MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 3rd OCTOBER 2011 AT 8PM
Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman); Cllr Tony Slater; Cllr Ian Turner; Cllr Geoff Kavanagh; Cllr Marc O’Brien, Cllr Graham Clark, Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk); Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer).
In Attendance: Dst Cllr Gerald Morris, 2 members of the public
Apologies: Mrs Carole Turner (Town House Committee)
Minutes of meetings on 5th September 2011
The minutes of the meeting on 5th September were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr I Turner and seconded by Cllr M O’Brien
The matter of the relocation of the safety barrier outside the school remains unresolved. Mr Martin, in his capacity of Parish Council Governor to Barley school explained that this item has been raised several times at governors meetings and in the schools opinion they don’t consider the location of the safety barrier to be an issue. Cllr Carlisle asked the Clerk to write to the Head teacher to request a meeting to find a resolution to this on going issue.
The Clerk has spoken with Jamie Sells from the Waste & Recycling department and he has confirmed that the ground will be thoroughly prepared beneath the tarmac with an appropriate sub-base, when the repairs are carried out to the footpath at the rear of the Town House. Additionally he confirmed that kerbstones are definitely being installed against the existing fence line and the Clerk is just awaiting confirmation from him in writing to confirm all the items to be undertaken.
Mr Martin, in his capacity of Parish Council Governor to Barley School, reported that a replacement Head teacher has still to be appointed but reported that progress has been made since the last meeting and hoped that at our next meeting he would have news to report.
Cllr O’Brien confirmed he has written to Mary Caldwell of NHDC requesting further information on a point of contact with whom we can discuss our concerns regarding the National Planning Policy Framework and if there are any measures our Council should currently be taking to safeguard the village from the proposed legislation. Unfortunately he has not yet received a reply and will chase.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Payments this month
Curwens Solicitors Registration of the Plaistow £3137.00
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (September) £ 108.00
Tim Martin Finance Officer (September) £ 43.20
H.M.R.C. PAYE contributions £ 109.80
It was proposed by Cllr Graham Clark and seconded by Cllr Tony Slater that the payments should be made.
A Stacey Letting Officer & Caretaking fees £192.50
Carol Robinson Cleaning (September) £ 30.00
Refunds on wedding deposits
Mrs Woodhouse £150.00
Mrs Hulford £150.00
It was proposed by Cllr Geoff Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr Tony Slater that the payments should be made.
Cllr Turner advised that the Town House is transferring its electricity supplier and the supply will be switched over shortly.
Mr Martin advised that the Town House has been chosen at random by the Charities Commission to provide a Trustee’s report. In this respect it would appear that the report given at the Annual Village Meeting would be sufficient for the purpose.
Cllr Turner reported that frustrations remain with the level of support given by the police to the Speed Watch and whilst the scheme is operating well, in reducing speeds through the village, he is working with the rest of the team to resolve these issues.
Nuthampstead Shooting Ground, Nuthampstead Airfield, Near Barkway
Dst Cllr Morris spoke to the meeting about this application and likened it to the previous planning application received for the Golf Club in Barkway, as basically a waste transfer activity. He expressed his view that the shooting grounds reasoning behind the application, to reclaim the lead shot, was in principle fine however the means to achieve it meant a large increase in HGV movements through the village. Dst Cllr Morris advised that a total of 20 vehicle movements (10 in and 10 out of the site) would take place from Monday through to Friday each week for approximately one year. The number of HGV vehicle movements in the area is already considered to be high due to Anstey Quarry activity and it was felt that any more should be discouraged. The Clerk agreed to write to Herts County Council to say that Barley Parish Council do not support this application on the grounds that the means to achieve the bund were unacceptable.
Rectory House, Shaftenhoe End Road, Barley – Case Ref No: 11/01757/1HH
Fit 21 solar panels to the south-west facing roof slopes.
There were no objections to this application.
Barley Brook Cottage, High Street, Barley, Royston, SG8 8HT - Case Ref No: 11/01564/1HH – Detached garage with store room.
The application was discussed and it was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council objects to this application and the following comments would be sent to NHDC:-
Despite objections by this Council at the time, Barley Brook Cottage was built in part of the garden of the adjoining property Rose Cottage. However we understand that a condition was imposed in the original planning permission restricting/prohibiting any further development on the site in front of the house. This restriction reflecting in part the objectives of the Village Character Area V2 of Policy 7 relating to Barley and also the Barley Conservation Area. Despite the passage of time since the property was built we do not consider there to have been any significant or material changes to warrant any relaxation of this condition.
Not withstanding the above Barley Parish Council also have the following further comments:-
1. The size, bulk and height of the proposed development is in our view unacceptable in this location in any event.
2. The proposed development is shown as being adjacent to the boundary with the public highway and as such is in front of the building line of all the other houses on this side of the High St (with the exception only of 1 Lower Farm Cottage which is a listed property of some considerable age).
