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) A
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 *
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
Sandy Gilbert of Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring was in attendance to advise on what they provided as an organisation. They had one hundred clients on their books, and all had been individually assessed for frailty and to target their needs and goals. One person was interested in astronomy, so they were looking for someone to share that interest with this person. Currently they only had 45 volunteers. It was acknowledged that if volunteers needed to go on holiday or felt off colour they were not expected to help. If people were interested, they could commit just one hour every two weeks as there were many people who just needed personal contact. The organization also ran a variety of fun things such as fashion shows to spread the word, raise funding and gain more volunteers. They needed volunteer Salcombe area people and even someone who was lonely and isolated themselves could become a volunteer and help others while enjoying themselves.
Roger Petty-Brown was in attendance regarding a request for a grant towards the town clock that resided on the church. The church had maintained it since it was installed and repaired and wound it. They had received a generous grant from Town Council 3 years previously to renovate the tarnished clock faces (different sides around the tower). Now it required maintenance and repair of the mechanism which joined the clock to it. The linkages gone and all parts were worn. Currently they paid £247 for annual maintenance and the remainder of the money was for these specific works. Some people believed that the church was a rich organisation but Mr Petty-Brown said this was not true and therefore they were looking for a contribution. Cty Cllr Gilbert was in attendance and offered that County could contribute £500 as this structure was part of the town cultural history.
Andy Savell, a resident, was currently living at Coppice, Coronation Road whilst works were being carried out to his house. He noted that recently there had been rough wood clearance and brambles taken away with tree clearing on amenity land next to Crow’s Nest, Fortescue Road. A resident at the west end was infiltrating into the wood by placing two dinghies and fishing equipment and this encroachment was now twice as bad as previous. He had also learnt that another neighbours had obtained title to a section of unregistered land which he believed was never advertised for anyone to comment or contest and he was worried that the same thing would happen with the placement of the fishing equipment. Surely it was contrary to the aims of the council in protecting the Berry. Cllr Fice only heard about the tree felling clearance this afternoon. With regard to the land opposite Puffins which had been acquired by registration, town council advised they challenged and disagreed with the historical statement of use but Land Registry went ahead and allowed it. Cllr Fice noted that Town Council attempted to install fencing around the Berry but had met with a lot of opposition and some property owners had threatened legal action so Town Council had to eventually drop this proposal to protect the boundary.
Robert Thompson of Park Green introduced himself along with Stephen Thompson and explained that they were focusing on a smaller site scheme of 24 units for the allocated site and land adjacent to Motherhill Farm, the proposal he believed was mid-market family housing. Mark Tims their Architect was present to run through these proposals. He explained that Park Green was a small housing developer not a larger plc and from their point of view this was one of the more exciting aspects in that the company did not having bespoke housing styles. Hopefully their ideas would therefore fit with Salcombe. He continued and ran through the design team. He gave an overview of the location of the site on the main route into Salcombe and noted recent development surrounding. It was an allocated site within the South Hams Joint Local Plan and their aim was to fulfil development on an unusual shaped site with farmland views. Access would be off the main road with the site steeply falling away in both directions. Densities at the edge of the settlement were being organized as to what would be appropriate and they were trying to understand the surrounding build style. There was much render and various roof forms, Georgian windows and more boarding appearing. They aimed for 7 affordable and 17 open market units plus parking to meet the District Council requirement. Discussion took place as to whether these properties would be affordable or social rented, some were intermediate housing in accordance with the Joint Local Plan. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce stated properties must be social rented for Salcombe. Various comments were made on tenure and Cllr Moore asked if this was an artist’s impression with regard to trees and greenery or was this actual landscaping. The response was that this reflected landscaping to mitigate the build effect. Cllr Moore continued that he did not feel that the open space illustrated contributed to a sense of place. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce asked why there were no 2bed open market houses and was told that the intermediate was a 2 bed.
Roger Petty Brown and Andy Savell left the meeting.
The developers said they were guided by the affordable housing officer but Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce asked how this fitted with the market value need as stated in the District Council JLP. Cllr Miss Ward enquired if they ever consulted local estate agents and, if so, which ones? The response was that they had taken advice from Jackson Stops but Cllr Miss Ward noted these were not local but Exeter based and dealt in multi million pound property. Cllr Hainey questioned what price these would go for as mid-market and the developer did not know the exact figure. Cllr Fice asked them to explain why they had not included 2 bed open market and had they read the Salcombe Neighbourhood Plan regarding policy H2 and the types of housing required in this town, did they feel 3 and 4 beds satisfied this. The Housing Needs survey stated people wanted 2 beds open market properties.
Cllr Fice wanted to know what the pedestrian access for the site would be and was told this was through the main entrance. Those present advised that Main Road was the major route in and out of Salcombe and there was no footpath along that boundary. They suggested they would put an island with a crossing point but this was countered in that it could not be done as it was just over a blind hill. Maybe the vehicular access was acceptable but Town Council was worried about encouraging people to walk and not use cars and this proposal would be dangerous.
Moving to the design they would have muted rendered colours, but not white, and some boarding on the properties that fronted the AONB to soften the aspect next to fields. Cllr Hainey said the site was not fronting an AONB but within it and therefore it covered the entire site. Cllr Moore noted that although the developer proposed to vary the finishes and cladding the design all looked the same and there was very little shape and texture variation, having different shapes and sizes made it a place. Cty Cllr Gilbert enquired where the parking for the affordable properties was and this was explained but felt to be too few with one parking space per flat and did not look enough to Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce, as designated in the Supplementary Planning Document.
Cty Cllr Gilbert asked if the developers were proposing to build these or sell the site on. He was advised they always build out their own projects. The Mayor asked if visitor parking was marked out and whether it was easily accessible.
Cllr Hatch asked what was going to be charged for low cost housing. The response was that this depended on what a social landlord would take on regarding the affordable housing so it was still under discussion for this mix of properties so he did not have an exact answer. Another question was who would look after the green areas. This would be a management company and owners would pay maintenance to retain the green areas and the landscape along the boundary. All built pockets of greenery would be part of this management company. When asked if there would there be covenants to stop extensions et al. this would be down to the Planning Authority to take away rights on permitted development. Cllr Lang noted the proposed 3 and 4 bed houses and that the Salcombe Neighbourhood Plan advised new builds must sold to Salcombe residents and would they have a problem selling them. The developer felt that these were significantly smaller than the properties on the other side of the road which were not selling. Cllr Moore acknowledged the artists impressions with surplus trees and lots of greenery but advised that Town Council would look at the development overall and they would not want anyone to be able to walk through and know which was the affordable section. Place setting, he felt, for affordable homes should be juxtaposition to the open market ones to be a cohesive unit. Cllr Hainey noted that the properties fronting the main road had their front door right on the road which was not orientated to be family friendly. It was also advised that Salcombe needed two bedroom houses with gardens for upcoming families and questioned who had provided the unit breakdown, Cassandra Harrison. Cllr Miss Ward wanted to know, if this proposal was built did the developer know they could only be sold as primary residence to people and did they really think there were enough people in the town who wanted these houses. Bungalows were required for the older population to downsize. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce referred to a letter sent to the developer in November 2018 setting out the mixture of housing which did not align to what they were presenting. The response was that since that email was sent they had certainly increased 2 beds and reduced the number of 4 beds and complied with the higher figure so had responded as best as they could. There were competing demands of the site due to impact on the AONB so they were trying to mitigate and balance.
Further questions were put forward on how the sewage was being dealt with and they were proposing to connect into the drain running along the Main Road. As this would be connecting into a system serving other houses in this location that already had problems this was a concern raised. South West Water continually denied any problems but residents were known of who did have problems.
Cllr Fice asked about ecological measures such as water harvesting, solar panels etc and how they were being applied in context with the current climate concerns and District Council’s emerging Climate Policy. The developer said that this application was work in progress and must meet strenuous measures and it was not economic to do any major ecological projects but rainwater would be collected to distribute into streams and they would build to current Building Regulations. As they had put in a lot of insulation Cllr Moore suggested using a heat pump.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce noted that Quality Care must be followed under Building Regulations.
The developers and architect left the meeting.
County and District Councillors Report
Cty Cllr Gilbert advised that the Devon County portion of the council bill was 50% and explained what Government permitted them to increase and what this was to cover. He was pleased to see that the Batson Hill road repairs had been completed and he had driven this route to check as the £28,000 cost was covered from his pothole action fund. The £1million extra for highway drainage had been increased to £2million to improve clearing and draining of roads but this work would not happen overnight. County intended to bring some highway works back in house and not to Skanska but they were going to have to ‘tool up’ and employ staff for this. With climate change this year water had been the enemy set against previous years of snow and frosts so County was decreasing salt provision and grit lorries as the County moved towards dealing with wet and not cold. This had been a very, very, challenging year right across Devon due to the 8000 miles of road which no other County had as many. Laid end to end the amount of roads to cover would be two thirds of the way to Sydney, Australia.
