Council News

GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

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MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 14 November 2016 at 8.00 pm 

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Mrs Carol Ash, Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Alan Foster, Phil Kirkby, Barry Noakes, Susan Newsam and Stephen Wickham.

Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie.  County Cllr Seán Holden.

19 Members of the public.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

217/16 were accepted from Cllrs Sean Gilder (work commitment), Tom Malt (business) and Guy Sutton (travelling).  Also County Cllr Alex King.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

218/16 The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility for any Declarations of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and any changes to their Register of Interest Declarations.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

219/16 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2016, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC

220/16 Mr Will Harris commented on the apparently increasing number of Heavy Goods Vehicles transiting Goudhurst.  He suggested that HGV’s approaching Goudhurst should trigger traffic lights so as to stop the approach of smaller vehicles thus allowing the HGVs to have a clear run through the top of the High St and around the bend near St Mary’s Church.    Cllr Holden spoke of actions being taken by KCC relating to the increase in HGVs across the County, particularly to and from the Channel ports.

221/16 Mrs Lynette Edwards asked about Council’s plans for the future and how these might be financed.  See Minute 248/16.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

222/16 Cllr Noakes reported that the application (15/504550) for a development of housing in the Hope Mill area on the old Sargeant’s Garage site has been approved without reference back to the Parish Council regarding the significant changes made to the application; he was making representations to TWBC Planning.

223/16 Cllr Hastie reported on the Parliamentary constituency boundary changes that will be introduced in 2018.  Goudhurst will no longer be in the Tunbridge Wells Constituency but in a new one named The High Weald.  This will cover an area from Crowborough in the west to Bethersden and Egerton in the east, from Frittenden in the north to Sedlescombe in the south.

224/16 The Tunbridge Wells Borough housing allocation of 13,000 new dwellings up to 2033 was noted.  Members expressed concerns about how the number had arisen, been accepted and what challenge may be possible in view of the implications of the Borough not consequently having a five year housing supply.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

225/16 Chequer Field.  It was resolved to approve expenditure of £400.00 for ‘earthquaking’ the football pitch.

226/16 Chequer Field Pitch Markings. It was resolved to approve expenditure of £450.00 for marking out in blue the junior pitches with refreshers every 2 weeks. 

227/16 Chequer Field drainage issues at the south end.  Minute 146/16.  Amenities Committee is in touch with contractors for advice and quotes for remedies.

228/16 Goudhurst Pond – De-silting.  Minute 195/16.  It was noted that this was last carried out in the 1960’s. The silt has caused poor water quality and has a too shallow depth.  It is inclined to smell in the summer months.  An estimated 600 tonnes of silt is to be removed. It has to go to either landfill or for spreading on land (‘confer benefit to land’).  Suitable land has now been identified, soil samples taken and an application made to the Environment Agency for a deployment licence.  It may take 10 weeks to be approved. Work is now planned for Spring 2017.  Meanwhile the Highway drains are now cleared to the bottom of Balcombes Hill and there is on-going work planned to clear the drains further.

229/16 Goudhurst Pond Fence Posts.  Minute 196/16.  It was agreed that the plans to repair, replace and re-paint posts around the pond are deferred until after the de-silting work is completed.

230/16 Balcombes Hill Toilets.  It was resolved  to replace 2 of the 4 hand wash units at a cost of £4,615.00. There are problems with one of the hand wash units in the Ladies. We know that the units are over 25 years old and coming to the end of their serviceable life.  However this expenditure will be deferred until issues around Council’s 2017/18 budget are agreed.

231/16 Glebe Field.  Following Minute 197/16.  The target date for the granting of the 30 year lease to the Parish Council is 03 January 2017.  Our legal adviser has been briefed but nothing has been received from the Diocese so far.  Meanwhile plans are in hand to upgrade the gates, to establish a budget for annual maintenance (hedges, mowing, weed control) and a longer term  management plan to take into account village needs and enhance the flora & fauna.  Council is keen to receive any any suggestions from local residents.

232/16 Defibrillator at Kilndown.   Following Minute 201/16.   It was noted that Mrs Georgia Read-Cutting is organising a community Defibrillator seminar on Wednesday 23 November at 7.00 pm in Kilndown Village Hall which will be run by the Community Heartbeat Trust.  Members expressed appreciation for her fund raising efforts and for seeing the project through.

BURIAL BOARD

The Chairman of the Burial Board Reported:

233/16 St Mary’s Churchyard Wall damage at the High Street end.   Members noted that this is in the hands of the Diocese of Canterbury and the matter is being followed up by St Mary’s PCC Fabric Committee.

234/16 Foot Gates at the east end of St Mary’s Churchyard and on the north Churchyard wall (opposite the

Weavers Cottages).  It was noted that the two replacement foot gates have been installed and there has been favourable comment.

235/16 General Grounds Maintenance.  No problems.  It was noted that the hedge at the eastern curtilage of the lower area of the Christ Church Kilndown Churchyard has been cut.

236/16 Brick Footpath across St Mary’s Churchyard.  It was noted that the Clerk has written to the TWBC Conservation and Urban Design Officer to seek advice on how to deal with the uneven brick surface which the Clerk considers is a ‘slips and trips’ risk.  Furthermore a site meeting was held on 31 October 2016 with a lighting contractor to consider how best to light the path to improve the safety and convenience of pedestrians.  This meeting will also consider the Church flood lighting proposals.

237/16 Clean Up Day 22 October 2016.  It was noted that there had been a good turn out together with members of the Friends of St Mary’s to support this activity including Mr Ed Bates with his chainsaw and other equipment.  Mr Will Thompson of Horden had kindly and generously provided a huge trailer to take away the arisings.  The Clerk  will write to him to express our thanks.

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

238/16 The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee reported briefly on work in progress.

POLICE & NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH COMMITTEE 

The Chairman of the Police and Neighbourhood Watch Committee reported:

239/16 CCTV.   Minute 155/16.  It was noted that Sunstone, with whom Council had had a preliminary meeting on 02 June 2016 and a further scoping meeting on-site on 26 September 2016, had submitted an initial costing against a specification for 18 cameras at a variety of locations across the Parish.  The majority of the cost will be taken by 3rd parties who wish to ‘plug-in’ to the Parish Council scheme.  There will be further negotiations with those 3rd parties and a careful budget provision needs to be made for the scheme.

YOUTH COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Youth Committee reported:

240/16 Goudhurst Scout Group.  It was resolved to approve a grant of £523.44  for 6 radiators with valves to be installed in the refurbished Goudhurst Scout Hut.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC published in October 2016:

241/16 DECISIONS

16/06119 Bedgebury Pinetum Park Lane Goudhurst

Erection of 3 storage units; Relocation of recycling/waste area and local widening of footpath and cycleway

Granted permission

16/06121 Greentrees Oast Cranbrook Road Goudhurst

Conversion of existing garage space into lounge and storage room

Granted permission

16/06248 Wanderwood North Road Goudhurst

Demolition of the existing house and garage; proposed replacement dwelling and attached garage including formation of new vehicular access to create ‘in/out’ drive

Granted Permission

16/06361 Risebridge Farmhouse Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Internal alterations to the ground and first floor (works already carried out)

Granted permission

16/06378 The Pump House North Road Goudhurst

Construction of a small outdoor swimming pool

Refused permission

16/06578 Manor House High Street Goudhurst

Tree: Horse Chestnut – reduce in size by 50%

No objection

242/16 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in October 2016 with representations approved by Council::

16/06425 Rose Cottage and Willow Lodge North Road Goudhurst

Demolition of two existing dwellings and erection of two pairs of semi-detached and one detached dwelling with associated landscaping works and relocation of access

Recommend refusal

Goudhurst Parish Council would comment as follows:

• This scheme represents a density of approximately 50 dwellings/ha (5 units on c1,000m2), which is wholly inappropriate in this location.

• The scale of the houses is inappropriate, the ridge heights being some 1.75 to 2.5 m higher that the neighbouring properties;

• The design is ordinary.   Even although the site is outside the conservation area GPC believes that the design should incorporate local styles and materials, which this scheme does not.

• The increase in traffic generation which this proposal will entail, close to the Blind Lane junction, will cause an increased risk of accidents.

Committee, if officers are minded to approve.

16/06536 Torvalla North Road Goudhurst

Retrospective – Rendered blockwork planters, timber decking, stone paving and water feature in the garden.

