Ordinary Meeting Minutes 5/03/2012




Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 5 March 2012 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall
1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, J Broadhead, A Campbell, I Carson, J Horsford, J O’Shea, B Townsend.


APOLOGIES: Cllr S Frederick, this was approved. KCCllr P Lake


2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 6 February 2012. An addition was made to the Open Session minute: Clerk had been unaware at the time of preparation of the agenda of the identity of the complainants, in response to an approach by the Chairman a parishioner confirmed he was one of the complainants but that his complaint had not been anonymous and SDC had been aware of his identity at all times. The adjective ‘anonymous’ was deleted from the report of the February meeting. The minutes were subsequently agreed and signed by the Chairman.


The Chairman said that if the use of anonymous had caused distress to the two complainants he offered his apology. This was accepted.


The complainants offered to meet with Cllr Mrs Broad and Mr Sellings to discuss their complaint, this offer was declined.


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.


Cllr J Broadhead – Prejudicial interest, having property for sale opposite the application site




Clerk circulated Cllr Carson’s statement regarding the VIA relating to the affordable housing application to members and WKHA. Janet Ranson (WKHA) confirmed that VIAs were introduced nationally in 2008 for major applications. The Forge Field development did not fall into this category and it was at the discretion of the local authority whether they asked for such a study. SDC requested one in December 2011. SDC adopted a new planning SPD: a Landscape Character Assessment in October 2011 which covers all the rural areas in the district. Policies contained therein do not demand that every application in the green belt be covered by its own VIA. The SPD does not seek to prevent all development in rural areas and WKHA are of the opinion that their application complies with all best practice set out in the SPD. In view of this information, it was suggested Cllr Carson take up with SDC Planning, as a private individual, any documentation he feels is incorrect as they were responsible for validation of same.
It was noted that subsequent to a request from the Conservation Officer an alteration to the positioning of the houses on site had been made. A VIA, desired by Weald AONB had also been produced. These documents were expected to be made available by the end of the week for circulation to consultees for comment.
Clerk to contact the estate regarding removal of the hawthorn at the bottom of Rogues Hill
The question of availability of places at Penshurst Primary School was raised in relation to the affordable housing scheme, Peter Johnson would raise this at the next Governors’ meeting.
Residents were reminded that if fly tipping occurred on private land it was their responsibility to remove such items, the local council only cleared items left on public land.




SE/12/00367: The Limes, 10 Latymers, Penshurst: Erection of single storey side extension, installation of velux window, re-configuration of internal layout and changes to fenestration and installation of external flue.


SE/11/02726: Upper Bullingstone, Penshurst Road, Speldhurst: Revision: Reduced scale of building and changes to design.


SE/12/00465: Bowens Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge, Penshurst: Demolition of existing stables, workshop, glasshouse and play shed and erection of double garage.


SE/12/00191: Penshurst Place Estate, Penshurst Road, Penshurst: Enlargement and improvement of woodland access off Penshurst Road to facilitate HGV movements. Creation of turning and loading area upon open ground within woodland. Formation of hard track from loading area to cooks pits.


SE/11/03004: 4 New Road, Penshurst: Retrospective application for two storey side/rear extension. Variation on application reference SE/08/02529.




SE/11/03162: Warren Farm Barn, Fordcombe Road, Penshurst: Demolition of outbuilding, and construction of replacement garage and store. GRANTED




SE/11/02600LBCALT: Quaintways, High Street, Penshurst: Change of use of ground floor Class A3 use to residential with alterations and internal works. Previous Comment – Support.




a. Speedwatch/Speed Indicator Sign: Cllr Broadbent had emailed Mr Rowlinson at Kent Police advising that 14 volunteers had expressed an interest in carrying out speed watching duties near their homes or childrens’ schools. Meeting requested with Mr Rowlinson or colleagues to discuss possible sites to further the project. The equipment now used for Speedwatch was effective countywide. Steven Noad (KCC) had advised the Speed Indicator Sign would be moved closer to the village and a power source would be required for it to function.


b. Footpaths/Pavements: The Chairman advised that Cllr Frederick has approached both landowners involved, neither of whom were enthusiastic about the project, they wished to wait until highways could provide help.


c. School Access: Clerk emailed Headteacher regarding Cllr Carson attending Governors’ Meeting, Cllr Carson being invited to May meeting.


d. Becket Trust – Cllr Carson advised he expected to attend the next meeting of the trust as an ex officio member. The position was a non voting position but would enable him to report back to the PC.


e. Grove Road: Clerk reported further loss of trees on PORC site, Les Jones advised he had visited site and agreed removal of small number of diseased trees. The landowner felt too many had been condemned and also advised that a recent burst tap had caused problems with debris being washed on to the road, he also provided information on a security system being installed that might be of use to the farming community.


f. Broadband: Cllr O’Shea would be placing an article in the Parish Magazines to generate support for the current improvement in Broadband service in the area, support was particularly needed from local businesses.




a. Swaylands: All apartments had now been sold and the builders had left site. Light problems on the main house were being investigated.


