COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr. M. Fice – Mayor (in the Chair) – *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell – *
Cllr T. Lang – *
Cllr R. Whitfield – *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott – *
Cllr Mrs M. Kemp – *
Cllr K. Baker – *
Cllr N. Rudd – *
Cllr G. Lennox – *
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – A
Cllr P. Armstrong – *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr S. Wright – *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce – *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert – *
Gill Claydon (Clerk) – *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) – *
WPC Jo Pengilly – A
PCSO P. O’Dwyer – *
Kingsbridge Gazette – A
Following the recent atrocities the Mayor called for everyone to be upstanding and one minutes silence for Manchester.
106. 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.
107. OPEN FORUM
Mike Richards advised that he started the ‘Save the Berry’ petition at the Spar shop and wished to put his points to the District Councillors. He asked them to unequivocally endorse the statement that the Berry was open space which should remain free from development as it was gifted to the town people. Cllr Wright noted that a meeting had been requested and was to take place between District and Town Council so rather than pre-empt that dialogue they would not comment but heard what Mr Richards said.
Tim Tucker of South Sands Ferry advised that a few days ago he had made contact with various people as he was concerned regarding the Whitestrand car park construction work around the public toilets area. Notably the Bank Holiday weekend was coming up and yet there remained lots of barrier fencing and what appeared chaos. Nobody seemed to know what was happening and eventually his emails went to Cllr Wright who responded that the changes would have no loss of car parking spaces or seating and everything would be cleared in 2 days’ time. Mr Tucker explained that he was not convinced this would happen. Having looked at the District planning website he noted the planning application going ahead appeared to reactivate what was discussed last October and was fiercely rejected by the town. He had further requested a copy of the tender to Landmarc from Cllr Wright but this had not been received.
So his question was if this was the October plans reactivated in March/April this year it definitely stated there was reduction of car parking and seating. He and other traders did not want a construction site for next week Bank Holiday and half term. It amazed him that a contract was in fact issued at this time of year and not during winter when there were 5 months such works would not disturb businesses and the general public. Also he questioned how council told the people of this town what was going to happen and what was going on, suggesting a simple information board on the construction area as with other construction sites as this allayed rumours. His summary was that everything surrounding this was strangely quiet, bad for PR and made people frustrated. As the town had lived without railings for 40/50 – 100 years why could this not be scheduled for October?
The Mayor noted that town communication had been a topic of discussion over the last few weeks. At the moment communication was by posting minutes and agendas on three noticeboards around town and the website which was renewed last year. The hope was to now start communicating through Facebook. Works on Whitestrand had been in town council Minutes a long time ago but he agreed a District Council site board would assist.
On the matter of construction timing Cllr Wright advised it was difficult but the work had to go out to obtain prices and then choose a contractor and as this contractor had been working at Beesands it was impossible for them to drop and come to Salcombe so they just awaited their turn. That said Cllr Wright was impressed with the contractor in their professionalism in dealing with the public and keeping the site clear. A signboard was a brilliant idea and he had taken this up with the officers and would do so in the future. The seating plinths have been taken away but adequate seating would be back in for the weekend. He confirmed that there was no loss of car parking. They were taking the scooter bay and moving it to the other end so the disabled bays were more accessible. Works would be terminated the following day with a temporary surface and benches back going in re commencing work after half term. They might however continue to work on the balustrades by Wardroom.
The Mayor questioned whether the railings would be left and installed after the summer period. Cllr Wright advised that these would be installed as soon as possible but after half term during June. Tim Tucker was still concerned that the District website showed plans with the discharge of conditions which illustrated removal of parking but Cllr Wright confirmed that although they had received planning permission for such District would not be undertaking this part of the application.
Dave Jobbins was in attendance with Jason Parry with regard to the Tides Reach application. He had forwarded information updating town council and attended to give them an opportunity to ask questions. District planning committee last year was minded to approve the application but the action group against asked for the application to be called in but the Secretary of State refused. The action group thereafter requested that the hotel be Listed but Historic England said no. They then tried registering the car park at a Community Asset but this was turned down by District Council. The planning permission and asset of community value refusal had now been submitted by the action group for Judicial Review so the applicants were frustrated as they could not progress with development. Both sides (the applicants and District Council) had taken legal advice and been advised that the planning authority were right when they came to a view. None the less the applicant was working with District planning and the application would be taken back to committee to include additional information, a revised viability report. The earlier report was not saying the hotel was not viable and Dave Jobbins confirmed the applicant had already entered into a section 106 for £400,000. The set benchmark for development was a return of 20% for any developer but as they were a hotel operator they did not have to abide by those benchmarks. They had funding in place and would have commenced works by now if they could. They were keen to get on but District Council wished to go back to committee to report back with these additional items. As well the viability report would be assessed by an action group surveyor and Dave Jobbins asked that when town council was called upon to reconsider they reviewed their comments, in the light of this further information, which were previously an objection.
The Mayor noted that the reason town council objected was the previous report could be read either way and its contents was giving lots of different stories. He personally felt as an accountant the report seemed confusing. That was why town council reached the decision they did and if this independent review said it was viable town council would look at it again. The applicant was committed to pay section 106 contributed and there was a signed agreement to illustrate this however they had been asked to rerun the appraisal without reference to the section 106 provision as the action group believed this was how it should have been done.
A town councillor raised a matter with regard to Data Protection which was not a town council matter and therefore did not need to be discussed nor answered. However a response advised that the applicant was well aware that others were lobbying against their proposals so it was not unusual to request people to support them. Jason Parry noted he was happy to discuss the contact list and communication any time as this was not a data base just business cards he held which were contacted in a professional way.
PSCO Paul O’Dwyer was in attendance to introduce himself as new to the area. The police report for the last two weeks was 6 crimes listed. Due to the incident in Manchester security had been raised to COBRA level. The Chief Constable of Devon had decided not to have troops on the streets but they were alerted and on standby should they be needed and did have the needs to respond.
Over the last 6 weeks he had been based at the Harbour Office and had amongst other things been round all shops introducing himself. The town had welcomed him and he had just come from meeting the young Rainbows. Cllr Lennox enquired how six crimes in two weeks compare with last year and whilst PCSO O’Dwyer did not have the figures he said it was an increase. He had yet to get around the fishing groups but would do so and encouraged everyone to remain vigilant and praised the use of CCTV.
Liz Hore, Jason Parry and Dave Jobbins left this meeting at this point.
County Councillors Report
The Mayor welcomed Cty Cllr Gilbert back following his re-election and Cty Cllr Gilbert noted that he looked forward to serving Salcombe for another four years acknowledging it was a great honour as his division was a beautiful area. There was an enormous variety of wealth across this patch although it had some pockets of poor in areas. The Mayor noted that there were many in town who survived on low wages and all should not be complacent on how hard it could be to live in this expensive but beautiful area.
Cty Cllr Gilbert had advised of all the parishes and days they met so as to when he could attend Salcombe which would only be the fourth Wednesday of each month. This was due to the fact that he must attend Bigbury Churchstow and South Huish on the second Wednesday each month. Devon County full council would be the following day and the first meeting after the elections so business started again then. He was on the same committees but also was on IFCA which covered inland fisheries right round Devon and Cornwall and was important for fishermen so he was pleased to be on this. He advised that the Halwell A381 road sub structure and surfacing was to be done 9th to 15th June and he encouraged all to publicise this work and diversions to everyone.
The Mayor did not feel that pothole repairing was being dealt with at present at going through West Alvington it needed urgent work on the road doing down past the school. Cty Cllr Gilbert thought perhaps the potholes were not quite deep enough yet but was advised they were ringed. Devon County had also ringed potholes down Coronation Road and Bonfire Hill so Cty Cllr Gilbert was asked if this meant they would not be done! He advised that if a surveyor been out it should be due to be done. Part of the holdup was due to the handover to Skanska who had taken over the highway contract for Devon. He noted they had a lot of experience but was cautious and hoped that the detail in the contract was tight but only time would tell.
Cllr Lang advised that all the drains and gulleys in Fore Street were blocked solid again. Cllr Lennox also noted that because Salcombe was on a hill there was a lot of runoff water which brought debris and drains blocked quickly. Therefore gulley/drain clearance on a 3 year cycle did not help especially when coupled with the amount of construction and detritus from building sites.
Cllr Lang raised concern with regard to builders working in The Galley, Fore Street who had a dispensation for their truck but seemed to believe that they had claim to their parking spot due their dispensation and when they left as the end of the day they coned it off with wheelbarrows. An approach had not been met with understanding and therefore Cty Cllr Gilbert asked that this matter be emailed to him and he would passed to Chris Rook for action.
Cty Cllr Gilbert left the meeting.
District Councillors Report
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted that nothing much had happened since council the previous meeting. In addition to the Harbour Board and Planning Committee she was now overseeing Neighbourhood Plans as well as working on the Joint Local Plan. The JLP regulation 19 consultation had finished and the officers were still working through the last submissions but it appeared that there were several policies in the plan that had not been challenged by anybody so they would start to have some weight in policy. Some responses were 50/50 along with other comments which challenged so these policies would not carry weight for now. She was reasonably encouraged that there were no show stopper contributions and they were moving forward but there were a lot more responses that anticipated.
When questioned on time scales there was more work required on the Environmental Sustainability Appraisal so this would probably slip a month with District submitting the plan sometime in July.
Dist Cllr Wright continued his duties with support services and other matters as deputy Leader along with communications within the council. He had previously provided an update on Whitestrand and noted that the Cliff House Gardens toilets concrete plinth appeared to be fairly sound but the surrounding supporting elements had given way so nothing was supporting the roof which was why it continued to be blocked off. District was pursuing installing acro bars underneath in order to move the fencing back for the regatta. A structural Engineer had been tasked with dealing with this scheme to allow access so Dist Cllr Wright had done his best. The Mayor asked if that side was not safe had the other side been checked out. District Council had given permission to go ahead and the engineer was working on a cross beam scheme but he was awaiting a schedule for works to be completed. Tidied area up and if regatta want to put banners to soften they can. Grass cutting was taking place the following day and he had spoken to the town clerk about concern with regard to weeds and bedding maintenance and would cover these.
The Mayor noted the weed spraying around the town and was concerned that the steps and footpaths which were requested to be included, especially around the quay, had not been done. The Mayor would email Dist Cllr Wright who would then meet with Mark Capper to sort out. Cllr Rudd also noted that the state of St. Dunstans Park was awful with the hedges and shrubs needing works to be done especially around the benches. In Courtney Park the top area above the footpath which used to have nice trees and shrubs was completely overgrown with brambles and weeds.
The Lloyds Bank issue seemed to have resolved itself and they were now parking in the layby by the toilets.
The Mayor questioned the planning decision this week which was in relation to the lifeboat station where they wanted to paint letters over the doors on the bricks. He was disconcerted by the officer’s comment that as these letters were this size planning was not necessary even on a Listed Building. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce agreed but noted that if lettering was under 6 inches they did not require planning even on a Listed Building or in a Conservation Area.
Cllr Lennox wished to know if there had been any progress with regard to concerns on a property in Island Street. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised that it was on the enforcement list and the previous day the officer had looked at a number of properties and she had asked that as soon as he had any information or an opinion to let her know.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 10th May 2017 were approved by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
109. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and such observations from town council submitted to District.
• 0851/17/HHO READVERTISEMENT (Revised Plan Received) Householder application for construction of garden store and landscaping of garden area Grafton, Devon Road, Salcombe TQ8 8HQ – No objection.
• 0949/17/HHO Householder application for a first floor rear extension, erection of garden wall, demolition and replacement of outbuilding 5 Shadycombe Road, Salcombe TQ8 8DX – Objection as concern was raised that the top of the outbuilding was of a height above the bottom of the window on the first floor of the main building and its massing was not in keeping with the adjacent terrace. Also it was felt that the windows should be in keeping with adjacent properties along the terrace as this was in the Conservation Area and visible from Shadycombe Creek.
