Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of Clehonger Parish Council held on 18th June 2020 from 7.30 pm via Zoom Platform during Covid 19 Virus Lockdown
Present: Cllrs J Rees, J Whittal, S Savory, J Harris, C Protherough (Chair), A Davies (Vice Chair) W Watkins and J Jones
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Cllr David Hitchener, Footpath Officer Blue Davies and four members of the public.
1. Introduction and welcome by the Chair
The Chair welcomed everyone to the Zoom meeting. First and foremost a huge “Thank You” was recorded to the numerous people in the community who had been helping their neighbours during the difficult times being experienced. The Village Shop was acknowledged as having been a “rock” for people during the lockdown. An official thank you letter, from the Parish Council, would be sent to the shop staff and volunteers.
2. To receive Apologies for Absence
There were apologies for absence received from Cllr K Langdon.
3. To note Declarations of Interest
There was a declaration of interest made for planning application 192855 – Land south of Gosmore Road – 10 houses plus access etc. by Cllr Watkins.
4. Open Session
There was comment made about application 200962. Details under Agenda planning item number 10.
5. Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Ward Councillor. Ward Cllr Hitchiner advised that the Herefordshire Council had bought the freehold interest in the Maylord Orchards Shopping Centre. The Council were welcoming suggestions regarding the future use of the centre. The Council were trying to obtain finance to cover the road repairs at Fownhope. The Council were picking up the cost of PPE for care homes which was just one of the Covid 19 costs. The Ward Cllr expressed how impressed people were in terms of how the community had responded to the virus crisis. There was a discussion about footfall in the city and how there had been a reduction when the public toilets closed. People expressed that even if they were chargeable people would still use them. Shop mobility was also mentioned as being an important factor in encouraging people to use the shopping facilities.
5.2 Lengthsman: No update this time
5.3 Footpath Officer: Two allegedly locked paths at Vallets Farm had been referred to Balfour Beatty by a member of the public.
The footpath leading to the Seven Stars was still muddy but was being reinstated with stone being laid down.
6. To approve Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12/03/20
It was resolved that the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on 12th March 2020, were approved by the Council.
7. Information and correspondence
The Clerk updated the meeting on actions, correspondence etc. including:
Herefordshire Council Various, as circulated and including:
• Funding for trees for Parish Councils – The Tree Council Branching Out Fund is now open!
• Volunteer Survey
• Short Breaks Capital Funding – Round 2
• Local food/deliveries and warmer homes update
• Planning for phased returns to schools for some pupils from 1 June
• FLOODING – Ongoing support to you and the community
• Safeguarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Bulletin
• Talk Community Covid-19 Response Opening Times
Letter and map circulated from Mr David Howerski concerning the pond and footpath on path CH20/EB25. E mail circulated on 11/05/20 at 16.07 referred.
The matters raised in the correspondence were discussed and considered and it was resolved that the Clerk would address the concerns, as described in the letter, to the Public Realm Contractor for their decision as to any action as may be required.
Cllr A Davies took the chair briefly while Cllr Protherough experienced a temporary loss of Zoom link.
8. Finance and Policies
8.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Mrs A Wright (salary paid in accordance with contract)
HMRC (Tax) £18.00
Longfield Services (Lengthsman/Bins) £270.00
Herefordshire Council (May 2019 Election recharge) £93.42
8.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted at £47155.30.
9.1 To consider response to Planning Applications, as notified, and then determined by Herefordshire Council:
APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Consultation – 200962 – Site at Firbank, Clehonger, Herefordshire,
DESCRIPTION: Proposed new bungalow with basement garage and utility room.
GRID REF: OS 344683, 237800
APPLICATION TYPE: Planning Permission – Amended and additional
The Parish Council reviewed the latest iteration of the application 200962 and resolved to reiterate the objection to the application and to repeat the concerns that had been previously highlighted. The Parish Council would make the additional points of renewed concern for the welfare of the property known as Chapel House, which is understood to have shallow foundations. There was also concern for the welfare of a protected Oak tree which has recently been potentially affected by the undertaking of excavations of a trench at the Firbank site. The Parish Council noted that changes had been made to the access parameters in the latest application but would continue to object to the construction of a further property at the location, due to the access to and exit from the property onto a very busy highway.
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: OS 345366, 237617
APPLICATION TYPE: Outline (Amended and additional)
The Clehonger Parish Council had commented previously on the proposals in application 192855. The previous objection would be reiterated with the addition of concerns that were raised at the meeting. Further to the review, by the Parish Council, of the latest iteration of the application, the alterations made to the plans were noted but the concerns over flooding at the site persist. The objection to outline approval for the building of 10 houses and associated matters was reinforced. In addition, concern was expressed over a possible burial site for diseased cattle being at the location and also the position of a, now disused, sheep dipping trough. The use of said trough would have potentially saturated the terrain with chemicals that may have contained organophosphates. There are believed to be many natural springs in the vicinity and the issue of flooding and possible contamination is of concern. It was suggested that perhaps the County Archaeological Department should be asked to survey the site and that an ecological appraisal of species, such as the Great Crested Newt which are believed to frequent the area, should be undertaken. There are also some questions raised as to the ownership of a tree that has been proposed for felling (Tree number 9). There is concern over the encouragement of further traffic usage of Gosmore Road which is narrow and has restricted visibility at the “pinch point”. The footpath proposed was commented as to be potentially “dangerous”.
In conclusion the alterations made to the original proposals have made no difference to the assessment, by the Parish Council, of the unsuitability for building on the site.
10. Village Matters
10.1 Dog waste bins and dog fouling – possible additional bins?
It was agreed that an additional bin would be purchased and the final fitting site agreed in conjunction with local resident.
The Police had been involved with an incident of a barrier, from the development site, being thrown around the playing field and subsequently broken up.
Rear access to Gosmore Road
The Persimmon site management would be asked to secure the hedging area where some boys, on bikes, had been observed coming straight out from the site onto Gosmore Road. They had narrowly escaped being hit by a vehicle coming down the Road at what was described at “speed”.
There was a discussion about alleged bonfire nuisance from a property in Birch Hill Road. A letter would be sent, from the Parish Council, to remind of the responsibilities around garden bonfires.
The Welcome Packs would be revived once related activities were back up and running. People were asked to notify Cllr Protherough of any new occupancies etc.
Section 106 Monies
Section 106 monies from the developer for community use had been chased up with the Herefordshire Council department responsible.
11. Playing Field – to discuss access of motorised vehicles
There had been questions asked about the use of petrol bikes on the Playing Field. The issue was discussed and it was resolved that motorised vehicles would only be allowed on the playing field by permission of the Parish Council (i.e. for disability wheelchairs and vehicles for events) but not petrol or other motorised bikes. This was in order to safeguard other users of the facilities. The Playing Field Committee would discuss appropriate wording for a new notice, for approval of purchase by the PC. The Playing Field Committee would regroup and would have new members. The Chair (Cllr Davies) would call a meeting, as required.
The School had requested that the playing field hedge be cut before the new term in September and Cllr Davies would arrange this, for the first week in September, with the contractor.
12. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
All of the usual items would be on the Agenda, plus adoption of Accounts for 2019 – 2020, ring-fencing playing field funds and footpaths
13. 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 16th July 2020, from 7.30pm, on Zoom unless notified otherwise.
The Meeting closed at 9.07 pm.