b. Kent County Councillor: Report left with Cllr Broadhead. Information on resurfacing work of area of road along Penshurst Road provided, costs to be covered by Member Highway Fund.


c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke provided information on Householder, or Fast Track Appeals which enabled applicants to proceed with a written, relatively quick and cheap appeal against a planning refusal. The main differences between householder and ordinary appeals was the 12 week time limit instead of 6 months; the appeal is in writing so the appellant has no right to request an oral hearing and there is no right for third parties and/or consultees to comment at the appeal stage. Further information is available on http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals/online/tutorialshelp/onlineappealservicelpahelp/


Cllr Cooke provided clerk with a sample planning consultation response.


d. KALC: The next meeting was scheduled for 9 March 2012.


e. Alms Houses: A further quotation was being sought for the upgrading of the heating. A survey had been undertaken following a complaint from one of the residents, only one window, not affecting the appearance of the building from the public area, requires replacement.


f. Neighbourhood Watch: Metal panels and gates had been stolen during the last two months together with two electric fence activators. A leaf sweeper and some brooms were stolen from an outhouse in Penshurst High Street, information from anyone witnessing suspicious activity in the area between 9.30 pm on the previous Thursday and 7.30 am Friday would be appreciated. Parishioners were reminded sheds and outhouses are targets for thieves as are heating oil stocks.




a. Speed Indicator Device: Fordcombe unit repaired and reinstated.




The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:
Mr I Streeter Lengthsman £86.00
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal £54.00
Coblands Landscapes Fordcombe Play Area Hedging £732.00
Penshurst Village Hall Hall Hire 2011 £115.00
Underwoodsman Ltd Fordcombe Play Area Willow
Structure £550.00
Goldservice Contract Cleaning Ltd Toilet Contract £338.00
ICO Registry Entry £35.00
HMRC Income Tax – Clerk £189.20
Mrs E M Divall Salary £1024.26


a. Jubilee Celebrations: Clerk had received a request for the provision of a seat for the new play area in Fordcombe in recognition of the Jubilee, Cllr Horsford tabled a request for a picnic table/seat for the area. A sample of commemorative mugs was also tabled for members. It was agreed a seat be purchased for the Fordcombe area, Mr M Gilbert and the clerk to liaise. Cllr O’Shea to check number of local children attending Penshurst school and advise clerk. Council to consider grant to one of the Penshurst events.


b. Play Day and Freighter Provision Update: Provisional date of Family Fun Day provided on 10 August 2012. Bulk freighter dates provided at 28 April, 30 June and 1 December 2012.


c. Complete Weed Control: Quotation for treatment of weeds in parish for 2012 had been received. This covered three treatments per village at £150 per treatment. This was unanimously agreed, clerk to action.




a. CPRE: Notification of AGM on 9 June at Farningham Village Hall


b. South East Water: Advice regarding draft Drought Plan, available on www.southeastwater.co.uk and request for any comment to be submitted by 4 April 2012 either by email to water.resources@defra.gsi.gov.uk or by post to Secretary of State, Drought Plan Consultation, Defra, Area 2C, Ergon House, Horseferry road, London SW1P 2AL.


c. KCC: Consultation Document: Development and Infrastructure – Creating Quality Places available on www.kent.gov.uk/kentdeveloperguide


d. SDC: Governance Review. Copy letters received from SDC regarding request for villages of Fordcombe and Penshurst to be split into two parishes. This had subsequently been altered to splitting of voting rights to cover ward or parish issues and would avoid financial impact.
A decision by SDC was expected at the end of March, if the proposals were considered to have merit, a further period of consultation in the parish would take place.


Cllrs Broadhead and O’Shea left the meeting.


e. Kent Men of Trees: Notification of annual competition.


f. South East Water: Information on drought permit and request to pass on contact details to local parish magazines in order to keep parishioners informed of situation. (Fordcombe and Penshurst magazine contacts advised)




a. Snow Clearance: Cllr Mrs Broad congratulated highways on the standard of snow clearance during recent poor weather. Clerk was asked to find out whether the road signs were scheduled for cleaning.


b. White Line: Cllr Carson had been approached by a parishioner who had asked if it was possible to introduce a white line restricting parking at the entrance to Leicester Square. Clerk advised this was an expensive and protracted procedure necessitating a traffic census to be undertaken by the parish over a period of weeks to provide evidence of nuisance together with payment of hundreds of pounds for the provision and subsequent maintenance of the marking.


Cllr Carson asked permission and left the meeting.


c. Public Toilets: Clerk to investigate costs and feasibility of installing pay machines.


d. SDC Planning Briefing: Cllr Campbell provided information on Neighbourhood Plans, which cost approximately £20K to produce. A Community Infrastructure Levy based on a cost per square metre was to be introduced which would apply to large private developments, this would replace the current S.106 and provide funding for highways, pavements, toilets etc.


Meeting concluded at 9.20 pm Next Meeting: 2 April 2012 – Penshurst
Annual Parish Assembly – 10 April 2012 – Penshurst