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Thakeham Parish Council
ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING – Monday, 18th January 2016
Meeting opened: 6.15 p.m. (Village Hall)
Present Mr N Prince Mrs C Hounslow Mr D MacEachern Ms F McConnachie Mr D Scott Kerr
In attendance Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
45. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Hunt.
46. Interests of Members
No interests were declared.
47. Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting held on 12 October 2015 were approved and signed.
48. Report on action items from previous meeting
37.1 Furze Field play equipment – monitor WSCC action see item 37.1
37.2 High Bar Lane + Linfield Copse vegetation control Completed
RoSPA inspection report playground equipment maintenance Completed
Playground surface needed to be refreshed In hand, for Spring 2016
Refresh of chippings in main HBL play area In hand, for Spring 2016
38.3 Footpaths: better North-South and East-West connections. Progressed via Nov 15 meetings
39.1 Abingworth tree issues Progressed via Nov 15 meeting
41 Parish noticeboard refurbishment Work commissioned
43.2 Davis Estate consultation re. open area Survey undertaken; HDC considering
possibility of litter/dog waste bins
44.1 Setting/location of Wm Penn Stone Progressed via Nov 15 meeting
49.1 Furze Field
The Committee noted that WSCC, having been chased again, now promised installation of new equipment by March 2016.
49.2 High Bar Lane + Linfield Copse play area
The Committee noted and endorsed the priorities embodied in the draft 2016/17 budget proposals.
49.3 Playground strategy
The Committee recapped and endorsed the general ‘care and maintenance’ strategy for High Bar Lane equipment (after resurfacing toddler play areas in 2016), pending finalisation, delivery and early experience of the new Abingworth play facilities.
50. Environment-related finances
50.1 The Committee received and endorsed the Environment-related budget proposals for 2016/17.
50.2 Having received a report on comparative quotes received relating to the Council’s outdoor maintenance contract, the Committee agreed to the recommended change of supplier with immediate effect. (Action: Clerk)
50.3 Having recapped the background of the recent donation from Greening Thakeham, the Committee agreed to progress the proposal to spend the funds on a new and better bench arrangement on the upper part of Woodlands Way. (Action: Clerk + Cllr McConnachie)
51. Rights of Way
The Committee noted and endorsed the overview of new rights of way arrangements in the central part of the parish which had emerged from meetings with WSCC, the Binningtons and the Abingworth developer in late November/early December 2015. More recently, the WSCC proposal to move Thakeham First School to the current Rydon CC site underlined the necessity and urgency of improving the north-south route from the Abingworth area. Progress would continue to be chased (Action: Clerk + Chair).
The Chair also reported liaison with the Abingworth contractors regarding resident complaints about footpaths being blocked by perimeter fencing and encroaching hedging, and the need to report to WSCC a problem with FP2399 north of Bacons Land, caused by off-road bikes.
52. Tree matters
The Committee noted that the November discussion with the developer had clarified that the row of chestnuts to the east of the playing fields was due for felling, but the north row would be trimmed and replaced where necessary. Some other individual trees will need clearing for communal buildings and houses. The tree screen to the B2139 is mainly preserved except for the new northern access road. There would also be considerable new planting and the native-species-based specifications seemed satisfactory. The situation would continue to be closely monitored.
The Committee noted ongoing liaison with Highways regarding an unstable ash tree on the B2139 verge near the north junction with Crescent Rise. In relation to gradual loss of trees in the steep cuttings of the B2139, and it was agreed to express concerns to WSCC regarding the desirability of planting new trees to keep the banks stabilised. (Action: Clerk)
53. Roads matters
The Chair reported two recent resident complaints about traffic speed causing near-accidents in the section of the B2139 south of Picketty Corner. The Committee agreed to propose (again) to WSCC that the 40mph speed limit should extend for the whole length of the B2139, from the north Storrington boundary, over Jackets Hill and (except where already 30mph) through to Picketty Corner, and also to get signage preventing HGVs from travelling south on the B2139 beyond Harbolets Lane.
Members noted another recent accident at the Furze Common junction, and that chronic flooding problems adjacent to the Abingworth Hall pond had caused dangerous conditions, near a bus stop used by schoolchildren, in the recent icy snap. (Action: Clerk + Chair to seek meeting with Highways officers on these issues. Clerk also to write to Abingworth Hall management asking them to take action.)
54. Other Abingworth-related issues
Amongst the outcomes of the November meeting with the developer the Committee noted that:
54.1 LEAP specification. The current proposal looks sparse. The developer was receptive to members’ further ideas, and it was agreed to consider further possibilities, e.g. climbing wall (cf. Sidlesham facility). More ambitious proposals (e.g. skateboard park or tennis courts) might arise if there were further S73-related S106 discussions. As there were no rubberised surfaces in the current LEAP proposals, there was no reason to delay resurfacing at High Bar Lane. It had been noted that current agreements vested responsibility for ongoing maintenance of the LEAP with the developer.
54.2 Allotments: the location requires restricted shed height. It will also need rabbit-proof fencing. The Committee agreed that enough time had passed since last collection of interest in allotments that the process should start afresh with the Winter 2016 newsletter.
54.3 Wm Penn Stone. A move of the Penn Stone towards the central green/pond area appeared to be safer and quieter than the location next to the B2139 (which had no specific historical basis); the Quakers at the Blue Idol should be consulted. (Action: developer, but Clerk to check.)
54.4 It was agreed to investigate the status of S106 funds relating to Land South of Venters (DC/11/0111; related to St Mary’s church disposing of some land). (Action: Clerk)
55. Water Lane issues
Cllr Scott Kerr reported that the recent survey of Davis Estate residents Committee had indicated that residents were not in favour of developing the open area with play equipment, but there was some support for installation of litter/dog waste bins, and benches. The area in question belonged to HDC, and at a meeting in December HDC officers had agreed to monitor the need for general-purpose litter bins. If a need was agreed it would not create cost for the parish.
The Crest Nicholson works had started – no issues/complaints of any merit to report.
56. Any other business
56.1 The Committee noted the intention to align the 2016 Village Tidy day with the ‘Clean for the Queen’ scheme on the weekend of 4-6 March. (Action: Clerk to register and secure available support.) Members agreed to add a standing item for Litter issues on future agendas.
56.2 The Committee was updated by the Clerk on discussions with the Binningtons towards refreshing the Winter Plan. The desirability of a salt/grit bin near Furze Common Road was noted. (Action – Clerk)
56.3 The Committee noted that run-off onto the B2139 from the field next to Woodland Way appeared to be much worsened recently. (Action: Clerk to raise with Binningtons.)
56.4 The Committee noted ongoing problems and need for liaison with Monaghan Mushroom management regarding spillage of waste on the B2139.
Meeting closed: 7.30 p.m.
Date of next meeting: 18 April 2016, 6.15pm, Village Hall
DRAFTwith Crescent Rise. In relation to gradual loss of trees in the steep cuttings of the B2139, and it was