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Minutes of Thakeham Parish Council Meeting – Monday 21 November 2016, Thakeham Village Hall
Meeting opened: 7.30 p.m.
Present: Mr A Hunt Mrs C Hounslow Mr E Linnell
Mr D MacEachern Ms F McConnachie Mr N Prince
Mr N St Clair Mr D Scott Kerr
In attendance Cllr P Arculus County Council
Cllr D Jenkins District Council
Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
Members of the public
121. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Instance and Taylor.
122. Interests of members
No interests were declared on any of the agenda items below.
123. Minutes of the last meeting
Members approved and signed the minutes of the last meeting of the Parish Council held on 17 October 2016, and noted that no matters had been actioned under delegated authority since the last meeting.
124. Report on Action Items
201.2 Abingworth stakeholders/assets: work is ongoing, see item 9.
38.2 Margins of Furze Lane playground: Cllr MacEachern reported that he had met with Cllr Smith; an approach to vegetation maintenance had been agreed and land ownership issues were now clarified.
54 Water Lane roundabout S106 highways monies – efforts to progress this had paused while issues relating to the safe-route-to-Storrington were progressed, but would be returned-to.
91. Parish Design Statement – arranging of next group meeting: in hand, but delayed pending sight of NP Examiner’s report for possible steers. (Action: Clerk)
98.6 Condition of steps to the Glebe Field Done
118.2 Winter Emergency Safety Plan
- Amends to Plan re. vulnerable residents and generator: done
- New salt bin: in hand but awaits completion of Abingworth southern entrance works (Action: Clerk)
111. Abingworth assets governance model See item 9
112. Government consultation re extension of precept capping/referenda rules: response returned
113. Boundary Commission review of HDC warding arrangements: response returned
118.4 Resident issues with Meadowbrook development: follow-up in hand – reported under item 7b
125. Correspondence – the following recent correspondence was noted:
Correspondence with Ashington PC re. Patuca site, in context of Heath Common planning concerns
WSCC consultation re. Household Waste Collection arrangements
HDC consultation re. Rural Car Park charging arrangements
Neighbourhood Plan: correspondence with HDC re. ongoing delay in examination.
Notification of likely HDC grant figures for 2017/18.
Planning (Abingworth): confirmation of developer submission of phase 1 traffic calming measures
Sussex Police –Crime Commissioner consultation on an indicative precept increase
Roads: Correspondence with HDC Highways Manager re. snags with proposed Jackets Hill TRO
In relation to the final point above, Council agreed that if Sussex Police were to veto the further-revised TRO proposal, a meeting should be demanded. (Action: Clerk)
126.1 Financial Performance
A report on the current financial year to 31st October 2016 was received. Members noted that forecast outcome remained on track with budget, with the possibility of an underspend if it eventuates that provision for Neighbourhood Plan costs and/or other professional fees is not needed in this cycle.
A report on current bank balances was tabled and the following items were approved for payment:
C A Blundy: Litter Warden
Greenserve (outdoor maintenance September)
D S Newland (High Bar Lane playground repairs)
M&D Services (Autumn newsletter distribution)
Horsham District Council (Play eqpt inspection Apr-Sep 16)
Alocalprinter (Autumn newsletter printing)
Office Depot (Viking) office stationery expenses [inv. 899585]
Office Depot (Viking) office stationery expenses [inv. 938817]
CPRE Annual subscription [Nb. cheque raised, exceptionally]
Gross salaries including PAYE/NI, Clerk’s expenses, pension
126.3 Budget Group update
Reporting on the second (18 November) meeting of the 2017-18 Budget Group, Cllr Linnell outlined the progress of thinking on a number of issues, including:
Village Day budget and banking arrangements;
Provision for possible increased responsibility for Neighbourhood Plan Green Space areas;
Provision for the possibility that the Clerk’s working hours may be well above contract during a busy transition period around delivery/occupation of new community assets.
Agreement of contribution to the Village Hall Trust for 2017/18
The developing proposals (including a significant figure for HBL playground renewal – as reported to the last meeting) were likely to represent a significant budget increase. The group remained on course to circulate its proposals to TPC members in December, prior to finalisation in January 2017.
127. Planning – major current developments
The Chair reflected on the developer’s open consultation event of 12 November, which had been fairly well-attended despite poor weather. There had been much interest in tailoring provision in the Village Shop to local needs, e.g. post office services, and it had been noted that having a local shop should reduce car journeys. There had also been a high level of interest in clarifying matters relating to the existing phase of housing, especially in relation to delivery of the community assets and first phase of traffic calming measures.
The process of gauging the balance of community reaction to the developer’s latest housing proposals was ongoing. The proposals included changes to both the mix of housing types, and numbers, i.e. 62 houses in what is now called phase 2 (11 extra), and 57 in phase 3 (32 extra), giving a total of 190 units (vs. 147 consented). Points raised at the event and in this discussion highlighted both possible benefits and potential impacts of proposals. Some see extra houses on this site as helping the local economy, offering more vibrant community life, and potentially helping to ward off other development proposals. Others, however, fear it will damage the environment and character of the area. Views also varied on the specific issue of whether the development should deliver smaller, more affordable houses: many perceive this to be a high priority, while others are concerned about impacts - particularly in relation to vehicle numbers/movements for commuting, given that local employment is limited.
