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 Mrs N. Turton *
Cllr P. Lafferty-Holt A
Cllr M. Long *

Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr S. Wright *
Dist. Cllr Mrs Pearce A
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) *

Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) *
WPC Jo Pengilly A
PCSO P. O’Dwyer A
Charley Adams Kingsbridge Gazette *

1. 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 given.

2. OPEN FORUM

No members of the public were present.

Police Report – For the last 30 days was as follows, there had been 6 crimes reported:-
1x Actual Bodily harm (ABH) during a domestic incident
1x Threatening/abusive words between 2 parties
1x Theft of canoe from outside a property
1x burglary (non-dwelling) from a commercial premise
1x misuse of communications act sending offensive words/letter
1x threats to damage or destroy property

This compared to the same time period last year where the town again had 6 crimes reported.

District Councillors Report – Dist Cllr Wright noted that not many meetings had taken place since the Christmas holiday and thus there was not much to report. He had been to London and met with the Secretary of State and noted that the Prime Minster had added the word homes to DCLG so it was not entitled Department of Homes, Communities and Local Government. The business rates and pooling bid for Devon had been offered for only one year so District could not budget on this income for any further years at this present time and the Minister would not be pressed on this. Out of 48 Districts who applied for this income only 10 were successful.

The statement that as from next year District Council would be able to retain 100% business rates was not true either because the District Council could retain 100% business rate ‘growth’ but nothing else. Dist Cllr Wright had requested that in future District Council used the word growth and had also asked Government to say this as the change would not be an income of 100% business rates.

The draft settlement for Local Authorities email had been sent out explaining (i.e. Local Authority capping on rates of £1.99 was now up to £2.99 or £5, whichever is the higher, so South Hams District remained at £5. Some larger authorities would however be able to raise more. The police authorities had their cap removed and Government was allowing them to rise to £12 per household. Town and Parish Councils would remain uncapped for at least the next three years. The new homes bonus payment had been cut back a year down to 4 years and rates for empty homes were allowed to be charged 150% and would go up to 200%. However this would not bring much more into South Hams District as there were only 60 empty homes in the District. A draft Allocations Policy had gone out to consultation and would accordingly be confirmed. When asked what the definition of an empty home was he explained it was a home without furniture within it and notified to District as empty.

Cllr Lang enquired why the public toilets in Whitestrand had been closed for a few days. It was believed they were blocked but another councillor questioned whether this was the new waterless urinals. Dist Cllr Wright was not aware of this issue and would check why.

The Mayor complimented District for replacing the public seats in front of the over 60s centre as all five had been changed and now all looked the same. There was concerned however that the bench at Clifton Place had not been reinstated nor did anyone know what happened to the wooden benches on Whitestrand. With regard to a request for information on Cliff Gardens café progress Dist Cllr Wright would enquire and respond.

3. CO OPTION

No applications having been received this was DEFERRED.

4. MINUTES

The Minutes of the meeting dated 13th December 2017 were noted before they were APPROVED by council and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.

5. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:

The following applications were considered under delegation and such observations from town council submitted to District before this meeting.
• 3874/17/HHO Underdecks – Objection due to the impact on the AONB and SSSI as the proposed steps had no aesthetic value being in reinforced concrete and was therefore out of keeping with the stone currently used for the sea walls. Any new steps should be faced in local stone. There would also be a loss of estuary foreshore and town council queried the need for an additional set of steps when the existing steps appeared perfectly adequate.
• 3506/17/FUL Overbecks – Objection due to insufficient information regarding the type of screening planting and it was noted that it appeared to be no consideration had been given to the spring fed stream which would need to have a culvert. There was not felt to be a need for removal of the oak tree at the proposed point of exit.
• 4094/17/HHO Householder application for alterations to dwelling to include re- roofing the house to provide habitable accommodation at 2nd floor level, a kitchen extension at first floor level and internal re- organization to provide better access and natural light to the basement 30 Church Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8DH. Objection. This was felt to be an overdevelopment of a small cottage and the gable end could have a significant effect on light for the neighbouring property.
The following applications were considered and such observations from town council submitted to District.
• 3294/17/HHO READVERTISEMENT (Revised Plan Received) Householder application for changes to an existing stone boundary wall Start House, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HQ – Objection as this was detrimental to the street scene and would remove a public amenity view. There were also concerns regarding the choice of materials and such blending with adjacent properties.

