Wellow Parish Council


Geoff White

Myrtle Cottage, Wellow, BA2 8QS

Tel:  01225 830159



Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 14th March 2011

at 8.00pm in the Village Hall.


Present: Cllrs Andrews, Betts, Colston, Halewood, Lewis, Martin (Chairman), Watson and Witty and District Cllr Butters.

Ten members of the public in attendance.





11.035             To accept apologies for absence.

                        None received


11.036             Declarations of interest in any matters on the agenda or in February 2011 minutes

                        Cllr Watson declared an interest in the planning application in respect of The Crest.


11.037             To confirm minutes of meeting held on February 14th 2011.

The minutes were unanimously agreed to be a true and correct record and were accordingly signed by the Chairman.


11.038             To report matters arising from the minutes and not on the agenda.



11.039            Planning


Decisions received:

The Chairman drew Councillors’ attention to the fact that B&NES had approved the conversion works at The Old Works, Railway Lane but had refused permission for the use of agricultural land at Midford as a burial site.


New applications:


a 11/00315/FUL:  The Crest, Bath Hill

Conversion of existing outbuilding to additional dwelling space and erection of a link building connecting the main house to the proposed conversion, a covered porch following demolition of existing conservatory and verandah to principle elevation and re-fenestration throughout the house.


Cllr Watson, having earlier declared an interest, withdrew from the meeting. Cllr Halewood said that the proposed application was fine and Cllr Andrews agreed.  Cllr Halewood went on to say that he felt the proposal fitted in well with its surroundings at which point Cllr Lewis proposed that the Council support it.  This was agreed unanimously.


Cllr Watson returned to the meeting.


b. St Gregory’s Catholic College. Erection of 6th Form Block – briefing from the Chairman.


The Chairman explained that Wellow had been consulted about the proposal since we are an adjacent parish. The proposal was for a new 6th Form block which would also house a large auditorium. He pointed out that the proposal would necessitate the closure of the stretch of Combe Hay Lane immediately outside the school.  He also said that the proposed site lay within the Green Belt. The use of Culverhay School had been looked at originally but was thought not to be feasible since when closure had been announced.


The Chairman expressed concern that the proposal would lead to extra traffic and Cllr Halewood said that it might well lead to extra traffic taking a shortcut through Wellow and said that we could support the proposal provided suitable traffic management was put in place.  Cllr Watson said that he didn’t think it would lead to extra traffic in Wellow and, in any case, most of the traffic cutting through Wellow continued on to Trowbridge rather to Odd Down.


The proposal included parking for 65 cars which the Council felt was insufficient.  Cllr Andrews suggested that a corner of the Park and Ride site which is currently unused could be used for parking.


Cllr Halewood said that planning permission would not normally be granted in the Green Belt.


Cllr Colston suggested that the Council would support the proposal provided Green Belt criteria were met and traffic management was put in place in order to discourage rat running through Wellow.  However, he asked to look at the plans again to check whether any reference was made to traffic. He confirmed that there was, in fact no reference to traffic nor was there any mention of parking.  The design of the building itself was similar to the existing 1960’s block.


As a result Cllrs Colston and Watson suggested that Wellow Parish Council should object to the proposals on the grounds that this was a lost opportunity in respect of the building’s design, given its prominence at one of Bath’s boundaries.  They further said that objections should be voiced because there was no mention of traffic management and that the suggestion that the development would not result in an increase in traffic was risible.  Cllr Witty reminded the Chairman of earlier concerns regarding the Green Belt.  There was unanimous agreement that the Parish Council should object on these grounds.                                                                                                AM




Cllr Betts reported that some shrub removal had taken place at Bubblers Dytch.



11.040             Finance

The Council unanimously approved all payments as well as the financial report for February. Cllr Lewis wanted to be sure that the works at the Village would be completed before the Council handed over the cheque for payment.  The Chairman said he would keep the cheque until such time as he was satisfied that the work was finished but indicated that this should only be necessary for a day or two.                                                                             AM



11.041             Parish Plan

(a)   Traffic calming – Cllr Watson

Cllr Watson reported that a formal speed check would be carried out in approximately three weeks.  The Clerk reported that he had informed Council Connect about the mal-functioning electronic speed detector at the West Gate and that they would be effecting repairs. 


Richard Holland, a member of the public, asked about the Wellow signs. Cllr Watson said that Cathy Beale was designing them and that he would like an item regarding the signs to be included on the next agenda. He reminded the Council that there was a possibility that the signs could be paid for out of the Millennium Fund.                                                                                            GW


(b)   Play Area – Cllrs Lewis / Betts

Cllr Lewis referred to the Quarterly Report and said that B&NES had agreed that the £2755 left from our original grant could be spent on repairs.  Cllr Lewis confirmed that he does not wish to purchase any new equipment but rather bring the existing facilities up to standard.  The quotations he has received for doing this exceed the remaining funds by £800.  Cllr Betts asked whether any of the present defects would result in parts of the play area being closed.  Cllr Lewis said that this was not the case.


The Chairman said that he did not want an in-coming Parish Council – elections are due on May 5th 2011 – to have to deal with the play area and suggested that we authorize the work and pay any extra costs from our existing funds.  This was agreed unanimously.                                              GL



11.042             Community Minibus

Cllr Witty reported that a further six drivers had been trained and that all trips thus far had operated as advertised.


She said that the proposed runs to Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Tesco’s at Farrington Gurney would start on April 1st.  Because of the grant received from the Parish Council, Wellow residents could use their bus passes and therefore travel free of charge.  The normal fares would be £1 each way to Radstock and £2 each way to Midsomer Norton and Tesco’s.



11.043             1, West End Cottages

Cllr Colston referred to the deadline set for the owner to agree to the Council’s proposals.  No positive response has been received and so the Council agreed unanimously to rescind the original offer which would have allowed the owner to construct an entrance off the Village Hall driveway. Cllr Colston said he would act on this decision immediately.                                                            AC


11.044             Shop adjacent to Fox and Badger

Cllr Colston advised that he would press for a definite proposal in respect of the shop. 


11.045             Works at the Village Hall

The Chairman said that the Council had received an update during discussions following the Finance Report, (Agenda Item 11.040).  No further discussion was deemed necessary.


11.046             Unmaintained buildings

The Chairman referred to his earlier contacts with the owner of Foxcote. He advised of a new policy regarding unoccupied dwellings launched by B&NES.  He and District Cllr Butters had met with Graham Sabourn, the deputy Director of Housing at B&NES, and had been told that B&NES had identified some 500 unmaintained properties and would prioritise targeting them based on a scoring system.  The Chairman was sceptical that anything would get done but District Cllr Butters said that this matter had now been given a much higher priority within B&NES. He said he was minded to write to the Housing Minister as he feels very strongly about it.


Cllr Halewood said that 4, West End Cottages had now been sold and that renovation work had already started.


11.047             Local elections                      

The Chairman referred to the public meeting he had held immediately prior to the Council meeting during which he had outlined the role of the Parish Council to potential candidates.  He said he did not wish to add anything further at this stage.


11.048             Royal Wedding

The Chairman referred to the notice from Avon and Somerset Police asking that they be informed of any planned public events.  The Clerk said that he had forwarded the correspondence to Colin Tremellen as he was likely to be involved in any plans.


11.049             Correspondence

The Council noted the correspondence relating to the Community Empowerment Fund and to the application to be able to use ordnance Survey maps as part of parish Online.  The Clerk explained that Parish Councils had only just become eligible to use such resources.

The Clerk reported that he had had a response to his request to Council Connect regarding repairs to the footpaths between the Square and St Julian’s Church and that repair work was pending.


11.050             Chairman’s Report

The Chairman reported on his attendance at the last Parish Liaison meeting and referred to solar panels for electricity generation, road gritting and staff reductions.  He said that B&NES had received some 1500 responses to the proposed Core Strategy.


11.051             Any other business

Cllr Witty asked whether a notice could be put in the Parish News asking for suggestions in the light of the Community Empowerment Fund (See Agenda Item 11.049)   The Chairman asked her to write a suitable article.                   MW


The Clerk was asked to contact the Highways Dept regarding diversions at Odd Down during the week commencing March 21st when the road between The Red Lion Roundabout and the one by the Park and Ride would be closed overnight from 7pm to 7am.  The resulting closure would mean no direct access to Radstock and Peasedown St John.                                                  GW


Cllr Betts said that a new waste bin was about to be installed at the Village Hall drive


Cllr Colston referred to flooding along Stoney Littleton Lane and said he would contact Council Connect about it.                                                        AC


11.052             Date of next meeting

Confirmed as Monday April 11th 2011 at 8pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.29pm.



GW 24.02.11