Minutes of the Additional Parish Council Meeting – Tuesday 2nd May 2023

Minutes Uploaded on August 9, 2023


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Present:  Cllr. L. Glazebrook (Chair), Cllr P. Howse, Cllr. K. Morton, Cllr R. Theyer and Cllr J. Arkell (late)

Attendance:  Cllr H. Mclain, K. Tilling (Parish Clerk) and 3 members of the public.

1. Apologies:

There were no apologies. Cllr Arkell is not able to get to the start of the meeting, so the Vice Chair, Cllr Glazebrook was asked to conduct the meeting.

2. Declarations of interest:

Pursuant to the adoption by the Parish Council on 14th November 2012 of Leigh Parish Council’s Code of Conduct, effective from 14th November 2012 and set out in the minutes of 14th November 2012, Parish Councillors are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the agenda to which the approved Code applies. The following declaration was made: Cllr Theyer declared an interest in the planning application relating to Paddock Cottage. Cllr Theyer would leave the room when this planning application is being discussed.

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

 23/00293/OUT – Land at Church Lane, Church Lane, The Leigh.  Erection of 2 no. 4 bed dwellings including details of access with all other matters (appearance, scale, layout and landscaping as reserved matter) reserved. The Parish Council are aware that local individuals will be submitting their personal comments direct to TBC if they have not done so already.  The outline application is for potentially 2 four bed dwellings. The only detail is the access, but all other matters such as appearance, scale, layout and landscaping all remain reserved matters. Unfortunately, all the reserve matters are the parts of a planning application that matter most to the residents that live closest to the location. It is important to know this information before a considered decision can be made.  Previous bad experiences with other outlining planning applications only strengthens the Parish Council’s concerns and mistrust of this cheaper way to obtain planning permission. It gives the applicant free range to change almost everything within the application once a planning principle is established. The Parish Council do not support this type of application as they do not know what they are signing off. The proposed plot is referred to as Christmas Tree Field by local residents. There was a brief discussion on whether the proposal fitted within the adopted Neighbourhood Plan for the Leigh and Coombe Hill, especially consideration around infilling. Following the adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan and the TBC 10 year plan the Parish Council consider that the parish have now taken more than the required number of new houses originally proposed and certainly there is no requirement for more large houses within the village. This type of planning application does not provide a chance for young people to remain within the village or attract new people in. It was noted that Severn Trent have no objections to the proposal, but as there are no public sewers anywhere within the whole parish, they do not acknowledge this fact and therefore are not involved in the dealing with grey/foul water so their comment is irrelevant.

22/01217/FUL: Paddock Cottage, Church Lane, The Leigh. Change of use of existing paddock to domestic curtilage. Erection of a carport with home office above.  Cllr Theyer was asked to leave the meeting whilst this application was discussed.  Parish Councillors felt that the design of the carport was sympathetic.  The applicant was queried on the need for a carport when they already have a garage on the other side of the house. They were also questioned about lighting as the neighbours opposite are concerned about light pollution.  The applicant explained that both home owners now work from home a number of days of the week and the extra room would be used for this purpose. The applicant also confirmed that there would be no visitors to the annexed carport/home office as a result of working from home and therefore no additional traffic movements for the narrow lane. The Parish Council are happy to support the move for people to work from home.  The Parish Council felt that it would be necessary to ensure that a restriction was added to this application should it be approved, and not able to be sold off separately in the future. TBC must ensure that this building always remains ancillary to the main house.  Past experiences have shown that garages have been separated and changed into a dwelling, thereby creating a new house from something that was once ancillary.  This must not be allowed to happen. The change of use of land was not an issue as the parcel is land is quite small.

