MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2012 AT 8PM
Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Marc O’Brien, Cllr Graham Clark, Cllr Tony Slater, Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk)
3 members of the public
Apologies: Cllr Geoff Kavanagh, Dst Cllr G Morris
Councillor’s declaration of Interest
Cllr Turner declared an interest in the software that he has developed to assist the input of data for Speedwatch. This software may shortly be sold to other police authorities.
Minutes of meeting on 5th November 2012
The minutes of the meeting on 5th November 2012 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr I Turner
MD Landscapes have still not forwarded any Method Statements or Risk Assessments despite repeated requests. The Clerk agreed to continue pursing this matter.
Permission has been granted to undertake the pruning works to the lower branches of the Sycamore tree that overhangs the recycling bins in the car park at the back of the Town House. The Clerk agreed to contact Simon Robinson to obtain a quote and Mr Martin agreed to talk to Michael Gardner and Tim Drake.
Cllr Carlisle requested the Clerk to contact Gary Henning of Herts Highways to arrange a meeting to discuss highways issues within the village.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Payments this month
James King Repairs to Plaistow gates & fencing £ 755.00
Tim Martin Financial Officers fee (Nov) & reimbursed for
Parish Website fee paid (£72) £ 139.12
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (November) £ 136.80
Malcolm George Annual fee for grass cutting of play area £ 600.00
It was proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr T Slater that the payments should be made.
Carol Robinson Cleaning (November) £ 60.00
Alison Stacey Letting Officer (November) £ 60.50
It was proposed by Cllr T Slater and seconded by Cllr G Clark that the payments should be made.
A deposit cheque was returned to J Slade for £25.00
Mr Martin advised that he has VAT to claim back totalling £1,268.70.
The budget for 2013, as prepared by Mr Martin, was reviewed and discussed. After some debate a vote was taken and it was agreed by a majority of 4 to 1, to keep the precept at the same level as 2012 at £22,000.
The Parish Council unanimously resolved to object to this application and to advise the District Council (NHDC) that in arriving at this decision it wishes NHDC to take into account the following comments:-
It is this council's view that the size, scale, height and bulk of the proposed development is excessive and is contrary to the provisions of the Barley Selected Village Policy Area (Policy 7), Barley Village Character Area V2 High Street, and the Barley Conservation Area (Policy 20).
The proposal amounts to an increase in size in floor area terms of in excess of 620% (i.e. over 6 times) the size of the existing garage and at a height of some 5.5m compared to the existing garage of 3.7m is some 148% taller than the existing. Such a proposal is in our view wholly inappropriate in this location, is contrary to the Selected Village Policy Area and would cause harm to and be totally detrimental to the character and significance of the Barley Conservation Area and Village Character Area V2 which requires that any development will be expected to positively maintain or enhance the character or visual quality of its area.
We also consider that in design terms the proposal would also significantly clash with the existing house known as White Posts which we believe to be a listed property (should there not also have been a Listed Building application as the garage is within the curtilage of White Posts?) and one of the oldest buildings in the village.
Furthermore the dormer windows to the proposed first floor would also result in overlooking issues. These large dormer windows at the front and the structure at the rear containing the staircase and circulation area also suggest that this proposed building would have a use beyond that of vehicular parking and storage. We also note that the proposed building would have a total floor area in excess of 105sq m (1130sq ft) which is as big as or even bigger than many small estate houses. (Perhaps the applicant should downsize their cars?)
We understand that the adjoining owner of The Gables also objects to this proposed development. If notwithstanding this Council's strong objection to this proposal NHDC are nevertheless minded to approve the application then we would ask that a condition be imposed restricting the use of the building to that of a vehicular garage and associated storage at first floor only and for no other purpose whatsoever. We would also ask that all permitted development rights relating to the whole site be withdrawn.
Mary Penny Close, Shaftenhoe End, Barley ~ Ref:12/02513/1
After lengthy discussions the Council unanimously resolved to advise the District Council (NHDC) that the Council has no objection in principle to the proposed development, as a variation of planning application 11/00960/1 granted permission on 29th December 2011, but the Council would ask that NHDC take into account the following comments when determining the application:-
As NHDC will know Barley Parish Council have consistently objected inter alia to the scale, bulk and height of the recent proposals (over the last couple of years) for the proposed redevelopment of the site. Although NHDC granted consent for a redevelopment on 29th December 2011 as referred to above these concerns remain.
