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 – A
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott – A
Cllr Mrs A. Clacy – A
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 – *
764. 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 Lang declared an interest in planning application 0198/16/HHO.
765. OPEN FORUM
David Tucker was in attendance to speak with regard to his planning application for Batson Hall Farm Barn application 2029/15/F. His previous application had been rejected and he noted town council were concerned of further development of the building if the change was permitted. He advised that he only wished this for ancillary accommodation for their family home and he currently had planning to convert their existing garage as it was too small for modern cars. This application was a modified application as it was reduced in scale and mass for the garage following consultation with the planning officer. He advised he had showed the current plans to all immediate neighbours as he took them to the Batson village party so that everyone had a chance to comment. It was he felt in keeping with the scenery with a smaller garage immediately below them which was given permission in 2012 and would not be visible across any of the skyline. Looking from Snapes it sat into a bank of trees and he felt the new development at Batson High View above would be the dominant view.
Malcolm Mackley wished to explain his intention with regard to obtaining funding for the renovation of Jubilee Steps. He explained that he lived at Devon Road and was a retired officer of Chemical Engineering and had lived in Salcombe since 2011. He had photographs and some plans with regard to Jubilee Pier and was enthusiastic about obtaining grant funding from the Heritage Lottery funding so he hoped that Salcombe Town Council would support this aspiration. So far he had support from Yacht Club, WI, Salcombe Primary School, Cty Cllr Gilbert, Simon Shortman of the Salcombe Ferry, Salcombe History Society, Chris Brook District Council Engineer, Salcombe Lifeboat and Salcombe Museum. He had identified Heritage Lottery Funding for grants over £100k and acknowledged it might cost in the region of £200 – £300k to restore the steps to their former glory and all he wanted was support from Town Council so that he could feel it was alright to put in a project enquiry. He had a potted history of the pier which most no doubt knew and he explained he was not asking for money just the Town Council goodwill to continue as they and the District Council were crucial to agreement. This was a District heritage asset as they owned the steps but such renovation expenditure was low down their priorities. At the moment District was on board for the renovation if someone else paid. Cllr Wheeler noted he personally supported this idea and the Mayor agreed that personally he would also support and noted that no one, present at this meeting, was unsupportive of such a worthwhile project. Mr Mackley continued that he hoped that if successful the Harbour Board would front the project in terms of project managing and acting as funding banker.
Sara Lovick advised she lived at the Coachhouse, Bridleway House and was the owner of the coach house with concerns in relation to application 3069/15/HHO.
She felt that the proposed new roof height would create an invasion of privacy which would have a detrimental effect on her property. There was to be a third additional floor with a sea view room all looking down on her property and denying them privacy on their terrace. The trees would provide screening at a lower level but the higher floor gave visual intrusion. No other property had been allowed to increase their roof height and this she felt would be a dangerous precedent if allowed and she noted that the recent Cheesewring application had lowered their proposed roof height. There would be a massive increased use of glass and this was orientated directly toward the Coach house. If the third floor was not permitted she would as a compromise not object to the two existing floors even though there would be increased glass. She felt that this application was insensitive to the AONB and TPOs in place and noted such bordered a footpath. She had previously discussed with Dave Blatchford, the applicant, that the driveway and footpath must be reinstated but to date no repairs had been carried out even though works had already commenced. The development lorries were turning in and churning up her driveway and it seemed that developers could do what they liked but there was no protection to her road, trees and hedging which should not be tampered with. She quoted the Human Rights Act and its reference to enjoyment of home and land which she felt would be destroyed.
Alex Lammie attended on behalf of Lorna Slinger with regard to her objection in relation to 0235/16/HHO Cookes Quay. The property had been built 20 years ago and designed with an outward looking aspect to the fish quay and such proposed changes to the conservatory would move the orientation by 90 degrees and overlook his client’s property and affect privacy. He also asserted that the visual impact from the conservatory designed for that frontage especially when viewed from the fish quay and Snapes would add to the clutter which Salcombe was trying to get away from in its Conservation Policy. Cllr Wheeler noted this proposed area was an open terrace occupied in fair weather times so this would greatly increase the overlooking possibilities.