Cty Cllr Gilbert and Sandy left the meeting.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce asked that she be given prior warning next time a developer with a large project was attending as she could have obtained more information to bring to the discussion. On the budget increases County were £57 extra on a Band D whilst District was £5, a rise of less than £0.10 per week. Keeping the cost down was not easy but District was trying.
Cllr Hatch asked what was happening with the development in Whitestrand. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised that there was nothing further at present as negotiations were ongoing with the Kings Arms owners. Cllr Hainey noted that when Dan Field had attended a Town Council meeting ahead of works commencing he stated the covenant issue was sorted and only needed the documents signed. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised she always knew there was a covenant but not the finer details regarding its content. Cllr Hainey wished to know who was paying for the mess this had caused with regard to herras fencing, movement of buildings along with designs, planning and sundry. The response was that the project was not dead as they were meeting on the following Monday and trying to reschedule works for the end of the season/next year. There still needed to be some work carried out on the water supply for the public toilets and this would go ahead in 2 weeks’ time with a temporary road closure and the landlords of the Kings Arms were agreeable to this. If and when a new toilet building was provided the services would be in place. Town Council stressed that they needed a date when the public toilets would be reopened. This needed to be well before Easter as schools broke up at various times and Dist Cllr Pearce agreed. Cllr Hainey pressed on asking who was paying for this hiccup as he along with others was a taxpayer and questioned the District Council project and why should taxpayers have to pay for District or their employees’ arrogance in this matter. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce defended the officer Dan Field, as his job was to sort out the running of the project and engineering matters and this problem occurred higher up. When asked who was paying for the waste the response was that the project was still trying to be brought on board so the only money in question related to the movement of the Harbour Officer porta cabin and herras fencing.
Dist Cllr Long had advised by email that Devon Tree Services were carrying out the woodland maintenance/felling on behalf of the District Council Charity in the section of ‘Berry’ woodland off Fortescue Road. They were taking out five cubic metres of timber as allowed by Forestry Commission felling licence. The work had commenced that day.
Cllr Fice referred to the tree felling being carried out by District up on the Berry. He had received a phone call about the land on Fortescue Road and been told the contractors were removing 5 cubic metres of trees as permitted by the Forestry Commission. He asked why this was being done and noted the contractors had removed the three largest trees near the road and it was stated they were coming back for three days for further work. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce advised she knew no more than Dist Cllr Long had stated because as she was Leader of the council she could not be involved in the Trust for this land. She had been advised works were to be carried out as a management scheme. The Mayor asked why District was suddenly ‘managing’ this area and requested a stop be put on this work. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce had understood it was only one day of works and Cllr Fice felt removal was more than 5 cubic metres. When District was supposed to be negotiating to transfer all land to Town Council suddenly this area was being cut down from the front backwards about 15 – 20 metres, this was not management but clearing.
Four tyres had been dumped on the A381 on the way out of Salcombe and been there for a few days. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce requested that this be reported on the fly tipping page.
The Mayor enquired if Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce was aware of the Keep Britain Tidy luminous eyes poster relating to dog fouling. She did not and the Mayor would forward this on. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce then enquired how bin collection had been over half term and the Mayor responded that she reported some that morning which were cleared but Cllr Hainey noted those he reported had not. This was Cross Garden reported at 7a.m. and by 5.45p.m nothing had been done. Cllr Moore advised that the regular operative was on holiday. Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce continued that once public bins had been deep cleaned and a survey made of all the types of bin used where there were more than one in one place, they would all be uniform colours and styles. The new officer dealing was Bev Mason.
Dist Cllr Mrs Pearce left the meeting.
The Minutes of the meeting dated 12th February 2020 were approved to be duly signed by the Mayor as a true and correct record.
4. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
• 4068/19/HHO Householder application for new storage unit to rear of dwelling, to replace existing 25 St Dunstans Road, Salcombe – 20th March – No objection but town council requested a condition that the new two storey unit was not to be used as accommodation.
• 4218/19/FUL Use of agricultural dry storage building for general commercial storage (resubmission of 3020/19/FUL) Farm Building at Batson, Lower Batson, Salcombe 20th March – Objection The building was granted permission as an agricultural building on new land. This would be loss of an agricultural building which if no longer required should be reinstated to its former land use. There was also concern about the description ‘general commercial storage’ as this would mean that anything could be stored.