• 1042/17/HHO Householder application for amendments to existing windows, including proposed dormer, and change of external handrail/balustrade to frameless glass panels Start House, Devon Road, Salcombe TQ8 8HQ – No objection.
• 1242/17/HHO Householder application for replacement of existing rear facing balcony with larger balcony extending across the rear of two semi-detached houses Rathlyn, Grenville Road, Salcombe TQ8 8BY – No objection.
• 1252/17/HHO Householder application for rear and side extension, alterations and additions to windows, internal alterations and landscaping Cartmel 10 Buckley Street, Salcombe TQ8 8DD – No objection.
• 1329/17/HHO Householder application for single storey extension to rear of dwelling Ambleside, Herbert Road, Salcombe TQ8 8HN – No objection.
• 1342/17/HHO Householder application for renewal of 2918/15/FUL for new car parking at bottom of property Moult Moor, Moult Road, Salcombe TQ8 8LG – No objection but where the new area joined with the existing area the stone should be chosen to match.
• 1407/17/FUL Proposed roof extension to existing apartment building to create two additional dwellings Woodside, Bennett Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JJ – Objection. This was overdevelopment of the building by adding an additional storey to the property which was highly visible from the estuary and coast path and thus would have a negative impact on the AONB. The minimal description for the application was not felt to match the proposal.
• 1411/17/HHO Householder application for retrospective permission to retain natural oak finish to columns The Grange, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JQ – Objection as this was a Listed Building and thus the intention should be to retain the original design of the building.
• 1412/17/LBC Listed building consent for retrospective permission to retain natural oak finish to columns The Grange, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JQ – As above.
• 1416/17/HHO Householder application to retain external straight steps and install a balustrade to match the colonnade The Grange, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JQ – Objection as this should remain in character with a listed building which it was felt it did not.
• 1417/17/LBC Listed building consent to retain external straight steps and install a balustrade to match the colonnade The Grange, Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JQ – As above.
• 1504/17/LBC Listed building consent for alterations to previously approved scheme ref: 0185/16/LBC for addition of store room to south end of the proposed ancillary building Friday Cottage, Robinsons Row, Salcombe TQ8 8EU – Objection as there would be a loss of light amenity to Poll Cottage.
• All emails already received forwarded. No further letters.
Tim Tucker, Dist Cllrs Wright and Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
110. REPRESENTATION ON GROUPS
Due to the resignation of a councillor at the last meeting after such allocations were made the following amendments were AGREED:
Defribrillator checking each week – Cllr Mrs Bricknell
Emergency Committee – Cllr Mrs Turton as a representative down in town.
Mortuary Working Group – Cllrs Lennox, Lang and Baker remain.
111. COMMUNITY LIAISON
Cllr Lennox outlined discussion amongst some councillors on their thoughts on how to deal with recent information on the Berry and include people in the town who had their own view. He questioned how to communicate from town council to these interested parties to ensure that all had up to date information. Some residents were doing their own thing raising petitions. This group he felt would keep everyone together in the direction they were taking. The Mayor raised concern on having another group separate from full council representing views which might not mirror the whole town council. He felt that any councillor could report back with town comments and Cllr Rudd agreed he had asked those more vocal in the community to attend and comment. After discussion at length on many problems and possibilities it was felt that a working party to discuss all communication and put together articles for the community could assist.
It was AGREED to have a media group consisting of Cllr Lang, Cllr Mrs Turton, Cllr Lennox and Cllr Rudd to consider;
(a) means of publication and such actions to do so,
(b) which articles should be considered and what they should contain to communicate town council actions with the public.
112. TECHNOLOGY WORKING PARTY
It was AGREED to create a technology working party consisting of Cllrs Rudd, Baker and Fice to consider future hardware and technology provision.
113. MAINTENANCE CONTRACT REVIEW
Cllrs Lennox and Whitfield had met with the contractor and advised that they were awaiting a report from Bayleaf with ideas how to replant and repair areas to make ongoing maintenance easier. They agreed the site was currently worse as the contractor had explained that the original design was not working especially the wildflower beds. Therefore during the meeting they had suggested strimming the area down and it becoming a grassed area and they requested a report with proposals for changes to the site to make it manageable. The contractor fully accepted the terms of the contract must be kept running and was aware of the needs. The councillors also highlighted that the edging of the beds needed repairing along with the paths.
