Ordinary Meeting Minutes 5/09/2011



Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 5 September 2011 at 7.30 pm in Fordcombe Village Hall.

1. PRESENT: Cllrs J Cass (Chairman), J Broadhead, A Campbell, I Carson, S Frederick, R Horsford, J O’Shea, B Townsend,


APOLOGIES: Cllr Mrs D Broad. This was approved.


2. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 1 August 2011, having been circulated were approved and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest 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


Forge Field: SDC Cllr Cooke advised that the application had been submitted for six units with associated access and landscaping under reference SE/11/02258/FUL. An ecology report was awaited so the application had not be validated which it was anticipated would take approximately 14 days.


The Chairman confirmed that when available the planning papers would be made available in Penshurst Village Hall for public access, dependant upon availability of the hall. The next PC meeting would have an extended Open Session of one hour to allow discussion of the application.
The Steering Group Meeting minutes of 22 March had been forwarded to the PC at the end of the previous week and placed on the PC website. Members were asked why the agenda for the PC meeting of the 4 April did not include the information produced at the meeting relating to the statement made and the resolution. Cllr Cass had not been a member of the council at the time but would look into the issue and reply accordingly. Clerk advised that the Affordable Housing project had been a monthly agenda item for well over a year. Members, prior to the April meeting, had taken the opportunity to consider all information/comment accumulated over the months up to the date of the meeting prior to making a final decision on any action or resolution. In view of the volume of this documentation and the time taken to prepare the statement there had not been sufficient time for this detailed paperwork to be included in the agenda papers.
Clerk advised she had not been responsible for the provision of the Steering Group minutes.
Information was requested regarding the S106 regarding local connection/employment, Cllr Cooke confirmed this would form part of the planning application for inspection.
The validity of the second survey and its relevance to the planning application was questioned, Cllr Cooke advised that the survey would be part of the planning process for the planning committee to take into account but would not be an overriding or paramount factor in the final decision.
The PC were asked if they would seek written confirmation that WKHA would not seek further houses to be built on the site, Cllr Cooke advised that a further housing needs survey would be required before any further affordable housing could be built in the parish. There would be detailed plans with the application.
A suggestion that the balance of the field could be provided as a village green or garden was made.
Members of the PC who had been on the KPG committee and part of the organisation were asked if they were still members, they advised they had resigned upon being elected to the PC.
Cllr Carson to speak with Mr G Mackenzie regarding hedgecutting at Elliotts House and with A Stronghill regarding removal of the hawthorn opposite Bridge House.




SE/11/01873LDCPR: The Bungalow, Daneby Hall, The Lane, Fordcombe: Use of part of existing single storey building for residential living accommodation. The PC have no objections to the current application and would defer to the officer with regard to making a decision. The PC expressed concern over possible future development of the site.
Clerk advised she had spoken with the officer who has to agree that facts provided are accurate and prove that property occupied by others to allow Certificate, if this is the case then permitted development rights would be applicable under current planning regulations.


SE/11/02132: Hamsell, Coopers Lane, Penshurst, Tonbridge: Removal of all existing softwood windows on all aspects of property, replace with bespoke build, hardwood, slim-line, double glazed casement windows.


SE/11/01045: Lane Cottage, The Lane, Fordcombe: Extension to house replacing existing extension, replacement of existing double garage and stable with new in slightly different location, change of use of garage to pool room.


