Minutes of the Additional Parish Council meeting – 14th December 2022

Minutes Uploaded on February 23, 2023


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Present:  Cllr. J. Arkell (Chair), Cllr Howse and Cllr. R. Theyer.

In attendance:  K. Tilling (Parish Clerk) and 2 members of the public.

1. Welcome and Apologies:

Councillors and parishioners were welcomed to the meeting. Apologies were received from Cllrs Glazebrook and Morton.

2. Declarations of Interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest required in relation to items on the agenda.

3. Matters arising from the November Meeting.

Line marking at the Church Lane junction. As explained at numerous meetings there is not an easy solution for this bit of road. The Parish Council have been given the offer of reinstating the triangle with soil and grass seed in the new financial year if the Parish thought it would help with slowing the speed of vehicles at this location. The Parish Council were also asked if it was likely to be driven over by larger vehicles. Highways are happy to consider all possibilities and whatever is decided they will ensure that all road markings are refurbished through the Leigh as part of their bulk lining programme. The Clerk agreed to dig out the old maps of the Parish and see what the road system used to be like.

Cllr Glazebrook is investigating the idea of a feasibility study to see if a cycle way/upgraded footpath between Coombe Hill and the Leigh is possible.

Foul drainage at the Bovis/Vistry site. The Parish Council have been reliable informed that a 4” foul water pipe has been laid from Coombe Hill to Elmstone Hardwick. It is suggested that this pipe is going to be connected to the existing pumphouse system there. The existing system uses a 2” pipe so connections will not be straightforward. It is also known that the existing system at Elmstone is only just coping with the current number of houses that it supports, it cannot take additional connections.  Severn Trent have not given permission for this connection to take place. Having looked through the many documents on the planning portal for this site, there is no obvious information about the foul water treatment, only surface water runoff and the attenuation pond. The Parish Council therefore concludes that this condition has not yet been fulfilled. The Clerk has left a message with the designated Planning Officer asking for an update.

Green notices – after a couple of emails and still no response, the Clerk rang the main planning number and spoke to a member of staff. She was a little embarrassed that the emails had been ignored but was happy to help over the phone. The following was read out at the meeting:

Are they a statutory requirement? No. Every application is now considered on a case-by-case basis. It depends on whether the planning officer thinks one is required. If it is a small extension, it is likely that the application will generate a ‘neighbour notification’. TBC email the neighbours that might be affected by the proposal. How TBC get hold of these emails was not explained but she did say that if they didn’t have an email they would write.  How they monitor whether they have the correct email address was something I don’t think has crossed their minds.

If the planning officer decides that there should be a green notice, then it is his responsibility that this is displayed. The green notices are not sent to the applicants like they used to be. The person that I spoke to wasn’t aware that it used to be the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that it was displayed. If the Parish Council can ring with the application reference to check if a green site notice has been issued. The Parish Council will continue to receive planning application details regardless of whether a green site notice is issued or not.

Temporary access to the Bovis/Vistry site. The Clerk has emailed several people within the GCC Highways network.  The lack of sufficient road cleaning etc has been reported but there has been no reply. The 6-month temporary access licence for the site has now expired so there are concerns that this is being used without the proper procedures in place.

Road adoption of Villard Close. The recent snowy/icy weather highlighted the importance of the various grit bins around the parish, and it was questioned whether the Parish Council should place one at Villard Close.  The Parish Council are not aware that the road has been adopted but will clarify its status. (Having checked with Highways, they confirmed on 16th December that Villard Close is not yet adopted and is therefore not maintained by Highways.)

It was noted that the grit bucket at Wharf Lane needs to be topped up.

4. To discuss planning applications and consider responses for the following:

22/00876/APP: Variation of condition 6 attached to application reference number 18/00173/FUL dated 20/10/2020 to substitute the condition approved drawing “370-02-100 Rev.P7” for amended plan “370-02-110 Rev.C3” to adjust position of pathway &hedgerow on the eastern side of the attenuation basin due to as-built levels and attenuation basin position.  To substitute approved drawing reference to approved drawing “370-02-110 Rev.P7 to read “370-02-110 Rev.C3. Part Parcel 8917, Tewkesbury Road, Coombe Hill, now known as Villard Close.

This application seeks an alteration of a footpath. The public will always find the shortest route from one point to another, and this is evident by the unofficial pathway that is already appearing because people within the estate are walking to the garage. There is little thought to safety if people are climbing over the metal fencing.  There needs to be a safe pathway that has a gateway nearest the roadway, wide enough for prams and pushchairs.  Logically this path needs to follow a straight line down by the wooden fence and end with a kissing gate to help prevent people running out onto the main road. The Parish Council are aware of the parishioner’s comments on the portal. The Parish Council have no specific comment to make other than suggest that a path should take the most direct route (so this revision needs to be amended), not encourage people to make short cuts across private driveways and ensure that there is a gate along the road boundary that stops people running directly out into the road. Safety is the priority here.

 22/01003/FUL: Change of use of land for the provision of a mobile home for holiday let accommodation and conversion of 1st floor garage to holiday let accommodation, together with change of use of land for display of 20 solar voltaics. The Croft, The Leigh, Gloucester.

A new location plan has been submitted for the siting of the solar panels. The relocation of the panels is an improvement as it takes them further away from the footpath and the proposed hedge should provide a good barrier to disguise them. The Parish Council are concerned about the request for a change of use of land.  A track may be required to allow for installation and maintenance of the panels but there is no requirement for this area to become residential. The change of use is not required unless there are plans to develop this land later and this is an opportunity to change the classification without having to provide any concrete details.  In summary the Parish Council supports the change in location for the panels but objects to the change of use of land to residential.

5. To formally set the request figure or the 2023/2024 Precept.

Further to discussions at the last Parish Council meeting, it was agreed that the Precept figure for 2023/2024 would be £5400. Proposed by Cllr Theyer and seconded by Cllr Howse.  All unanimous. The Clerk will prepare the official request letter and send to TBC in January 2023 before the deadline of 31st January 2023.

 6. To consider and implement a revised pay grade scale for the clerk.

Further to discussions at the last Parish Council meeting, the RFO has been in contact with GAPTC about a correct pay structure for the Clerks position.  The current job description is on a fixed point in the below substantive range. It is suggested that the pay scale should be on the Substantive Range 7 to 12 and depending on knowledge and length in post the clerk would be moved to the most appropriate point. As regards rate per hour and monthly amount, the increase is measured in pence and therefore the Parish Councillors agreed that this should be implemented with immediate effect. It was agreed that the Clerk would move to point 11 wef from 14.12.2022 and then point 12 from 1.4.2023.  This was proposed by Cllr Theyer and seconded by Cllr Howse.  The Job Description needs to be amended to reflect the changes. The Clerk will arrange this.

7. Reporting a Wildlife Crime

Following the recent issue with the hunt, an injured deer and the dogs invading peoples’ gardens, the Clerk has raised a potential rural Wildlife Crime on the Police system. As there has been no response from this the Clerk has suggested a personal visit to the Police Hub at the Tewkesbury Council Offices. The Clerk also requested details of the incident numbers from the members of the public that raised the initial concerns. The Parish Council will remain neutral on this but will clarify the legal position.

8. Any other business.

Consider the purchase of grit spreaders.

 Meeting closed at 20.45pm