The developer had signalled an intention to submit a further section 73 application relating to phase 2 in December, and TPC would facilitate further community input via a meeting of its Planning Committee. The Chair emphasised that, when it came to formulating its comments on the finalised proposal, Council would seek to reflect the views of the majority of Thakeham residents.
127.2 Meadowbrook (Crest Nicholson, Water Lane)
Cllr Scott Kerr reported on follow-up to concerns raised at the last meeting by a neighbour of this development, which had led the PC to make a number of suggestions for improvement of boundary treatments and planting. A response from the developer was awaited. House sales appear to have picked up recently, with four current occupations and more expected by the New Year. The affordable housing managers (Orbit) reported that they were on track to let around half of their allocation by January. The Community Committee was due to consider proposals to welcome new residents.
128. Neighbourhood Plan
The Chair reported that the Examiner’s report was still awaited. While frustrating, the need for the process to be thorough was clearly paramount: the Examiner was seeking further information regarding HDC’s sustainability appraisal work, which formed a background to the Thakeham plan.
129. Abingworth assets governance model
Council received an update report on the progress of this work, including latest discussions with the Village Hall Trust, and liaison with HDC. Key points were that HDC had confirmed that they were open to a proposal to transfer the assets to TPC, subject to receiving a proposal outlining effective governance and management arrangements. Clarity seemed to be emerging on the likely structure of issuing of leases/licenses to user groups including the Village Trust, Thakeham Pre-School and West Chiltington & Thakeham Cricket Club, and it had been agreed to tender for legal advice to take this forward. Council was content to continue delegating action to the Chair, Chair of Community Committee, the Clerk and other members of TPC to progress this work, including commissioning of legal and/or financial advice within existing budgetary provision. (Action: Chair/Clerk)
130. Thakeham Village Day update
Council received an update report on planning for Village Day 2017, which was now scheduled for 17 June. Community Committee would be assisting this work.
131. Neighbourhood Planning Committee minutes
Council received the minutes of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting held on 24 October 2016.
132. Environment Committee minutes
Council received the minutes of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting held on 17 October 2016
133. Reports from Councillors
133.1 Cllr Arculus acknowledged the Jackets Hill TRO situation reported under item 125, as it related to the Chanctonbury CLC meeting of 23 November. Prompted by item 127.2 above, she also queried arrangements relating to filling of affordable housing places in the current major developments. The Abingworth arrangement was known to prioritise local residents/workers; it was agreed to check the Meadowbrook situation. (Action: Clerk)
133.2 In response to a query from Cllr Arculus, Cllr Jenkins confirmed that HDC’s proposals to extend charges at rural car parks were now being taken to committee with a view to approval – consultations having been completed. Having heard further from Cllr Arculus on the ongoing concerns of some local villages, e.g. Pulborough, about the potential impact on traders and parking being displaced into residential streets, Council noted a sense that these proposals appeared not to have been fully worked-through.
133.3 Cllr Linnell flagged that although repairs had now been carried out to Furze Common Road, residents were unhappy with the quality of the work. It was noted that the developer had committed to a further phase of top dressing in the spring (as this could not be done in winter temperatures). After discussion it was agreed that TPC would write to the developer, expressing the view that the standard of work in the recent repairs was unsatisfactory, and seeking an undertaking to deliver an appropriate programme of further repair works. (Action: Clerk)
133.4 Cllr Prince flagged that there had been further detailed engagement with the Abingworth developer, local landowner and WSCC regarding Rights of Way improvements, which would be reported fully in the near future. (Action: Cllr Prince/Clerk)
133.5 Cllr McConnachie reported that installation of the Greening Thakeham bench was now imminent.
134. Public Participation Session
134.1 In relation to item 127.1, it was clarified that the PC understood that the Abingworth developer intended to submit the further section 73 proposal for phase 2 works around 12 December. It therefore seemed likely that TPC consideration of the proposals via open meeting would be in January.
134.2 Referring also to item 127.1, a member of the public queried the possibility of the PC organising some form of ballot of residents, in part because of a perceived lack of resident awareness/engagement. In response the Chair noted that the PC had made every effort to raise awareness through communications over the past 5 months. Given that the proposals were to vary an existing permission rather than a new application, that cost and timing issues with distributing a further flyer would be considerable, and that HDC would be undertaking its own communications, it was best that the PC should consider the revised proposal in the normal way. However, thought would be given to ways to enhance available information, e.g. by making available the developer’s own promised report on the November consultation event.
It was also accepted that modern communications needed to be electronic and the PC should continue to look for ways of increasing its email mailing list and social media following, e.g. via events like the Village Day. (Action: Clerk/Community Committee).
134.3 The Chair of the Village Hall Trust flagged that new signs for the Village Hall/Pre-School had been installed, and that a recent fire safety inspection of the Village Hall had raised issues particularly in relation to the wall-mounted heaters.
135. Chairman’s Announcements
There were none.
136. Any other business for noting or inclusion on a future agenda
There was none.
Date of next meeting: Monday 16 January 2017, at 7.30pm, unless urgent business necessitates a meeting on Monday 19 December 2016
Meeting closed: 8.45 p.m.ouncil received the minutes of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting held on 24 October 2016.
It was also accepted that modern communications needed to be electronic and