Roger Petty-Brown spoke on behalf of the Holy Trinity Church. Further information had been required with regard to their accounts and any limit on fund raising. He noted that they could hold six concerts per year before their Performance Rights rules came in and then made further concerts not viable. The up to date accounts would arrive before the next council meeting and would show a healthy amount of money. The end of year document showed a spend surplus for the last few years but in previous years there had been a deficit which was likely to re appear. Any help that could be given towards the £6000 required for the town clock would be appreciated as it had not worked for three months and the face was worn so it looked scruffy. He noted that the money paid to Exeter was reducing due to the size of congregation falling.
Police Report – No crimes reported in the last few weeks for Salcombe. There continued to be a bit of a problem with boy racers but there needed to be more than one witness to report incidents. There had been some illegal netting of fish within Kingsbridge end of the estuary but this was a fisheries matter although unlit boats, having multiple nets, an outboard too big for the boat and the seal number of the boat ground off were matters they could take into consideration. Two men had been detained but there may have been accomplices on the other side of the estuary.
District Councillor Report
Cllr. Wright noted that District Council approved their budget and whereas in December they had been down £300,000 following the Government’s February financial settlement they were not. They were also now allowed to increase their precept up to 2% without a referendum and 50 Districts were allowed to put their budget up by £5.00 per household. South Hams District fell outside this £5.00 concession originally but had just been given permission to do so and therefore there would be an increase of 3%. They had given district councilors a pay rise as they had gone from 40 to 31 councillors representing all areas saving. They had also received £770,000 innovation fund which they would invest to earn interest as by 2020 there would be no money coming directly from Government. At full council the following day District would decide whether to look in more detail at setting up their own in house trading company to offer their services outsourced.
Cllr Wheeler noted he personally had been worried at the trend over the last 18 months to 2 years whereby District Council was an organisation that had access to public funds but could risk these monies in a commercial sense. Any business that had income which was effectively a constant supply from public purse but could now go out and make bad market trading decisions worried him. It seemed that a trading company would mean that a branch of district council would become landlords and developers with land assets to use, especially in view of the market prices, Salcombe assets. Cllr Wright advised that District did not intend to take risks and noted they could put the Batson units into a company. With the Cliff House Gardens proposal for an ice cream café this was a private venture although it would be let out to someone who in turn would be developing it and take the risk. Cllr Mrs Pearce noted that District were sweating their assets as there was no point in having them unless they made money. Therefore the risk from letting something under licence for a season was small but any income in turn was reducing council tax which she felt was good. Cllr Wheeler noted though that there was a proposal by District for a development that would wipe out £80,000 of money they spent two years ago on works for a project that would then compete with local businesses. Car parks were one of the largest income generators, especially in Salcombe, and now Government had released this income to be used within District Council. Cllr Mrs Pearce noted these comments and said District were mindful with risks as well. Cllr Lang felt that there needed to be a certain amount of investment in the Cliff House Garden toilets building to enable it to be rented and this use of public monies was happening more and more. The District Councillors noted that the District Leader did not want services cut and therefore they were looking to the future as it was sweat assets or sell. Cllr Wheeler noted he would agree on issues where District needed to make money but Salcombe had land assets around the town owned by District and this worried him. Cllr Mrs Pearce sympathized and herself felt that if District was to be selling services to other councils how would they manage if they could not afford to provide them in their own area then why would others use them to supply. Cllr Wheeler noted his main concern was he was worried about the public space being used or sold and losing this asset. The Mayor understood and agreed with Cllr Wheeler’s concern and would not want to lose such.
Mr Mackley left the meeting.
Cllr Mrs Pearce highlighted the change in the duty planning service which would now run only on Monday, Tues and Thursday mornings and on Thursday a heritage expert would be present. People could no longer turn up at Follaton House and queue but could make an appointment up to a month in advance. Cllr Biggs noted that a duty planner had indicated that people could only ring on the Monday of the two weeks prior to an appointment to make such arrangement. The Mayor felt that this service was not user friendly.
