Parish Council Meeting, February Summary
This month’s main topics include-
- residents unhappy at their neighbours plans to build “overbearing” extensions,
- bollards and double-yellow lines (finally, hopefully…) to address the school parking problems,
- a “u turn” on the bus shelters for Stone Land and Forge Fields,
- no speed reductions, and
- more bollards
The Parish Council met on Thursday 2nd February 2017.
Twelve members of the public attended. Councillors Harris, Pfleger, Cobb, Dodge, Sharp, Hearn and Kayani attended. County Councillor Mollie Groom attended in the public part of the meeting. Deborah Bourne attended as clerk to the Parish Council.
Two planning applications proved controversial.
Application for Cotswold Heights, Greenhill, 16/12252/FUL.
Neighbours objected on grounds that it was an overdevelopment, and building right up to the boundary of their propety, affecting light and privacy.
Later in the meeting, the Parish Council resolved unanimously to oppose this application on the basis of (a) its impact on the street scene (b) it being overbearing on neighbouring properties (c) an overdevelopment of the site (d) an obstruction of light.
Application for 54 Chestnut Springs, 17/00446/FUL
A resident explained that the proposals would turn a two bed bungalow into a large four bed house.
Neighbours objected on the basis of overdevelopment, that it would spoil the street scene and feel of Chestnut Springs, and be overbearing. It would also take away the type of property (smaller, suitable for older people) that the village needed to retain, and which the emergent neighbourhood plan said there was a need for.
Later in the meeting, the Parish Council resolved to object to the application as an unacceptable alteration of the street scene, overdevelopment and its impact on neighbours’ amenity and privacy.
A resident also voiced concern over the finishing of the house being built on land adjacent to 2 The Butts.
This is in a Conservation Area. Whilst, the resident did not oppose the application per se, he felt that the facacde should be natutral stone, in keeping with the other houses in the area and the original proposals, not red brick.
Later in the meeting, the Council resolved not to objec to the development in prinicple, but to object to the finishing in red brick.
Other matters raised included –
Damage to the verges by The Butts, which Councillor Cobb said he would deal with in the main body of the meeting.
Reducing the speed limit to 30 miles per hour in the area from Swinley Drive to towards the Pry, and Stone Lane.
The writer mentioned there had been correspondence with the Parish Council, and discussions elsewhere, on this. Would the Council support a move to reduce the speed limit?
In short, No.
Basically, the feeling is that it would be too hard to get Wiltshire Council to do anything, because of the criteria they apply.
It was also felt that doing anything about the Casa Paolo junction before the current development is embedded would be a waste of money. It was stressed that it was important to see how the traffic flows when the development is actually built, rather than doing things now which may not be appropriate in the future.
Later, after the meeting, Councillor Cobb handed the writer a very interesting Traffic Advisory Leaflet, published by the Department of Transport, circa January 2004. Link to on-line copy here.
[NOTE, more on speeding to follow, Ed].
County Councillor Groom referred to the reduction in size of the proposed Green Lane by the Casa Paolo junction. Councillor Harris took issue with this. Nobody seems entirely clear on what is happening, as the input from the developers, the County Council, and others, seems to be frequently changing. County Councillor Groom, Councillors Harris and Pfleger agreed to discuss the issue outside of the meeting.
The state of the cemetery
Residents were concerned about the rubbish and other nasties left around the entrance to the cemetery. Those visiting found this very distressing.
A local resident had already removed a bag of rubbish, and Councillor Pfleger said he would investigate tomorrow (Friday).
Mike Sharp in his Neighbourhood Watch capacity reported it had been a quiet month, apart from an attempted break in at Greatfield Garden Centre.
Mollie Groom updated the meeting on her continuing work to ensure development did not lead to more flooding in the Parish, and the proposals to put a large development in Hook/Coped hall area (320 houses, 38 for the elderly) which included widening the road and effectively turning it into an urban highway, which she was opposing. She also told the meeting about the Cotswold Conservation Board sewing the road verges with wild flowers, something we could consider replicating here.
Councillor Dodge updated the meeting on the neighbourhood plan. Slow but steady progress is being made. Together with the Clerk, and Sarah Hill Wheeler, he attended a useful meeting at Monkton Park with the link rep last week.
Points arising from the main body of the meeting
Now it’s No to the bus shelters
Readers may recall last month, the Council set aside the sum of £4,670 in the budget it agreed for 2017/2018. This was for bus shelters for children waiting for the school bus in wet weather.
Councillor Sharp had now conducted a survey of how many children wait for school buses in the Forge Fields and Stone Lane. 10 were waiting in Forge Fields, 4 in Stone Lane.
Given this, the Council decided it would not be money well spent. Proposals for the bus shelters were dropped.
Defibrillator not back on the agenda, yet…..
Councillor Sharp also reported on a meeting he had attended at the Area Board, where there was a presentation on defibrillators. Contrary to comments made in a previous Council meeting, the paramedic giving the talk was very positive about community defbrillators, and their ability to save lives.
There was, however, still the issue over the need for them to be within 200 yards of the person needing assistance. For this reason, the Council was not progressing a defrillator for the village. However, it was mooted that, at some point, if the JCH was used more widely, it may be worth thinking about putting one in there.
Parking between The Butts and The Beeches
Councillor Cobb reported on major progress made with Wiltshire Council. He had met with Jamie Munday (Wiltshire Council). It was now agreed that Wiltshire Council would pay for parking restrictions from the Chicane to the Beeches. Councillor Harris asked about the timescale, and Councillor Cobb said that it should be done by the end of summer, this year.
As the Parish Council will not be paying for these restrictions, it was agreed that the Parish Council would fund a bollard and verge markers to stop traffic mounting the verge by the exit from The Butts.
Councillor Harris thanked Councillor Cobb for all his hard work on this, without which it would not have happened.
The Chairman extended thanks to Robert Baggs for his previous work, as a Councillor, in reviewing and redrafting the Financial Regulations. These are being discussed between councillors, a decision being held over until all the councillors have considered and are able to all be at a Parish Council meeting to pass a resolution (Chair and Vice-Chair are away in March).
Councillor Sharp had found a better home for the Council’s reserves with CCLA (1.5% and instant access), and the meeting resolved to invest there.
Fly tipping and the bridleway bollard
The Chairman declared an interest in this item, as he has an interest in the land on which the bridleway is situated.
Fly tipping is an ongoing problem at various places around the parish. The meeting urged residents to report incidents, through Wilthsire Council’s website, which they could do anonymously if they wanted. Alterntively, they could tell a councillor or the clerk. They should record the location, date, time etc. Residents were told they should not interfere with the rubbish themselves. (It may conatin nasties, and it was also suggested they could be tampering with evidence).
The meeting agreed to the installation of the bollard on the Stone Lane bridleway. It was suggested the steward could do this, but the clerk queried this as it was affecting a right of way.
The meeting agreed to the production of a No Parking Banner (@£30) and a banner for the JCH (also @£30) for which photographs (ancient or modern) of the parish are invited.
Problems recruiting councillors
The clerk mentioned plans to invite all residents to find out more about becoming a councillor. Date and arrangements to be confirmed, but probably to be towards the end of March.
Holborn Right of Way was being blocked, presumably by the owner/occupier of the Stud Farm, and the Council would refer this matter to the enforcment officer at Wiltshire Council.
Gate for the car park/community field
No progress. The Chairman reported that the Parish Hall committee were still thinking about this.
The meeting concluded at approximately 9.30pm. The next meeting is Thursday, 2nd March, 7.30pm at the Parish Hall.