Minutes 12th September 2019

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of Clehonger Parish Council held on 12th September 2019 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre

Present: Cllrs J Rees, J Whittal, J Harris, C Protherough, S Savory, W Watkins (co-opted and K Langdon (co-opted)

In attendance:  Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Lengthsman Paul Wright, Footpath Officer Blue Davies and 22 members of the public plus PCSO Pete Knight (for part). Also present for part of the meeting was the Agent for planning application 192855.

  1. Introduction and welcome by the Chair

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

  1. Co-opting of councillor(s) and signing of forms

There were two new councillors put forward for co-option. They were Wendy Watkins and Krina Langdon. Both candidates were co-opted and completed their acceptance of office forms and Declarations of Registrable Interest. Both new councillors were welcomed to the table and joined the other parish councillors.

  1. To receive Apologies for Absence

There were apologies for absence received from Cllrs A Davies and A Morgan plus Ward Cllr David Hitchiner.

  1. To note Declarations of Interest

There were declarations of interest from Cllr Watkins in applications 192855 and 192513 plus Cllr Whittal in application 192969.

  1. Open Session

PCSO Pete Knight advised that a container on a building site in Clehonger had been broken into. A further container had been broken into and some high value tools had been taken.

On a date in early August a wheel arch and front bumper had been taken off a Mitsubishi Pick-up that was parked in Croft Road. PCSO Knight advised that property marking was available, as a deterrent to theft, including Smart Water.

The Policing Team had a new speed gun as the old one was out of date. The new one used laser and was accurate over a longer distance.

PCSO Knight advised that PC Roger Bradley had retired and a new PC, Jeff Rouse, had joined the local policing team.

Scams were still very prevalent and offenders were contacting people pretending to be from the Police. There had been card cloning and victims had been made to withdraw large sums of money following fraudulent activity. It was stated that the Police would never call and ask anyone to withdraw money in this way. It was important to report any fraud attempts and Action Fraud were building up a picture of incidents at a national level. The Safer Neighbourhood Team would be happy to visit anyone who had been victimised to offer help and support. Another regular scam was the caller stating that your internet was being cut off – advice was to not to enter into the conversation or push any buttons on your telephone at the caller’s request.

Large amounts of fly-tipping were reported down Gosmore Road – it was suggested that there was a possibility of a link with bags of rubbish that were piled up outside the Persimmon Site awaiting collection. Hedge clippings were amongst the rubbish tipped. PCSO Knight advised that a recent fly-tipping conviction had resulted in a £300 fixed penalty fine for the offender.

There were 20 plus bags outside on the pavement at the Persimmon Site. The Council Refuse Truck was not going onto the site and the new residents at the site had not been issued with their wheelie bins. The Chair of the Parish Council and the Ward Cllr were in communication to try to get the problem resolved.

There had also been offensive smells coming from sewerage emptying activity at the site.

There was an extended discussion about the opening in the hedge at the rear of the Persimmon site leading out onto Gosmore Road. There was great concern in the community about safety due to cars travelling, sometimes at speed, along Gosmore Road and persons being able to just come out, unchecked, into a potential accident situation. Following an in depth discussion about how the gap came to be there and the issues it was causing, plus the fact that the residents did not want there to be a “told you so” situation if an accident should occur – it was agreed that the Parish Council would contact all interested parties to try to reignite the discussion about the location of the gap.

  1. Brief Verbal Reports:

6.1 Ward Councillor.  Ward Cllr Hitchiner had sent his apologies.

6.2 Friends of Clehonger Parish: No further update

6.3 Clehonger Primary School: No further update

6.4 Locality Steward: Not present. Bulletins circulated.

6.5 Lengthsman: The Lengthsman was present at the meeting. No further update.

  1. To approve Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 18/07/19 and the Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 29/08/19

Resolved: – It was resolved that the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on 18th July 2019, were approved by the Council and then signed by the Chairman. The Minutes of the Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting, held on 29th August 2019, were also approved by the Council and then signed by the Chairman.

  1. Clerk update and correspondence

The Clerk updated the meeting on actions, correspondence etc. including:

·         Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations – 2019

  • Invitation to the Parish Council Summit on 20 September 2019
  • Hereford Transport Package and South Wye Transport Package decision

·         2020/21 Parish Precepts

  • Armed Forces Veteran Survey


Training opportunities and Info Corner

Elections Update

The PC can still co-opt at the September 2019 Meeting.