3. The proposed development lies within the Barley Conservation Area and this proposal will certainly not enhance nor even maintain the Conservation Area as required by policy 20.
4. The application does not in our view appear to be complete as it does not show exactly the location of the proposed new building on the site nor does it show how access and egress and turning movements will be achieved on site nor whether there is to be any other on site parking. There is also a conflict between the planning application and the plans. The application refers to the 1st floor being used for storage while the plans show this area to be a habitable area.
5. No account has been taken of the mature Beech tree in the adjoining owners property and which adjoins the boundary with Barley Brook Cottage and, so far as we can tell from the plans, the development. The excavations for the foundations of the development would undoubtedly interfere with the root system of this important tree. Similarly no account has been taken of the trees (which have been pollarded) along the road frontage of the site. This appears contrary to the statement in the planning application at Question 7 that no trees will be affected by the proposal as clearly they will.
6. We understand that the owner of The White House which adjoins the site also objects to this proposed development.
Amendments to Planning application ref.11/00960/1 - Mary Penny Close, Shaftenhoe End Road, Barley, Royston SG8 8LE
Following the Chairman’s discussion with the case officer at NHDC about the queries raised at the last council meeting the Councils formal response to the amended proposal is set out below:-
Barley Parish Council have considered the amended plans and notwithstanding the amendments that have been made Barley Parish Council still objects to this application and in arriving at this decision it wishes the District Council to take note of, and take into account, when making their own decision the following comments:-
We note that the applicants have reduced the overall size and height of the proposed new house but it remains this Councils' unanimous view that as advised in our email of 23rd May 2011 the proposed development is fundamentally contrary to the provisions of Planning Policy 30 (Replacement or extension of dwellings in the countryside) in that the scale of the proposed development, despite the amendments, is excessive in terms of its size and bulk. We also note that the revised site layout for the development which now includes a double garage is no longer compact and situated to the rear of the site but has spread out in a linear fashion towards the front of the site which in our view is regrettable. The annexe is now some distance from the main house which rather defeats the purpose of an annexe as proposed in this case pursuant to Policy 33. While the proposed new vehicular access off the very narrow single track (private) road along the western boundary of the site has been moved further away from the junction with Bogmore Road this new access remains in this Councils' view wholly unacceptable and should be refused on safety grounds because of the very poor sight lines at the junction.
Despite the amendments to reduce the overall size of the proposed development the footprint still nearly twice the size (186%) of the existing bungalow and if the new detached garage is included (previous schemes have shown it as integral to the house) the new building(s) footprint is some 237% of the existing bungalow.
The amendments that have been made, apart from reducing the height of the new house such that the ridge now appears to be "only" some 750mm higher than the existing bungalow, do not really improve matters and the proposed development will in our view still have a significant and materially greater impact on the site and the surrounding area than the existing buildings and would also have a major and detrimental impact on the character of Shaftenhoe End and remains fundamentally contrary to the relevant policies.
Our previous concern about the use of the annexe property has now been dealt with as we understand that the applicant has confirmed the use to be residential and not office. However our previous comments about the size of the annexe and the provisions of Policy 33 relative to not only the existing bungalow but also the proposed new building are repeated.
With regard to the proposed new vehicular access our previous comments apply except only in relation to the physical proximity of the new access to the junction with Bogmore Road which in isolation appears more acceptable.However, and bearing in mind that the site already benefits from two other vehicular accesses, we repeat our view that the significant intensification of the use of this narrow single track road is wholly unacceptable. The sight lines at the junction of this road with Bogmore Road, which is an unrestricted road, are very poor and are worse than either of the two existing vehicular access points to the site and consequently this new access should be refused.
There is no explanation for the reason why one of the amended plans enclosed with your letter of 24th August has been included. The plan in question is Drg No 10/090/103 dated 6/7/11 and is titled "Existing Bungalow, Extension Roof Plan and Elevations". The plan appears to have no relevance whatsoever to this application. It shows the existing bungalow with 2 extensions which do not exist and is consequently misleading.
If despite Barley Parish Councils' continuing very strong objections to this application (even as now amended) NHDC were nevertheless minded to approve the application- which we hope you are not - then the Parish Council would ask that a number of conditions, reinforced if possible by a Section 106 agreement, be included in any consent restricting the use and occupation of the annexe as ancillary to the principal
dwelling house and for no other purpose whatsoever, that all permitted development rights across the whole site be withdrawn to protect the site and the location from any
further development on this site and that the height of the existing boundary hedges be maintained at least at their current height. Furthermore should the proposed new access also be approved as part of the application that both (not just one) of the other two existing accesses be permanently stopped up.
