Minutes of the MEETING OF LYTCHETT MATRAVERS PARISH COUNCIL

Held on Monday March 16th 2015 at 7:00 in the Village Hall, Lytchett Matravers.

PRESENT were Cllrs: M Colvey, A Bush, A Cottman, A Huggins, I Maitland (left the meeting at 21:10), K Norris, J Taylor, P Webb, E Wilson, and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk).

County Cllr F Drane and thirty four members of the public were also present. Thirty three members of the public left the meeting after item 5 was completed.

Three representatives from Stonewater Ltd were present for items 1-5 only

1. REceipt of apologies for absence – Cllrs C Wood and R Carswell.

2. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.

The chairman reported that he had been present for the Purbeck Volunteer of the Year awards. The Lytchett Matravers award had been made to Mr Graham Lee for his work in setting up and running the Friends of Lytchett Matravers Library. It was noted that Mr Lee has also set up Ad Lib to support libraries across the whole of the county.

3. DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY INTEREST; AND CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS UNDER SECTION 33 OF THE LOCALISM ACT 2011. There were none.

4. Presentation by Stonewater Ltd: Land off of Deans Drove – revised proposals for a residential development. (Standing Orders Suspended).

The Chairman introduced this topic and explained to those present that council members would listen to the presentation (of up to 15 minutes) and might ask some questions at the end. He stressed however that no opinions on the proposals would be expressed by Council members. He pointed out that members of the Parish Council who are also members of Purbeck District Council may be part of the consideration of a subsequent planning application at a PDC Planning Board and expressing opinions on the proposals would debar them from fulfilling this aspect of their District Council role. He concluded be re-checking that no Parish Council member had a pecuniary interest to declare in this matter.

It was clarified that the presentation related to a proposal for the site adjacent to the junction of Foxhills Rd and Deans Drove, and emphasised that this has not reached the stage of being an application for planning. It was also explained that it is the continuation of a process started by Raglan Housing around 2 years and that Raglan Housing had been part of a merger which now comprised Stonewater Ltd.

Mr Bessant explained that a scheme for this site had been under preparation for a while. He confirmed that Raglan Housing had been merged with another housing association to form Stonewater Ltd on 31st December 2014. Part of the intention of the merger had been to enable the driving of development proposals, with an overall aim of bringing forward affordable housing to help people get on the housing ladder. He stressed the company’s commitment to Dorset and referred to another scheme in the Purbeck area – Nine Barrow View, Langton Matravers, Swanage where 8 dwellings had been provided as a Rural Exception Site (RES). Regarding the site in question in Lytchett Matravers, he explained that when Raglan Housing consulted on this last time the proposal was for 30-40 houses on the site, but that the company had listened to local feedback and have now responded by bringing forward a new proposal which is a lot smaller.

Mr Ashe, the scheme architect, then talked through a slide presentation (copy attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes). He explained that the process of working up the proposals had begun with analysis of the constraints of the site….resulting in what he called a “sketch scheme” at this stage, with no visual images. He clarified the exact location of the site and reiterated that it was reduced in size from the previous proposal put forward by Raglan Housing. He explained that the constraints analysis had involved an assessment of landscape features, trees and the levels of the site. He noted that there is a fall of 8 metres across the site, and a sewer across the middle of it. Using an illustrative plan he explained that there would be a green are through the middle of the site – enabled by the reduction in density compared with the previous proposal. Regarding housing density, he pointed out that this latest proposal is for 20 dwellings per hectare compared with 30 dwellings per hectare – resulting in more space. He compared this with two other developments in the village: (i) Turbetts Close, where the density is 31.7 dwellings per hectare, and (ii) Abbotts Meadow, where the density is 21 dwellings per hectare.

In response to questions from members of the public, Mr Ashe confirmed that the road access to the proposed development was on Deans Drove, but that in a pre-consultation DCC Highways had indicated that this caused them no concern. A related question from the public concerned the parking provision, and he clarified that two spaces per house had been included between the houses. However, it emerged later that these spaces are positioned one behind the other; which some members of the public present felt was somewhat impractical and may not be used.

Mr Ashe confirmed that the proposal would include three houses to be sold on to the open market, and that these houses would be at the Deans Drove end of the site and there would be a landscaped strip adjacent to Deans Drove. The fall across the site means that the ridges of the houses on it would be below the level of the properties on Deans Drove.

5. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

The Chairman invited members of the public to speak. All of the contributions were comments or questions related to the preceding presentation by representatives of Stonewater Ltd, as follows:

Question / Comment Stonewater Ltd Response
How many bedrooms are included per dwelling? A mix of 2 and 3 bedrooms per property.
It was recalled that during their presentation at a Parish Council meeting, Raglan Housing had indicated that without support from the public their proposal would not be brought forward. It was wondered if that commitment made previously still stands. Stonewater Ltd representatives commented that they have a commitment to provide affordable, fit for purpose housing working closely with the Local Authority and community needs. They feel that they must bring this type of housing scheme forward to meet community needs.
At this point Mr Dunlop read out a prepared statement, a copy of which is attached at appendix 2 to these minutes. It was clarified by another member of the public that whilst others present may concur with the points made by Mr Dunlop, it was not intended that he spoke for others.
A member of the public commented that he felt it fortunate that the village is, he believes, one of only fourteen villages in England with “special greenbelt status” in that they are completely surrounded by greenbelt land. He felt that there was a desire to keep Lytchett Matravers that way. In addition, the speaker pointed out that he believes the site sits on around 30 feet of yellow clay and that this, plus the numerous streams and springs in the area, represent technical reasons why it is not suitable for building. The point about the presence of clay was reiterated later by another resident. It was confirmed that the company are looking to progress this scheme as a Rural Exception Site rather than by attempting to move the existing greenbelt boundary.
Referring to the comment in the Stonewater Ltd presentation, Nine Barrow View at Langton Matravers is considered to be a good example of a Rural Exception Site because the community supported it. It is argued that this is not the case in Lytchett Matravers. It was pointed out that the community is currently engaged in the development of a Neighbourhood Plan which will ultimately contribute to a strategy for development. Whilst this plan is under development it seems unwise to progress this scheme. The speaker commented on a remark in the presentation by Stonewater Ltd that there is huge local need for housing, and he felt this was a surprise. Cllr A Bush clarified that the most recent Housing Needs Survey had been carried out in 2011 and had identified 24 people on the local list. A further 16 people had expressed a wish, but had not actually gone on the list.
Ms K Evans asked if it was intended for the development to be lit. It is early stages as yet, so this is a matter to consult on with the Parish and District Councils.
Cllr A Huggins asked if there would be any Section 106 contribution to come back to the community from this proposed development. It was explained that section 106 money has been replaced by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) but this would only arise from the three open market houses.
Mr F Wellstead observed that the primary school appears to be already at capacity. He cited an example of a neighbour of his whose child has to attend Stoborough School. He wondered what provision would be made to mitigate the extra pressure on the school arising from this development. Cllr Bush, who is a governor at the Primary School, explained that the school has 40% of pupils out of catchment area. It was also suggested by a member of the public that the concept of school catchment areas for primary schools will cease in 2017.
Concerns were expressed that Foxhills Road is a narrow country lane with no pavements, yet it is part of a suggested “route to school” for pupils walking or cycling to Lytchett Minster school. Mrs Dunlop remarked on the amount of cars currently using this road and that this proposed development increases the potential risk to children using it.This point was later built on by Mr I Robinson who also pointed out that there are few passing places for cars. The overall effect is that the road is unsafe.
In terms of “meeting local needs” a resident wondered if the housing on this proposed development would be guaranteed for current Lytchett Matravers residents. It is intended to work with PDC on this matter, and that the priority will be to meet the needs of Lytchett Matravers first.
It was observed by a resident that this proposed development is quite a long walk from the village amenities such as the shops and library, etc – whereas it is understood that one of the intentions of an RES is that they are situated close to the amenities.
Ms S Graham expressed a concern at an apparent lack of parking spaces allocated to the proposed dwellings. This point was repeated later by another resident. It was reiterated that two spaces per dwelling, plus some visitor spaces, had been provided.
Mr P House asked if every RES includes some market housing as part of their schemes. It was explained that this depends on individual circumstances – but it is usually the case in order to make a scheme financially viable.
Mr D Nail noted the remark by Stonewater Ltd that “ traffic problems are solvable…”. He wondered if PDC or DCC actually have any ongoing responsibility to find solutions to such problems arising from developments such as this. He observed that housing associations don’t have such a responsibility, so he anticipates that the community is wholly reliant on the local authorities to address such matters, but he doubts that they will have the resources to do so.
Mr A Hazel developed the point about the number of cars per household, and that with little or no work in the village, this may equate to an additional 46 resident’s cars travelling down Foxhills Rd to a recognised existing “pinch point” at the junction with the A35, which is already unsatisfactory.
Mr G Coleman remarked that his understanding is that RES are primarily for Local Authorities to use, not developers.A further point was made that formerly they were limited to communities of under 3000 population. It is understood that this former interpretation of how a RES may be used has been superseded in recent years due to relaxation of the rules.

6. THE MINUTES of the Council meeting on February 16th 2015 were approved as a true record of those meetings, and signed by the Chairman.

7. MATTERS ARISING & UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS.

  1. Minute 13, 18th August 2014. Establishment of Google Diary. Cllr Carswell had previously commented that he would develop and circulate some instructions to guide members in how to link their diaries to the online calendar on the Council’s website; and also how to add items to the website calendar. Action: Cllr Carswell to prepare and email this briefing – CARRIED FORWARD.
  2. Minute 10, 15th September 2014. Litter bin for MUGA. Awaiting installation by the Village Handyman. It was noted that this has not been installed yet. CARRIED FORWARD.
  3. Minute 23, October 20th 2014. DCC Consultation on litter and street cleaning. Cllr Norris reported had previously advised that as he had not had a response on this matter from the responsible officer at DCC he had raised a complaint with that person’s second line manager. This had resulted in a letter of apology and an assurance that in future communication would be directly with the Parish Council. DISCHARGED.
  4. Minute 17, 15th December 2014 – correspondence with a resident regarding poor mobile phone signal. Cllr Colvey had indicated that he would raise this matter with Ofcom, but had not yet been able to do so. Action: Cllr Colvey to contact Ofcom accordingly. CARRIED FORWARD.
  5. Minute 17, 15th December 2014 – Fly tipping near the Sports Club’s bulk waste bin alongside the Sports Pavilion. It was noted that a sign has now been put on display by the Sports Club. DISCHARGED.
  6. Minute 10, 19th January 2015 – Regular meetings with allotment holders. It was confirmed that the first meeting has been set up for 25th March 2015 and invitations have been sent out with the allotment rental receipts. DISCHARGED.
  7. Minute 10, 19th January 2015 – Allotment Society to be asked by Cllr Colvey for their views on the idea of charging new plot holders a substantial deposit to be used in the event of it being necessary to clear the plot up after it is eventually vacated. This matter is now subject of a separate recommendation from the Environment & Amenities Committee reported under minute 11b(ii) below.
  8. Minute 10, 19th January 2015 – Dog control signage. The Parish Clerk reported that he had now requested quotations from two further contractors.
  9. Minute 13, 19th January 2015 – matters raised during visit to the village by County Cllr P Finney and Officers from DCC. Cllr Norris has now collated the details and passed them to Cllr Bush to prepare a suitable letter to DCC.
  10. Minute 17, 19th January 2015 – review of the Council’s banking arrangements. The Parish Clerk reported that he had completed the necessary mandate form and submitted it to HSBC. Cllrs Webb and Wood had been advised of the personal identification requirements for when they visit the HSBC branch.
  11. Minute 22, 19th January 2015 –Venues for Council meetings. It was confirmed that the Clerk had made the necessary arrangements with the Village Hall bookings secretary for 7pm commencement for meetings. The venue for the three dates when the Village Hall is unavailable still need to be confirmed. Action: Parish Clerk to make the necessary arrangements accordingly for the meetings on Thursday 2nd April, Monday 13th April and Thursday 7th May, to take place in the Sports Club Pavilion – also commencing at 7pm.
  12. Minute 8v, 16th February 2015 – DCC Members divisional budget. The Parish Council element (£500) is subject of a recommendation under minute 11(b) (iii) below. The youth / community element (£1000) requires a relevant group (or groups) to be prompted to approach Cllr Drane with the details of their project(s). Cllr Norris indicated that he would advise the Scouts, and Cllr Cottman would advise the Sports Club accordingly. Action: Cllrs Norris and Cottman to speak to representatives of the Scouts and Sports Club respectively.
  13. Minute 13, 16th February 2015 – Primrose donation to Village Hall toilets refurbishment project. The Parish Clerk confirmed that the formal letter of response to Primrose, based on the expert advice from NALC about the VAT element of the project, and enclosing the firm quotation for the full project, had been sent. A response is awaited. Mrs Perry, representing the Village Hall Committee, is being kept fully informed. Cllr Colvey requested that if no response is received within a further 2 weeks, the Parish Clerk should inform him.

