Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Monday, 13th July 2015, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell; Mr A Ward; Dr S Bauer; Mr J Cobbett; Mr D Ardley; Cllr P Waite & Mrs V Smith, Parish Clerk
In attendance: Two members of the public
1. Apologies for absence: Mr A Bennett (illness), Cllr J Whittle (commitments) and Cllr Mrs D Parvin
2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none
Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – Mr J Cobbett – an interest in planning application for Fern Cottage, 26 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne (neighbours)
Requests for Dispensations – none
3. 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.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
5b. Deposit taken from all hirers of the pavilion – Mr M Bedwell said that a deposit or full payment should be taken in advance from all hirers of the pavilion. The hiring agreement for the pre-school has been accepted by both parties.
7c. The Parish Council would like to thank the PCSO’s for the removal of the car at the entrance of Greenway Court Road prior to the fete.
7f. Dr S Bauer has checked with the Police whether cars can mount and drive along the kerbs, and it is illegal. Unfortunately, the roads in the village were not designed for HGV’s, but there is no alternative route for them if they need access to neighbouring farms. Mr M Bedwell stated that sometimes you have no option but to mount the kerb if an oncoming HGV cannot reverse and it is filling up all of the road. Kent Highways have put some posts up upon pavements to prevent vehicles mounting pavements. Attention was drawn to the narrow gap outside Cotuam’s Hall in Eyhorne Street which frequently has traffic problems and where there is no proper pavement. The Clerk will write to the Highways department again and ask for them to evaluate the area. Action: The Clerk
12b. The Millennium Green land registry documents are with A Ward and the Maidstone Borough Council, and we wait for a report.
5. Chairman’s Report
a. Thank you to everyone for making the June Fete such a great success (stallholders and visitors included).
b. Very sadly, Mrs Jan Fry passed away a day after our last Parish meeting. The Parish Council sends their sincere condolences to Reverend Nigel Fry and his family.
c. The irresponsible parking outside of the school by parents is now very dangerous for children and motorists. Cars are parked on the grass verges, the zig-zag lines, on the opposite side of the school and very near the railway bridge along Eyhorne Street. Monday was exceptionally busy with no gaps on the road beyond the school playing field. The parents can easily park outside of the Cardwell Pavilion when it is required. J Cobbett suggested that the Lance Memorial Field could be opened up for parking on special occasions for the school, e.g. sports day. The Clerk will contact the PCSO and write to the school requesting more enforcement with regards to the parking. Action: The Clerk.
d. A great number of the villager’s BT telephone lines are not working properly, even though BT are not accepting responsibility and have informed villagers that the problem lies with their telephones. The telephone makes an ‘engaged’ tone, and then a ‘dialling’ tone when dialling a number, to then return to a persistent ‘engaged’ tone. You have to dial a telephone number several times to actually make a call. When a BT Openreach contractor was approached about this, he stated that the local exchange is outdated and the lines are inadequate. J. Cobbett mentioned that he had been in touch with local MP Mrs Helen Whately on the question of broadband speed and that he had been advised that she would be discussing the state of the Hollingbourne exchange with BT management this week. The Clerk will write to BT, to complain about this problem and seek their action/response. Action: The Clerk
6. Neighbourhood Plan – none to report.
7. Crime Report
a. PCSO Thomas Maybank provided us with the June 2015 crime report for Hollingbourne, and it was as follows: Crime reports: 16th, 18th and 20th June – criminal damage (under £5000) in Eyhorne Street, and 20th June – criminal damage (under £5000) in Manor Lane. Anti-Social Behaviour reported, 11th July – nuisance vehicle in Greenway Court Road. However, regarding the criminal damage in the figures, these four incidents should not worry any other residents, and reassurance visits have been conducted to the involved parties.
b. High visibility policing have been carried out throughout the village.
c. The issue mentioned at the last meeting about speeding and for the police to lay out cones – the Police would not be able to provide a long term solution regarding this matter. Residents would need to apply to the council in order to place any signage / to change any speed restrictions. The Police would only be able to enforce the current speed limit through the use of constables speed checking. This is not something that PCSO Tom can carry out himself, but he can carry out speed watch checks with residents if that is something they would be interested in. Speed watch would involve standing on the side of the road with a device that flashes with the driver’s speed. This is not enforceable but it is intended to slow the driver down.
8. Clerk’s Report –
a. The After School Club has now requested the use of the pavilion for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons only.
b. The Clerk suggested that wider coverage about village planning applications with more information be placed on the village website. The Clerk will see if a compatible format document can be downloaded onto the website to this effect, so that everybody has access to this information.
9. Health & Safety / Cardwell Pavilion Report – Mr D Ardley
a. The fire extinguishers have been tested at the Cardwell Pavilion, but a programme of what needs testing has to be produced so that we do not miss any safety checks. This programme would also include the date of an annual review, asbestos check, electrical and PAT testing and boiler service. The Clerk will arrange for the illuminated emergency lights to be checked. A Ward will produce a list of items that need regular checks within the building.
b. It was noted that at the Fete a disabled person was not able to use the toilets, as they had steps, and they had to go home due to lack of facilities. The Cardwell does not have a disabled toilet and the storeroom / shower room is in a dismal state; the ceiling is starting to come down and the roof is possibly leaking.
c. Mr D Ardley wonders if we could incorporate a lot more facilities on the Lance Memorial Field, and a possible enlargement of the Pavilion. The central location of the building and field could be used by the whole of the village, for example the school and the cricket club. Mr A Ward stated that he has looked into this previously – combining the school and the parish council land. If this was the case the school could extend its facilities, and use the Lance Memorial field instead.
10. County Councillor’s Report – (late entry)
a. The resurfacing of Eyhorne Street is due to take place on the 23rd – 25th July 2015, and Cllr Mrs J Whittle is looking into the other highway issues that we have regarding road marking, etc.
b. Cllr Mrs J Whittle looks forward to receiving a response from Mr Ken Bonner and the Parish Council regarding the structural testing of the street-lights.
11. Borough Councillor’s Report – none to report
12. Planning Report – Cllr P Waite
a. 15/505331/FULL – Eyhorne Green, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne, ME17 1UU
Proposal: Erection of 7 dwellings on part of builder’s yard, and associated landscaping works.
Result: OBJECT –
Reason: Insufficient car parking space; overcrowding – too many properties for the site and it is not felt that their design is in keeping with a rural area; accessibility for emergency vehicles on a single track road; disturbance to landscaping; the properties would overlook the cottages in Musket Lane and the concerns over the drainage and sewerage systems being able to cope with seven new properties. Five Councillors voted in OBJECTION, one Councillor voted DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT.
b. 15/504418/OUT – Pine Cottage, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, ME17 1XH
Proposal: Outline (all matters reserved) – construction of one 4-bedroom house.
Result: OBJECT – Reason: The Parish Council object against new dwellings on green-field sites. If we accept one, many more will follow, to the detriment of our countryside.
c. 15/504237/FULL – 103 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne, Kent
Proposal: Construction of detached 3-bedroom dwelling and detached garage to rear of existing dwelling.
Result: OBJECT – Concern about surface and foul water drainage, and the lack of infrastructure available for extra properties in this area. It was also felt that the property was too big and not in keeping for the area. This decision was voted upon via email: with three Councillors objecting, one Councillor abstaining (neighbour) and two Councillors not wishing to object.
d. 15/503911/FULL – Fern Cottage, 26 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Retrospective application for replacement shed. Result: DNWTO
e. 15/504046/FULL – Elm Cottage, 9 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Detached single garage/car port. Result: DNWTO
f. 15/503288/OUT – Land at Woodcut Farm, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Outline application for a mixed commercial development, etc.
Update: OBJECT –A meeting is to take place on Wednesday, 15th July with regards to this planning application, as the Labour Group, MBC, are in support of it.
g. 14/501895/HYBRID – Waterside Park, M20, Junction 8
Update: The Public Inquiry into Waterside Park finished on the 21st May 2015 and we are waiting for its outcome.
h. Planning Sub-Commitee – Mr P Waite stated that the sub-committee system worked well in other Parish Councils, as it avoids panic emails relating to planning applications when their response times do not coincide with Parish meetings. Mr A Ward said that the planning applications are increasing and with so many applications they should be addressed as a meeting of Councillors.
13. Environmental Report –
a. Some of the hedges along the footpaths are now very overgrown. The Clerk will write to Wealden Homes to ask who is responsible for the footpaths on the stretch opposite Godfrey House. Action: The Clerk
b. Mr A Snowdon reported seeing a rare pyramid orchid on the verge to the entrance of the village.
c. Mr J Cobbett had contacted the BBC to see if he could get a reduction in costs as BBC3 will shortly be only available online and our internet is not fast enough. Their response is being monitored by local MP Mrs Helen Whately.
14. Fête Report
a. The PA system needs some more planning for the next year’s fete as it needed a lot of operational support and no volunteer was available.
b. The programme was too congested, with too many events. In future, a half hour time slot for a display needs to consist of twenty minutes for the display and then a ten minute break. This will give the compère a chance to draw breath and announce the next event.
c. There were not enough tables and chairs at the event and it is not convenient to be borrowing tables from other village organisations. Consideration was given to the possibility of not supplying tables to stall holders in future years.
d. Mr A Bennett had mentioned at the previous post-fete meeting that the food was a little expensive on the BBQ and Hog Roast stalls but it was noted that these are the key areas in which the Parish Council generates the necessary income for the Fete and that the prices had not increased for several years.
e. J. Cobbett reported that two people had complained about the lack of the usual prize best stall. It was resolved to reinstate this at the next Fete on 11th June 2016.
f. The next fete meeting for the 2016 fete will be on the Monday, 21st September 2015, 8pm, at The Dirty Habit PH.
15. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – Councillor M Bedwell
There was a Kent Messenger report (10th July) regarding the problems experienced by the villagers regarding the off-road motorcyclists and quad bikes. The club website is very quiet at the moment and we hope that this marks the end of the troubles. The Parish Council would like to thank Cllr Mrs D Parvin and Cllr A Bennett for all of their efforts in this matter, and in encouraging Alan Howell, MBC, to address the issue.
a. Cllr J Cobbett informed us that the visitors from Templeuve had very much enjoyed the fete, and Hollingbourne residents had been to the successful the Witches and Street Music Festival on the 20th June 2015. Our twinning friends are today celebrating Bastille Day in France.
b. The next event is on the 19th September – Bowls and Boules Day at Lenham Community Centre with supper at the Dog and Bear PH.
c. The Hollingbourne players celebrated winning the Golf Tournament in France on the 22nd June 2015.
17. Financial Report
a. The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £42,840.46 in the bank.
18. Street Lighting
a. Mr Ken Bonner, street-lighting contractor, is going to form a plan to up-date the street-lights and costings, and is carrying out structural testing of the lights.
19. Items for Information –
a. The village Church have launched a website to raise the profile of the Hollingbourne Benefice, to encourage the interest of possible new possible clergy.
b. On the 23rd July 2015, there is an open meeting of the Deanery Synod in Lenham where options for the future will be discussed.
c. With regards to the road closure of Eyhorne Street. On the 23rd July the road will be resurfaced from the Great Danes Hotel to Tilefields, and on the 24th July, from Tilefields to Greenway Court Road
d. A suspicious vehicle drove into the Cardwell Pavilion car-park on the Sunday after the fete, and again recently. For the sake of security, the gates will now be locked, and the Clerk will inform the regular hirers.
Date of next Parish Council meeting: Monday, 14th September 2015, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: