Minutes of Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 8th July 2013
Those Present: Cllrs: W. Leetham (Chairman); B. Flack (Vice-Chairman);
G King; C. Dunster; C. Sturgeon; C Goldstein.
Also present: Ward Cllr. B. Fitter; County Cllr. J. Simmonds and nine members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed the Councillors and members of the public to the meeting and explained the fire drill and location of the toilets.
Prior to the Parish Council meeting a talk was given by Adrian Verrall from Canterbury City Council on ‘How to set up a Neighbourhood Plan or Alternative’.
Mr Verrall started his talk by saying that ‘alternative’ was the key point.
He went on to talk about the Draft of the Local Plan and the impact and issues in regard to Blean.
He said that the proposals for Blean were quite limited although it was recognised that affordable housing is needed in the village.
As regards developing a Neighbourhood Plan he said that only Bridge, in this area, had started on producing one. He said the key points to consider were whether local residents want the village to stay as it is or for it to develop. A referendum would have to be passed by 50% of the community. It was stated that a survey on housing needs was done last year.
It would also have to adhere to the National Policy Framework, have to be in general conformity and must be compatible with Human Rights and EU obligations.
If it is decided not to produce a Neighbourhood Plan there is always the alternatives of a Village Design Statement or a Parish Plan.
Cllr. Leetham said that Blean had been trying for affordable housing for nine years but no identifiable site had been found.
Mr Verrall said that to produce a village plan would take about two years and, in the meantime, the current Local Plan and Draft Local Plan would have to be adhered to.
There was concern raised that if the proposed developments in Canterbury were turned down that they would move this way.
Mr Verrall thought that the Draft of the Local Plan had got the potential developments about right.
The matter of drainage issues, regarding potential developments in Blean, were also raised and Mr Verrall said that CCC take advice from Southern Water.
He is to send through some examples of Neighbourhood Plans that had already been completed.
The Chairman thanked Mr Verrall for his informative talk.
1. Apologies for absence: – Cllr. H. Samuelson; Work Commitments; Cllr. P. Hutt;
Ward Cllr. J. Gilbey; Family Commitments
2. Changes to Register of Declarations of Interest and DPI in Matters to be discussed.
Cllr. Sturgeon and Cllr. King declared an interest as Village Hall Management Committee members in matters to be discussed.
3. Matters raised by the public
3.1 A number of residents raised concerns over the planning application submitted for land behind 43-47 Chapel Lane. There were concerns over drainage issues, access and loss of trees.
The applicant was also present and responded that a full drainage survey had been done and that all the trees on the corner will be retained with new trees being planted. He said there were no TPOs on the trees.
A number of letters by residents sent to CCC Planning Department, objecting to the application, had been copied to the Parish Council. The Parish Council had yet to compile their response to CCC as the application was still in circulation.
4. Reports from Ward and County Councillors
Ward Cllr. Fitter said that both applications for funding from Blean had been fully awarded by RAMP.
Residents were urged to contact him with any issues of concern in the village.
4.1 County Cllr. Simmonds spoke of the budget cuts which are likely to continue until 2017 or 2018.
The accident on Pean Hill was discussed in which Cllr. Simmonds said that we will have to wait for the Police reports although it was thought that road conditions were not the cause.
Cllr. Goldstein said that everything had been done by KCC, CCC and the Parish Council to make the road safe with the interactive speed signs, reduced speed limit by the school and speed signs.
A resident gave thanks for the yellow lines that had been put at the top of Chapel Lane.
Cllr. Sturgeon thanked Cllr. Simmonds for the work done on Denstroude Lane.
A resident of Chapel Lane complained about the number of potholes that were there, in School Lane and Bourne Lodge Close. These had been reported, white lines put around them but no work had been done on them.
Cllr. Simmonds will investigate.
5. Approval of the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 10th June 2013
The minutes of the 10th June 2013 meeting were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Flack and all Cllrs. present AGREED.
Ref 10.1: The newly erected fence at 11 The Green was discussed again. It was thought that a Highways Inspector had visited but the outcome was unknown.
