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Thakeham Parish Council
ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING – Monday, 18 July 2016
Meeting opened: 6.15 p.m. (Village Hall)
Present Mr N Prince (Chair) Mrs C Hounslow Mr D Scott Kerr
In attendance Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
13. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Hunt, McConnachie, MacEachern and Taylor
14. Interests of Members
No interests were declared.
15. Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting held on 18 April 2016 were approved and signed.
16. Report on action items from previous meetings
50.3 Greening Thakeham bench – see item 8 on this agenda
52.2 Seek WSCC assistance with replanting trees on cuttings of B2139 – not yet progressed
56.2 Liaison with Binningtons re Winter Plan – ongoing
56.3 Liaison with Binningtons re run-off from field next to Woodlands Way – ongoing
5.1 Furze Field play area - as reported under item 17.1 below
6.2 Damaged fingerpost reported to WSCC. Chair flagged need to check fallen tree (action: Clerk)
7 Road Traffic Orders - as reported under item 19 below
10.2 Abingworth LEAP specification: see item 22.1 below
17.1 Furze Field play area
The Clerk was liaising with HDC regarding the timing of replacing the gates. There was still an intention to undertake touching-up the paintwork on the swings (action: Clerk/Cllr MacEachern)
Southern Water had been contacted to seek reassurance that plans were in place to prevent re-occurrence of January/March 2016 sewage flooding, but had no record of undertaking these works. Members agreed that PC will need to keep its own records of any future cases. Cllrs Smith, MacEachern and the Clerk were still due to meet regarding ownership and maintenance arrangements for the strip of land surrounding the play area (action: Clerk, Cllrs Smith, MacEachern).
17.2 High Bar Lane maintenance works
Members noted the 2016 RoSPA inspection report and agreed to arrange a site visit for all available members to agree priorities for further works and make recommendations to TPC (action: Clerk).
18. Rights of Way
18.1 Members noted that further liaison with WSCC PRoW team regarding options to create a new South <-> North-East cycle-able route through central Thakeham had concluded that the best option was to focus on upgrading Strawberry Lane, to facilitate cycling alongside pedestrian/equestrian use. This would also involve securing a safe arrangement for the area where bridleway 2488 meets the B2139 opposite Kingdom Hall. Discussions were in hand with the owner of the adjacent field, who was applying to set up a smallholding/produce operation. Funding might be secured from further S106 negotiations relating to Abingworth phase 2.
An upcoming meeting with counterparts from Storrington PC (see item 23 below) would explore the option of Thakeham, Storrington and West Chiltington PCs jointly commissioning a mapping of safe cycling/pedestrian routes in the area where the three parishes joined.
Members noted a temporary footpath diversion at the north of the Abingworth site (for safety reasons), and also noted the WSCC annual summary of PRoW issues, including schedule for next inspection of Thakeham RoW in Spring 2017. Further meetings were being sought with the local WSCC Ranger (action: Clerk).
19. Roads matters
In relation to traffic-calming measures linked to the Abingworth development, members noted the developments reported to TPC’s 20 June meeting, including:
agreement on the need to take effective action to reduce traffic speed in the 30mph zone
a two-phase approach aligned to the phases of the development:
- For phase 1, proposals would focus on the new northern road junction, upgraded arrangements at the existing crossing-point north of High Bar Lane, roundels and other road surface treatments and also SID signs (flashing speed indicators) at the north and south boundaries of the 30mph zone. Abingworth Developments will liaise with Monaghan’s Mushrooms to include changes in this phase of works to entry/exit arrangements to discourage HGV travel from/to the north.
- Further proposals for phase 2 would be developed based on updated traffic volume/speed data. If the data is supportive this could include ‘priority’ calming, i.e. traffic entering the 30mph zone being forced to give way to traffic exiting). There may also be a new crossing at the northern site junction, to a proposed extension of the new east-west bridleway through the site across to the west side of the B2139 (linking through to High Bar Lane near the play area).WSCC had been warned that the recent coincidence of roadworks with the collection of updated traffic speed data might have limited the usefulness of that data.
The Committee also noted that traffic speed/volume data had recently been collected for the area south of Picketty Corner, linked to the parish’s TRO application which was ongoing.
20. Greening Thakeham proposal for benches on Woodlands Way
The Committee noted that progress on this had been delayed by difficulties with getting an affordable quote for the previously endorsed design. Members agreed that it was desirable to expedite this during the current summer/early autumn months, including revisiting the design specification if that would help. Cllr Hounslow knew of a possible contractor who might suit. (Action: Clerk/Cllrs McConnachie and Hounslow)
21. Tesco/Groundworks scheme
This matter had been remitted to the Committee by TPC. Members noted that the scope of the scheme did appear to offer opportunities relevant to the parish, e.g. in relation to allotments, sports equipment (scoreboards, sightscreens, etc.), and/or exercise equipment/trim trail. However, members were also cautious about the prospects of a bid succeeding, as the voting-based structure of the scheme would tend to favour proposals larger/more urban communities. The Committee agreed that there was no immediate urgency as the scheme was ongoing, and that ideas for potential submissions could be worked-up further once the Abingworth phase 2 S106 situation clarified.
22. Abingworth-related issues
22.1 The Committee noted that the Abingworth LEAP specification had been signed off following further engagement with developer and HDC.
22.2 In relation to the process of finalising Abingworth phase 2 proposals, members noted that further consideration was being given to a new bridleway running westwards from a point opposite the northern Abingworth site entrance and linking up with High Bar Lane near the playground. This would involve a new pedestrian/cycle crossing of the B2139. The Committee noted that the current indications relating to revised phase 2 housing proposals remained within the currently-consented boundary and did not involve loss of open communal spaces. There was also still a need to find an arrangement whereby the permitted new footpath in the south-east fields could be compatible with the proposed use of these fields for dairy grazing, e.g. via fencing (action: Clerk/Cllr Prince).
23. Water Lane
23.1 Cllr Prince reported that he, Cllr Scott Kerr and the Clerk were due shortly to meet with counterparts from Storrington PC to explore the possibility of joint work around a plan to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists around the Water Lane and Rydon roundabouts.
23.2 Cllr Scott Kerr reported that no further recent resident complaints about the development had been received. At a recent site meeting with the Crest Nicholson site manager (re. proposed amends to pavement arrangements), it had emerged that house sales were lagging well behind expectations, presumably due at least partly to market uncertainty before and after the EU membership referendum. It was agreed to check whether there had been any re-occurrence of Japanese knotweed infestation in the watercourse (action: Cllr Scott-Kerr).
24. Any other business
24.1 Given the early September deadline for submitting a revised Winter Plan to WSCC, it was agreed to progress and agree proposals by circulation during August (action: Clerk, Cllr Hounslow).
24.2 The Committee agreed to include the following issues on the agenda of the next meeting:
Public transport in connection with the Abingworth development;
(Re-)planting plans for the Abingworth site: to review proposals for tree and hedging planting proposed for the open spaces/boundary buffer zone, and consider engaging with the developer in relation to possible planting of wildflower areas.
Meeting closed: 7.15 p.m.
Date of next meeting: 17 October 2016, 6.15pm, Village Hall de of the B2139 (linking through to High Bar Lane near the play area).WSCC had been warned that the recent coincidence of roadworks with the collection of updated traffic speed data might have limited the usefulness of that data.
24.2 The Committee agreed to include the following issues on the agenda of the next meet