COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* Denotes Attendance
Cllr. R. Wheeler – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr R Clark Deputy Mayor – *
Cllr. A. Biggs – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – A
Cllr H. Taylor – *
Cllr. M. Fice – *
Cllr D. Cohen – A
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr Miss J. Clark – A
Cllr Mrs R. King – *
Cllr R. Collings – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr P Coulson – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Sgt D. Green – *
PCSO D. Gibson – A
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
Toby Kingsbridge Gazette – *
216. 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.
• Cllr Fice declared an interest in application 0530/14/F being a nearby neighbour.
217. OPEN FORUM
Police Report Sgt Dave Green
He apologied on behalf of WPc Jo Pengilly who was unable to attend. In the last month there had been one crime. This involved a small amount of frozen food being taken from a commercial unit so it was recorded as burglary. Last year there had been six crimes during the same period and three were commercial burglaries, building site thefts. As this wa such a remarkably low crime area a couple of offences up or down made a huge statistical difference. WPc Jo Pengilly and PCSO Dave Gibson were organising a marine awareness day on the estuary and at Whitestrand on Tuesday 22nd April 9-4p.m. In the past they had focused purely on marine but this year the police would also run an awareness of the estuary with safety advice and various agencies like RNLI, Devon Air Ambulance, Salcombe Security boat, Police cadets and diving team also attending. The main focus was safety on the water. They had also been working with the local primary schools to design a marine crime poster and the winner would be announced on the open day.
The area was heading into the time of year when boats go back on the water and often the thieves would return so the police were organising some dates to do joint enforcement operations with partners. The local police had unofficially heard about a gas bottle being taken off a boat two days ago but the owner had not reported this as yet. Sgt Green made a plea to ask everyone to please please do tell them of any crime, even if the victim did not think they could do anything. Any crime may be a final piece in jigsaw to catch someone for a string of events. Their theme had been Road Safety throughout this year and every month, nationally, the police were running a road safety scheme with different themes each month and this month was seat belts. They were enforcing this on the road and publicising in the media and giving advice in schools to the children. The drive was more educational than fines but motorists could pick up a fixed penalty.
Cllr Lang raised the point that builders were parking in the middle of the road dumping their vehicles in Buckley Street. Sgt Green agreed that if the highway was physically obstructed this was a police matter.
Sgt. Green left the meeting.
District Councillor’s Report: Cllr Coulson noted the planning department’s housing position statement and their previous vulnerability with regard to forward land supply on housing. Due to the Statement District now had a five year supply as there was a clear redefinition of the Sherford provision (near Plymouth) and that this figure had been taken out of the overall figure. There was a draft Local Validation List which was put out with the Executive Minutes in which officers tried to stipulate what should be contained in all planning applications. A lot of the information was advisory but they had stressed that applicants must put things in like a block plan to show how the development sat in a plot. Cllr Coulson had personally suggested the advice should request that the block plan show neighbouring properties in relation.
District now had some clarification on the senior management structure following the retirement of their CEO Richard Sheard. They would not be appointing another CEO for now until after Transition 2018 had been put in place but one of the two people who were deputies, and perhaps in governance terms were lightweights, would become Head of Paid Service and the other the deputy. The budget overview for last executive had taken place and the precision with which District had stayed within their budget was effective and within a few thousand pounds but each year would get tougher. The income projection for 2013/14 was £683,400 compared to £659200 last 2012/13.
Cllr Mrs King arrived.
Cllr Coulson, as chairman of The Royal British Legion, noted the 70th Anniversary of the D Day landings and that this was being commemorated by the Liverpool Royal British Legion Branch. They were bringing a fleet of small ships in, picking up a small flotilla and calling at ports that housed the invasion and were due to sail into Salcombe on the 25th May Spring Bank Holiday weekend. They would be stopping at other places and also laying wreaths off Slapton Sands. Ian Gibson had been advised and was in touch with the Liverpool branch directly. Cllr Coulson asked if the Mayor could be in attendance when they arrive and that the Royal British Legion might replace the usual 4th June service with one on this day. There was a suggestion to put on a reception in Salcombe and the vicar would hold the normal service in the morning and then a further service on Whitestrand in the afternoon so they would need to close Whitestrand car park. They would probably provide a cream tea, let the Mayor do a welcome and then let the visitors off into Salcombe.
Cllr Taylor noted his recent email correspondence with Cllr Coulson on the closure of North Sands beach. Cllr Coulson noted that the excavation to repair/replace the culvert would need to tear up the beach ramp. Chris Brook District Engineer had thought that highways would handle any closures but the North Sands beach was District property and therefore the closure of the beach was missed so he apologised for the lateness of the Warning Notice advice. Cllr Taylor raised concern that people coming down the public footpaths on the other side could get trapped i.e. from the Maryknowle footpath down to North Sands and would have to walk back a long way to go around. Cllr Coulson advised he would ask for a sign to be placed at the junction with Maryknowle path explaining the works but that pedestrians should be able to get through around the back at North sands. More detail of what was happening was needed.
County Councillor Report. Cllr Gilbert noted the ongoing concerns with regard to the new training for working on the highways and the Town Clerk was in contact with Phil Norrey CEO of County. There appeared a difference of opinion of training need between Devon and Cornwall and the Devon cabinet member had responded supporting his officer but this was still questioned as not applicable to community Road Closures.
There were no pay and display machines at District that could be passed to Salcombe Town Council and for this he was sorry.
Under the Belwin scheme the criteria for being able to apply for funding had dropped from £1.8 million to £1.2 million so Devon should be able to obtain quite an amount of money. It was said payment was coming quickly and Devon County normally had 13 road crews out permanently patching but had upped this to 32 teams on the back of the promise of Belwin money. Due to the change in weather conditions they were now filling dry potholes and were therefore catching up quite fast. County had a backlog of road repairs of £700 million and without central Government funding no chance of achieving this even though the Prime Minister had offered £140 mill it would go nowhere near and thus the infrastructure was breaking up. For some businesses in Salcombe there was business rate relief i.e. businesses with a £50,000 or less Rateable Value would automatically receive a £1000 rate relief for 2014/15 and a further £1000 for 2015/16. Footpath 12 was being deviated at Thurlstone where the cliff slipped and County were about to install a new deviation but now four landowners had backed down. They proposed a new deviation and County were hoping to arrange a deal to allow a permissive path on the new deviation which would allow the Deviation Order to go through its legal route and then make such permanent.
He reminded everyone that the civil parking enforcement on streets was going back to County on 1st April. It was noted by Cllr Lang that County issue dispensation notices and everyone around Salcombe was fed up with builders getting such notices and blocking a parking place in Fore Street all day! It was suggested that no dispensations were allowed for July and August. Cllr Gilbert wondered if this would cause more problems but was advised that this was more a question of safety due to inconsiderate parking by workmen on pavements etc during the holiday period. Delivery was not the problem it was the all-day parking experienced just because someone had a permit. Cllr Gilbert was conscious that they could get rid of one problem and cause another but if builders were using permits for the spirit of the job and unloading and then going off to park a vehicle in the car park it would be acceptable.
In relation to Traffic Regulation Orders he noted a resident’s concerns with regard to yellow lines and had explained that town council needed to build a list of alterations, disabled bays, yellow lines etc as Traffic Regulation Orders cost in the region of £5000 and take 6 months to implement. He had advised Malborough, Kingsbridge and East Portlemouth of this and when the joint list was big enough he could piggy back little parishes into the list and make a Traffic Order revision worthwhile. The Great wall of Halwell cost £367000.
Cty Cllr Gilbert left the meeting.
Angus Murray and his mother Penny were in attendance to add further information to their application for replacement of a camping barn at Moult Hill. The location was at the top of Moult Hill so it was within walking distance of Salcombe and surrounding visitor points. They obtained change of use from agriculture to camping in 2012 and when it changed from livery to camping they got in touch with the Youth Hostel/walking Association. They were keen for them to come on board and they he advised had a great website to work through. The reason for this application being put in was that in a pre-application (to the Youth Hostel Association) risk assessment they came unstuck because the had an asbestos roof and therefore could not be open to the public. Therefore they could not open the barn up to the public in 2012 so they sought quotes for changing the roof. When they got up higher and looked the staunchions were worn and it had concrete cancer so they needed to replace the staunchions and roof. They left the barn open for family and friends to use and explore what it was like as a site and give their feedback on experiences. The applicants would now like to open it up to the public but when the weather comes in wet or there was a sea mist it was very damp inside due to open gaps and therefore cold. If they needed to replace the roof and frame it made better sense to put up a new barn there on the same slab and as far as they could use the same material, timber clad to meet the standards of the YHA to get bookings.
