COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
* – Attendance; A- Absent; N – No Apologies Received
Cllr Mrs N. Turton – Mayor (in the Chair) *
Cllr. M. Fice *
Cllr T. Lang *
Cllr R. Moore A
Cllr Mrs L. Sinnott *
Cllr M. Long (also District Councillor) *
Cllr I. Hatch *
Cllr A. Hainey *
Cllr M. Payne *
Cllr Miss D. Ward *
Also in attendance:
Dist. Cllr Mrs J. Pearce *
Cty. Cllr. R Gilbert A
Gill Claydon (Clerk) *
Pete Robinson (Cemetery Manager and Project Officer) *
Tom Ladds Kingsbridge Gazette A
WPC Jo Pengilly 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
Colin Nightingale was only present to observe an Online meeting to aid another parish council meeting and was welcomed by the Mayor.
WPc Jo Pengilly had acknowledged the Traffic Order notification letter and enquired about police parking. She advised that with the harbour office open again when things settled she would be able to resume her position within the town more. The local police had been very proactive in trying to combat drugs so she was everywhere across her patch at the moment but at least this was achieving positive results.
They were working with the dog unit and Salcombe was included in the proactive activities. As intelligence was their key function if anyone had any information please pass it to her. She was hoping that the vandalism had stopped recently but if there was any reoccurrence then please also report this.
Sgt Timmis had supported WPc Pengilly and understood that police updates via social media had been limited in terms of the enforcement they had been conducting as the Force put out an early directive that it did not want reporting of enforcement action in relation to COVID matters. During the time of national crisis they wished to direct social media users to focus on positive works, events, actions in the community, support from local business towards key workers, as well as providing resources to support victims of crime etc. Due to that their social media use had not in any way reflected the enforcement work that had gone on and continued to do so.
The main message from Sgt Timmis was that the police were out there in the community, actively enforcing legislation in relation to second home owner breaches and were also speaking with people who were advised and may be considering travelling to their second homes to dissuade them from doing so. As well the police were undertaking all the usual work in relation to safeguarding of the vulnerable, proactive work targeting drug supply within the communities and much more along with administration that went on.
District and County Councillor Reports
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted the new CEO had commenced working at South Hams District Council Monday 8th June. It already seemed like he had been there forever as he was tuned in to everything and she was pleased and reassured he was right for the job and had been a good choice to which Dist Cllr Long agreed. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted that as he had been working at the Local Government Association South West previously he had joined District meetings and was therefore eased in and had experience of South West councils which had been useful and she respected his advice. During this pandemic the Local Government Association had really proved its worth as 10 years ago some might have wondered what they were about but presently, in general, they had been really good. Any queries that town council wanted to go forward to Government Ministers, the LGA was the route to do it. Most of Districts recent efforts had been on helping high streets open up. She felt it had been right to give grant money to the towns and let them decide the best solution for their town. District believed if they had organized things they would have been stuck in the middle. She hoped decisions had been successful and that District would be able to let out space in Whitestrand to assist everyone in town. Now it was known that businesses could open up she believed Salcombe would be super busy. The Mayor noted that holidaymakers and suitcases were already in town which was disappointing ahead of the Government advice for lockdown lifting. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted this but still believed that everyone needed a successful season and to be ready for 4th July with all cleaning and other safety measures in place. She then urged everyone to take comfort from fact that Devon was the 3rd lowest in England for cases of Covid 19 and within Devon, South Hams was the lowest after Mid and West Devon. There was also no evidence that the Bank Holiday weekend caused any spike in cases and as long as the weather remained good with sunshine this would keep people outside, of benefit as she advised the virus died outside in 30 minutes.
District finances were not good due to this pandemic but she realised that whilst it was serious South Hams was better off than a lot of councils around the country so they were sitting back and waiting to see what Government was going to do as a lot of other councils would go to the wall. Government could not afford to let more than 4 or 5 councils go to the wall because Government could not move in and run them all. It was not just a tranche of money required but other measures Government could do to help relieve burdens, such as lowering interest on PWLB, mortgage holidays and things that would help. District was moving forward with the Recovery and Renewal Plan and during July to the end of August there would be member workshops and this would be incorporated into a program and the final workshop would be September for the most up to date position before they asked for emergency funding.
Dist Cllr Long highlighted that the discretionary grants have been paid out to businesses who had applied and there was pressure out there to get to businesses still eligible and assist with their loss of income. Officers had done good work and although all wished they could have more money the businesses were grateful for what they had received, just taking the wolf from the door. He hoped for a good summer season to pull back finance before businesses went into another winter. Applications were still open for next tranche. The toilets had been on a rolling programme to open them and South Sands was open with Gould Road in the next round of opening due to FCC having to spend more time cleaning each and different routes due to the increased amount of cleans each day. He had spoken to Martin who was the regular cleaner in town and a very conscientious worker making sure the job was done properly. This week there had been a team of two people doing a really great job. Martin’s concern was what the weekends were going to be like and how they would cope when visitor numbers picked up.
He had dealt with several calls, as had Cllr Mrs Bricknell, where around town and in other places further afield people were having bonfires. It was not illegal to have bonfires, but he had needed to go out and make those doing so aware that people were having problems with breathing. There had also been a few trips out to look at concerns with works being done to hedges, trees etc and he had to remind a few that it was not appropriate or they had been a little heavy handed.
Cllr Miss Ward asked whether anything been done about District car parks and if it had been possible to increase the length of stay when paying in the car parks. Those using the park and ride could select the amount of days for payment and as the town was going to have a lot of people arriving en masse this would be the main question. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised that District had no plan to change. The reason was it was better for the town to have as many day spaces available in town as possible otherwise people would find it hard to walk into and visit the town. People staying longer could use the park and ride. District had another car park researched and this was the best way of handling parking so there were no plans to change.
The Minutes of the online meeting dated 10th June 2020 were approved to be duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
4. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
The applications below were considered by councillors and the following response submitted to District Planning by the Town Clerk under delegated authority:
• 4063/19/FUL READVERTISEMENT (revised plans received) Replacement dwelling with associated landscape work (amendment to design previously approved 1125/17/FUL) Sandnes, Beadon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8LU – Response 10th July Objection – Although the design of the building ha been amended, there was too much glass meaning that the proposed property would not merge into the woodland as with the approved application 1125/17/FUL. This would have a detrimental impact on the AONB and was therefore contrary to Salcombe NDP policy ENV1. It was also contrary to NDP policy ENV7 as the proposal did not maintain the character of the key area A as defined within the NDP. The design of the property was contrary to NDP policy B1 in that it did not respect the context and setting. As the new proposal was a third larger than the approved application it was also felt to be overdevelopment of the site. The size and weight of vehicles to be used in accessing the site were too large for the designated route and would cause irreparable damage to Beadon Road (or Beadon Lane as it is known locally). The entrance to Beadon Road from the A381 indicated that this was a no through road so Devon Highways did not consider Beadon Lane to be a usable road. There was also no provision for the protection of pedestrians on what was virtually a footpath. There was also concern about the transfer of trailers from the lorry unit to a tractor, where would this take place as it was not mentioned in the CMP. The surfaced part of Beadon Road from its junction with the A381 had parking on it all year round and was a residential area. There was not felt to be sufficient parking on site and therefore Parking should be provided offsite and contractors transported to the site as this parking must not put additional pressure on street parking within the town which would be contrary to NDP policies B1and T1. The CMP stated that the bulk of the deliveries of the pre constructed building would be made for 3 weeks from 19 July 2021, this was the busiest time of the year in Salcombe and therefore this phase should be deferred until mid-September at the earliest.
• 1418/20/HHO Householder application for single storey extension to rear of dwelling Cornerways, Bonaventure Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8BG – 10th July – No comment
• 1553/20/FUL Proposed alterations to existing dwelling 5A Courtenay Terrace, Devon Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8HA – 10th July – No comment.
• 1608/20/HHO Householder application for removal of pitched roof, and replacement with flat roof and veranda The Pines, Main Road, Salcombe,TQ8 8JW – Response 17th July – No comment.
• 1653/20/HHO Householder application for alterations and extension to existing listed property The Ferry Cottage, Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8JE – Response 17th July – Objection although Town Council supported the heritage work that was being proposed, the replacement of the balustrade was a problem as currently what was in place matched the neighbouring property giving the appearance of one continuous length of balustrade which would affect the visual balance.
• 1654/20/LBC Listed building consent for alterations and extension to existing listed property The Ferry Cottage, Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8JE – Response 17th July – As above.
Nothing further received.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
5. INTERNAL AUDIT AND ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT
The following documents were received and AGREED as follows;
(a) the annual internal audit report – Received and noted.
(b) and action any recommendations or findings therein before approving the Annual Governance Statement – No recommendations or findings received to consider.
6. ACCOUNTS AUDIT STATEMENT
Cllr Fice noted that the money set aside for the Mortuary and a contribution to toilets along with other reserves held was acceptable as it could be explained why they were held and monies were moving and not just growing.
It was AGREED by all present;
(a) that the Accounting Statements 2019/20 duly completed and presented to be wet signed and dated by the Responsible Financial Officer were approved
(b) to approve the Accounting Statements and for the Chairman to wet sign and date such as soon as possible after the meeting.
7. COUNTY ELECTRIC VEHICLES CHARGING POINTS – DELETTI CONSULTATION
The Mayor had researched this project and advised that DELETTI stood for Devon Low-carbon Energy & Transport Technology Innovator. She was concerned that not enough information had been provided and was unsure that the park and ride was a suitable site. Cllr Fice felt that an electric charge point was good for the town but noted it would potentially lose one or two parking bays in P&R. Depending on the contract the host car park could earn a bit of income but not a lot and it would require solar panel renewable energy to make it work. There were also further needs for the project terms with regard to CCTV and other requirements. Cllr Moore agreed that it required too much infrastructure when this was a seasonal car park and would better situated in the Creek Car Park. He was also concerned that if there was not three phase available and the Park and Ride the time taken to charge would be too long. Cllr Long agreed it was trickle charge rather than 3 phase noted it was questioned in the District Council car parks as to whether Creek or Shadycombe was better. There was a requirement for this service in town but there was not enough information and the P&R was not the right place.
The approach from Devon County to be included on a backup list for provision of a 10 year lease for a charging point within the Town Council Park and Ride was considered and it was AGREED that this offer would be rejected.
8. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN AMENDMENT
A minor amendment to the Salcombe Plan in respect of policy H3 re Principal Residence to request a Section 106 Agreement and not just a planning condition was AGREED to be put to District Planning as below.
Policy SALC H3 Principal Residence
a) New open market housing, excluding replacement dwellings, will only be supported where there is a Section 106 agreement to ensure its occupancy as a Principal Residence. This policy is as a result of impact upon the local housing market of second or holiday homes. This occupancy restriction will therefore require the imposition of a legal agreement. New unrestricted market homes will not be supported at any time.
b) Principal Residences are defined as those occupied as the residents’ sole or main residence, where the residents spend the majority of their time when not working away from home. The condition or obligation on new open market homes will require that they are occupied only as the primary (principal) residence of those persons entitled to occupy them.
c) Occupiers of homes with a Principal Residence condition will be required to keep proof that they are meeting the obligation or condition, and be obliged to provide this proof if and when SHDC requests this information. Proof of Principal Residence includes but is not limited to residents being registered on the local electoral register and being registered for and attending local services including healthcare, and schools
d) This policy applies to all new build development both allocated and windfall sites where open market housing is proposed within the Neighbourhood Plan Area. A replacement dwelling is defined as a single new build dwelling replacing an existing dwelling. Where proposals for the replacement of existing dwellings by more than the number of dwellings to be demolished is approved, the additional properties will be subject to a Section 106 agreement to ensure occupancy as a principal residence.
The changes were that town council had requested to remove the reference to planning condition and planning obligation in paragraph (a) and added an additional sentence to paragraph (d) to clarify the position re multiple dwellings on an existing plot. For clarity on Policy Salc H2 (Market Housing) in the first sentence would be added ‘and’ between ‘…2034 (JLP) ‘and ‘on infill sites…’
9. COVID TRAFFIC ORDER
It was noted that the highway TTRO application had been submitted last week and acknowledged 19th June, although County had many to deal with and were not certain they could approve the Order by the due date. The Highway Officer was drafting a template for the official signs required and these along with the additional signs Town Council required had been sent to a sign provider for costing.
The Highway Officer had concerns regarding parking opposite Boots. He asked if the signs could be marked loading as people would use bays to pop across and get their prescriptions and could be seen as loading and this fitted the restriction notice better. Town Council wished the spaces marked Chemist collection only or disabled. Cllr Fice felt that if a traffic warden was not in town then people would abuse restrictions although Cllr Mrs Sinnott advised that they had been in town a lot recently.
All representations received had either been dealt with as shown on a summary sheet although a few objections were noted and discussed.
Cllr Moore noted that some people appeared worried about the Whitestrand area and that it did not just become an overflow of the adjacent hostelry premises. Dist Cllr Long advised that any business could apply for use. The owner of the Coffee Shop had expressed interest and acknowledged he would have to have an employee continually in situ to police their section clean tables and chairs and monitor. Each user would be responsible in this way. With regard to other seating Dist Cllr Long was trying to get additional public seating in the car park and not just the eateries so obviously there would need to be an increase of cleaning by FCC and potentially bigger refuse bins. Cllr Miss Ward enquired if District Council were providing tables and chairs and if so who would police these when the cafes and coffee shops were closed as otherwise these would become overflow for pubs. Dist Cllr Long said the discussions had potentially indicated that premises would only serve until 9p.m. and they would be responsible for moving chairs and tables inside and then placing them back out in the morning. Otherwise they could get damaged/vandalised. There would be a stop point time at which alcohol could be served under their temporary licence.
Cllr Hainey expressed concern that it could just turn into free for all bar with people wandering up and down town streets holding beer and red hot coffees. Was Whitestrand not part of the no alcohol area. Dist Cllr Long agreed such Zone but noted there was discussion around suspending that element but usage would be table service by the pubs so users would not be wandering around. He acknowledged that service would be difficult for The Ferry and Fort as they were too far away so they would probably not use the area. The temporary Licensing chain would mean that District would have to control of the adjacent premises if they breached their licence but most of the Covid measures were around personal responsibility. Cllr Hainey remained concerned as he did not equate such behaviour with holidaymakers. Cllr Moore agreed all the points and felt that this matter should go on the next agenda to review following opening up there was a gap in provision requirements for the town. Cllr Miss Ward wondered whether usage could not just be for the cafes with no outdoor areas. Dist Cllr Long said whoever wished to apply could and they were considered based on what they wanted to use and place thereon. He wanted a thoroughfare kept free that was comfortable to walk through to access toilets, pontoons etc as there was a balance needed. Licensing and mobile locality officers had been in town and around for various things and voiced the same concerns, so District was aware. Cllr Fice was most concerned about increased litter. Everything provided would be disposable cups, plates, paper and what was to stop people putting these in overloaded bins even if the premises were supposed to each clear their own section. Dist Cllr Long noted that each establishment must monitor and have someone there laying out, clearing up and tidying away and no rubbish generated in their areas must go in public bins. During Regatta week he and others could fill up 3 to 4 black bins bags at the end of each evening so that would have to be done by licence holders.
Cllr Miss Ward believed if District considered opening up this area then they needed to provide an additional wheelie bin there as most of the outlets would be providing takeaways which would litter Whitestrand. Dist Cllr Long remarked that a place in Hope Cove was offering takeaway and on Saturday and Sundays the bins were overflowing and that was now before the visitors come down. He had used this outlet as an example of what Salcombe would become. The current takeaways would not normally worry where their waste would go once it left their shop so this needed to be factored in too. Cllr Hainey felt a wheelie bin must be installed in even if town had to pay for it. It was questioned whether FCC had to agree to this as it would need collection but Dist Cllr Long felt this should be their contribution to the COVID response.
Cllr Fice noted other outside seating sites identified by District Council which town council had given feedback on. However it appeared District was still looking at the grass area behind Victoria Quay which was in fact a public right of way, an area where dogs went and also access to a garage. He was concerned that following the response made an officer still seemed to be putting this forward. Dist Cllr Long felt this was more it was not taken off the list in time. He asked The Fort, being the closest outlet if they would wish to use it and was told a resounding no. Also this area would be a busier spot than usual with people stepping into it to observe social distancing.
It was AGREED;
(a) that the majority of representations to the consultation letter were supportive, over 45, and of those objecting, only 4, most related to the Whitestrand car park which was a District issue and not within this Order and therefore explanation responses would be sent,
(b) to approve unknown outgoings for signs and associated materials as they came within the Covid funding and noted that at present no additional outlay above the funding was required but costing for the template paint was still unknown.
On Monday 15th June, the Mayor attended, along with the clerk, a ‘Zoom’ Mayors and Clerks meeting with the Leader and Officers of South Hams District Council. We met, virtually, the new Chief Executive Officer, Andy Bates, who was hoping to get out to all the towns as soon as he could to meet everyone face to face.
A Climate Change Officer had now been appointed, with the first meeting of this group set for the end of the month.
The Covid Response Plan would morph into the Recovery & Renewal Plan, looking at how best to move forward and to be operationally and strategically better aligned to the community.
The Reopening High Streets Safely project was underway with funding sent out, webinars for businesses set up, and the Localities Officers out and about in towns talking directly to businesses to see how they could be helped. All the towns talked about the ways they were opening up and welcoming visitors back, with all doing advertising and signage, Totnes had applied for a partial road closure, and Salcombe proposed limiting cars and reducing on-street parking, embracing District’s decision to close Whitestrand Car Park.
Salcombe raised the issue of an expected increase in rubbish with additional seating areas, and were informed that all Licences granted to businesses to extend into Whitestrand would be on the basis of keeping control of the rubbish, and all would be working together to keep the area clean. There would be a campaign to this effect and Enforcement.
Also on Monday 15th the Mayor and Clerk had a socially distanced meeting in the Mayor’s garden with Adam Keay, County Highways Officer, where they went through town council proposals for Island Street, Market Street and Fore Street to ensure that what was required to be done in order to make people as safe as possible once they returned to Salcombe on holiday would get through the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order application.
Courtenay Park was completed, with its final inspection scheduled for 25th June. The Mayor had spoken to the contractor the previous day, 23rd, and he informed her that the fencing would stay in place for a further three weeks to allow the newly-laid turf to bed in. She requested signs be put on the fencing explaining why the park was not yet open, noting town council would have to keep a close eye on it until the fencing was finally removed.
• Cllr Mrs Sinnott – With Park and Ride not running people were going to use Onslow Road pavement but she was concerned with traffic using that road going too fast. Cliff Road was also used for daily exercise and it was hard to self-distance along the section of Cliff Road to North Sands and could pedestrianisation be extended down there. The Order application had gone in, but it would be asked if 20mph Pedestrian Priority Signs could be installed.
• Cllr Miss Ward – Advised that the Information Centre were working towards reopening on Monday 6th July. If town council had anything they needed to pass on to visitors and locals alike do advise the staff as well as anything that gets changed/amended. They would be restricting their hours and see how it went allowing 2 people in the building at a time along with staff. If they were inundated with people, they would have to reassess. They would also inform everybody that they would be available by telephone and to call them during the day or leave a message and they would get back to them.
• Cllr Long – The turf at Courtenay Park and been laid and he was informed it took 6 weeks to bed and he was sourcing waterers. He this done at least 2 to 3 times a week, but he had people in mind. He would also arrange with Pete Robinson to do an inspection of the Ash trees towards the end of July as this was an ideal time to inspect Town Council wooded areas for Ash die back and make recommendation for works in the autumn and obtain TPOs etc ahead of works. He already knew of two trees but by July some might be more obvious.
• Cllr Hainey – Noted that at the last meeting the Beehives and old hockey club buildings were mentioned and had anything happened or what was being done. The Mayor advised she was composing a letter regarding all land at the Berry but with Covid and town reopening this had slipped down the list. Beehives building there would be an announcement soon as there were new Trustees and a letter would be going to District to ask for it to continue as a public building. Cllr Hainey raised a concern that a house at Ember Close was up for sale and the estate agent stated there was no restrictive covenant on it. He had emailed Cllr Mrs Bricknell who had been assured by LiveWest there was a covenant. However the estate agent still said no covenant. Cllr Mrs Bricknell noted there was a covenant if it remained part buy but if a property became completely freehold there was no covenant. It appeared the owner had bought the whole freehold with no rental remaining so this negated the covenant. Dist Cllr Long thought the reason for these contracts was that they could not staircase up to 100% ownership but only went to 80%. He did not think this contract should have staircased up and that was the whole point of the Ember Road housing. Dist Cllr Long would take this up at District with Cassandra Harrison the housing officer. Cllr Mrs Bricknell was advised that the Devon Connection lifted when houses became freehold and this advice was from the LiveWest housing officer.
• Cllr Moore – Asked what was happening regarding weed spraying. District maintenance had advised previously that they could no longer provide the weed spraying service but the officers now in charge, Sarah and Dale, were not aware of this. The clerk was awaiting to hear back on this but Dist Cllr Long would take this up.
• District had confirmed that FCC had agreed to the change so that the bin at the end of Batson would be moved along to Westcombe, as suggested by Cllr Long. This would be carried out as soon as the maintenance team could get to it.
• Government had advised that children’s play areas could reopen but as yet no guidance had been provided.
Current Account £500.00
Deposit Account £440,154.73
APPROVED Internet payments to:
HMRC – Tax and NI £766.14
NEST – Pensions £177.01
Wages – £1808.57
C. Wood – Hawk £660.00
12. NEXT MEETING
The next Town Council Meeting would be held online on Wednesday 8th July.
……………………………………………….. 8th July 2020.
Meeting ended: 20.04p.m.