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 M. Long (also District Councillor) *
Cllr I. Hatch *
Cllr A. Hainey *
Cllr M. Payne A
Cllr Miss D. Ward *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr Mrs J. Pearce A
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) A
Tom Ladds Kingsbridge Gazette A
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. Ongoing advice was that Cllr Long would not take part in planning decisions due to him being on the District Development Management Committee.
2. OPEN FORUM
Cathy Drew thanked Cllrs Fice, Mrs Turton and Moore for attending her property to understand the effect of the proposals at Cranford. The earlier plans were withdrawn, and it said on the revised plans the applicant had consulted with her, but she advised they had not. There was now a reduction in glazing with narrower trifold doors, but they were still trifold and full length, so she was unsure if they were smaller. She outlined what she felt were discrepancies and advised that the height of the decking was still going to be intrusive as the extension was only 1.5 metres from her boundary fence. Any person standing on the decking, facing her fence would be at chest height looking over at her property. The overhang of the house gutter came up but did not run flush with the roof as it had to rise to allow the trifold doors to open. A further inaccuracy was the application stated the effect of the development would be on numbers 17 and 18 but her property was 15 and it talked about access via number 17 which it was not as it was in fact via her property. On the photograph of the houses in Coronation Road showing all gardens they had outlined the property next door, so this was not the correct one shown.
The Mayor thanked her for returning to set out these points and allowing Town Council to visit.
Tim Bailey commented, as a neighbour of Cathy Drew, who lived at Tumblehome and was present at the town council site visit. He felt it was inappropriate to have folding doors on the side elevation that faced a neighbour. The doors would be fine at the end of the property looking out onto their own garden. This proposal would allow people to be in their sitting room, it even illustrated sofas and chairs in the room, where these people could sit and chat whilst overlooking next door just 1.5m away and he felt this was inappropriate. If all houses along this road followed suit it would set a precedent and create an unneighbourly intrusion.
Two additional members of the public were in attendance and advised they had come along to observe as they had an application on the agenda but declined to speak.
Sarah Blazeby was also in attendance as a resident from Sandhills Road. Firstly, she was concerned about the trees felled on District Council land at Fortescue Road. Also, she wished to highlight activities at Tides Reach, South Sands with convoys of cement lorries going up the hairpin bend road from North Sands via Moult Cottage, losing cement and chippings onto the road. The contractor’s response to this environmental impact was providing one young lad with a sweeping brush. She had met the manager and explained her concerns and yet there remained one guy sweeping all day. There were no mechanical sweepers cleaning up during the day and if they waited longer the cement would dry onto the road surface. On the other hand, if it rained then this cement residue would run down into the waterways. She asserted that every two vehicles going uphill should be followed by a street cleaning vehicle. She had taken photographs which would be sent to town council to illustrate this. She requested the contractor be approached to request them to clean up. Dist Cllr Long had received texts earlier from this lady and had contacted the contractor and received the response that two lorries were identified as having faults and had been stopped by Langworthy Barns. They were dealing with the spill and three men with brushes and dumper would clear the road as the vehicles were travelling up. Sarah Blazeby refuted this and stated there was just one guy and a broom. A question was raised as to what the weight bearing load of that road was as haulage vehicles with soil would have difficulty getting around the hairpin bend. Dist Cllr Long reassured everyone that Devon County Highways had assessed the road condition prior to these works so if there were any defects following the development a bill will go to Tides Reach. That acknowledged it was asked ‘what about the environmental impact?’ Dist Cllr Long would drive the route first thing the next morning and raise any points he felt needed considering. Cllr Hatch stated that he thought the road was closed at the moment as he had seen a Road Closed sign but others felt this was not so.
County and District Councillors Report
Dist Cllr Long noted there would be an Executive meeting the following week which had a report going in on the review of Annual Parking Permits. He had not had sight of it yet but once received he would do a summary and circulate to town council. The Courtenay Park work had been continuing, as reported in Clerk’s report below. County Highways did clear the drains down Devon Road but so much rubbish had come down thereafter it blocked the bottom drain which was redone and did not appear to have blocked again. District was looking to re-turf rather than just seed the most vulnerable grass areas. The contractors had come across unexpected drains within the site and this along with the blocked highway drain had hampered works. The Mayor asked if there were any plans for signage in town to direct people to the park, and this was in hand, but they were getting the park installed first.
Refurbishment of Millbay Toilets was proceeding but there had been a landslip on the Portlemouth side near Ditch End so there was a full road closure in place. District had been continuing to get materials down as they had a van within the open section that side and the guys were walking down from the top. The issue that remained was that the toilets would be open for Easter, but the Ferry Steps septic tank was due for emptying and only had 5 or 7 days leeway but they could not get access for the lorry to empty it. Millbay toilets were completely empty but a full repair to road should be done by the end of May as the first closure was a quick fix which required agreement to cut back into bank on the other side and movement of a BT pole. Light vehicles and emergency vehicles could get through, but it could not take the weight of a tanker. Portaloos had been discussed but it still came down to getting them in and emptying problems.
Cllr Miss Ward asked if Whitestrand toilets would be open for Easter so at least there were toilets available this side.
At Whitestrand the new water feed was being laid in, they had dug up the pathway but been told they had to go 850mm deep for the trench. When they took the top surface off and went down 500mm they discovered a culvert that had been disabled but was not mapped. Not wanting to break into this they had discussed it with South West Water who had agreed a 500mm trench if it was lagged. This facility would have showers and toilets which flushed and worked properly. They had already reopened the toilets, but they closed Monday for Kier to come in to do the connection and would reopen the following Monday/Tuesday.
District had been in discussion with Enterprise Inn and there was a proposal going back to EI for a change in the design and Dist Cllr Long felt the draft shown to him looked very similar to what he felt they should have been done in first place, basically an L shape building. They needed to work this up, get some drawings done and let EI executives discuss and if accepted do some more imaging with improvements which would be a complete knock down and rebuild of toilets. They were also going out to relook at a tender. All this would need further planning applications and should be consulted on and with acceptance it would be done at some time this year probably winter into 2021. Cllr Miss Ward asked if there was any provision to include the Salcombe Information Centre. The response was no as it would increase the footprint, but she could speak to the Harbour Board about how they were utilising the space within the footprint.
Cllr Long advised he attended a meeting held at the Rugby Club regarding concerns in relation to the tree felling on Fortescue Road and Cllr Hainey had also been present. Cllr Hainey disagreed that he was there to give the view of the town council but had merely been an observer. There were a lot of people there, but no answers were provided as there had been no response from the Trustees or Advisory Board of the Trust to any questions raised. Works had stopped for now and a considerable amount questions regarding the works remained along with why they were being done so many of those present were writing into the Trust and Chris Brooks. Cllr Lang noted that the Trustees were basically all people from District Council. Cllr Fice felt that the Trust remained under the control of South Hams District Council even if there were Trust members whereas Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce had responded by email that there was nothing she could do so everyone should ask the Trustees. As Trustees appointed by District Council it must be councillors’ responsibility to ensure the Trustees were doing what District wanted. Cllr Long noted these questions on the structure of the Trust and had wondered whether there was any working conflict on decisions being taken. He had questioned who, Trust or District Council, had paid for this work? There was also the question of the Hockey Club ground that was Trust land and the negotiations taking place with the present occupant so Dist Cllr Long had questioned who was carrying out these negotiations, who were they done for and where was the money going? Cllr Fice noted that people locally wondered why there were no Tree Preservation Orders on this area and Dist Cllr Long responded that District did not put TPOs on their own land, but now Salcombe was being told it was in Trust ownership. Perhaps the TPO’s could be replaced for the entirety of The Berry together with this piece of land off Fortescue Road with a blanket Woodland Order and have a Woodland Management Plan. From the Rugby Club meeting there was going to be an approach by the South Hams Society to look at putting an order on that piece of land in Fortescue Road. Dist Cllr Long had again questioned who the Trustees were, what their responsibilities were, how often they met and to see a copy of the Minutes of Meeting where it was decided to take this action.
The following morning Dist Cllr Long was meeting Mark Capper as he had received phone calls that works were ongoing at the Hockey Pitch and he had initially thought this was electricity board tree maintenance works. Some trees were felled along the boundary and he had since been advised this was District Council instructions to tidy up the hedge line. Dist Cllr Long had requested tidying up of buddleia but the operative doing the works had been sent out with no plan, brief or map, so Dist Cllr Long suggested he stopped and went away. This was again District Council doing work again on Trust land so he would meet with Mark Capper to ascertain more information. Cllr Fice raised the concern of Japanese Knotweed in this area.
Cllr Fice noted that the wall down by the floodgate at Chapel End had one of the coping stones fallen off which had smashed on the foreshore. Dist Cllr Long would get this attended to.
Cllr Miss Ward asked if when the Annual parking permits were discussed by the Executive whether the car parking machines would be covered as people wanted the ability to pay for more than one day at a time. Dist Cllr Long would follow up on this as Dartmouth and other councils had also asked. A question was raised as to who was funding the repairs to East Portlemouth toilets at Millbay. This was 50% from District and 50% from Harbour Board. Cllr Miss Ward noted that District had no money to repair Cliff House toilets but found money to do Millbay even though there was more footfall in Salcombe that East Portlemouth.
Cllr Hatch noted the section of Cliff Road that left the town going down to North Sands and asked where the bollards for road narrowing had gone. This was still being pursued with County Highways.
Cathy Drew and Tim Bailey left the meeting.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 26th February 2020 were amended at Open Forum to change the name of the property Andy Savell lived in to Coppers and further explain that he was speaking about a property he owned on Fortescue Road before being approved to be duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
4. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
• 0597/20/ARC Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 4 and 5 of planning permission 1246/18/LBC Sunnycombe, Lower Batson, TQ8 8NJ – Response 27th March – No comment.
• 0599/20/HHO Householder application for rear extension to dwelling (resubmission of 3396/19/HHO) 16 Cranford, Coronation Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8EA – Response 27th March – Objection as although the extension had been lowered, the sliding doors on the east side of the proposed extension were still too close to the neighbouring property, would cause significant overlooking with increased noise pollution, was an invasion of privacy and considered unneighbourly. There was also the consideration of light pollution (all other rear extensions in this area below the property appeared to have solid sides) and a significant reduction in amenity space. Materials used (particularly zinc) were contrary to NDP B1 in that they did not complement the local and traditional palette.
• 0664/20/HHO Householder application for removal of section of boundary wall to create an additional access to drive/garage and creation of new crossover Rockledge, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HJ – Response 10th April – No comment.
PLANNING CORRESPONDENCE– Nothing further to add.
5. SOUTH HAMS DISTRICT COUNCIL CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIODIVERSITY EMERGENCY -CONSULTATION DOCUMENTS
Consideration of the draft documents was made with the following comments to be sent to District by 31st March:
• A reference to public toilet cleaners using electric bikes to get around was not realistic considering the terrain. Then provision for additional supplies would need to be built and other vehicles visit to fill them.
• In Devon 19% emissions were from residential uses and the Joint Local Plan had three different areas for eco development. This area was perfect for air source heat pumps with the correct insulation plus solar cells which would contribute a large saving for CO2 emissions and improve heating for houses. This was stated in the climate document, but South Hams District did not appear to have picked this up and included such things into their document. It was suggested that Development Management should be aware of this action and be telling develops/resident applicants to do this. They needed to tie up management of departments with corporate mandates of mandatory heat pumps and solar cells and other eco actions.
• In relation to cycling and pedestrian access there was nothing included. Reducing the amount of people driving to work was an aspiration so they should start by charging for parking at Follaton House. Also lobby the bus companies to provide a more frequent accessible service. These were felt to be just glib statements with no actions.
• Imposing on people’s personal choices and providing free advisory within employees’ homes for changes along with incentivising employees to use electric cars was advice on personal matters rather than District wide policy.
• District was no longer dealing with weeds and in fact cutting trees down at The Berry but talking in their plan about planting trees. This was felt to be a report on a list of wishes but not a concrete plan.
6. WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY
The basic report provided and works highlighted were considered and it was AGREED that the ability to change the site so it could be accessed by key navigation, along with colour contract checks needed to be investigated along with a cost before a decision to proceed was made.
Richard Whitfield as Webmaster had advised that he would offer his time to carry out some changes, as advised by Brendan Piater, saving town council in the region of £448. This offer was greatly appreciated if keyboard accessibility could be sorted.
7. WEED MAINTENANCE
Town Council ongoing management of the public realm was considered due to withdrawal by District of the weed management service and it was AGREED that all would research other alternatives for consideration.
8. JUBILEE GARDENS
Due to collapse of a small top section of the wall buttress a repair was required but as no quote could be obtained in time for this meeting due to the project officer’s compassionate leave it was AGREED that if the quote was less than £100 the works would be actioned.
Cllr Hatch advised he could not see any problem with the trees planted in Jubilee Gardens. There were two with wear from the tree support straps, one bad, one marginal. Any replacement would be in the wind and ties rubbed in the wind. He would review them when they came out in leaf. He noted there was a large bag of rubbish and soil left in the area. Cllr Miss Ward noted, on a positive point, how good the area looked at Jubilee Gardens.
Two people in attendance left the meeting
9. MAYOR’S REPORT
Cllr Fice felt the discussion of Mayor/Deputy elect was not required to be held in Part II. Following discussion, it was agreed that this whole item be struck out and dealt with at the May election meeting.
The Mayor advised she attended the Women’s Institute litter pick at North Sands. It had been a good turn out and enjoyable event. Cllr Fice noted that the cement lorries referred to in Open Forum were going through that area all the time the litter pick event was going on, reversing up the first section and then going to site. Cllr Hainey suggested that the building had to be built and although it was a difficult site it needed to be done and the road should take it. Cllr Hatch was worried about a wall and the usage putting stress on the road. Cllr Long advised that County Officer Richard Jackson had surveyed the road and was keeping an eye on its condition. The contractors took photographs before the works commenced and Devon County had also done. Cllr Hainey explained that if the flap on a cement lorry was broken then contents would not go back down as they should do with the Archimedes screw principle of the vehicle. So the vehicle should be checked.
It was noted that someone was living in the North Sands bird hide hut in a tent but when localities went along they had gone. This would be monitored
On 4th March she attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting and membership had gone down to 168. They were talking to others but businesses were closing, some retiring and others not seeing a benefit of a meeting. There the Youth and Business Awards were changed due to lack of interest so they would tag this item onto the AGM in June.
At the Chamber meeting she noted Brewery Quay and the new application and requested an application for a grant towards provision of the Hawk project. The Kingsbridge and Salcombe Easter was campaign going ahead but being reduced to run for a week. The group would reconsider this the following year due to lack of sponsorship.
10. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
• Cllr Mrs Bricknell – The steps opposite the Fire Station going down to the water the gaps were getting much bigger and it was definitely moving. She highlighted that two flats were available in Salcombe this week. One at Chandlers and another at Parkside which was open to all ages, one bedroom flat.
• Cllr Moore – Noted the Baptist Lane trees had been cut from Devon Road all the way down and asked how they had obtained permission of all the properties. This was in fact all in one ownership and probably noticeable due to District doing the same along Courtenay Park. Cllr Moore felt that this was in the Conservation Area and very recently done and would send photographs to Cllr Long. He went on to enquire what access was like on HMS Magpie and was advised that it required steps and being helped over. For those unable to get aboard there would be enough crew on the pontoon to speak to. The slides of the developer presentation at the last meeting were to be requested. In view of the Corona Virus he suggested the emergency committee get together to decide what could be done.
• Cllr Fice – Had received queries from people who did not know works to trees at Fortescue Road were happening. He had given advice, but it was still unclear as to why District had done this. There were a lot of empty cans in Redfern Woods and he wondered if this linked to vandalism last year. Others however felt drinking this area seemed to go in cycles.
• Cllr Lang – Was concerned as there were a lot of unofficial road closures by builders. Buckley Street was closed this day. He was asked to take photographs when this occurred as the police did not know this was happening until advised.
• Cllr Hainey – He felt that The Berry and trust land at Fortescue Road should not be dealt with by those who are dealing with this as the Trust at the moment. He attended the meeting called by Salcombe Open Space Association and believed he was probably in a better position to comment than them. There was a core of three members of SOSo and he was worried that they were not the right body to be dealing with something so important for the town. There had been questions and answers and people stating they would do things. Cllr Miss Ward agreed that this group had no specific mandate. Cllr Fice advised he sent an email to Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce with his comments and her only response was to speak to the Trustees. He had spoken to Cllr Long and raised again was it time Town Council started talking to District about transfer of the Berry land. The situation with the Rugby Club had been sorted so there was nothing to hold it back. Cllr Long noted that Niall Rudd was still stating the Leases were 10 years and he had corrected they were 15 years and that there was one Lease with District and the other one with the Trust. In order to get negotiations going again Town Council should write to say they were concerned that organisations in Salcombe were creating unrest and town council wanted a full explanation as to what was going on. Also, they would request that any future planned works must be discussed with town council firstly at a meeting. This land was supposed to be held for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of Salcombe, so it was in their interest to know what was planned.
• An account for Hawk payment had been received with no address on the invoice. It requested also that staged payments £660 per month be submitted commencing 10th March. This date was the previous day and it is suggested that monthly payments coincide with approval at the first full council in each month. With regard to sponsorship Cllr Moore had walked Island Street businesses and got nothing. Cllr Long was to speak to Coast and Country, Salcombe Holiday Homes, Bakehouse, Harbour Hotel and a few others and would feed back the response. Cllr Miss Ward offered to circulate a sponsorship request to Information Centre mailing list. The Mayor said that town council still required a schedule of intended visits so that changes due to weather could be monitored.
• The town council current maintenance contractors had been approached regarding planting the three trees required under the Tree Preservation Order permit at Bonaventure Woods. The cost for planting three trees would be £59.73 plus £30 for stakes and banding. Purchase of the trees would be £189.48 but Ashridge Nurseries only had 6-8cm and not 8-10cm girth for the oak and this figure included planting packs so the £30 for such would not be required. It had been advised by the tree experts that they preferred not to use earth anchors, as these could damage the growing roots. Properly staked, in their opinion, was preferable and would suffice.
• Tally Ho had proposed that the cost of providing a driver and bus for the park and ride would increase from £297.00 to £305.00 per day for the coming season. 2.7% increase. This was accepted.
• Responses had been received to the consultation for the mortuary along with a request from a solicitor. All these items would be provided to the Mortuary Working Group at the end of the consultation so that they could consider and provide a proposal.
• Visit South Devon, Jo Butler had made contact and advised that she had been asked by Tom Jones to make such approach regarding helping to market and promote Salcombe. A response had been sent advising that the Tourist Information Centre was better placed for such a discussion and Jo had agreed so the intention was to pass this matter to Cllr Miss Ward and Cllr Mrs Sinnott.
• Letter dated 5th March 2020 from Mr Bettinson providing the historical reason for his placement of bench and planting commemorative trees at Bonfire Hill Cemetery.
• A phone call was made to the office and a message left with no name and a call back advised that the line did not accept incoming calls. The complaint was that contractors for Tides Reach were damaging the road surface especially on the hairpin bends. Whilst there was a street sweeper it was contested that the cement mixer had its contents dripping out and what was not cleared was setting and the road was a mess. This was dealt with by attendance of the caller in Open Forum above.
• District had advised that the Courtenay Park play equipment was starting to be installed and they were beginning to get an idea of how the finished site would look. Realistically the site was likely to be completed by Friday 3rd April but District wanted to keep it closed for another two weeks to allow the grass a bit of time to re-establish, taking it to Friday 17th April. This would obviously overrun the Easter holiday deadline but weather conditions had been against them and they felt it better to wait rather than risk ruining the site by opening too early. The site should be open for the May bank holiday and half term.
Current Account £501.00
Deposit Account £403,858.68
Receipts: Harbour Office – Hawk project contribution £1650.00
Councillors APPROVED Internet payments to:
SHDC – January and February Maintenance Contract £1997.90
Hawthorns Accounting Sers. Ltd – £108.00
Ashridge Nurseries – Trees for Bonaventure Woods £189.48
Members of the public and press will be excluded from this part of the meeting as the item under discussion contains information exempt under the LGA 1972, Schedule 12(a) Part 1, Section 1 and the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
12. MAYOR AND DEPUTY MAYOR ELECT
It was AGREED to leave this item until the May meeting.
13. NEXT MEETING
The next Town Council would be held on Wednesday 25th March 2020 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe, at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 8.45p.m.
……………………………………………….. 25th March 2020.