together for public consultation and the committee hoped that a draft document would be available for the annual village meeting in April. A pub will be arranged for the day of the launch as a pub and a shop were requested in the questionnaire.


143. ALLOTMENTS

Cllr Watt said that a water leak is being investigated. He will approach parishioners on the waiting list to fill the plot vacancies. Cllr Taylor said that the validity of a square rod as a unit of measurement of plots had been questioned, and it was agreed therefore to use square metres with square rods in brackets in future, and the invoices in September should reflect that.


144. CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED WHICH IS NOT DEALT WITH ELSEWHERE

Letter received from BDC in response to our enquiry, advising that the Street Scene Partnership agreement can be continued and asking for an invoice of £765.51. It was agreed that the clerk can sign the agreement and submit the invoice as requested.

Email from Essex Air Ambulance offering to present the map showing flight routes at a parish council meeting. It was agreed to invite them to the March meeting.

Letter received from District Cllr G Spray as chairman of the Earls Colne Liaison Forum setting out the procedures for future Liaison meetings and asking for one representative from the parish council to attend the meetings.

Email received from R Mortimer setting out grasscutting costs for this year of £55 for the green and near river, £28 for hall and £55 at Meadows which were agreed. Also footpath sweeping in March, June, September, October, November and December are proposed and this and prices for 2010 of £68 per sweep were agreed.

Email from BDC regarding a meeting to discuss a possible Shopper Bus. Cllr Pearcey agreed to attend.

Email received from David Smith, Percival & Co proposing a meeting with the agents for ECC, Lamberts, regarding a proposed draft planning application for the land at the rear of the village hall, and Cllrs Adlem, Abrahams and Taylor expressed their wish to attend with Cllr Nolan. He will make the arrangements.


145. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Cllr Pearcey asked whether any response had been received from District Cllr C Siddall regarding the investigation he undertook to do on the BDC policy on protected lanes regarding damage being done to Boley Road. As no response had been received Cllr Pearcey said that he would follow this up.

Cllr Pearcey asked if a regular agenda item of matters arising from the minutes could follow after the approval of the minutes. This was agreed.

Cllr Abrahams asked if the details of the Linear Path had been received from Highways. As this had not been received it was agreed that the clerk would write to Highways, refer to the minutes of the last cluster meeting and ask for the route of the Linear Path in order that we can try to identify the landowners who would be involved.


There being no further business the parish council meeting was closed at 9.30 pm.







Chairperson………………………………………………….   Date……………………………………….


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