Cllr Mrs Pearce had also been appraised of a new system for enforcement and hoped that it would prove better. An enforcement complaint arrives, would be logged by a case officer who asked a locality officer to visit the complaint address and investigate, take some photos and take back this information to District. They could then decide whether it was a neighbour dispute, worth pursuing and whether they were going to enforce or regularise through a planning application. This was currently the theory and the system was to be tested. Town Council enquired about the backlog in enforcement and that was subject to a report to District Council the following day and therefore would be reported at the next town council meeting.
Roger Petty-Brown left the meeting.
It was suggested that there was such a huge backlog that until it was dealt with no new system would work. The new and old system would run in parallel with different sets of officers dealing with such until it was cleared.
Cllr Lang noted the footpath between Bennett Road and Cliff Road where rocks had fallen down and that it was owned by District Council. A reply from District said this was not their responsibility as footpaths were County but actually it was the responsibility of District as landowner. Cllr Mrs Pearce would take this back and highlight the concern.
Cllr Wheeler noted his report at the last meeting with regard to trees at North Sands and was incensed that this had happened and town council not notified. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce did note she had received an email at that time but she had no access to historical emails due to a technical problem. However it transpired that the tree notice decision was reviewed by the recent in post Tree Officer after the refusal had been given. Cllr Mrs Pearce agreed there should have been a condition that enclosed the trees to protect their roots and she felt they needed to ascertain how this oversight happened and ensure it did not happen again. Cllr Wheeler noted this was not the first time so he was worried what message this was sending out to those who did not follow policy rules. It was agreed District needed to investigate the process that allowed this to happen and Cllr Wheeler was concerned with the time wasted by himself and Cllr Mrs Pearce pulling together these photos, emails and exchanges etc to raise this concern.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 10th February 2016 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
DEFERRED due to no further applications.
768. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and town council observations submitted to District Planning:
• 2029/15/F READVERTISEMENT (Revised Plans). Householder application for construction of replacement garage with games room over Batson Hall Barn, Shadycombe Road, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8NE – Applicant Mr & Mrs Tucker – Size of building reduced mainly by removal of dormer. No objection but town council requested a condition that this must remain ancillary to the main building.
• 3051/15/HHO READVERTISEMENT (Conservation area and affects settling Listed Building) Householder application for demolition of existing rear extension and erection of replacement single storey extension Bigbury Cottage, 11 Church Street, Salcombe Devon, TQ8 8DH – Applicant. Objection. This was felt to be overdevelopment of a very small site and there were concerns with regard to the impact on natural light to the neighbouring garden and property rooms. The proposed lantern was to be set significantly higher than the first floor and could generate light pollution during the night. Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce cautioned this could be Permitted Development even if they were raising the walls over 1 metre as it was not as high as the first floor, however the lantern was higher. The planning officer, she advised, was currently talking to the agents to seek an alternative solution for the lantern. Town council however felt that the extension of the walls three quarters of the way down the garden was unneighbourly and were concerned with regard to the loss of light.
• 3069/15/HHO Householder application for demolition of single storey wing of house together with 2no. outbuildings. Erection of side extensions, front entrance and partial additional storey, basement, terrace, driveway and associated works Bridleway House, Moulthaven Service Road, Salcombe TQ8 8LF – Applicant Mr J. Blatchford – Objection. This proposal introduced a large amount of glass facing towards the sea views and was felt to be an overdevelopment of the site with an increased ridge height both of which would have an impact on the surrounding properties and AONB. The proposed materials were also not felt to be in keeping with the area and there was an element of overlooking especially from the third floor of the property sea view room. If developed as proposed this could affect the AONB landscape when viewed from the estuary. There was concern with regard to the number of trees removed from this property site due to works already commenced as this area was subject to a blanket TPO.
Mr Tucker left the meeting.
• 0120/16/HHO Rear kitchen extension, replacement and extended dormer to rear roof and new French doors to front elevation Allenhayes, Allenhayes Road, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8HU- Applicant Mr and Mrs J. Lace – No objection.
