Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of Clehonger Parish Council held on 16th January 2020 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs J Rees, J Whittal, A Davies (Vice Chair), J Harris, S Savory, C Protherough (Chair), W Watkins and K Langdon
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Cllr David Hitchiner, Lengthsman Paul Wright, Footpath Officer Blue Davies, Phil Edwards from Belmont Country Park Supporters, PC John Meek and Sgt Ram Aston plus seven members of the public
1. Introduction and welcome by the Chair
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. To receive Apologies for Absence
There were apologies for absence received from Tree Warden Alan Morgan.
3. Co-option of councillor and signing of forms
There was no new co-option.
4. To note Declarations of Interest
There was one declaration of interest. This was for Cllr Watkins in relation to planning application 192855.
5. Open Session
A resident advised that a notice concerning the Neighbourhood Plan that had been affixed to the Village Hall Notice Board by the Neighbourhood Planning Team at Herefordshire Council had been damaged by the weather. The Clerk would obtain a copy and place in the notice boards. The notice was to explain the consultation period on the HC website.
Local residents raised the issue of rubbish being deposited along Gosmore Road including old tyres. There were many potholes down Gosmore Road. Residents reported that at least two tyres had been burst as a result of the potholes in Gosmore Road. Persimmon Homes were seeking to occupy more houses still without connection to the mains sewerage system.
The outcome of the Pothole Task and Finish recommendations was still awaited.
The condition of the road surface in Birch Hill Road was again commented.
There was a request for the Parish Freighter, to attend again in May 2020, and this would be on the February Agenda for the Parish Council Meeting.
A resident who was present had kindly offered to purchase some Elm Trees for the parish and the location of these would be determined.
A resident advised that he had reported the blocked drainage system in Church Road, Old Clehonger to the Balfour Beatty Drainage Engineer. He lodged a diagram of the drainage system with the Clerk for reference.
The bus stop at the top of Church Road would not be imminently having the missing panels replaced. This decision had been communicated by Balfour Beatty.
Smart Water Presentation
Sgt Ram Aston and PC John Meek of West Mercia Police then explained about the Smart Water and “We don’t buy crime” initiative where Parish Councils could obtain a 25% discount funded by the Police Commission if they were to purchase Smart Water Kits for the remaining 75% of the parish. The price of each kit had been discounted to £8.90 including VAT. Once a percentage level of 70% of the kits had been registered to households then bespoke signage advising that Clehonger was a Smart Water protected area would be supplied free of charge. There were also small signs in each pack to display on the home itself. Each pack contained sufficient forensic solution to mark around 50 items as only a small dot of solution was required for each item.
The purpose of the Smart Water System was to help deter acquisitive crime and local second hand dealers had been equipped with detecting torches, petrol station employees and others had been up-skilled to recognise issues and to help identify stolen items. If items marked with Smart Water were found in the possession of a thief this could lead to a 100% certainty of conviction rate. The system was proving to be successful in deterring acquisitive crime as criminals are aware of the traceability and conviction factors. The Parish Council would agenda the idea for further discussion at the February 2020 Meeting of the Parish Council. The Parish Council thanked the officers for their time and they left the meeting at this point.
6. Brief Verbal Reports:
6.1 Ward Councillor. Ward Cllr Hitchiner updated regarding Tourism initiatives and collaboration with other counties on this. There would be a meeting held at the Green Dragon Hotel in week commencing 20th January 2020 to increase personnel dealing with the importance of tourism which had a potential 0.5 billion pound value across the country. The Ward Cllr updated about other sources of funding and about the Lugg Catchment area phosphate monitoring which was ongoing. There may be issues for the Wye also and this could potentially limit housing developments. There was supposed to be a 3 to 5 year land supply available for building. A planning application for 600 houses had been turned down for Ledbury due, principally, to access issues.
The Ward Cllr explained why two applications had been received for the Gladmans site as the parties involved sought to protect their interests. There were differences in the applications and the Planning Department were awaiting the drainage plans.
The Ward Cllr advised that the Planning Officer was not yet in a position to write up the report for the ten homes and associated works at the Gosmore Road site and was waiting for amended drainage plans.
6.2 Friends of Clehonger Parish: No further update
6.3 Clehonger Primary School: Newsletter received. A school representative had been invited and would attend if and when possible.
6.4 Locality Steward: Not present. Bulletins circulated.
6.5 Lengthsman: The Lengthsman was present at the meeting. He was trying to keep on top of things against weather issues.
