MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BALCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 17th OCTOBER 2011 AT 8.00 PM IN THE W I ROOM, BALCOMBE VICTORY HALL.
Present: Messrs. Mike Talman, Peter Huxley, Alan Dearden, Rodney Saunders, Robin Williamson. Mesdames Catherine Dennison & Linda Short, Alison Stevenson.
In attendance: Richard Greig – Clerk to the Council.
- 2803. Public Participation
Our PCSO Jayne Milne attended by invitation; likewise Carolyn Robertson who heads the village Neighbourhood Watch scheme. PCSO Milne gave a brief report on recent incidents & her views on how village security might be improved in certain areas. Members found Jayne’s continuing support most useful & she & Carolyn were thanked for their assistance.
2804. Declaration of personal or prejudicial interest
Cllr. Peter Huxley as owner of The Coach House, Haywards Heath Road, declared a personal interest in respect of planning application (BA)/11/03126/FUL.
2805. Apologies for Absence
Messrs. Simon Greenwood (in Scotland), Robin Lindsay Stewart (indisposed). Cllr. Carol Jarvest – absent.
2806. To approve Minutes of the Meeting held on 19th September 2011
The minutes, having been circulated to all Members, were approved & signed by the Chairman as a true record.
2807. Matters Arising
2791 – Salt Bins @ Deanland Road – the Chairman mentioned that the matter was still under consideration.
2795 – Fingerposts – noted that work was still proceeding, but progress by Marcus Slegg still slow.
2797 – Bicycle Storage. Cllr. Huxley had been advised that MSDC funding might be available, but that a detailed proposal would be necessary. Lockable hoops might be one solution. He agreed to affix a notice asking users of the present facility not to obstruct unnecessarily the area adjoining the entrance steps.
2802 – Basket Ball Hoops – as MSDC had no solutions to offer to dissuade children climbing up them. Agreed that the only solution might be fix a notice on each post.
The Clerk had met on site with the WSCC Highways Officer responsible for the enforcement of cutting back overhanging foliage & understands that the necessary procedures are now being put in place.
2799c) – Lower Ricks. The following reply had now been received from MSDC (Michael Martin, Enforcement Officer):
“I am aware that a number of complaints have been made about the development currently taking place at Lower Ricks.
In my opinion the development would be permitted provided it is contained within the curtilage, which may have been originally marked by a fence and tree line. The owner could reposition the development so that it sits within the curtilage. The alternative is for the owner to make a planning application to regularise the development or, if he feels he can prove that the development is currently within the curtilage, he may make an application for a Lawful Development Certificate. The owner is considering the options”.
Cllr. Dearden had communicated this information to the London Road complainants, John Randall & Linda Malthouse.
2808. Urgent Matters – items not on the agenda that the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
No matters raised.
a). Cash Book Receipts & Payments for September 2011 – noted as presented.
b). To approve estimate of £700 for restoration of station bus shelter. Here again there may be some funding available from MSDC – cf. 2807 above. As a start to the work was now becoming urgent & following a new costing from the Ranger it was proposed by Cllr. Saunders & seconded by Cllr. Short that up to £900 be allocated to the project. The motion was carried nem con.
Noted that for the November meeting Councillors, in particular Working Group Leaders would need to provide indicative 2012/13 budget proposals.
2810. Working Groups & reports from Group Leaders on
a). Housing & Environment – The Chairman & Cllr. Short attended the AirS Mid Sussex Rural Links Forum on 27th September. The programme included papers from MSDC on Neighbourhood Planning, from AirS on Community–led Plans & Neighbourhood Plans & AirS/MSDC on Community-led affordable housing in Sussex.
b). Safety & Security - Cllr. Dearden reported on continuing efforts to fill street co-ordinator positions as well as holding regular meetings for “bonding”. There might be expenditure of up to £50 to cover the next NHW meeting expenses. It was confirmed that John Waters & Clive Sparke had now been recruited as “Deputies” within the scheme.
Concerning CSW it seemed that Iain Brown, the Organiser, was disappointed at Police support.
The Clerk explained that he had communicated his recent views to SALC, our local Council support body, for mention at their forthcoming meeting with the Chief Constable & would report back shortly on the outcome.
Councillors agreed that we should seek return of the Council’s laptop from Neville Ashcroft to enable Cllr. Huxley to continue the earlier work on downloading & collecting data on traffic speeds in the village.
c). Young People – Cllr. Jarvest was absent. It was reported that AirS have still not provided a Youth Worker & that sessions are being run by local helpers on a “hand to mouth” basis. Agreed that this is not really satisfactory & professional management is essential.
d). Traffic Matters – Cllr. Saunders confirmed that following an on site meeting at the Threads junction with Peter Bradley (WSCC) it had been agreed that an application would now be made by them to the Ministry to re-instate a Stop sign there.
As the promised parking survey from Miles Davey had still not taken place. Cllr. Saunders would continue pressing for action.
The recently WSCC approved staggered speed limits into the village from the Cowdray Arms were being progressed by George Chisenga.
Although implementation of the Clays Lake work would not now take place until 2013 the privately financed traffic speed survey by the HSAC had indicated an average of 43 mph. Contact would be made with Nigel Hunton to see whether any additional assistance from this Council would be required. Cllr. Saunders would arrange this.
Agreed that in view of the negative comments received from WSCC Highways regarding sleeping policemen agreed we should now drop the idea.
e). Local Societies/Facilities & Amenities – all the contracted lighting work had now been completed. Regrettably there is still a fault on Lamp No. 55 in Jobes which is being dealt with. The overgrown alley ways & paths have been inspected by WSCC. A Snow Plan meeting would take place with the County Co-ordinator, Richard Speller, shortly. Contractors for clearance had been identified & discussions were taking place to finalise volunteer 4 x 4 transport in the event of emergencies. Dog fouling was still a problem & complaints had been received from Bramble Mead residents which was being addressed.
Cllr. Huxley had learnt from a recent discussion with the Network Rail Manager that it seemed unlikely that the Balcombe ticket office could be closed under the terms of the present franchise agreement; the situation would be carefully watched nevertheless.
a). For representation by 21st October 2011
(BA)/11/02937/FUL – Glebe Farm, Haywards Heath Road – extension of existing light industrial unit & erection of a dust extraction silo.
No problem, but we should mention that noise levels should be kept within the normal limits & that there should be no adverse affect on adjoining properties.
(BA)/11/03002/TCA – Birch House, London Road – 5 self sown Ash stems – fell. No objection.
BA/11/03004/TREE – 1 Barn Meadow – Oak – reduce overall canopy by 1m. We remained unhappy at this. The Planning Group subsequently advised MSDC as follows:
“We can see no need to do so other than where the tree is beginning to encroach on the guttering. A localised trim to the north east side would not leave the tree misbalanced and we can see no reason for wider reduction other than the applicant’s persistent attempts to trim a good tree which is causing no other problems. We are concerned that any unnecessary pruning should be avoided as the resultant cut sites are often the catalyst for the start of decay a great shame when a tree is in good health”.
For representation by 28th October 2011
(BA)/11/03052/FUL – Stone Hall Farm – filling in of a redundant slurry pit. Balcombe Estate had addressed the concerns expressed by MSDC in their recent refusal. No objection.
b). to consider any additional applications received by the date of the meeting
For representation by 4th November 2011
(BA)/11/03126/FUL – The Coach House, Haywards Heath Road – demolition of rear lean-to conservatory. Addition of two storey rear extension & ground floor window on east side. Replacement of 1970’s windows on north & south sides with Victorian style windows. Addition of water-heating panels on rear (south facing roof).
The application to be re-considered at the November meeting.
c). Members were acquainted of a potential development in Jobes by Piers Carter & sighted draft plans relating to 5 houses. Agreed that we could take no action prior to a formal application being received from MSDC. However Councillors considered that development of the site in some form will be approved.
2812. Post Office – update
The Chairman reported that she had spoken to Mike & that indications were that customer traffic is improving.
Digital TV Switchover News Update. Agreed that it might be useful to arrange a “pop in” early in the New Year so that the elderly in particular could meet Switchover representatives to identify potential problems. Clerk to make contact with Liz Alsobrook @ AirS to discuss.
District Plan – the following comments were received from Simon Greenwood & the information noted with thanks. “Can I encourage you to respond to the Consultation Draft of the District Plan when it comes out soon? Paragraphs 15 & 16 of the 7th September version are relevant. If we don't say we want some houses then we will miss out on the bonus for local infrastructure being offered. (I of course declare my interest in this area!)”.
2814. Exchange of Information
Cllr. Short – Fly Tipping. She had now reported the tyre dumping in Rocks Lane to MSDC for action. NB Police do not deal with such incidents.
Cllr. Huxley – asked about the forthcoming Community Resilience Workshop being held in the Council Chamber at Mid Sussex District Council on Wednesday 9th November from 11am until 2pm. The Clerk will try to obtain a report on the workshop in time for the next meeting.
Cllr. Williamson – mentioned that Balcombe Estate had affixed a “No Public Right of Way” sign on the road to Westup, just past the teacher’s car park.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 22.15 hours.
Date: 14th November 2011
THE NEXT MEETING OF THE COUNCIL WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY 14th NOVEMBER AT 8 PM