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council believes that all these new features will have minimal impact on the locality and the adjacent conservation area.

16/06602 The Barn Shear Farm North Road Goudhurst

Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of a new detached dwelling and detached garage occupying a similar position on site.  (16/06645/ENVSCR)

Recommend approval

On the assumption that these plans comply with TWBC guidance on volume increase, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted, as the building will have minimal impact on the locality and will only be seen in distant views from the Horsmonden side of the Teise valley.

16/06705 Bakers Farm House Ladham Road Goudhurst

Minor Amendment to Condition No. (2) The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out except in complete accordance with the details shown on the submitted plans (15/507020/FUL): Amendment to cantilever glass box on eastern elevation from full glass to include a zinc/lead flashing.

Recommend approval

This is a minor amendment which will have virtually no impact on the proposed extension.   Subject to the views of the conservation officer, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted.

16/06788 Stables 50M North of Finchcocks Goudhurst

Internal alterations, addition of a woodburner, insertion of a double casement window, replacement of French doors and external works

16/06789 Stables 50M North of Finchcocks Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent:  Internal alterations, addition of a woodburner, insertion of a double casement window, replacement of French doors and external works

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) is concerned that the proposed flue shows above the ridge of the building. In all other respects and subject to the views of the conservation officer, GPC is content that approval is granted.

16/06797 West Gate Lodge London Road Flimwell

Construction of a two storey rear extension, internal alterations, demolish existing shed & garage, construct a new double garage and acoustic fence to road

Recommend approval

On the assumption that the proposed increase in volume complies with policy, since the extension is to the rear of the property in a well screened situation, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted.

16/06358 Triggs Oast Cranbrook Road Goudhurst

Application to reinstate access from Maypole Lane to Triggs Oast.  Application to propose a new track encompassing altered domestic curtilage

Recommend refusal

The route of the proposed track is mainly through open countryside where it will form a scar, which will seriously impact on the AONB.   Furthermore, the new parking area is too distant from host property.   Cannot the route take a direct line from the track which leads to Maypole lane to the east of the tennis court parallel with Triggs Lane to the existing parking area.

16/06844 Kilnwood Church Road Kilndown

Two storey extension and alterations

Recommend approval

A well-conceived proposal which will have minimal impact on the conservation area and the AONB

16/06866 Chingley Wood Oast Hastings Road Lamberhurst

Proposed garage and extension to existing driveway

Recommend refusal

The proposed building is larger than the dwelling which it will serve and is sited too far from it.   Impact on the AONB will be unacceptable.

16/06874 Shepherds Lawn West Road Goudhurst

A1 (T21 in Tree Survey) (Birch) – Fell: G2 (Ash) (T24 in Tree Survey) – Fell

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council is content that the Tree Officer determines this application

16/06942           Carolyn Balcombes Hill Goudhurst

Single-storey side and rear extension; First floor modification to enlarge existing accommodation; Pitched roof over existing kitchen, new roof finish and internal alterations

Recommend approval

A well-designed proposal which will improve the appearance of the house and the living conditions of the occupants, while having minimal impact on the AONB or the adjacent conservation area.

16/06955 Great Horden Barn Horden Road Goudhurst

Proposed extension to existing garage

Recommend approval

Since the extension is at the end of the barn which is away from the road, the impact on the locality will be minimal.

16/06957 Birches North Road Goudhurst

Alterations to existing single storey building including new pitched roof with front and rear dormers and roof lights to new rooms within roof space

Recommend approval

Whilst recommending approval, Goudhurst Parish Council has some concerns that the proposed volume increase may be more than is normally approved.   However, the overall affect of the proposed changes will considerably improve the appearance of the dwelling, while, due to its low-lying well-screened location, the impact on the locality and the AONB will be limited.

NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP)

243/16 Following Minute 210/16.   It was noted that  TWBC has formally confirmed the Goudhurst Neighbourhood area.  Mr Craig Broom confirmed to the meeting that the Goudhurst Neighbourhood Development Plan Group has been formed with a Steering Committee and 6 working Groups covering the various areas that will make up the final plan.  Mr Colin Willis has been voted in as Chairman and Mr Craig Broom is the Secretary to the Group.

KENT ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS

244/16 KALC AGM at Ditton on 19 November. Nobody is available to attend to represent Goudhurst and the Clerk will submit apologies for non-attendance.