On a separate point, the internal wall gate on the way up the road was installed higher by 0.3metres than the plans proposed.
• 3987/17/FUL Restoration of basement to include original staircase and fireplaces and Change of Use of Existing Retail Unit (Class A1) and Amalgamation into Existing Residential Dwelling at Upper Floors (Class C3) as originally built including Internal Alterations to Facilitate Linkage 56 Fore Street, Salcombe TQ8 8ET – Objection as this was in effect removing a long established commercial outlet from this area.
• 4094/17/HHO READVERTISEMENT Householder application for alterations to dwelling to include re- roofing the house to provide habitable accommodation at 2nd floor level, a kitchen extension at first floor level and internal re- organization to provide better access and natural light to the basement 30 Church Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8DH – This was felt to be an overdevelopment of a small cottage and the gable end could have a significant effect on light for the neighbouring property. Any east elevation window must be in keeping with the Conservation Area and all windows should have wooden frames and the slate roof must match the neighbouring slates.
• 4167/17/FUL Replacement windows and doors St Elmo Court, Sandhills Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JP – No objection but there was a concern that as the property was comprised of separate flats it was requested that the works proposed all be completed within a time limit to ensure the facade matched.
• 4273/17/LBC Listed building consent for proposed internal alterations and reconfiguration of existing flat, to include new floor finishes and complete redecoration. Flat 2 Rockside, Cliff Road Salcombe TQ8 8JQ – No objection.
• 4339/17/FUL Planning application for the replacement of the existing dwelling with three dwellings Cadmus, Bonaventure Road, Salcombe TQ8 8BE – Objection. The roof materials proposed were weathered zine which was felt to be out of keeping with the area. The drainage survey provided questioned whether the applicant owned the drain to be used and yet the proposal had 14 cloakrooms discharging into an existing drain which ran under the adjacent tennis club courts. This raised a major concern as not being adequate for this proposal. This was a new build but did not show any energy saving principles and rainwater catching and as such it was felt that recycling and environmental measures should be undertaken and the build materials were also questioned. The side of the flat roof property ran along the boundary of the tennis club and was using cedar cladding and stone which it was felt could be broken up with more stone to look more like a wall and help future maintenance. Utilisation of zinc on the side walls and not just the roof was felt to be out of keeping in this locality.

PLANNING CORRESPONDENCE
• Nothing further received.
Cllr Wright left the meeting.

6. MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS

The previously discussed amendments to the schedule as tabled were noted and its was AGREED to add the following;
• When disposing of rubbish it must be removed and disposed of ‘legally’
• A schedule of proposed cuts was required and then a monthly tally of when cuts were actually carried out.
• Spring bulbs and primroses could be planted and the bank along Main Road regularly cut. This was subject to discussion with Devon County highways as to responsibility of this land and permission.

It was noted that the section of grass just inside the gate on the right hand side at Shadycombe cemetery was more long grass than wild flowers. The draft document would be sent out in the next week for consideration.

7. PRECEPT

District and County it was noted were trying to force all non-statutory duties on to town and parishes. It was acknowledged that there was no allowance within this precept for additional maintenance associated with any transfer of land from District but this matter was not going forward that quickly.

The proposed budget was considered along with the up to date District housing figures and it was AGREED that the precept including Government grant to be requested from District Council would be £82650.00.

8. JOINT LOCAL PLAN CONSULTATION

It was AGREED that the Mayor, Cllr Long and Cllr Mrs Turton would meet to decide on the content of a presentation and who should attend the hearing. The draft presentation content would be brought back to town council for consideration.

9. MAYOR’S REPORT

The Mayor noted that the planning workshop with Pat Whymer was extremely interesting and informative. The most important matters covered were the items with regard to enforcement and town council responses. It was noted how much of a toothless sword enforcement was as it was the view of the courts that a breach was not a real crime. With regard to responses District was content to receive comments that were not in planning speak but illustrated what the community wanted or was a major concern was put over.

When questioned about the Open Space Sport and Recreation plan Pat Whymer noted that the purpose for this document was to enable District Council to have an idea, when negotiating an agreement with developers, of local project ideas. However monies currently in the pot could be applied for. Cllr Mrs Bricknell asked for an update with regard to Courtney Park restoration and Cllr Long noted that a tree within this area required the dead ivy being taken off but would not be removed until there was a layout plan for the park. Discussion was around District capital funds being provided for the replacement of the play area and Alex Whish and Rob Sekula would be looking at this and obtaining relevant quotes from suppliers. Alex Whish talked about maintenance of the area to clean it up (i.e. laurels and dogwood) and indicated that there were funds. On the question of the cost of fencing the play area this would be over £10,000 and District was not looking to do this but bring the play equipment into a more defined area to keep dog owners away from it.

The Mayor continued that the park and ride needed to be considered for dates for running the bus as this must be registered 56 days before the bus was to run. There had also been a request from District Council to discuss their permits being used in the Town Council Park and Ride but usage was already covered by a Traffic Regulation Order with County. On this matter it was noted that District Council should not close their car park off before the October half term and these points would be placed on the next agenda.

Cllr Lafferty-Holt had raised the matter of the Christmas lights on the tree and the Mayor had requested the Christmas Lights committee to consider taking on the lighting of the tree but they declined. It was felt that Town Council should liaise with Rotary to ask if they would consider purchasing the same type of lights as the Christmas Lights Committee as currently they did not blend and were lost on the size of tree.

Street lights along the paths on Main Road had been installed. One however was over the road instead of the pavement and it needed to be checked whether they went all the way along to Onslow Road. No draft or communication had been received but it was believed that these were the lights requested by Town Council with grant funding.

10. COUNCILLORS REPORTS

Cllr Long – Went through the tree report from Hi Line and picked up on elements that needed dealing with this cutting season. At Redfern Woods at least one tree needed to be dismantled along with other works elsewhere and one tree coming within the Tree Preservation Order along with other elements under maintenance. At Shadycombe cemetery the Holm Oak by the garages needed to be taken down and those on the Berry were low risk but three dead trees should be removed, one Sycamore was not dead but adjacent to a footpath and gateway. Simon Putt from Hi Line had questioned the trees within Jubilee Gardens as out of the Poplars four had died back in the crown and were struggling and unlikely to develop as decent trees. They could be removed and replaced like for like to meet the planning condition but Simon Putt had suggested supporting and protecting the trees, watering them and not allowing things to grow around them.

He had considered the Market Street parking area garden wherein a cherry tree was recently pruned and works undertaken on the south west edges of the canopy, all done without permission and thus illegally with no Tree Preservation Order approval. Although the work was not carried out under best practice there would not be a high impact on the tree. It was questioned what the future constraints on a tree in that area would be as its level of maturity was not supported on this site. Town Council could look at an expert doing works to keep it to a size that was suitable or, if funding was available, for works for removal and replacement with a semi mature tree. Perhaps a magnolia but it would have to be semi mature when planted. With no funding available the tree would be pruned appropriately next autumn. Cllr Lang raised concern with regard to planting that had taken place by the volunteer group and any proposal for removal works would affect this but Cllr Long advised it could be done sensitively.

