COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
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 – A
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr J. Valentine – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr P Coulson – *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
PCSO D. Gibson – A
Toby Leigh Kingsbridge Gazette – *
481. 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 declared an interest in application 06548/15/F.
482. OPEN FORUM
Police – Nothing to report.
Cty Cllr Gilbert Report- The cabinet had met at County Hall to update policy with regard to parking dispensation. There were to be three types of permit details of which were made available to all town council present. The Mayor advised he felt this information was disturbing. Cty Cllr Gilbert noted that this was what was passed and advised that the proposed scratch card was not limited to a single vehicle and more books could be bought and any abuse of parking could be managed by restricting future books and withdrawing the service to a user totally. The proposal however still required a Traffic Regulation Order to put it into place legally. It was the Annual Permit for £45 that the Mayor said he had a major problem with. Cty Cllr Gilbert did note that he was worried when he realised this and was why he immediately came down to brief Town Council about this cabinet decision. He however felt it was better than what existed but acknowledged it was not good for Salcombe. There was no reflection within this proposal of the letter the Mayor sent on this parking issue earlier this year when he had gone to an awful lot of work and had been advised how informative this information was, but it had been totally ignored. Now a tradesperson could ask for an annual permit so that non-resident tradespeople could park in residents only parking spaces. These spaces were already clogged with builders vans and this would then legitimise this usage.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce arrived.
Current parking problems were affecting businesses in town and if not restricted to one vehicle this permit was open to abuse. Cty Cllr Gilbert noted that town council could oppose the Traffic Regulation Order when it was put out for consultation as this proposal was not enshrined in law as yet. However County cabinet had unanimously voted for it and the leaders of opposition also supported it too. He noted that County Hall was driven by Exeter. Cllr Wheeler considered that the County Council reason for a unanimous decision was they saw this as an income stream. Cty Cllr Gilbert could not disagree but felt it was more about gaining control as it gave enforcement officers black and white control with regard to abuse as to enforce they needed regulations. The question was raised with regard to the Annual Permit for £45 and could a holiday home apply for their rental guests but it was said no only tradespeople. On application each tradesperson must make an annual application and be vetted. Scratchcards would help tradespeople around Salcombe and would assist parking control immensely however the Mayor said the major concern was this annual permit. An annual permit could be applied for in carrying out one job but for the remaining eleven other months in the year the vehicle could park anywhere! A tradesperson who lived in Salcombe could apply for an annual permit and park anywhere in Devon technically. It was of further concern that an Enforcement Officer was not likely to walk up a driveway to check that a tradesperson was working nearby. Cty Cllr Gilbert advised that if complaint letters were received for a particular trader these would be on file and when the Permit came up for annual review it would demonstrate concern. Cllr Wheeler-noted that the briefing sheet clearly stated for ‘residents parking only’ but meant using ‘residents parking spaces’. This decision had been made with quite a large misunderstanding of what this problem was. He continued that the scratchcard could be good but the annual permit must be removed immediately as Salcombe was tight for residents parking around town already. Too many parking abuses slipped through the net of the enforcement officers already. The Annual Permit was realistically way too long an amount of time for any reasonable development job. Salcombe needed an exemption on this proposal due to this particular problem. It was noted the briefing note also said such use was valid for pay and display machines and it was confirmed this meant only meters on the street. Dist Cllr Coulson asked if a contractor would have to apply annually to achieve any of these i.e. daily dispensation and scratchcards and could use residents parking across the whole of Devon. This policy had been loosely put together and Salcombe would be fighting this through the Traffic Regulation Order consultation process. Cty Cllr Gilbert advised that there were a lot more enforcement officers that had been employed since last summer. Cllr Biggs noted that he also wrote to Devon County Council and copied such letter to Cty Cllr Gilbert with regard to parking issues. Within this letter he noted that it was commendable County Enforcement Officers were enforcing at the top of town but it was all well and good to book motorists during winter but were Enforcement going to follow through when the busier season arrived highlighting the abuse by visitors parking in Raleigh Road for months on end. It was the first time this year that Salcombe had been busy, Easter, but there were four cars on Raleigh Road parked for four days and they had not seen any traffic enforcement officers. The officers come down into town but do not go up to the top of town so visitors come and leave their cars there not paying parking charges. The Mayor noted that over Easter there had been very bad parking down town also. Cty Cllr Gilbert requested the names of problem roads and he would instruct enforcement officers to visit them. He was also requested to ascertain how many enforcement officers were in Salcombe over the Easter period. Cty Cllr Gilbert noted that it was a sad fact that for some users parking fines of £30 were nothing. Cllr Biggs asked that if a car sat for four days and accumulated multiple tickets why they could not be towed away as it happened in Bristol.
Cty Cllr Gilbert left the meeting but noted he would be attending the Annual Town Meeting on 27th April.
Dist Cllr Coulson Report – Nothing to report other than noting that Tides Reach Hotel matter was still current.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce Report – Noted the report on the hotel in the Kingsbridge Gazette.
The issue with regard to hair braiders trading in Salcombe was raised with District Councillors as it was noted from the clerk’s report that someone new had made contact with District and was directed to speak to town council. The Mayor felt that enforcement should act with regard to the current ones who were there taking up all the bench space for their trade on District land. It had been said that the car park enforcement officers could not act but town council felt this was part of their remit. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted that Enforcement Officers would become generic once all posts were together but Cllr Biggs was worried about this ‘generic’ tag. If three people were currently covering all task how was one generic officer going to have time to do everything like dealing with fly tipping, plus parking, plus hair braiders. Dist Cllr Coulson agreed resources were limited.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 25th March 2015 point 472 were noted to contain an error in that it was recorded that the ridge height of the new Midships property would be level with adjacent roof heights whereas it would be significantly higher. It was said that the top of the ‘first floor’ of the building would in fact be in line with the existing ridge height so the overall property was higher. In Cllr Lang’s report it should also say Suzanne not Angela of Cranchs. These points were amended before the Minutes were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
484. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and such observations from town council submitted to District.
• 0622/15/F Householder application for replacement garden shed Friday Cottage, Robinsons Row, Salcombe TQ8 8EU – Applicant Mrs P. Dudgeon – No objection.
Cllr Biggs left the meeting whilst the following application was considered.
• 0648/15/F Installation of Pontoon (revised scheme to planning permission 41/1816/13/F) Salcombe Harbour Hotel, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JH – Applicant Salcombe Harbour Hotel Ltd. – Original planning was for a pontoon fixed to the sea wall which would slip up and down but the wall was not man enough to support such. Now they wanted to sink piles and mount the pontoon so it would be 2.9m not 2.5m out and much closer to the eel grass. It was noted that the Harbour Master conditionally supported but these conditions were highlighted and Cllr Whitfield felt that all other interested parties letters already lodged with District planning were valid as this could stop people walking on the foreshore. The lifeboat knocked the concrete slats on Portlemouth side so what damage would people who did not know even the draught of their boat do. It was felt this usage could not be managed. It was noted that the Harbour Master had indicated that people would need a parking ticket to land on the pontoon Harbour, so it was basically privately accessed. Objection as before that there was concern this proposal would affect the setting of the AONB and SSSI which is one of Salcombe’s tourist assets whilst not providing significant enough benefit to the hotel to outweigh such visual impact. A pontoon could block off the foreshore in front of the hotel at some points of low tide affecting walkers and other users enjoyment of such public space. It was noted that the Harbour Policy section 6.0.1 had been raised noting that they would only support such application that provided landing for public access which this application does not. Safety access when there is dinghy sailing and use of fairway by others should be considered. Whilst it is proposed that a study would be undertaken of the eel grass and sea horses and thereby consideration of such possible environmental intrusion Town Council are concerned that this sensitive area is kept protected now and would not want to see further pontoon structures allowed in the future.
This permanent structure was proposed in one of the busiest stretches of the estuary and there are concerns with regard to congestion and hazards of those less able handling craft to manoeuvre in at this point whilst disadvantaging the public access along this low water point in general. It was suggested that this application needed input from the Estuary Officer and the P U Group at the Harbour should consider.
• 0650/15/F Householder application for extension to ground floor and extension to existing first floor balcony Seacroft, Bonaventure Road, Salcombe TQ8 8BG. – Applicant Mr R. Adey – Objection as it was felt that glass balustrades around the new terrace were out of keeping with the locality and thus not good design when all other adjacent terraces had railings.
• Most correspondence already received emailed to town council.
• Copy of letter to District with regard to Amethyst which it was noted that town council had already objected to.
• Copy of representation posted on District planning website with regard to Athleston.
Dist Cllrs Coulson and Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
485. PARK AND RIDE
It was noted that the County solicitor had advised that parking permits could be provided by them for the park and ride car park under their tier of legislation and therefore town council AGREED they wished to take up this suggestion with 25% of the car park being offered for permit use. Permits would be granted at £350 for an Annual Permit and £200 for six months for use of an undesignated space within the car park. Those wishing to park for more than one day could use RINGO and the Town Clerk would clarify the length of time allowed to be pre booked through this service. County were to be requested to set up a system whereby applications for permits came through Town Council initially for them to ensure only 25% of the parking area was let for permits at any one time.
486. LEGAL FIRM RETAINER
The information provided by town council current solicitors with regard to entering into an annual retainer for advice was considered and REJECTED at this point in time.
487. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
The Mayor outlined concerns he had with regard to discussions at the last meeting that appeared to forget it had been previously agreed that a Neighbourhood Plan update, explanation and discussion would follow the Annual Town Meeting. Only seven committee members were present and the decision to host this update was carried on a 4 to 3 vote. Some members of this committee felt they would not have a full analysis of the survey by the time of the meeting but the point of the meeting was for a town update of what has happened so far and to recruit volunteers for topic groups.
Pete Robinson was also surprised at this meeting when some indicated they were not aware of the plan for this meeting and noted that good analysis of survey responses so far had allowed them to highlight the shortfall of a cross section of respondents. By noting the missing levels of response Survey Monkey had identified areas where further responses could be targeted. However the group now seemed more positive and he hoped they would get a good attendance. Statutory advertising of the Annual Town Meeting had been done and if the Neighbourhood Plan Group wished to do more they could.
Cllr Cohen raised the contents of an email from Mike Dinsdale. It was felt the email content related mainly to tourism and had a commercial aspect and was not close to planning issues although tourism and employment did have an impact. The Mayor noted the correspondent’s initial comment was he was puzzled by the survey questionnaire and could not understand why he had not had a response to his comments put forward. His main thrust was on how to make Salcombe more prosperous through tourism and trade advertising etc. The Mayor continued that the Neighbourhood Plan document was to be a planning document which would include employment, employment space and transport but not focus on selling the town. Over 400 people had completed the survey questionnaire but they would not receive a personal response as that was not the point of surveys. It was acknowledged that Mr Dinsdale carried out a huge amount of work on data mining of tourism facts and Cllr Cohen was requested to reply to him and provide the contact details for James Spencer as Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan group and highlight the forthcoming feedback meeting on 27th April.
488. THE BERRY TREES
It was noted that the information and cautionary signage proposed due to illegal removal of wood left for woodland management had been drafted and such expenditure for signage would be in the region of £35.00 – £40.00 per sign and it was AGREED that these three signs be ordered with the wording below as approved in the meeting.
Salcombe Town Council
This woodland and open space is for all to enjoy and is cared for by woodland management through public money.
The cut logs are left on the ground as woodland habitat.
It is an offence to remove any wood from this area.
Thank you for your co-operation.
There was to be one sign by the footpath off Fortescue Road. One at St. Dunstans unmade road corner together with another sign making three signs in total. The sign providers were to be asked if they could make these out of a sheet of aluminium.
An information board for the habitat and maintenance of The Berry should still be created and placed and it was suggested that maybe the Woodland Trust or Devon Wildlife could assist with the content for these signs and their design.
489. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor advised that he and the Town Clerk had met with Steve Howrihane District Maintenance. Steve Howrihane advised that the type of benches required for The Berry were sourced from Rattery Sawmill and were easy to install as they were freestanding, just four holes dug and filled with gravel so self-draining. A cost for all the benches and picnic tables were to be obtained and then ordered through District using Section 106 monies.
The missing benches identified in the town council bench audit were:
• at the bottom of Cliff House Gardens
• top of Courtney Park by where the phone box used to be
• four along the Creek Car Park
• one in Gould Road on the verge opposite the car park
• Victoria Quay.
There was a question raised as to whether there were benches missing at North and South Sands.
The Mayor and Town Clerk then walked with Steve Howrihane around The Berry along the perimeter and he had taken details to provide a cost for provision of a low fence with post and rail from Fortescue Road (first garage) to just past where the encroached laybys were. Around the remainder of The Berry would be placed individual posts to stop encroachment.
