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Churchstow Parish Council


Of the meeting held on Tuesday 18th June 2019

(this meeting was rearranged from Thursday 13th June due to large number of apologies received)

Held at Churchstow Church Hall @ 7:30pm

Present:  Cllrs Hind (Chair), Woodley, Barrett-Burn, Williams, Green, Johnson, Louisa Pepperell (Clerk).  Cllr Kate Kemp (SHDC).

Apologies: Cllr Gilbert (DCC), Cllr Stewart

Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting: Especially to Cllr Kate Kemp who is the new SHDC representative having won her seat at the recent elections and this being her first attendance to the monthly meetings.  Also welcomed were 2 residents of the village.

Minutes from the last meeting (09/05/19):  These were approved.  Signed by Cllr Hind.

10 minute public forum:  2 village residents asked the council of they knew what was happening on the site below Reeves Way as some of the scrub land has been cleared and a fence and gate were being erected on the boundary with Pump Lane.  The residents had spoken to Mr Galvin (who owned the land prior to the development) who was on site that day.  Mr Galvin had told them he had bought back the land from the liquidators and was making the land more secure, he said there would be an 18 inch gap left in the fence to allow access, he also said that if the PC wanted to build a village hall on the land he would pay for the parking and play area.

The Clerk had also spoken to Mr Galvin, he had told her that he had bought back the land from the liquidator, that there is an ongoing issue with the developers regarding the boundaries and that landscaping (namely a bank diagonally across the plot) and soakaways were not completed as per the original plans.  He said the Section 106 agreement still applied to the land but gave no indication of what he was going to do with the land.

It was a shock to the PC that Mr Galvin had been able to buy back the land as they had been in communications with SHDC lawyer who in turn had been trying to communicate with the liquidator as the PC were keen to obtain the land, especially with the Section 106 in place and the PC had been told only recently that the situation was in ‘stale mate’.

It was agreed that Cllr Kemp would speak to the SHDC lawyer to report the latest developments and ask what the situation was according to SHDC, Cllr Kemp to pass on any information to the Clerk.

The Clerk is to try and obtain the original plans for the development, contact AJ Kirk the liquidators to ask them what they believe the current state of affairs is and to contact the Land Registry regarding the ownership of the land.

Matters arising from last minutes:  The Clerk reported on behalf of Cllr Stewart that he was now in possession of the new solar panels for the speed signs and he would require help to set them up.  Cllr Woodley offered his help.

Cllr Hind reported that the last piece of paperwork had now been completed for the third banking signatory.

The matter of new village signs was discussed.  There is still some research needed regarding what style of sign versus cost.  Cllr Woodley suggested if we bought 2 new signs for the A379 that one of the old signs they would be replacing could be used then on Pump Lane, thus saving the cost of a third sign.  The discussion led to the issue of speeding on Pump Lane with the conclusion that a first step would be to erect the new solar panel speed sign on Pump Lane enabling the PC to download the speed records that it can produce.  Once we have that information we could approach the police and Highways with evidence of speeds and open up discussions on how we proceed to tackle this problem.

The Clerk provided the latest grass cutting invoices now they are being produced monthly.  It was agreed this was a better way to proceed and the Clerk is to ensure that the PC are being billed correctly.

Cllr Gilbert Report: The Clerk read a report that she had received from Cllr Gilbert with his apologies…. The roadside slip on the road to Avon Mill is due for repair this fiscal year with a £21K budget, the Rake repairs are due for repair this fiscal year with a budget of £85k, he had received a complaint about a new roadside advert banner along the Bantham Cross to Salcombe road and have asked for highways to inspect and take action.

Cllr Kemp Report: A climate change emergency has been declared and there are numerous meetings with West Devon to discuss how to address this best.  Cllr Kemp is fighting to bring the urgency forward and hoping to get action written in to the JLP.  A landlord has been fined for not providing adequate accommodation, SHDC did the work in bringing the case to fruition.  There is a Community Safety Initiative to combat anti social behaviour with members being trained by the police.  There is also funding now available for two permanent youth support workers in Kingsbridge and satellite areas, based in Horizons.  Cllr Kemp told that there had been a report of the village bottle recycling bank that is situated in the Church House Inn car park, looking scruffy and having bottles being left on the floor when it was full, it was discussed and agreed that it needs to be emptied more often.

Clerk’s Report:  It was agreed that the previous Clerk had returned all that was available to her.  The Clerk had received an email from DCC suggesting that villages use some open spaces to plant wild flowers to help pollinators and wild life, she suggested we could use some of the PC owned verges for this scheme.  Some councillors were concerned about the amount of work this may entail and also the safety aspect of not impairing visibility for drivers but it was agreed the Clerk would look in to it a little more to see if these concerns could be alleviated.  A number of funding options that the Clerk had been signposted to by DCC were discussed with the conclusion that the Clerk is to apply for the Making The Connection grant to help with costs for this year’s Christmas event.  It was agreed that the PC would like to hold the event again this year on the same night (December 1st) as when Mike Langman switches on his lights.  Some ideas were discussed on how to make the event more successful, the Clerk is to do some research and the subject to be discussed at the next meeting.

Additional Matters:  The Clerk presented the AGAR form for the accounting year 18/19, it was signed accordingly and the Clerk is to return it to the external auditors by 1st July.  The accounts and relevant documents will be made available for the public via the website from the 1st July and the 5th August.  

There is a Neighbourhood Planning meeting on the 9th July, Cllrs Hind and Johnson will attend to present our results  and wishes as the draft NP will created from this meeting.  The PC agreed that it is important that they make sure no development for Churchstow is written in to the NP.  Cllr Hind showed a document from Devon Homechoice which demonstrates there are zero people waiting for housing in Churchstow.

Planning Application for Little Court - ref 1354/19/VAR was discussed and it was agreed that ‘support’ would be entered by the PC.

Planning Application for Gratton Farm - ref 1383/19/FUL was discussed and it was agreed that ‘see comment’ would be entered.   The comment to be as follows…  The use of standing seem metal sheet cladding for the walls is not only incongruous to the agricultural appearance (previously approved corrugated sheets), but it's wider centred metal panels will in comparison be too reflective and modern in appearance. There is also a large increase in glazing from that previously approved, and the concern is as mentioned above, the amount of reflection - particularly facing south west.  It should also be noted that a previous application for conversion into a dwelling was refused (2604/17/FUL), and that should this application be considered for approval, that it is conditioned as such for C1 use only as per the application title.

Any Other Business:  Cllr Woodley had been approached by a village resident regarding the lack of hedge cutting by some residents which is resulting in it being dangerous for pedestrians to access the village amenities.  Cllr Hind has organised for the hedge cutting to be done for a minimal cost and residents will asked to reimburse the PC.

Cllr Johnson raised a discussion about a 'considerate neighbours scheme', regarding the use of noisy/nuisance petrol powered gardening tools late in the evenings and weekends during the summer months. Cllr Johnson is to contact Cllr Kemp to have a discussion regarding this and ask whether SHDC legal people could advise if they have past experience and what their results were.

The meeting closed at 10:15pm.  

Next meeting to be held in the church hall at 7:30pm on Thursday 11th July 2019.