Cllr Lang left the meeting whilst the following application was considered.
• 0198/16/HHO Householder application for two storey rear extension, external alterations and new steps to extended sunken garden 13 Courtenay Street, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8DQ – Applicant Mr J. Walker – No objection.
• 0235/16/HHO Householder application for proposed conservatory extension located at first floor on north facing gable end Cookes Quay, Thorning Street, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8DW -Applicant Mr R. Turner – Objection. This proposal was felt to impact on the Conservation Area as the conservatory would be out of character and look totally out of place with adjacent properties and affect the AONB due to it being visible from all around. There was also concern raised with regard to overlooking of the neighbouring property Penza as by the kitchen being moved it placed a window in the east side of the house which would overlook and be in use at all times of the year.
Alex Lammie and Sara Lovick left the meeting.
WORK TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREES
• 0432/16/TPO Site: ’Woodlands’, Cliff Road, Salcombe, Devon Proposal – T1 Sycamore. Fell under Exemption. T1 Pine. Remove deadwood. T2 Pine. Fell. T3 Pine. Fell. 2 x Ash limbs. Remove. – Town Council could not ascertain where the trees were located from the poor map provided and therefore would leave the decision to the Tree Officer.
• Most information already passed on to town councillors.
• 3130/15/HHO and 3131/15/LBC The Dower House, Salcombe. An email was received with regard to the architect’s discussions with the planning officer together with the applicant’s amended plans. The architect had asked that this information be considered by town council although the town clerk had enquired whether the planning officer was to provide further time for consultation. Town Council felt that their Objection still stood as the garden room height did not appear to have changed, just the width. It was elt that placing fencing between gardens did not remove concerns. Introducing glass on the front of the garden room could alsoset a precedent for adjacent properties which would be out of keeping with the interspersed structures currently visible from the water. These comments would be conveyed to the planning officer.
The link sent by District was provided to Town Council but those who tried to access this document by visiting the District website and looking under current consultations could not find them and nothing came up under a search for the names. This problem would be raised with District.
After discussion it was agreed to respond on the following District Council consultations:
(a) South Hams Green Infrastructure Framework
The Green Infrastructure Strategy highlighted various aspects of the South Hams and said that there was no green space or public open space over 2 hectares within 300m across this parish. This document went a long way to highlighting the importance of landscape and heritage to this area together with flooding concerns and the use of SUDS. However there was a list of small scale projects, not large enough to be included in the document, which stated this was from community consultation but town council were not aware of feeding into this consultation. Of interest was the Green Infrastructure Checklist included for developers on pages 33 and 34, noted and welcomed.
It was acknowledged within the framework that future new development should include providing links between communities. There was a project earmarked to enhance the connectivity with Kingsbridge to all outlying areas from the town through bridleways and green lanes and considering ponds, streams, estuaries etc for nature based tourism but the only project for Salcombe was Hangar Marsh and a cycle of cutting back the reeds and improving the bird hide. With regard to connectivity from Kingsbridge through Salcombe to East Portlemouth then perhaps Jubilee Pier should be a project as this also allowed access and egress to the estuary and was a historic factor. No mention appeared to be made of current and potential water based activities in the Green Infrastructure Framework. Whilst the Playing Pitch Strategy picked up on sport the importance to Salcombe of outdoor activities on the water did not appear to be supported. It was hard to actually see down to specific area on the plans included but the allotments in Salcombe did not appear on the public open space nor allotments and orchards maps. It was noteworthy that Salcombe provide Junior Football, Adult Rugby, Tennis and have a hockey pitch. The Playing Pitch Strategy highlighted adult football but not junior and whilst there was a hockey pitch there was no hockey team.
Town Council felt that was no understanding of the topography of the South Hams. An overarching policy for South Hams and West Devon did not fit both areas or even across the whole South Hams. Blue open space was neither well covered nor included. It was felt this document was neither deliverable nor sustainable and could hamper development. The policies were unclear and appeared muddle with too much aged data. It was also felt that with all documents an executive summary would be of benefit.
