Challock Parish Council Minutes
Memorial Hall, Audrey Allen room
Thursday, 9th January 2020, 7.40 pm
Members of public present: 7
ABC Ward Councillor Larry Krause
Michael Fisher (Chairman), John Ramsden, Russell Jaques (Vice-Chair) & Di Sandy (Clerk).
Michael Fisher thanked everyone for attending.
Declarations of Interest
Councilors no new changes to the declarations of interest. Councillor Fisher announced under item planning applications on the agenda declares an interest for Planning Application 19/01722/AS Crossways.
Minutes of Last Meeting
Minutes of 5th December 2019 meeting were signed by the Chairman Michael Fisher as an accurate record.
Councillor Fisher informed the Parish Council of Trevor’s resignation and notice of vacancy for Parish Councillor.
Reported faulty street lamp at crossroads junction Church Lane/Blind Lane to KCC Highways Portal.
Reported leaning tree along Buck Street. Works to remove the tree will take place within a couple of months.
Reported pot holes Blind Lane and Canterbury Road, adjacent to Wood Dene.
Grounds man has filled the pot holes on all tracks.
- Received an email from Rachel Girt Parish Clerk for Boughton Aluph & Eastwell enquiring whether Challock PC is considering on a highway improvement Plan.
- Received an email from Robin Jones ABC offering affordable print services. The Parish Council have the foresters printed via ABC Print Services.
- Received an email from KCC Highways confirming new Highways Steward for Challock is Aaron Thomson.
- Received an email from parishioner enquiring on recent car park road markings and why there are no disabled parking bays. Parish Clerk has forwarded comments on to the Village Hall Committee.
- Received an email from parishioner enquiring on progress of easement for development Plots 1. - 5 Lilybuds.
- Received correspondence from Girlings Solicitors regarding Easement matters and Lees Track maintenance.
- Received email from ABC regarding this year’s Great British Spring Clean Campaign commencing 20th March – 13th April 2020.
Matters arising from correspondence
- Clerk has replied to Parish Clerk Boughton Aluph & Eastwell PC - We have received an offer of assistance from a parishioner in helping conduct speed watch along Buck Street and the Community Police Officer Aaron Newell has also offered to monitor the road subject to resources and provide speed watch equipment.
The Parish Council have been campaigning for the installation of a foot path along A251 adjacent to Crossroads Garage over a number of years and KCC Ward Councillor Charlie Simkins and ABC Ward Councillor Larry Krause have been able to provide funding, along with our contribution for the footpath to be implemented during 2020/2021. ,
The Parish Council will continue to seek funding and campaign for road safety measures to be implemented along Buck Street/A251 and hopefully manage to set up a speed watch session during 2020. Due to large funding resource being provided for the footpath by KCC & ABC, the Parish Council feel that it is likely funding for Highways Improvement Plan for Buck Street will be pursued during 2021. Clerk has provided correspondence from Nikola Floodgate KCC regarding Highways Improvement Plan to Boughton Aluph & Eastwell PC.
- Easement Matters
1. Plots 1 – 5 Lilybuds – The Parish Council are prepared to grant the easement on terms but costs will be incurred, those costs are for advice in respect of the easement and on the basis of the recommendation of their own solicitors, and such advice should be sought.
If the Council was to be responsible for those costs it would be directly for Plots 1 – 5 benefit and to the detriment of all other parishioners which would be intrinsically unfair and not something the Parish Council be prepared to countenance. Either the Parish Council proceed on this basis or the Council will be prepared to grant the easement and will insist on a strict interpretation of their current rights and entitlements.
2. Property Trees Driveway – The Parish Council has evidence to the effect that the driveway has been widened without licence or consent. Girlings has offered to write to the parishioner and point this out and indicate that unless the driveway is restored to its previous width (and so far this has not happened), and would advise that the Parish Council action would be taken to enforce the same and if necessary instruct contractors accordingly. The costs of that exercise would be sought from Mr and Mrs Davis.
It would be sensible to obtain a surveyor’s report to confirm the extent by which there has been an unlawful extension of the driveway.
Councillors discussed legal costs for Plots 1 - 5 Lilybuds
A Parishioner raised questions over the Parish Council’s handling in the easement matter and considered they had been treated unfairly referring to other current easement disputes and historical easement procedures. Parishioner informed the Parish Council four of the owners of the plots would not be paying the Parish Council’s legal costs.
Councillor Jacques called for the discussion to stop and to move on.
The Chairman Councillor Fisher agreed at this point of the meeting that this should have been closed and for Parishioner to have their say.
Councillors agreed for Girlings to proceed and write to the owners of Plots 1 - 5 Lilybuds
and the owners of property Trees.
- Great British Spring Clean- Councillors agreed for Clerk to organise Great British Spring Clean for the village.
The current account balance on 31st December 2019 £10,809.13
The NS&I account balance is £11,824.85
The following cheques were signed:
Village Hall Hire £179.00
Road Planings £480.00
ABC November’s Forester Print £164.76
HMRC D Sandy’s Tax £239.40
J Sandy Groundworks The Lees £115.00
Precept & Budget 2020/21
Clerk presented draft budget/precept for 2020/21 to the Councillors.
As discussed at the parish meeting on the 5th December a request from Councillor Ramsden for consideration for installation of footpath gates at the bottom of the cricket ground. Discussion also took place regarding how much increase this will have on our parishioners on their council tax bill.
Clerk has looked into last years’ council tax which amounted to 3p in every £1 for parish councils, this currently equates based on band D Council tax £53. Increasing the precept by £1000 will increase council tax to £2.50 per annum. Clerk has obtained prices for entrance gates for the cricket ground. Kissing gates cost £441.60 inc VAT each. Bridle gates x 2 cost £506.16 inc VAT. Additional labour charge £85 per gate and postcrete bags £60. Allow up to £1,000 for fitting the gates. Councillors agreed to the installation of bridle gates rather than kissing gates. Councillor’s considered whether if an unauthorised encampment does not occur during 2020 the monies unspent could pay for the gates rather than increase the precept by £2,000.
The Clerk informed the Parish Council of new proposed legislation being introduced regarding unauthorised encampments given more powers to police. Hopefully this may put a stop to future encampments on the Lees. Clerk to make enquiries with ABC Legal Department for clarification.
Challock Parish Council approved the precept/budget for 2020/21.
The Parish Council has agreed for precept to increase to £20,000.
Council tax support grants £205 claimed for 2020/21 and therefore the amount to charge to local tax payers precepted by Challock Parish Council is £19975.
Councillors approved the income and expenditure budgeted for 2020/21.
Following planning applications were discussed.
Councillor Fisher left the room whilst application 19/01722/AS was discussed.
19/01722/AS Crossways, Canterbury Road, Challock, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BJ
Proposed new dwelling, garage and vehicle access on land adjacent to Crossways Challock
Challock Parish Council supports this application.
19/01230/AS Appeal - Tectona Grandis, The Lees, Canterbury Road, Challock, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BP
Proposed demolition of existing dwelling and construction of 2 detached dwellings at 'Tectona Grandis', (Resubmission of 19/01230/AS)
Challock Parish Council does not support this application. Too much in a small space best suited to a smaller dwelling. Not sympathetic to surroundings. Neighbour’s views should be taken into consideration.
Challock Parish Council agreed the comments to remain the same and no further amendments would be required.
19/01527/AS Yelland Cottage, Blind Lane, Challock, Ashford, TN25 4AU
Removal of block paving to be replaced with tarmac
Challock Parish Council supports this application.
Ratification of Planning Applications
The following planning application was ratified.
19/01693/AS Northstead, Challock, Ashford, TN25 4AU
Proposal: Erection of proposed chalet bungalow with associated parking and landscaping.
A normal size car would struggle to get in the garage and there is very little room to turn. The current resident already keeps one car parked elsewhere in the village. I do not support this application - Site is too small and road is busy already for a small lane. I do not support this application. The site would be cramped and parking spaces would be insufficient. Neighbours views should be taken into consideration.
Revised Village Confines Meeting
The final village confines map was adopted at ABC Cabinet Meeting on the 19th December which is now part of planning policy. Councillor Jaques gave the following speech which was very well received by the councillors.
“Though it was discussed at the Public Consultation Meeting in October 2018, HOU3a & HOU5 under the modifications there was still ambiguity where Challock fits in. The impact of HOU5 had not been made clear with the majority of parishioners and the Parish Council. It is through the meeting with Daniel demonstrating the possible effect of the original confines when applying the HOU5 policy it became more evident. The Parish Council is disappointed that we have missed the opportunity to challenge the allocation of HOU5. To continue with the original confines we would have best been suited to HOU3a only. The whole process since the Cabinet approved the village confines in 2015 has declined into disappointment with changes to the local plan with the omission sites and then the modifications has in fact altered what the confines project set out to do. By placing Challock in HOU5 has put us in the position for possible large scale developments which the confines project was preventing. Now that we have been allocated HOU3a & HOU5 the Parish Council are still concerned that we may be open to further large scale development and hope the new agreed village confines map which has made the line tighter will limit this and protect our green spaces.”
Clerk reported we were the only members of public in attendance! Councillor Neil Bell who is principal lead in Planning & Development came up to talk to us after the meeting. He commented on how important feedback is and most welcomed and encourage parish councils to continue to provide feedback. Regarding our comments on our allocation of HOU3a & HOU5 policy we will get the opportunity to review and have our say within the next couple of years.
S106 Contributions – Clockhouse Green Phrase 2 Planning Application
Clockhouse Green application was approved at the Planning Committee Meeting on the 16th December.
The Clerk has sought clarification via email to Claire Marchant ABC on actual expected income derived from the S106 Contributions. The Clerk has estimated monies to be received for the Play Park £14,432, for the Lees hard surface and seating £8,349 and for the MUGA/Skate Park £17,479.
Please note these are only estimates until Clerk receives confirmation from Claire Marchant in order for the Parish Council to forward plan.
The Lees Track
Since 2008 there has been agreement between the residents along the Lees tracks for the pot holes to be filled by the grounds man and the income received from the then 3 annual boot fairs and goose fair, totalling £650 would pay for the cost of the planings and grounds man labour. Last year the cost of planings has risen from £250 for 20 ton to £384 and now this year £480. Income for the past 5 years has amounted to £100 per annum from the Methodist Chapel boot fair.
By filling the pot holes on the Lees track is not sustainable going forward. The Parish Council cannot continue to fund this fully out of the Parish Precept. The Lees track is getting wider in some areas and the protection of the Lees is paramount to the Parish Council as custodians and for future generations.
The Lees tracks maintenance obligations - This is a roadway owned by the Council over which various parishioners have a right of way. The Council is not obliged to maintain this and does not have the income to enable it.
Girlings Solicitors has suggested a simple and sensible approach would be for each parishioner who has the benefit of access onto the driveway should pay a proportion of an estimate for its reasonable maintenance whereupon the Council would undertake such maintenance as necessary.
A right should be reserved should one property or other for a period of time (for re-building purposes etc.) have heavy vehicles going up and down the roadway to pay an additional levy in accordance with any damage caused by reason of such usage.
The point to be made to parishioners who are affected is that a properly maintained road is not only to their day to day benefit but will help maintain the value of their property as any interested purchaser would want to know what the maintenance provisions for the roadway are. It is very often the case that with roads which are not adopted by the Local Authority, to housing developments, that the access way can become extremely broken up to the detriment of the amenity of the area generally and ultimately to the value of the houses directly affected.
Through the S106 contributions the Parish Council may be able to contribute to a hard surface on part of the Lees track in particular at the top end of the Lees where cars park for school drop off and pick-ups.
Councillors agreed for the Parish Council to conduct a consultation with parishioners living along the Lees tracks with a view to setting up a new maintenance agreement. The Clerk requested a Lees’ inspection to take place with Councillors and to invite parishioners who would like to attend.
The Clerk is waiting for a quotation for the cost of supplying verge markers from Howard. It was agreed to tie this in with the consultation of the Lees track before commencing with the installation.
Items for Information
75th VE Day Commemorative Celebrations May 2020
The VE Day Commemorative Celebrations the bank holiday will now be Friday, 8th May 2020. The Five Church Walk will be taking place at the bank holiday end of May. ABC has suggested funding can be sought by ABC Ward Councillors. Clerk requested a separate meeting to be arranged to support Councillor Jacques with his organisation of this event and any assistance we can give.
Councillor Jacques confirmed a DJ booking has been made which they have offered their services for free and is liaising with the primary school in researching those who served in the Second World War who lived in the village. Councillor Jacques said he is also liaising with the Halfway Pub.
Parishioner offered to supply 20 ton of planings at cheaper price.
Meeting closed at 8.30 pm
Parish Council Meeting Dates for 2020
Next Parish Meeting to be held on Thursday, 13th February 2020
There has been a change in future meeting dates. The parish meeting in July will be on the 9th and not 16th.
Future Parish Meeting Dates:
Thursday 12th March 2020
Thursday 16th April 2020
Thursday 21st May 2020
Tuesday 16th June 2020 Annual Parish Meeting Main Hall
Thursday 9th July 2020
Thursday 17th September 2020
Thursday 15th October 2020
Thursday 19th November 2020