SE/11/01437: Bridge House, Rogues Hill, Penshurst. Removal of existing single storey rear extension and erection of two storey rear extension with covered balcony and single storey side entrance hall. REFUSED


SE/11/01438CAC: Demolition of existing single storey rear extensions. WITHDRAWN


a. Hedges: Further letters/emails forwarded to homeowners requesting hedgecutting be carried out adjacent to pavements in response to reports from parishioners on recent re-growth.


b. Speedwatch/Speed Indicator Sign: Cllr Broadhead gave a resume on the Speedwatch system. Clerk confirmed action taken by the previous council members in order to obtain the Speed Indicator Devices in the parish. An article would be prepared for the village magazines to generate support for action to be taken to reduce speed in the villages and thereby improve safety on the roads. It was agreed to have the temporary unit reinstated along Fordcombe Road in Penshurst, clerk to action.
Cllr Carson asked that appreciation for the work and time given by both Rob Sellings and Peter Johnson be recorded on behalf of the PC in connection with the Speedwatch, traffic and accident information.


c. Rural Swathe Mowing: Poundsbridge Lane reported (30868) together with request for provision of up to date list of areas covered to verge and swathe mowing, website indicates matter being investigated.


d. Footpaths: Cllr Campbell advised the private property signs appeared to have gone. Condition of bridge from The Warren to Salmans Farm reported to Nicky Biddall. Clerk to chase SDC again regarding condition of pavements in Glebelands adjacent to Nos. 11-13.


e. Salt Bins: The Spotted Dog were willing to fund the provision of a salt bin at their site. Clerk aware that possibility of salt supplies for winter being considered by highways but no decision made. Possibility of PC insurance cover being increased to carry out gritting/salting.


f. Graffiti: Cllr Mrs Broad to report on approach to Head Gardner regarding graffiti on wall – matter deferred. Further graffiti had appeared on the Penshurst bus stop, Cllr Cooke would provide Ian Streeter with graffiti removal solution to try.


g. Bulk Refuse Freighter: Clerk had been approached by a parishioner regarding collection of large refuse items. Dunbrik Depot had provided a quotation for a service for the parish, covering both villages of approximately £185 for both villages for approximately an hour and a quarter visit each. Clerk was approaching other local parishes to see if they wished to be included in the schedule. It was agreed clerk action this and arrange for a unit to visit the parish in December in order that the service could be advertised.


a. Swaylands: Cllr Cass and Rob Sellings had visited site, the car park for the NGS was being worked on; three units in Woodgate and one in the main house remained for sale, the Gate House had been sold. The AGM was scheduled for October.


b. Kent County Councillor: KCC Cllr Lake considered the hedges and verges to be in an appalling state. He was trying to arrange a meeting with Julian Cooke to discuss the outstanding poor quality work. He supported the PC’s wish to carry out its own hedge/verge cutting with the funds allocated to county’s contractors being delegated to the local councils. Salt bins were at present being discussed. Enterprise had now taken over from Ringway and an improvement in standard of work was hoped for. Poundsbridge Lane was due to be repaired during October, other lanes also needed repair having been used as diversion routes during recent roadworks. Cllr Lake preferred the SID that indicated the speed being done by the motorist, he was advised that Cllrs Broadbent and Carson were working on this issue at the present time.


c. Sevenoaks District Councillor: Cllr Cooke apologised for not attending the August meeting, He had provided information relating to the Forge Field project under an earlier agenda item. The Big Community fund grants of up to £3K were now available for parishes, applications were required by the first Monday of every month. Information was sought on the popularity of the local bus service which had been supported by the parishes when funding had been withdrawn by SDC. Parishioners who had been able to take advantage of this service were asked to let Cllr Cooke or the clerk know that they wished it to continue with the bus service.


d. KALC: Next meeting scheduled for 16 September.


e. Alms Houses: Peter Johnson had provided copies of the accounts for Cllr O’Shea, a general visit was being arranged to ensure the upkeep of the property was up to standard. A Bath Buddy had been provided for a resident experiencing difficulties getting in and out of the bath.


f. Neighbourhood Watch: No crimes had been reported in Fordcombe but three burglaries had occurred in Penshurst with a laptop/jewellery; Kubota mini digger and lawnmower being stolen. Parishioners had received calls asking for their bank details in order to obtain refunds, they were warned that this was a scam and banks to not contact customers via the phone for this type of transaction. Scrap metal was a highly saleable commodity and parishioners should take care not to leave any form of metal item on show on their property.




