COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – Mayor (in the Chair) *
Cllr. M. Fice *
Cllr Mrs C. Bricknell *
Cllr T. Lang *
Cllr R. Moore *
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott A
Cllr G. Keeler A
Cllr M. Long (also District Councillor) *
Cllr I. Hatch *
Cllr A. Hainey *
Cllr M. Payne *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr Mrs J. Pearce A
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) *
Tom Ladds 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. Cllr Long advised that he would not take part in planning decisions due to him being on the District Development Management Committee.
2. OPEN FORUM
Cllrs Mike Harris and Lyndsey Lindley were in attendance and grateful for an opportunity to put forward thoughts from East Portlemouth parish council with regard to the public toilets. Mike Harris advised that they were a small parish with 135 people on the electoral role and the precept their only source of income. The parish was lucky enough to host a magnificent stretch of golden beaches used in marketing material across the South Hams for business and tourism. They were visited by lots of boats and people as the area offered 1000s benefit but there were very few things in Portlemouth, the Venus café and a visiting crepe van but neither owners were from Portlemouth nor purchased locally. The beaches were privately owned around to Sunny Cove and these 1000s of tourists brought noise, litter and aggravation. If the already inadequate toilets facilities were made less accessible or disappeared altogether the beaches could become a health hazard as already people urinated and defecated at the back of the beach. The fear also was that the owners might look at the accessibility of their beaches. Nobody wanted but the parish council had a duty to support their parishioners and if the owners wished to close the beaches, they would need to comply with this.
Lyndsey Lindley noted that back in 2011 was the last time District Council tried to close public toilets and East Portlemouth had fought hard on grounds of health hazard. Now was money and District Council could not keep them open and whilst East Portlemouth Parish Council understood this was their responsibility their £7300 precept illustrated that they did not have the financial resources to pay for Milbay toilets to be maintained. Their offer of a contribution of £500 was over 7% of their cash held. They could not double the precept as the locals would not see any community benefit. Even if they asked to increase the precept a bit it would only provide a couple of hundred. Frank Green, Chairman of South Pool Parish Council, rang to say he totally supported East Portlemouth and understood the effect closure would have on the area. Cllr Hainey noted the statement that the electorate would not stand for closing the toilets but enquired how many of the beach owners were included in the electorate and was advised this was 40%.
Cllrs Hainey and Mrs Lindley both left the meeting.
County and District Councillors Report
Dist Cllr Long advised that the Hill Cottage, Herbert Road application had been considered at Development Management and it was put forward for conditional approval and was voted through. He felt that the Batson Hall Appeal was a good result illustrating the Neighbourhood Plan support from the Inspector, which even the planning department were surprised by the amount it was used by the inspector. Dist Cllr Long had reported a camper van in Plantation Wood on Collaton Road as the usage had grown in amount from building materials and camper to now include a caravan so this had gone to enforcement.
Following discussion with the developers at Tides Reach he advised that all the piling was completed which was good as there had been no complaints of noise, even from those staying nearby at the other hotel. The new culverts for the stream were in place and working effectively as the fields behind were dryer than known for years and this was even considering the recent increased rainfall. The contractors schedule was to hand over December next year with the flats by February 2021.
In relation to the lighting on scaffolding going down to Courtney Park he took this concern the following day after it was reported to enforcement and localities who had contacted the scaffolding people who assured them lighting was placed there but must have been removed. He had watched the site for two weeks and still there was nothing. Cllr Moore noted a conversation with the locality officer who said that the lights would put up the next day. This matter would be followed up more forcefully now as the contractor did not even notify District, they would be working on District land.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 27th November 2019 were approved and then duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
4. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The following applications were considered and such observations from town council submitted to District.
• 3032/19/HHO Householder application for ground and first floor extension to rear of existing property 8 Beadon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8LX – Response 27th December – No comment.
• 3604/19/FUL New dining room extension on the western side of Flat 4 (Resubmission of 2367/19/FUL) Flat 4, Woodside, Bennett Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JJ – Response 3rd January – Objection as this application together with the approved Garden Room (3881/17 which appeared to be omitted from the plans with this application and thus not representing the true visual effect) would have a detrimental impact on the AONB due to the frontage of both buildings being a wall of glass which would cause significant light pollution and be contrary to ENV1. This second building would remove any amenity space.
• 3660/19/FUL Erection of garages and associated landscaping work Site to East of Bonaventure Close, Salcombe – Response 27th December – Objection as the apron at the front of the garages encroached onto the highway and made Bonaventure Road much too narrow. The location plan within these plans was incorrect as it indicated ownership by the applicant of the whole of Bonaventure Road down to Onslow Road which was not correct. If approval was considered there should be a planning condition that these remained garages in perpetuity and could not be used in future as residential.
APPLICATION FOR WORKS TO A TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREE
• 3599/19/TPO T1: Sweet Chestnut – Deadwood removal (exempt) to protect garage roof and parked cars; T2: Holly – Deadwood removal (exempt), crown thin by 50% and crown height/lateral reduction by 3m on all sides; T3: Yew – Lateral reduction by 2m on West and South sides. Reasons – trees are overgrown, entangled and blocking garden access Mount Knowle, Knowle Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HY – Response 20th December – It was noted that the Chestnut and Holly were exempt. Objection to T3 yew as any works carried out should be even on all sides to maintain the symmetry of the tree and it was suggested these could be a lesser 1 metre all round.
• 3782/19/TPO T1: Holm Oak – crown height reduction by approximately 6m as tree is exposed and leaning Woodcot, Cliff Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8JU – Response 27th December – Objection. Two trees had come down and left this area exposed but there was objection to any works unless there was evidence of weakness of the tree or movement at the roots, even leaning. This application needed more arboricultural evidence of any issue or problem for works to be required.
• 3828/19/TPO T416: Ash – Fell due to Ash die-back, re-plant with Common Beech; T417: Ash – Fell due to Ash die-back; T418: Elm – Fell as dead standing tree; T419: Oak – removal of dead branch at 9m from ground level on south side, crown height reduction by 5m to achieve final height of 12-15m due to extensive defoliation and die-back; T421: Beech – Fell due to recent branch fall and leaning over road, re-plant with Pine, Plantation Woodland, between Devon Road and Bennett Road, Salcombe – Response 1st January 2020 – This request cited ash die back but there was objection to this as there was no photographic evidence provided of such. If works were required it was suggested there would be replanting with common beech, but oak would be preferred to increase diversity of this area. There was no objection to T418 Elm. T419 Oak removal of branch caused no problem but there was objection to the crown reduction of 5 metres as defoliation and die-back was natural action of an oak tree. Felling of T421 beech was questioned but if the District Tree Officer felt this appropriate there would be no objection. Replanting was proposed with pine but, again, if agreed it was felt Monterey Pine should be planted. Overall there was agreement to more limited works.
PLANNING CORRESPONDENCE – 0550/19/FUL Appeal Ref: APP/K1128/W/19/3228893 Retrospective application for a change of use from residential/office/storage to residential at first floor Creek House, Island Street, Salcombe Appellant Yellow Bridge Developments Ltd. Appeal Start Date 2nd December 2019. Any representations, or modification/withdrawal of representations to be submitted by 13th January 2020 would be considered by the planning working group reported at the next meeting.
Cllr Long noted the comment within the Clerk’s report regarding Monterey Pine and would discuss Monterey Pine and Cyprus Pine with the correspondent as there was a distinct difference. The Devon County Partnership with Woodland Trust tree to provide planting packs could be used for areas of The Berry which needed bolstering and Cllr Long offered to look at this and provide all the necessary information before Christmas to enable an application to be put in.
5. DELEGATED AUTHORITY:
It was AGREED to approve delegated authority to the Clerk during the seasonal recess to respond to planning applications, to comply with planning response times, from observations provided by councillors.
The Plymouth and South West Devon Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) were considered and it was AGREED to respond by 6th January 2020 that in view of the protection offered by the Salcombe Neighbourhood Plan there were no additional comments.
7. PUBLIC CONVENIENCES
Further input from the Harbour Board was provided by Cllr Long in that he advised that the Harbour Board were in fact putting £10,000 into this project and with £500 from East Portlemouth that left £9000 for Town Council which was £1000 less than budgeted. Cllr Fice noted this would be £8000 contribution to remove the need for pay on entry and £1000 towards maintenance costs. Cllr Lang noted that Milbay could not be converted to pay on entry as there was no electricity provision.
Cllr Long continued that any contribution of support from businesses that was received the Harbour Board view was that this should come to town council and not be split 50/50. Cllr Payne suggested the Portlemouth Ferry as they benefitted from taking people across the harbour and the Mayor agreed that all businesses needed to be approached in due course. Cllr Moore felt that Town Council had a responsibility to support this as businesses in Salcombe benefitted from the East Portlemouth beaches. Contributions should be sought, and it made known that Town Council were keeping the facilities free and perhaps by this 50% of the outlay could be offset by these contributions. There was a need to keep the beach landowners onside for the ongoing viability of the tourist trade. As a District Councillor, Cllr Long advised he did not personally agree with closures or charging but this was an administrative policy at this point. Cllr Hainey suggested that East Portlemouth could also approach businesses on their side to contribute. Others felt that the Harbour Board would make these approaches. This was not just a question of keeping public toilets open and free, it was a concern about beaches being withdrawn from public use. Cllr Lang felt there was a statutory obligation for District to do all of this if there was a perceived health issue. If this was to be funded 50/50 by the Harbour and town council, it was agreed District would need to bring these facilities up to standard but if they were allowed to close these facilities would never be upgraded and further toilets would be closed. Cllr Lang felt District Council should be told that closure would mean the area would become a serious public health problem.
It was AGREED that negotiations be continued with District Council regarding ongoing provision of toilets in Salcombe and East Portlemouth with a contribution to Milbay maintenance of £1000. There must be a long-term agreement in respect of what would be paid and intervals of such before agreement was finalised with monthly payment preferred. Cllr Long advised he would be asking for the toilets to be deep cleaned and kept in a fit state.
8. PARK AND RIDE
It was AGREED;
(a) the dates to be registered for provision of the bus during the 2020 holiday season be as attached. Cllr Fice proposed same dates as the previous year, and this was agreed to run up to 5th September 2020.
(b) the options for provision of signage to indicate whether the bus was running or not would be provided by Day Signs on a red background with black writing at a cost of £40 plus VAT per sign
Cllr Long left the meeting having stayed to take part in items 7 and 8 which were brought forward to allow
9. PARKING PERMITS
A request for comments to go into a report being prepared for District to consider future policy and costs for parking permits was considered and it was AGREED to respond that the removal of weekly parking permits had been a disaster for Salcombe and should be reintroduced during this consultation. Batson parking provision remained empty most of the time and should not be only permits but parking meters so the spaces could be used all year round by all. Salcombe was already more expensive than anywhere else so charges should not be increased but others brought up to match this level of charge.
10. COUNCIL HALL
A report on the exterior condition of the Council Hall was verbally provided and it was AGREED that the removal, as a matter of urgency, of vegetation on the roof within the valleys and gutters be undertaken by contractor up to a cost of £200.
11. BT TELEPHONE KIOSKS
A further consultation regarding removal of telephone boxes had been received and it was AGREED to respond with the following comments:
• Cliff Road – North Sands 23 calls p.a – This should be retained as there was no mobile signal.
• Bolt Head – South Sands 0 calls p.a – Removal agreed.
12. WEBSITE BASIC ACCESSIBILITY CHECK
The website provider had recommended that a basic check of the town council website be carried out at a cost of £175 to inform any works that may be required to ensure it complied with accessibility and this was AGREED.
13. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor attended the site meeting for Hill Cottage, Herbert Road but nothing further was raised and the town objection was superseded by the removal of the Neighbourhood Plan policy raised. Courtney Park was on track for park installation commencing 13th January 2020 and the contractor was just sorting out a site hut and skips to be placed on the County highway.
She had looked at Redfern Woods fence works, and the main section was very good. The shorter end bit was not included, and the wobbly section required a post to make it stronger. The support currently in place was not felt to address the problem and it was approved that the contractor would be asked to also do this stretch of two metres to match. At the bottom down the steps the supporting safety rail had a section sticking out which tightened walking access, and this would be requested to be removed.
14. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
• Cllr Moore – Attended the budget meeting at District Council and explained why he was not impressed. He covered the removal of the Council Tax Support grant and that District was budgeting for a deficit over the next four years of £2.5million. He then raised concerns regarding the pension deficit and advised that he would follow up these concerns.
• Cllr Lang – Was currently carrying out the annual inspection of the footpaths which were overall fine but the section from Motherhill Farm to Hangar Mill was going to need a higher level of works and he would find assistance to deal with this.
• Cllr Mrs Bricknell – Noted that the Onslow telephone box had been repaired but the piece of wood sticking out had now come off so she was unsure if someone was tampering with this but would repair it.
• Park and Ride barrier work had been completed and checked.
• Work to Redfern wood fence had been completed but the small section was not in keeping and well supported so to be reconsidered.
• Vermin control being undertaken and appeared successful and town council were receiving good regular reports which indicated that 24 moles had been removed in two weeks.
• A resident had noted that Tree Preservation Order recommendations were referring to replanting with Monterey Pine which the resident felt were unsuitable due to the size they grew to. The suggestion was that Scots Pine would be preferable but other planting might be considered. This comment was passed to the Tree Warden and would be dealt with as mentioned above.
• A resident of Kingsbridge felt that dog fouling in Salcombe, when they visited in November, was worse than in Kingsbridge and that this did not send a good message to visitors. It was noted that there was no daily district road sweeper at this time of year.
• St. Lukes had set up and offered a compassionate network for those caring for or dealing personally with the last month of life and they were asking communities to spread the word to those who might need their support and assistance.
• Devon County in partnership with the Woodland Trust had on offer a limited amount of packs containing 45 trees, cell-grown native oak, rowan and birch- 15 of each. Application could be made for these packs before the New Year and planting of such should take place before Easter 2020. Photographic checks that this work had been done and responsibility for ongoing care for these trees must be provided so that after five years they are established, and proof would need to be kept of this. There was also a scheme offering up to two landmark trees for parish or towns to plant as a commemoration and acknowledge ash die back and again if a parish wished to apply for this, they needed to have an area marked out and grid referenced. Cllr Long had offered, as mentioned above, to deal with and provide the information to make an application.
Current Account £501.00
Deposit Account £406,614.01
Receipts: Bonfire Hill – £1806.00
Councillors APPROVED Internet payments for November to:
HMRC – Tax and NI £787.26
NEST – Pension £177.01
Society of Local Council Clerks – Annual Subs £127.00
Salcombe Christmas Lights Committee – £500.00
Information Commissioner – Data Protection subscription £35.00
16. NEXT MEETING
The next Town Council would be held on Wednesday 8th January 2020 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe, at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 8p.m.
……………………………………………….. 8th January 2020.