Cllr. Leetham also mentioned about the Leylandii trees that had been planted on the frontage of 70 Blean Common. Cllr. Simmonds will investigate both issues.
The roots of the tree thought to be from 12 Blean Common are, in fact, not on private property but on The Green.
6. N.H.W. Report
Cllr. King gave his report in which he said that it had been a relatively quiet period in the village with only 35 messages received from Kent Police and Trading Standards.
With the publication of the schedule for the new mobile police stations, it was evident that Blean did not figure in the schedule whatsoever, although, other locations had two or more planned per month.
He had contacted Police Commissioner, Ann Barnes, to express his concerns, also to Kent Police, asking them to contact him when the new schedule is planned. In her reply she referred to PCSO Farley, who, apparently, has been in post since PCSO Bradbury left to train as a Police Constable. PCSO Farley has now been to visit Cllr. King with a rural Police Constable and they have arranged to make regular contact and will attend Parish Council meetings when he can. His area of responsibility is St. Stephens, Tyler Hill and Blean which he is now patrolling regularly by bicycle and on foot. PCSO Farley will make contact with the clerk as soon as possible.
7. Village Hall Report
Cllr. Sturgeon read out the BVHMC report (attached to these minutes).
A letter had been received from BVHMC asking for the Parish Council to consider an additional contribution to the legal fees in connection with the transfer of the freehold and lease in view of the additional costs.
It was agreed to contribute an additional £500 to BVHMC.
Proposed by Cllr. Leetham, Seconded by Cllr. Flack and all Cllrs. present AGREED.
8. Matters Arising including:
8.1 Public Paths & Rights of Way
It was noted that CB26, The Crab and Winkle Way, the hedge by the Hare and Hounds and the hedge in Vicarage Lane had all been cut.
Cllr. Flack asked if the stile on CB18 had been reported as unsafe because of vegetation. It hadn’t so the clerk will report it on the website.
8.2 Recreation Ground inc. play equipment
1. A letter has been received from CCC stating that £942 has been allocated to the Parish of Blean for a project that could include amenity open space, equipped playgrounds, outdoor sports pitches or semi natural space. The resolution is to put the money towards a new piece of play equipment i.e. a fort, for the recreation ground.
Proposed by Cllr. Leetham, seconded by Cllr. King, all Cllrs present AGREED.
2. A grant has been received from RAMP for £3000 for a fort to be purchased.
With £942 from CCC from the CIL fund and £498 from Cllr. Simmonds Members’ fund, the total grant money amounts to £4440.
Cllr. Flack has obtained a revised quote from Home Front for the fort which is £7230.
A proposal was made to accept the quote with the Parish Council funding the remainder of £2790.
Proposed by Cllr. Leetham, seconded by Cllr. Flack, all Cllrs. present AGREED.
3. Cllr. Leetham reported that Ken Waddington is to carry out a monthly risk assessment check of the play equipment and area.
The information board for the recreation ground has been ordered.
4. Consideration of quotes for spoil mound –
The clerk is awaiting an additional quote.
8.3 Consideration of a Neighbourhood Plan or Alternative
Cllr. Flack suggested a public meeting be held to involve the whole community. The coffee morning on 28th September was suggested.
Cllr. Fitter offered to send through the template of the recent on-line survey carried out by Hackington Parish Council for their Parish Plan.
Cllr. Sturgeon suggested hard copies could also be left in the shop.
8.4 Local Plan Response
1. A resolution was made by Cllr. Leetham that the Local Plan propose a Green Buffer Zone north of the University playing fields to Tyler Hill Road eastwards to the railway and on to Tyler Hill and westwards to the gardens on the east of Tile Kiln Hill.
Proposed by Cllr. Leetham, seconded by Cllr. Sturgeon, all Cllrs. present AGREED.
2. A letter has been received from Harbledown and Rough Common Parish Council asking for support against the proposed Park and Ride at Faulkner’s Lane.
Proposed by Cllr. Sturgeon, seconded by Cllr. Flack, all Cllrs. present AGREED.
