Minutes 18th March 2015

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 18th March 2015 in Stoke Lacy Village Hall at 7.30pm

Councillor Neil Walters (Chairman); Councillors Mary Caiger, Clifford Bufton, Janet Ivison and John Westwood.
In attendance
Mrs Alma Westwood (Clerk)
Ward Councillor Jonathan Lester; Ward Councillor Alan Seldon; Messrs Jeremy Haughton and Michael Hobson of Cerda Planning (arrived 7.36pm); 7 members of the public (5 of whom arrived at 7.36pm)

1/15 To receive and accept APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
CSO Susan Berrett.

2/15 To receive DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST on Agenda items
No interests were declared.

7.35pm: As the Cerda Planning representatives had not yet arrived, the Chairman MOVED that Item 4/15 be taken next; AGREED.

These were approved and signed.

3/15 Pre-planning Application presentation re: Newlands, Stoke Lacy
Mr Haughton of Cerda Planning presented the pre-planning proposals regarding possible 28 houses to be built on the grounds of Newlands, Stoke Lacy, belonging to the family of the late Mr and Mrs Smith. Cerda Planning had been in consultation with Herefordshire Council; testing for flood risk and drainage issues were currently being carried out. The owners of the land were keen to work with the Parish Council and Stoke Lacy residents to deliver a sensitive, sustainable development and would take local views. Mr Hobson presented Councillors with a plan, which he said could be subject to change.
The Chairman then threw the meeting open for questions. Amongst matters raised were:
Highways Access: Cerda Planning was working with the Highways Authority. Access must meet their standards before planning permission would be considered.
Doubling the housing in the area, with 28 properties already in Westbury: Time-frame was important. It could be up to two years before work commenced and work might well not be done all at once or in one location. (The location of the site was explained to those who did not know where it was.)
Number and type of houses: A mix of 2 to 5 bedroom, detached and semi-detached family houses was envisaged. 35% (9) must be affordable housing.
Playground: this would be included as part of the development. In answer to q query by Councillor Ivison, Mr Haughton said this would be managed either by Herefordshire Council or a management company.
Provision of local facilities, e.g. schools, shops, doctors, was discussed.
All agreed the decision as to whether the proposed development be supported in principle or not should be based on whether its perceived benefits outweighed the perceived harm.
The number of proposed houses was questioned: finely balanced, and needed justifying to Herefordshire Council.
Mr Haughton ended by saying that if the technical and environmental issues were in order it was hoped that an application could be submitted within 4-6 weeks; Herefordshire Council would then validate the application, which would take around 13 weeks and would be subject to Section 106 (infrastructure payments to the local area) discussions. If there were any problems Cerda Planning would come back to this council. He hoped to work closely with Stoke Lacy Parish Council and villagers looked forward to attending another meeting.
The Chairman thanked Mr Haughton and Mr Hobson for attending and making the presentation.
Mr Haughton, Mr Hobson and 5 other members of the public left the meeting at 8.20pm.

5/15 I Ward Councillor Alan Seldon: this was his last meeting as Ward Councillor; he was to stand for the new Bromyard West ward on 7th May. He thanked Councillors for their support over the years for all he had tried to do; the Chairman in return thanked him for his help and support to the Parish Council and wished him well.
Ward Councillor Seldon then reported on the recent meeting with the Deputy Police Commissioner regarding the review of policing in the area.
5/15 ii Ward Councillor Jonathan Lester: he was standing for the new Three Crosses Ward, which included Stoke Lacy, along with 8 other parish councils. He hoped to be re-elected in May. He thanked Ward Councillor /seldom for the good working relationship which they had enjoyed whilst serving the same Ward.
Ward Councillor Lester then reported on the latest meeting of Herefordshire Council.

6/15 Public Participation
Ward Councillor Lester elaborated on the Cerda Planning presentation. It was important that numbers be viable for the developers. No-one had to decide yet whether they were for or against, but should say what they would like if it went ahead. It could be 4-5 months before it went to planning. The Section 106 agreement could be allocated to the village hall or any other community project or group.

Current Account balance as at 1st March 2015: £1488.01.
7/14 i Draft accounts from 1st January to 28th February 2015 as distributed: APPROVED.
7/15 ii The following payments were approved:

  • Donation to Burley Gate Primary School: £120 (section 137 payment)
  • Clerk: 6-monthly salary and PAYE
  • HALC annual subs for 2015/16; Invoice 3375; Invoice 4201: £433.17 (incl. £62 VAT)

7/15 iii To note that £1500 has been moved from the Business Account to the Current Account to cover the cost of the notice board
7/15 iv To note that VAT of £635.27 has been reclaimed
7/15 v AGREED no donation be made to the Burley Gate community shop

8/15 Westbury Play Area
Councillor Walters and Councillor Caiger had looked at the area under discussion and had concluded that it was not suitable for conversion to a play area. Children and parents should be consulted. AGREED leave this as ‘for future discussion’. (See Item 3/15 above).
Litter was a big problem around the area; item in Cider Press.

9/15 Update on ornamental gates
The Clerk had been informed that Herefordshire Council had not yet reached a decision.

10/15 Possible SID purchase
Held over till May meeting, when a decision would be made. £895 plus VAT and £35 delivery charge.

11/15 New Lengthsman/P3 (footpaths) Scheme
The Clerk said she had signed the Parish Council up to these again.

12/15 i As already emailed: Correspondence from Anthony Bush, HALC courses, etc.
12/15 ii Locality briefings as already emailed.

9/14 i SID decision
9/14 ii Gates – update
9/14 iii Possible purchase of telephone box

(all Wednesdays)
Annual Meetings:
13th May 2015, Parish Meeting at 7pm; Parish Council Meeting at 7.30pm

Councillor Mary Caiger was stepping down at the May elections. The Chairman thanked her on behalf of all Councillors and parishioners for everything she had done over the past few years and wished her well for the future.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm.