COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* Denotes Attendance
Cllr. R. Wheeler – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr R Clark Deputy Mayor – *
Cllr. A. Biggs – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – *
Cllr H. Taylor – A
Cllr. M. Fice – *
Cllr D. Cohen – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr Miss J. Clark – *
Cllr Mrs R. King – *
Cllr R. Collings – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr J Carter – A
Dist. Cllr P Coulson – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
PCSO D. Gibson – A
WPC Jo Pengelly – A
Sgt D. Green – *
Gabby Kingsbridge Gazette – *
145. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members were invited to acknowledge any declarable interests, including the nature and extent of such interests that they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting as follows:
• Cllr Biggs wished it known that by virtue of his professional and development contacts he would leave the meeting should planning matters relating to clients he was aware of at such time were discussed and any item relating to land at RA3. He also declared an interest in planning application 2364/13/F.
146. OPEN FORUM
Police Report provided by email from PCSO Green:
Sgt Dave Green Community Sergeant at Kingsbridge introduced himself. He noted that the crimes for the last month were as detailed in the email report:
3 x criminal damage – one of these being the car park ticket machine in Whitestrand car park which was kicked/struck with some object. Restorative justice used.
2 x theft – one of these was theft of 7 lengths of steel from a construction site in the Moult Hill area which occurred between 9th and 12th November. These were large lintel type pieces and would have needed a large vehicle to move them. The police requested that if anyone saw or heard anything suspicious that they think may be connected to this incident please ring 101 quoting crime ref. JK/13/834. Sgt Green observed that a number of Salcombe properties had works done during winter and also there tended to be thefts during the winter due to people being able to be in Salcombe perhaps under the impression of tradespeople. Marine crime – traditionally boats were taken off the water during winter and therefore they were vulnerable when stored if not secure. Boat owners needed to beware where they stored things over winter.
Dist. Cllr Coulson arrived.
The police receive fairly frequent reports of scam emails/letters using various dubious stories asking for money to be sent to a friend/relative known to that person (this was when an email account had been hacked and the sender purported to be that person) who has a cash flow problem whilst abroad. Another SCAM was sometimes someone asks for the recipient’s bank account details so that they can deposit money and the recipient would receive a share for helping them.
Some of these SCAMS were more believable than others. Obviously the advice is to ignore/destroy these and most of us have probably heard about/received these before. Unfortunately someone locally had responded to one of these and had parted with a considerable sum of money. All were urged to be aware. There was now an ‘Action fraud’ website to tackle and research this sort of international fraud that people could report things on line or by telephone.
It was that time of year when the area had previously seen an increase in thefts from building sites of tools/metals and also marine/outboard thefts. All were urged to report any suspicious activity around building sites/boatyards etc to the police if anyone suspected a theft was occurring, 999 or otherwise on 101.
He was asked by the Mayor whether there was anything formulated such as a newsletter by the police to give to the general public. People could sign up for the police community messaging service and these details were provided. Jon Elwell was present and suggested that Sgt Green should speak to the Salcombe Yacht Club about the concern for owners of high value boats as they could contact such people.
Sgt Green left the meeting.
Jon Elwell had attended this meeting with regard to the planning application submitted for the gas site. He was utterly appalled that someone had put in an application for housing on this employment site which was so robustly defended by the town during the site allocation process for industrial use. The Government inspector at that time had also made sure it was allocated as an employment site. Mr Elwell asserted that the comments contained in the application were spurious and that the price the applicant had paid for the site could still make it a viable employment site.
On a brief walk down Island Street all those he had asked wanted this kept as an important waterside employment site. His disappointment was that the phasing of when this land became available to buy was not quite right for him at that time. He had however put a bid up and stated his intention was for employment for waterside business and basically this offer was not accepted at the time. The Mayor noted these comments and that Town Council had made it clear when the applicants attended that employment use was of paramount importance. It was felt that there should be no window for work/live units just for industrial use/site. The money offered within the application for affordable housing could it was felt be used by South Hams District elsewhere. There were already 34 written representations against this application on the website but Mr Elwell was disappointed that more people from the town were not in attendance at this meeting. The applicant could still go to Appeal if the application was refused and it was acknowledged that District were always concerned about such cost. The employment units to be built at the top at Batson Cross, were Jon Elwell advised, his and not Bloors and they would be built and used for employment.
District had recently made a call for future development land. The Croft site Mr Elwell felt would come up again as it was owned by a Director of a National Building Company. The Town Council he felt needed to look for other sites to ensure the Croft remained open space.
District Councillor’s Report:
Dist Cllr Coulson noted at planning committee on the 30th October Batson Cross was a major item. He absented himself as the legal team felt that as he had been on the Master Plan Group he should not take part in the decision. The officer’s brief covered everything he felt apart from the matter of sewage and its disposal and Dist Cllr Brazil had covered this for him. The Mayor noted an additional concern was the allocation of the section 106 monies and town council appeared to have been left out of these discussions. He understood that Kingsbridge Community College was getting a sizable amount. Also there was an offsite sport and recreation amount of £175,000 which he felt could go elsewhere than within Salcombe. Dist Cllr Coulson stated that ‘off site’ meant elsewhere that the development site but monies must be for the benefit of the Salcombe community. However they could go into a leisure centre such as in Kingsbridge etc. The meeting felt that this was of significant detriment as such funds were needed in Courtney Park and the local school. Why was there no contribution to the local Salcombe Primary school.
Kingsbridge Community College appeared to be very healthy financially and kept drawing the surrounding development funding. Dist. Cllr Coulson advised he had put these questions down and would obtain a response. A further question was why did the Salcombe District Councillors not get to comment on this allocation. Cllr Cohen noted that the Community College was a complex of benefit to Salcombe community but local assets such as the swimming pool adjacent to the Salcombe Primary School was probably the most wonderful asset that should be supported. If any swimming pool or leisure facility was making a claim priority should be given to the Salcombe one. Town Council had assumed monies the monies would be split evenly between the schools and Dist Cllr Coulson advised that funding must all be for the benefit of the town and locally elected councillors should have a say. He was still awaiting District’s answers on these points.
Town Council reiterated that they were keen to get Courtney Park reinstated to a serviceable standard and Cllr Miss. Clark highlighted ‘what about a disabled facility at the swimming pool’. Dist Cllr. Coulson noted this was slightly more problematic as Kingsbridge Leisure Centre was an all year round facility but it was noted that funding could make the Salcombe all year too.
Dist Cllr Coulson reviewed a couple of District’s task and finish groups noting the Dog Acts legislation, Waste team commencing on the contractual side now and other items of interest. At the Executive on 7th November T18 they discussed the major restructuring of District operating and staff employment over the next three years in order to ensure they met their budgetary profile by 2017, a third lower than they currently spend. These were really serious cut decisions to make and this decision had been approved at South Hams and now West Devon District was also signed up. The middle and senior management was to be reduced but maintain the front line services at current levels as they did not think they could go much lower at the moment. Dist Cllr Coulson felt that District Council intended to ‘kick real delegation of authority’ down to town and parish councils but there were contra indicative results and he could not make sense of how they were starting devolving! The commissioning model was coming out now and if they could do the work more efficiently and effectively they would.
He felt that Ted Heath had effectively made Parish and Town Council’s redundant during his term of office and they now no longer had infrastructure and in-house skills to take on large budgetary management. Parish and Town Councils needed good financial and audit controls. District had talked to their staff throughout but the alternatives were bleak.
With regard to the Boundary Commission review he could see no point in fighting battles as District were going to reduce to 31 councillors from 40. This would still leave two councillors representing the Salcombe Ward but the Ward had been extended out to include Thurlestone, West Alvington and along this area. Those two councillors would now have five parish/town councils to cover.
The matter of sewage on Fore Street was still being pursued. Cameras had been put down the pipes and were looking for breaks along Fore Street and considering the back pressure. A restrictor had been placed in the line due to discharge from the holding tanks and to prevent pollution, thus this restricted flow and caused backing up pressure. He had invited South West Water to attend the 11th December town council meeting to put forward their comments and answer local questions.
The owners of the bakery had said a drain had been found that was collapsed in Paul Coleman, the butchers, yard and it had been dug up. The RNLI were keeping a log of the state of the water outside the lifeboat station as monitoring also.
Dist Cllr. Coulson noted with reference to recent comments he would continue to forward on his reasons for objecting/supporting planning and this would be passed around to town councillors. He also asked the Town Clerk to continue to provide in-house planning training.
Cllr Clark noted that within the RA3 planning application the allocation for affordable housing was 17 with 9 of these rented and 8 part buy. He enquired why there was the part buy element in there. He noted that another couple had moved out of Ember Road as they could not afford to pay their mortgage and this would probably now go into the market value sector. Dist Cllr Coulson advised that some equity needed to go back to any developer by those purchasing having a mortgage and then this profit money allowed developers to provide more affordable homes. There was no Government grant for housing nowadays so developers were taxed in this way to achieve more. However it was felt by the meeting that part buy did not work in Salcombe due to the proportional cost of such reduced market value property having to take into account Salcombe starting prices before being reduced. The Mayor was not entirely sure that the town would understand a developer defraying costs to be able to put more into affordable housing. Dist Cllr Coulson noted that experts had carried out viability tests and if locally they started trying to press for more rented there would be less housing provided in the long run. Government see the future as buying houses instead of providing rented accommodation.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 23rd October 2013 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
This item was dispensed with as no applications had been received. It was noted that someone had expressed an interest and a future.
149. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
Councillors considered the following applications and sent such observations to the District as Planning Authority:
Cllr Biggs left the meeting whilst the following application was considered.
• 2364/13/F Redevelopment of former gas works site to comprise erection of five dwellings Land at SX273846, 39275, Former Gas Works, Gould Road, Salcombe TQ8 8DU – Applicant Freemantle Developments (Salcombe) Ltd. – Unanimous objection. This application was felt to be entirely contrary to the Development Plan Document and not in accordance with the current District policy for employment use. It was stated that there were other known potential purchasers who wished this land for employment use. This land was not considered suitable for housing and was previously zoned and latterly identified in the Site Allocation document for employment purposes only. There was a recognised need for affordable employment units more than housing in Salcombe and this change could jeopardise the viability and sustainability of year round employment. It was suggested that local consultation and supporting evidence needed to be more fact based and there were also current drainage and sewage concerns noted that could have a knock on effect within this area.
Jon Elwell left the meeting.
• 2388/13/F Householder application for proposed terrace and link external alterations 1 Lakeside, Salcombe TQ8 8EJ – Applicant Mr & Mrs Wiltshire – No objection. A stainless steel and glass balustrade was proposed but town council would prefer timber to be used as it was in keeping and matched adjacent design.
• 2445/13/F Householder application for repairs and reinstatement of existing landing stage and access steps to Poyntz Croft & Underbecks (resubmission of application ref 41/2695/12/F) Poyntz Croft, Cliff Road, South Sands, Salcombe – Applicant Mrs V. Patel – No objection.
• 2460/13/F Conversion of existing garage to living accommodation and reconstruction of existing roof terrace, including new internal access staircase (resubmission of application 41/1945/13/F) Court House, Buckley Street, Salcombe TQ8 8DD – Applicant Mr & Mrs King – Objection as it was noted that there would be a loss of a garage and thus possible parking space within this property which was contrary to policy.
• 2496/13/F Householder application for proposed alteration and extension to include new rear dormer and enlarged dormer to front Tumblehome, Coronation Road, Salcombe TQ8 8EA – Applicant Mr & Mrs T. Bayley – No objection but it was felt that with regard to design the proposed dormer should not exceed the height of the current dormer as this would imbalance the visual aspect of the property vernacular.
• 2571/13/F Householder application for proposed single-storey extension to dwelling 10 Rosemount Court, Salcombe TQ8 8QB – Applicant Mr & Mrs M. Owen – No objection. It was however noted that the advertisement for this application was placed in Island Street and not adjacent to the property.
• 1816/13/F Appeal Ref: APP/K1128/A 13/2206917 Proposed development: Full planning application for the construction of pontoon affixed to sea wall, Site address: Salcombe Harbour Hotel, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JH – Applicant Salcombe Harbour Hotel. Appeal starting date: 18th October 2013.
Town Council were to write and re affirm their concerns that this condition should be kept and ongoing research should be maintained and carried out with a three year on-going cyclical review condition felt important to ensure the ongoing sustainable viability of this sensitive eco system in a SSSI.
