Wellow Parish Council


Geoff White

Myrtle Cottage, Wellow, BA2 8QS

Tel:  01225 830159



Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 12th September 2011 at 8pm in the Village Hall.


Present: Cllrs Andrews, Betts, Clarkson, Doman, Wheeler, White and Witty. District Cllr Butters also attended.

Seven members of the public in attendance.




11.105              To accept apologies for absence.

Apologies had been received from Cllr Prentice and Cllr Caudle.


11.106              Declarations of interest in any matters on the agenda or in June 2011 minutes

                        Cllr Andrews declared an interest in the item on solar panels (11.110 3(d) and Cllr Doman declared an interest in the item referring to the Trekking Centre (11.110 3(a)


11.107              To confirm minutes of meeting held on June 13th 2011.

The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on July 11th 2011 were approved unanimously.


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



11.109              Parish Plan


a.       Neighbourhood Watch


Cllr Wheeler said that there had been and increase in thieving during the current recession.  He suggested that we have a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in Wellow and that we invite the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator from Freshford to address the Council.


Cllr Doman mentioned that there was already an informal scheme amongst farmers.


Cllr Wheeler said that the police were very enthusiastic about Neighbourhood Watch schemes and it was agreed that he would get in touch with his contact in Freshford.



b.      Village Tidying Day


Cllr Wheeler reported that he was familiar with a similar scheme in Newton Ferrers in Devon.  He suggested that we should look into clearing the approaches to Wellow. Perhaps we could compile a list of things that need to be done and then set aside a day to address them.  Cllr Betts referred to the state of the phone box saying that it was full of cigarette ends and cobwebs.    


The Clerk was asked to put a suitable notice on the notice board asking residents to identify possible works.                                                            .                                   GW


Cllr Clarkson said that she would clean out the phone box.                                  DC


The Chairman suggested another village walk and Cllr Witty suggested that the phone box could be used for a paperback library.


The Chairman said she would put a notice in the Parish News                              HA



c.        Petanque Piste


This item was deferred until later in the meeting when Dist. Cllr Butters was due to arrive.


Upon his arrival Don Grimes, president of the City Petanque Club in Bath, described how a petanque piste is constructed. He identified a part of the car park outside the Village hall as a suitable site as there was already a firm surface. The cost would be around £500.  It was agreed that the Council would undertake further investigations.



d.      Ownership of trees and open spaces


Cllr White said that she was still waiting for a reply from B&NES regarding the possibly diseased tree on Bull’s Hill.


The Council agreed that she should also ask B&NES about one of the trees to the west of the church which was showing a number of dead branches.  The Clerk mentioned that he had been present when a small branch fell from the same tree, narrowly missing two men who were loading up their van underneath it.                JW


e.       Upgrade of village shop


Cllr Witty informed the Council that a Community Empowerment Grant worth up to £100,000 was available.  She mentioned the possibility of extending the Village Hall but suggested that the barn adjacent to the village shop might represent a better project.  At the moment, the barn is used for storing agricultural equipment but it could be converted into a museum with some catering facilities, perhaps a coffee machine.  Cllr Witty said that Jane Phillips, who owns the barn, is not averse to the idea.


Cllr Witty suggested that she speak urgently with Jane Phillips to finalise any plans as the deadline for initial applications was the end of September with a further deadline at which detailed final plans would be submitted in the spring.


Cllr Betts suggested that we form a sub-committee in respect of the final plans but pointed out that, for such a project so succeed, we need volunteers to run it.


Cllr Wheeler said that, before any action is taken, we should ascertain whether there would be sufficient demand to make the project viable.


It was agreed that Cllr Witty could take some initial steps.                                   MW



11.110              Planning


1.       New applications



a.        11/0384/FUL: Wychwood, 3 The Laurels, Midford. Erection of single storey rear extension following demolition of existing conservatory.


It was pointed out that, although the submission relates to Midford, the property in question lies within the parish boundary of Wellow.


Cllr Clarkson said that she had looked at the plans and didn’t feel that there were any contentious issues.  Cllr Doman agreed and the Council unanimously agreed to support the application.


b.      11/03494/FUL: Homelea Cottage, High Street, Wellow. Erection of a single storey extension plus minor alterations including removal of attached structures.


The Council voted unanimously to support the application.




c.       11/03806/TCA Holly Tree House, High Street, Wellow. Pruning of two trees.


The Chairman declared an interest as she can see the trees in question from her garden.  She did say, though, that she had no objection.  Cllr Witty took the Chair for this item.


The application was approved unanimously.



2.       Decisions received


The Council noted the following decisions:


11/02428/FUL  Manor Farm, Farm Lane. Provision of manege.   PERMIT


11/01959/FUL  4 West End Cottages. Erection of rear lean-to.                                                                                                                                       PERMIT


11/02417/FUL and 11/02418/LBA Weavers Farm. Extension and

 conversion of existing barn to a holiday let.                            REFUSE


11/02666/FUL  West End Cottages. Erection of detached residence.                                                                                                                   WITHDRAWN


3.       Other planning issues


a.       11/00438/UNDEV: Selling of firewood at the Trekking Centre.  Cllr Betts said that we have no right to go on to the land in question.


Cllr Clarkson said that the Trekking Centre had been asked to remove the signs advertising firewood but that they were still there.


Cllr Wheeler expressed surprise that Mr Shellard is allowed to construct a layby for his own use but was informed that, when B&NES inspected the site, there was nothing in the layby.


The Chairman suggested that we invite Mr Shellard to address the Council on his future plans. The Council should inspect the footpaths along Wellow Brook.    HA


Cllr Wheeler felt we should get in touch with Highways again.


Alex Martin, former Chairman, said that Mr Shellard had had to vacate land at Combe hay and so may want to increase his activities in Wellow. He referred the Council to planning reference 11/03702/AGRN on B&NES’ website.


The Chair asked that this should be on the next agenda and that we should undertake a village walk at the eastern end.                                                             GW


b.      It was suggested that the Council look at the land opposite Ford farm where vegetables are being grown and raise the issue again at the October meeting.


c.       Forge Cottage:  Crisp Cowley, the agents selling the barns adjacent to Forge Cottage, intend to make sure that any purchaser has sufficient funds and expertise for redevelopment.


The Chairman asked whether the provision of a car parking space at Forge Cottage was really an issue we should be concerned about and Cllr Wheeler pointed out that having a car parking space would mean that there would be one more car not on the road.


d.      Solar panel at Blacksmith’s Cottage.  It was agreed that the Clerk should write to the owners advising them that they should apply retrospectively for Listed Building Consent to B&NES in order to “regularize the situation”.  The Clerk said that these were the words used by B&NES when he sought advice from them.                                                                                                                      GW



11.111              Village Wear and Tear




·         The Clerk reported that Council Connect have agreed to add the repair of the kerbs to their list.

·         The Clerk said that he had already made a start on sanding the bench near the church but that it required a sander rather than carrying out the work entirely by hand.  He will continue to liaise with Stuart Cole.

·         Cllr Clarkson reported that the blocked drain on Bath Hill had been cleared.

·         Cllr White said that the road signs at the bottom of Mill Hill were now aligned correctly.



New items


·         Cllr White said that the drain outside the school still doesn’t work.

·         Some discussion took place re village trees – see under Item 11.109 (d)

·         The Chairman suggested that we ask Scott to undertake a survey of village trees in order to identify any that might pose a risk.

·         Cllr Witty asked whether a grid could be placed over the storm drain at Popes Lane.




11.112              Finance


·         The financial report for August to September was approved.


·         Outstanding payments were approved and the cheques and invoices duly signed.


·         Cllr Betts asked about the grant paid to the minibus group.  Cllr Witty explained that the grant of £100 was paid quarterly and that the next payment would be the second one.  The grant enable those with bus passes to use the Friday run to Sainsbury’s at Odd Down free of charge.



11.113              Footpaths


a.       Rosemary Todd, from the floor, said that B&NES allow parish councils to undertake footpath clearance and that they are paid to do so.  The Chairman said that Shoscombe organise a footpath day, logging repairs needed.  She suggested that we ask B&NES about this.


b.      Cllr Doman gave an update about the provision of kissing gates.



11.114              Broadband update


District Cllr Butters reported that improvements will reach Wellow eventually.  He raised the issue at a meeting of the Local Government Group Rural Commission and was told that some areas do not have broadband at all.  Peter Downey had mentioned the fact that he had seen BT installing fibre-optic cable. District Cllr Butters has spoken to Helen Moore at B&NES about this and she has indicated that Wellow is in the lowest area re level of service. This level varies both within Wellow and with the time of day.


The Chairman asked that the broadband issue be placed on the next agenda.


11.115              Burial Board


The Chairman reported that the cemetery was looking very neat and tidy as a result of the work being undertaken there by people carrying out community service.



11.116              Empty properties


District Cllr Butters reported that he and Alex Martin had met with Graham Sable of B&NES and had been advised that a report should have been published in May but that it had been put back until October.


11.117              Queen’s Jubilee


The Chairman said that we had to decide what to do to celebrate the Jubilee and that we should look into it as a possible fund-raising exercise.


It was suggested that the Parish Council should organise an open meeting to discuss these matters and to ellicit ideas.


Cllr Betts suggested the first week in January for such a meeting and said that she would make the necessary arrangements. Cllr Doman agreed that January would be a good time.


Cllr Witty will look into the arrangements for road closures and Cllr Wheeler suggested that we should hold a full street party.


Cllr Witty wondered whether we could light a beacon but the problem for Wellow is that we are in a valley and so it would not be seen far and wide.



11.118              Correspondence


a.       Cllr White suggested that we should join the Open Space Society as they had been very supportive in connection with Sarah Moore’s footpath. This was agreed unanimously.


b.      The Chairman referred to the forthcoming ALCA AGM and asked if anyone would like to go.  There were no takers.


c.       Core Strategy – this was deferred until a future meeting.


d.      The Chairman asked whether anyone would like to go to a meeting in connection with Public Transport Liaison.  Cllr Witty said that it was irrelevant for Wellow.  This was agreed and so no-one will be going.


11.119              Any other reports


§         The Chairman said that the Salvation Army would not be available for the carol singing in the Square this year.  Cllr Betts suggested that we approach St Gregory’s to see what they could offer.                                            SB


§         Cllr Betts said that no further progress had been made with regard to traffic calming and asked that the signage should be an agenda item in October.                                                                                                          GW


§         Cllr Witty gave an update regarding the minibus and thanked the committee and the volunteer drivers for their hard work. The Wellow Community Bus Group will be holding their AGM on October 5th.


§         The Chairman said that, because of the absence of two councillors, the election of the new chairman and vice-chairman would be deferred until the October meeting.                                                                          GW


11.120              Date of next meeting


The next meeting of Wellow Parish Council will be held on October 10th at 8pm in the Village hall.  The meeting closed at 10.10pm.


Geoffrey White

Parish Clerk

September 26th 2011