MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF BARLEY PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT THE TOWN HOUSE ON MONDAY 6th JUNE 2016


  1. Present

Cllr Jerry Carlisle (Chairman), Cllr G Clark, Cllr M O’Brien, Cllr Y Lee, Dst Cllr Gerald Morris,

Mrs Laura Childs (Clerk), Mr Tim Martin (RFO), 4 members of the public


  1. Apologies

Cllr I Turner, Cllr G Northen, County Cllr Tony Hunter, Mr N Shaw


  1. Councillor’s Declaration of Interest

None


  1. Minutes of Last Meeting

The minutes of the last meeting held on 9th May 16 were read and approved.

Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M O’Brien.


  1. Matters Arising

Cllr Northen emailed an update prior to the meeting to say that a committee of enthusiastic volunteers had been formed to take the Red Telephone box project forward. Cllr Northen had a few questions that had been raised following the committees first meeting and the Clerk agreed to get back with the answers. Mr Martin agreed to check with our insurers if the telephone box should be insured and will add the box to the Parish Councils asset register.


Mr Martin reported that he and Cllr Northen have yet to progress their suggestions for improvements to the flow of the website to enable it to be more user friendly and current, due to other commitments. They resolved to do this in the near future.


Cllr O’Brien confirmed that the Fox & Hounds pub is now registered as an Asset of Community Value, this gives the community the option to make a bid on the property should the owner, Mr Adrian Parkes sell the property. Cllr Carlisle spoke about the concerns that the council have regarding the condition of the building and agreed to try to arrange a viewing of the property with Mr Parkes to establish what the costs of repairs may be and ultimately what the property is worth. Mr Peter McPartland attended the meeting offering his support as a volunteer to assist with general advice on how we might go about gaining funding should a community group wish to place an offer to purchase the pub through a community share scheme.


Cllr Clark reported that he had attended a Q&A session held by Mr Stephen Marsh of Ginmeister giving local residents an update on their business and proposed move. Mr Marsh thanked everyone for their support and confirmed that it is the aim of his business to move into new premises away from the village by February 2017. Their new premises are based in South Cambridgeshire and he is confident that this will be Ginmeisters last season at Dovehouse Shott.


Cllr Lee has now met with English Heritage representatives regarding the renovation of the Lock Up. They have confirmed that they will be placing the Lock Up on the buildings at risk register, so renovation works are now a priority. Cllr Lee has found 3 possible builders who she will be asking to submit a quotation for the works and will await their feedback. Having looked into possible grant funding for the renovation works Cllr Lee was not confident that the Lock Up fitted any of their criteria.



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Cllr Clark reported that he has spoken to Sgt Guy Westwood and he is hoping to undertake some further speed checks shortly. Mr Nick White has also requested that the police attend on a Sunday morning when the village has seen an increase in motor bikes riding at speed through the village.


Mrs Veronica Gooding has sent photographs and information regarding a clock she has found to be placed over the fireplace in the Town House to commemorate her late mother and family. The mechanism is however an 8 day wind up piece and discussions took place about who could wind it up on a regular basis. It was agreed that the cleaner would be asked to wind it on a weekly basis and the Clerk was asked to contact Mrs Gooding to accept her kind donation.

  1. Town House

Mr Nick Shaw, Chairman of the Town House Management Committee was unable to make the meeting but had emailed to advise that he had made contact with an organiser of wedding fayres who felt that the Town House was too small to hold such an event. He will pursue some possible corporate users in due course when the anticipated adjustments to the website have been completed and a new more modern leaflet / brochure is printed.


Cllr Carlisle has sent the letting agreement off to the solicitors for amendment to ensure that the hirers have their own appropriate public liabilities insurance and that the Town House doesn’t assume liabilities.

 

  1. Planning

Ref no. 16/01109/1 – Full Planning Permission: Retention of 49no. Domestic storage containers. Land north of Broadmere Pond, Royston Road, Barley, SG8 8BN

Following discussions it was agreed to respond with the following comment:

Barley Parish Council have in the past tried to resist further expansion of this use of the site but are mindful that the applicant successfully appealed NHDC's refusal in July 2009 and secured consent to expand the use of the site in September 2010. On balance therefore we have resolved not to object to the regularising of the planning position by the grant of retrospective planning permission for this proposal to retain the additional 49 metal storage containers that the applicant has subsequently placed on the site - making a total of 73 storage containers actually on site.  