Slaters, Bakers Lane, Barley, Royston, SG8 8HJ
Case Ref No: 11/02238/1HH - Two storey extension
The application was discussed and it was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council objects to this application and the following comments would be sent to NHDC:-
1. We note that the site lies outside the Barley Selected Village Policy Area (Policy 7) and as such development proposals will normally be refused but as an existing dwelling we understand that extensions are usually dealt with under Policy 30. We also note that the house lies within the Barley Conservation Area. The Council are also aware that the property has been extended on several occasions in the past but these have largely been unobtrusive or to the rear of the property and therefore largely hidden from view. That is not the case with this proposal which is a large 2 storey extension of some 35sq m (380 sq ft) which, contrary to the applicants Design and Access Statement, will be clearly visible from the road - Bakers Lane.
2. The proposed extension is situated in front of and projects from the building line along this elevation, which, as it is the longest elevation at 18m and fronts the public highway (Bakers Lane), is arguably the front (not the side or rear) elevation of the property and which we consider to be inappropriate and unacceptable in this location.
3. The house and the proposed extension lie within the Barley Conservation Area where any development should maintain or enhance the character of the conservation area. In our view the proposal does neither by virtue of its size, bulk, height and design and indeed would positively detract from the visual quality and amenity of the location and the immediate area and the important visual gateway into the village along Bakers Lane.
4. We note that the applicants clearly have some concern themselves about the location of the extension as their Design and Access Statement acknowledges that the extension is on the road side of the main house but states that it will be virtually invisible from the road. This statement we believe to be untrue and that the extension will in fact be very visible as advised in (1) above. The Statement also refers to the existing property as a bungalow. It is not a bungalow but a substantial 2 storey chalet style house.
5. Some other concerns were also raised by the Council in relation to the plans of the proposed extension. These appear to show that the existing access into the garage will be blocked up giving the impression that the garage will be allocated to the annexe and thus effectively create two dwellings. These concerns may be misplaced as the removal of the doorway may just be a simple ommission on the part of the architects who prepared the plans as no new access into the garage from the annexe is shown.
The Clerk read out an email of objection to the application from Dr Hughes (neighbour) and Mr Mark Williams (neighbour) present at the meeting, also expressed his objection to the application.
8. Town House
The recent Bric-a-Brac sale raised approx. £200 towards the cost of some new chairs. The sale could have been better supported but the Committee remains determined to continue their fund raising efforts and further events are being planned for the near future.
Funds towards the replacement chairs have additionally been secured from a generous benefactor who has donated £462.19.
Cllr Slater asked that the signs be put above the heaters, as the weather is deteriorating they will be used more frequently. Cllr Turner agreed to undertake this.
Cllr Turner reported that Busy Bee will shortly be fixing the Emergency Exit light that is currently faulty and he will ask him to provide a quotation for works to the kitchen.
9. Recreation Ground
Cllr Turner advised that on the steps up to the tennis courts, one of the paving slabs has now had a corner broken off, most probably by the grass cutting equipment used by MD Landscape, who have previously been known to damage these steps. The Clerk agreed to speak with MD Landscapes to ask them to look at repairing the slab.
Cllr Turner reported that to his knowledge the football club, who had previously approached him about playing matches on the Plaistow, have not progressed any further.
Cllr Carlisle advised that notices have been put up at the entrances to the Plaistow showing a small additional area of land owned by the Parish Council that has now been registered as Village Green. This is in addition to the land previously registered as Village Green and also owned by the Parish Council.
10. Club Room
Cllr Carlisle advised the meeting that he is awaiting 3 tenders to be returned shortly for the proposed works.
The prospective tenant has submitted a planning application for change of use to the building and made an application for a licence to sell wine. Once the decision has been made on these applications tenancy agreements can be finalised.
11. Scout Hut
Cllr Kavanagh advised the meeting that he had spoken informally to some contractors who have recently installed a new scout hut in Buntingford. The structure is a pre fabricated building that can be specified to suit and he agreed to look into the costs and its suitability.
12. Picknage Road Allotments
Cllr Slater advised that he has rung Nick White regarding connecting up the water trough to the mains supply but as yet had not managed to speak with him. Cllr Turner offered to follow this up.
13. Health and Safety
Cllr Slater advised that one of the gates to the play area had lost its catch, Cllr Turner agreed to fix this.
An invitation has been received for a member of our Council to attend the North Hertfordshire Highways Partnership ~ Joint Member Panel meeting on 31st October, Cllr Carlisle agreed to attend.
15. Any other Business
Cllr Turner asked the Clerk to check if there is any sort of schedule for contractors to follow with regard to maintenance of the Plaistow. He noted that the nettles needed strimming along the boundary with the back of Bankside properties. The Clerk agreed to check into this and contact MD Landscapes to ask them to undertake these works.
Cllr Turner also noted that the bins are not being emptied on the Plaistow, the Clerk agreed to write to Malcolm George to ask him to empty them.
Cllr Slater asked that Risk Assessments and Method Statements are requested from: MD Landscapes, Malcolm George and Busy Bee. The Clerk agreed to speak to MD Landscapes when she called them about other matters.
The meeting closed at 10.25pm