COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr. A. Biggs – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – A
Cllr. R. Wheeler – *
Cllr D. Cohen – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr Ms J. Clark – A
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott – A
Cllr Mrs A. Clacy – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr S. Wright – *
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
Chris Derrick – Kingsbridge Gazette reporter – *
655. 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. None received.
656. OPEN FORUM
Police Report provided by email by PCSO Gibson: There had been two crimes in Salcombe Town over the last two weeks. A burglary at Salcombe Dairy where cash had been taken from a till (together with another property elsewhere owned by the same company also targeted. A theft of a rudder assembly taken from a boat at Batson which was currently under investigation.
Dave Jobbins was in attendance with Jason Parry on behalf of the partnership that represents Harbour Hotel in relation to the owners proposed development of the Tides Reach Hotel, South Sands. David Jobbins explained that he appreciated this discussion was pre planning and there was much yet to go through however the reason for this visit was merely informing of their intention and to answer any initial questions.
He provided plans of the existing proposal and planning permission outline together with their ideas. The previous architects Kay Elliotts he noted had also designed a property in Torquay which was similar to what they obtained permission for in North Sands. The materials in this previous application were striking and it was a bold building of a more modern and international genre. The Harbour Hotel Group was not happy with this due to its bulk and mass and use of materials that they felt were too bold. They were approaching this new design and application with a view to creating another hotel but also by incorporating a change of use of part of the existing hotel to apartments as then the project became more viable and provided a smaller build impact.
Dave Jobbins then explained the intention to increase the height of certain areas to gain more accommodation and recladding the building to follow the New England style as white render was not felt appropriate on a horizontal building. This was not to be a total demolition as the building was reasonably well built so they were intending keeping what they had but making it more appropriate to its setting.
It was rumoured that there was concrete cancer but Dave Jobbins advised they had the same structural team as the previous developers to look at the building and assess it and they were of view it could be adapted and converted. This was a lesser building in height, mass and design and the approach was contemporary but to put a pitched roof on would make it taller and this would jar with the location. It was noted that the previous application raised a major concern in the way it sat across valley and blended in with old lifeboat house. The proposal appeared to go further out and thus it was suggested would completely remove any gap in the vista looking from the beach. There was however a curve to the landscape design and the hotel bent around and would not stretch across the length.
He then explained the reasons for the residential provision within the current property and why they did not have to do a sequential test for this for the Environment Agency. Tom Jones, the District Planner, understood where the Harbour group were coming from and against policies so they would be looking at the new residential apartments reasonably favourably.
Lack of staff accommodation and parking in the previous application was raised and it was noted they were retaining the old staff quarters keeping as much as was reasonable. There were 45 spaces in the car park and 44 bedrooms. However there was also separate parking for the residential aspect. Dave Jobbins acknowledged that the car park was private land and whilst the hotel had been empty others had used it. However if they were to develop this property it would become a car park again and he hoped people might park, have a cup of tea and of course go across the road and access the beach. It was noted there were to be ten apartments.
At present it was hoped to submit an application by the end of November and District would take three months to process this application. They might therefore get consent in February 2016 and then realistically they would need to line up a contractor so it would not be viable to commence works until the end of the next summer season.
Cllr Mrs Pearce and Chris Derrick of Kingsbridge Gazette arrived.
Jason Parry and Dave Jobbins left the meeting.
District Councillor Report
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce – She asked whether town council had consultation on the council tax grant. She advised this would be going down another 10% and this would reduce the amount paid to Salcombe by £203.
With regard to the delays to the District Our Plan they were hoping to have something ready for the Inspector to look at by the end of 2016. A new Local Development Framework was going to Executive at its next meeting but there were still problems with defining the Housing Numbers due to the new duty to co-operate. There were many changes with regard to responses on other Local Authority plans and a raft of new Government policies i.e. Starter Homes. The Steering group at District was to meet every 2-3 weeks so she would be able to update as they were to report to Executive every quarter.
She noted she had managed to speak to the neighbor with regard to the decision on Midships and explain the difficulty in finding policy to deal with concerns.
Dist Cllr Wright – Advised of the Community Safety Partnership between SHDC, West Devon and Dartmoor who met quarterly and went on to list those other partners who attended. All present discussed various issues and there were currently no triggers in Salcombe town so nothing to report. One topic that did crop up was the increase in dog bites but this was due to police now having to report these. The Police reported that 14% of their time was spent finding people that were lost. Also there was a concern with dealing with Legal Highs as people who took these reacted very differently each time they took such. Two ambulances had to stop because those taking such ‘legal highs’ can have up to 5 times their normal strength so this was a significant problem in helping. The Fire Service was contacting everybody over the age of 65 to carry out a home visit and offer advice. Whilst slave trade was something expected in the area there had been an incident of this as some under 16 year olds were brought in and were growing cannabis in return for their lodging, food and travel. With this cost they were stuck working with no way out. More dementia, legal high awareness and veteran vulnerability awareness training sessions were being provided. It was noted that a high proportion of people in prison were ex forces officers.
A discussion took place on the delay on Our Plan siting the Appeal decision on The Ridings wherein the appellant noted that District could not deliver its 5 year land supply and as the District Plan was not up to date it left a big hole in the process and was basically allowing development such as this in. Another year of waiting and development was increasing and it was disheartening that town council was a lone voice that could not stand against such with no District Plan in place. The permission for The Ridings allowed the property to be built on Cliff Road and right up to the roadside. Cllr Mrs Pearce noted this application had been within the development boundary and Government policy presumption was in favour of sustainable development, even if within an AONB or also if District had a five year land supply. This was an officer delegated refusal because she relied upon a highway comment for refusal but it then went to Appeal and the Inspector over ruled this decision. Cllr Mrs Pearce went on to explain that even if District had a Local/Our Plan they would still get development. Town Council noted that these high end property areas were not feeding the housing supply due to the cost of any properties in this area and the development was doing absolutely nothing for Salcombe wellbeing. With local people maybe earning £16,400 p.a per person if there were two people purchasing this would be x 2 = £32,800 and that was the mortgage that could be obtained. It was questioned where ordinary people were going to live, all agreed with the housing need problem but it was national policy and Cllr Mrs Pearce advised that people needed to lobby through their MP as this was the only way change would come through. District was already lobbying through their District Councils network and met with Greg Clark from the Local Government Association as it was their best route in to change unsuitable urban policy. It was suggested that Salcombe would arrive at a saturation point and incoming people would not want the smaller houses and thus would look elsewhere. Cornwall had to allow 8% more housing across the whole of Cornwall in their Local Plan for second homes so now with the emerging Our Plan District would have to do this at least for holiday homes. At 80% of the median price currently applicable in Salcombe housing was not affordable for ordinary workers. Cllr Wright reasserted that he and Cllr Mrs Pearce did work very hard on this subject and were doing whatever they could, when they could.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 14th October 2015 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
DEFERRED due to no further applications.
659. DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
The Mayor was concerned that there was an intimation that town council had not attended District Development Committee with regard to the Gas Works development site. He set out the belief by town council that they had been previously advised by the District Councillor that repetition within meetings was extending the time taken for discussion at District to no benefit. Town Council had taken this to mean that if there was nothing to add to their initial written observation then attendance was not necessary. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce was not of this opinion as she felt that presentation of points to the District Committee assisted deliberation. The misunderstanding appeared to have arisen due to the fact that the criteria of invitation to town and parish councils to attend District site meetings had changed in that parish and town councils were no longer allowed to speak at site meetings other than to answer questions or furnish local information.
Discussion took place with regard to District Councillors including town council further comments in their reports at committee and disappointment that some points emailed were not included at one such recent deliberation.
It was then clarified that in fact if no representative was able to attend Town Council could now send a written representation to a Development Control Meeting to be read out. Also the officer’s report on any application which was to go to such committee would be included within the District Council agenda and available on line.
It was AGREED town council should send a representative to attend on any application that it was felt further weight could be added to or if not possible then a written submission should be provided.
Dist Cllr Wright noted following this discussion that the eight employment units intended at Batson had tremendous support as the marine industry welcomed and wanted to move down there. However these development units would be outside the development boundary so any application by District would need support.
660. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and such observations from town council submitted to District.
• 2180/15/VAR Removal of condition 5 (Sustainable Code Level) of planning consent 41/3062/11/F Poyntz Croft, Bolthead, Salcombe TQ8 8LL – Applicant Dolebury Management Ltd. – No objection.