  1. Finance

9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved, proposed by Cllr Whittal and seconded by Cllr Rees:

Mrs A Wright (salary paid in accordance with contract)

Longfield Services (Lengthsman/Bins)                                              £270.00

Parish Freighter (12/10/19)                                                             £408.00

Calendar Lady Promotions (NDP Printing)                                         £314.80

Herefordshire Housing Ltd (room hire)                                             £104.00

Mrs F White (playground inspection)                                                  £58.60

Eyelid Productions (web services)                                                     £120.00

PKF Littlejohn (audit fee – over £25k income)                                    £240.00

9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted at £36170.15.

9.3 To confirm Parish Freighter for October date (provisional 12/10/19 11 – 1)

The Parish Freighter was confirmed for the 12/10/19 from between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm in the Clehonger Village Hall car park. Cllrs Rees and Watkins kindly agreed to pop in on site on the day.

  1. Planning.

10.1 Southern Link Road 151314 – and Hereford Transport package

No further update. Plans for the SLR and HTP were currently on pause and review.

10.2 Update on Village developments and any site issues:

Issues identified were the rear access onto Gosmore Road, sewerage disposal and the non-collection of refuse from the site. All items were discussed during the meeting.

10.3 To consider planning applications as notified

There were new planning applications for consideration at the meeting:

APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Consultation – 192855 – Land south of Gosmore Road, Clehonger, Herefordshire,

DESCRIPTION: Outline application with all matters reserved save access for a residential development of ten dwellings, modified access, new footpath link, school (parent and staff) car park and associated works

GRID REF: OS 345366, 237617


Cllr Watkins declared an interest in application 192855. The Planning Agent for planning application 192855 made a short presentation. He spoke about land supply and housing targets. There was considerable public comment on the proposals and concerns were raised about some of the technical aspects of the drainage etc. Flooding issues were also highlighted and experiences were relayed. The Parish Council considered all of the representations and resolved to comment as follows:

The Parish Council resolved to object to the proposals in application 192855 for the following reasons:

1) Flooding issues. There is concern over local flooding issues that have been experienced and whilst it is understood that technical methods will be employed to help deal with this, there are still local concerns that flooding will potentially occur. The proposals to raise the level by 350 mm were challenged as the ground was known to be sodden and there were concerns expressed as to where the water would go, especially in the context of climate change. Local residents described seeing a “river” of water pouring down on occasions.

2) Location of spreaders and drainage systems. The Parish Council heard concerns from the public present about the position of existing drainage systems and spreaders which appeared to be in a different location to that on the plan which was shown at the meeting. The Parish Council wish for clarification of the sewerage disposal systems that are in existence to prevent them being possibly built over.

3) Footpath. The proposed footpath for access to the school was believed to be too narrow and would also require acquisition of land that is believed not to be in the ownership of the applicant.

4) Neighbourhood Development Plan. Whilst it is acknowledged that the Clehonger NDP is not yet adopted, there are concerns about the number of houses being built in the village which considerably exceeds the numbers designated by the Core Strategy. There is also the concern that this phase of building will lead to other building developments moving down the area by degrees.

5) Impact on local residents. There are a large number of homes under construction in the vicinity of the site currently and the impact on local people of the construction etc. has to be a consideration. One home owner is very afraid of the verge outside the property in which she lives being taken for a splay as it is currently the only buffer between the house, built in circa 1900, and the road.

6) Location of proposed car park. The Parish Council heard about the location of the proposed car parking area and about liaison with the school in this regard. Concerns were expressed about whether the car park will actually be used if it is built in the context of very limited take up by parents or teachers of a previous offer of car parking space, substantially closer to the school. There is a drop off system currently in use at the school which appears to be working well.

7) Access onto Gosmore Road. Mention was made that there should not be any further access out onto Gosmore Road due to safety issues relating to the highway. A previous applicant, who is currently developing, was denied access onto Gosmore Road.

APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Consultation – 192954 – Land at Firbank, Clehonger, Herefordshire,

DESCRIPTION: Proposed new bungalow with basement, garage and utility room.

