The Minutes of the Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting of 9th January 2017 that were approved at the Parish Council Meeting on 13th February 2017.
Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 9th January 2017, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr A Ward (Vice Chairman), Mr D Ardley, Mr J Cobbett, Dr S Bauer, Mr A Bennett and Mr M Gray.
In attendance: Cllr Mr Patrik Garten – Borough Councillor (arriving late due to traffic), four members of the public including Cllr Shellina Prendergast (Headcorn Ward) and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.
1. Apologies for absence: Mr M Bedwell – work commitments & 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 and Cllr D S Bauer are unable to vote 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.
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. Co-Option of Parish Councillor
All of the Parish Councillors were in agreement in the acceptance of Mr Simon Hulme to be co-opted on to the Parish Council. There were no other applicants for the position.
5. Matters arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda – from the previous minutes)
14b. One vehicle still remains parked on the Junction 8 roundabout. It had been removed earlier in the week into the village of Bearsted, but like a homing pigeon it has returned to its original position. Cllr A Bennett is liaising with the Enforcement Department, Maidstone BC about the matter. Cllr Garten also suggested contacting KCC Highways department as the vehicle is a nuisance in this position.
5e. Cllr A Ward was disappointed in the way that the letter from Mrs A Bennett had been read out at the previous Parish Meeting and felt that it was not appropriate for the public domain. Cllr A Ward paraphrased the letter of response from Cllr Dr S Bauer to the meeting attendees.
10b. Cllr P Garten wanted to clarify that he did not support the enforcement changes within the Maidstone BC and was simply updating the Parish Council with the information.
6. Chairman’s Report – Nothing further to report at this meeting
7. Crime Report – PCSO Dave Rowley (via email items a, b and c)
a. As requested, at the last meeting, details of the crime figures for the M20 Services will now also be included in the crime reports and so the Hollingbourne crime figures for 12th December 2016 to the 9th January 2017 are: 15th December 2016 – M20 services – theft from motor vehicle, 26th December 2016 – M20 Services – theft from motor vehicle and 1st January 2017 – Hollingbourne Hill – criminal damage and fraudulent use of electricity.
b. There were no calls made to the Police in relation to anti-social behaviour / nuisance in this time period however they have had a call in relation to a dog bite and this incident is still active and being investigated. On one previous occasion the PCSO’s were spoken to in respect to another dog issue but this was not reported to the police. Would it be possible to place a comment in the Village magazine and website please requesting residents call the police if they need to report an incident on 101?
c. The PCSO’s are undergoing some changes within the allocation of wards. PCSO Ryan Waring is no longer covering the North Downs area. However, Ryan is still part of the rural team and will still be patrolling the Hollingbourne area as and when the need arises.
d. Cllr Dr S Bauer reported that there had allegedly been a fight between five or six people at the Hollingbourne Railway Station this month, no further details are known.
e. 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.
8. ‘Christopher’s Village Shop and its future –
a. It was confirmed that Christopher Rudgard still plans to retire in March 2017. The Landlord of the property is keen for the shop to remain in operation either by a private individual or as a community shop. The rental of the shop is very competitive at £100 a week for a resident of Hollingbourne and the landlord provides building insurance as part of the tenancy. Cllr J Cobbett requested that the legal position of the Parish Council to invest in the shop will be investigated by the Clerk urgently. If the Parish Council can help then the shop accounts will need to be assessed before a business plan can be drawn up. Cllr A Ward emphasized that the key would to have someone keen to run it! Please do not delay in contacting the Parish Clerk on email@example.com or Christopher and Shula in the shop if you are that ‘keen’ person.
9. Clerk’s Report –
a. The Parish Assembly, which will be held on Tuesday, 25th April 2017, in the Village Hall, was considered by the Parish Councillors. Cllr M Gray kindly agreed to manage the event for this year. Last year’s format was very good and various ideas were discussed, for instance inviting the Kent County Council Candidates to speak about their values and answer questions. Cllr Dr S Bauer also mentioned inviting the Moth and Butterfly Association who carry out conservation projects within the village. The Parish Assembly will be placed upon the agenda for the following months.
b. A letter has been received by the Clerk from a local farmer concerning planning enforcement. Cllr A Bennett offered to respond to the letter. Action: Cllr A Bennett
c. With regards to the funding request towards the War Memorial, the Clerk advised that the voting for the project which has been in operation in the local super-store seems to have finished. Hopefully, the Parish Council should soon have an update.
10. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle (via email)
a. Cllr Mrs J Whittle advised that she too will be writing to oppose the Windmill Lane application (please see Planning section).
11. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
a. Cllr P Garten reported that the Central Government funding is dropping and council tax will rise in rural areas as in urban. It is felt that rural areas do not get a fair deal as they pay the same council tax for less services than available in the urban domain. Cllr Garten continues to fight for a fair deal for the rural communities.
b. On the matter of planning enforcement, Cllr Garten advised the Parish Council about the ‘four year rule’. Please see planninglawblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/4-year-rule.html for further explanation. If a temporary dwelling has existed for less than this time little action can be taken by Enforcement, however, if another temporary dwelling should appear with it report the matter on the Maidstone BC website and not via Cllr Garten.
12. Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett
a. 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.
Decision: OBJECT (all Parish Councillors able to vote objected to the planning proposal)
The main reason for objection is that the sustainable access connection from Eyhorne Street to Windmill Lane is no more than three metres wide and it is believed that a housing development of this size would in addition need to have a pavement installed. The site access plan shows the access road going through the neighbouring property’s garden. Many people attended a planning meeting on Windmill Lane last Wednesday including an independent planning consultant who felt that the developer’s proposals had flaws since it didn’t seem that a flood risk assessment had been carried out, a transport plan, and the access road was far too narrow. The current allocated site is in the Local Plan, but it excluded the access road. The Clerk will respond to the Planning Department with the Parish Council’s concerns and Parish Councillors wish to be called into the Planning Committee meeting when the proposal is discussed.
b. 16/508464/FULL – Elsfield House, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Erection of a two storey extension and single storey orangery.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (all Parish Councillors in favour).
13. Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan –
a. The 35 page Interim Maidstone Borough Council Local Plan has been published and Hollingbourne is mentioned in relation to Woodcut Farm and to housing allocations. Subject to review, Mr Robert Mellor, the Inspector has proposed that the Plan be adopted by 2021. There was also a centre page spread report on the matter in the Kent Messenger. The full report can be downloaded at: /hollingbournepc/UserFiles/file/ED110%2020161222%20Interim%20Findings%20on%20Maidstone%20Borough%20Local%20Plan.pdf
14. Environmental Report – Cllr Dr S Bauer
a. Cllr Dr S Bauer reported that many residents had expressed worries about the proposed housing development on the land next to Windmill Lane, Eyhorne Street.
b. There is much fly-tipping and litter at the Ashford Road entrance to the village (over the motorway bridge). Cllr Dr S Bauer asked Cllr Garten how often litter picking takes place from the corner of the roundabout to the entrance of the village? The Upper Street area of Hollingbourne also has a lot of problems with leaf build-up on the pavements and gutters. Cllr Garten will investigate the matter.
c. On Christmas Eve and Day there were huge fires, approximately 30 – 40 ft high and large trees uprooted by approximately three bulldozers, on the land behind the Meadows Trust space which is located if you bear left at the end of Windmill Lane and its footpath. Many trees had been dug out, piled up and very unlike the traditional coppicing methods of forestry control. Local residents were extremely alarmed by the size of the fire which could be seen clearly from a distance, the damage it caused and the possibility that it could have destroyed the neighbouring farmer’s fields. The fire and removal of trees was on private land, but a lake has also been dug out allegedly without seeking permission. Cllr Garten said that the Forestry Commission should be informed about any tree removal/destruction on any land more than a hectare (2.47 acres) in size. Cllr J Cobbett has emailed the landowner regarding the matter, but as yet has not received a reply. The Clerk will report the matter on the Maidstone BC website as a planning breach. Action: The Clerk
15. Community and Communication –
a. Cllr A Bennett commented that the public showed appreciation for the Parish Councillor’s efforts in organising and attending the planning application meeting in Windmill Lane, which had been held the previous week.
16. 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.
17. Shipping Container for the Cardwell Pavilion – Mr M Bedwell / Mr D Ardley
The Clerk has obtained two quotations for the supply of a shipping container for the storage of the fete equipment at the Cardwell Pavilion. Cllr J Cobbett is concerned that the gazeboes and metallic equipment may be damaged by condensation build up in the container. The Clerk will investigate what provisions can be made, or alterations to the shipping container, to minimise any damage. Action: The Clerk
18. Parks / Playground Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward
a. Cllr A Ward will contact the companies quoting for the provision of play equipment to fix dates in inspecting the village playground.
19. Station Approach Recycling Area – Cllr J Cobbett
a. There has been some fly-tipping along the Station Approach and South Eastern Trains have been contacted on these matter together with concerns over the footpath lights not working without a successful outcome. The Clerk will write to South Eastern Trains for a speedy response. Action: The Clerk
20. Fête Report – Cllr M Bedwell / Cllr D Ardley / Cllr A Ward
a. The date of the 2017 fete is the 10th June 2017. The next fete 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.
21. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – no further update available.
22. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett
The Twinning meeting was held at 8.00 pm on Tuesday, 10th January 2017 at Foxgrove House.
23. Village Sewerage and Drainage Report– Cllr J Cobbett
a. A letter has been received by the Clerk from the Environmental Agency regarding the contamination of the Bourne. The Clerk will distribute the letter to all interested parties. Action: The Clerk
24. Financial Report –
a. The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £28,418.73 in the bank.
25. Street / Kerbside Lighting – Cllr J Cobbett
a. The Clerk will chase up the confirmation of a different energy rate as the street-lights are now LED.
b. Golding Homes have installaed new safety lights outside of the Bourneside Terrace properties.
26. Items for information –
a Cllr J Cobbett informed the Parish Council that Liz Willy is no longer the Kent Messenger correspondent.
Date of next meeting: Monday 13th February 2017, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: