Ordinary Meeting Minutes 7/10/2013


Minutes of the Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 7 October 2013 at 7.45 pm in Penshurst Village Hall

1.PRESENT:  Cllrs J Cass (Chairman); Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, I Carson, J Horsford, J O’Shea, B Townsend

APOLOGIES:  Cllr J Broadhead, S Frederick, SDCCllr P Cooke

2.         MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 5 August 2013, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.

Declarations of interests in agenda items
If a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest in an item of business this must be declared at the start of the meeting, unless dispensation has been granted.  The member may not participate in any discussion, vote or discharge any function related to that business.
Non-pecuniary interests may be declared at this point if not already registered.  Members with a non-pecuniary interest may speak on the subject if members of the public can do so but may not vote.     NONE

3.         OPEN SESSION
Chairman advised those present that the Forge Field Affordable Housing application had been approved by SDC for the third time on 3 October.
PC was advised that bus drivers were gaining access to the disabled toilets with the universal keys issued to disabled persons.  The Coach Road was also being used as a toilet area together with the back of the garage belonging to Gate House at the bottom of the cycle route on the exit to the estate.  Clerk to advise Penshurst Place and SDC.
A request for the white lines in the vicinity of the Penshurst Village Hall to be reinstated was made, clerk to action.  (Reported to Highways under Ref: 80221)
The possibility of gas being made available in the villages was raised, if 80-100 households in the central area of the villages registers an interest (under no obligation) a quotation could be provided, free of charge, to indicate cost of provision.   Clerk to request issue be raised in respective magazines and request parishioners register their interest with her for assessment.

4.        PLANNING

SE/13/02115:  Polbream, Saints Hill, Penshurst:  Erection of single storey side/rear (western elevation) extension with mezzanine floor and basement; single storey rear extension; balcony to first floor to rear elevation; porch to front elevation; conversion of roof space into habitable space with roof lights to front and rear elevations.  The Parish Council still have concerns with regard to the 50% increase rule as the Design and Access Statement makes no allowance for the conversion of roof space into habitable space.  The PC feel the overall size of the proposal is of concern.   The Design and Access Statement refers to the quality Arts and Crafts style house and we feel that the proposed new glazing does not fit in with this style.
SE/13/02212:  Honeyfield Cottage, Poundsbridge Lane, Poundsbridge, Penshurst.   Infill extension on SW elevation, installation of new double door and window to dining room, repositioning of entrance with new porch, three dormer windows to NE elevation, NW elevation and SW elevation.   Installation of new entrance steps.   PC Support
SE/13/02419:  Larkfield House, Saints Hill, Penshurst:  Demolition of existing dwelling house and two outbuildings, erection of new two storey dwelling house, including construction of basement.   P C Support
SE/13/02495:  Woodgate Manor, Penshurst Road, Penshurst:  Provision of two visitor car parking spaces.   PC Support
SE/13/01779:  7 Stone Row, Spring Hill, Fordcombe:  Retrospective permission for erection of shed at end of garden.    Advice received that application re-validated, amended drawing provided of floor plans and elevation.  PC Response:  This summer house was erected by removing two panels of the neighbour’s fence and there is a possibility it encroaches on that neighbour’s property.   Other than this, if the applicant’s site was not listed the PC would support with the suggestion it be painted to match the smaller shed alongside it to make it less conspicuous.

SE/13/01835:  Saints Hill House, Saints Hill, Penshurst:  Demolition of existing timber and brick garages.  Erection of single storey side extension comprising glazed link passage from main house to new gymnasium and three bay garage.  Alteration to fenestration of south elevation of Coach House.    GRANTED
SE/13/02115:  Polbream, Saints Hill, Penshurst:  Erection of single storey side/rear extension with mezzanine floor and basement, single storey rear extension, balcony to first floor to rear elevation, porch to front elevation, conversion of roof space into habitable space with roof-lights to front and rear elevations.  GRANTED

Tree Surgery:
SE/13/02389:  The Gables, Spring Hill, Fordcombe:   Removal of 1 Birch tree in conservation area.   Please note a TPO has now been placed on this tree by SDC.
SE/13/02708:  9 Latymers, Penshurst:  Reduce crown of 1 Ash tree by 20%
SE/13/02649:  5 Latymers, Penshurst:  Crown reduction of two Oak trees by 30%.

SE/13/01630/1:  Hamsell Farm, Coopers Lane, Penshurst:  Replace existing windows with double glazed units of similar design.   Application withdrawn.

Affordable Housing Judicial Review:
SE/13/01590:  Land SW of Forge Garage, High Street, Penshurst:  Erection of Six Affordable Dwellings with associated access and landscaping works.   Application was heard at SDC Planning and Development meeting on 3 October and approved again.  Date fixed for hearing of substantive matter in relation to Judicial Review relating to previous approval for Monday 27 January 2014, expected to last one day.     If Judicial Review relating to latest approval applied for, it will need to comply with new time scales, in view of the recent changes for administration of Judicial Reviews, under these circumstances any challenge could also be heard at the hearing on 27 January 2014.   If no further challenge is issued, the existing proceedings would become academic, apart from the question of costs.


a.                     Fordcombe Noticeboard:   Work scheduled to commence week ending 5 October.

b.                     School pedestrian route.       The PC discussed the safety problems with Steven Noad (Kent Highways), best case scenario would be existing 30MPH signs on the Fordcombe side of Long Bridge be moved back a short distance towards Fordcombe and, in their place, priority signs installed giving priority to traffic coming from Penshurst, with white lines on approach to bridge.        Overgrown vegetation to be removed from road side of walls edging the bridge and surrounding existing broken wooden fencing, new fencing to be installed, with a flat area of verge (not suitable for vehicular use) being provided as an ‘escape route’ for pedestrians.   A subsequent meeting was held with the new KCC Councillor Clive Pearman who was very supportive of the project, a written case has been produced by the PC and forwarded to Clive Pearman for submission to KCC for consideration for funding, a copy of this circulated to councillors.  Case included data available from Speedwatch checks and a traffic census undertaken by Rob Sellings to substantiate case being put forward, for example 821 traffic movements were registered in a two hour period on 6 September.   Cllr Pearman was processing the application through the KCC system, as indicated in his monthly report.

c.                     Swaylands: SDC was investigating S.106 and issue of grounds being included in the National Gardens Scheme, officer advised she would contact the PC when position had been clarified.   Alexander Boyes had promised gardens would be finished in the near future, if non compliance with the S106 Agreement continued, an Injunction could be applied for against the Management Committee.   Cllrs Cass and Mrs Broad had visited the site to discuss the current planning application relating to two parking spaces but no problems were raised with regard to the garden scheme.

d.                     Fordcombe Green Parking:   Legal advice sought with regard to Parish Council’s position, letter forwarded to resident advising PC would erect sign requesting access be maintained for residents.   Response received, correspondence circulated to members for comment, sign to be produced requesting access to properties near school be kept clear for residents.   Sign obtained by Clerk for installation, Cllr Cass to liaise with school regarding installation.

e.                     Penshurst Lay By Litter Bin:  Replacement provided by SDC.

f.                      Highways:  Sand/Salt provision for winter, application made to Highways for supply of on tonne bag, Cllr Horsford to act as liaison with Highways, clerk to action.

g.                     Gatwick Airport: Cllr Cass to attend meeting with other local parishes regarding possible provision of further runway, possible co-option of parishioner with specialist knowledge by PC to liaise with local committee.

h.                     Fordcombe Church Wall:    Mike Gilbert advised a proposed start date of 24 October, proposed standard and specification of work appeared acceptable.

6.         REPORTS:

a.                     Kent County Councillor:   KCCllr Clive Pearman provided information on the following items for circulation:

Ø  Coalition Government’s Infrastructure Strategy proposal to construct a Lower Thames Crossing
Ø  KCC consultation on proposals to reorganise/ restructure the provision of services via the Children’s Centres in the county.
Ø   Information on community grants available to allocate.  The grants schemes are entitled ‘Member Community Grants’ (MCG), ‘Local Schemes Grants’ (LSG) and ‘Small Community Capital Grants’ (SCCG).  The total sums available:- MCG = £10K; LSG = £19.4k and SCCG = £38,900.
Ø   KCC – Aviation Policy
Ø  Patient transport services (PTS) to be delivered throughout Kent and Medway by NSL Care Services from 1 July.
Ø  Monthly Report provided for circulation to members including Phase 1 of the Whole Council Transformation Plan showing how savings will be made whilst shaping its services; help for ‘Kent Troubled Families Programme’ – assessed to be 2560 having complex needs;  funding for projects including Penshurst’s Long Bridge plans.
Ø  KCC and Edenbridge Town Council’s response regarding the Aviation Commission.