8. District Cllrs report.

Cllr Taylor advised that Purbeck District Council had agreed by 12 votes to 11 a 1.94% rise in its share of the Council Tax in 2015/16. It is understood that this amounts to an increase of £3.28 per year for a band D household for the District Council’s share. Taking into account charges for Dorset County Council, the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner and the Dorset Fire and Rescue Authority (but excluding increases for town and parish councils), the overall average council tax for a band D household in Purbeck will be £1,642.65 per year. This is an increase of 1.75%, or 54p per week, for a band D household.

9. County Councillor’s report

County Cllr Drane reported on matters he has most recently been involved in in his role as a member of Dorset County Council:

He commented on a meeting he had attended on 16th March regarding the Health and Social Care Act 2013, which he had found informative. He has asked for copies of a booklet handed out at the meeting to be forwarded to Town and Parish Councils.

Cllr Drane had reiterated his previous plea at DCC meetings that the operation and decision making of the Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) should not be interfered with by DCC cabinet members.

Cllr Drane noted that with effect from 16th March the period of purdah begins with regard to the forthcoming elections. Members were reminded that during this period both central and local government are prevented from making announcements about any new or controversial initiatives which could be seen to be advantageous to any candidates or parties.

10. REPORTS FROM SUB-COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS

Neighbourhood Planning Group.

Cllr Bush reported that a productive meeting had recently been held during which the group had drilled down into the development policies and in working with Mr Bevan a set had been put together. A planned meeting on 17th March will consider how the plan itself is presented, what consultation questions should be asked and what channels should be used for this process. It is hoped to utilise the Council website for this. The Annual Parish Meeting on Saturday 25th April will also be an important opportunity for local consultation and dialogue. Officers from PDC will visit on 31st March 2015 to feed-back on progress. The next step is to move into the 6 week local public consultation process. This will be followed by a similar period during which PDC will also undertake a public consultation on the plan.

11. Recommendations from Committees:

(a) Planning Committee – meeting 5th March 2015:

There were no recommendations to bring forward.

(b) Environment & Amenities Committee – meeting 2nd March 2015; Recommendations –

(i) In order to address the persistent problem of slow payment of allotment rentals by a small number of tenants it is RECOMMENDED that with effect from the 2016 rental year, a rule is introduced that if rental payments are not received by 31st January each year (i.e. one month after the rent falls due) the tenancy of a plot will be deemed to have ended, and the plot will be offered for re-let to the next person on the waiting list. It was RESOLVED to accept this recommendation and to advise allotment holders at the forthcoming liaison meeting on 25th March 2015.

(ii) To address the problem of some outgoing allotment tenants leaving plots in poor condition, it is RECOMMENDED that with effect from the 2016 rental year, new tenants will be required to pay a deposit equivalent to one year’s rental, in addition to the rental fee itself. This deposited sum will be returned at the end of the tenancy, unless it is necessary to use it to undertake work to bring the plot back into a condition suitable for the next tenant, as judged by the Parish Council. It was RESOLVED to explain the background to this problem to allotment holders and to consult them on this proposed response to it at the forthcoming liaison meeting on 25th March 2015.

