MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2013 AT 8PM
Present: Cllr Jeremy Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr Ian Turner, Cllr Graham Clark, Cllr Tony Slater, Mr Timothy Martin (Financial Officer), Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk)
One member of the public
Apologies: Cllr Geoff Kavanagh, Dst Cllr G Morris and Cllr Marc O’Brien (who is attending a Parish Council Briefing for Consultations on Housing Options and the Community Infrastructure Levy as part of the Local Development Framework consultation)
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.
There were no other declarations of interest.
Minutes of meeting on 7th January 2013
The minutes of the meeting on 7th January 2013 were read and approved.
Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr T Slater
The Clerk has sent letters to three different companies asking them to tender for the contract to cut the grass on the Plaistow.
The Clerk has instructed Herts Tree Care 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. These works are scheduled to be carried out on 18th February.
Cllr Carlisle met with Gary Henning of Herts Highways on 16th January to discuss highways issues within the village. Various items were discussed and Mr Henning reported he had subsequently taken the following actions:
Great Chishill bridge drainage – he has discussed the continual flooding of the carriageway at this location with the bridge team and followed this up with an e-mail requesting that a more permanent/robust solution is investigated/implemented.
B1368 flooding near Herts/Cambs border – he has raised a report via the Hertsdirect website for the grips to the adjacent ditches to be programmed to be re-cut by the new Contractor, Ringway.
Shaftenhoe End Road junction with Church End - initially a small amount of funding will need to be committed to undertake a levelling survey of the last 20-30 metres of Shaftenhoe End Road to ascertain the existing levels/constraints (i.e. Church End levels/adjacent property access levels). He reiterated that this area is very flat and therefore to eradicate ponding completely may not be possible.
Mr Henning confirmed that Ringway's Area Office have compiled a list of jetting for various sites in North Herts, including Barley High Street – he has asked Ringway to e-mail the Parish Council with a date when the jetting will take place in Barley, as Cllr Carlisle had advised that the parish council would endeavour to liaise with residents and Richmond Coaches to try and keep the area clear of parked cars on the programmed day of jetting.
He is waiting for a quotation from Ringway for two reflective posts (one at each end of the railings) outside the school for implementation this financial year.
The Clerk agreed to pursue her contact within Barkway Parish Council to find out the name of his contact with regards to organising regular street cleaning in the village.
Mr Brian Haughey, (member of the public attending the meeting) requested that Speedwatch should remain as an item on the agenda. He reported that despite the Speedwatches best efforts, a spreadsheet (generated by Hertfordshire Highways monitoring) showing vehicle speeds both entering and leaving the village confirmed that they have increased. He additionally reported that Police Officers are now being trained up to use new laser guns and it is hoped that they will support the work of the Speedwatch teams. Cllr Carlisle assured Mr Haughey that speeding was still of great concern to the Parish Council and that it is fully supportive of the Speedwatch endeavours. The issue of costs to support Police Officers attending the village to monitor speeding was also discussed.
Cllr Carlisle confirmed that he would contact Cllr Kavanagh with regard to his continuing as a Councillor, it is understood that work commitments were such that he was unable to remain in the post.
The Clerk agreed to speak with the Parish Paths Partnership to see if they are able to assist with the repairs to various benches within the Parish, particularly ‘Polly’s Perch’ (bench) on Picknage Road which has suffered extensive damage.
Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments
Payments this month
Laura Childs Parish Clerk (January) £ 133.20
Weatherheads Mower repairs / maintenance £ 114.17
Tim Martin Re-imbursement for PAYE paid £ 124.20
It was proposed by Cllr T Slater and seconded by Cllr I Turner that the payments should be made.
Alison Stacey Letting officers fee (December / January) £ 45.50
It was proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr T Slater that the payments should be made.
Mr Martin also suggested that the Tennis Club accounts should be reviewed.
Cllr Carlisle and Mr Martin discussed the insurance monies that are due for re-imbursement by the tenant of the Club Room.
Brick House, Pudding Lane, Barley, Royston, SG8 8JU. Conservation Area: Demolition of existing garage- Case ref. no.12/02856/1CAC and Double Garage, workshop and first floor storage following demolition of existing garage Case ref. no. 12/02855/1HH
The application was discussed and it was unanimously resolved to object to both applications, taken together, and in arriving at this decision it was proposed to ask the District Council to take into account the following comments:
It is this council's view that the size, bulk and height of the proposed development is excessive and is contrary to the provisions of the Barley Selected Village Policy Area (Policy 7) and the Barley Conservation Area (Policy 20). While in isolation there would be no objection to the proposed demolition of the existing garage we have considered both applications together as clearly they are related and the demolition of the old leads to the new build.