114. MORTUARY WORKING PARTY
The working party reported that they had considered the options for the site;
(a) do nothing
(b) renovate as a heritage building
(c) renovate with some modification
(d) renovate and extend for council, community or commercial use
They would now meet with an architect to discuss proposals but in the short term erect herras fencing and a sign advising of the reason by way of public communication. It was AGREED for the working party to continue to bring forward a recommendation for this building.
115. CIVIC CELEBRATION
It was AGREED to acknowledge the achievements of Salcombe Football Club by writing to Roger Lidstone to enquire if there would be something town council could contribute towards by way of recognition (i.e. kit, balls etc).
116. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor noted that the Civic Lunch in October needed to be considered and asked whether a provisional booking should be made. It was agreed that he should approach the Harbour Hotel but if alternative venues were put forward these would be investigated and consider before a decision was made.
117. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Cllrs Mrs Sinnott – Noted that a visitor complained to the Salcombe Information Centre of dog waste and urine at Victoria Quay.
Cllr Lennox – Had been approached by a resident who felt that there had been a weight limit on Knowle Hill but nobody present knew of such. The Town Clerk would raise this concern with County Highways and request consideration of a weight or width restriction.
Cllr Lang – Noted that the Park & Ride would run this weekend but was concerned with the condition of the Highway Information Sign for such provision as raised previously. County had been informed but the town clerk would chase this matter.
• Batson Village volunteers wished to repaint their telephone box but were advised that in order to obtain the painting kit the request had to come from Town Council. Contact had been made and Town Council would be required to sign a disclaimer accepting responsibility for the works undertaken and the quality together with any claims for negligence whilst the works are carried out. Batson residents had agreed to the terms as laid down by BT. Cllr Bricknell had been requested to review the other telephone boxes in town and she had offered to get volunteers to repaint if kits could be obtained for Onslow Road and North Sands also.
• Devon County Council Public Rights of Way had advised on 23rd May 2017 that the claim for a public footpath from Shadycombe Road to Batson Creek had been added to the County Council’s database. The landowners’ solicitor had been in contact with regard to the process and the next part involved evaluating the information and carrying out an information consultation with the local, district and county councillors plus local user groups. A report would be put forward to the committee for determination either November 2017 or March 2018.
• A visitor to Salcombe had complained with regard to the amount of dog waste and urine and generally unkempt areas of the town. Further information as to location(s) had been requested.
• Attended Devon Heritage Centre to consider previous Minutes from June 1973 with regard to the Local Government Reorganisation and Government Circular.
• A further letter had been sent to town council’s solicitor from District Council advising that the request for the land transfer would not provide a workable situation and therefore District Council would contact Town Council directly to discuss a pragmatic way forward. Chris Brook District Assets had requested a meeting with a couple of councillors to discuss the Elspeth Carr charity. The town council solicitor suggested a meeting firstly between parties in his advice dated 22nd May and therefore his attendance at the meeting now requested by Chris Brook should be sought.
• Application for a new business tenancy for the land at the Berry should also be sought in tandem to secure the land as town council must give District Council a certain amount of notice to request a new business tenancy.
Cllr Rudd left the meeting.
• Bayleaf Gardening had noted moles around Welcome Gardens but it was not felt that action needed to be taken at present.
• Resurfacing works due to take place on the main A381 road to Totnes at Halwell on 9th – 15th June by night (7p.m. to 7a.m.).
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £298,355.56
Councillors APPROVED Internet payments to:
Greenspace – Maintenance contract May £474.33
Burfords Locksmiths – Council Hall emergency call out, lock £136.05
Boxitt Carpentry Ltd – Works to repair Council Hall break in £463.57
Jacksons Fencing – Herras fencing for Shadycombe Mortuary £372.00
HMRC – Tax & NI £757.93
Wages – May £1736.84
NEST – Pension £145.26
119. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 14h June 2017 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 21.00p.m.
……………………………………………….. 14th June 2016.