COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* Denotes Attendance
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr. A. Biggs – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – *
Cllr H. Taylor – *
Cllr. R. Wheeler – A
Cllr D. Cohen – A
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr Miss J. Clark – *
Cllr Mrs R. King – A
Cllr R. Collings – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr P Coulson – *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
Toby Leigh Kingsbridge Gazette – *
The Mayor welcomed the newly elected Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce.
301. 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 at any point he realised planning matters relating to clients came to be discussed. He would however give advanced notice of declarable interests he was aware of prior to discussion.
302. OPEN FORUM
Mr and Mrs Jones were present with regard to the Sunnycombe application and they advised that they lived nextdoor at The Nook. Both of these buildings were Listed and sat within the Conservation Area. Noting that the application was to build in a very confined space a garage/store they were concerned that all that was proposed would be built on a 45% slope as it was on the hillside which meant retaining walls would be required. It was their contention that this was overdevelopment as the only way the walls could be built was by steel piling and shuttering. There would have to be a huge amount of earth removed and he calculated approximately 120 cu m of earth not 140 as he had erroneously stated in his letter! Some of these proposed pilings shown on the plans were only 1.4m from their house, which is a cob house built of mud and straw with little or no foundations, for the garage and for the extension it was 1.77m from their end cob wall which was no distance. They were stressed by the thought of the application as it would likely have a dramatic effect on their building and their walls could collapse. Their structural engineer also stated that ‘… the wall of the property was likely to collapse although the actual outcome could not be pre determined’. These properties were two Listed Buildings in a Conservation Area so they hoped the ultimate protection would conserve these buildings and he requested town council please to reject this application.
Consideration of this application was brought forward to this point.
County Councillor – None.
District Councillor – Cllr Coulson noted that he, Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce and the Mayor had attended the District waste meeting. They intended to place a Waste Order on Fore Street and surrounding areas so that they could enforce policies on people who put rubbish out in an unacceptable manner. This would need to go through consultation so it was unlikely to be operational until Easter 2015. District believed this would lead to an improvement as there could be more efficient enforcement. Property owners were liable for waste generated in their properties so the onus was on the owner to ask the agency who was renting out the property to get the tenants to place rubbish where they should at the right time. There was an imminent meeting with the Harbour Master to try to improve the situation with yachtsmen leaving rubbish on the pontoon rather than bringing it on to Whitestrand car park. District were having some leaflets printed which were eye-catching reminding yachtsmen to use the pontoon bins and these should be ready for the July season to go out with the booklet provided when users checked in. Dist Cllr. Coulson also noted that there had been lateral thoughts at the end of the meeting to consider methods to decrease the amount of seagulls i.e. byelaw on feeding and humane methods of moving the eggs would be considered. Stuart Jellings was very keen to receive any photographic evidence of businesses where there were problems with litter collection and asked councillors please to take photos and email such. Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce noted she had two weeks’ worth of photographs and names of businesses that were not conforming.
Mr and Mrs Jones left the meeting.
It was noted that there were some areas such as the end of Folly Lane where it was often not possible to know which property the rubbish came from and it could be instructions inside the property were unclear. There then followed a general debate as to whether it would be better to have an eyecatching poster prepared by the local schoolchildren which was rejected as District graphics was already working on this. Also it was noted that predominantly changeovers were on Friday and Saturday but the rubbish was collected on Monday and Tuesday. If a person leaving had not got somewhere to leave their rubbish they would not comply and it was generally felt by town council that although it was up to the tenant and agency companies to deal with this, reasonably speaking it was not a sensible way forward. If there were two days to wait before collection the rubbish could clearly not be left in the property, nor left on the street and such carte blanche attitude could not work in Salcombe.
Jim Martins, a previous town councillor, had spoken to holiday companies and they changed many arrangements. The Mayor felt that the intention of this Order was not to say they could not put anything out on Friday but that it needed to be in a sealed container i.e. seagull bag. However a street full of black seagull sacks precluded wheelchair and pushchair users getting along the street. Dist Cllr. Mrs Pearce asserted it may be agencies would have to collect tenants rubbish and keep at their agency properties. The Mayor felt a lot of the seasonal rubbish created on a Friday was collected by private collectors. Dist Cllr Coulson felt that it was now up to holiday agents to come up with a solution. Cllr Taylor felt that using legislation in this way was setting people up to fail ultimately and if District were not careful they could damage the tourist industry quite significantly. If a holiday home had to collect refuse, how could they collect such and where were they going to put it? It was suggested they needed to renegotiate their contract to get rubbish collected when they want it done. Town Council thought District should check with holiday companies to see if they could renegotiate contracts and then considering trying an Order. Some holiday companies serviced 100s of properties and could not store this sort of matter. District should let holiday letting agents know before such implementation and Dist Cllr Coulson said they had a year to consider this.
The major problems in town recently had not been with holiday lettings but businesses and public waste bins. Holiday home companies had already done a lot already to mitigate the problem of rubbish from holiday homes. The Mayor said there would be a consultation which would include these holiday companies. District was happy to obtain seagull bags and pass these on at cost to trade waste users so they were helping them meet their requirements however it was noted that bags tied to lamp posts and left empty were a hazard. The traders themselves were having trouble with Devon Contract Waste as sometimes they did not collect waste and what could they do as one had just a small area behind some wooden panelling at the shop and sometimes had to spend 2 – 3 hours on the phone to Devon Contract Waste to come. Dist Cllr Coulson noted that District came fewer times for collections as they were undercut by another company. Town Council were concerned with these proposals and hoped that District consultation was thorough before any enforcement was imposed. Dist Cllr Pearce felt that there would be plenty of education and talking before enforcement.
The Harbour Board had a new chairman, Julian Brazil, who had taken over from John Carter. It was noted from this meeting that the bar had moved during the storms so now as the Harbour were aware of this if anyone went aground due to the markers being out of place District were liable. Dist Cllr Coulson noted they had a design panel meeting with regard to The Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove as it was considering a huge expansion. This would be an up to date hotel which would be a credit to the area but probably a shock to the eye due to its sheer scale and mass of building so the application was going through the design panel process. Dist Cllr. Mrs Pearce and he also had attended a land availability discussion with Forward Planners as the Local Plan was going forward. At this meeting he was asked how the Salcombe Neighbourhood Plan was progressing and thus he awaited the update within this meeting. It was also suggested that there was beginning to be pressure on pump priming monies provided so such money could devolve to plans that were already progressing. The Mayor noted that many who attended the District training were advised to not do a Neighbourhood Plan until the District Local Plan was ready. Dist Cllr Coulson wished to know who these officers were who said this as he asserted that a Neighbourhood Plan informs the planning process. The Town Clerk noted DCLG had provided the Front Runners money grant and Salcombe Town Council had not been advised that they were withdrawing it.
It was reported that at Malborough Parish Council Bridlepath 15 North Sands was becoming overgrown for horse riders and Cllr Lang said he would look at this.
Cllr Biggsnoted he had raised concern on numerous occasions that at St. Dunstans Park where the new play equipment had been installed had not been weeded. Due to the vegetation the children could not use it now and he had himself visited the area to ensure what people were telling him was right. Dist Cllr Coulson noted that the maintenance of parks was a problem and he had been talking to Rufus Gilbert in his District capacity about grass cutting programs in this weather. Also he would mention to Cllr Gilbert in his County capacity that many highways signs had come down in the bad weather i.e. Shaws Corner along with others he knew but town councillors were to provide other reports to Cllr Biggs who would compile a list.
The hedge at the top of Kingsale Road was hanging over above the pavement and the Mayor advised that this work was supposed to have been carried out.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 14th May 2014 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record. Cty Cllr Gilbert noted that he was not in any further correspondence with Mr Hardacre at County as per the first paragraph in his report at this meeting and that therefore the Town Clerk was investigating this matter.
304. CO-OPTION OF COUNCILLOR
It was AGREED to co-opt James Valentine and thus he would be provided with the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and Declaration of Interests for completion before the next meeting.
305. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Councillors considered the following applications and sent such observations to the District as Planning Authority:
• 1278/14/F Householder application for kitchen extension. Studio extension and conversion of kiln/barn Lower Collaton Barn, Malborough TQ7 2DJ – Applicant Mr M. Roberts – Objection as the extension proposed using pre patterned copper and being visible from a public footpath with such being on a barn conversion was a wholly inappropriate use of materials in an AONB on such a barn conversion.
• 1353/14/F Householder application for restoration and modifications to cottage, to include works to thatched roof, replacement garage and hardstanding and extension (resubmission of 41/0252/14/F) Sunnycombe, Lower Batson, Salcombe TQ8 8NU – Applicant Mr A. Petrie. Objection as it was felt that there remained the concerns of overdevelopment of this property due to its close proximity to neighbouring dwellings and the unneighbourly overlooking from the proposed raised terrace which looked straight into a living room and bedroom affecting such amenity. It was also felt that the moving back of the garage for parking space had an adverse effect on the streetscene. There were serious concerns raised on the effect of this construction by the digging out for the garage but also the development of the extension which would need an amount of hardcore removal and therefore any undermining of the adjacent thatched structure.
• 1354/14/LB Listed Building Consent for restoration and modifications to cottage, to include works to thatched roof, replacement garage and hardstanding and extension (resubmission of 41/0253/14/F) Sunnycombe, Lower Batson, Salcombe TQ8 8NU – Applicant Mr A. Petrie – As above.
WORK TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREES
• 1367/14/TW (No. 44) Reg No. 3516 Site Fairhaven, 2 Sandhills Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JP Proposal to Pollard a group of Holm Oaks. Town Council would rely upon the expert advice of the Tree Officer.
• Most already forwarded by email for information.
• 0752/14/F REVISED PLANS Greylands, Coronation Road. District advised that this was to bring certain aspects in line with adjoining properties and Town Council offered No objection to these revisions and their original comments stood.
306. JUBILEE GARDENS – PLAY EQUIPMENT
It was AGREED to note the quotations for play equipment and accept the proposal and award the contract to Mant Leisure at a cost of £15,000 so long as an email was received with assurance that the material used was hardwood.
307. RISK ASSESSMENT
Lone Working and the Safety of councillors Cllr Taylor felt needed looking at carefully. He also insisted that PAT testing should take place of the office equipment although with recent purchases this was not many items. Concern was was raised that any committees that were unadopted and unincorporated organisations should be considered as a risk for town councillors being representatives on such. It was AGREED that Cllrs Lang, Taylor, Biggs and the Mayor would meet to put together a draft Risk Assessment for consideration.
308. GRANT APPLICATION
It was AGREED to defer this matter to the next meeting as the Club accounts were finalised for 31st May and therefore it was requested that the club attend the next meeting with up to date information.
309. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
The Mayor advised what District had said at a recent meeting and felt that Town Council should go through the first phase and invite nominees to a meeting instructed by Jo Widdicombe of Planning Aid. Cllrs Wheeler and Mrs Bricknell were the town council representatives but the Mayor could attend ex officio. Cllr Taylor noted he came on to town council partly to be involved in a Neighbourhood Plan and he was still of the opinion town council should do a Neighbourhood Plan although messages from central Government made him feel that they had moved on from Neighbourhood Plans. It was felt that town council needed to find out from the local community what they felt. Cllr Biggs agreed he felt the town needed a Neighbourhood Plan as a way to inform what happened on RA4. Dist Cllr Coulson strongly suggested that someone from District Forward Planning needed to attend any town meeting. It was noted that although much work had gone into a Neighbourhood Plan very few looked at the website. Dist Cllr Coulson was not sure if it was community apathy or well-founded cynicism so the only way forward was to say ‘if you don’t try you won’t succeed’.
310. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor noted that the meeting on public refuse was most productive. He did however apologise to Cllr Ms Clark that he had forgotten to mention the height of public rubbish bins and them being site wrongly and the District Councillors agreed to rectify this comment. He had attended the D Day Service on 4th June and noted that the number of British Legion members in Salcombe was gradually diminishing. It had however been a good turn out from the lifeboat crew and Harbour representatives with many visitors in attendance. Dist Cllr Coulson noted that the Royal British Legion had a great problem as the local members were ageing and the branch was in discussion with County with regard to winding the branch up. There was a concern for the Remembrance Service and D Day memorial services organisation and although they were a Civic Service they were often organised by the local Royal British Legion.
The flower display boat at the top of town at the junction of Onslow Road and Main Road was noted. There had been quite a lot of criticism on social media which had caused upset to Judith Newman who had kindly taken this on voluntarily at her own/company expense. It was a concern that good deeds of volunteers were being undermined by such unkind and inappropriate comments on social media. Judith Newman did advise in her email/Facebook posting that the planting would develop over a period of time and was not intended to be replaced every year as it replicated the sea and beach etc. The Mayor noted with regard to Town Council only that he did advise he would draft a Social media policy but time commitment had now allowed him so far and he would endeavour to get this to the next meeting but this would not alleviate the public media comments. With regard to contract grass cutting there had been several complaints received with regard to Bonfire Hill cemetery and the Mayor had visited the area and felt it needed addressing. Shadycombe Cemetery was worse as a great part had not been cut. Iain Randall had been in and cleared the top cemetery and the Mayor was meeting him at Bonfire Hill Cemetery the following morning. Cuts were scheduled for twice a month but town council may need to consider with the current climate and speed of grass growing whether they needed to change their contract from twice a month to cutting every two weeks per se during the growing season.
311. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllr Biggs – Provided photographs to Dist Cllr Coulson on a structure and asked what District planners had responded. Dist Cllr Coulson advised he had passed these to enforcement and the officer advised she would review this when next in Salcombe.
Cllr Miss Clark – Asked what actions were being taken with regard to the drains blocked. She also noted that the bin collection personnel from District were leaving rubbish on the ground from domestic waste, at Loring Road there were three households where loads of rubbish was outside where bags were picked up and such debris left was sprawled all over the road and drives. It was suggested that perhaps property owners overfilled bins so such dropped out as Dist Cllr Coulson said it should be the householder’s responsibility to clear. However if a bin lid was broken this needed to be reported. A discussion took place as to the length of time to get bin lids replaced. An illustration of such problems was provided and the fact that the owner had been advised it would take two weeks to resolve and nothing had been done so far. Cllr Biggs noted that he felt he was not IT illiterate but that he had tried to find somewhere on the District website to order a new bin but he could not find such.
Cllr Lang – A resident had observed some builders and even had them on film which had been sent directly to Devon County with regard to their actions. At the top of Kingsale Road on the footpath to Main Road there been fly tipping of a plastic bag with concrete laid on top. Dist Cllr Coulson noted these points and was to inform streetscene. At this point
Cllr Whitfield – Noted he had reported potholes in the highway using the official County procedure and he was pleased that such works were carried out within a week.
Cllr Mrs Bricknell – Noted the roof height of a newly built house adjacent to the Salcombe school and had received comments from parents that they felt that the school now had no view down the estuary. Dist Cllr Coulson noted that District could check such heights through enforcement. She also noted that she had received questions with regard to Town Council Minutes referring to a proposed lift at the Council Hall and it was noted that she should advise this was future proofing for disabled access. Town Council were only looking at alternative Council Hall development options before being able to discuss after costings were received.
Cllr Taylor – Welcomed Cllr Mrs Pearce and offered his good wishes. He was however concerned that the Town Clerk should stop using her current computer due to any possible security breaches as this software was not being backed up. He requested that Cllr Collings attend the town council office and transfer all emails to the new laptop in order that such usage could be rectified.
Toby Leigh Kingsbridge Gazette – left the meeting.
• An application by South Sands Hotel had been received by District for a charity fund raising day in aid of South West Coastal Path Association appeal to be held on South Sands beach from 12noon to 8pm. on Saturday 21st June 2014. No objection was offered so long as this event did not inconvenience other beach users and such use would be a trial for future consideration.
• Copy of a letter sent to Heather Barnes Devon Highways with regard to concern with the condition of the grassed area at Cliff House Gardens. It raised concern that the steps were never swept, the grass untidy and general shrubbery unkempt. County had received this letter and were forwarding it to District Council whose responsibility this was. It was questioned ‘What about trying to organise a Britain in Bloom in Salcombe?’ however historically the national chain businesses in Salcombe did not seem to be interested advised Dist Cllr Coulson.
• Copy letter from Devon County Highways to a property owner noting a trailer and boat kept on the public highway which was neither taxed nor had an MOT and thus was supposed uninsured. The owner was requested to remove such.
• Noticeboards needed renewing especially the one at the Information Centre as its lock was broken and the doors were a danger in high winds. Also the Council Hall letter box needed replacing and whilst a cheap version could be installed it was felt that longer term options should also be considered. Estimates were being sought.
• Letter received advised of the need for maintenance at the Bonfire Hill Cemetery which was noted to the maintenance contractor who had advised that due to equipment failure he had been unable to finish it. A further letter had thanked town council for rectifying this problem and all grass was cut and collected. Iain Randall was to meet town council at Bonfire Hill cemetery on Thursday 12th June and would be cutting back from the pavement on Onslow Road at Redfern Woods and also clearing the area around the seat on Onslow Road.
• Letter received raising concern with regard to the lack of due care and attention taken by motorists on the country lanes. Also the fact that people were antagonistic towards them when cycling indicating that they should only be allowed to cycle on the cycle path and the complainant asked for councils, government and the police to rebalance the quality of life by reducing the speed limit between town and villages in rural areas to 40mph. Noted.
• Notification of Application for Road Closure: Kier had applied for a road closure to complete SWW Utility works at Cliff Road, Salcombe. These works, subject to approval from Devon Highways, would take place from the 11/09/2014 to 17/09/2014.
• Cty Cllr. Gilbert had met with David Whitton who had indicated that there would be no problem on seeking funding for Chapter 8 training which could then be held locally by Salcombe and would speak to Peter Brunt to obtain such.
• Estuary Officer Nigel Mortimer wished to launch a local ‘Yellow Fish Campaign’ in Salcombe to help remind people that open drains generally run into the nearest water course and was seeking support of Salcombe Town Council. Although from information received it was noted that Island Street did not drain into Chapel End Town Council were in favour of Island Street being a test area for this Environment Agency project and supported the initiative.
• Jason Parry confirmed that he was available to meet with town council whenever they wished with regard to designated parking places within the Park and Ride.
• It was noted that town Council should be requesting an update from South West Water with regard to the recent examination carried out on the sewerage system. This called for further information followed an enquiry from Peter Hartley with regard to the RA3 development site and run off which Dist Cllr. Coulson was asked to respond to. SW Water had attended a District meeting and were bringing back their findings to scrutiny group.
Dist Cllrs Coulson and Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
Councillors APPROVED the following cheques for signature:
003168Ashford Solicitors – Interim account for Parking Order £1200.00
003169 SHDC – Bonfire Hill Refuse £14.59
003170 Concorde Copiers – Maintenance £17.71
003171 Bayleaf Gardening Ltd – Jubilee Gardens maintenance and War Memorial planters £760.00
003172 T.J. Mattocks – Council Hall Tile splash back, strip lights etc £116.10
313. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 25th June 2014 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 9.10p.m.
………………………………………………….. 25th June 2014.