WORK TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREES
• 2509/13/TW TPO 676 (No. 43) Reg. No: 3424 Site 4 Beacon Court, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8LA Proposal to fell Cupressus macrocarpa – No objection and agreed that a more suitable and sustainable tree be replanted.
• 2516/13/TW TPO 633 (No. 38) Reg. No: 3425 Site Lorima, St. Dunstans Road, Salcombe TQ8 8AR Proposal to coppice Sycamore. – Town Council would support the decision of the Tree Officer on this matter.
• 2595/13/TW PO 473 (No. 25) Reg. No: 3428 Site Trebor, 5 Coronation Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8EA Proposal to remove from Holm Oak one main leader overhanging garden and one small secondary over neighbours shed – No objection.
• Most already forwarded by email for information.
• Letter dated 22nd October 2013 in relation to 2363/13/F expressing the view that the statements made within the application were incorrect. Noted the contents of this letter and District as the planning authority had also agreed this was now a civil matter.
• Various letters and copies to other interested parties dated 25th October 2013 together with an application to the District Tree Officer from residents adjacent to Shadycombe Cemetery with regard to an application submitted by such residents for works to boundary shrubs and trees in Town Council ownership along the upper public footpath.
150. SOUTH WEST WATER
It was AGREED to write to South West Water to further highlight issues with regard to sewage incursion in the town and invite/request their attendance at a future town council meeting to answer and give advice how to address such concerns.
151. COUNCIL HALL MAINTENANCE
The commencement of works was noted and the following colour scheme for repainting of each AGREED:
(a) Timber joinery (front entrance doors and all windows) – Oxford Blue with white window struts (if any).
(b) Rainwater goods and metal work – Oxford Blue
(c) Fascia boards – Oxford Blue or white, to be advised by decorator.
(d) Render (museum lower ground elevation and side/rear elevations) – Purbeck Pearl
(e) Together with Noticeboard repairs – seek quotation from the contractor to repair and other quotes for new.
152. PARK AND RIDE
It was AGREED to form a working party of Cllrs Mrs Bricknell, Clark, Wheeler, Lang, Biggs and Miss Clark and for those able to meet at 10a.m. at the Park & Ride on 14th November to consider works required with regard to provision of this facility during 2014/15.
It was AGREED to defer this grant to Salcombe Christmas Lights to ascertain the cost of replacing last years damaged lights and outgoings detailed for insurance at consider a sum at the next full council.
154. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
It was NOTED that a further telephone interview had taken place with the Town Clerk since the application was made to the Locality budget for direct support from Planning Aid England in achieving a Neighbourhood Plan outcome and possible further funding to appoint an expert to write such final overview.
A discussion with Mike Downs of Locality suggested the following assistance:
• Skills audit and assistance in forming a steering group
• Training on project planning
• An overview of the legal requirements within a Neighbourhood Plan and the key stages of the document that need to be evidence based
• Producing the plan and formulating a timetable for such
• Advice on evidence required and how to research/obtain
• Training and assistance with regard to community engagement and holding such events
• Locality also offers to review the final plan and documents before it goes to referendum to offer suggestions.
• Advice on the methodology to use in identifying affordable housing sites
• It was also suggested that an application be made for a grant to appoint someone to write the plan, or otherwise if someone is found locally to do such then further training to be paid for.
This proposal would be taken to Department of Communities and Local Government and if approved Planning Aid England would be instructed to carry out such with the expectation that such would commence in January 2014 with the plan completed within a year.
155. DISTRICT NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK PARISH TRAINING WORKSHOP
It was AGREED that Cllrs Fice, Wheeler, Biggs and Cohen be put forward to represent Town Council at the District workshop on 11th December at Follaton House in order that District could explain the reasons that a five year land supply is important. It was however noted that should only two be allowed to attend the first two named would go.
156. DECEMBER MEETING
It was AGREED to:
(a) approve 11th December as the one meeting date for full council during December
(b) to delegate power to the Town Clerk to respond on any planning applications from responses provided by Town Council following such informal site visits and falling within this recess period. Any further information received by members of the public not being given an opportunity to attend Open Forum would be brought to the District Councillors attention.
157. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor thanked everyone for attending the Remembrance Sunday service which was well attended and passed off well. He also thanked the Regatta for the loan of their signs, Nick Tee for providing and changing the details of the advance warning board to suit the occasion and Cllr Long and the town clerk for manning the road closure.
158. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllr Clark – Advised that a local business was now looking at another site outside of Salcombe for their fisheries business and would be gone as soon as possible. District had not moved to advise or accommodate them at all and they as a business had in turn lost £10,000 crab in the last fortnight due to freshwater incursion to their held catch. Therefore 1.5 tons of crab was going to waste. The company could not survive like this and could no longer wait.
This company were also up for a regional exporter’s award and were down to the final two and would receive a massive accolade from this but sadly now be based elsewhere. Following the meeting in June 2013 with District officers they were not comfortable discussing a solution and certainly not pro active. If they moved to where they were looking the crab would be landed in Salcombe but be taken and stored elsewhere. All the employees of this business were on the lifeboat team and they would go to the new location so this would also impact on the local emergency services.
Dist Cllr Coulson left the meeting.
Cllr Biggs – Noted that following speaking to the volunteers from South West Ambulance the defibrillator was up and running.
Gabby – Gazette reporter left the meeting.
Cllr Fice – Felt that in future there should be set procedures for what town councillors were supposed to be doing at the Civic Service and Remembrance Parade. He also suggested that that a day and a time for the planning application pre meeting were set for the Friday before each full council at 3p.m.
Cllr Collings – With regard to comments made in the Open Forum he noted that a link to the police website was already installed on the town council website.
Cllr Lang – Parking in Fore Street he noted was getting stupid. At the end of town by the butchers the warden were booking cars but up adjacent to the Harbour Hotel end and along by Cliff House parking they were not enforcing and even allowing parking on the right hand side of the road at the bottom of Newton Hill. Many of these builders vehicles do not even have dispensations. This would be raised with District enforcement and Dist Cllr. Gilbert.
Cllr Cohen – Was concern to note how the concerns of ten town councillors could be out voted by one District Councillor. His assertion was that in view of the feeling of the town council this matter should have gone to District committee. He however welcomed the suggestion for the Town Clerk to provide more bespoke planning training.
159. CLERK’S REPORT
• Further works had been carried out at Ember Road Jubilee Gardens to clear the weeds.
• An order had been placed for the collarette and hallmarked bar engraved with ‘town mayor’.
• Met with Jenny Bjarr of Woodland Trust to review the tree planting at the Berry from the 420 trees granted by the Woodland Trust. The line of trees planted by the children along the perimeter had taken well. There was some evidence of young saplings within the woods but it was difficult to identify them all. On the whole Woodland Trust was content with this project.
• Town Clerk was meeting with the tree officer the following day with a view to considering further neighbouring requests and complaints with regard to tree growth along Shadycombe Cemetery perimeter.
• Certificates of insurance and competence had been received by the contractor who would be carrying out works at Redfern and Bonaventure woods. He expected to commence works in the first week of December; therefore a letter should be dropped to all adjacent households of Bonaventure.
• Letter dated 4th November 2013 advised that the Post Office would move from Fore Street, Salcombe to Gilletts Spar 30 Loring Road opening on 11th December 2013 at 13.00.
• Devon Remembers had funding for WW1 Memorial Restoration and town council were advised that the Town Clerk was intending applying but would need to seek quotes and firstly wished to check if there were other memorials or works that could also be included and applied for to memorials.
• Highway Safety Awareness Training still available morning or afternoon sessions on:
14th November – Rockbeare, Exeter
3rd December – Stover Country Park, Newton Abbot : Cllrs Clark and Fice to be booked into Session 3 at 8.30 – 12.30p.m. Roger and Mike 3rd December – am Chapter 8 trained.
19th December – Rockbeare, Exeter
• Ideas to apply for the TAP Fund were still needed and Stokenham Parish Council had said they would join with Salcombe to apply if a suitable project could be identified for both.
Councillors APPROVED the following cheques for signature:
DD Onebill Telecom £37.70
003084 Vision ICT – Website hosting and support for January 2014 to December 2014 £300.00
003085 SHDC – Bonfire Hill Refuse collection £14.11
003086 M. Fice – £43.00 Travel to Neighbourhood Planning Workshop (£16.00) Civic Lunch Flowers (£27.00)
003087 Royal British Legion – Remembrance Sunday Wreath £20.00
161. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 27th November 2013 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.23p.m.
………………………………………………….. 27th November 2013.