• 2208/15/F Householder application for replacement of two front facing dormers with single dormer and replacement rear facing dormer with larger dormer and new balcony 12 Coronation Road, Salcombe TQ8 8EA – Applicant Mr Marsh – Objection due to concern with regard to overlooking from the rear balcony which once built would provide a clear view into a neighbouring current dormer.
• 2211/15/F Householder application for proposed raising of existing terrace by 1m to match adjacent terraces 4 Courtney Terrace, Devon Road, Salcombe TQ8 8HA – No objection.
• 3102/14/CLE Appeal No: APP/K1128/X/3133417 Site: Hangar Farm Bungalow, Beadon Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JS Proposed development: Certificate of existing use of dwelling. It was felt that the statements made by the applicants were not factually correct and contradicted themselves and town council would put a further response together for submission.
WORK TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREES
• 2252/TW Site Murrawingi, Moult Road, Salcombe TQ8 8LG Proposal – Trees within G1 T1 Oak. Fell the south side stem and reduce the crown by 20%. T2 Scots Pine. Remove deadwood, Clematis and Ivy. T3 Lawson Cypress. Fell. No objection.
• All emails for information with regard to planning applications had already been sent to town councillors.
Cllrs Mrs Pearce and Wright left the meeting.
661. BENCH MAINTENANCE
It was noted that the style of bench proposed to be adopted for various town council installations was made to 5ft length/width but they could add or subtract if required. It was AGREED that;
(a) the bench for St. Dunstans Road be ordered from Rattery Sawmill at 2.13m length at a cost of £495 plus VAT
(b) subject to satisfaction of this style, on installation, all benches for town council would in future provided by Rattery Sawmills. Bench installation would be at an additional cost.
A 1.51m bench would be required at Victoria Quay and the person requesting to place a memorial bench would be advised of such decision. The Town Clerk was also to ask Adam Keay about ownership of the area of the Courtney Park bench space
662. MAINTENANCE PROJECTS
It was AGREED that these projects needed to be progressed and those that could be brought forward in the short term would be. Obtaining three quotes from local contractors for each individual smaller job was difficult as those businesses not then chosen for such jobs did not in future then quote or took time to respond. Thus town council requested that a specification for a three year maintenance contract be brought to town council to consider on a future agenda.
663. TOWN AND PARISH AND COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT FUNDS
It was AGREED to seek a specification and costing for a more substantial footpath to be created along Batson Creek grass verge with a bid into the Community Reinvestment Fund. Further costing requirements would be sought with regard to the proposed North Sands Information board in consideration of applying by mid December 2015 to the TAP Fund. A town sign for Salcombe was also suggested from the TAP fund and fencing around the play area at Courtenay Park and perhaps matched funding for play equipment or renewing benches around the town from the community reinvestment fund.
Chris Derrick left the meeting.
664. CEMETERY POLICY
It was AGREED that the changes to the cemetery policy be
(a) to approve buy back of an existing grave plot from an existing owner of an Exclusive Right of Burial at the original sale/purchase price.
(b) such buy back rate to incur a 10% handling charge of sale/purchase price
(c) DEFER to consider whether town council would allow transfer of plots between unrelated parties to seek further clarification of the legislation.
(d) DEFER agreement to proposed new table of charges relating to Salcombe Town Council as a Burial Authority to allow a working party to consider activities not currently charged
The working party advised that they had sourced amongst the three quotes a UK based website business that used WordPress who had advised that in 2 to 3 weeks they could provide what was needed at a cost of £495 together with hosting at £95 p.a. The need for a .gov.uk hosting was believed possible but full confirmation awaited. Provision of emails for twelve councillors plus staff would be included. Training was also included within this deal and once the website was live there was training via video screen casts. The company could provide an updating service but this would be a further nominal charge.
It was AGREED to pursue provision through Arctic Online website designers and advise Vision ICT forthwith of the intention to move the website.
666. RISK ASSESSMENT
It was AGREED that the Mayor and Cllr Biggs would consider any amendments needed and update the Risk Assessment so that it could be brought to the next meeting for consideration.
667. MAYOR’S REPORT
A meeting had taken place with Balfour Beatty representatives in order to update and confirm all the timings for road closures and to confirm that all roads would be open over Christmas and Easter. A grid programme of all streets in order of works being commenced was also provided. All this information would be made available at the consultation events on Wednesday 11th November at Sailor V from 8.30 – 9.30a.m. for businesses and the Rugby Club from 2p.m. until 7p.m. They would however be closing Whitestrand car park as they needed to take a pipe through the car park and come out on the wall under the War Memorial as there were too many services already squashed together down the side footway. Town Council had advised Balfour Beatty to speak with The Kings Arms landlord about its covenant. They also wanted a base for Lisa Butcher, their customer liaison officer, so that she would be based in Salcombe daily for a few weeks to deal with any concerns. Suggestions had been made and they were looking into this.
The Mayor and Town Clerk attended the CEOs and Mayors meeting at Follaton House on 21st October 2015. The Mayor gave a brief overview of the content of the attached report. He did highlight that once the new District computer was up and running they were intending going paperless on all planning applications.
He attended the book launch of the RNLI Lifeboat disaster book at the Winking Prawn. The RNLI were looking to refurbish the graves of the lost crew members and had contacted Salcombe Cemeteries Manager to discuss this. Pete Robinson noted that in view of the expected interest and visits the maintenance of Shadycombe Cemetery may need increasing for the next year.
The Mayor noted all that attended and the success of the Civic Service and Lunch and reminded those present of Remembrance Sunday on 8th November 2015, assemble by 10.30a.m. at Whitestrand car park.
There had been further communication from Fortescue Road residents. The Mayor advised he had responded to email from a resident to advise that he did not feel what they said was correct and that the resident had left the meeting discussion early on. It was noted that St. Dunstans Park was very overgrown again.
668. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
• The contractor had advised that he could commence clearing the area on week commencing 16th November and the operator for installing the posts week commencing 23rd November 2015. A date to walk the perimeter again should be set up.
• Tried to obtain support from District but at present no response so tomorrow two letters would be sent from town council to South West Water. One to dispute their boundary claim and the other to offer to take the area over for them Without Prejudice in view of the long term public community rights.
• County h ad confirmed that they own Victoria Quay promenade and if town council were replacing a former bench with another they would have no objection.
• Devon County John Hart was holding open meetings at Ivybridge Watermark Building Wednesday 2nd December 6.30p.m. to advise of the further cuts that are to be made and invite people to take part in the consultation by telling County their priorities.
• Email received from Dan Field outlining progress with regard to the Clifton Place flood alleviation scheme. Town Council felt that this would be a positive and welcomed scheme.
• Advised solicitor to proceed as requested. Also discussed and received comfort with regard to other outstanding issues.
• Booked Salcombe Primary School for Thursday 19th November to commence DeFib training at 6.30p.m. How did Town Council wish to advertise this and obtain attendance.
• Devon Community Resilience Forum on 10th November at Fingle Glen, Tedburn St. Mary was again (previously mentioned and then emailed to all councillors) brought to town council to ascertain whether any town councillors could attend from 10a.m. to 4p.m.for this inaugural forum looking at ways to prepare, react and recover from community emergencies.
• County Tough Choices meeting to be held in Ivybridge on Wednesday 2nd December 6.30 – 8.30p.m. to discuss future budget cuts.
• Email from Alex Rehaag West Devon BC and South Hams DC had recently launched a new project to help communities to gain independent advice and share knowledge on various subjects. This project had a website www.connectingcommunities.org.uk The scheme also requested people to become mentors who are willing to be contacted by community groups to share knowledge and experience.
• Devon County were asking for people to nominate their recycling heroes for Thank You Awards to be held in February 2016. Entries must be submitted by 30th November 2015. Categories are: Your Recycling Hero; School Recycling Hero; Community Group recycling hero; Collection Crew/Operative – recycling, garden, food or refuse collector; Recycling Centre Operative staff and Small Business Champion.
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £271,675.10
Councillors APPROVED the following cheques for signature:
Cheques approved at this meeting:
003419 Greenspace – Maintenance contract Sept and Oct. £948.66
003420 HMRC – Oct NI and Tax £739.06
003421 and 22 – October Wages £1775.19 plus£2.50 for laminating sleeves
003423 RBL Poppy Appeal – Remembrance Wreath £20.00
670. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 11th November 2015 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.30p.m.
……………………………………………….. 11th November 2015.