Ordinary Meeting Minutes 1/10/2012





Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 1 October 2012 at 7.30 pm in Penshurst Village Hall


1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), A Campbell, I Carson (Part), Mrs D Broad, S Frederick, J Horsford, J O’Shea


APOLOGIES: Cllr B Townsend. This was approved.


2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 3 September 2012, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Prior to the business of the meeting Cllr Cass reported the sad news of the death of a previous member and Chairman of the Parish Council, Mr Ian Lewis.


Declarations of interests in agenda items


If a Member has a prejudicial interest, this should be declared at the start of the meeting.
Personal interests may be declared at this point or alternatively can be declared at the time when the specific item is being discussed, if a Member wishes to speak on an item in which s/he has a personal interest. NONE




The Chairman advised those present that he had heard informally that the Becket Field and Forge Field applications were to be discussed together at a scheduled SDC planning committee, the PC would arrange a further site visit and comment. He invited SDCllr Cooke to update on the issue.
Cllr Cooke confirmed SDC would consider both applications at their Development Control Committee Meeting on 18 October, the meeting might be split into two sections, speakers would have the same designated time as at the previous meeting, he would be calling for a site meetings at both sites on the morning of the SDC meeting.
Cllr Cooke explained that both applications were now being considered against each other in view of the S.106 apparently not having been completed within the time limit allocated at the initial approval stage on 4 July 2012. At the July meeting the Becket Field application was not considered a viable alternative due to the number of houses included plus other issues. In view of the possible non compliance within the timescale imposed on the Forge Field application to meet the S.106 condition, the Becket Trust application was now in a position to be considered as an alternative, the number of houses having subsequently been reduced to meet the identified need of the survey. In view of this situation having arisen SDC would legally be required to consider both applications against one another. Points raised in relation to parking/access, loss of one property would be taken into consideration and Cllr Cooke confirmed SDC would still accept submissions from those wishing to write in and full reports were being prepared for consideration by the committee members.
In answer to a question Cllr Cooke confirmed that should the S106 be signed before the expiry date, WKHA would be deemed to be able to commence work; if the S106 was not signed and either application were to be refused on the 18 October, they would have the right of appeal, the time involved in this procedure was not known. Cllr Cooke was unaware of the reason for the S.106 not having been signed, he confirmed a VIA would be required for Becket Field.


Cllr Cooke advised that the Prince’s Countryside Fund was again open for applications for funding for rural communities, issues included were service provision, farm businesses and rural enterprises, training opportunities for young people and educating people about the value of the countryside. A total of £500K was available with individual applications of £50K being accepted. Application forms were available on the Prince’s Countryside Fund website and completed applications should be emailed to pcfapplication@bitc.org.uk, deadline 5 pm on 19 October.


Recent road surfacing work along the Fordcombe Road at the bottom of Glebelands had resulted in puddling adjacent to the pavement which caused severe problems for pedestrians using the route to school, clerk to report. (Reported under Ref: 49299)
The condition of the allotments at the Warren site was raised, a small area of these being in a disgraceful condition, Cllr Campbell to inspect and discuss with clerk.


Cllr Carson arrived and apologised to the Chairman for his lateness.






KCC/SE/0243/2012: Fordcombe C of E Primary School: Construct two storey extension to existing reception classroom/staffroom, including single storey adjoining toilet block and extension of existing canopy over decked area to rear of reception classroom. PC Support


SE/21/02109: Finches, Chiddingstone Hoath, Edenbridge: Minor alterations to Finches, demolition of side garage and erection of two storey extension and glazed entrance hall. Creation of new access, driveway and carport off Coldharbour Road. PC Support


SE/12/02184/5/LBC: St John The Baptist Church, Rogues Hill, Penshurst: Single storey extension to create accessible standard toilet facilities, internal re-ordering, installation of kitchenette, new floor finishes, new draught lobbies and improvements to existing drainage services. PC support. PC were investigating the feasibility of changing the path brickwork.