(b) South Hams and West Devon Playing Pitch Strategy
The Berry was included as a small pitch and community space but noted that Salcombe School did not have any pitches. The closest cricket area was at Malborough and there was a poorly maintained hockey pitch at Kingsbridge Academy that would probably not last much longer. Rugby was well provided in Salcombe with the pitch felt to be used well above capacity and the Kingsbridge Club provided a facility which the Academy also used due to their facility not being suitable although there was currently a new pitch being created for them. An annex with regard to Facilities Planning Model noted that this information should be treated with caution as it was desk based an incorrect and only considered pitches over 75 x 45metres. Of concern was that there did not appear to be any additional projects earmarked for this area. It was noted that whilst listed the hockey pitch was no longer used and thus gone. In conclusion it was felt that the Open Space Sport and Recreation plan that town council were tasked with creating should look to provide older people with sports options.
The quotes received were considered and it was AGREED to allocate the work to Iain Randall of Greenspace for a term of a year.
771. PARK AND RIDE
Chris Rook had said no to the further signs that would promote the public service bus and had acknowledged that they would remove buses parking within the car park from the draft Traffic Regulation Order. A quarterly income report for October to December had still not been received but was to be forwarded in due course.
It was AGREED to;
(a) approve that the Chamber of Commerce and then the town council business list be approached to disperse the information that town council were allocating the parking permits
(b) to note the quote by the chosen surfacing contractor South West Highways to include additional hard standing in the disabled bays and approve the further cost of £1125.80.
(c) pay the outstanding County Council invoice for the car park and town signage and continue to push for the further signs.
772. TOWN COUNCIL PARKING
Further consideration with regard to the provision of the parking space for council use and measures required ensuring access and egress was given and it was AGREED
(a) that no physical barriers would be installed
(b) to improving signage to indicate this was Salcombe Town Council only private parking, town councillors to further consider signage wording and whether to have the ground painted illustrating such
(c) that no further discussions would take place on this matter and no other persons or organisations would be considered for dispensation to park within this area as this matter had been decided.
The Church Secretary had advised that they were only limited in the number of concerts they could hold due to their music licence limiting them to six paid live music events a year. The Treasurer was to provide an up to date bank statement but at present this had not been received.
Council considered the request for a grant towards Salcombe Holy Trinity Church carrying out refurbishment of the town clock and it was felt that an ongoing maintenance programme should be considered and AGREED in principle to award a grant with a request to the Diocese to match fund the grant. Due to lack of financial information the amount of the grant was not agreed and deferred to the next meeting.
774. TREE REPORT
Highlighted was the excellent work carried out by the Allotment Association to ‘lay’ the roadside hedge. Concern by the owner with regard to the trees overhanging Chota House were not felt to be an issue although the property owner could be advised to consider what works they would like carried out and permission sought from town council with the property owner paying for such.
The report provided by Hi-Line was noted and it was AGREED to obtain quotes for the works outlined.
775. SHADYCOMBE CEMETERY
It was AGREED to purchase advisory signs with regard to dog mess within the cemetery up to a cost of £56.00.
776. LEGAL MATTERS
It was AGREED;
(a) DEFERRED awaiting information from the District solicitor with regard to their documents
(b) that the course of action to be taken with regard to the terms of proposed Lease for the council office would be to accept the town council solicitor’s advice and for him to respond accordingly.
777. INTERNAL AUDIT PROCEDURE
It was AGREED that the accounts and financial procedures that town council wished the internal auditor to take up within his report were payment processes going from predominantly cheques to electronic payments as this had been changed during the year due to new legislation allowing such process.
778. PUBLIC WASTE BINS
One shop owner had complained that they paid. rates and yet now did not have a public waste bin in the vicinity. It was also said that another bin had been removed from around the Victoria Quay but the Mayor advised that this had been moved. If District were to remove more bins the area would become a mess during the height of the season. All dog waste bins had been taken out of North Sands car park and one brand new green bin placed on the left-hand side of the car park. It was noted that when BT placed the new cable cabinet at the Fore Street junction by the ice cream shop District found they could not open the doors to the bin properly and removed it.
