Myrtle Cottage, Wellow, BA2 8QS
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Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday, March 11th2013 at 8pm in the Village Hall.
Present: CllrsBetts, Caudle, Clarkson, Doman, Karthauser, Prentice, Wheeler and White along with threemembers of the public.
13.030 To accept apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Andrews and Dist Cllr Butters.
13.031 Declarations of interest in any matters on the agenda or in February minutes
Cllr Doman declared an interest in the item on landfill but the Chairman said that the issue was around possible funding opportunity related to the landfill so he would not need to withdraw.
The Chairman declared an interest under planning in view of his application to remove an apple tree. It was agreed that he should withdraw when that item was discussed.
13.032 To confirm minutes of meeting held on February 11th2013.
The minutes were approved unanimously.
13.033 To report matters arising from the minutes and not on the agenda.
Cllr White said that the works to remove trees at Hillscroft had been carried out. She explained that, although Wellow Parish Council had expressed a desire that one of the trees should be replaced, Jane Brewer from B&NES said that the owners were not under any obligation to do so as the trees in question were not subject to preservation orders. It was suggested that Cllr White should approach the owners with a view to suggesting that they do so anyway. Cllr White agreed to do so. JW
Cllr Caudle raised the appointing of a barrister in connection with the playing field deed but the Chairman said that he would rather it was brought up under AOR.
Cllr Karthauser said that no real progress had been made regarding broadband and that it was down to BT at the moment. He promised a full update at the April meeting and the Clerk said he would put it on the agenda. GW
Cllr Doman said that he had contacted Bristol Water about leakage of water on Mill Hill. It does not appear to be a broken water main. It seems more connected to the exceptionally heavy rains over the winter. After the recent dry (ish) spell, the flow of water has now stopped.
13.034 Neighbourhood Plan
The Chairman said that the deadline for accepting further questionnaires had now passed but he still had some data to enter into the system, which he will do as soon as possible. Some data from the 2011 Census has been released, and this will also be used
He suggested that the group who originally designed the plan should be reconvened in order to carry out a full analysis. He agreed to email Councillors in order to identify a suitable date to meet. HP
The Chairman reported on the meeting he attended with B&NES on their Placemaking Plan. The Core Strategy will define housing needs for the whole of B&NES. The Placemaking Plan sits under the Core Strategy, and defines in more detail the location of new housing/development. The Neighbourhood Plan sits with the Placemaking Plan, and defines exactly where development will be. The Core Strategy/Placemaking Plan defines some Rural Areas where development is “sustainable” – these are called RA1 areas – Wellow is NOT one of these, so planning permission is unlikelyfor new developments in Wellow. The Neighbourhood Plan can, and should, include wider plans than just for housing development, and this is what we will aim to do – a broader Community Plan.
13.035 West End Cottages
The Chairman read through the letter which had been received from Crozier in the light of the decision to grant a lease rather than an outright purchase of access rights.
He asked whether the lease could be sold to the new owners rather than to the builders but Cllr Caudle said that it had to be granted to the builders prior to selling.
The Chairman asked for confirmation that cars would be able to turn round on the site so that the one entrance would be sufficient. This was confirmed by Crozier.
Part of the works being offered by Crozier’s is to install a gate for vehicles part way up the drive. There was discussion over the need for a pedestrian gate to the side of the gate for vehicles, and agreement that there should be a pedestrian gate.
Richard Holland, from the floor, suggested that the Parish Council check the obligations over the drive, notably in the conveyancing document, to ensure none were being contravened. PC
Additional quotes would not be needed as the work involved would be an integral part of the lease.
The proposal is for the Council to grant a lease to the owners of the newly built property, granting access to an entrance to the property part way up the village hall drive, and in return Crozier’s would pay to the Council £14,000, made up of £12,500 in works, and £1,500 payment. This was agreed unanimously.
Cllr Caudle saidthat we need to ask our solicitors to draw up the final lease including a contract for the work.
The Chairman drew attention to the fact that the wall on the left hand side of the driveway (looking up the drive) near the road is crumbling. He suggested that it be repaired but in such a way as to increase the width available for pedestrians and to increase visibility and access for vehicles. Cllr White said that we would need to check with Jane Brewer about this as there was a large tree root behind the wall which would need to be removed. She agreed to make contact with Jane Brewer accordingly. JW
The Parish Council will also ask Crozier to remove the tree root and the wall subject to approval from B&NES. Cllr Doman will approve the final plans prior to their being carried out. PD
a/b: Application Number:13/00312/FUL and 13/00313/LBA
Site Location:Manor Barn, Farm Lane,Wellow
Description of Proposal:Internal and external alterations for the installation of spiral wine cellar under the existing ground floor with the entrance hall and the installation of air vents.
Cllrs Caudle and Clarkson said that they had no problems with either of the above applications and it was unanimously agreed to support them. Cllrs Caudle and Clarkson agreed to contact B&NES accordingly. PC/DC
c: Application Number: 13/00653/TCA
Site location: Canteen Cottage, Canteen Lane, Wellow
Description of Proposal:Fell 1x Apple tree.
As the Chairman himself was the owner of the property in question he withdrew from the meeting.
Cllr White said that she had inspected the tree with Andy Elvin and said that it was restricting the growth of adjacent trees and should be removed. The Parish Council agreed to support the application and Cllr White said that she would respond accordingly. JW
The Chairman resumed his place on the Council.
d. Application Number: 13/00628/LBA
Site location: Holly Tree House, High Street, Wellow
Description of Proposal: External alterations for replacement staircase window
Cllr Clarkson said that she had looked at the detailed plans and had no objection. It was agreed to support the application and Cllr Clarkson said that she would respond accordingly. DC
e. Application Number: 13/00381/FUL
Site Location: Hillscroft, Bull's Hill, Wellow
Description of proposal: Provision of new vehicle entrance lower down Bull's Hill to replace the existing entrance
Cllr Caudle said that she had concerns over this application. It is identical to the application which was turned down in 2010.
Cllr Clarkson said that she doesn’t feel that the existing entrance is dangerous. The proposed entrance is even more on the convex corner of the road. Concern was expressed over the fact that there would be a lot of hard standing but no direct access to the house.
It was agreed that Cllrs Caudle and Clarkson would respond accordingly.
Other planning matters
Cllr Clarkson reported on her meeting with Martin Fahie, the owner of Chapel House, about the roof lights and oriel windows which he is having installed. As a result Phil Miller, Enforcement Officer at B&NES, will be visiting him to advise on planning matters.
The Parish Council has been advised that the Highways Dept have opposed the planning application at Bubblers Dytche. Tessa Hampden, the Planning Officer, has yet to make a decision. Cllr Clarkson agreed to contact both District Cllr Butters and Tessa Hampden for an update. Should the application be referred to committee, she will attend. DC
Cllrs Caudle and Clarkson were asked to contact B&NES for clarification of the term “non-material amendments” (NMA) as applied to planning applications, and to ask B&NES to put in place a policy on NMAs, as other councils have.
The Parish Council noted that the application for the removal of a tree at Summerfield had been approved.
Thefinancial statement for March was approved. Cllr Betts asked why a number of the payments were to the Clerk. The Clerk explained that he had had to pay a number of bills in connection with the Village Survey, eg printing and hire charges, and that he was being re-imbursed.
The payments as listed on the agenda were approved.
13.038 Station Road Car Park
District Cllr Butters had emailed an update regarding the possibility of the Parish Council taking ownership of the Car Park. The question has been passed to Richard Long – who has asked “car parking”. The informal response was that if the Parish Council wanted to keep the land as a car park, B&NES would be willing to release it, possibly for some payment. But a more formal answer is needed.
Cllr Karthauser said that we should have a reason for buying the car park – if we wanted it to remain as a car park, there didn’t seem to be any benefit in the Parish Council taking ownership, and there would be some costs, so it should remain in B&NES’ ownership.
Councillors were asked to come to the next meeting with a proposal for the use of the car park, or provide other clear reason for purchasing it.
Richard Holland, from the floor, said that he had been in touch with Sadie Cox at B&NES to get repairs made to the lane leading to the car park. Sadie had referred the matter to Ian Dony at B&NES. We are still waiting for his response.
It was suggested that thebar which restricts the height of vehicles able to enter the car park should be put back in place, as there have been occasions when people have stayed in the car park overnight and left rubbish behind. Until B&NES have a Gypsy and Travellers policy in place, with suitable sites, there is still the fear that the car park could become an illegal site. The Council agreed that the bar should be re-instated, at least until the Gypsy and Travellers policy was formalized by a vote of 7 to 1. The Clerk said he would liaise with Mr Holland about it. GW
13.039 Community Speed Watch
Cllr Betts reported that the police have advised us that they will not support the Wellow Community Speed Watch in a 20mph zone, and have asked for all the equipment to be returned. They have also advised us that they will not enforce speed limits below 30mph.
The Chairman proposed that we continue with informal speed checks in order to obtain further evidence of speeding and that we should write to District Cllr Butters, Jacob Rees-Mogg (our MP) and the Police Commissioner about the inability of the police to enforce the 20mph limit, particularly as B&NES are introducing a number of 20mph speed limits. DC/HP
13.040 Shop next to the Fox and Badger
Cllr White has contacted the agent for the owners of the shop, to suggest getting the shop back into operation, and possibly as a location for a library in Wellow, but there has been no response the owners yet.Cllr White will follow up. JW
The Chairman said that he had been to the opening of Combe Hay’s library in the Church at Combe Hay, and suggested that Wellow could do the same thing in the village hall. Cllr Betts suggested that the community centre in Manor Close could be a better location as it is available from Tuesday to Thursday.
If the shop next to the Fox and badger is not to be used as the library, Cllr Karthauser said he would like to see it used for something, as it is derelict at the moment.Councilors were asked to come up with a use.
13.041 Village Hall Trustees
Cllr Betts reported that there were 4 Trustees on the Village Hall Committee. Some of these are likely to retire soon, and either replacements need to be found, or some other way found to manage the hall. A representative from each organisation that uses the Village Hall should provide a trustee. It was not clear what the responsibilities or liabilities of the trustees were – Cllr Prentice to clarify for the next meeting. HP
The Chair asked what action the Village Hall Committee was taking to meet the Equality Act 2010 (which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). There was discussion over some historic funding, now held by The Magic Box that was for building improvements. Cllr Betts agreed to contact Vicky Hammerton re: the plans and planning application for a hall extension. SB
13.042 Landfill Sites
Correspondence had been received from Gitte Dawson about the Landfill Communities Fund, and whether Wellow could benefit from this. Because of the length of the meeting so far, it was agreed to defer this item until the April meeting. GW
13.043 Trees at Village Hall
Cllr White mentioned that the trees in the play area had been inspected some years ago to ensure the safety of people using the facilities. As one of the trees in the driveway did come down some time ago she suggested that an inspection of all the trees that the parish council is responsible for should be inspected every 5 years. Cllr White has asked Scott of Wildwood to do this – he has agreed to do this for a fee of around £25. It was agreed that we should go ahead with this but Cllr Karthauser asked whether he could survey the car park trees as well. Cllr White said she would ask Scott to do this as well although she pointed out that the car park is not actually owned by the Parish Council. JW
13.044 Any Other Reports
Cllr Clarkson asked whether anything could be done about the flooding on the road just beyond Ford Farm. Cllr Doman agreed to approach B&NES about it. PD
Cllr Caudle reported that the various muddy footpaths had been cleared.
Cllr Wheeler reported on his meeting in connection with flooding at Wellow Brook and in Chew Stoke and agreed to give a full update at the next meeting after he had been fully briefed himself. Because there had been a death at Chew Stoke, when a driver tried to cross the flooded ford, it is likely that B&NES will put further measures in place to prevent people attempting to use flooded fords. TW/GW
Cllr White said that we had been offered an apple tree by the local charity “More Trees for B&NES” and that she would arrange collection and look after it until such time as the Parish Council were able to find a permanent site for it. JW
Cllr Doman said that the installation of new bollards at the Village Hall was nearly complete.
The Chairman reported that B&NES had completed their quarterly check of the playground equipment, and had issued their report. B&NES will replace a faulty brake buffer on the Gyrospiral free of charge. The report had two medium risk items that need looking into. TW/HP
The Chair reported a parishioner was concerned about the development of land on the Dunkerton Road – apparently without any planning permission, and concern that the Peasedown Community Farm was leaving debris on the land as it closed down. Both issues to be looked into. HP
The Chair wanted to discuss the “General Power of Competence” at the next meeting. The Localism Act gave Parish Councils the General Power of Competence to act, if it had the required number of Councillors (Wellow Parish Council does) and a clerk with the Certificate in Local Council Administration. The Clerk does not have this qualification.
The Chair reported on his discussions with the solicitorfrom Stone King. Her estimate of her fees was a minimum of £500, and fees for the barrister in addition. Cllr Caudle believes the Council can instruct a barrister directly if it goes through NALC – she will follow up. PC
The Chair reported that he had received correspondence from the Jacksons, expressing concern about the pedestrianaccess on Bulls Hill – the lack of signage and inadequate/narrow/absent footpaths. After some discussion about the desire to keep signage to the minimum required, and the lack of space to expand/create footpaths, agreement to take the issues to B&NES and to discuss further with the Jacksons.
The Chair reported that he had received correspondence from Vernon Hitchman from Legal and Democratic Service, B&NES, asking if Wellow Parish Council wanted to change the number of Councillors. There was consensus that 9 Councillors was the correct number. This will need ratifying at the next meeting.
13.045 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting was confirmed as 8pm on Monday, April 8th 2013 at 8pm in the Village Hall. The meeting closed at 10.50pm.
March 18th 2013