The Mayor commented they had looked and it was in fact in a fantastic situation but the application was asking for a sizeable residential fully fitted property even though it had a dormitory layout in the plans. All the emails of support were from friends and family although it was now understood this was because they had not been able to open to the public. Information on the South West Coast Path estimated it brought in £2.2million and the applicants hoped they could bring these to Salcombe. Downstairs there was capacity for up to 20 in bunk beds. This building could be let for a bed for the night, a room for the night, the same for a week or the whole thing. Therefore the usage was flexible and thus sustainable and they hoped to offer it to school groups and universities. The footprint of the proposal was identical but it was going up two storeys as with rooms on the ground level they would have to have a ceiling so they were also using in the loft. A questioned was asked What are the plans for the horse ring? And the response was none.
The Mayor asked Dist Cllr Coulson for his comments and he noted that he always thought damp and cold was part of Youth Hostelling. He noted that this was diversification, creating employment, the same ridge height and same materials so he felt there were no objections in policy. The Mayor noted the feeling around the table was that there needed to be a condition on any permission to stop this proposal becoming a hotel or residence in time. The applicant noted that they wanted a flexible low cost holiday accommodation provision which would stay as that because then there would be no competition with anyone else in the Salcombe area whereas if they became a hotel or self-catering there was lots of competition. They were not anticipating using the car parking much. Cllr Clark noted that there were no comparison plans to show the proposal was the same size as currently and thus there was insufficient information.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 26th February 2014 were amended at ‘Councillors Reports’ under the section raised by Cllr Cohen so that at the beginning of line three the word ‘hoped’ be changed to ‘decided’ and in line 12 the words ‘put money’ become ‘contribute by way of Section 106 monies held by District going’ before being approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
Cllr Biggs arrived at the meeting.
219. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
Councillors considered the following applications and sent such observations to the District as Planning Authority:
• 0429/14/F Demolition and replacement of camping barn Moult Hill Barn, Moult Hill, Salcombe TQ8 8LF – Applicant Mrs N. Murray – It was felt that there were insufficient drawings and details due to a lack of plans showing the existing ridge heights and layout in comparison to the proposal and therefore town council were unable to determine a response. A deferral to the next meeting was requested along with further information. It was acknowledged if something was photocopied it could not be guaranteed the scale would be accurate.
The above applicants left the meeting.
• 0495/14/F Householder application for replacement balcony and porch to front elevation 1 Platt Close, Salcombe TQ8 8NZ – Applicant Mr S. Sharp – No objection.
• 0499/14/F Householder application for proposed alteration and extension 7 Knowle Court, Knowle Road, Salcombe TQ8 8EH – Applicant Mr and Mrs Spridgeon – No objection.
Cllr Fice left the meeting.
• 0530/14/F Householder application for first floor roof terrace. Second floor balcony to front elevation and glazed roof to enclose a light well area to rear elevation 16 Buckley Street, Salcombe TQ8 8DD – Applicant Mr J. Pawley – No objection although there was concern noted with regard to an increased noise value in a Conservation Area.
Dist Cllr Coulson left the meeting.
WORK TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREES
• 0478/14/TW Reg. No: 3485 Site The Ridings, Bennett Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JJ Proposal to remove multi stemmed Leylandii – No objection.
• Most already forwarded by email for information.
• Email dated 10th March 2014 from the applicant in relation to Retrospective application Puffins, Fortescue Road, Salcombe. The comments were noted but it was asserted that the height depended on which side someone was measuring from. Any objector could approach town council through the usual channels and it was for District to decide if a retrospective application was required. The applicant had in fact put an application in and town council had listened and considered comments from others in the community. Town Council as consultees were alerted by neighbours as the normal course of the process.
220. JUBILEE GARDENS
It was AGREED to accept the proposal by Greenlands with regard to the final works at Ember Road and agree the final payment but withhold £1622.40 and pay this over following completion of the works.
A maintenance schedule was also received from Colette Charsley and once this spraying had been done this could be put into place. Tenders would be invited for this work together with the memorial tubs.
221. COUNCIL HALL
It was AGREED to accept the surveyor’s advice with regard to items raised for completion within the contract and approve final payment of works once the works were completed. Also the person who would be carrying out a levels plan for Vickery Holman to look at the whole Council Hall had been trying to contact Mike Hodder but been unable to arrange a date to go in to do survey as yet but should be done next week. It was noted that the bush cut down in the neighbouring property behind the Council Hall had not been done by the contractors or town council.
222. PARK AND RIDE
The advice provided by Gareth Pinwell Partner Solicitor Ashfords with regard to the Off Street Parking Places Order was copied to all councillors and noted together with the draft Order. Alex Sprowson had left the investigation and costing of surfacing in the Park and Ride to someone else to investigate and would chase for figures.
The plan was acknowledge and comments from Don McIntosh with regard to the bus turning accepted. It was also noted that the Harbour Marine had parking places therein until the end of May/June 2014 and could this affect any layout works being carried out.
It was AGREED to :
(a) further discuss with Alex Sprowson thee park and ride area layout of parking provision as suggested and research appropriate methods of delineating such area. Issues raised were
(i) whether there were enough disabled spaces
(ii) had the plans been tracked and if not request a tracking plan.
(iii) why were some spaces shorter and what size had the spaces been designed on.
(b) grant a request by the Art Club for two Park and Ride bus passes but note that the drivers would have to pay to park as other users.
223. SHADYCOMBE CEMETERY TREES
It was AGREED that:
(a) the request by residents of The Treehouse and Merlins, by virtue of copy of a draft application for Works to Tree Preservation Order Trees, for minor arboriculture maintenance of trees along this footpath be supported in principle subject to the District Tree Officer’s decision and that if agreed by District the residents and town council seek costings before considering payment of such works.
(b) an application for Works to Tree Preservation Order Trees should be made by town council for the maintenance works to the trees overhanging the garages in Forster Road alongside such above application in order that any works could be carried out at the same time. Thereafter a Tree Survey of the whole cemetery should be scheduled for a future date.
It was felt that there should be a visible benefit for the community if town monies were to be used. The Town Clerk must request a resume of plans of what the specific outcomes were going to be for the community, including engagement and membership for the community. Town council needed solid, tangible hard facts, with ideas that were specific on what was being attempted.
This matter was again DEFERRED.
225. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor advised he had attended the Kingsbridge and Salcombe Chamber of Commerce meeting which was predominantly focused on Kingsbridge. However there was an update on Salcombe signage which was moving ahead positively to be erected in April directing pedestrians to the Island Street area. The Salcombe Information Centre also needed a new fingerpost sign but hopefully this would come later.
He along with Cllrs Lang, Taylor and Collings attended the Land Use Strategy debate which was mostly about farming and unfortunately with Sarah Wollaston MP leaving at 8.30p.m. they were still on farming at 7.50. CPRE were challenging District on Land Use and thus there was an interesting presentation from Michael Winter OBE. A letter read out from Nick Bowles MP was challenged by Julian Brazil as to its content and aspirations and it would be two years before a District Local Plan could be completed.
At the TAP Fund Cluster meeting Malborough withdrew their pitch improvement bid and most applicants received their grant money. All parish and town councils were encouraged to offer agenda items and a question was raised from District and to whether parishes wished to continue this regular meeting. Yes as it was the only time parishes could come together. John Tucker Leader of District said this was not a District agenda and therefore in the future parishes needed to contribute. After 2020 John Tucker noted that there might be no Government subsidy and only 6% of business rates income. District was waiting for Neighbourhood Plans to inform their planning future documents but towns were awaiting District Local Plan to dovetail into their policies. A court hearing was due to be held and decide upon the validy of a Neighbourhood Plan prepared by Thurtton before the Local Plan had been completed which was now being challenged by developers.
Toby left the meeting.
The Mayor also attended the Oak Tree planting. Up at The Berry the area was a mess within the wood due to plastic bottles and people pulling things down.
The Neighbourhood Plan names had been typed up and progress with an invitation list and meeting should be arranged. Also a meeting had been set up with Keith Rennells and Ross Kennerley to discuss Section 106 monies held by District and such town usage. The book tokens for the Street Naming children had been purchased and would be presented on Friday.
226. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllr Clark – Advised that the charity cycle ride by Sportif would be in Salcombe on a Sunday in April and entrants would be allowed to use the Park & Ride. He had noted historically a shed in a field in Collaton and the problems encountered by enforcement. This area had been sold except one piece of ground which had now been planted out with trees and it had a shed and decking installed and thus is appeared enforcement should be asked to attend.
Cllr Fice – Received a thank you from a resident with regard to the Bonfire Hill cemetery entrance and gate where the puddle and uneven access due to the rain had been sorted so quickly by Town Council. The Regatta AGM would be the next Tuesday 7.30 at the Rugby Club.
Cllr Lang – Attended an Allotment meeting on Monday and one person needed to pay. He had been past the Park & Ride couple of times in the last week and the gate had been left open. Another time he just checked the padlock and it had not been closed properly. The Harbour Hotel would be advised.
Cllr Biggs – Noted the Swimming Pool AGM and felt that the provision may be short lived as there were now only four people looking after and running this and they were the trustees only. The group were in profit but if they had a few bad seasons with no fundraising and no committee it could not survive. Devon County had been asked to transfer the land but nothing had happened. Access was questioned. Notices for assistance on the committee and in running the swimming pool had been placed on most lamp post, noticeboards and a letter sent out with every child at the school, an article placed in the Gazette but no one had come forward. He had been approached by a resident who wanted to place a memorial bench and contact details and locations were provided to Cllr Biggs. He noted concern with regard to the trees that had fallen across Bennett Road and the massive trunks remaining in the grounds of Plantation House but overhanging and obstructing the highway. County were dealing with this.
Cllr Collings – Noted that town council needed to do something about the Town Clerk’s computer due to XP expiring. Also the hard drive should be encrypted. The Cemetery Manager noted that his Vista computer would not upgrade to service pack two as well. The road sign on the way past the Park & Ride and Shaws Corner needed attention.
Cllr Taylor – Felt that all should realise that Mayor was doing an exemplary job and noted how it impacted on personal and family life and that everybody should realise the amount of work he took on and this was to be credited. All present were in agreement and the Mayor requested others to please step in and help when possible.
• The School had advised that their assembly on Friday 13th March at 3p.m would be the best time to present the childrens prizes.
• District intended to clear all the sandbags around town provided in case of flood and were just checking with town council that they agreed. This was agreed.
• Road Closure 5-25th March 2014 From Cliff Road, Winking Prawn to entrance of North Sands Car Park, North Sands. Property Flooding Prevention Works.
• A resident had requested extending the yellow lines at the junction of St. Dunstans and Devon Road due to traffic being forced into the line of oncoming traffic due to parked cars. Cty Cllr. Gilbert had responded that this request would be acceptable but would not happen soon as all yellow lines, disabled bays, signage etc had to go through a TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) which was dealt with by Devon County Council. As as TRO was expensive, approx £2,000 to 5000.00 a time, they were restricted to when an area or town had sufficient requests/amendments to make it worthwhile, along with consideration of the time since the last TRO was made. They were in effect similar to a planning application for highways involving all the same consultation.
• Planning Validation Checklist consultation, do town council wish to respond?
• Ros Davies County Footpaths had received the Town Council Footpath P3 Report and would be walking the paths with this information next Wednesday 19th March and then meeting with Cllr Lang and the Town Clerk on Thursday 20th March 2014 at 10a.m. to discuss any works required.
• Emailed Stuart Jellings with regard to disappointment that District had indicated that they would now close South Sands toilets during the winter and requesting him to seek sponsorship from adjacent businesses there and North Sands. To date no response. Also enquired about a meeting to discuss waste collection in the town and noted that one of the street sweepers had handed his notice in and asked what arrangements were being put in place for a replacement.
• Chapter 8 training – County were still insisting that the full four day course for work in the highway had to be undertaken to get such training and only this qualification would be accepted in Devon. Cornwall trainers were aghast at this attitude and disagreed in view of the fact that the four day training would include a far greater knowledge of working on the highway especially faster roads, traffic lights and lifting heavy signage. This was not felt to be the right level of training for community road closures but if they insisted it left Salcombe Town without anyone trained in order to apply for the Remembrance Sunday closure.
• Pete Robinson had sent off for membership of ICCM and awaited the invoice for such and had booked for a Cemetery Management course in June as the one in March was cancelled, probably due to the storm weather.
• Town Council had met with play equipment providers and were awaiting up to date quotes. Also it was noted that some mothers wanted to sit within the play area to able to be in with children in case of falls etc. The cost of moving the fencing/providing more would be expensive and one play equipment provider suggested that the fence should be left and perhaps one or two more gates and/or bench seating against the fence within.
Received: Salcombe Maritime Museum – Rent to March 2015 £5000
Councillors APPROVED the following cheques for signature:
003125 Waterstones – Book tokens for school £50.00
003126 SHDC – Bonfire Hill Cemetery £13.90
003127 R. Collings – Travel to and from Land Use meeting at Follaton House £17.20
003128 Greenlands Landscaping – Final Invoice for landscaping contract £4622.40
003129 Vickery Holman – Management of Council Hall maintenance works £394.62
003130 Classic Builders – Maintenance works at Council Hall £22932.00
228. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 26th March 2014 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.42
………………………………………………….. 26th March 2014.