(iii) It is RECOMMENDED to Full Council that the Parish Council’s £500 share of the Members’ Budget which County Cllr Drane has available be used towards the cost of the project to enhance the security of the recreation ground through the construction of a bund and / or boulders on its boundary. A counter suggestion was made by Cllr Taylor to suggest to Cllr Drane that the £500 be used towards refurbishment of finger posts in and around the Parish. After discussion it was RESOLVED to accept the committee’s recommendation to apply it to the recreation ground security project. Cllr Drane was advised at the meeting, accordingly.

It was RESOLVED to receive the minutes of both of the above meetings.

  1. Arrangements for Annual Parish Meeting, 2015. It was noted that an announcement of this event has not been put in the Parish Magazine, and that communication of invitation, and the arrangements for the event is now urgent. Cllr Bush advised that a list of local community groups to invite had been compiled. He also explained that it was anticipated that the event would involve community groups having stands / tables, but not being interviewed. It was confirmed that the WI had offered to provide the refreshments – using the kitchen and the Blanchard Room. Cllr Colvey agreed to prepare the wording for invitations to the groups, with a deadline for responses; and it was determined that Cllrs Taylor or Carswell would design and produce posters. Organisations to be invited are:
Cllr Wilson St Mary’s Church, Village Hall Committee, Castle Players, Thursday Club
Cllr Norris Methodist Church, 1st Lytchett Matravers Scouts, Lytchett Matravers Guides, Purbeck Citizens Advice Bureau, Army Cadets
Cllr Cottman Lighthouse Family Church, Poole Wellbeing collaboration
Cllr Colvey Sports Club, Lytchett Matravers Library, Lytchett Matravers Allotments Association
Cllr Bush Lytchett Matravers Play Group, Lytchett Matravers Primary School, Lytchett Matravers Choir
Cllr Webb Lytchett Minster School, Lytchett Line, Doctors’ Surgery
Cllr Taylor U3A
Cllr Huggins Lytchett Matravers Twinning Association, Fitness Group, Theatre School
Parish Clerk Lytchett Matravers Gardening Club

13. Purbeck District Local Plan Partial Review – extension to consultation period. It was noted that the Parish Council had been invited to respond as a corporate body, and have been given a short submission deadline extension during which to do so. Cllrs Taylor, Wood, Norris and Bush had all contributed and these had been summarised into a final response. A copy of this is attached as Appendix 3 to these minutes.

14. Receipt of risk assessments 2015.

It was confirmed that Cllr Wilson had returned the completed risk assessment for the Cemetery. No other risk assessments had yet been returned to the Parish Clerk.

15. REPORTS Of TRAINING ACTIVITy UNDERTAKEN IN THE PAST MONTH. The Parish Clerk reported that he had attended the Annual Conference of the Dorset Association of Parish & Town Councils. Cllrs Norris and Wilson had attended the Purbeck Area DAPTC meeting.

REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES (by exception)

Sports Club DAPTC Footpaths Village Hall
School Liaison Youth Organisations

Village Hall: Cllr Wilson reported that the recent film night had raised £247.62 profit from the bar and the raffle.

DAPTC: Cllr Norris reported that the most recent Purbeck Area meeting had included auseful presentation on ANOBs, including information about funding to support repairs or restoration of finger posts.

Footpaths: It was reported that a resident of Deans Drove had expressed concerns about children’s safety when emerging on to Deans Drove at that end of the path from the Foxhills Open Space. It was suggested that a chicane of posts and rails is installed. It was agreed that Cllrs Bush and Taylor would attend to this. Action: Cllrs Bush and Taylor to arrange this accordingly.

School Liaison: Cllr Bush confirmed that the primary school still has the suggestion scheme for naming the Foxhills – Deans Drove path in hand.

Sports Club: Cllr Cottman confirmed that the Sports Club have installed an appropriate sign adjacent to the large waste bin alongside the Sports Club pavilion.

17. COUNCIL TO APPROVE THE FOLLOWING PAYMENTS DUE: –

Inv To Whom For What Net VAT Total
3418 T Watton Clerk’s salary – March (12 equal monthly payments by standing order) 876.16 0.00 876.16
3419 T Watton 1.Reimbursement of expenses incurred on Council business2. Adjustment for underpayment of clerk’s net pay vs bank SO 284.39 2.82 287.21
3420 T Homer Handyman duties – February. 222.75 0.00 222.75
3421 Continental Landscapes Grass Cutting, Southern end of Rec – February 20.00 4.00 24.00
3422 The Landscape Group Cemetery maintenance – February 303.49 60.70 364.19
3423 BT Payment Services Office phone and broadband Dec 14 –Mar 15 111.75 22.34 134.09
3424 K Norris Reimbursement of travelling expenses for DAPTC meeting 6.40 0.00 6.40
3425 Dorset County Council Funding of additional library opening hour 2014/15 1277.00 0.00 1277.00
3426 Anglebury Press Ltd Printing 2000 copies of Lytchett Link no 55 325.00 0.00 325.00
3427 DAPTC Fee for clerks attendance at annual conference 50.00 0.00 50.00
3428 D J Horn, South Electrix Supply and fitting of 4 x 1.24Kw convector heaters at Club Hall 612.00 0.00 612.00
3429 Mr & Mrs R P Ball Water supply to standpipe – Row Park cemetery.Apr 2014 – Mar 2015 105.00 0.00 105.00
3430 Novatech Ltd 2 x printer toner cartridges, plus delivery 74.93 14.99 89.92
3431 Purbeck Citizens Advice Bureau Grant to support consultation session in Lytchett Matravers April 2015- March 2016 1454.40 0.00 1454.40

It was RESOLVED to approve all the payments listed in item 17 above.

18. “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014”, Part 3, Paragraphs 6-10, Record of Decisions and Access to Documents – record of decisions taken by Parish Clerk.

The Parish Clerk reported on four decisions he had taken since the February Full Council meeting:

(i) It had already been agreed that the Clerk and Cllr Norris would work on an annual review and development of proposals for any necessary updates to the Council’s Standing Orders and Financial Regulations. The Clerk had consulted DAPTC on this matter and on the basis of the advice provided, he recognised a need to undertake a more fundamental check of the consistency between of these documents and the current Code of Conduct, and to ensure that that all three documents are fully compliant with recent changes in legislation – such as the Localism Act 2011. Consequently he decided to obtain the latest standard template versions of all three documents and to tailor these to local circumstances and need, where the documents call for local adjustment. This process is currently ongoing jointly with Cllr Norris. It is intended that all three documents will be brought forward, via the Finance & Policy Committee, as proposals for consideration and acceptance of Full Council in due course.

(ii) Having discovered the Parish Office telephone handset / answering machine to have ceased working, the Clerk treated this as requiring urgent action to rectify, and so he purchased a replacement himself – to be claimed back via the expenses process.

(iii) The sum of £5,000 was transferred from the Council’s HSBC Community Savings Account to its HSBC Community Current Account in order to ensure there were sufficient funds immediately available to cover the value of the payments authorised at this meeting.

(iv) The Clerk received an enquiry from a Memorial Mason on behalf of a client as to whether it would be permissible to position a single headstone equidistant between the adjacent graves of two members of the same family – and carrying inscriptions for both. As specially designed appropriate joint memorials are available, and since this non-standard arrangement is not in use anywhere in Row Park Cemetery, the closed cemetery at St Marys, or St Mary’s churchyard, the Memorial mason was advised that this would be unlikely to be approved – on the grounds that it is not in keeping with the Cemetery.

19. CORRESPONDENCE.

The Parish Clerk reported on one item of correspondence – a letter from Purbeck District Council enclosing an authorised copy of new Byelaws made by Purbeck District Council on 4th March 2015, relating to acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piecing and electrolysis. The Parish Council is asked to put this copy on deposit with the public documents of the Parish. The Parish Clerk advised that these will be published on the Council’s website. Action: Parish Clerk to publish the documents on the website accordingly.

20. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION

There were none.

The meeting closed at 9:30pm.

Annotated by/on …………………………….. Signed by/on …………………………