Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 13 June 2016 in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr J Cobbett, Mr M Gray, Mr D Ardley, Mr A Bennett, Mrs A Bennett
In attendance: Mr Patrik Garten (Borough Councillor), Ms Sarah Feasey and Jean-Paul Collet (Southern Water), two members of the public and Mrs V Smith (Parish Clerk).
In the absence of the Chairman (Mr M Bedwell) and the Vice-Chairman (Mr A Ward), Mr Bennett offered to chair the meeting: the Councillors agreed.
1. Apologies for absence: Mr Bedwell (previous engagement); Mr Ward (business); Cllr Mrs J Whittle (family commitments) and Dr S Bauer.
2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – Mr D Ardley as he is a neighbour of the residents at 3 Tilefields Close (planning application); 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)
5d. The Clerk is chasing the matter of the redefinition of the white lines at the Hollingbourne roundabout.
12a. The Parish Council is happy to announce that Wealden Homes, developers of the 14 houses being built adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street, have contributed £78,388.58 to the KCC and MBC in relation to the site. £22,050 of this sum is an ‘open space contribution’ under Clause 9 of the S106 Agreement, definition being: Open Space Facilities means the maintenance, replacement and renewal of existing play equipment and outdoor sports facilities and/or the installation of new facilities at Hollingbourne Recreation Ground and Cardwell Play Areas. The Clerk will contact Maidstone BC with a view to receiving this money.
18d. Cllr J Cobbett reported that, upon investigation, it was not imperative that a food hygiene certificate qualification should be obtained by the Parish Council for the barbecue at the fête; however, as a precaution the qualification was achieved in advance of the fête.
5. Chairman’s Report (submitted by Mr Bedwell prior to the meeting)
a. Cllr Bedwell thanked everybody for their help at the fête, which was held on 11 June 2016. The event went extremely well with a very favourable opening by Sir David Steel, Cief Executive of Leeds Castle Foundation, who very kindly stayed longer to give prizes to the children after the races.
6. Crime Report –PCSO Ryan Waring (via email)
a. Hollingbourne crime figures 6 May – 14 June 2016. One crime report was created this month: 12 June 2016, burglary other than dwelling, A20, Hollingbourne. There were no cases of anti-social behaviour.
b. Recently several vehicles have been parked on the grass verge on Greenway Court Road close to the junction with the A20. We have attended for both vehicles and managed to get them moved. Please report any further vehicles via 101 and we will continue to try and get them moved.
c. The PCSOs have arranged a security event looking at both home and equine security. In attendance will be local Police, Kent Horse Watch, Neighbourhood Watch and a local security company. Details as follows: doors open at 7.30 pm, Tuesday 14th June 2016 at Hollingbourne Village Hall (behind The Windmill PH, Eyhorne Street). Refreshments will be provided.
7. Possible Development between Godfrey House and Claygate – nothing to report.
8. Village Sewerage Inspection Report– Sarah Feasey and Jean-Paul Collet – Southern Water
a. It was confirmed that the foul water disposal within the village is not perfect and a ‘jetter’ is needed for regular clearance of the pipes. Since 2011 there has been a history of blockages in the sewerage pipes in Hasteds. In September 2011 a sewerage monitor was set in the pipes and when the level of effluent reaches a certain level it sets off an alarm at Southern Water so they know when to attend. Since 2013, heavy jetting has taken place within the village every three months, controlling the situation. Heavy jetting is part of regular maintenance programmes and towards the end of last year CCTV showed that there is a ‘belly’ within the Hasteds area pipework. The ‘belly’ is where any items which have been inappropriately flushed down the toilet, eg. wet wipes, gather together and cause a blockage. Regular jetting has kept it clear, but Southern Water is now working to find remedial works for this section of pipe. The resident of Hasteds most affected by the maintenance work has met with Jean-Paul to discuss this matter. It was confirmed that ‘tankering’ sucks out flow from pipes when the levels of effluent are too high. Jetting is high-pressure water which dislodges and removes blockages. The ‘belly’ is 1.5–2 metres long, under a lake within the Grove Mill Cottage garden: the owners have kindly let Southern Water investigate. Southern Water have adopted an ‘In-to’ style technique to repair pipes using the existing pipework. Manhole chambers are placed approximately every 50 metres and Southern Water predict that they need to replace about 62 metres of pipework. The new technique involves isolating the part to be replaced by maintaining the sewerage disposal at each side of the section, therefore stopping foul water contaminating the lake/river. This leaves the problem area dry and ready to work on. Replacement of the pipe consists of ‘dragging’ a new pipe through the existing pipework and once when it is safely in place ‘bursting’ the old pipework around it. Sewerage pipes are usually made of clay, but it has been found that some of the pipes in the area are spun iron which means that a different engineering technique will need to be adopted to burst this pipe. Once the plan is in place the work should take less than a week to carry out, and pipes will be ‘upsized’ by Southern Water simultaneously.