b.                     Sevenoaks District Councillor:     No report

c.                     KALC:      No report

d.                     Alms Houses:  Mr Johnson reported that the refurbishment work to No. 6 was completed on 20 September.  The couple allocated the unit moved in on 1 October and were very pleased with the facility.   The Trustees would now consider similar work to Nos. 2, 4 and 5.

e.                     Neighbourhood Watch:    One crime in each village had been reported since mid August;  computer equipment and other valuables had been stolen from a property in Penshurst and a Fordcombe man had been sentenced to 20 months in prison in connection with cannabis dealing.   A report of a distraction theft from an elderly lady in Sainsbury’s Tonbridge car park during September had been made.
The Coach Road bridge was still being monitored, the gap across the parapet was 11mm.  The wing wall appeared to be rotating and the reading was at the end of a cantilever, the vertical settlement movement would therefore be less than the reading.   A discussion with the farmer indicated agreement that large quantities of rock should not be used to prevent displacement of the support by the water flow, the weight possibly causing settlement of the supporting material of the bridge and cause even greater settlement and rotation.

f.                                    Speedwatch:     A graph was made available to those attending giving an indication of the data available from the Speed Indicator Device at Glebelands, this showed that speeds in excess of 70 and 90 MPH had been reached by a small number of vehicles using the road.   The graph indicated a steady increase in speed in July and August.
Police had recently attended speed checks in the parish at Glebelands and the lay by opposite Penshurst Place; 11 warnings for speeding up to 40MPH and 4 tickets for travelling at over 40 MPH were given.  One of the tickets was given to a driver from Fordcombe travelling at 47 MPH who complained about being stopped, he will also be reported as being abusive to the officer.   Between 30 May and 27 September approximately 40 hours of checks had been recorded covering 1,108 vehicles; as a result 88 letters for second detection, 27 for third, 10 for fourth and 5 for fifth with 25 for excessive speed had been sent to drivers.
Members were advised it was important that speed indicator road signs were kept clear of vegetation.
Cllrs Carson and O’Shea were asked about the data collected during a speed watch check they had carried out at the Penshurst Primary School, Cllr Carson would check to find this and he was responsible for this item.
With regard to volunteers, 24 had been trained and 18 had been contacted regarding the current scheme being run by Mr Sellings for assistance, none of the trainees had agreed to assist.   Cllr Carson said he had no spare time to assist and felt it was preferable that the volunteers could undertake checks at areas of importance to them ie their properties or close by.  It was explained that only sites approved by the police could be included in the Speedwatch checks.
Cllr Cass recorded the thanks of the PC to Cllr Broadhead for initiating the application to SDC for the funding of the Speedwatch equipment which Cllr Cooke had advised the clerk had been approved.
Guy Rollinson had commented on the quality of the Penshurst Speedwatch team and suggested the clerk ask Kelly at SDC if Sevenoaks Police Officers could be asked to attend the village for further speed checks.

7.         HIGHWAYS:

a.                     Penshurst Rectory Hedge:       The issue of the overgrown hedge was raised, it was still considered a hazard when the Lengthsman was carrying out his work in the parish and also the impact on pedestrians using the area.  Clerk to write to diocese (copying in Highways) to confirm the PC assumes they accept liability for any problems/accidents caused by the hedge.   It was noted that the condition of the hedge did not appear to comply with the requirements of highways.

b.                     Reported Faults Update:

Ref: 62231/62226:  Laying water reported on road opposite Poundsbridge Lane junction with Penshurst Road.     Flooding on road from Meadow Wood towards Barden Road reported again.   Both issues passed to Alistair Coleman to deal with, programming of work required, plans to channel water into cleared ditches/pond area to alleviate problems on road with laying water/ice.   Work not carried out, clerk to check.
Ref. 69819:  Cats eyes, New Road: Issue shown as resolved on Highways website with effect from May 2013.
Ref: 75405:   Culvert outside Alms House, Rogues Hill – work reassigned to Drainage Team.
Ref: 76070:  Junction of Fordcombe Road and The Warren approach, pothole in road between school and BT building.  Clerk advised by Highways that pothole does not meet criteria for action at present time.
Ref: 76260:  Chafford Lane:   Drainage system blocked, website indicates work completed on 7 August, work not carried out.
Ref: 76261:  Rogues Hill:  Blocked run of drains, website indicated work has been programmed on 7 August, works still not completed
Ref: 76262:  Fordcombe Road – Glebelands to High Street:  Blocked drains, uneven road surface causing laying water.   (49299/49750/53310/53307).   Website indicates work completed 7 August.
Ref: 76264:  Walters Green Road – demolished chevron.   Issue under investigation as at 7 August.

Glebelands:  Dave Shaw (SDC) advised that Field Care Services had attended Glebelands to spray the areas of weeds in the path, he would inspect again towards end of August but considered area of pathway acceptable at present time.   Resident advised clerk that area deteriorated during rainy conditions, clerk advised Dave Shaw who would visit site during wet weather.

Paving – Penshurst High Street:  South East Water had installed water meters at properties adjacent to the brick paving area and filled the consequent holes with tarmac.   Clerk reported issue to SE Water and was advised contractors had effected a temporary repair for 2/3 weeks to ensure meters were working correctly and there was no sinkage due to leaks.  Final reinstatement had been undertaken but the standard was poor, clerk reported issue to Highways again for investigation.   Clerk reported again, no further visit to rectify

New Road, Penshurst:   Hedgecutting undertaken by SDC as promised.
Road Sign:  Request for road sign at top of Smarts Hill to indicate Coldharbour Road forwarded by highways to SDC on 7 August 2013 for action.
Ref: 76949:  Glebelands turning circle and approach roads reported for poor surface.   Advice received 21 August that damage not at Highways intervention level at present time.   Area would be re-inspected on regular monitoring list.
Ref: 79772:  Blocked drain outside Lilac Cottage, Penshurst Road
Salmans Lane Bridge:  Landowner monitoring situation, will contact Peter Johnson if need arises.

8.                     FINANCE:

The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:

I Streeter                                                          Lengthsman                                                       £178.00
RIP Cleaning Services                                         Dog Waste Removal                                           £151.20
PKF Litttlejohn                                                   Annual Audit Fee                                                £240.00
Complete Weed Control                                      Fordcombe Weed Treatment                               £180.00
South East Water                                               Allotment Water Supply                                      £37.62
Mrs E M Divall                                                    Fun Day Fees/High Vis Jackets                            £780.67
Hiero Graphics                                                   Sign                                                                  £45.00

a. Annual Audit:   Confirmation received of successful annual audit completed by PKF Littlejohn on behalf of the Audit Commission, no matters noted for concern, confirmation that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements had been met.

b. Precept 2014/15 & Quarterly Accounts:   Copies of quarterly accounts and basic expenditures for the forthcoming PC precept provided by clerk.   Any extra expenditure to be included in figures should be advised to the clerk by 25 October.

c. Fun Day:  Confirmation received from organisers of success of Fun Day held at the cricket ground in Fordcombe in August, initial figures indicate nearly 70 attending at both Fordcombe and Chiddingstone and over 160 at Leigh.

d. Penshurst Playgroup (Scallywags):  Request for financial assistance for provision of equipment for children, clerk requested copy of future costings etc. in order for councillors to consider, information promised for November meeting.

e. Home Start – South West Kent:   Request for donation of £20 towards costs of running charity.   Clerk advised the organisation had taken part in the Fun Day events the previous year and had been in contact with over 1400 families in need of assistance as a result.   Decision on possible donation to be made at November meeting.

f. KALC:  Clerk to order new publication ‘Local Councils Explained’.

9.                     CORRESPONDENCE:

a.    Community Governance Review:  Information from Ian Bigwood (SDC) regarding Reorganisation of Community Governance Order 2013  made on 18th September 2013, and appropriate map showing the change to parish boundary with effect from 1st April 2015. Change in force after agreement to transfer of Woodside Boarding Kennels/North Lodge from Leigh to Penshurst.
b.    Retreat Charity:  Advice received from Mrs Janie Hill that Mrs Enid Gayler has stepped down from position as Treasurer together with request that PC endorse Mr John Mowat in the position.   This was agreed.

10.                   ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

a.    Road Signs:  Cllr Campbell advised a number of road signs needed attention, these would be listed after the hedge cutting had finished.
b.    Telephone Box:   Cllr O’Shea reported that Fred Larter had refurbished the telephone box, members recorded their thanks for this work on behalf of the parish.
c.     Fordcombe Dog Bin:  Clerk had added the new dog bin to the list for emptying.

Meeting Concluded 8.55 pm                                                   Next Meeting 4 November 2013 – Fordcombe