We do however wish to record our great concern at the wholesale increased use of the site by the applicant by the installation of the additional containers on such a scale without having first secured the necessary planning permission and therefore by implication with a total disregard for the law particularly having regard to the previous refusals by NHDC for the intensified use of the site and the terms of the Planning Inspectors Decision in allowing the applicants appeal in September 2010.

We really would not wish to see any further expansion of this use or any other related B8 use on the site and would ask that if NHDC are minded to approve this application that an appropriate and `fully enforceable condition, by way of a legally binding Section 106 Agreement if necessary, be imposed in any consent restricting the containers to the same size as are currently on the site and to no more than 73 containers in total. We would also ask that further conditions be imposed to prohibit the use of external lighting to the whole of the site and to restrict the hours of use to those set out in paragraph 3.3 of Messrs Bidwells submission as part of this application and dated 4th May 2016 namely 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am until 5pm at weekends.



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Ref no. 16/01211/1 – Full Planning Permission: One detached 3 bedroom bungalow with new access off Hilltop, Pudding Lane, Barley, SG8 8JX

Following discussions it was agreed to respond with the following comments:

Barley Parish Council objects to this application and in arriving at their decision wish the District Council to take the following comments into account:-

We consider the proposed development to be wholly contrary to the provisions of Selected Village Policy 7 of the current Local Plan. The site lies outside not only the main area of the village (village envelope) in the current 1996 Local Plan but also will lie outside the proposed village envelope of NHDC's "Preferred Options" and "Draft Proposals Maps" published in December 2014 and accordingly should be refused.

As the site is not covered by Selected Village Policy 7 then we assume Policy 6 applies. However in our view the proposals do not comply with any part of this policy either and should similarly be refused accordingly. 

Although not within the Barley Conservation Area the site does fall within Landscape Conservation Area LC2 of Policy 12 of the current Plan and in respect of which we consider the proposal to be contrary to both paragraphs (i) and (ii) of Policy 12 which generally requires proposals to add to the character of North Herts landscapes. The proposed development would not in any way comply with this requirement and should be refused.

Access to the site is very poor. Pudding Lane is a narrow single track unmadeup private road which is a dead end leading nowhere other than to the very few (7no) properties it currently serves and where there are no passing places. It is in our view most unsuitable to accomodate any additional vehicular traffic as would result if this proposal were to be approved. It is already wholly unsuitable to commercial vehicles much larger than a transit type van or flatbed  and we understand that refuse lorries are no longer allowed to use Pudding Lane. The access to the small builders yard opposite the site is only by means of a small vehicle. Emergency vehicles such as fire engines or even ambulances would struggle to reach the site.

The design of the proposed building is in our view poor and of no merit with no extenuating features whatsoever and the application should be refused on this basis alone. The Design and Access Statement that forms part of the application refers to consultations and conversations with NHDC Planning Dept where during the course of those discussions the applicant claims the principle of a new additional single dwelling on the site (in the garden of the existing property known as Hilltop) was acceptable. Given the factors outlined above and in particular the policy issues, we find this statement somewhat difficult to understand. However while we do not in any way agree with the statement that the principle of a new single storey dwelling in this location was acceptable for the reasons set out above, we cannot imagine that the design of the proposed bungalow can in any way be what the officer may have had in mind.

Taking all these factors into account we ask that NHDC refuse this application.

Ref no. 16/01268/1HH – Full Planning Permission: Two storey rear and side extensions following demolition of existing rear porch and side conservatory. Dibble Cottage, School Lane, Barley,

Following discussions it was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council have no objection to this application, the Clerk was asked to respond accordingly.


Dst. Cllr Morris reported that there will be a meeting regarding the Local Plan on 20th July and it is expected that from that the draft Local Plan will be released shortly afterwards.