b. Local residents mentioned overflowing storm drains, particularly in the area of Tanyard Cottage, and the surface water drains at the corner of Eyhorne Street to the river. Jean-Paul said that these pipes have been surveyed very recently and they all look correct. However, the flooding started about a year ago, and water comes from the manhole. Catherine Moreton of KCC has advised Cllr Cobbett that a survey will take place in the area. On 12 April 2016 at 10.50 am local residents contacted KCC regarding flooding, receiving a promise of a response within thirty days! The residents repeated their call on 22 May at 8.45 pm as flooding was in the property but nobody responded from KCC. Sarah confirmed that road gullies are connected on the KCC system, and Jean-Paul will contact Catherine Moreton on the resident’s behalf. The overload of surface water will pour into the foul water systems, so if there are problems such as this they affect Southern Water. Foul water is treated by Southern Water before it enters the environment, but surface water discharges straight into rivers. This is why the Environmental Agency is very strict about the residents and companies not contaminating surface water systems.
c. Southern Water relies on the public spirit of people in reporting faults and giving the company access to manhole chambers, etc. However, they do have statutory powers to carry out works and they would gain a warrant within 48 hours if necessary.
9. Possible Closure of Christopher’s in early 2017
a. Shula informed the Council that she has received many positive thoughts and ideas about the future of the village shop, but it needs to be a viable business. People need to use the shop, and without customers there is no business. The Parish Council want to help, but will need to see the financial books, including rent, rates, out-goings and margins before they can make a decision. Shula will return to the September Parish Meeting with this information. Cllr Gray asked if it is a definite decision to close in 2017 and Shula – on Christopher’s behalf – confirmed that it would be unless a decision was made beforehand to save it.
10. Clerk’s Report –
a. The decision on obtaining a shipping container to house the fête equipment at the Cardwell Pavilion will be deferred to next month’s meeting.
b. The Maidstone BC Parking Enforcement department have provided double yellow lines within the ‘pull-in’ opposite The Pavings. Vehicles illegally parked within this bay will now risk receiving a parking fine.
11. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle (via email)
a. The fête was very enjoyable, and well done to all who organised and participated at the event.
b. Cllr Mrs Whittle reaffirmed that there would be a £8,000 contribution given to the lighting scheme.
c. A meeting is also being arranged with Stagecoach, Mrs Whittle, Mr Bedwell and the Clerk regarding adjusting the bus service which runs between Ashford and Maidstone. Cllr Garten would also like to attend the meeting and the Clerk will advise him of the date and time.
d. A Find and Fix scheme on verges and potholes is being launched across the district from 14 June 2016.
12. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
a. With regard to a possible speed restriction within the village of 20 mph, speed bumps can be installed only within an area furnished with street lights; the lighting in the village is termed ‘footway’ lighting due to the large spacing between lights. It was noted that in Boxley they do have speed bumps without streetlights, but made from rubber and bolted to the road to keep costs low. A speed restriction outside Hollingbourne School should be the priority.
b. Cllr Garten offered his greatest compliments to the Fête Committee. The fête had been brilliant and the children’s races were a very popular highlight of the day for his son.
c. Cllr Garten has met with the neighbours of 21 Eyhorne Street and the Planning Officer, Kathryn Altieri, regarding the planning application to convert five ground-floor garages to a self-contained two-bedroom dwelling. The decision regarding this application is ‘up in the air’. The property is a 1960s building and therefore not listed and while the development itself is not objectionable, the access to it is. Logistics and access are not objectionable under planning law, but the owners of neighbouring houses have a Covenant of Right of Acces, which allows access to people behind the houses. There is also the question of where building materials would be stored, and as heavy vehicles cannot get between numbers 21 and 23 Eyhorne Street, building materials would have to be transported in wheelbarrows. Cllr Garten has strongly suggested to the neighbours that they join together and enlist a solicitor. They should also make sure that they have indemnity insurance for the foundations of the houses. Covenant of Right of Access would be the reason for rejection.
d. Cllr Garten is keeping an eye on issues such as street cleansing and the sewerage maintenance in the village and is liaising with Cllr Mrs Whittle.
13. Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett
a. 16/503517/FULL – 3 Tilefields Close, Hollingbourne.
Proposal: relocation of boundary line to access drive and construction of new masonry boundary wall. Decision: Parish Councillors able to vote: do not wish to object.
b. 16/504048/FULL – Fourteen houses on land adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street.
Proposal: variation of condition 5 of MA/14/0475 to enable each dwelling to have individual access to Sky television by satellite dish. Deletion of words ‘communal television’, ‘satellite dishes’ and ‘satellite dish’. Decision: do not wish to object.
c. 16/504055/FULL – 9 Culpeper Close, Hollingbourne
Proposal: construction of first floor side and part rear extension. Decision: Do not wish to object.
d. 16/503979/FULL – Car Wash, Maple Leaf Garage, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: demolition of office and canopy with the erection of the replacement canopy and erection of new workshop. Decision: do not wish to object.
e. 16/504318/LBC/AW2 – Brooms Hall, Broad Street Hill, Hucking
Proposal: Listed building consent for replacement boiler, hot water cylinder, radiators and pipework. Decision: do not wish to object.
14. Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan – Cllr J Cobbett
a. The report is available for the public’s information between September and into 2017.
15. Environmental Report – Cllr Dr S Bauer
a. Cllr Mrs Bennett asked whether rules for a fence also apply to a hedge when encroaching on a pavement. At Bourneside Terrace, Eyhorne Street, residents of which are often partially-sighted, elderly or disabled, the hedge severely overhangs the pavement, is hazardous for the neighbourhood and needs a substantial cut rather than just a trim. Golding Homes, the property maintenance company, have advised that the work will be carried out within a week. The Clerk will write to Golding Homes after this time if the work is still outstanding. She will also write to Mr Dudley Wright, owner of the hedge near the school as this hedge also needs a cut. Action: The Clerk
b. Cllr Ardley pointed out that the bench near the railway bridge is surrounded by so many nettles it would be impossible to sit on. Verges within the village are not in good condition and require urgent tidying.
16. War Memorial Project – Mr and Mrs Bennett
a. A working party for the restoration of the War Memorial is to be formed by Mr Derek Davison, RBL, the WI and Cllrs Mr and Mrs Bennett. Sources of funding will be sought to carry out the work which will include adding names and correcting those which are misspelled. A meeting is soon to be arranged.
17. Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr Ward – nothing to report.
18. Station Approach Recycling Area – Cllr Cobbett
a. The responsibility for the land at Station Approach is divided between Southeastern Railway (tarmac track) and Network Rail (land on either side of the track and the trimming of verges). The recycling site is on Network Rail land. There is no formal agreement between Maidstone BC and Network Rail, and Cllr Cobbett is in touch with both parties. Nor is there any legal agreement showing that the Parish Council has taken over the maintenance of the site or the recycling banks.
b. Another problem is to do with the old goods yard, now behind chained gates, on the approach close to the station itself. There is regular fly-tipping here, including children’s toys. Cllr Cobbett is pressing for Network Railway to tidy up this area.
19. Fête Report – Cllr Ardley
a. The fête was a success and well supported. Unfortunately, the weather changed for the worse later in the day, and many people left the fête before the band and paella could be enjoyed.
b. The fête closing meeting will be on Monday 27 June 2016 at 8pm in The Dirty Habit.
20. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – Mr Bennett
a. Cllr Bennett has spoken to Alan Howell, Enforcement Officer at Maidstone BC, who hinted that there had been a decline of interest in quad biking. The club organisers felt that it was very unlikely that they would meet their limit of events for this year, and it may be as few as six or seven times.
21. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr Cobbett
a. Fifty-five visitors from Templeuve-en-Pévèle attended the fête and they were very impressed with the day.
b. The Hollingbourne Golf Society versus Templeuve-en-Pévèle Golf Tournament took place today. Glenn Bryan, Hollingbourne golf organiser reported: ‘The day was a success. Hollingbourne had 18 golfers but one of the French golfers dropped out at the last minute due to a bad back. This complicated the scoring. Hollingbourne scored 429 points with 18 players and Templeuve scored 405 points with 17 players. When the scores were averaged out it meant that Hollingbourne won by 0.01 of a point. The game was officially declared a draw so The Dirty Habit trophy remains in The Dirty Habit because we won it last time.’
c. To mark Remembrance Day, on 11 November there will be an Armistice Day Ceremony in Templeuve. Following this on 12 and 13 November Templeuve War Veterans and others will visit Leeds
Castle and Canterbury and also attend the Hollingbourne Remembrance Day service.
22. Financial Report
a. The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £51,368.43 in the bank.
23. Street Lighting – Cllr Cobbett
a. Cllr Cobbett reported that a quotation had been received by the street lighting contractors for the LED upgrade required, in the style of a ‘faux gas lamp’ on black lamp-poles. The lamps have to be in good proportion to the pole lengths, and now is the time to address any issues. Cllr Ardley enquired if the KCC will then adopt the lights. Cllr Cobbett is reliably informed that this would not take place.
Date of next meeting: Monday 11 July 2016, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: