December 2016 Minutes

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 12th December 2016, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.


Present:           Mr M Bedwell, Mr A Ward, Mr D Ardley, Mr J Cobbett, Dr S Bauer, Mr A Bennett.

In attendance:             Cllr Mr Patrik Garten – Borough Councillor, PCSO Ryan Waring, PCSO Dave Rowley, four members of the public and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.


1.  Apologies for absence:  Mr M Gray – previous engagement & Cllr Mrs J Whittle – KCC

2.  Declarations and Requests

Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda –Cllr J Cobbett is a neighbour of 39 Eyhorne Street, Coachman’s Lodge, Old Grove Mill Dairy, Fern Cottage and friends with the owner of Penn Court, Manor Lane.  Cllr Dr S Bauer is the planning applicant of the Coachman’s Lodge; 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, except for a spelling mistake.

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

5.b. Cllr J Cobbett has received a letter from a local resident in the village requesting that the Parish Council do not contact him otherwise he will instruct his solicitor to take action alleging harassment.  The person concerned has also insisted that the village shop owner and others does not contact him either.  The letter was noted but it was decided not to put the Council’s insurers on notice of a possible legal action for the time being. It was also noted that a member of the public in attendance reiterated the request on behalf of the local resident.

14b.            One vehicle still remains parked on the Junction 8 roundabout, which is dangerously placed and could cause a distraction to road-users.  Maidstone BC will be informed that the vehicle is still there.

18a. Cllr A Ward will arrange dates in January 2017 with the Clerk for the play equipment suppliers to inspect the playground.

5.  Chairman’s Report

a.    Cllr M Bedwell has been informed by various residents in Culpeper Close that the road name sign is in disrepair with a request that it be repaired or replaced.  The Clerk will investigate.  Action:  The Clerk

b.    The Bearsted railway station promotes itself as the station for Leeds Castle although Hollingbourne station is the nearest and the public houses within the village would like to promote this fact.  Cllr J Cobbett advised that the Bearsted station had been using the name because they have more stopping trains and taxi services.

c.    The Cardwell Pavilion needs a carbon monoxide sensor in the kitchen.  The Clerk will obtain one.  Action:  The Clerk

d.    There has been a break in of the sheds and the container behind the Cardwell Pavilion and fortunately nothing was stolen, but the locks did need to be replaced.  The Clerk will liaise with the security company to find out exactly how to work the video recording equipment.  Action:  The Clerk

e.    Mrs A Bennett resigned verbally at the last month’s Parish Meeting since when a formal letter has been received by the Clerk and this was read out at the meeting by Cllr M Bedwell.

6.  Crime Report –PCSO Ryan Waring / PCSO Dave Rowley

a.     The Hollingbourne crime figures 14 November – 8 December 2016.  There were three crime reports created this month.  On the 16 November, approx. 3.20 pm – golf equipment stolen from a vehicle parked in the car park on the Junction 8, M20 motorway services, 19 November – Eyhorne Street, theft and

25 November – Eyhorne Street – theft.   There was one case of anti-social behaviour reported –

29 November – fly-tipping – Hospital Road.

b.    In comparison with the same period in 2015 there was one crime report created between 5 November and 8 December 2015, which was on the 5 November 2015 – theft miscellaneous – Pilgrims way.  There was one case of anti-social behaviour reported on the 16 November 2015 – nuisance – Eyhorne Street.

c.     The PCSO’s will be holding a bicycle marking event at Evans Cycles, Tonbridge Road, Maidstone on the 17 December 2016, between 11 am and 3 pm.  Cllr A Bennett asked whether the Parish Council can know about these events a little earlier next time.  An arrangement was made with the PCSO’s to carry out this event in February 2017 in the Cardwell Pavilion, time and dates to be confirmed.

7.         ‘Christopher’s Village Shop and its future –

a.     It was confirmed that Christopher Rudgard still plans to retire in March 2017 and it was noted that there are no plans at the present time for the shop with weekly post office to continue.

8.         Clerk’s Report –

a.     The Clerk has received a request from Mr D Davison for a donation of £25.00 from the Parish Council towards a gift of vouchers for the lady who works at the aggregates company who are supplying stone free of charge for the war memorial.  The Parish Council agreed to this request.

b.    The Clerk attended a Heritage Crime Prevention meeting today and can confirm that the operation launches in February 2017.  The community risk assessments in Hollingbourne will start next summer.

c.     The Parish Council have received a very appreciative letter from “Porchlight”, the Kent homelessness charity which received a donation of £50.00 last month.

9.         County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle (nothing to report)

10.                   Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten

a.    With regards to the matter of the parking on the junction of Culpeper Close and Eyhorne Street, particularly during school pick up and collection times.  The Police do have powers to deal with an obstructing vehicle, but the action must be enforced by a Police Constable.  According to  Hollingbourne has a surprisingly low record for reported accidents.  Traffic Enforcement will need to be contacted to install yellow lines at the entrance of Culpeper Close and it would be advantageous to contact Cllr Mrs J Whittle.  The installation of a mini roundabout would be too expensive.  The PCSO’s can only advise the drivers of the vehicles parking inconsiderately on the junction concerned and their power to remove the vehicles is restricted.

b.    The budget for the Maidstone BC for the next four years is four and a half million pounds short.  This budget cut has badly affected the Planning Controls Enforcement section which may mean that planning controls are not enforced. As Hollingbourne is in an ANOB, has three Conservation Areas, and nearly 100 listed buildings and there have been a number of  local planning issues this news was met with some concern by Councillors..

11.       Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett

a.    16/507953/TCA – 39 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne.

Proposal:  TCA application for – silver birch: lop 3 or 4 branches which are overhanging neighbour’s property.  Decision:  do not wish to object.

b.    16/507513/LBC – Coachman’s Lodge, 1 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne –

Proposal:  Alterations to existing traditional brick constructed Coach Garage building attached to boundary of listed building, including the addition of a single storey extension.

Decision:  do not wish to object.  Although Cllr Dr S Bauer is a member of the Parish Council the other Parish Councillors do not have a close friendship or business association with her, and so the decision was deemed to be non-biased.

c.     16/507507/FULL – Penn Court, Manor Lane, Hollingbourne (Self Catering Accommodation) –

Proposal: Change of use from (Class C1) holiday let/self-catering to (Class C3) residential use for existing building known as ‘Twitches’, located within Penn Court Estate.  Decision: do not wish to object.

d.    16/508004/FULL – Old Grove Mill Dairy, Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Conversion of existing building to residential use retaining recent extension as office use.

Decision:  do not wish to object.

e.     16/507670/FULL/LUCYH – Brooms Hall, Broad Street Hill, Hucking

Proposal:  RETROSPECTIVE – stable block comprising of four stables and with improvements to the appearance of the stables.  Renewal of area of existing hard-standing and forming a new concrete hard-standing outside stable block.  New uncovered riding area to incorporate a fenced area 40m x 20m using post and rail type fencing.  Change of use of land to equestrian.  Decision: do not wish to object.

f.     16/508133/TCA – Eyhorne Manor, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Trees in conservation area – 2 x sycamore, to fell and replace with suitable native tree.  1 x western red cedar, to top two lower branches and balance the trees shape. 1 x large fir tree, remove ivy and cut back limb overhanging roof of the house.  Decision:  do not wish to object.

g.    16/508192/SUB – Hollingbourne Property Services Ltd, Eyhorne Green, Musket Lane

Proposal:  Submission of details pursuant to condition 3: details of materials, condition 5: details of boundary treatments, condition 8: details of foul and surface water drainage; condition 9: cycle storage facilities, condition 10: contamination measures scheme, condition 11: noise reduction scheme, condition 12: arboricultural method statement, condition 13: details of slab levels, condition 14: proposed renewable energy sources, and condition 16: ecological mitigation measures (part-discharge) – original application: 15/508307/FULL.  Decision: do not wish to object.

Concern was expressed about the wheel washing facilities on site following complaints from local residents about mud in Musket Lane and Eyhorne Street coming from the development site. The Clerk will find out from Susanne LaPorte, Highways KCC, to find out what procedures are in place to ensure that the situation is not repeated.  Action:  The Clerk

h.    16/508264/TPO – The Coach House, Manor Lane, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  TPO application – 1 x beech – crown reduction by 2 metres and thin by 10%, reduce 1 limb towards Manor Lane by 4-5 metres.  Decision:  do not wish to object.


12.       Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan – no further update available.

13.       Environmental Report – Cllr Dr S Bauer

a.  Cllr Dr S Bauer reported that there have been a lot of complaints with regards to fly-tipping in the village, and a lot of the refuse has been deposited on private land.  Cllr P Garten highlighted that when the public register an incident of fly-tipping on the Maidstone BC website, they must register every area of fly-tipping separately, rather ‘fifty metres down the road’ for a report to be generated.  The public’s assistance in this matter will mean that fly-tipping can be collected quickly.

14.       Community and Communication –

a.  Cllr J Cobbett reported the Parish Website receives approximately 5,000 page views a month and most viewing the site are regular users.

b.  The Community and Communication agenda item will be re-visited in January 2017 when a Parish Councillor will be selected to report the matter.

15.       Cardwell Pavilion (Bookings Past and Present) – Mr M Bedwell

a.       The month’s bookings for the Cardwell Pavilion were listed in the Parish Council cashbook.

b.       The essential drainage works were carried out at the Cardwell Pavilion.  Thankfully it was not a collapsed drain, but plant/tree roots had penetrated the joints within the drains and a glass bottle had blocked the pipe-work.  These items have been removed and the drainage has now been repaired.

16.       Shipping Container for the Cardwell Pavilion – Mr M Bedwell / Mr D Ardley

Cllr D Ardley advised the Parish Council that a shipping container was necessary to store big items for the fete, (e.g. gazebos, spikes, ropes, wheelbarrows, additional chairs and tables etc) as keeping them in the loft is inconvenient and their removal and reinstatement via a ladder was a potential health and safety risk.  Cllr J Cobbett questioned who would have the title to the container and the contents bearing in mind that the items were funded over a period of time by the Fete Committee which was not always connected to the Parish Council and whether the container required planning permission and if the present All Risks policy covered a container and contents.  Cllr M Bedwell confirmed that current regulations meant that the container would not need planning permission and Cllr D Ardley advised that the Parish Council’s insurance would also cover the items in the proposed container.  The Clerk will re-investigate the costs of the shipping containers, but Cllr D Ardley asked for a commitment in principal to the contribution to the shortfall the agreement from the Parish Council before time is spent seeking costs again.  The container would be purchased from the proceeds of previous fetes and if there is a  shortfall, then the Parish Council might consider providing the funds until such an amount was generated from the proceeds of the fete.  Cllr D Ardley proposed the purchase of the shipping container and the Parish Councillors agreed that this would proceed subject to acceptable prices being found.

17.       Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward – matters already mentioned in Matters Arising.

18.       Station Approach Recycling Area – Cllr J Cobbett

The recycling site is now closed with the bottle banks removed but unfortunately the area is only half illuminated.  There has been some fly-tipping along the Station Approach and South Eastern Trains have been contacted on these matters without a successful outcome.

19.       Parish Meeting Minutes in the Village News – Cllr J Cobbett

The new Editor of the Hollingbourne Parish Magazine and Village News now requires copy by the 10th of the month preceding publication which means that it is difficult to publish the any Parish Council Minutes as Parish Council meetings are held on the second Monday of each month which can often be after the 10th of the month.  At the September Parish Council meeting it was decided that only the Approved Minutes would be published in the Parish Magazine which means that under the new arrangements that the Minutes would not appear until three or four months after the date of the meeting being reported. Additionally the Parish Council has been asked to restrict the length of the Minutes to four pages and the Council considered this to be unsatisfactory as this would mean leaving out some information which could subsequently be important. It was agreed to continue publishing the Unapproved and Approved minutes on the village website and to supply them to the Kent Messenger, Downs Mail, and any other interested media outlets but not to the Parish Magazine.   The vote from the six available Councillors were four in favour, one against the decision and one abstaining from the vote. Additionally it was agreed to supply printed copies on request to local residents and to place a copy in the Village Shop. It was also noted that it is possible to register with the Parish Clerk for an e-mail alert when the Minutes are available.

20.       Fête Report – Cllr M Bedwell / Cllr D Ardley / Cllr A Ward

a.  The date of the 2017 fete is the 10th June 2017.  A meeting was held at The Sugar Loaves PH earlier this month and the next meeting will be on Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 8.00 pm at The Dirty Habit PH. The Fete committee is busy contacting the previous providers of events so that a draft program can be formed.  More help is needed especially with the organisation of sports events. It was noted that it is intended to print a programme for the fete with a draw lucky number which may require a licence.

b.  The Clerk has written to the providers of the last year’s BBQ to find out if they are available for the 2017 fete.  The Fete Committee has received one offer so from the public houses in the village to provide the bar at the fete.

c.  The sponsoring of advertising is being considered for next year’s fete and local businesses will be invited to advertise on banners or ground sites which will be erected around the arena.

21.      Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – no further update available.

22.      Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett

The Remembrance Day events were very successful last month.  There will be a twinning committee meeting in January 2017 at a time and date to be confirmed.  Hollingbourne villagers have also received an invitation to visit Templeuve-en-Pévèle in June 2017. It was noted that a party from Templeuve intend to come to the Hollingbourne Summer Fete and Exemption Dog Show in June 2017.

23.      Village Sewerage and Drainage Report–  Cllr J Cobbett

a.  Southern Water have partially completed a partial upgrade of the Hollingbourne foul water sewerage system by increasing size of the main sewer which runs from Hasteds along the Bourne valley, through the rear garden of Grove Mill Cottage, by 50% from 150mm to 225mm. Southern Water hope that this will mean that it will no longer be necessary to regularly jet out the system to prevent backflow.

b.  There are still concerns over the drainage of surface water from the land between the railway line and the Eyhorne Street Conservation Area and in the area of Tanyard Green.  The Parish Clerk has asked Mr Harvey Bradshaw, Executive Director of Environment and Business at the Environmental Agency for his comments.

c.  Southern Gas Networks have re-laid a gas pipe in Windmill Lane recently. Richard Phillips, Chef/Patron of the Windmill PH has waived a payment from Southern Gas Networks for the inconvenience caused by the works in favour of the Parish Council. A cheque for £300 has been received by the Parish Council.  The Clerk will write to express thanks to both parties.  Action:  The Clerk

24.                  Financial Report –

a.  The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £30,857.53 in the bank.

25.      Street Lighting – Cllr J Cobbett

a.  The new Wealden Homes houses in Godfrey Meadow will not have any street lighting from Hollingbourne Parish Council as it has not been adopted by KCC Highways because the block paving which is yet to be laid does not meet their specifications. It was noted that the developers have not approached the Parish Council about adding lights.

26.       Items for information –

a   The Natwest branch in Bearsted which is the closest remaining bank to Hollingbourne to be closed on the 5 June 2017.  The Bearsted branch is very important to many people and Mrs Helen Whately MP is fighting to keep the bank open.  A copy of a petition to keep the branch open is in ‘Christopher’s Village Shop.

b.  Cllr D Ardley is very concerned about the increase of the traffic flow through the village.  During various times in the day the traffic is backed up through the village and trying to join the A20 is very difficult.  The Clerk will contact Cllr Mrs J Whittle, KCC to investigate the possibility of a traffic count and ways to reduce the volume and  speed of the traffic.  Action:  The Clerk

Date of next meeting: Monday 9th January 2017, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne