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Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Meeting dates Amenities Committee Burial Board Contact the clerk to the Parish Council The most recent Parish Council minutes and news Housing Committee Listing of current councillors Policing and Neighbourhood Watch Archive of previous 12 months' meetings Committees Highways Committee Meeting dates Amenities Committee Burial Board Contact the clerk to the Parish Council The most recent Parish Council minutes and news Housing Committee Listing of current councillors Policing and Neighbourhood Watch Archive of previous 12 months' meetings Committees Highways Committee

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Parish Council LogoMINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 09 March 2015 at 7.30 pm

PRESENT:    Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Ed Bates, Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Alan Foster, Philip Kirkby, Tony Richards, Clive Roberts, Guy Sutton, Stephen Wickham and John Ward.  
                     Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie from 7.36 to 7.54 pm.
2 Members of the Public.   PCSO Dave Jenkins until 7.40 pm.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE 
369/14    Apologies for absence were accepted from Cllr Barry Noakes (holiday).  Also County Cllr Alex King.       

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
370/14    The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility to any Declarations of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and any changes to their Register of Interest Declarations..

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
371/14    It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 09 February 2015, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed as a correct record.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC
372/14    There were no questions from the public.

POLICE AND NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
373/14    Sgt Ross Shearing, who had planned to attend the Meeting, was unable to do so due to operational requirements and PCSO Dave Jenkins offered apologies on behalf of Sgt Shearing.
374/14    Country Eye. Mr Peter Rolington, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator briefed Council on the launch of Country Eye.  The objective is Helping keep the Rural Community in Kent Safe enabling residents and farmers to receive rural information and report information quickly and efficiently.  www.countryeye.co.uk   A free app is available to download.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
375/14    County Cllr Alex King, in an e-mail message, reported that with the 2015/16 financial year, KCC will proceed with the B2079 Lady Oak Lane and Bedgebury Road speed issues.
376/14    Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie will soon have a £200.00 discretionary fund available to support worthy causes in the Parish.  He is planning his annual fund-raising bike ride.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE
The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:
377/14    Balcombes Hill Car Park – Transfer of Ownership.   Council has approached TWBC on several occasions for a meeting date for negotiations on the transfer of ownership of the car park.  They have not responded.  Meanwhile the steep bank on the west side of the car park is unregistered land.  Some Members believe that there are advantages in it being registered to GPC at the Land Registry.  That would clarify future maintenance requirement of that area.  Amenities Committee will bring a proposal to Council.
378/14    Goudhurst Public Lavatories at Balcombes Hill - Transfer of Ownership.   As for Balcombes Hill Car Park.
379/14    Chequer Field Grounds Maintenance.  Capel Groundcare has started work by clearing a considerable area of old undergrowth from the north-west corner.  Two local residents have expressed their delight.
               Amenities Committee is now considering the future of 12 Leylandii which are on Parish Council land but there will consultation with local residents.
380/14    Goudhurst United FC.  It was noted that they have cancelled some home fixtures in the last couple of months due to the pitch being waterlogged.  Other matches have been cancelled due to the opposition failing to get up a team.  This is having a negative effect on our income from the use of the facility.
381/14    Glebe Field.  As previously reported, the Diocesan Land Agent has not produced a draft lease for the Parish Councils consideration despite promising to do so on several occasions.  The Clerk has written to the Canterbury Diocesan Surveyor and Director of Property Services about this unsatisfactory position.  The Clerk has also raised the matter of an unpaid invoice owing to a local small contractor sent to the Diocese some 9 months ago
382/14    Annual ‘Love Where You Live’  Litter Pick.  This is now taking place on 28/29 March and arrangements are confirmed for TWBC to loan us ‘litter picking kit’ for that weekend.  At least 40 volunteers have volunteered to participate.
383/14    The Plain Fence Posts.  It was noted that the Clerk is obtaining quotations for the refurbishment of 61 posts at Goudhurst Pond.  It is evident that some posts are rotten and need to be replaced.  The fencing companies approached do not paint so the project is falling into two parts; repair of the posts and then a separate painting contract.
384/13    Goudhurst in Bloom 2015.  It was noted that Cllr Mrs Angela Broom has had some flyers printed for the 2015 competition and other arrangements are being implemented. 
385/14    Dog Fouling.  Chairman Amenities awaits suitable notices that are being produced by TWBC to attach to waste bins (not wheely bins) to inform dog owners that dog waste suitably bagged can be placed in the ordinary public waste bins.  It was noted that there is a particular problem with dog fouling on the path between the top of Maypole Lane and the Primary School (School land).  

BURIAL BOARD
The Chairman of the Burial Board presented a report:
386/14    St Mary’s Churchyard and Burial Grounds maintenance.  It was resolved to accept the Burial Board recommendation that the grounds maintenance contract with Groundscare & General Services of Benenden be renewed for a further 3 years from 01 April 2015 at a fixed 4.9% increase over the previous 3 year agreement.

BUSINESS and COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
The Chairman of the Business and Communications Committee reported verbally:
387/14    Superfast Broadband and Call Flow Solutions.  Following Minute 293/14.  It was noted that the delays in installing Call Flows equipment on St Mary’s Church tower were due to internal Church legal matters which have now been resolved.  It is evident that only a few local residents (those close to the 4 Call Flow cabinets) are receiving improved broadband speeds.  There is little news coming from Call Flow as to progress on the project..  

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE
The Chairman of the Highways and Footpaths Committee reported:
388/14    Mirror at junction A262 Cranbrook Rd and B2084 Chequers Rd.  Council has received feedback from the public that the new mirror is not entirely fit for purpose. It is providing false security due to very small size of reflected images of vehicles approaching along A262 towards Cranbrook.  Resolved that The Clerk will contact Kent Highways  requesting appropriate improvements.  
389/14    A262 HGV traffic survey.  Some information has been received from Kent Highways. The committee noted that there are 3 options: 
(a)  a single automatic traffic survey at one location for 1 week at a cost of £400 to £500.  This survey would provide HGV numbers based on a non-visual method (axle spacing only) and vehicle types can be confused ; 
(b)  a single manually counted video camera survey for 1 day (12 hours duration) would cost around £700 to £800. The classification of HGVs would be far more reliable.   
(c)  The Parish Council to form a volunteer ‘HGV watch’ group to record HGV numbers during the day.  For this there would be no cost.
Members did not understand an extra £200 charge by Kent Highways on top of the costs in options (a) and (b).  It was resolved that the Clerk will seek clarification.
390/14    Satnav lorry warning signs on A262.  Resolved that the Clerk will organise a meeting with Kent Highways so that the Parish Council can understand Kent Highways proposals on the type of signs, how many of them and where they will be sited.
391/14    Speed control on Cranbrook Road and North Road Goudhurst.  It was resolved that the Clerk will contact Kent Highways to seek advice on:

  • the cost of a moveable SID including whether it will be battery or solar-call powered;
  • appropriate sites for up to 5 sites on which a moveable Speed Indicator Device (SID) can be established;
  • the cost of installing up to 5 poles on which to mount the moveable SID;
  • who can move the SID from site to site and change its battery weekly (if needed) and at what cost.  

392/14    Manor House Goudhurst vehicle access.   It was noted that the owners of this residence have on-going difficulties with parked vehicles blocking access to their property.  The Clerk had passed the matter to the Highways steward for Goudhurst.  Kent Highways has proposed painting a ‘dog bone’ white line across the vehicle entrance.  In discussion Members believe bollards will be more effective and less visually intrusive.  It was resolved that Cllr David Boniface will discuss the matter with the owner of the property.    
 393/14   Pelican crossing at the A262 Cranbrook Road and Beaman Close junction. It wasresolved that Cllrs Antony Harris and David Boniface will carry out a site visit and report to Council.  It was noted that there is a similar arrangement on the A21 at Hurst Green.
 394/14   High Weald Landscape Trail.  It was noted that several marker posts are in poor condition.  The High Weald Project no longer takes responsibility for its maintenance.  Cllr David Boniface will contact his counterpart at Cranbrook Parish Council and the Clerk will contact Horsmonden Parish Council.  .
395/14    Millennium Walk waymark restoration.  It was noted that many of the waymarkers are either rotten or are out of the ground.  Cllr Guy Sutton will carry out a survey, initially at the Kilndown end, and develop a specification for the remedial work required.   
396/14    Hop Pickers Line.   It was noted that Kent County Council has withdrawn support from this project in the face of protest by many land owners along the route from Paddock Wood to Hawkhurst.  It was resolved that, as a matter of policy, Goudhurst Parish Council will protect as best it can that part of the disused railway line that runs through the Parish of Goudhurst.  It was resolved that Council will include in its submission to the TWBC consultation on the Site Allocations DPD (open until 23 March 2015) a statement of support for Policy AL/STR 3, Paragraph Nos 2.47 and  2.48, Borough-wide map.

HOUSING COMMITTEE
The Chairman of the Housing Committee reported:
397/14    Tunbridge Wells Housing Register – Daily Bidding.  It was noted that the TWBC Housing Allocations Officer had informed Council by e-mail on 25 February 2015 of changes to the procedures people can express an interest in properties through their Borough Council’s Housing Register throughout Kent.   The Clerk has been assured that this will not disadvantage those applicants with a ‘Goudhurst connection.’  However it was noted that the Parish Council is rarely consulted on ‘Goudhurst connection’ applicants.  It was resolved that the Clerk will contact TWBC Housing Allocation to seek their confirmation that this procedure is still in place and is being followed.

PLANNING COMMITTEE  
It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC and agree the Representations:
398/14    DECISIONS
14/503511       The Forge Bedgebury Road Goudhurst
                        Change of use of disused forge to a single dwelling.  Dwelling numbers do not increase on site to re-configuration of existing buildings
                        Approved
14/503543       Stable Cottage Home Farm Bedgebury Road Goudhurst
                        Infill extension between two gables, alterations and reinstatement of original single dwelling house
                        Approved
14/503544       Bedgebury Park Equestrian Centre Bedgebury Road Goudhurst
                        Conversion of disused barn to form dwelling with incorporation of existing and separate dwelling named The Dovecot
                        Approved
14/503995       OS Plot 0065 London Road Flimwell
                        Proposed replacement stable/storage building
                        Refused permission
14/504236`      Cedar Gables London Road Flimwell
                        External alterations to facilitate conversion of residential storage building to ancillary annex accommodation in connection with Cedar Gables
                        Approved
14/504673       Oakwater Farm North Road Goudhurst
                        Part Retrospective – Change of use of derelict hopper huts to agriculture (viticulture) support and storage; Wooden cladding on the outside of huts; Erection of small wooden structure at end to screen and protect water collection and storage; Erection of 4.5 m steel pole supporting security cameras, weather station and communication antenna; Construction of non-slip raised walkway; Increase in size of existing winter-fill reservoir.            
                        Approved
14/505086       Elm Tree Summerhill Goudhurst
                        Demolition of existing bungalow and erection of replacement dwelling house
                        Approved
14/505439       Fir Bank School Road Goudhurst
                        Demolition of existing bungalow and erection of replacement dwelling with addition of subterranean level and integrated garage
                        Refused permission
14/504444       Shepherds Lawn West Road Goudhurst
                        Demolition of existing dwelling and construction of a new dwelling
                        Approved        
14/505717       Ladysden Farm Winchet Hill Goudhurst
                        Change of use and renovation ofexisting outbuilding to class B1 use.  Demolition of precast concrete garage block and erection of a two storey farm building for agricultural use          
                        Approved
14/506511       Ladham House Ladham Road Goudhurst
                        Demolition of existing outbuilding to provide replacement log store and stables and associated hardstanding
                        Approved
14/506763       Proposed two storey side and rear extension
                        Limney Station Road Goudhurst
                        Approved

399/14             APPLICATIONS
14/504441       Royal Oak Garage London Road Flimwell
                        Extension of existing office building to create reception area and store
                        Recommend approval
                        Despite the fact that there appears to be a discrepancy in what is proposed between plans 1405-P-02 and 1405-P-03, GPC believes that since the proposed extensions will be seen against the background of the existing buildings, the impact will be minimal.
14/505862       Russets North Road Goudhurst
                        Replacement timber windows to front and side elevation
                        Recommend approval
15/500688       Russets North Road Goudhurst
                        Listed Building Consent - Replacement timber windows to front and side elevation
                        Recommend approval
                        Provided that the Conservation officer is satisfied that the proposed double glazed units would not have an unsatisfactory impact on the Listed Building, GPC is content that approval is granted
14/506621       Land adjacent to the Old Parsonage Balcombes Hill Goudhurst
                        Erection of proposed C2 housing with care for the elderly consisting of part 2 storey, part 3 storey block of 12no 2 bed apartments, 5no 2 bed bungalows and 4no 2 storey 2 bed houses
                        Recommend refusal.
                        The site is wholly outside the built confines of the village and within in the AONB.   There is therefore a presumption against any development on this land except where a local need has been established in accordance with TWBC policy.   Furthermore the site is within the designated Conservation Area which means that any development which does take place must be appropriate to the site in terms of design, density and landscaping.  
                        Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) supports TWBC policy to provide homes to satisfy an established local need, but this application does not appear to address that need.   There may be residents who would welcome an opportunity to downsize to a house which is nearer the village centre, but the application gives no indication of how that would be achieved.   It also seems likely that the number of dwelling would significantly exceed any local need.
                        Leaving aside the fundamental policy conflicts, there are a significant number of issues which the application, as presented does not adequately address:
                        Design:   GPC must express disappointment at the style of the proposed dwellings.   It would appear that an attempt has been made to mirror the Old Parsonage building, which is a very unremarkable structure.   The Design and Heritage Officer was very critical of the 09/00196 scheme in this respect.   GPC doubts that he will find this scheme overcomes those concerns
                        Tenure:   The application does not indicate whether the properties will be for sale, rent or shared ownership.   On what basis will occupants be offered homes.
                        Parking Provision:   As shown there is parking for only one car per unit plus 2 visitor spaces.   In view of the size of some of the units, this will clearly be insufficient and will lead to parking in the already well-used village car park on the opposite of Balcombes Hill.   This will be made worse by the fact that the elderly have a relatively high need for nursing services etc.
                        Heating:   There is no indication as to how the dwellings will be heated.   There is no mains gas in Goudhurst, but there is no space shown on the plans for oil tanks, so it must be assumed that mains electricity will be the energy source.
                        Pedestrian Access to the Village Centre:   The plans show no route for pedestrians to access the village facilities on foot.   As presented, residents would have to leave via the main vehicular access onto Balcombes Hill and cross the road to the footpath by the public toilets and then cross the road near the crossroads to access the High Street.
                        Traffic Safety:   For the withdrawn previous scheme (09/00196) the KCC highways officer expressed serious concerns about the safety of the existing access for both vehicular and pedestrian use.   The submitted scheme indicates no change.
                        Impact on Neighbours:   There are residential properties bordering the site to both the north and the south.   The proposed use of the site would have a considerable impact on these properties in a number of respects, overlooking, noise, vehicle lights.   GPC doubts that these problems could be adequately mitigated by the imposition of conditions.
                        Use Class:   GPC notes that it is not intended that there would be a warden resident at the site, but that warden services would be provided from the applicant’s Ticehurst premises, which are some 7 miles (16 minutes) distant.   Is that appropriate for the intended C2 use class?
                        Conclusion:   GPC has grave concerns regarding all the above issues and would also greatly value the input of the various TWBC specialist officers on this scheme, in particular the Design and Heritage Officer, the Tree Officer, and the Housing Officer.   Unless all TWBC officers can be satisfied that all the above issues can be satisfactorily addressed, the application should be refused.
14/506807       Maypole Farm Maypole Lane Goudhurst
                        Erection of 40m x 20m sand school with associated soft landscaping works
                        Recommend approval
                        Minimal impact on locality or AONB.   GPC suggests conditioning to use by applicant only and re-instatement to original state if use of the facility ceases.
15/500540       Land adj 3 Beresford Close Kilndown
                        Erection of single storey dwelling with associated hard and soft landscaping. Relocation of vehicle access to serve existing property and proposed dwelling (revision to previously approved scheme 13/03566/FUL)
                        Recommend approval
                        Subject to officers confirming that the height of this new scheme will be no higher than the approved scheme, GPC is content that approval is granted
15/500811       Wanderwood North Road Goudhurst
                        Conversion of existing roof space to form a further bedroom and en-suite bathroom including dormer windows, rear upper and lower ground single storey extensions, demolition of existing conservatory and replacement utility room and pitched roof to replace existing flat roofed single garage; formation of new vehicular access to create in/out drive
                        Recommend approval
                        GPC has no difficulty with the principle of extending this dwelling provided that the volume increase is compliant with policy.   We would, however, express some concern over design detail:
•     The rear dormer which extends the entire length of the rear roof does not comply with TWBC design guidance;
•     The quantity of glazing to the rear could give rise to light pollution;
•     The loss of the lawn to driveway at the front will form a very hard feature and will increase the need for drainage;
•     Can adequate sight lines be achieved at the additional access?
15/500856       Transmitter mast adj. BT Tower Lady Oak Lane Flimwell
                        The removal of 6 antennas (at 48.15m to top) from the existing BT tower and the replacement thereof with 3 new antennas on new poles (at 48.15m to top), internal equipment changes (not visible) within the ground based cabin and associated ancillary works.
                        Recommend approval
                        The proposed alterations will have minimal impact on the location or the AONB
15/501006       Bethany School Jarvis Lane Goudhurst
                        Wooden covered walkway and 4 wooden hexagonal gazebo shelters
                        Recommend approval
                        All of the proposed structures are sited in such a way that they will not be visible other than from within the enclosure formed by the school buildings.
                       
ELECTIONS 2015
400/14    It was noted that 2 Kilndown Ward Councillors and 2 Goudhurst Ward Councillors will not be seeking re-election this year.  The Clerk reported that, so far, he has invited 9 local residents to consider putting their names forward for election.  1 has declined and 2 have indicated that they will stand for election.
               The Notice of Election will be published on 20 March and Nomination Papers must be received by the Returning Officer no later than 4.00 pm on Thursday 09 April 2015.