The proposed variations set out in this application are for a bigger house both in terms of bulk, scale and height. However we note that the overall actual increase in height, relative to the general site levels, as shown on this application is not materially any greater than the consented scheme by reason of the footprint of the main dwelling house and its immediate surrounds being "let into" the site by means of excavating some 0.75m of soil and disposing of the same off site. As a result the visual effect of the increase in the bulk (volume) of the main house appears to be similarly mitigated.
We also note that the overall footprint of the main dwelling house is not materially different to the consented scheme (although it is approx 1m wider in part).
On balance therefore this council raises no objection to the variations set out in this application but would ask that if NHDC are minded to approve this application then the following conditions be imposed on any consent:-
That all Permitted Development Rights across the whole of the site are withdrawn/excluded to protect the location from any further development on the site.
That the use and occupation of the annexe should be restricted to use and occupation ancilliary to the use and occupation of the principal dwelling house only and for no other purpose whatsoever.
(3) That the height of the existing northern and western boundary hedges shall be maintained at their current height.
Cllr Turner advised that the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr David Lloyd, was a supporter of the Speedwatch scheme. He also advised that unfortunately it would seem that speeds have increased of late but that the ‘team’ were not deterred and would be continuing with their efforts.
Cllr Turner confirmed that Carole Turner is seeking quotes for deep cleaning of the Town House. Cllr Carlisle also asked that other aspects of maintenance be looked at, in the main kitchen some tiles are falling off and the sealant needs replacing.
Mr Martin reported that he has now met with the supplier of the new chairs, with regard to the paint chipping off the frames, who has taken away some of the more badly affected chairs and will report back.
Cllr Slater spoke about the need to ensure that the fire alarm system within the Town House is checked regularly and Cllr Turner agreed to organise a monthly check. Cllr Slater also requested that Cllr Turner supply the Annual Fire Test Certificates for the last two years so that he can forward them on to Drew & Baltrop.
A socket in the kitchen has been discovered that is not on the general noise limiter reset circuit and Cllr Turner agreed to arrange for this to be added into the main circuit and for all power sockets in the building, both upstairs and downstairs, to be checked again to ensure that there are no other sockets not connected into the noise limiter regime.
Cllr Slater advised that Alison Stacey had amended the letting agreement to clarify the time by which events were required to end and hirers to leave the building and a new version of the agreement has been distributed.
During the last Health & Safety review, Janine Drew of Drew & Baltrop advised Cllr Slater that the fridges in the Town House should be left switched on. After some debate it was agreed that Cllr Turner would pass on this information to the Town House Committee.
Cllr Clark reported that James King has now completed the repairs to the fencing and gates in the Plaistow. Additionally he has now spoken to the manager of the football team and has found that they are no longer able to use the Plaistow as the league they play in insist that they have changing facilities. Comment was also made about the quality of the pitch and Cllr Clark spoke about looking into the possibility of improving the playing surface.
Cllr Clark reported that the condition of some of the children’s play equipment is beginning to deteriorate now and would soon be reaching the end of its working life. Cllr Carlisle asked him to make a list of those items that are likely to need to be replaced in the near future, with a view to looking into replacement costs etc.
Cllr Clark reported that a recent wine tasting event was very well attended and appeared to be a success. Nothing further to report.
In the absence of Cllr Kavanagh there was nothing further to report.
13. Health & Safety
Cllr Slater distributed a visit report from his meeting with Janine Drew of Drew & Baltrop.
The Clerk advised that she has received email correspondence with a complaint from a parishioner about what they considered lighting intrusion from Richmond’s garage. After investigation the Clerk found that Richmond’s have not made any recent changes to their outside lights and do not appear to be contravening any planning regulations. The Clerk was asked to write back to the parishioner accordingly and to advise that in the circumstances this did not appear to be a matter for the Parish Council and that if they still felt aggrieved they should speak directly with the garage to try to resolve the issue.
The Clerk has received correspondence advising that the land agents involved with the proposed diversion of Footpath 14 are looking at combining their applications to form one new proposal for submission.
All other correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.
15. Any other Business
Cllr Kavanagh has advised (via email) that due to changes with his hours in his new job he is finding it increasingly difficult to make our monthly meetings and may have to resign from the Parish Council. Cllr Carlisle asked the other councillors to consider whether they knew anyone who may be interested in joining the Parish Council.
Cllr O’Brien has received an email from a lady who was a former evacuee in Barley in the Second World War with some interesting history and stories of the village.
The meeting closed at 10.20pm