It was AGREED that this matter would be raised again with District but no further sites for additional waste bins to be provided were felt necessary at present.
779. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor noted that he attended the town council owned Council Hall with regard to a water leak and their high water rates. A South West Water agent had visited and advised that the leak lay somewhere between the pavement outside and just outside the museum and they would deal with the problem. Whilst at the Council Hall the Mayor noted that there still appeared to be a leak from the sink in the TIC toilet and there was damp on the wall below. It seemed as though there was water under the waste pipe and this job would be handed to the newly in post Handyman.
There was to be a charity cycle run on 16th July to 22nd July from Newcastle to Salcombe with the planting of a commemorative tree in Salcombe. Those involved wished to plant an oak tree with a plaque in memory of the correspondent’s sister and it was noted that the group would be planting other trees at various location on their way down. Given the eventual size of the proposed memorial tree which the group had requested to plant it was suggested that the only location could be within the existing woodland on the Berry. Positioning would be put to the contractor carrying out the tree works suggested by the Hi-Line report. A plaque could be placed but could well become overgrown and needed to be of a suitable size to be in keeping with this area.
The Swimming Pool Committee were looking for volunteers to man the pool tills and had asked if anything could be placed on the town council website to highlight this request. A suitable article would be created.
780. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
• Cllr. Whitfield – Noted that District were cutting back hedges down at Batson and placing the greenery the other side of the road. This was clearance of the RA4 site for the business/workshop units. He also noted that if anything needed to go on the town council website he was happy to upload such agreed articles but asked that the article/words be sent to him and he will then do so but did not want to write the piece. He had also received a phone call from a lady who was concerned that she was receiving telephone calls to her personal mobile phone number as it was contained within the Emergency Plan from when she had been a warden at Chandlers Heights. She was no longer there and he had removed the number but it illustrated that the information needed closer scrutiny to avoid giving out information no longer correct.
• The Salcombe Town Council logo on the letterhead was indistinct and could do with redrafting. This could then be used for small metal punch badges which could be affixed to benches, noticeboards etc to show ownership.
• District had advised that town council had been successful in their TAP Fund bid and had been awarded £1570 towards maintenance of the public realm.
• Footpaths Officer had advised that due to pressure of work he would not be able to meet with Cllr Lang as Footpath Warden until into the new financial year.
• Simon Putt from Hi Line had advised that his company were applying for funding to create tree trails whereby loop walks of short, medium and long routes would be created to point out trees of interest and this project would then be linked to doctors’ surgeries. He enquired whether, if they were successful, Salcombe Town Council would be interested in this.
• Letter from Dr. Sarah Wollaston MP dated 3rd February 2016 advised the work to the manholes in Victoria Quay completed. They had also established that there may be an issue with the incoming pipe rather than the manhole itself. A site visit had been arranged for 11th or 12th February to obtain a further update.
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £218,300.02
Income – Allotment rental less 10% for Allotment Association £302.40. Three users payments awaited.
Councillors APPROVED the following payments:
Devon County Council – Park and Ride and Town Signs £2412.74
P. Robinson Underpayment on padlock £5.00 plus sundries £2.95 = £7.95
Greenspace – Jubilee Play Area hinges £65.25, Grass cutting maintenance £474.33 and Pressure washing bus stops £52.49 = £592.07
Cliff House Trust – Hire of Library Neighbourhood Plan £12.00
Hi-Line – Tree survey/Inspection, Risk Assessment £270.00
Wages – £1775.19
HMRC – Tax and NI £739.06
Bayleaf Gardening Ltd – Jubilee Gardens contract £546.98
003441 Salcombe Christmas Lights Grant £700.00
003442 G. Claydon (Cash) – Stamps 48 x 2nd class £25.92
003442 The Three in One Magazine – subscription £8.00
782. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 9th March 2016 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.30p.m.
……………………………………………….. 9th March 2016.