6.6 Footpath Officer: The Footpath Office was present at the Meeting. He advised that the footpaths were generally in a mess due to there being so much mud. The 62 Acre Field was also wet.
7. To approve Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12/12/19
It was resolved that the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on 12th December 2019, were approved by the Council and then signed by the Chairman.
8. Clerk update and correspondence
The Clerk updated the meeting on actions, correspondence etc. including:
• Core Strategy/Neighbourhood Planning workshop event presentation
• MINUTES: 1st Red, Norton & Twyford brooks NFM Community Group Meeting
• October & November flooding, home and business support
• Short Breaks Capital Funding
• Marches Renewable Energy Grant Scheme
• Climate Change in Action!
• Presentation from HALC Conference
Thank you letter received regarding donation towards upkeep of churchyard received from Clehonger PCC
Dore Community Transport
Thank you letter received regarding donation towards transport running costs from Dore C.T.
Information regarding the 30 mph speed limit extension past the Persimmon Site:
The developer has to enter into a Section 278 Agreement with us to enable them to carry out the works in the B4349.
The legal paperwork is being negotiated between the parties at the moment, but shouldn’t be too far away, and works can commence as soon as it’s in place.
I’ve copied in my contact at Persimmons, Adam Spiller, who should be able to confirm the situation from their end.
Highways & Transport, Herefordshire Council, Plough Lane Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE
Attenuation Pond at Persimmon Site – Clehonger
Following chases to Enforcement Team about the attenuation pond on the Persimmon Site I have received the following:
“Dear Mrs Wright
Following my visit prior to Christmas to the above site and subsequent discussions with the developer, I can confirm the following:
The overflow has been constructed as per the approved details and as some slit was observed around the outfall, therefore the on site team were tasked with dealing with this.
I have chased the developer for further information on the non-return valve to pass back to our Lead Drainage Engineer (to be fair the developer has been liaising with the drainage engineer on this issue raised and nothing major has been highlighted as a concern -as yet!).
The site team have been advised of the error in planting and the requirement for planting of replacement native species to be undertaken this planting season, to be completed prior to March 2020.
There are also some outstanding details for additional planting at the attenuation structure, which are expected to be received within the next 2 weeks and considered for approval.
I will update you again in due course.
Planning Enforcement Officer”
9. Finance and Policies
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved, proposed by Cllr Davies and seconded by Cllr Whittal:
Mrs A Wright (salary paid in accordance with contract)
Longfield Services (Lengthsman/Bins) £245.44
Herefordshire Housing Ltd (room hire) £16.00
9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted at £46157.54.
9.3 To discuss Letter received from the Directors of Woodfield Gardens concerning possible extension of the cycleway from Belmont to Ruckhall
The letter that had been received was discussed. A member of the public present explained that the owners of the land, allegedly, did not wish for the path to be tarmacced unless planning was activated for the area concerned. The Parish Council was not in a position to advance the suggestion of the extension to the cycleway. The Clerk would write back to the Directors of Woodfield Gardens to advise them of this.
9.4 To discuss sponsorship request from Belmont Haywood Country Park
The Parish Council discussed the request for a donation towards the upkeep of the country park at Belmont. A representative from the Country Park Supporters, Mr Phil Edwards, described the activities of the volunteers etc. that were helping to keep the park in a good condition. Grass was being cut, hedges trimmed and waste bins emptied. There were costs going forward that did require financial support. The boardwalk project had been completed and other parishes were using the park. The Parish Council resolved to make a one of donation of £200.00 to help with the cost of keeping the park going and this would be reviewed annually when setting the budget.
9.5 To consider adoption of Policy for dealing with planning applications between parish council meetings
The circulated policy was discussed and an amendment to the wording was suggested as in the policy would be used if the PC could not obtain an extension. It was felt that the wording could be clearer so this would be amended and re-circulated. The Clerk asked the councillors to please advise if there were any further adjustments required so that they could be made before re-presenting the policy at the February Meeting.
10.1 To consider response to Planning Applications, as notified, and then determined by Herefordshire Council:
APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Re-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: 345366, 237617
APPLICATION TYPE: Outline (Amended and Additional)
Clehonger Parish Council discussed the re-consultation 192855. Members of the public were present and also contributed to the conversation.
The Clehonger Parish Council commented a wish to reiterate the previous concerns expressed about the application, which are noted here, and resolved to continue to object to the proposals in the application 192855 for the reasons below:
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.
