Minutes of the Additional Parish Council Meeting – Wednesday 11th January 2023

Minutes Uploaded on August 9, 2023


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

In attendance:  K. Tilling (Parish Clerk) and 7 members of the public.

1. Welcome and Apologies:

Councillors and parishioners were welcomed to the first meeting of a New Year. Apologies were received from Cllr Awford and Cllr Mclain.

2. Declarations of Interest:

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

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

 22/0036/TWR3MJ – Coombe Hill junction, Tewkesbury Road, Coombe Hll, Gloucester. Improvements to the existing junction of the A38 and A4019 at Coombe Hill, consisting of the upgrading of the existing left turn lane from A38 onto the A4019 with a longer signal controlled left turn lane, improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and associated infrastructure. Update to information.

Further research on the GCC planning portal shows 7 new documents added on 22nd December including one that attempts to portray that there has been a close working relationship with GCC and the Parish Council. At the meeting in October the Parish Council were promised revised plans and further information relating to some of the issues raised. Nothing new has been submitted to the Parish Council to date. Neighbouring Parish Councils like Norton have also added their concerns to the portal, all have been dismissed with the GCC response. This is difficult to progress as GCC seem to think they they have answered all the issues raised, there are no foreseeable problems and then given themselves the green light to proceed regardless of the objections and comments from various parishioners that will be ultimately affected by the work at Coombe Hill.

The additional lighting that has been introduced is an on-going major concern. This area is rural and there is green land in close proximity to all the roads that meet at this junction. One road leads directly to the carpark for the Coombe Hill Nature Reswerve and SSSI site. Ongoing research by several Councilors has suggested that alternative lighting could be provided for this junction by one of two means. Firstly, if the speed through the junction were to be reduced, less lights would be required.  There have been a number of accidents on the A38 and A4019 lately and more than more Parish Council is considering asking for speed reductions and traffic calming measures.  GCC implied that reducing the speed limit would be a Police issue and not part of this scheme. Parish Council could consider a Community Speedwatch scheme to look at lowering the speed limit through Coombe Hill from 40 to 30 mph.  This would have a very positive impact for the new householders for Villard Close and Lapwing Meadows estate trying to get in and out of their roads onto the A38. Cllr Glazebrook confirmed he would investigate if there is a suitable GCC Highways contact for Highways Safety/Speed and whether they could also provide contact details for a similar discussion with the local Police force. The other lighting option concentrates on reducing the light pollution from any lights that are installed at the junction.  The A38 at Upton on Severn has installed new lights that help support nocturnal wildlife including bats.  Further research will be done on this and then forwarded to GCC.

At the October meeting the Parish Council noted that National Highways were not in a position to recommend their approval to the proposals and asked for further information. The lengthy response to the various LPC concerns was captured in a document that was only found on the portal dated 22nd December 2022 and not actually sent to the Parish Council.  As of this meeting tonight, there is no further updated response from National Highways so they are currently not supporting the scheme.

The Parish Council have been asked to list their main concerns but the Parish Council will simply be reiterating comments and concerns already concerned because despite GGC saying that responses to the queries should  alleviate the concerns, they have not.

The Parish Council are not aware if the tender documents have been prepared in advance. It is no good showing the prospective contractors a list of Parish Council concerns (inluding the neighbouring Parish Councils that will also be affected) after the tender documents have been issued. Considerations should include previous knowledge of working in this location, working times should be strictly adhered to – encourage/maximise working hours. There needs to be a plan in place for putting up and taking down any temporary traffic lights when construction work is not happening plus emergency plans for dealing with motorway closers resulting it extra heavy traffic use through Coome Hill. Get contractors to consider working from verges out to tarmac and think about propriatory work first.

Parishioners feel to need to continue to raise these concerns with the Tewkesbury MP, Lawrence Robertson and the Parish’s County Council representstive, Cllr Awford. The Parishioners still feel they are not being heard. Other suggestions include contacting CPRE, local farmer organisations as this work will be very disruptive to any farmers driving tractors through the junction whilst construction work is under way.

The only benefits that existing parishioners can see is to roadusders travelling through the area after  th work is done, plus safer road crossings for the new estates which should have been incorporated within their own planning applications in the first place.

Updates on pending Planning Applications …

22/00635/FUL – Leigh Farm, Barn Conversion. A land drainage report on the portal suggests infiltration may be not successful/achievable on the mustones. The report submitted by the applicant suggests the area benefits from a mains sewerage system that runs along the site frontage onto Blacksmith Lane. This is not a mains sewerage pipe and the proposed development is not able to connect to a public system within the village, as there is none. Clerk has been asked to remind the planning officers of this situation.  The EHO have asked for a further report to rule out a contaminated land site.

22/00649/FUL – Leigh Farm, New dwelling. There has been no new information placed on the planning portal since the Parish Council comments were submitted on 18th August 2022.

22/00880/FUL – New dwelling in Blacksmith Lane. The tree officer has raised no objections providing that conditions are imposed to protect the trees already on site. An updated PEA report has been conducted and submitted in November 2022 and there is a response to it from the Planning Ecological Adviser in December 2022.  GCC Highways have recommended refusal as the proposal conflicts with the sustainable transport aims of the NPPF.

22/01003/FUL – The Croft, holiday lets/solar panels.Revised details have been submitted which show the solar panels relocated to the rear of the field and away from the PROW.    This was felt to be a much better location which given time, will be screen by the proposed hedge. The Conservation Officer had no objections to this.  Looking at the revised drawings it is not clear which land is proposed to be changed from agriculture to residential ….  Shaded green on the drawing.  The Parish Council, not happy with just accepting that some of the land might be given a change of use, agree to word the response to ensure that any change of use was to be very specific/localised and relating to the panels only. It was queried if this was actually necessary at all.

4. To discuss Highways updates

Cllr Glazebrook confirmed that the white lines have now been painted by the triangle on Church Lane.

Water outside The Croft – further drainage checks have been requested.

The Wharf Lane has been painted with the words SLOW. Sadly the S is already wearing off. There are several large potholes but these are currently helping to slow traffic down.

Grit Bin – How much and where from.

Blocked drain opposite the bus stop on the A38 not far from Blacksmith Lane – creates a large puddle that spreads across the one lane.

 5. To discuss how to report a Rural Crime.

Further to the information shared at the December meeting, the Clerk has received a helpful and detailed response from the local Police Officer responsible for Rural Crimes. The full response will be published on the Parish Council website. In essence, he asks that if residents have any concerns over any hunts taking place where they live and experience any anti social behaviour from the hunt, hounds out of control in gardens or the highway or out and out breaches of the Act whereby a wild mammal is purposely pursued then they are encouraged to contact the Police on 101 if it is a non emergency or 999 if it meets the criteria. Members of the Public are also encouraged to visit the Gloucestershire Police website and report incidents to them via the online reporting tool rather than waiting on the 101 telephone system as this can be quite a wait during peak hours.

Councillor McLain also provided a helpful report in her absence, which provided information on TBC new housing and homelessness strategy, recruitment issues within TBC, TBC issues om warm spaces, food projects, flooding, HFU scheme.

Meeting closed at 20.45pm