Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 4th September 2017 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall
Cllr Vaughan (Chairman)
Cllr Mrs Ruth
Cllr Mrs Wright
Cllr Mrs Hamer
Cllr Dowden – NDDC Councillor
Mrs Hilary Parker – Minutes
There were four members of the public present.
2/2017/1147/LBC Pond Farm, Marnhull: Structural repairs, general maintenance and repair works. Removal of 1 no. chimney stack. Replacement of 1 no. window and 1 no. door. Recover roof and re-configure bathroom and all associated works externally and internally.
Brief discussion. Emphasised that building surveyors, English Heritage, etc. would be involved – old building needing to be updated. No concerns from the point of view of residents.
Sandy Kerr proposed agreement, Lesley Ruth seconded. All in favour.
2/2017/1265/House The Hollies, Burton Street: Erect garden room. Objection from The Grange, next door – concern that height would not be increased now or in the future. Skylights not to overlook property. Some work will be carried out to ‘lift’ the crown of the trees. Council has concern about this work: Proposed Michael Ruth, seconded Cllr Jane Wright. All in favour.
2/2017/1215/FUL Building at Mowes Lane – Cllr Chapman excused himself in view of vested interest and exited the meeting. Convert redundant agricultural building into 1 No. dwelling, erect a carport, form new vehicular and pedestrian access and form 2 No. parking spaces.
Mr & Mrs Matthews attended the meeting. Mr. Matthews presented their concerns in detail. [Drive right opposite. Lights from vehicles will shine directly into front of their house. More importantly, issue on safety is that cars approach fast up Cox Hill, cars parked on left; so coming into the village in the middle of the road; if turning right into Mowes Lane, tendency is not to stop & check whether any vehicle approaches leaving the village towards Stalbrdge. Applicant has to prove that they have a sight line of 43m set 2.4m back from their drive – achieved with a tiny margin. Mr Matthews suggests that, instead of coming out and turning right – exiting onto Mowes Lane in front of his house – they turn left and exit further up Mowes Lane, opposite no-one’s property and on inside of curve rather than the outside. Presented a sketch which shows 60m plus. It would take out hedgerow, as in original application. Would improve safety and avoid cars coming from Stalbridge into Mowes Lane, immediately finding a car waiting to turn right. Once past Mr. Matthews’ house, cars are slowing down in both directions, especially as they go through the chicane/tunnel effect.] No concerns regarding the build. Their concerns relate to privacy and safety. There is a feasible, practical and indeed a much better and solution than the one proposed. Mr.Matthews will make a submission to the Council – beforel 22nd September – and will copy The Parish Clerk, Mrs Upshall. It is however possible that Highways will approve.
Council has no queries regarding the build itself. [But admits the concern about the proposed entrance and light disturbance to local residents, affecting living areas and upstairs rooms.] Resolved with objections 1) light interference and proposed entrance/exit. Proposed Lesley Ruth, seconded Rob Cullender. All in favour. Cllr Vaughan thanked Mr. & Mrs. Matthews for their attendance and input.
Cllr Chapman re-joined the meeting
2/2017/1134/1135/Full/LBC Land at Popes Farm, Marnhull – Demolish lean-to and carry out internal and external alterations associated with the conversion of barn to 1 No. dwelling.
Major works which will make a great improvement. Not the barn but the byre. The building is not listed. Other applications not yet presented.
Council agreed to the works listed here. Proposed Cllr Louella Hamer, seconded Cllr Kerr. All in favour.
NB: Action for Clerk: please investigate whether there is a (change of use) application regarding a barn (conversion to dwelling) on Great Down Lane belonging to John Jeans. There is a notice on the gate.
1. Welcome & Domestic Notices
The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming those present and announcing the Domestic Notices.
2. 2017/077 Declarations of Interest Regarding
a) Agenda Items
Other than identified – nothing
b) Grant of dispensations regarding Disclosable Pecuniary Interests when setting the Annual Precept
3. 2017/078 Public Consultation
Vaughan Ham expressed concern about the deterioration of the grass at the top end of the recreation ground. Raised matter last year and was given assurance that the cricket club would move covers. Cllr. Mrs.Hamer said that the covers will come off 10th September. Mike and Ron advise that they are moved regularly. VH disagreed that they are moved regularly except by a few feet. Cllr Hamer will follow up in October. To be monitored.
Glass on skate area. Sign on Nash Lane gate (completely covered by ivy) advising to contact Parish Clerk. Will also be addressed later in mtg.
Would Council like to commend John Dowsett and friends for reinstatement of fingerpost junction? Subject of correspondence which will be addressed later in this meeting.
Cooks garage finger post has 2 arms ripped off: Will also be addressed later in this meeting.
300yr old stone wall outside Bowyer’s Cottage. Wrote but reply said not important as less than 1m in height. There are stone slabs along the side of the building that are 1.1m high. Enforcement Officer said it was a trivial matter and they don’t deal with such. Mr Eveleigh says 300 year old stone wall is part of heritage of Marnhull and DCC should reconsider.
Further to Cllr Dowden’s presentation last month. Disappointed about lack of support to Marnhull Neighbourhood Development Working Group – as sub-committee of NDDC.
Mr. Eveleigh read a summary of the MNDWG position.
Cllr Chapman suggests misunderstanding.
Cllr Dowden apologised for apparent criticism, not intended, and clarified his comments.
No time limit on builders to build houses.
Planning for Bowyer’s Cottage – removal of stones was not included in planning application but was not protected by law. Measured at the time with the Enforcement Officer, mostly 92cm. This particular application was made 5 years ago. Council should be watchful for such possibilities.
4. 2017/079 Apologies for Absence.
Cllr Jane Westbrook and Sally Upshall, Clerk.
5. 2017/080 Chairman’s Urgent Business
Nothing to report
6. 2017/081 Minutes
The meeting held on 7th August and the Planning Meeting held on the 23rd August 2017. Acceptance of the Planning Meeting Minutes was proposed by Jane Wright and seconded by Rob Cullender. All in favour.
Acceptance of the Minutes of the Council Meeting was proposed by Cllr Jane Wright, seconded by Cllr Rob Cullender. All in favour.
7. 2017/082 Matters arising from the previous minutes (not on agenda)
P.2. Mrs. Sturgess’ reference to weedkiller. An item was put in The Messenger. Not aware whether Mrs. Sturgess issued a letter to neighbours, which she had proposed to do. Item closed.
Burton Street & Pillwell lack of maintenance – to be discussed under correspondence Letter to landowner regarding overhanging tree at the bottom of the recreation ground has it gone? Information received indicated that the Electricity Board was going to cut it down. Has it been done? Carried over. Action for the clerk:
Monies for the childrens’ playground. Figures show that the amount committed was paid out.
Cricket Club working party – carried over.
8. 2017/083 Financial Matters
a) Payment Schedule.
Payment Schedule for September 2017. Signed.
Playground: Budget was theoretically 12k. Had 3k agreed probable expenditure would be 16.5k? We agreed to contributing a further 9k for a total of £12k, hoping that we would get the other 3 donations. Subsequently received significant donation enabled us to do more in line with work originally proposed. Paid out £26,400 including VAT £4,400. Received donations of £11,615 so Council has paid out £14,785. Council will reclaim VAT so net spend £10,385. (Cllr Hamer £3k was already ‘ours’. Cllr Kerr said that this was included in the figures but should have been put in a separate savings a/c, from the previous work done, ring-fenced for, specifically, equipment. All were agreed on this point.) There should be a small amount remaining £1,615. Discussion as to whether this remains allocated to the Play Area or reverts to Council reserves. Proposed that it revert unless there is a further need. There may be a further need for the play area: two items, one being repaired at present, which may need replacing or attention in the next couple of years.
To be covered in Budget November..
9. 2017/084 Planning Matters
Corner Close builders ‘gone bust’. Further enquiries indicate that Sovereign is developing some affordable units in Marnhull and Titan, the contractor, was having difficulties. Sovereign and Stonewater, who are also using same contractor in West Dorset hoped to manage this problem. It sounds as if they have gone into administration. There will be a delay but NDDC say it will not stop completion of the homes and will advise as soon as there is any further information. At the corner, machinery has been removed, scaffolding has been taken down. There remains the enclosure and bits and pieces. Titan building sign has also been removed. Have concerns as to how long it will resemble a rubbish tip. Propose to ask NDDC, through our colleague, for an update and, if continued build will not be within a reasonable amount of time, request that arrangements to be made to reinstate that particular area of Sodom Lane. Cllr Dowden is taking this forward. Cllr Lesley Ruth proposed and Cllr Rob Cullender seconded. All agreed.