GRID REF: OS 344683, 237800

APPLICATION TYPE: Planning Permission

The Clehonger Parish Council resolved to object to the application 192954 for the following reasons:

1) Access. The property is situation on a busy through road and there are concerns about the access for construction vehicles and later for the residents of the new property. It is noted that there have been previous refusals of planning consent due to similar concerns, for example in 2016 an application for three dwellings at the location was turned down due to unsafe access. The proposed entrance is on a steep hill and is opposite an entrance to an unmade road which is a difficult junction.

2) Ecological impact, concern for neighbouring property and Oak tree. A previous application was turned down in 2018 for the removal of hedgerow believed to be 30 plus years old and composed of seven species of hedgerow plants. There is concern about the impact of construction, and of the new drive, on the neighbouring property and for the welfare of an Oak tree at the location which is believed to be in excess of 100 years old. There are concerns about surface water drainage from the drive and its impact on the adjoining property and main road.

3) Cage Brook SSSI There is concern about the additional building at the location having an adverse impact on the Cage Brook SSSI. A full ecological impact survey regarding this should be instigated.

4) Settlement Boundary. The site falls outside the settlement boundary as designated in the draft Neighbourhood Plan. It is appreciated that the Clehonger NDP is not yet adopted, however.

APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Consultation – 192513 – Walnut Tree Farm, Birch Hill Road, Clehonger, Hereford, HR2 9RF

DESCRIPTION: Proposed development for the erection of two dwellings with attached garages.

GRID REF: OS 345155, 237319

APPLICATION TYPE: Planning Permission

Cllr Watkins declared an interest in Application 192513. She left the room during the discussion of this item. There had been an amendment made to the access lane to allow for passing and the new details were considered by the Parish Council who resolved to comment as follows:

The Parish Council has looked at the access proposals, with the newly proposed passing place, and has listened to representations from those with experience of the location and no longer has any concerns for access to the site. The Parish Council does still have concerns regarding the settlement boundary, as it is currently designated in the Neighbourhood Plan, whilst it is noted that this is not yet adopted by the parish as a consultation document.

APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Consultation – 192969 – Bowling Green Farm, Clehonger, Herefordshire, HR2 9SJ

DESCRIPTION: Site for poultry managers dwelling.

GRID REF: OS 346275, 237195


Cllr Whittal declared an interest in application 192969. The details of application 192969 were discussed and the Parish Council resolved to comment as follows:

The Clehonger Parish Council has discussed the planning application 192969 and is in support of the outline proposal for a poultry manager’s dwelling at the location.

10.4 To consider adoption of Policy for dealing with planning applications between parish council meetings (circulated)

There was a discussion on the merits of such a policy and whether it would be necessary or appropriate. Agreement on this was not reached and the suggestion would be considered again at a future meeting.

  1. Village Matters including:

11.1 Church re-ordering – October Agenda

11.2 Update on Community Assets – October Agenda

11.3 Climate Emergency – to consider plan for possible PC actions – October Agenda

11.4 Village speeding including Village Gates and Speed Indicator Devices – October Agenda

11.5 Sub station in Gosmore Road – consideration could be given to screening – possibly scope for Friends of Clehonger Parish?

  1. Neighbourhood Plan

12.1 Update on Clehonger Plan and Regulation 14 consultation

It was agreed that Cllr Davies would be asked to discuss any requirement for a further Steering Group Meeting with the Neighbourhood Planning Consultant, Dr Nicholson.

  1. Playing Field

13.1 Update

The bouncy castle day had gone well. There was a question about suitability of the bouncy castles for use by all age ranges. Confirmation was made that it was believed that all ages were covered on the different bouncy castles.

  1. Brief Reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep and Tree Warden

Footpath Warden:  No further update

HALC Rep:  No report this time

Tree Warden: Cllr Morgan had sent his apologies. He had sent a message that he was looking at various tree issues in the parish.

  1. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)

All of the usual items would be on the Agenda. Also BREXIT and the village

  1. Reminder of dates of future meetings

There was a reminder of the date of the next Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council to be held on Thursday 17th October 2019, from 7.30pm, at Innesfield.

The Meeting closed at 9.45 pm.