The proposed development amounts to an increase in size of some 220% (ie 2.2 times the existing) largely as the result of the proposed first floor. The height of the proposed new building is 6m which is twice the height of the existing garage. The site is also in an elevated position being perhaps some 2/3metres above Pudding Lane and the properties to the side of the property and Church End to the front. As such the proposed development will tower over the adjoining properties. Such a proposal, by virtue of its height, size and bulk, is in our view wholly inappropriate in this location, is contrary to the provisions of the Selected Village Policy Area and would cause harm to and be totally detrimental to the character and significance of the Barley Conservation Area which requires that any development will be expected to positively maintain or enhance the character or visual quality of its area.
In design terms the height of the proposed development combined with the large dormer windows at the front, which seem somewhat out of keeping with the main house, and roof lights at the rear suggest that this proposed development would have a use beyond that of vehicular garaging and first floor storage. In this regard we also note that the proposed building would have a floor area of almost 1000sq ft (92.54sq m) which is as big as many small estate houses.
If notwithstanding this council's strong objection to this proposal NHDC are nevertheless minded to approve the application(s) then we would ask that a condition be imposed restricting the use of the building to that of a double garage, workshop and 1st floor storage only (as applied for) and for no other purpose whatsoever. We would also ask that all permitted development rights relating to the whole of the property known as Brick House be withdrawn.
Finally we wish to point out that the plan accompanying the application(s) - Drwg No 281/01a dated 23/11/2012 - appears to be incorrect in that the 2 flank elevations do not appear to reflect the hipped roof design shown on the front and rear elevations which is an unfortunate error. This should be corrected so that the plan properly reflects what is proposed. We have assumed that the hipped roof as shown on the front and rear elevations is what is intended.
Mr Martin reported that he has had no further contact from the suppliers of the new chairs regarding the paint chipping off the frames, despite their representative taking a damaged chair away.
Cllr Slater advised that he was awaiting confirmation that the fire alarm annual service has been undertaken and the alarm maintenance record book noted accordingly, by the contractor (Neil Drage) as arranged for 25th January 2013 by Cllr Clark. Cllr Clark agreed to check the situation with Mr Drage.
Correspondence has been received from Drew & Baltrop (who are the council’s H&S consultants) providing advice on the Town House Fridges. Discussion took place regarding this advice and Cllr Turner advised that he has found a ‘thermometer’ that can be fixed within the fridges to monitor temperature. It was agreed that Cllr Turner would present the options to the Town House committee at their next meeting on the 6th February 2013.
Cllr Slater advised that he has reviewed the H&S within the Town House and needs to complete an assessment for the COSH items within the kitchen cupboards.
Cllr Clark has asked James King to repair the fencing at the back of the Plaistow. He has additionally asked him for costs to repair the benches just in case P3 aren’t able to assist with this matter.
Cllr Clark reported that he has ordered two new signs for the children’s play area to replace those that were vandalised.
Cllr Carlisle informed the meeting that whilst Cllr Kavanagh will be stepping down from the Parish Council he has agreed to remain as our point of contact with regard to the Scout Hut project.
In the absence of Cllr Kavanagh there was nothing further to report.
11. Health & Safety
Cllr Slater reported that he will be undertaking his monthly Health & Safety inspections later this month and had nothing further to report at this time.
Two quotations have been received from Mr Malcolm George, £600 to undertake the grass cutting within the play area (in the Plaistow) and £1,500 to carry out grass cutting in other areas within the village. It was noted that Mr George had kept his costs the same for a number of years now and it was unanimously agreed to accept these quotations. The Clerk was instructed to write to Mr George to thank him for keeping his costs at this level and to accept both quotations.
All correspondence received was to be circulated to Councillors.
13. Any other Business
Cllr Turner spoke about the Neighbourhood Watch email notification ‘OWL’ system, which can be set up to notify registered members to alert them to targeted crimes, such as vehicle theft, horse tack thefts etc. It was discussed that the Neighbourhood Watch scheme within the village wasn’t very active.
The meeting closed at 10.15pm