10. 2017/085 Councillors’ Reports
Play Area/Recreation Ground – Cllrs Hamer & Kerr
Equipment: Cllr Kerr awaiting quote. Issue of glass in sandpit – he went and sifted, cleared a very small area in one corner. Thanks to Cllr Sandy Kerr for his efforts in restoring sandpit and also underneath the skate park.
Security of the park. Friday/Sat a Parish Council notice was removed and a fire was lit underneath the skate park and glass broken on the tarmac. Cleared by Cllrs Kerr and Vaughan. Vandalism or teenagers having a good time. One commemorative bench moved from original position – was not bolted down. Cllr Vaughan noted that it had happened at a similar time last year – suggestion was that it was youthful exuberance following exam results. He had prepared a poster to put round the shops to address miscreants. Suggestion made to put a notice in the Marnhull Messenger. Cllr Chapman concludes it is not a recurrent problem – will speak unofficially to a police person. Perhaps this time next year ask Police to check. With the refurbishment of the Hall, is there any plan to put in cctv camera due to this but also to the dumping of white goods on the carpark. Could install a cheap one now – not the responsibility of Village Hall management – their permission might be needed but it is not to cover their land. Who will monitor? Await further incident and act at that point. Note in Messenger by September deadline.
Security of Recreation Ground – Chairman & Cllr Kerr
Travellers in Todber layby have moved. NDDC doesn’t know where they now are. This recreation ground can be accessed by any vehicle very easily. The gate can be opened very easily – padlock has been sawn through so can be unclipped and the gate opened. Also a lot of keyholders. New padlock suggested. Parish Clerk to follow up.
Repair of pothole in the drive
Parish Council responsible. How would we organise? Deep enough that a bike going over it might topple over. Parish clerk to follow up – possibly with Bob Moggridge.
Dog Waste Bins
Cllr Kerr – awaiting delivery
Other parishes have put notices on wheelie bins. NDDC permission required? Not considered a good idea – passing people might use private bins.
Cllr Kerr – complete
Continuing queries about footpaths covered in the SLA but not being cleared by the rangers – could Mr. Ham give more detail? 16 & 17 called the plantation by Tithe Garage have not been touched by the rangers – Mr. Vaughan Ham has cleared it himself. Also not cleared is footpath at back of Ham Meadow. Refer to e-mail sent to Cllr Vaughan and the Parish Clerk. Clerk to notify rangers. SLA can be reviewed at payment time. Dorset For You website can be used to report issues but some have been there a long time. Weedkiller being put down on paths is affecting dogs. Notices should be put up to make people aware if weedkiller is being used. Chairman said that Council should take this on board. Notice to go in The Messenger. Landowners are responsible for path and hedges. In default, DCC rangers will maintain bed of path and stiles but not hedges.
Parish Clerk to present amendments to SLA for review. Cllr Chapmen proposed, Cllr Kerr seconded. All in favour.
Update on Group Chairmen’s Meeting
Cllr Vaughan. Last Tuesday representatives of 9 councils met in Marnhull. Set out what we want to do, how, and what it is that should be done. Turned out that concentration should be on speed in the villages and that, where possible we should negotiate a reduction in speed in affected areas. Therefore, if you consider that a section of Burton Street should be 25mph instead of 30mph and that the section between the 40mph speed sign and Gannetts, down the bottom end of the village, should be 50mph instead of 60mph, that will go into the document as a possible proposal. If you have any other priority issues on which you believe that a concerted effort would produce a result, then those can also be added to the table.
Cllr Chapman asked if 20mph limits around schools had been addressed. Cllr Vaughan replied in the affirmative but pointed out that we have a problem around St Gregory’s school as we had tried that before. We could resurrect this matter but signs and notices enforcing the speed limit needed to be put up, proposed to the Highways Department, who started putting it together. One of the residents of the street wrote a letter pointing out that signs cannot be put on listed buildings. If signs could not be put up adequately informing people of the restriction, then it cannot be enforced. This is still the current status. Cllr Chapman feels that 20mph past schools is what we should propose as a priority for Marnhull; as in Somerset and other counties.
Outside shops? People who drive without due care and attention, inevitably on the wrong side of the road, will continue whatever the limit.
Continue 40 mph to Gannetts? Perhaps through Gannetts to the Todber entry gate
School limit priority? Speeding down Great Down Lane and Nash Lane to get to St Mary’s School as well as in other lanes. Would need to be for all schools. On the previous occasion, Police asked who will supervise this? Cllr Chapman pointed out that when he was Chair of Govenors, police asked the same question. 20mph limit would make it law and would act as deterrent – though’ perhaps not to everyone.
There was also an idea that we should put in flashing speed signs with rubber grommets across the road which indicate what speed you are doing. £3k for 7 days. Can we find out what East Stour did? Both East and West Stour are part of the group. Going back through parish records, these points are included. Cllr Vaughan pointed out that if we have 10-12 Parish Councils all going for the same thing, we might obtain a reaction. Tactically, for schools, it might be a way of overcoming issues.
Representatives are going back to their Parish meetings and doing what we have just done and obtaining more information which will be collated centrally and then a decision will be taken as to how we process it. Leader of NDDC is by our side. Also, Chair of Stalbridge Parish and Dorset Country Councillor, Graham Carr-Jones, is keen on the whole idea and suggests that we use expertise from the County Council and the Highways Department for guidance on the criteria. I think it’s a very worthwhile exercise at present and I will keep you posted.
a) NDDC – Cllr Dowden
The Nursery school at Ashley Farm. Planning application has been withdrawn. Cllr Chapman asked if Cllr Dowden was aware of rumours regarding a new application, driving the road out onto the B-road.
Blackmore Vale Inn – Several conversations with Mr Terry indicate that he will re-open as a pub as soon as he can. Two things have held it up: one is that there is subsidence southwest corner of the pub; the second is the level of disrepair in the upstairs accommodation. Plans to open bar area, seal off restaurant but serve drinks and sandwiches. Mr. Terry has some good ideas.
Last meeting here for Cllr Dowden.
b) Parish – All
Cllr Chapman – allotments fine – checked report regarding ballcock in the tank..
Jungle Hut – discussion continuing.
11. 2017/086 Clerk’s Report/s
12. Correspondence – E-mail already circulated
Mr Jenks wants to remove hedge and replace it with fence. He will probably request lorry/skip in car park. In long term-would probably improve. Clerk to reply that Council will assist to facilitate matters.
School Transport document: Lot of useful info.
Finger post bottom Haines Lane – finger post is probably 75% of the original, found in a local barn. The missing fingers were made to imitate the originals. NDDC not really interested – in favour of community aspect. Clerk to send letter back to Mr. Lloyd reflecting all of that. Has John Dowsett been told? He put a lot of work into it. He spoke to NDDC, English Heritage, et al. Cllr Vaughan has spoken to him about the letter from Mr. Lloyd, informally rather than copying letter to him.
There is also now the matter of the finger post outside Cook’s garage. Parish Council shouldn’t deal with this as they didn’t deal with the other, although donated. DCC has a ‘local roads protocol’ which includes maintenance of junctions. Parish Clerk to raise it with DCC.
Cllr Vaughan – Haines lane flooding. Indication is that we should also make approaches to BT as it was BT that put the pole in the wrong place. Have to take it in context – no houses involved – this is surface water rather than flooding. Highways have been in contact with the Landowner who agreed to reinstate the gulley along the side of Haines Lane. Must be a year ago but has not been done although he has done quite a lot of ditching. The pole apparently went through a drainage pipe, causing leakage from the smashed pipe. Letter to BT from Clerk suggesting that they resolve the issue. Enclose copy of letter to BT.
Cllr Wiles requested confirmation of date and time of Seminar for Councillors on Planning Applications by Cllr Charles Dowden, Saturday, 14th October at 10am.
13. 2017/087 Date(s)/Time(s) of next meeting(s)
Parish Council Meeting Monday 2nd October 2017 in the Village Hall at 7pm
The meeting concluded at 9.02pm.