February 2017 Minutes.

The Minutes of the Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting of 13th February 2017 that were approved at the Pariah Council Meeting on 13th March 2017.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 13th February 2017, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.

 

Present:           Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), A Ward (Vice Chairman), Mr D Ardley, Mr J Cobbett, Dr S Bauer, Mr A Bennett, Mr M Gray and Mr S Hulme.

In attendance:             Cllr Mr Patrik Garten – Borough Councillor, five members of the public including Mr Matthew Blythin, Director, DHA Group and colleague as well as Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.

 

  1. Apologies for absence: PCSO Dave Rowley (work commitments) & Cllr Mrs J Whittle – KCC

 

  1. Declarations and Requests

Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda –Cllr J Cobbett is unable to mention on the planning proposal on the land to the west of Windmill Lane, Eyhorne Street as they live by or own land in close proximity to the area in question, and cannot vote on the planning application (tree removal) at April Cottage, as they are his neighbours.

Requests for Dispensations – none

 

  1. Approval of minutes of last meeting (circulated prior to meeting)

It was resolved that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting.

 

  1. Matters arising(not covered elsewhere on the agenda – from the previous minutes)

14b.                        The advertising vehicle still remains parked on the Junction 8 roundabout.  The Parish Council is liaising with the Enforcement Department, Maidstone BC about the matter.

5e.  Mrs A Bennett had sent an open letter of apology to the Chairman and Parish Councillors regarding the recent correspondence following her resignation, which was distributed to the members and read out.

26a. On behalf of Hollingbourne, Liz Willy remains the present correspondent for the Kent Messenger.

 

  1. Chairman’s Report –
  2. There has been a huge increase in fly-tipping particularly along the Greenway Court Road. Cllr P Garten reminded the Parish Council and villagers that every separate incident of fly-tipping should be reported online or by telephone to the Maidstone BC so that it can quickly be removed.  Do not tackle its removal yourself as there are dangers of health and safety when dealing with unidentified substances.

 

  1. Crime Report – PCSO Dave Rowley (via email)
  2. The Hollingbourne crime figures for 9th January 2017 to the 12th February 2017 are: 10th January 2017 – Eyhorne Green – dog incident – the dog owner has been cautioned and at this time the incident has also been reported to the Maidstone BC Dog Warden, 15th January – A20 – theft of vehicle bumper/number plate, 25th January – Eyhorne Street – theft of power tool, 28th January – Musket Lane – criminal damage to fence, 1st February – Village Hall – criminal damage to door lock.  There were three reports of making off without payment from Junction 8 services.  There were no calls made to the Police in relation to anti-social behaviour in or around the village.
  3. The PCSO did receive an email regarding a resident being approached by a male asking about their dog. The Police are experiencing an increase in dog thefts in rural areas and cannot stress enough how important it is to call the Police immediately if residents have any suspicions or are approached by persons asking about their dogs.
  4. The PCSO’s are arranging a bicycle marking event to be held at the Cardwell Pavilion and will liaise with the Clerk and Chairman for a suitable time and date.

 

  1. War Memorial Update – Mr D Davison

Mr D Davison was very glad to announce that funding had been granted for the war memorial refurbishment and necessary works will take place shortly.  The War Memorial Working Group and the Parish Council would like to offer its sincere thanks and gratitude to the retailers supplying the funds.

 

  1. Mr Matthew Blythin (Director), DHA Group – 10 houses on the land East of Eyhorne Street

Mr Blythin spoke to the Parish Council about the proposed ten residential dwellings on the land East of Eyhorne Street, between Godfrey House and Claygate, the land of which is mentioned upon the Maidstone BC Local Plan.

 

The developers have read about the concerns of the Parish Council with regards to new houses in the village, and a long time has been taken in the design of the properties and preliminary inspections.  A sustainable drainage scheme has been designed for the site with attenuation tanks being positioned on the land to the rear of Claygate.  The ditch behind the development site, which it is proposed to act as drainage to the houses belongs to a member of the public present at the meeting.  DHA will speak to him about this matter.  In addition, a number of surveys have been carried out for the protection of bats and great-crested newts.  A sewerage capacity check has also been carried out by Southern Water and it has been confirmed that the existing system can cope with the development and together with the recent upgrade of the pipe-work within the village the developers are confident that there will not be any problems in this area.  DHA will send a copy of the sewerage capacity check to Cllr P Garten.