ACCOUNTS 

245/16 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

3941 AVB Farnfield October 16 pay and expenses £2,296.33

3942HM Revenue & CustomsClerk PAYE & NI Oct 16£841.26

3943 Groundscare & General Services St Mary’s grounds maint contract Oct 16 £1,204.80

3944 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint contract Oct 16 £913.27

3945 John Fermor Landscapes Kilndown grounds maint Oct 16 £110.00

3946 Tenterden Twilight Cleaning Balcombes Hill public toilets contract Oct 16 £559.00

3947 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain and Pond maint Oct 16 £103.20

3948 Paul & Elileen Landon War Memorial and Trough gardens £59.00

3949 Kilndown Quarry Centre Council meetings at the Quarry Centre 2016 £30.00

3950 Buss Murton LLC Legal advice Quarry Centre ownership transfer £908.00

3951 Microshade Business Consultants Citrix Inv 9268 £54.30

3952 Microshade Business Consultants Citrix Inv 9335 £54.30

3953 Astra Trading UL Ltd Public toilet consumables £85.80

3954 Kilndown Village Hall Hire for NDP meeting 22 Oct £16.00

3955 Agrifactors (Southern) Ltd Chequer Field ‘earthquaking’ £480.00

3956 Viking Stationery and Office Equipment £167.16

3957 Croft Glass Kilndown red kiosk defibrillator signs £293.13

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin September 16 £140.40

246/16 Receipts in October 2016

Burial Board£970.00

NatWest interest£1.79

CCLA interest£10.16

Reclaim VAT April – October 2016£10,492.57

247/16  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of October 2016 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c£3,795.16

Nat West Business Reserve£45,328.93

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund£35,084.98

£84,209.07

It was noted that Council had transferred £15,000 from CCLA to the NatWest Business Reserve a/c on 12 Sep 2016

248/16 Council’s Financial Position.   The Chairman responded to the Question raised by Mrs Edwards (minute 221/16).  From figures displayed on a flip chart he explained that Council had incurred a significant and unplanned expenditure on the Balcombes Hill car park resurfacing and the renovation of the public toilet block; both had been in very poor condition when the Parish Council had taken them over from the Borough Council early in 2016.  The cost had largely been met by taking funds from reserves which are consequently seriously depleted.  Looking to the future, he noted that the Parish Council will be faced with a significant challenges of two types:

a)  In taking on the public toilets, the car park and the Glebe field lease & maintenance, the long term Parish Council cost base has substantially increased.

b)  Additionally the cost of  the plans to fund several projects in the next 2 years including particularly the Neighbourhood Development Plan (approved in a public meeting), de-silting Goudhurst pond (last done some 50 years ago), renovation of the Goudhurst Pond posts and railings, improvement to the Glebe Field when Council takes the long lease from the Diocese of Canterbury, some drainage work to overcome problems at Chequer Field, further renovations at the public toilets, lighting and resurfacing part of the public footpath at St Mary’s Church, the installation of the moveable traffic speed indicator (SID), the introduction of a youth shelter at the Glebe Field and the replacement of some CCTV cameras at both Goudhurst and Kilndown.

All of this is aimed to maintain improvements to the amenities in the parish.  It was noted that the general view of those members of the public present that all the projects were good ones and that the Parish Council should, as far as possible, spread the cost of them across the next three years and that one or two may be worthy of fundraising.

Some present supported the view that the Burial Board fees should be raised with the longer term view of covering Burial Board costs.

The Chairman emphasised that the figures have yet to be discussed in detail by the Parish Council but it is clear that there will have to be some significant increase in the Parish Precept for 2017/18 and 2018/19.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

249/16 12 December 2016.   Parish Council Meeting in the Jessel Room at 7.30 pm

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

250/16 – Letter from Rt Hon Greg Clark MP in reply to Council’s letter about Council Tax referendum principles.

  • Letter from the Mayor of TWBC about his Christmas Toy Appeal.
  • Notice about the Community Defibrillator Seminar at Kilndown Village Hall on 23 November at 7.00 pm by Mrs Georgia Read-Cutting and the Community Heartbeat Trust.

The Meeting closed at  9.45 pm

Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

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

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

copyright © 2016 Goudhurst Parish Council