SE/12/02301: Yew Tree Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe: Demolish existing conservatory, erection of single storey conservatory to be located on the side of the property. PC Support




SE/12/01761: 14 New Road, Penshurst: Erection of Single Storey Porch extension. GRANTED


SE/12/01782: Penshurst Place: Enlargement and improvement to woodland access off Penshurst road to facilitate HGV movements. Creation of turning and loading area, formation of hard track from loading area to cook pits. GRANTED




a. SDC Governance Review: Advice received that SDC Electoral Arrangements Committee had approved recommendation that the two parishioners requesting transfer from Leigh to Penshurst parish be approved and also that that no change be made to the existing warded structure nor to the name of Penshurst Parish Council in view of overwhelming support for the current arrangement.


b. Play Area: Forge Field Affordable Housing Site (Planning Ref: SE/11/02258): Discussion deferred until the outcome was known of the SDC development control meeting on 18 October.


c. Leicester Square: Clerk advised that responsibility for the maintenance of Leicester Square falls on the Estate, Estate tenants and Sevenoaks District Council (for the footpath). The Estate pays for a monthly maintenance visit from a contractor, and expects those others responsible to contribute to upkeep also. Ben Thomas advised the cherry tree would be inspected.


d. Broadband: Survey finalised, Fordcombe and Penshurst Primary Schools circulating to parents via email system, both village magazines including survey in centre of November publications as ‘pull out‘, hard copies to be made available in Penshurst Post Office and Doctors’ surgery. Collection facilities agreed with Penshurst Post Office and Fordcombe Chafford Arms to be available until end November. Councillors asked to circulate to any clubs/associations they have email access to.




a. Kent County Councillor: Cllr Lake advised that a grit bin for Glebelands had been ordered and should be available within a month, the possibility of moving the bin at present half way down Smarts Hill to the top where it was needed to be considered.
Cllr Carson had advised Cllr Lake that the KCC Safety Team had failed to visit the school regarding improving safety outside the school, Cllr Lake to contact them again.
Due to the fact that the proposed site outside Mr & Mrs Crookenden’s house for the interactive speed sign was not considered suitable, after discussion, it was agreed that the unit be sited at the original anchorage point. Cllr Lake had been contacted by a Fordcombe resident regarding the current planning application at the school. Problems which had arisen with regard to travel to senior schools in the local towns had to be addressed. A meeting had been arranged by the local clerks with KCC representative to discuss the delegation of KCC budget for verge mowing. Cllr Lake confirmed that the possibility of a pavement from New Road was not an option in view of the lack of funding but he was concerned at the safety of those using the route to access the school, clerk to ask again for signage indicating pedestrians/children using road. Clerk to contact highways regarding the replacement of gravel along the edge of the road in Poundsbridge Lane and possible introduction of plastic warning posts where the ditches were deep and close to the road edge. (Reported under Ref: 49301)


b. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke advised that the current Community Plan expired in March 2013 and comment had been invited on a future plan. Existing plan available on http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/documents/sdc_comactionplan_final.pdf (underscore between sdc_comac… and plan_fina…)


c. KALC: No report, clerk had emailed minutes.


d. Alms Houses: Mr Johnson reported that the upgrading of the heating system had been carried out efficiently and to cost by J V Geer & Sons. Work to alleviate dampness in one property would commence shortly, a plumber would be instructed to check on a minor plumbing job within the next day or so in another. Trustees intended to redecorate/refurbish residences as they became vacant in future; in view of the movement of residents as a result of the demise of Mr Apps, this project would be actioned as soon as feasible with as little inconvenience to the residents as possible. The notice of a vacancy placed in the Village Shop in Penshurst had elicited one response to date. It was suggested to S E Water that one meter would be sufficient for the site, rather than individual ones, as water charges were included in the rent.


e. Neighbourhood Watch: The theft of steel field gates was a recent unreported crime, the only problem since July. A complaint had been made regarding the behaviour of charity collectors acting on behalf of a national charity, their behaviour had been very inappropriate and had worried residents. The police are being kept informed of the continuing dangerous riding of a motorcyclist though the parish.




a. Penshurst School Access: Ref: 47620: Confirmation received from Steven Noad that there is no funding available for provision of a pavement from New Road towards the school to improve safety for pedestrians, Mr Noad advises ‘data has now been checked, and I can confirm that New Road does not exhibit any trend or pattern of incidents at this time and as such it is unlikely that this would receive priority funding for the foreseeable time being.’ Clerk to contact county for extra signage. (Reported under Ref: 49300)


b. Reported Faults Update:


Ref: 46449 – Culvert outside Alms Houses, Rogues Hill. Shows enquiry resolved 18 September 2012, reported again plus the problems at Swaylands with drains. Issues being investigated again.


