COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* Denotes Attendance
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr. A. Biggs – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – *
Cllr. R. Wheeler – *
Cllr D. Cohen – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr Miss J. Clark – A
Cllr R. Collings – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr J. Valentine – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr P Coulson – *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
PCSO D. Gibson – A
Toby Leigh Kingsbridge Gazette – *
437. 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. 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 0285/15/F. Cllr Wheeler declared an interest in Minute number 443.
438. OPEN FORUM
No members of the public this was dispensed with.
District Councillor Report
Dist Cllr Coulson – Planning Committee was last Wednesday 18th February when the Tides Reach application was on the agenda along with Lundy/Trennels. With regard to Lundy the committee took the view and agreed with the officer that although there was a certain loss of amenity it was not so great to warrant refusal and any subsequent cost to the developer to remove spoil and such loss of amenity was not felt to be needed. Unfortunately the message going out across South Hams was that people did not need to comply just get within the ball park and they would get permission.
Those who do abide by law must therefore wonder why they did. The Mayor noted that Town Council did not like the decking and its proximity to the neighbouring property. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce said that a message had since come back that the new owner of Lundy would be happy to work with owners of Lulworth to seek a solution and this person was back the following evening so District would get in touch. Cllr Wheeler felt that what was more than disturbing was there was a catalogue of things like this and listed these as illustration and felt that District were not doing what they should. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted that at Alston Gate the Planning Authority did say that this was not acceptable and now it was out of their hands with an Inspector. District current had four active Appeals and a Secretary of State calling in so they were active. With regard to a prosecution for perjury within a Statutory Declaration she said it was not Districts job to do that. It could however be reported to the police but Cllr Wheeler felt it should be the planning authority doing such.
The Mayor wanted to clarify if perjury was a criminal office and not a civil matter as just earlier Dist Cllr Coulson said it was hard to start a civil prosecution. Cllr Wheeler said where was the deterrent. Dist Coulson responded no this was merely his interpretation as they were not allowed to punish somebody for doing wrong but just show substantial harm but officers did not feel this amounted to sufficient harm to object.
Cllr Cohen was concerned with the whole business of applications being judged on their merit, maybe 10 years ago he understood what this meant but now it was so clouded. What could interfere with this criteria perhaps beginning with just ‘viable’ so viable meant such was but not judged on the merits of the building but business. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce said viability had been a planning issue since about 1999 but was used more now with the NPPF coming in. She continued that there was definitely a lack of clarity now and everything was being decided in court and was influenced by guidance for all to access on the internet.
The Tides Reach application had been permitted even with the comments of the community being put forward by Dist Cllrs. Mrs Pearce and Coulson. The vote went 6 for granting to 5 against. Dave Kenyon’s presentation as planning officer was very fair on this application. However Dist Cllr. Mrs Pearce felt it was very difficult if not impossible to object as not one single statutory ‘expert’ consultee (i.e. SW Water, Environment Agency, and Highways etc) objected and the AONB did not even respond. To put forward objections without anything from these organisations would have been hard to safeguard against Appeal. Still nearly half the District committee voted against it. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce asked town council what objections could have been put forward and noted that this application was not in the ward of those councillors who voted for it. The Rigby Group was in Stratford upon Avon and they could go to their solicitors and then District could be looking at an Appeal which could cost them £1/2 million. The Mayor felt that there was a lack of consistency in District voting patterns on the Tides Reach and the Dartmouth development which was the previous item on the agenda. Both had similar difficulties and were felt to be out of scale and too large for the site, both involved tree removal and parking issues. The development in Dartmouth had more support from the community whereas the Tides Reach had objections from community. Yet District voted against Dartmouth and for Tides Reach. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt seven houses in Dartmouth did not have the economic thrust that Tides Reach brought.
On the Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove the AONB weighed in heavily on this application but not Tides Reach, why? Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised that during the week before committee she tried to get AONB to give a response as they could have tipped the balance i.e. design but there was nothing forthcoming. It was annoying that English Nature alluded to the AONB so they had obviously been talking to each and the AONB had been talking to the landscape officer but nothing was in writing. The Mayor noted that when the Highways representative was questioned it was obvious they had not done all they said they had done.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce continued that the advantage of the approval was that District was in control of conditions whereas if it went to Appeal it was between the Appellants and the inspector. Already she had contacted the estates director at Rigby Group so once the decision was issued they could talk and set up some information for residents to keep them in the picture. Once a decision notice went out people would have 6 weeks to initiate a Judicial Review but until the notice was out nothing could happen. The JR process was noted to be under current Government review and a Bill to defuse use of this illustrated Government’s wish to help building continue. Also those issuing such could only pick holes in the process under JR but not affect the decision.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce – District meeting for budget setting was last week and went through and included in the capital budget were the employment units on Batson which was good news for the town. There had to be a process and it would be good if all could work together to get that process right. Cllr Biggs had offered to liaise with whomever at District and also local businesses to get the units the right size. She also noted that there was £153,000 in the New Homes Bonus for next year which Salcombe could bid for.
There was a problem with affordable homes following Eric Pickles MP declaration that any development of 10 or less would need no affordable contribution. She was aware of two District councils who had a JD on this. South Hams took a paper to their meeting and would abide by Eric Pickles MP declaration and so in future 10 houses or less would be assumed not worthy for affordable housing unless in rural areas or an AONB as it was said that this new declaration did not apply to AONBs. So District could apply for commuted sums but she felt there would be an increase of applications for 5 – 9 houses! The JR challenge was proceeding and South Hams District would send a letter of support.
She was also trying to get the list of enforcement actions around the town reduced with the officers and some were helpful whilst others not. However the information was coming through where the officers were trying to get planning applications in and Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce felt if these were not forthcoming then they should push to enforcement.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 11th February 2015 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record. .
440. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered under delegated authority during the holiday period and responses from town council submitted to District.
• 0278/15/F Householder application for provision of glazed balustrading to flat roof, creation of boundary wall and paved area south of stepped planting 9 Robinsons Row, Salcombe TQ8 8EU – Applicant Dr A. Walker – Earlier plans were to replace a bay window but they ha installed bay windows with a door and now appeared want to put glass balustrade around. On the last decision a condition was not to use the roof as a balcony and to build according to plans. Objection as the glass balustrade and proposal was not felt to be in keeping with the Conservation Area with its very cottagey iron railings and hedging. Baptist Lane was one of the principal viewpoints from which this view was seen within Salcombe.
• 0279/15/LB Listed building consent for provision of glazed balustrading to flat roof, creation of boundary wall and paved area south of stepped planting 9 Robinsons Row, Salcombe TQ8 8EU – Applicant Dr A. Walker – As above.
Cllr Fice left the meeting whilst this application was discussed.
• 0285/15/F Retrospective change of use form changing rooms/club room (D2) to business use as sports therapy and beauty treatment (A1) Salcombe Rugby Football Club, St. Dunstans Road, Salcombe TQ8 8AL – Applicant Salcombe RFC –Objection – This change of use would set a dangerous precedent in a sensitive area such as the Berry which was an open recreational space available to the community. It was questioned whether the historic deed of gift stipulated the land be used for recreational use and enjoyment of the community and open to all and that no subletting be allowed.
• 0290/15/F Re-location of front boundary wall to site boundary to create additional car parking (resubmission of planning application 41/2674/14/F) Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HF – Applicant Plymouth RC Diocesan Trustees – No objection.
• 0354/15/F Demolition of existing dwelling and construction of replacement house and associated works Bingley, Onslow Road, Salcombe TQ8 8AH – Applicant R. Wotton – No objection.
• 0367/15/F Householder application for re-ordering and extension to existing property with external swimming pool, underground plant, changing rooms and Pergola Longmynd, Main Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JW – Applicant Mrs K. Newman – No objection.
Dist Cllrs Coulson and Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
• Most correspondence already received emailed to town council.
441. JUBILEE GARDENS PLAY EQUIPMENT SAFETY CHECKS
It was AGREED to pay District £100.00 per annum to cover monthly visits to inspect the site, an annual inspection by Allianz and insurance cover for the play equipment and surfacing against injury arising from defective / improperly maintained equipment (the rest of the site being covered by the Town Council’s insurance).
442. SCHEDULE OF CHARGES
It was AGREED to adopt the criteria provided by Cllrs Biggs and Valentine to allow advertisers to show an expression of interest for advertising spaces on the bus serving the park and ride.
Town Council were to ask for offers of interest and request the Chamber of Commerce to put out these guide prices. The same advertising was to be replicated on both buses due to seasonal usage and change over for Easter Weekend, 2 May Bank Holidays, last weekend in May – All weekends in June. 4th July to September.
• Back panel 1800 x 800 – £500 for both buses plus artwork
• 4 panels 1200 x 350 – 2 each side -£400 per panel (£800 per side both buses)
• Inside top panels 6 per bus – £150 each on both buses.
It was noted that Tally Ho! had purchased one bus and were looking for another.
443. FENCE ON UNREGISTERED LAND ALONG ONSLOW ROAD
It was AGREED that a letter should be sent to the property owners with regard to making their boundaries safe for pavement users.
Toby Leigh left the meeting.
444. PARK AND RIDE SIGNS
It was AGREED to approve the signs as detailed on the list provided at the meeting to be ordered from Devon County as necessary information for users of the Park and Ride. A virtual footpath along a section was questioned and highways would be asked about such implication of provision.
Tim Pollard had advised that benches that were placed on District owned land would continue to be maintained by them. Those within the Berry, because the Berry was leased to Town Council, would be seen as Town Council responsibility. All others around town which had previously been on Districts lists when no distinction on location was made would now fall into a grey area but Tim Pollard had said that both District and Town needed to gain a more complete picture of responsibility with regard to those benches outside this remit. Currently their commemorative bench scheme was on hold and thus replacements in this way were not readily available.
Keith Rennells had sent illustrations of various styles of benches that could be installed at the Berry with a request to know how many were required and to advise that all ongoing maintenance of these would be down to Town Council.
It was AGREED that for the Berry town council would request the Section 106 money be passed to them and they would have such works carried out with 2 picnic benches behind the goal posts as there was a bin there, 2 benches by the chain link with another in the corner by the trees to match the style within the St. Dunstans Play area.
The play area landscaping as designed was to remain with District and be financed out of Section 106 monies along with the benches that needed repairing.
With regard to a town bench audit lists were provided by town council and those who had volunteered below would return to the next meeting having checked that they were still in situ, the condition and have measured sizes:
• Cllr Fice – Cross Park, Courtney Park, Whitestrand and the footpath by the Marina
• Cllr Mrs Bricknell – St. Dunstans and Herbert Road
• Cllr Valentine – Onslow Road
• Cllr Wheeler – North and South Sands, Cliff Road/North Sands Road and Sandhills Road
• Cllr Biggs – Cliff House Gardens and Devon Road
• Cllr Whitfield – Creeks Car Park
446. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN REPORT
The Mayor advised of the recent Neighbourhood Plan meeting and felt the group had moved forward a considerable way. The short questionnaire was to be made public in the next week or so and closing date for responses would be 10th April. Those responding were to be encouraged to use Survey Monkey but there would be hard copies in various locations around town – to be decided. The biggest debate had been on how to communicate with people. There would be a series of posters put up, all in well used places, in town so everyone was aware of this consultation. A distribution matrix was created which Pete Robinson had been collating to try to contact most people in town i.e. Yacht Club emailing their membership, going to holiday home companies etc for evidence that all had been contacted.
As well as this there were going to be a series of Focus Groups consisting of 10 people each with a facilitator from the steering group and notes taken. These groups would be formed by contacting local organisations and asking for representatives and take place between 16th – 24th March. It was agreed that following the Annual Town Meeting a Neighbourhood Plan meeting for the public would take place on Monday 27th April. Dist. Cllr Coulson would be asked whether he can speak at this point in view of the forthcoming elections purdah. Jo Widdicombe Planning Aid had advised that more grants would be available for the Neighbourhood Plan and the group were looking into this.
447. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor had attended the Mayors and District CEOs meeting with the Town Clerk. There they met Steve Jorden and Sophie Hawkins and they explained their roles within the new Transition 18. Steve was to be Strategic Planning dealing with what was wanted/needed in communicating and liaising and working with members on a day to day basis. Sophie was primarily to deliver what Steve’s research specified so she would cover the website, customer services, case officers i.e. benefits requests needed one person contact through the whole system and other processes. There would be a pool of specialists (planning, environmental health, etc) and then team officers would bring problems/questions to them to deal with and feed back to customers and town/parishes.
There would also be workers out on the patch and Steve wanted to engage with towns and parishes to identify their specific needs.
South Hams District was leading nationally in their thinking for T18 as they had a clear plan and strategy. Steve noted that the change would be challenging but Eastbourne had been using this IT system and Steve had been involved with bringing thirteen councils together on this sort of date and assured those present it worked.
South Hams were in the middle of change and therefore these were uncertain times for staff but Sophie felt that the interview process was one of the best. Largely all staff would be in post by end of May/beginning of June 2015.
Other clerks present asked about how District would engage with parish and towns highlighting the County project with community officers and discussion took place on Our Plan and Neighbourhood Plans then Locality Officers and Managers and ordinary officers such as car parks and street sweepers. It was noted that there would be six areas each with a Locality Manager and other area officers.
Ivybridge Leisure provision was discussed as was Dartmouth Swimming Pool and Kingsbridge comments on the TAP Fund.
It was noted that the timeline for Our Plan had changed and Salcombe provided the latest newsletter. It was noted however that no notification was sent out by email or other form to parish and towns when new newsletters go up and very few other people had found this. Sophie would look in to this. The current issue facing District was with regard to housing numbers required and this would take District a few more months to consider. They did note that the outgoing Local Development Framework was still in place but the land supply value was questionable.
Kingsbridge had been having difficulty obtaining a list of Section 106 payments for their area and negotiating such use of funds.
Salcombe noted the role of planning officers at site visits for planning applications and felt that they should present an impartial overview. However at the Tides Reach application the officer had only pointed out positives and not negatives. Any future concerns like this should be fed back to Sophie who said that officers should present both sides and be impartial.
It was intended to set up a meeting for the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Neighbourhood Plan to meet Mike Hicks District Councillor for planning to discuss Our Plan.
The Mayor and Cllr Lang met Pete Knight from Cycle provision Devon County Council with regard to proposed bike rack sites. There were two areas they came up with one on Whitestrand carpark at the end by the disabled bay next to the seats where there was a gap and by the Over 60s day centre off Island Street in the triangle. Another area which Pete Knight did not measure was at Chapel End by the bin against railings so people could put their bikes there. There was however no funding this year and so any installations would not be until 2016. Pete Knight also advised that Kingsbridge Town Council responded no thank you to the bike rack proposals and said they wanted the money spent on roads instead.
The Mayor had an email from Kathy Harrod from the Chamber of Commerce confirming that the Lloyds Bank branch in Salcombe would not be closed in this round of closures.
448. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllr Wheeler – Noted that a property on Fotescue Road had been using the opposite layby for building materials etc. The owner had indicated they wanted to keep this as a parking bay but it was noted that this was the edge of The Berry and encroachment. The property was Villette and the Town Clerk was asked to write to them to ask them not to use this area for building supplies.
Cllr Cohen – Noted he met with some young people with regard to putting together a music festival again.
Cllrs Mrs Bricknell – At Devon Road/Herbert Road a paving slab had become loose and there was a drain blocked at the bottom of Beadon Lane. Cllr Biggs explained that the County website had a section where such reports should be directed and it was easier for the person with the knowledge of the problem to do so.
Cllr Valentine – South West Water had indicated that their drainage works were to be done next year. Some residents had asked could it be done in February so it was not being done when the Field of Lights were on. However shop keepers had indicated that January would be better and the Field of Lights was going to be on for nearly six months so these works could not be held up for that. Town Council were worried the town would be waiting for another year if such was delayed.
• Chris Brook confirmed that it was the District contractor that hit the wall at North Sands. However the flap on the outlet got bent after one night installed so had been returned to the manufacturer. Thus the wall would be repaired after the flap was refitted.
• Mike Hodder from Salcombe Maritime Museum had asked what the colour of the paint used for the exterior of the Council hall was so that they could make good some parts. He also noted that the sign bracket was damaged and needed refitting and enquired who should do this work. The Lease indicated that permission had been given to the Museum to hang a 2ft x 2.6ft sign on the outside and thus this fitment was their responsibility.
003291 Received: Salcombe Information Centre Rent £4250.
Current Account: £500.00 Deposit Account: £215036.39
Councillors APPROVED the following cheques for signature:
003291 Vision ICT – Biennial fee for .gov.uk £55.00
003292 HMRC – Tax & NI £708.61
003293 and 4 Wages £1719.27
450. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 11th March 2015 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
……………………………………………….. 11th March 2015.