Mr Blythin pointed out to the Parish Council that the proposed dwellings are all slightly different in design, for example, varying styles of chimney stack.  Cllr Ward and Cllr Ardley asked Mr Blythin about land behind the proposed development, its access to the houses and the protection from the further building of dwellings upon it.  Mr Blythin confirmed plans for access and said that the land would be left as it was.   The Section 21 grant issued by the developers has been requested by the KCC to go to the Harrietsham school rather than Hollingbourne. It was thought that possibly this was because Harrietsham was and could be increased in size, whilst Hollingbourne is limited in its potential for growth.  A traffic survey was carried out in September 2015, but this was to ascertain traffic speeds and not the volume.  Cllr A Bennett is concerned that too much confidence has been placed by the developers on the public transport links being used within the village and people tend to drive their own vehicles.  The village has a train station but the future of the bus service is questionable.  Cllr S Hulme asked about how long the proposed time span would be between in building and selling the houses.  Mr Blythin advised that the houses would be built as soon as possible, with a market to occupation of twenty-four months.

It was felt by the Parish Council that this is a very sensitive planning proposal and if the developers can work with the least upset to the local residents all the better.  The building of the houses in Godfrey Meadow had meant that Eyhorne Street was closed for a fortnight in laying pipes and installing utility services and this did not impress the villagers.  DHA confirmed that wheel washing of construction vehicles would be the standard practice.   Cllr P Garten advised that generally the proposed development had been seen positively even though it is not within the ‘affordable housing’ criteria.  The main criticism of the planning proposal was the additional traffic it would bring into the village.

Mr  Matthew Blythin and his colleague are the design company for the proposed residential dwellings and confirmed that any questions that he could not answer at the meeting, on behalf of the development company, would be looked into and related back to the Parish Council.

 

  1. ‘Christopher’s Village Shop and its future
  2. The Clerk has liaised with Christopher and Shula with regards to the village shop and they are positive about its future. However, in essence, the villagers need to support the shop in order to keep it open and the personal question is ‘are you doing your part’?
  3. Christopher gave the Parish Council a written report being: “Since announcing my intention to stop running the shop by, at the latest, the end of the first quarter 2017, I have had discussions with four or five parties who have expressed a serious interest in taking over from me.  Unfortunately, these have come to nothing.  I understand that preliminary attempts to set up a Community Shop are not encouraging.  I do not want the shop to close.  Accordingly, I am in discussion with Shula Lee and we are in the process of agreeing that I will cease to have any day to day involvement in the shop as from the 1st April 2017.  Shula will be responsible for all aspects of the daily operation of the shop.  I will retain a supporting financial involvement.  This arrangement will continue for (at least ) six months.  Shula and I will continue to review the viability of the shop throughout this period.  It is hoped that by the Autumn we should be able to see whether the shop will be able to continue trading without my involvement at all. Without more customers there is a real prospect that the shop will have to close.  Shula has a number of ideas to achieve more customer footfall and I am hopeful that the village will support her in her endeavours to keep the shop from closing.  Anything the Parish Council can do to help her will be much appreciated.  We will put an update in the Parish Magazine for April 2017”.

 

 

 

  1. Clerk’s Report
  2. The Clerk advised the Parish Council that the Hollingbourne Primary School had received a ‘comfortably’ good Ofsted result, and a written report from the inspectors was shown to the Councillors. The term ‘comfortably’ meant that the school was nearly meeting an outstanding result and was therefore not struggling to achieve a good standard.

 

  1. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle (via email) – none to report.

 

  1.             Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
  2. Cllr P Garten reported on the verges which are on the approach to the village from the A20. The verges are the Maidstone BC responsibility and are inspected every six weeks.  All the residents in Hollingbourne like to see the verges clean and tidy but Cllr Garten felt that the footpath along Eyhorne Street was more concerning than the entrance to the village at present.  Cllr M Gray said that the fact that the motorway is so close to the verge does not help its cleanliness and the Ashford Road between the roundabout approach to the village and Chegworth Road is very prone to fly-tipping.  Cllr P Garten stressed that if a member of the public pays a private waste carrier company for its services they must check that they have a waste carriers licence for its safe disposal, otherwise they maybe inadvertently adding to the problem of fly-tipping.
  3. Cllr P Garten felt upset and disappointed that there had been a disagreement between himself and Cllr J Cobbett over ‘open government’ and sensitive items being placed upon the website, when a meeting was all that was required.