In addition to the previous objection points, further information gained concerning flooding at the site and proposals for drainage (additional spreaders situated two metres above an existing resident’s property) are matters of great concern. The short term life span of the proposed land drains (20 years) and the fact that they may not be hard surfaced over, nor driven over, due to the burial depth has been raised as a material concern. There is also concern for the effect of the permeable tarmac in terms of potential detriment being caused to neighbouring trees.
Factual information regarding the water levels at the location, and the flooding and environmental issues pertaining, point to the site being unsuitable for development. The impact to neighbouring properties by the fact that the proposed homes will be raised 600 mm above the existing dwellings is another factor underpinning the Parish Council’s objection.
The removal of further hedgerow will exacerbate the drainage issues and the preservation of ancient hedgerows is believed to be an important factor.
Another concern raised is how the clearance of flood water and backing up of water will be cleared? Will there be a management committee of residents charged with the overarching responsibility for this? Permeable paving must be maintained for optimum efficiency. There were also concerns expressed about treatment plant limitations and co-reliance on systems which would need to be managed properly to avoid issues and possible contamination by foul water drainage.
APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Consultation – 194341 – Woodlea Cottage, Clehonger, Hereford, Herefordshire HR2 9TP
DESCRIPTION: Proposed ground and first floor extension including the taking down and renovation of existing building. Part retrospective
GRID REF: OS 344151, 237066
APPLICATION TYPE: Full Householder
The Parish Council discussed application 194341 and resolved to comment that there were no objections to the proposals.
11. Neighbourhood Plan
11.1 Update on Clehonger Plan and next steps
The consultation feedback was undergoing revision. The Chair would look at the admin rights for the NDP Facebook Page. Cllrs Protherough and Watkins would become Administrators for the page.
12. Village Matters
• speed issues in the village
There had been further complaints received by councillors concerning local speeding. The idea of Speed Indicator Devices would be explored further as a possibility for the Madley and Kingstone Roads. The devices can be purchased by the Parish Council but a Balfour Beatty survey of the proposed sites is still required.
• to discuss Brexit Commemoration
It was resolved that this would be a civilian effort, should it go ahead, and would not led by the Parish Council.
• Historic TRO: Church Road, Clehonger C1200 Reduce 60mph Speed Limit to 30mph
The Parish Council resolved that the TRO should proceed as applied for and this would be conveyed to the persons who were to progress the TRO.
Also points noted were:
• The drain on Poplar Road had been emptied.
• There had been a request for possible provision of hard standing at the bus stop on the Kingstone Road to prevent people waiting for the bus having to stand on the muddy area near Poplar Road.
• The Clerk would ask Persimmon Homes about providing dog waste bins on the Pembridge Estate by the kissing gate on the site and at the gateway off the track on the opposite side of the road
13. Climate Emergency and initiatives
The Great Collaboration and Green Networking organisers were available to send speakers and to generate ideas. The Chair explained the various topic headings that were receiving attention including energy generation, transport and infrastructure.
14. Playing Field – Update
The kind offer of some Elm trees for the Parish was discussed. The location of the planting would be decided. The football pitch was being moved over closer to the school side of the field. There was consideration being given to possible tarmaccing of the footpath across from the Village Hall to the far side. Quotes would be obtained for a path approximately 73 metres long by 1.5 metres wide. Balfour Beatty would need to be consulted regarding the footpath. The idea of possibly utilising some of the mats, that were in storage, on the muddy entrance point to Gosmore Road would be looked at. The number of mats in storage would be confirmed.
15. Brief Reports from Tree Warden (if available)
Tree Warden: Cllr Morgan had sent his apologies. Cllr Morgan to be asked to follow up on a TPO for the “Lousy Oak” on the corner of the B4349 where it joins the A465.
16. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
All of the usual items would be on the Agenda. Also:
• Smart water
• Climate Emergency
• Follow up re Persimmon and dog bins
• Parish Freighter – May 2020 visit
• Litter Pick – Spring 2020
• Knife Angel – Hereford visit 2021
• To consider adoption of Policy for dealing with planning applications between parish council meetings (to delegate powers to Clerk to respond on behalf of the PC (PC comments) in case of non ability to discuss at a meeting)
17. 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 13th February 2020, from 7.30pm, at Innesfield.
The Meeting closed at 9.52 pm.