• 0434/20/FUL Demolition of existing buildings, retention of southern boundary wall and quay, erection of building containing commercial units and 4no. residential units, associated car parking Brewery Quay, Island Street, Salcombe – Response 20th March – Objection as despite the previous appeal being upheld, Salcombe Neighbourhood Development Plan was now a fully made plan. This would be contrary to NDP policies B1 and T1 in that insufficient parking was included putting pressure on street parking. It was also contrary to NDP policy EM2 which stated that only employment uses should be permitted unless there was an independent assessment that vacant units had been actively marketed at a reasonable rent for a minimum period of one year. Town Council also believed that this proposal was contrary to NDP policy H2 in that the suggested sale values of these properties would not satisfy the type of housing defined in the Housing Needs Survey. If the application was approved then all four properties would need S106 agreements for a Principal Residence requirement as set out in NDP policy H3. A recent RICS study suggested that inspectors should not take financial constraint for the developer into consideration.
• 0506/20/VAR Application for variation of condition 2 of planning permission 3600/18/FUL Topwood, Sandhills Road, Salcombe – Response 27th March – No comment.
WORKS TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER TREES
• 0559/20/TPO G1: Ash x 3 – Fell due to ash dieback, Lazylands, South Sands, Salcombe – Response 18th March 2020 OBJECTION as there was no arboricultural justification for this request. The photographic evidence supplied did not show a significant loss of leaf canopy, it did not meet the Forestry Commission guidance for levels at which works needed to be done to address Ash Die Back.
PLANNING CORRESPONDENCE– Nothing further to add.
A request for a grant towards Salcombe Holy Trinity Church – Town Clock Tower renovation works at a cost of £1512 was AGREED at a sum of Five Hundred Pounds (£500). It was noted that this contribution was not for routine maintenance but a one-off payment for this specific project.
6. VE DAY CELEBRATION
Possibilities for activities were considered and it was stated that Town Council did not want to compete with community organisations providing events but support community celebration. Salcombe Church would hold a special Sunday service. Other areas were having bell ringers, pipers and such like. It was AGREED that Town Council would support Cliff House Trust in holding an event like a cream tea/evening dance with perhaps a jazz band. The official toast event at 3p.m would be highlighted to the local hostelries.
7. OFFICE LEASE
The proposal by Cliff House Trust to continue with an identical Lease and terms for a further period of 3 years to include an increase in rent of £183.90 on the current £3065p.a was AGREED and it was noted the names for signatories of such Lease would be Nicola Turton and Michael Fice.
8. SHADYCOMBE MORTUARY
A report was provided by Cllr Moore and the proposal to engage the public on usage of this building considered with a draft article to be circulated in various forms. It was AGREED to take the draft article provided and finalise the content for circulation to Bonningtons, Over 60s, Rugby Club and other community outlets and also request Tom Ladds of Kingsbridge Gazette to run an article for comments to be received by 31st March.
Cllr Hainey noted this was a beautiful building and needed to be secured now with some works and especially removing the ivy.
Consideration was given to;
(a) the purchase of trees required to replace those cut down within Bonaventure Woods under a Tree Preservation Order which contained a condition to replant – AGREED to purchase at a cost in the region of £198.35 plus delivery of £30.00 or less if possible.
(b) replacement trees for Jubilee Gardens – AGREED that Cllr Hatch would consider these trees and whether they should be removed and report back.
10. SOUTH HAMS DISTRICT COUNCIL CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIODIVERSITY EMERGENCY -CONSULTATION DOCUMENTS
Consideration of the draft documents was DEFERRED to the next meeting so comments could be sent to District by 31st March:
11. MAYOR’S REPORT
The Mayor did not have much to report but she had attended the Salcombe Information Centre AGM the previous day. Therein they had report on financial year 2018/19 and whilst footfall was down, they had distributed 25,000 guides and other information alternatives had been used. Their budget illustrated this had been their second-best results in 2 years. Visitor number were up, and they had a newly formed charity which would, going forward, organise Salcombe Live with plans to double the size of this event in October by increasing the number of venues and events appealing to a new wider genre. The money raised would be returned into Salcombe organisations to keep the community wheel moving.
12. COUNCILLORS REPORTS
• Cllr Mrs Bricknell – Noted the first drain at the top of Coronation Road was blocked solid and Devon County highways should take action as it was blocked from the runoff soil via Bonfire Hill.
• Cllr Hatch – Asked when District contractors paid by Town Council were going to start weed spraying. The commencement period was not known, and Pete Robinson would be requested to check. Cllr Fice noted that Town Council had been requesting a schedule and timings for the last two years. Cllr Hatch advised that spraying should commence now to be redone the end of May/June during a dry spell.
• Cllr Moore – The drains and playground works he noted were currently underway.
• Cllr Payne – Wished clarification as to the planning permitted that allowed building proposals on the area adjacent to the petrol station. The terms of allocated sites with the current Joint Local Plan were explained and it was advised that this site could come forward.
• Cllr Fice – Had attended the Cheesewring site along with Dist Cllr Long that morning to discuss with the architect his request that the owners appeal the decision on the wall. The owners did not want to take this course and requested a discussion. Dist Cllr Long and he therefore met with the architect who had various proposals, one of which was a viewing platform within the woods. It was pointed out that this proposal would intrude more on the Cheesewring owners and reduce their privacy. From this meeting nothing was agreed but a suggestion was a wall in a straight line which could be acceptable. The adjacent wall might be slightly higher but those using this walk/path could still view the bar and across. District Planning would now be waiting to receive these proposals.
He also reminded those present that the Women’s Institute litter pick would be held on Friday afternoon at North Sands, weather considered. All were invited to take part.
• Cllr Miss Ward – Enquired about the provision of the Hawk programme and was advised that all checks had been undertaken and the town council insurance and legal advice felt that, subject to a Risk Assessment, all points had been answered to their satisfaction. Regarding sponsorship Cllr Moore advised that cash flow from businesses meant that he had not had much support so far. He noted that some stated that the hawk drove the seagulls into the harbour and thus they had bird mess over boats so they would not be contributing. A couple of licencees were not around at present so he would speak to them in the coming weeks. Cllr Miss Ward then noted that Hazel Burkitt, a previous Citizen of the Year, was retiring felt she deserved a good send off. The Mayor noted she was in discussion with Hazel regarding the Young Salcombe Centre Building and other aspects in relation to this building.
• Cllr Hainey – Had sent a message during the meeting questioning whether All Jazzed Up could be available for the VE Day celebrations and they had responded positively. Contact details would be shared with Cliff House Trust so that bookings could be arranged.
• Alexis Huggins District Open Spaces advised that due to the adverse weather conditions the Courtenay Park play equipment team had been pulled off the site. It was expected that the installation would now take three weeks longer and the area would have to remain fenced for a few weeks after this to give the grass time to recover. District would do a media release on this following a site visit the following Monday.
• South West Ambulance Trust had confirmed that apart from the Town Council Spar Shop Defibrillator there were two other units in Salcombe that were accredited. One Salcombe Harbour Office and the other Salcombe Quay. Salcombe Quay was highlighted in red so whether this meant it was not accessible to the general public was unknown as it was not one of South West Ambulance Trust’s units.
• It was advised that Ian Stewart had liaised with Cllr Long, as Tree Warden, to ascertain a good location for his donated birch tree and this had been planted within Shadycombe Cemetery up near Forster Road boundary.
• Chris Wood advised that he flew a Harris Hawk and therefore this did not need to be registered under Schedule 4 of the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981. He had a licence to keep other wild birds and had provided Insurance that had Public Liability of £1million but did not need a licence for this bird due to its classification. Therefore, from this investigation it was felt the hawk work could commence at the beginning of March.
• The church room was available for defibrillator training and could offer Monday or Wednesday evenings before Easter and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Easter, to be confirmed on availability. So it was asked whether town council had any chosen dates as the trainer would book in whatever was chosen. Then this date could be offered to volunteers to attend and the room would be hired at a cost of £25.
• District Planning had advised that the Neighbourhood Plan area for Chivelstone, East Portlemouth, Slapton and South Pool parishes known as Saltstone Neighbourhood Plan had now been formally designated as an area.
Current Account £501.00
Deposit Account £409,669.83
Receipts: HMRC – VAT Reimbursement £14,658.59
Councillors APPROVED Internet payments to:
Hi-Line – Bonaventure Wood TPO works £576.00
Salcombe WI – Grant for Centenary litter pick project £50.00
Day Signs – Park and Ride blanking signs and clips £26.40
M. Fice – Reimbursement for Neighbourhood Plan Completion Celebratory Reception £336.50
H2 Environmental – Redfern Woods additional fence and St. Dunstans Road timber bollards £1350.06
HMRC – Tax and NI £787.26
NEST – Pension £177.01
Wages – February £1791.05
Cliff House Trust Ltd – Office rent (as agreed above) £3898.68
14. NEXT MEETING
The next Town Council would be held on Wednesday 11th March 2020 in the Library at Cliff House, Cliff Road, Salcombe, at 6.30p.m.
Meeting Closed: 9.10p.m.
……………………………………………….. 11 th March 2020.