 

  1. Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett
  2. 16/508640/FULL – Land to the east of Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Erection of ten residential dwellings, together with associated access, parking, drainage and landscaping.  Decision:  OBJECT (four councillors in objection, two councillors wished to abstain and two councillors did not wish to object)

The main reasons for objection are the additional traffic the development will bring into the village and the increased pressure upon the local infrastructure, together with the fact that the houses are not viewed by the councillors in objection as ‘affordable housing’.

  1. 17/500110/FULL – land at Ashford Road, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  construction of two detached dwellings each with attached triple garage.

Decision:  OBJECT – The Parish Council does not feel that properties come under our requirements for affordable housing.  It also appears that the houses are proposed to be built on agricultural land – and this would be termed as a ‘change of use’.

  1. 16/508676/TCA – April Cottage, 28 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Tree in conservation area – remove Pine tree.  Decision:  Do not wish to object

  1. 17/500155/TCA – 6 Bank Cottages, Pilgrims Way, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Trees in conservation area:  to fell two Yew trees.  Decision:  Do not wish to object.

  1. 17/500421/TCA – Hollingbourne Manor, Upper Street, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Tree in conservation area notification to reduce length of branches of 1 x Pine Tree.

Decision:  Do not wish to object.

  1. 16/508436/FULL – land to the west of Windmill Lane, Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Construction of 12 new dwellings, implementation of new landscape scheme, construction of new access road and associated garaging and creation of a new one acre natural woodland.

Update:  The Parish Council have previously objected to this development, particularly due to the width of the access road, but this matter is being argued by the developers.  Cllr M Bedwell said that the Police had contacted him over the planning proposal with a number of concerns.  Between some of the suggested properties the parking and visitor parking allocations are insufficient.  Potential visitors parking would block in the residents of ten and twelve which would lead to civil unrest.  The developers will look into this matter as parking in the Windmill PH could lead to additional problems.  The developer has advised the Planning Department that the refuse collection vehicle accesses the Windmill Lane to collect waste from the properties, but this simply is not true!  The residents of Windmill Lane have to bring their dustbins to the entrance of the lane so that they can be emptied by the waste operatives parked on Eyhorne Street.  The Clerk will advise the Planning Department of this fact.  Action:  The Clerk

 

  1. Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan – no further update.

 

  1. Parish Council Notice-boards
  2. It was agreed by the Parish Council that if an advertisement is in the interest of the villagers, e.g. local clubs and events, it would be appropriate to display it upon the village notice-boards. However, if the Parish Council agree to advertise items for sale or businesses they will have to say ‘yes’ to everybody and the matter would get out of hand.  A separate advertising notice-board is available at the village shop and this would be more appropriate on this occasion.
  3. The Clerk advised that it is ‘good practice’ according to the Parish Council Toolkit documentation that names and contact details of all of the Parish Councillors, together with the Clerk are placed upon the notice-boards. The Parish Councillors will advise the Clerk of their preferred method of contact.  Action:  Clerk / Parish Councillors

 

  1. Environmental Report – Cllr Dr S Bauer- There is an ongoing problem of fly-tipping.

 

  1. Community and Communication – (please see item 11.b.)
  2. Cllr Cobbett said that the village website is now on a ‘word press’ platform and it now has 20% more daily visitors.

 

  1. Cardwell Pavilion (Bookings Past and Present) – Mr M Bedwell
  2. The month’s bookings for the Cardwell Pavilion were listed in the Parish Council cashbook. The fluorescent light had its diffuser broken following a party and very disappointingly the Parish Council’s Honeywell carbon monoxide alarm has been appropriated / stolen by a hirer and replaced with a lack lustre substitute.  Cllr M Bedwell will look into who was using the hall at the time of these incidents. Cllr D Ardley asked whether a deposit should be obtained by casual hirers before they use the hall to cover the cost of broken and missing items.

