Minutes of the MEETING OF LYTCHETT MATRAVERS PARISH COUNCIL
Held on Wednesday January 23rd 2019 at 7:00 in the Blanchard Room, Village Hall, High St, Lytchett Matravers.
PRESENT were Cllrs A Bush (Chairman), R Carswell, M Colvey, A Huggins, K Norris, R Watts, P Webb, C Wood and Mr T Watton (Parish Clerk).
Also present: Dist Cllr W Meaden, and thirteen members of the public.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION
A resident of Glebe Road introduced himself, explaining that he had been nominated to open this session on behalf of the group of residents of Glebe Road in attendance at the meeting. He went on to outline the location and situation of Glebe Road – which is situated at the southern end of the village off Wareham Road, and surrounded by farmland except where it connects to Wareham Rd. As such, the road is somewhat isolated from much of the rest of the village. It was noted that there is open space designated as “Green Belt” between dwellings on the northern side of Glebe Road and the nearest other properties in the village.
The spokesperson reported that the residents were concerned that, driven by what they assume to be the wishes of the landowner and a developer through apparent encouragement of the District Council Planning Department, greenbelt land adjacent to their dwellings is under threat of development as part of the housing targets within the Purbeck Local Plan (PLP). The PLP is currently at the Inspector review stage. They have noted that the developers’ plans appear to be quite well advanced, and so on behalf of the residents the spokesperson expressed dismay that the greenbelt designation of this land in question is evidently being largely ignored. He remarked that the residents are looking to the Parish Council to support them to oppose this development.
The presentation was then taken up by another resident. She noted, including through reference to the National Planning Policy Framework 2018 (section 13) that the relevant published processes state that greenbelt land will only be released for development in “exceptional circumstances” (NPPF paragraph 136). However, given there are other areas of land available both within Lytchett Matravers, and – much more substantially – throughout the Purbeck District (i.e. area covered by the PLP), the residents cannot accept or understand what “exceptional circumstances” there might be in the case of this land adjacent to Glebe Road.
She then went on to enumerate four questions / issues for Parish Council comment:
- Can the Parish Council offer any more specific reasoning behind the “exceptional circumstances” in this case?
- With reference to PLP house building targets within communities in Purbeck, the residents had noted that Swanage had 50 houses already in planning process which would be deducted. Why did a similar calculation not also apply to Lytchett Matravers?
- The Lytchett Matravers Neighbourhood Plan considered sites identified for potential development – including a site in Middle Road. Why had this land not been considered ahead of the Glebe Road site, given that it had been identified as being less important to the greenbelt?
- In terms of green space mitigation, the residents noted that the developer proposals included a related SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) off Flowers Drove – i.e. a significant distance to the north of this location. Can the Parish Council confirm that this is where it would be located? Will there also be another on the southern side of the village?
In response to the above points, the Chairman emphasised that there is nothing in the Lytchett Matravers Neighbourhood Plan to identify development land – only the Planning Authority (currently PDC) can do that. He went on to refer to the process PDC followed to develop and consult on the PLP – which ultimately arrived, through a democratic process, at the selection of “option A”, to distribute development burden across the District rather than to concentrate on large developments in a few locations. This process was followed by the Greenbelt Review, and then a third consultation followed on the technicalities of the processes which had been followed in developing the PLP.
Cllr Webb added that the PLP is now at the stage where the Inspector is looking at it. He / she will follow this by holding public hearings where residents may make verbal submissions; and he/she will then respond with any modifications considered fit. Those modifications will then be subject to further public consultation before being carried into the plan. The PLP will cover the period to 2034. He emphasised that it is understood that the scope for modifications as a result of hearings appears very small.
The Parish Council acknowledges that the three development sites within Lytchett Matravers which have been included in the PLP are all identified as unsuitable in some way within the Greenbelt Review; and thus the Parish Council members have responded to the consultation voicing objections to this.
It was stressed by Council members that proposals related to each area included in the PLP as suitable for development will still ultimately be subject to the normal planning application and consultation process – which includes all aspects of design and when any SANG would be located.
Turning to the specifics of the 4 questions raised:
- Cllr Wood pointed out that the Parish Council objected and has already questioned what the “exceptional circumstances” are. PDC’s response has included very subjective reasoning and arguments about the bottom line number of dwellings they are required to include in the plan overall. The inspector will decide whether those circumstances are strong enough to be upheld.
- Swanage was an exception in that it was treated as a “special case”. Whereas Lytchett Matravers has been treated in this regard in the same way as the remainder of the Purbeck Area. Members of the Parish Council are tracking the total amount of development which has already taken place – currently standing at +84 dwellings. This does not include the Huntick Road development proposal because they were in the current approved plan.
- Cllr Wood explained that the landowner had withdrawn the site adjacent to Middle Road which had originally offered for development.
- Nothing further is known yet, but it is noted that the Flowers Drove SANG is a long way from Glebe Road.
In summary, the Council advised the members of the pubic present to work together with residents affected by the other sites, as well as drawing on the knowledge and experience of the group of residents who successfully challenged the RES proposal adjacent to Deans Drove. Advice was offered regarding research and planning to make the largest possible impact from opportunities to speak at the Inspector’s hearings. This will ideally include calling on expert and professional Planning Consultant help – particularly in challenging the reasoning behind the “exceptional circumstances”.