4. To provide a brief update on Highways issues:

a) Landslide. Further to the discussions at the last meeting in April there has been little information coming out from Highways. The temporary blocks are now in place. Residents want to know why the landslide happened, is it likely to happen again and what are the longer terms plans to fix the sloping land above the retaining blocks.  There was no problem with this area of ground until the new houses were built so its is logical to assume that the Developers have done something during the housing construction.  The parish Council have received a request from a Wharf resident asking for the Parish Council to call a meeting and invite the necessary agencies to attend and explain what happens next. Some one is going to have to pay for all this work and there will be further, considerable disruption when the longer-term fix is agreed.  Cllr Glazebrook agreed to speak with his contacts at Highways.  The clerk has also emailed the Highways Manager for the area and is awaiting a response.  The Clerk also made contact with the PROW officer regarding the over grown state of the PROW’s closest to the Wharf and she due to visit the area next Friday.

b) Flooding and drains. Discussions centred on the area outside The Croft. Highways have suggested that they will organise further funding for CCTV to put sent down the drains. They need to do a survey of the whole system.  Theyer suggested that Highways insert a manhole cover part way down the system to help with any future rodding.

The drains closest to Tod House and Wellcroft Farm continue to cause concerns.  Foul water is still draining into the pond despite coming from newly installed treatment plants.  The water becomes stagnant by Wellcroft. Many of the ditches have been squashed by the various large vehicles in the area delivering construction materials.  The Clerk did contact the Environmental Health team at TBC and received a rather strange message back. She will follow this up again but, in the meantime, Cllr Mclain will also make contact with Peter Ting, Head of the EH section and see if she can speed up the help.

5. To approve the Accounts for 2022/2023.

Karen Morton, RFO, has prepared all the paperwork for the end of year accounts.  These have then been sent to the internal auditor (Hazel Cotton) for checking. They are now back and need to be approved, signed and then sent to Grant Thornton.  The CIL money has now started to come in so the accounts are showing a massive credit balance.  As these funds are time limited, there is now a list of community items that will be purchased with this money. The aim is to start placing orders for items once the new Parish Council is in place in a few weeks’ time. The basic PC spending is still within the Precept budget. Projects have been completed recently like the purchase of a large tree for the Kings Coronation and the purchase and installation of a flag and pole.  The initial £12 thousand of CIL money has to be spent in the next twelve months. It is felt that the majority of the CIL money should be spent at Coombe Hill.  Cllr Howse will look into organising an event at the Swan at Coombe Hill to get all the new and older residents together. The 2022/2023 Accounts were proposed by Cllr Theyer and seconded by Cllr Arkell. All approved. The Chair and the Clerk were asked to sign several areas of the paperwork and the approved accounts have been noted in the minutes to ensure that everything is compliant.

 6. To consider the purchase of a commemorative coin.

At the meeting in April it was suggested that each of the children in the village could be presented with a Coronation commemorative coin. As this was a community initiative it was felt this could be financed from CIL money. Cllr Morton has looked into the purchase of coins and although it is a £5 crown, the actual purchase cost was £14.50.  A quick estimate of young people aged 16 and under and living in the Parish comes to a total of approx. £580.  The Parish Council felt this was a nominal amount and to go ahead and create the required application for local residents to apply for a commemorative coin.

Any other business.

The Commemorative Tree has been purchased and planted in the Church grounds, with the appropriate permissions in place.  The clerk has been looking into a plaque for this tree. The Parish Council have also been asked to purchase a plaque for an older commemorative tree. The clerk just neds to establish what year it was plant or why. The recently installed bench by the village pond would also benefit for a plaque so that future generation will understand that it was funded by a Covid 19 Grant.

Cllr Theyer has been looking into Parish name plaques.  He will circulate the one for the Leigh which includes an image of the Church. There was a discussion about the ones for Coombe Hill. There are three required to cover the three main roads leading up to the traffic lights. Further discussion about an appropriate image for these is needed and they cannot be put in place until after the junction upgrade has been completed.

A resident has suggested that the Parish Council purchase an old red telephone box and install it why. in its original position by the Village triangle and then used as a book exchange.  After consideration it was felt that this was too expensive to purchase and a second one would need to be installed at Coombe Hill. Also, there is currently a book exchange run at the Church and it would detract from their funding.

Meeting closed 20.40