GOUDHURST PARISH WEBSITE
401/14    www.goudhurst.co.uk  It was noted that Michael Bennett, our webmaster, has refreshed and reorganised the presentation of the website in consultation with the Clerk.
               The website had 1,164 users in the past 31 days, viewing 5,974 pages, with an average of 3.84 pages per person.  34% of visitors were new to the site, 66% were returning visitors.  Search engines and all robots have been excluded from these figures.    

TRAINING
402/14    It was noted that the Clerk proposes to complete an SLCC Local Council Administration refresher course during 2015 to ensure he is up to date on current legislation and procedures.
403/14    Cllr Guy Sutton and the Clerk will attend a Neighbourhood Planning Awareness session on 20 March 2015 at Hythe.

ACCOUNTS
404/14    It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:
3558    AVB Farnfield                                      February 15 pay and expenses                               £1,336.44
3559    HM Revenue & Customs                      February 15 PAYE and NI                                       £455.66
3560    More Ideas Design                                Flyers for Goudhurst in Bloom                                   £51.70
3561    Microshade                                          Citrix invoice 8038                                                    £51.60
3562    Alan Foster                                          Water Hydrant inspection report and printing           £24.99
3563    St Mary’s PCC                                     Youth Group use of Church Room                            £195.00
3564    Capel Ground Care                               Chequer Field ground maintenance                           £540.00
3565    PCC Goudhurst                                     Hire Children’s Chapel for meetings x 2                     £28.00
3566    Amazon Co UK (Farnfield)                  Stationery – Spine Bars for Agendas                           £69.55
3567    Pearsons Landscapes                            The Plain maintenance in February 15                       £81.90
3568    Microshade                                          Citrix invoice 8086                                                    £51.60
3569    AVB Farnfield                                      Postage                                                                        £9.30
3570    Park Run Ltd                                       Grant to Parish Junior Park Run                               £500.00
3571    Ashdene Service Station (Watkins)      Fuel for PROW maintenance                                     £32.28
DDR    Veolia                                                  Burial Grounds bin Feb 15                                         £132.13

405/14    Receipts in February 15      
               Burial Board                                                                      £1,720.00
               Primary School contribution to Chequer Field maint.           £500.00
               NatWest: Interest February 2015                                             £2.07

406/14    Bank reconciliation to end February 15Noted that Council’s cash book balances total £68,711.02

407/14    Direct DebitsResolved to reaffirm Council’s Direct Debit arrangements with these suppliers:
                                       BT                                     Office phone and broadband
                                       BT                                     CCTV broadband service and line from the Vive to the Parish Hall
                                       E.on UK                            Energy to the street light at The Plain and to the red phone kiosk
                                                                                                      at Kilndown
Southern Electric               Energy supplied to Chequer Field pavilion
South East Water               Water supply to Chequer Field pavilion
Veolia                                Burial Grounds refuse bin service
Information Commission   Date Protection Act registration

408/14    Ring Fenced Reserves.  Minute 297/13.  Resolved that Council’s Ring Fenced Reserves list should be updated to:
                        Goudhurst Pond refurbish                                £25,000
                        Glebe Field gates, fields and hedge work             £5,000
                        Reactive traffic speed signs for Goudhurst         £7,000
                                                                                                                       
409/14    Internal Audit Check.  Members noted that Cllr Stephen Wickham (not a cheque signatory) had carried
               out an Internal Audit Check on 27 February 2015.  There were no matters of concern. 

DATE OF NEXT MEETINGS                                                                          
410/14    Monday 13 April 2015.        7.30 pm in the Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall.  
               Thursday 14 May 2015      Parish Council Annual Meeting.  7.30 pm in the Jessel Room

ANNUAL PARISH MEETINGS
411/14    Tuesday 21 April.                 Goudhurst Annual Parish Meeting.  7.45 for 8.00 pm.  Parish Hall
               Wednesday 22 April           Kilndown Annual Parish Meeting.    8.00 pm Kilndown Village Hall       

 

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

  • Cllr Tony Richards represented Council at the KALC Tunbridge Wells Area Committee meeting at Paddock Wood on 26 February.  Council awaits the Minutes of that meeting.
  • Cllr Alan Foster is raining money on behalf of the Goudhurst Parish Hall Trust for repairs to the clock on the Parish Hall roof.
  • Goudhurst Village Fete will be held on 13 June 2015.

The Meeting closed at  9.20 pm.

These Minutes are subject to approval at the next meeting of Council

Clerk to the Parish Council
Anthony Farnfield MBE


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