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Nobles Cottage, Smiths End Lane, Barley

The Clerk read out an email received from Mr & Mrs Chammings regarding their concerns on the references to Nobles Cottage in the Parish Councils minutes. Having circulated this email to Councillors prior to this meeting, Cllr Clark had taken the opportunity to visit Mr & Mrs Chammings to reassure them of the procedures that the Parish Council has to follow with regard to planning applications. One of the Parish Councils main points of concern are the works being carried out to the front perimeter wall and Mr & Mrs Chammings assured Cllr Clark that a planning application was to be made covering the works they propose to the wall but, as of the date of this meeting it was noted that no application appears to have yet been made.


  1. Financial Officers Report & Signing of Payments

Mr Martin reported that the following payments were due this month


Parish Council

Laura Childs Parish Clerk (May hours & office allowance) £ 290.80

Tim Martin RFO fees (May hours) £ 174.60

CDA Annual subscription £ 30.00

G Booth April & May grass cutting & strimming around village £ 398.95 & repairs to machinery

It was agreed that these payments should be made

Proposed by Cllr G Clark and seconded by Cllr M O’Brien


Town House

Carol Robinson April cleaning £ 74.50

Carol Robinson May cleaning £ 95.20

Alison Stacey April letting officer & caretaking fees £ 161.80

Alison Stacey May letting officer £ 91.10

Darren Partt Replacement glass & Town House repairs £ 401.78

Nick Shaw Refund for cleaning £ 20.00

Busy Bee Electrical works to Town House £ 460.55


It was agreed that these payments should be made

Proposed by Cllr M O’Brien and seconded by Cllr G Clark


Wedding deposit cheques refunded

Charlotte Smith £150

Alex Coley £150


Mr Martin reported that the there has been a new cleaner appointed to the Town House by Mr Shaw and we are awaiting their invoice for last months works.


Cllr Clark gave Mr Martin cash payment for an allotment pitch from Mrs Gillroy.


Mr Martin advised that all the relevant audit forms have been signed and sent off to Hardcastle Burton. There have been some changes to the period that the public have the right to view the audit on the notice board and the village website.


The bank statements and balances of accounts were distributed and reviewed.


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  1. Recreation Ground

It was noted that the rubbish bins on the Plaistow are very full and Cllr Clark agreed to empty these on a regular basis.


The works are progressing on the playground and all is on schedule for a grand opening on the day of the Village Show, 9th July.


  1. Scout Hut

Currently nothing further to report, our lawyer is still waiting to hear from the Scouts representatives.

  1. Health & Safety

It is understood that Drew & Baltrop are happy with the arrangements for the Playground works. Cllr Carlisle advised that there was currently nothing further to report.


  1. Correspondence

The Clerk has previously advised of correspondence received from Mrs Veronica Gooding, under Matters Arising, regarding the commemorative clock for her mother.


All other correspondence received is to be circulated amongst Councillors.


  1. Any Other Business

Cllr Clark advised of various conversations that he has had with the school regarding the speed awareness project / poster campaign. It is thought it may be a joint Barkway and Barley school project.


Mr Martin advised that a large branch had been bought down by one of the hay lorries coming through the village and it had fallen into the road.


Gully cleaning vehicles have been spotted in the village but it is thought that they didn’t clear any of the gullies in London Road.


We have been notified that bees are nesting in the Club House again. However as the property is let this is not a matter for the council.


Mr Nick White expressed concern regarding a severe dip in the tarmaced area just past the speed bump at the bottom of the drive to the car park at the rear of the Town House. He also asked if the overgrown vegetation could be cut back at the cross roads with Picknage Road to improve the sight line towards Flint Cross. Cllr Carlisle agreed to speak to Mr Steven Bye to arrange to have it cut back.


Concerns have been raised regarding the over grown hedge protruding into the pavement outside Sunnyside in London Road. Pedestrians are being forced into the highway to get by and the Clerk was asked to write to Mr & Mrs Willans to ask that they cut it back.


Cllr Carlisle asked Mr Martin if he could review the recent Pay Scale released by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services to ensure the Clerk and RFO are paid in line with national recommendations.


Meeting closed at 22:15


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