 

  1. Shipping Container for the Cardwell Pavilion – Mr M Bedwell

Cllr M Bedwell cannot see that there are any problems arising by the keeping the fete equipment in a shipping container and feels that its purchase needs to take place without delay in time for the 2017 fete.  Cllr J Cobbett needs reassurance that the equipment will be safe from the effects of condensation and rust.  Cllr A Bennett suggested that a member of the Parish Council open the doors of the container and check the equipment monthly to prevent this occurring.  The purchase of the shipping container was proposed by Cllr M Bedwell, with the result of five Parish Councillors in favour of the purchase, two wishing to abstain and one Councillor against.  Subject to the final check on the works within the container the shipping container will be purchased.  The suppliers of the shipping containers are being contacted for their advice.  Action:  The  Clerk / Cllr Bedwell

 

  1. Parks / Playground Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward
  2. Cllr A Ward will chase up the legal team at the Maidstone BC with regards to the deeds of the Millennium Green.
  3. A quotation for the works to refurbish the Boules area on the Lance Memorial Field will be forwarded on to the Parish Council.

 

  1. Parish Assembly – Cllr M Gray

The Parish Assembly is going to be held on Tuesday, 25th April 2017, in the Village Hall.  Cllr Dr S Bauer kindly offered to head the event as Cllr M Gray has prior engagements for the evening although he will fully support its organisation.  The Clerk asked whether Mr Peter Rolington the instigator of Country Eye, the crime prevention ‘app’, could attend the event and talk about the launch of Heritage Watch, which took place on the 22nd February 2017.  The Parish Council have previously offered to English Heritage for Hollingbourne to be the pilot village for risk assessments of its many listed buildings and heritage crime prevention.   It was agreed by the Parish Councillors that this would be a good idea and the Clerk will contact Peter about his availability.  Action:  The Clerk

 

  1. Station Approach Recycling Area – Cllr J Cobbett
  2. There continues to be fly-tipping on the Southeastern Railway land along the Station Approach. The Maidstone BC sends enforcement to the area, but the train company had not responded to the Clerk’s request for the removal of fly-tipping and repair of footpath lights.  The Clerk will send a copy of the letter of request to Cllr P Garten and he will also pursue the matter.  Action:  The Clerk

 

  1. Fête Report – Cllr M Bedwell / Cllr D Ardley / Cllr A Ward
  2. The date of the 2017 fete is the 10th June 2017. The next fete meeting will be on Monday, 6th March 2017, 8.00 pm at The Sugar Loaves PH. The Fete committee is busy finding alternative food vendors for the fete.  As an update to the Parish Meeting, the after-school club have kindly offered to help out with the sports races at the fete.  The Clerk and the Fete committee would like to thank them for this very kind assistance,
  3. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett

On the 24 & 25th June there will be a visit to Templeuve-en-Pévèle for Boules training and fun.  The visit will include a trip to the Lille Old Town a cabaret, dinner and barbecue.  Please contact Cllr Cobbett if you would like to go on this trip.  On the 26th June the Templeuve Golf Tournament will take place in France.  Please contact Roger Graynoth on rogergraynoth@hotmail.com if you would like to take part in this event.

 

 

  1. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes –
  2. There have been incidents of off road bikes riding up and down the footpath which leads from the Church Approach down beside the church and churchyard on two Friday evenings. The riders when asked to stop their activities were disrespectful to the residents.  There is also major activity by off road bikes and 4×4’s along the Pilgrims Way, Harrietsham to Hollingbourne.  A resident of the village, walking along the road one weekend was approached by six bikes the riders whom intentionally covered the lady in mud from their wheel-spins and used threatening language.  Can the byways be downgraded to footpaths only therefore denying access to destructive off road vehicles?  Cllr M Bedwell believes that this is doubtful as tractors need to access the byways for the farmer’s fields.  All matters of this kind must be reported to the Police at the time of the incident.  The Police need the information to solve the problems and build up a picture of where the off road vehicles are destroying the byways.

 

 

  1. Village Sewerage and Drainage Report–  Cllr J Cobbett – nothing to report.

 

  1. Financial Report –
  2. The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £27,913.97 in the bank.
  3. The Parish Council asked for clarification over how the precept was decided upon for the year 2017/18. Cllr P Garten will email the Clerk the details of the precept increases.

 

  1. Street / Kerbside Lighting – Cllr J Cobbett – nothing to report.

 

  1. Items for information – all matters previously mentioned in the minutes.

 

 

 

 

Date of next meeting: Monday 13th March 2017, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne

 

 

 

 

 

Signed as a true record:                       Chairman:                                      Date: