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The Latest Parish Council Minutes

Churchstow Parish Council


Of the meeting held on Thursday 14th November 2019

Held at Churchstow Church Hall @ 7:30pm

Present:  Cllrs Hind (Chair), Stewart, Woodley, Green, Johnson, Louisa Pepperell (Clerk). Cllr Gilbet (DCC).

Apologies:  Cllr Williams, Cllr Barrett-Burn.

Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

10 minute public forum:  No public present.

Minutes from the last meeting (12/09/19):  These were approved.  The Clerk forgot to bring a printed copy of the minutes therefore will arrange to meet with the Chair to action this.

Matters arising from last minutes:  

Graham Price Visit:  Graham Price kindly came to visit the PC in his role as Chairman of Kingsbridge In Bloom to discuss the PC’s ideas to enhance the village look of Churchstow with new village signs and planting, this is hoped to help indicate to drivers that it is a village and not just a through road and to slow their speeds.  He advised that it would be a good idea to have something relevant and specific to Churchstow on the village signs and they would need to be sanctioned by DCC, The PC feel there are a number of artists in the village that may be approached to ask if they would want to help design the signs.  Graham advised that the PC would also need approval from DCC to plant on verges, he gave the Clerk the details of where they can research and buy wildflower seed from and that the PC should consider whether to use perennials, Annuals or a mixture of both and that dwarf varieties would be most suitable so as to limit the height and therefore not cause obstruction of visibility to drivers.  He advised that the grass would need to be sprayed at first, then rotivated and planted at the end of March, it would then only require a cutting again towards the end of Oct/Nov.  Graham also said he felt that working on the village ‘gateways’ such as Palegate Cross, Bantham Cross and the entrance to the Business Park would really benefit the appearance of the village by tidying them up and placing planters at these places.  Graham also made the PC aware of the ‘Its Your Neighbourhood Area’ scheme where residents take on responsibility for certain pockets of land / planters and this might be something that Churchstow residents would enjoy.  The PC discussed the areas that they felt they would like to enhance and it was agreed that Bantham and Palegate roundabouts, behind the bus stop and along the church wall, the verges along Pump Lane (although consideration to the verge at the top of Tithe Lane is an area that children use to play on should be given), the verge at the A381 end of Pump Lane are all areas to work on.

The Clerk is to contact Highways to put forward the thoughts of the PC and ask if Highways would support them in principle, also to ask if there is any funding that may be appropriate.

Cllr Hind had noted in Ugborough and Ermington some painting on the road which was designed to look like speed bumps were present and wondered if this could be actioned in Churchstow, the Clerk is to contact Highways regarding this.

Bank Signatory: The Clerk now needs to sign the form, Cllr Hind is to get the form to her to complete.

Cllr Gilbert Report:  Cllr Gilbert confirmed that he has paid his contribution to the new speed signs and the order is being processed.  Cllr Gilbert flagged up that the recent email regarding school bus routes had an attachment that may be of interest.  He also told that the works carried out at Totnes Cross were not good enough so needs redoing, not by tax payers money.  Cllr Stewart raised concern at the state of the road down from Sorley Cross, Cllr Gilbert was aware of it and says it has been flagged.  Cllr Gilbert confirmed the road has now been repaired from the tractor fire on the A381 OFF Pump Lane.  Cllr Gilbert advised that Road Permits have been passed at Cabinet and that he felt it was advisable to support them.  Cllr Stewart had noted that a road closure notice in the Gazette was for 18 months with a mention of 8 weeks, Cllr Gilbert clarified that it does not mean the road will be closed for 18 months but that 8 weeks worth of road closures will take place at some point within those 18 months.

Cllr Kemp Report:  Cllr Kemp was not present.

Clerk’s Report:  

Snow Warden / Salt Delivery:  The Clerk had been contacted by Highways to ask if the current information held for these items were correct.  As Yanine Tarr (previous Cllr) was the contact held it was agreed that the Clerk would contact Highways to request she be removed and to ask what is involved in becoming a snow warden and whether the PC could receive a salt delivery if they have a number of residents happy to store it.

Pavement / Tithe Hill:  The Clerk had received notice from a resident of a particularly slippery patch of pavement that had moss on it.  The Clerk had contacted Highways who confirmed it was not Highways responsibility as moss is not considered the fabric of the highway.  Cllr Woodley had spoken to another resident who had kindly attended to the moss herself.

School / Village metalwork:  The Clerk reported that she had had contact with Tina Graham, the principle of Kingsbridge Community College regarding the PC and School working together to design some metal art installations for the village to encourage drivers to slow down.  The response was favourable although it may not be feasible to work with metal.  The Clerk was to contact Highways to ask if there are any restrictions regarding this idea and to continue discussions with the school to see what way forward there is, perhaps using a different material such as marine ply.

Invoices Payable: One cheque was written for Clerk salary £200.

Additional Matters:  

Settlement Boundary:  The Kingsbridge, West Alvington and Churchstow Neighbourhood Plan team had been in contact with the PC with information regarding wording regarding settlement boundaries and the allowance of exception sites for development.  It was discussed and unanimously agreed that Churchstow do not wish to include the wording regarding exception sites as it was felt it set a precedent for agreeing to development which is against the view of the PC that there is not a need or desire for further development in the village.  The Clerk is to relay this to the NP team and confirm that it wishes to keep its settlement boundary as agreed previously.

Christmas Party:  Cllr Stewart thanked Cllr Barrett-Burn for all her efforts regarding the publicity for the Christmas party.  The flyers to be delivered to parish residents were divided between the councillors for distribution.  Details for the party such as catering quantities, timings, purchases needed, music were discussed.  The Clerk is to contact Mike Langman regarding the timing of his lights switch on and an official countdown, ensuring that he is happy with the arrangements.

Cllr Johnson Letter to Landowners:  Cllr Johnson had drafted a letter to landowners regarding the PC’s NP aspiration to join the existing footpath from Kingsbridge to Redfern Cross all the way in to the village.  Cllr Williams had raised some initial concerns regarding the legal implications of this, it was discussed and agreed that the idea at present is just to notify landowners of the aspiration and gain agreement in principle to take back to the NP team, with an acknowledgement that executing it would not be a simple task and legal considerations etc were inevitable if the plan was to come in to fruition in future.  The wording of the letter was discussed and Cllr Johnson is to reword the letter and resend to the PC for consideration.  Cllr Stewart suggested Cllr Johnson may want to speak to Sustrans regarding this idea.  The Clerk suggested that Marlborough and Salcombe Parish Councils could be a good resource of information as they have joined the two places by a footpath themselves within recent years.  Cllr Woodley provided address for the landowners.

Planning Application 3389/19/FUL:  This was discussed and the general feeling was one of no objection with the only comment being raised on the parking capacity of the venue if the nature of the application generates more vehicles, Cllr Johnson is to review the application to clarify details and report back to the PC.

Planning Application 3390/19/LBC:  As above.

Any Other Business:  It was agreed that the PC would not hold a meeting in December and would carry out any business via email.  The Clerk is to inform Cllrs Gilbert and Kemp, Mike Langman and put a notice in the noticeboard regarding this.

The Clerk is to request the Church Hall be booked for all months of 2020 for the second Thursday of each month from 7:30pm.

Cllr Johnson requested more information regarding the NP Green Spaces and Heritage Sites.  Cllr Johnson is to send the list of heritage sites to Cllr Woodley for him to edit.  Cllr Stewart is to supply his aerial image of the village.  Cllr Green advised he may also have an image he could supply as did Cllr Woodley.

Cllr Green and the Clerk had had contact from a resident concerned with the erosion of the village verges from tractors.  Cllr Woodley advised that is is unavoidable and caused not by tractors but by the combines, Cllr Green is to relay this response to the resident.

The Clerk advised that she had had a response from Becky Fowlds regarding the Section 106 land.  Ms Fowlds had been in contact with Mr Galvin, who had requested they speak again in 3 weeks when he should have some more information on how things might proceed regarding actioning the Section 106.

The Clerk reported that she had had contact from Mr Wellens regarding his planning application for a proposed skate park west of Bantham roundabout, he asked if the PC would be interested in him attending the next meeting for an update.  As there is no December meeting the Clerk is to contact Mr Wellens to advise of this and invite him send any updates by email and to attend the January meeting.

The meeting closed at 9:40pm.

NB – There is to be no December meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 9th January 2020 at 7:30pm in the Church Hall.