Minutes Uploaded on March 3, 2022


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Present:  Cllr. J. Arkell (Chair), Cllr. M. Chandler, Cllr. L. Glazebrook and Cllr. R. Theyer.

In attendance:  Cllr. Awford, K. Tilling (Parish Clerk) and 3 members of the public.

1. Welcome and Apologies:

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

2. Declarations of Interest:

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

3. To formally approve the Minutes of the last meeting:

The minutes from the previous meeting of 10th November 2021 were approved. Proposed by Cllr Theyer and seconded by Cllr Glazebrook. All in favour.

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

 21/01217/FUL – Todpool Cottage, the Leigh, Gloucester GL19 4AG. Retrospective application for an erection of a single storey extension. This is a retrospective application that has seen an extension built without the relevant planning permission and following an enforcement investigation. The Parish Council are disappointed that this is yet another application where although the planning system is known it is not followed. The Parish Council’s comments are more about how the extension has come about rather than the actual building. The new extension is not really visible from the road. The Parish Council are not in a position to support such actions as yet again it does not set a good example to others. The Parish Council were minded to record their disapproval.

21/01364/FUL: Hoefield House, Church Lane, The Leigh. Demolition of an existing carport and erection of a garage with room above. This application seeks to demolish the existing carport and replace it with an oak-framed building incorporating office space above. Councillors felt that the overall design was acceptable but were concerned about the need to include the additional space above.  Objections were noted in relation to the size of the space above the car parking area, as it is a big space.  There is no mention on the plans for any toilet facilities if this is to be used for any kind of accommodation above. TBC planners will be asked to consider a planning restriction on the use of the building if the application was deemed acceptable by the planning officer.

21/00796/FUL: Greystones Tewkesbury Road Coombe Hill Gloucester Gloucestershire GL19 4AT Demolition of single storey and two storey rear extensions and erection of a two storey rear extension. This is an amendment to the original application where a minor alteration to the size of the extension has now been submitted. The original comments submitted by the Parish Council in July 2021 drew attention to TBC’s policy HOU6 (HOU3) which concentrates on the retention, repair and refurbishment of existing dwellings in the countryside.  It is very specific in its encouragement in ‘the appropriate re-use of existing dwellings’. It is also noted that this ‘policy is intended to discourage prospective developers seeking to effectively create a large new family house in place of a small traditional cottage’. It further states that ‘design policies will also apply with particular care to needing to be taken within rural areas’.

TBC Planners were reminded that Greystones is a typical 3 bedroomed house that needs to be modernised due to lack of maintenance over several decades.  This application continues to seek demolition of the single and two storey extensions at the rear of the property, including the open sided car port.  The original drawings showed that the replacement two storey extensions went beyond the outer edges of the car port by several metres. The proposed plans for this new dwelling still show a much bigger house, modern at the back with the stonework being retained at the front and still proposing 5 bedrooms so the reduction in size is considered very minor. The Parish Council did welcome the retention of the stone façade at the front.

There are still no references to any climate change initiatives for this application which is disappointing as TBC declared a Climate Emergency in October 2020 which sought to include energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings (including domestic buildings)..

The Parish Council were also concerned about the lack of helpful information about the foul water/drainage on site. Local knowledge has confirmed that the old septic tank is at the front (side) of the house.  Not only will this need to be replaced due to age, but enlarged to accommodate the increased capacity of the house.  It is understood that the old system allowed foul water to be pumped onto adjoining land which is no longer part of the curtilage (and most certainly against environmental health regulations). The owner explained that a package treatment plant will be installed to comply with Building Control but there is still no reference to it on the amended details supplied so assumptions of its siting etc. cannot be made.

In summary the Parish Council have no real objections to the current proposals for the redevelopment of this house but draw attention to the need for it to comply with TBC Housing policy Hou6 (Hou 3) regarding size and scale of alterations to an existing house in a rural setting, the need for detailed information about the siting etc. for the treatment of foul water on site and the acknowledgement that the house sits within the Landscape Protection Zone and complies with this policy also.

5. To discuss the commencement of works at the Bovis/Hitchens site (Vistry Group)

It has been noted that work has commenced on the land behind the petrol station at Coombe Hill. At present Hitchens/Bovis only have outline planning for the site, gained after an Appeal at the start of this year. The Clerk, having spoken to the Planning Officer responsible for the location, was able to confirm that until Full planning is approved the site layout, drainage and the construction of roads is not permitted.  A licence from the Highways allowing access on to the A4019 was granted which resulted in a flurry of activity on site, plus the blocking of pavements and bus stop due to inconsiderate site workers. A complaint has been logged with the police about this blatant disregard to the public health and safety, not to mention the amount of mud that was being left on the road each day.  The 6 month licence grants temporary access to the site but the Parish Council has noted that it is to a very high spec that is not temporary. It is however, the easiest way to access the field but not the correct way.  If TBC were minded they could object to the licence and seek its revoke.  All matters are reserved for this site so locals are now watching the area very closely.  The Parish Council will continue to keep prodding the TBC planner and ensure that the senior officers are copied in so there is full transparency about the activities being observed on site. The planner believes that access to the site is purely for archaeological digging and that access to the site was always intended to be off the A38. The Parish Council will upscale their concerns and continue to monitor the activities on site with the help of several parishioners.

 6. To receive updates on the following:

Queen’s 70th Anniversary Celebrations – an inaugural note has been included in the Parish Newsletter and information about various ways to help celebrate are starting to come forward

CIL Money – Following the meeting last month a letter has been sent to Paul Hardiman to request the drawing down of the money in more manageable amounts.  The Parish Council now need to give serious thought on how to spend this money. The suggestion is to draw up a wish list with costings and then put the suggestions out to the parishioners for further consideration. Draft suggestions are required for the Jan meeting.

Leigh Flood Defence Scheme pump – following on from the meeting last month and a few hurdles, the EA are now organising the funding direct with the Management Company. There was further discussions around the sinking of manhole covers, 6” twin walled pipe and gravity flow rates being sufficient for the pump.  An increase in the pipe diameter might be advisable. The pond is a Parish Council asset and it is hoped that the management company share their plans with the Parish Council.  There is some concern around pump capacity and vegetation getting stuck in the pipe.

LNDP progress – the final plan has now gone to the inspector. The Parish Council now wait for comments on its contents. The Parish Council plan has been written to under pin the TBC plan.

Covid 19 Grant – an order has been submitted for the bench following the successful bid from the Covid 19 Grant fund. The new bench will arrive sometime in the early part of 2022.

7. To consider whether the Parish Council wish to submit a response to the TBC Main modifications consultation.

This was reported at the last meeting, the Clerk agreed to draft a brief paragraph based on the comments.

8. Any other business.

Asbestos – it has been reported that asbestos is being dumped in the village.  Richard Theyer has picked it up and bagged it.

Salt bins – thinking ahead to any bad weather – some of the bins need topping up.

Highways have been busy clearing drains in the Leigh.

Blocked drains at Coombe Hill – As already reported to Highways but nothing appears to have been done. Following the work by RAW Civil Engineering on the drains at Coombe Hill. A quantity of their stone has fallen down the fairly recently cleared out drains on the Gloucester side of A38 at Coombe Hill. The result is now a massive puddle of water that blocks the nearside lane at the lights when there is heavy rain.  Cllr Glazebrook agreed to speak to Highways and the Clerk agreed to look up the previous email warning of this potential problem.

Parking at the Church – The Parish Council understands that there is a proposal for additional parking at the Church. When not in use the ground will be used for farm plant.  A question was asked about how big is an area before it needs planning permission. The Clerk will investigate further.

M5 Junction 10 consultation – time limited and is the other part of the M5 upgrade that was separated from the Coombe Hill part.  Details on the traffic flow need to be challenged and how it will affect the traffic through Coombe Hill. There are numerous water issues with the various proposals. The River Chelt is the main water course running through the area but there are other smaller brooks and streams that feed into it.  How will the hard landscaping impact on the wild life corridors? There is plenty to look at and plenty to query. There are drop in sessions at the Fire Station plus details are on line.  Parishioners are encouraged to look at the details and respond to the consultation. It is strongly felt that the scheme at Coombe Hill is under engineered. The length of time that they will need – for traffic control measures – has been under estimated.  Both schemes are the biggest infrastructure change in this area since the motorway was built.

The owner of the Bellows gave a brief presentation to provide some details behind his planning application that is currently being drafted. The Parish Council thanked him and will wait for the application to be validated by TBC.

Meeting closed at 20.55pm