Cllr Long would complete applications for any Tree Preservation Order trees to be worked on. One tree could have works carried out under exemption at Shadycombe cemetery.

The Mayor questioned the moving of the commemorative oak tree at Bonfire Hill cemetery and Cllr Long was to meet with Iain Randall to discuss and oversee these works before the end of February. Now the full report was through Cllr Long would go through the report and work with Cllr Mrs Kemp and build a programme of works to be carried out over 10 years to deal with replacement and removal.

Cllr Mrs Bricknell – Noted that the wall at Cross Gardens was still degrading and needed urgent attention.

CLERK’S REPORT

• Jamie Fowler secretary of the Allotment Committee had advised that an allotment holder and property owner in Batson Heights had offered to pay for the cutting back of the perimeter trees as this would aid maintenance but the property owner was aware of the benefit they would achieve from such works. The allotment committee was keen to accept this gesture if both parties could reach an agreement. Cllr Long would liaise as he had also heard from the resident offering to pay for works.
• Booked to attend new legislation training with regard to Data Protection on Tuesday 13th March 2018 at Exeter Racecourse at £48.00 but due to interest was unable to book the project manager in. Town council wished Pete Robinson to also be booked to attend this or a later course on the19th April.
• Received notification that works were being carried out on the Onslow Road to Batson Cross lighting but no input as to location and lights, also reported above in the Mayor’s report.
• Cllr Lang and a resident had highlighted damage to Bridleway 10 where works had been completed during 2017. It was report that recent heavy rain had created a hole and erosion along the path but the Footpath Officer had since advised that whilst disappointing it was not dangerous, just use with care. It appeared that the washout had in fact come from the field above rather than down the bridleway path but he hoped to have the damaged length repaired early this week.
• Another edge post was down within the Park and Ride and areas needed consideration along with preparation for the bus for the forthcoming holiday season. Should there be a full review of all matters relating to the Park and Ride car park and bus service, permits, weekly bus tickets etc or should piecemeal repairs go ahead? Cllrs Whitfield, Mrs Bricknell, Lang and Pete Robinson would review the area, to include signs, and this would be placed on the next agenda.
• Town Council legal advisors had provided an update that noted South Hams District Council was keen to have a joint settlement meeting but had not provided dates. The solicitors had chased for a date in the diary and were considering a set fee for such work. A response had been received that as yet the work involved was not known and the solicitor could not provide a set fee quote. It was suggested that a capped fee be requested and the Mayor would write an appropriate request.
• Devon Association of Local Councils was requesting nominations for the 5th June 2018 Royal Garden Party in order that names could be drawn at random. Cllr Mrs Kemp put forward the Mayor Mike Fice and all agreed.
• HM Revenue and Customs had advised that they were upgrading some of their older IT systems and anyone who used Form VAT 126 and was in the process of reclaiming VAT was asked to await a new customer identification number. No time span had been provided for this.
• It was noted that over the Christmas period a meeting had taken place at the Batson Hill development to confirm the location of their fence which had since been installed. A request for trees to be planted to extend the natural hedge barrier was suggested by the site manager and this would be sent.

11. FINANCE

Bank Balances
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £296,962.18
Receipts: Neighbourhood Plan Reimbursements £7295.36
Groundwork – Neighbourhood plan further Grant £6996.00

Councillors APPROVED Internet payments to:
Bayleaf Gardening Ltd – Maintenance December Contract £546.98
Greenspace – Maintenance Contract December £474.33
Softcat plc – Office 365 provision monthly payment £23.53
Devon Wildlife Management – Vermin control £35.00
T. Electrics – Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) of 34 items in Council office £84.00
SHDC – Bonfire Hill Bin Rental £4.65

Cheques: Nil

12. NEXT MEETING

The next town council meeting would be held on Wednesday 24th January 2018 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe at 6.30p.m.

Meeting Closed: 19.45p.m.

……………………………………………….. 24th January 2018.
Town Mayor.

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