White Lining Problems with road marking ie white and yellow lining, cats’ eyes and sunken drains reported under reference 29233, shown on website as reported 5 July and under investigation as of 24 August 2011. Ringway were no longer the KCC contractor with effect from September when Enterprise took over. Staffing structures had been altered at KCC, clerk hoping to meet Inspector week commencing 11 September.


Pathway: Cllr Mrs Broad had received no further information from Ben Thomas regarding an informal pathway from The Glebe to the pavement to assist families walking the route to school. The possibility of introducing a further pathway from the school to the lay by would be investigated by Cllr Carson who would report back. The faulty flashing school sign had now been repaired.


BT Building: Hedge cut back during August.


Road Signs: Duck Race sign and Hever Castle sign removed. Swaylands roadwork sign to remain for duration of trial period of road alteration.


Road Condition: Further information awaited on condition of diversion route and any further repairs, clerk to discuss with Inspector.


Pavement – Fordcombe Road, Penshurst: Clerk making arrangements for Highways Inspector to meet on site with parishioner week commencing 11 September to discuss camber on pavement.


The following were presented and approved for payment.


Mr I Streeter Lengthsman 78.00
Welcome Printing Photocopying Jan-Jun 2011 154.48
RIP Cleaning Services Dog Waste Removal 43.20
Audit Commission Annual Audit Fee 342.00
Complete Weed Control Weed Control – Fordcombe 330.60
Aon Play Equipment Cover &
Public Toilet Cover 623.72
H J Johnston Penshurst Church Path Repairs 597.60


a. Public Conveniences: Public Toilets re-opened, insurance cover arranged, utilities transferring to PC, cheapest cleaning contractor appointed as interim measure.


b. Annual Audit: Confirmation had been received of a successful annual audit completed by the Audit Commission, no matters had been noted for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements had not been met.


c. Play Equipment: Insurance cover arranged for new equipment, fencing and pathway excluded from cover as only vehicular impact available. RoSPA Inspection would need to be reinstated with effect from next July as it was a requirement of the insurance company to have an annual inspection by an RPII qualified inspector. Cllr Lake recorded his thanks to the previous PC team who had been involved in the provision of the play equipment for the parish, it was a great success and much appreciated by all who used it.


d. Bank Mandate: Further forms requiring signature, these were signed by Cllrs Broadhead and O‘Shea.


e. Grant: £700 Grant received from KCC for fencing for play area.


f. Bus Shelter/Tree: Clerk reported that the overhanging branches of the tree on Fordcombe Green were causing damage to the shingle roof of the bus shelter, it was agreed she seek advice from Colin Viccars regarding any work necessary.


g. Precept: Clerk reminded members that discussion on the precept would soon be required, if any members had projects they wished considered, either with or without costings, they were asked to advise the clerk in order that these could be included in the draft figures for discussion. Clerk advised the previous members had wished to obtain a fire cabinet to store parish records if space was available in Penshurst Village hall, Cllr O’Shea felt this would be possible.


a. KCC: Consultation on KCC’s Countryside Access Improvement Plan – Review 2012


b. SDC: Recycling Guides


c. Kent Wildlife Trust: Updated Kent Local Wildlife Site schedules.


d. Becket Trust: Request received for nomination of representative to attend Becket Trust meeting. This was agreed in principle but a final decision to be deferred until the current affordable housing issue was settled. Cllr Cass to advise Becket Trust accordingly.




a. Parish/Neighbourhood Plan: Cllrs Carson and Broadhead to investigate the work and costs involved in this issue and report back to the council.


b. Emails: Cllr Carson commented on the amount of emails circulated, clerk advised she would try to give an indication on the items circulated if they were of particular importance.


c. Bottle Bank: Cllr Broad had not heard anything further from Ben Thomas regarding a space for the bottle bank.


d. Civic Service 23 October 2011. Unfortunately no one was available to attend on this date.


Meeting concluded 9.05 pm Next meeting 3 October 2011