3. Propose inclusion of ten affordable houses, in total, in Blean, included in the Local Plan at one or more sites.
Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Flack, all Cllrs. present AGREED.
8.5. Consideration and Approval of Resolution – Transfer of Freehold of Blean Village Hall and Lease for Parish Council office.
Following discussion on the problems encountered by the BPC solicitor and the BVHMC solicitor regarding shared utilities and rights of access the following resolution was proposed:
Blean Parish Council resolves to transfer the freehold of Blean Village Hall and associated land as delineated on the plan to the Trustees, acting on behalf of Blean Village Hall Management Committee, together with the sum of £10,000.00 and £1500.00 towards the legal fees, subject to a lease being granted in favour of Blean Parish Council for a period of 999 years from the same date, also delineated on the plan.
That Councillors Barbara Flack and William Leetham be authorised to sign the transfer and lease on behalf of Blean Parish Council.
Proposed by Cllr. Goldstein, seconded by Cllr. Dunster, all Cllrs. present AGREED.
9. Councillors’ Reports
9.1 Cllr. Goldstein asked if Helen Bennington from CCC could be invited to the September meeting as residents at Woodlands had concerns over the new bin system.
Ward Cllr. Fitter offered to help with any concerns that residents may have.
9.2 Cllr. Flack asked whether, as there had been no response from Mr Kelk regarding the damaged footpath, another letter could be written to him and sent by recorded delivery.
It was proposed that when the present flowers in the beds outside the shops have died the flowerbeds will no longer be maintained by the Parish Council.
Proposed by Cllr. Flack, seconded by Cllr. Leetham, all Cllrs. present AGREED.
Thanks were given to Ken and Sheila Waddington for their work in looking after the flowerbeds over the years.
It was noted that the area of land in front of the shops up to the pavement does belong to Mr Kelk.
Cllr. Flack suggested that a site meeting should be held with Mr Kelk to discuss both issues.
9.3 Cllr. Leetham said that a decision still needed to be made about the purchase of a memorial bench for Hazel McCabe.
It was proposed to accept the quote from A M Designs for a memorial bench for £1500.
Proposed by Cllr. Sturgeon, seconded by Cllr. King, all Cllrs. present AGREED.
All correspondence (as previously circulated to members):
1. Oast to Coast – Summer 2013
2. Electoral Review of Canterbury – The Local Government Boundary Commission
3. Copy of Letter of objection from residents of 31B/41/43/45/47 Chapel Lane ref
planning application CA/13/01128/FUL – Erection of dwelling – Land rear of 43-47
Chapel Lane and 7 Badgers Close
4. Notice from CCC Electoral Registration Officer that as no request has been made
it is up to BPC to co-opt a replacement member
5. Telephone call from Mrs Browne, 128 Blean Common, saying that a portion of
land behind Royal Oak is being dug up as if for development
6. KALC – change of address
7. Parish Charter workshop – 20th July – Spring Lane Neighbourhood Centre –
10am – 12noon
8. Letter from BVHMC – Increase by BPC to BVHMC for legal costs
9. Letter from Harbledown & Rough Common Parish Council – join in objecting to
a Park & Ride at Faulkner’s Lane – Local Plan Consultation
11. Planning Applications
The following applications have been received and circulated to all Cllrs. for comment.
11.1 CA/13/01166/FUL – Single rear extension with pitched roof over and first-floor extension over the existing garage – 9 Badgers Close – in circulation
11.2 CA/13/01128/FUL – Erection of one four-bedroom dwelling with garage and one self-contained, one-bedroom annexe and new vehicular access – Land rear of 43 – 47 Chapel Lane – in circulation
11.3 CA/12/02087/FUL – Erection of detached dwelling – 114 Blean Common – GRANTED
11.4 CA/13/00770/FUL – Dormer to rear of dwelling – Linden Lea, Blean Common – GRANTED
Proposed Works to Trees in a Conservation Area
1. Reduce the crown of an Oak by 4m (25%) – Nickledene, Tyler Hill Road
12. Approval for invoice payments and signing of cheques
Banking details for June 2013
Cheques for Approval and Signature
Chq. 002377 – KALC – Councillors Conference £ 72.00
Chq. 002378 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC June 2013 £ 43.77
Chq. 002379 – Mr K Waddington – Handyman’s Wages June 2013 £153.13
Chq. 002380 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks Salary June 2013 £662.64
Chq. 002381 – BVHMC – Rent for hall – June and July 2013 £ 22.00
Chq. 002382 – Mrs D Horswell – Petty Cash June 2013 £ 58.71
Chq. 002383 – Cutters – footpaths and hedge cutting £305.00
DD – Serco Waste Collection 90865198 – May 2013 £ 27.84
DD – BT – Telephone and Broadband £200.05
Total out £1545.14
CCC – RAMP grant for play equipment £3,000
Bank Statement as at 21st June 2013
Current Account – £2000
Business Reserve Account – £44,375.35
(Interest bearing account used to feed Current Account, when needed, to maintain a balance of £2000.
Reserves funds of £11,500 earmarked for BVHMC)
13. Date of next meeting
There being no meeting in August the date of the next meeting is 9th September 2013
15. There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.25pm..
Date _______________ Signature ______________________________
Blean Village Hall Management Committee report 8th July 2013 – Carol Sturgeon
We are making good progress with Phase 1 of the project, to extend and refurbish the Blean Village Hall, and will be closing the hall to the public on 24th July to enable the builder to complete the internal refurbishment and hope to complete the works and re-open the hall in the first week in September.
Both BPC and BVHMC solicitors are making progress to finalise the transfer of the lease, which both parties are keen to complete by 29th July 2013. As Viridor Credit’s Legal Charge needs to be registered against the land title and the restriction on title following completion of the land purchase before funds are released. Our solicitor gave Viridor’s solicitors his undertaking to register the legal charge by 31st July which enables Viridor-Credits to release funds to BVHMC beforehand, to meet Phase 1 building costs.
The agreement of the PC to transfer the whole of the freehold, with the Parish Office being leased back, is welcome and appears to have resolved a number of issues that were causing concern. There have, however been some delays, which have resulted in more time being spent by our solicitor. We do nevertheless find ourselves in the awkward position of ever increasing legal costs.
Our solicitor’s costs now look likely to exceed £2000 + VAT. It has also been necessary to engage a Chartered Surveyor to compile a comprehensive report on the property and the value. This is because the granting of easements and/or lease transfers is seen as a disposal of an asset under the Charities Act. This process cost BVHMC an additional £1000 + VAT, and a letter concerning the above issues has been circulated to P Cllrs today.
On a more positive note the Phase 1 project is making excellent progress since its start on 16th April, despite a 2 week break in work activity when the builder was on holiday, work has resumed daily since and is on target, as you will have noticed.
The hall has remained in full use throughout and will continue until the planned closure on 24th July, after which no public entry is permitted, only the builder and contractors as CDM regs apply.
Fund raising has continued apace and the annual village fete and music festival was no exception, it was a really happy and sunny day which raised £5,000 towards Phase 1 costs thanks to everyone. The two Gala tent marquees bought as a result of the RAMP committee grant were used and greatly appreciated by all, very welcome assets to the Hall’s inventory.
Jon Shelton from the Blean Initiative visited us again last Friday with a designer to plan the design of the interpretation boards to reflect the natural environment & history of the Blean. These will endorse the Blean Initiative and hall’s “hub” status as an information sharing facility & installation here, when Phase 1 is completed.
The Hanging baskets invitation resulted in 9 beautiful baskets from user groups are hung around the Hall which has brought so many positive comments and pleasure to those who made them and to those who admire them. Watering takes place daily by volunteers.
Coffee morning this month is on Saturday 20th July 10am – 12 mid-day – a week earlier than usual – before the hall is closed. Next coffee morning Saturday 28th September planned.
Regular bulletins about the hall’s progress will be sent out by email for information sharing + posters + website updates + Facebook + twitter via bleanvillagehall.co.uk