The Mayor, Cllr Lang, Town Clerk and Pete Robinson also met with Steve Forsey and Keith Rennells from District Council and they provided a map of land in Salcombe owned by District. There had been discussion with regard to a Charity and its responsibility for the parcel of land on the opposite side of Fortescue Road and if it was sold what the proceeds could be used for. Further discussion covered using monies to build a Community Hub. It was stated that there was a legal obligation to the Charity, of which District was Trustee, that such money raised from potential sale of the land were had to return to Salcombe. Those present asked about District plans for Whitestrand and it appeared that no one currently had a lease on the usage of the area and no lease was being formulated. When pressed about plans to make Whitestrand car park smaller and introduce a town area, which Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce thought good, Steve Forsey suggested it could be used as an amenity area during the height of the tourist season. Cllr Lang cautioned that there had previously been strong opinion against alterations to Whitestrand usage but Cllr Cohen felt this was more directed at the proposal for a two storey Harbour Office.
The footpath that zigzagged across land by Cheesewring was noted as being owned by District and town council had asked the officers to confirm this. District raised the matter that they wanted a body to maintain the reed beds behind North Sands car park as they no longer had the expertise or manpower in house. The old Cliff House toilets/storeroom was about to be converted into a café as Steve Howrihane had advised he had been given the go ahead for this work last week. Reviewing the Section 106 list of payment it was noted that nothing had been obtained for Trennells Keith Rennells was going to investigate and chase this. Raised also was the state of the grass area at North Sands as it remained half earth but that was to be landscaped shortly as part of the culvert works. There was still talk of possibly putting some wooden play equipment in the wooden area behind. .
Finally town council requested details of the new contact with regard to these matters as Keith Rennells would be leaving and Steve Forsey moved to another officer position but this information was still unknown.
Toby Leigh left the meeting.
The Mayor also met with Adam Parnell and Simon Evans from RNLI. He and Adam had made various suggestions with regard to possible locations for a helipad for the coastguard helicopter when bringing people in from sea rescue. They suggested rebuilding Jubilee Pier or placing an area pedestrianised at the end of Whitestrand which could be used. The third area mentioned was the field The Crofts behind the South West Water area. They needed a place within walking distance by stretcher as in the height of the season the ambulance was taking 1.5hrs to get there.
Cllr Lang cautioned remembering previous consideration of making Whitestrand pedestrianised as at that time this caused uproar. Cllr Cohen however felt this was with regard to making the harbour office two storeys.
The Mayor and others met with Judith Newman from Bayleaf to discuss the new flowerbed and agreed that rather than being a large rectangle the shape would be an E so people could walk into the area to view plants. Judith would be coming up with a design and placing of bedding plants, bulbs etc for town council to consider. Town Council was advised that if anyone was seen there not to worry as they would be marking it out with weedkiller to kill off the grass.
The current planters by the War Memorial were discussed and it was considered removing the plastic planters and having two 1m x 18 inch stone planters. A walk around Jubilee Gardens was also done.
The Mayor noted that Bonfire Hill Cemetery had raised concerns as a resident phoned him concerning the state of a grave. He visited and found the grave turf raised but also hacked away by something which had left a wheel mark across it. It was not known what caused the wheel mark as the grass contractors had only been in to strim during the winter period. The Mayor was also concerned about the grass cuttings left as this was over graves and he had spoken to the contractor about this. The biggest concern was that the graves had a mixture of hard stone and stone/shillet on them where graves must had sunk and someone tried to infill. Pete Robinson was going to meet with Adrian Mundy to discuss this matter. Iain Randall would turf the grave which the resident had reported but noted it was not their equipment which had caused the problem.
David Cohen also met a resident who had mentioned the cemetery condition.
The Finance Group met with Chris Jebb Hawthorns Accounting to understand the internal audit process and he provided a list of audit requirements so if there was anything specific required for consideration he could overview.
It was reported that the Salcombe Court crane stand over Easter had a fence erected around and it was suggested cars were parking. The Mayor reviewed these comments but the parking was unfounded. A fence and chain had been placed across however. Since the planning application no entry had been made at District since June 2014 and that was the town council response. As the concrete wall around had been filled in the Town Clerk was asked to speak to Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce.
Finally the Mayor had received an email from someone in London complaining about potholes and the state of fences along Cliff Road. This had been passed to highways.
490. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllr Biggs – That the left hand side wall going onto the beach at North Sands where there had previously been herris fences and on the right hand side where a new house was being built there was major damage to the sea wall, Collaton Wood side. It showed severe cracking on the sea wall which was quite noticeable and perhaps could have been to do with high impact lorries in that area.
Cllr Wheeler – Noted that the planting in St. Dunstans playarea looked really good and such positive points also needed acknowledging and complimenting. The crew there were putting mulch in to keep the weeds down. A report had been received from a local resident that at 8 Knowle Road a large conservatory had been erected and any planning, application was not known of but this may be permitted development. He then advised of costs of various padlocks for the park and ride and places to source such..
Cllr Whitfield – Had sent the local police a photo of overhanging parking along Coronation Road pavement and they had thanked him for this and already been up and spoken to people and ticketed some. They were also going to talk to the housing lettings companies about this issue of their tenants. WPC Jo Pengilly had asked all town council to keep letting them know of any such incidents and they would deal with these.
Cllr Cohen – Advised that he would circulate next meeting, details with regard to an information board highlighting that the smells at North Sands were not pollution and he was going to have a meeting with Nigel Mortimer to assist with the educational visual board for the public.
• Notification of a triathlon starting from the Quayside Leisure Centre on the morning of Sunday 14th June 2015 to Salcombe. A request was made for volunteers to marshall. Town Council wished to know what sort of turn around would take place on the Beadon Estate as this was a residential area needing access at all times. Also it was asked whether Highways had been informed and confirmed the marshalling arrangements.
• Received a call from a lady who approached District with regard to setting up doing hair braiding in Salcombe who had been directed to Town Council. This matter was taken up with District Councillors in Open Forum and they were to investigate.
• Diane Miller from Salcombe Art Club had requested two permits to allow their volunteers to park in the Park and Ride when volunteering in the shop. Due to the new parking order arrangements this was no longer possible.
• Spoken to Richard Gosling of APlant who agreed that due to the disruption of access to the Health Centre, the Bus Company, Harbour and District Car Park and they could carry out the works on 18th May 2015 for 3 days during the night time with minimal disruption. This was welcomed and agreed. It was asked whether the formal Road Closures for South West Water had been received as Bonningtons would like any notices with regard to Fore Street and around so that they could have this information in the shop.
• An enquiry had been received from the person leaving materials up on Bonaventure as to whether they could purchase from town council this portion of land to park their second white van on, as with other owners along this stretch of land. Consideration of such usage and possibly a licence for only parking a vehicle and not storage of materials would be considered. The planning group would attend this area to map out and measure what was available for such use.
• Emails received from Ali Porter and Michael Grisewood of BBC Production The Coroner notifying that they wish to film at Mewstone East House, Allenhayes Road on Monday 13th April from 08.00 – 19.00. They had also requested that they use the Park and Ride for a base for their trailers for make artists, changing rooms, catering truck, office etc and another 10-15 cars. They would need access from Sunday afternoon until Monday afternoon. They enquired if they were able to do such and what the cost would be? These would be large vehicles which the Parking Order did not allow and therefore permission could not be given. It was suggested that they should contact District with regard to using the Creek Car Park or North Sands as the Creek would be nearer to the venue.
• Response received with regard to building materials stored on the perimeter of The Berry. The property owners had advised that they are levelling and reseeding the portion of land and would sow wild flowers so return the area to a better state than previously.
Councillors APPROVED the following cheques for signature:
003312 Hawthorns Accounting – Wages slips to March 2015 £70.00
003313 Will Hampton – Works to Berry trees £350.00
003314 Torr View Forge – Height barrier at Park and Ride Final Payment £900.00
003315 Triangle Print – Neighbourhood Plan A4 Questionnaire, Flyer and Poster £149.00
003316 DALC – Annual Subscription £423.70
003317 Bayleaf Gardening Ltd – Jubilee Gardens £400.00
003318 Bromsgrove & Redditch Trophies Ltd. – Citizen of the Year Plaques £87.93
003319 Post Office – Stamps £46.80
Members of the public and press will be excluded from this part of the meeting as the item under discussion contains information exempt under the LGA 1972, Schedule 12(a) Park 1, Section 1 and the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960.
492. LAND ISSUES
The legal response was considered and it was AGREED to proceed accordingly.
493. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 22nd April 2015 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 10.05p.m.
……………………………………………….. 22nd April 2015.