Ref: 46452 – Hedge cutting Speldhurst Road. Website indicates issue resolved 8 August 2012. It was confirmed one side of the road had been cut back but the other side had not, clerk to contact Allan Gibbons.


Ref: 46441 – Further information provided by Highways Officer, drainage engineer to investigate options to repair ditch area and subsequently introduce bollards to prevent cars parking and damaging area again.


Poundsbridge Parking: Landowners contacted regarding hedgecutting to help improve access. Clerk had spoken with Allan Gibbons, Highways Officer who advises he is waiting for a drainage specialist to check the area on Coopers Lane to see what can be done to try and alleviate the source of the problem of permanent water laying in the road. When this is established, repairs can be undertaken to the ditches and drainage areas to reinstate them so they work properly and hopefully at that point the promised bollards can be erected to deter parking in that area


Ref: 46441 – Potholes/poor road condition near Palmers Farm, Coopers Lane. Partial repairs undertaken, further potholes requiring attention, will be raised again in conjunction with Ref: 46053.


Ref: 46471 – Road Condition Blowers Hill, road apparently collapsing. Original plan to introduce gulley, issue marked as resolved on website on 8 August 2012.


Ref: 46463 – Blocked Drain, corner of Broad Lane. Website indicates works being programmed as of 21 August.


17419697 – Coach Road Bridge Public Bridleway SR546: Slight movement of 9mm measured. Movement on bridge and loss of brickwork from underneath culvert reported to highways Ref. 17419697. Mr Munn, PROW Manager for Kent advises that he is writing to every occupier who uses or abuts the Lane explaining the problem with the bridge and suggesting a joint meeting to discuss how repairs will be carried out. Ownership of culvert still not clear, investigations ongoing. Extent of responsibility of PROW is to provide pedestrian and equestrian access which could be provided quickly in the event of a collapse, vehicular access is the responsibility of the landowners.


Pathway 10/16 Glebelands: Jim Latheron SDC, had visit site on 16 August and as a result the weeds and other vegetation had been removed, further resurfacing was awaited.


Verge/Hedge Cutting by county contractors: Arrangements in hand for clerks of Penshurst, Leigh, Chiddingstone Causeway, Hever and Cowden to meet with Alan Riley to discuss future of verge mowing in parishes.


New Rectory Hedge: Minimal hedge cutting carried out, no consequent improvement in available space for pedestrian using the area.


Cat’s Eye: Missing cat’s eye reported to KCC under Ref: 49302. (Reported after meeting to clerk)


c. Anti speeding campaign: Cllr O’Shea confirmed a training session had been held at Cllr Broadhead’s home with approximately eight parishioners attending. Members were now able to undertake checks, a further meeting was scheduled for 4 October.




The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman £86.00
Audit Commission Annual PC Audit £480.00
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal £43.20
Sevenoaks District Council Bulk Freighter £159.60
Goldservice Contract Cleaning Ltd Public Toilet Cleaning Contract £338.00


a. Precept 2013/2014: Preliminary figures provided for members with a breakdown on the costs of the public toilets, fun day and bulk freighter. Information received from SDC that attendance at last bulk freighter was 12 for Fordcombe and 6 for Penshurst. Members to advise clerk of any further projects they wish included in budget by 7 October, consideration to be given to build up of fund for future repairs/renewal of play equipment, also appointment of inspector to regularly inspect site. Possible purchase of rubbish bin to aid Lengthsman’s duties. Clerk to include funding for Play Place youth facilities ie use of Fordcombe Village Hall. Consideration to store PC archive documents at Maidstone facility instead of purchase of fire chest, Cllr Campbell advised he would be prepared to catalogue the items. Clerk to update precept figures and circulate for discussion at November meeting.




a. SDC: Community Grant Scheme 2013/2014: Closing date for application 16 November 2012. Offer for voluntary organisations who provide services for SDC residents or work with local young people to apply for grants: 01732 227000, email: grants@sevenoaks.gov.uk. Scheme guidelines available on www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/grants.




a. Road Repairs: Clerk confirmed to Cllr Campbell that she had received no response to the request for further road surfacing works from the new budget allocation advised.


Meeting concluded at 8.35 pm                                                                            Next Meeting 5 November – Fordcombe