Finally, Cllr Web offered the following useful estimated timetable of events over the remainder of 2019:
Review hearing………………………….May-June. Register, plan and organise to speak at that.
Consultation on modifications…..July-Sept.
Report on consultation……………..Sept-Oct.
Plan in place………………………………Year end.
District Councillor’s Report
Cllr Meaden’s and Cllr Webb’s joint report is attached at appendix 1 to these minutes. The Chairman sought to confirm that the meeting on 6th February mentioned in the report is the usual briefing for Chairmen and Clerks.
County Councillor’s Report
Cllr Wharf‘s report is attached at appendix 2 to these minutes. Cllr Watts added to this that the structure for the Planning Authority within the new Dorset Council will be to reduce the current 5 District Planning Committees down to 3 Area Planning Committees. The Area committee relevant to Lytchett Matravers will broadly cover the former areas of Purbeck and East Dorset. The location for meetings is not yet known.
1. To receive and consider apologies for absence – Cllr A Cottman (absent from 20:10) and County Cllr P Wharf
2. TO RECEIVE ANY DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY INTEREST; AND CONSIDER REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS UNDER SECTION 33 OF THE LOCALISM ACT 2011. There were none.
3. TO receive AND RESOLVE to APPROVE THE Minutes of The Full Council Meeting on 19th December 2018. It was RESOLVED to approve these as a true record of the meeting. The minutes were then duly signed by the Council Chairman.
4. TO RECEIVE and consider REPORTS OF PAST SUBJECT MATTERS.
It was RESOLVED to receive and note the contents of the following report, which had been prepared and circulated in advance of the meeting by the Parish Clerk. The italics below indicates additional comments made by members at the meeting.
- Minute 7, 17th January 2018 – research of grant funding for defibrillator by Cllr Cottman. It was reported at the December meeting that the planned public consultation activity had achieved over 200 signatures. The Clerk and Cllr Cottman agreed the text highlighting the benefits of initiative, to go on the application form, and this was now ready for submission.
- Minute 10, 25th April 2018 – Security of fences at Jubilee Walk. Katie Black, a Ranger with the DCC Rights of Way Department responded on 5th December to the Council’s repeated approaches to DCC on this matter. She advised that she has checked the position and verified that the matter is still currently with the DCC Legal Team who are looking to secure removal of the tree through the land agents. She was hopeful that DCC will hear something before Christmas to allow the tree to be removed.A summary was forwarded to Cllr Wharf, who had also requested that the Clerk should contact him after Christmas if there had still been no response by then. The Parish Clerk had since done this and Cllr Wharf had subsequently received a response from the DCC Rangers. At the meeting it was noted that Cllr Bush had arranged a meeting with Lord Rockley to discuss the problem.
- Public Participation, 25th July 2018 – condition of Church Walk. It was noted thatcompletion of this work by the appointed contractor is still awaited. The volunteers’ involvement is being co-ordinated by Cllr Barker. The Chairman indicated that he would approach the contractor for an update on when it will be completed.
- Public Participation, 26th September 2018 – coronation memorial plaque. At the Full Council meeting on 28th November 2018 it was noted that the Village History Group were approaching the owners of the land adjacent to Church Walk to accommodate the plaque. A representative of the History Group had asked if the plaque could be placed on the Row Park field, which is PC land. A corner adjacent to the gate into Row Park Paddock had been identified by the Council as a possible location. Given that this land is owned by the Parish Council and is close to Church Walk and therefore the original location of the plaque, this was considered acceptable by members.
- Minute 10, 26th September 2018 – Recreation Ground ball court. Contact has been made with Dorset Community Action to seek advice on running a suitable public consultation exercise. A member of DCA has responded and the contact details passed to Cllr Huggins to liaise on this point direct. Convenient dates for the meeting with DCA are being explored.
5. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS There were none.
6. To receive and note the content of the minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting on 9th January 2019. It was RESOLVED to receive and note these. The following recommendations to Full Council were also considered
· Acceptance of the bank reconciliation and accounts update as presented under F&GP Cttee agenda items 5 and 6. RESOLVED
· That the historic first minute book of the Parish Council be transferred to the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester without local scanning. RESOLVED
7. To receive and consider a report of a meeting between Parish Council members and representatives of the Tesco store. Cllr Carswell referred to his report which had been circulated to members ahead of this meeting. A copy is attached at Appendix 3 to these minutes. It was RESOLVED to receive and note the content of this.
8. To consider a proposal from Sustrans regarding road closures on March 28th. Cllr Bush reported that, in accordance with the detail circulated to council members on 15th January, the next opportunity for local residents to get involved is at a workshop / meeting the Primary School Studio on Thursday 24th January between 5-6pm. At this session the Sustrans team will be asking for ideas and possible design solutions for the issues which members of the public have flagged up. Alongside this, Sustrans plan to ask pupils, parents and guardians at the school to offer their ideas for solutions. On 28th March 2019 Sustrans are arranging a street event on Wareham Road to run a trial of some of the designs from the 24th January workshop. They intend arranging for closure of Wareham Rd to through traffic in the afternoon, to enable the event to run and for children and adults to examine the options in practice. Some concerns were expressed about the impacts of the planned road closure, which is being managed by Sustrans.
Two related remarks were made during the meeting which may be worth feeding into this process run by Sustrans:
(i) Cllr Carswell observed that the DWP household waste collections schedule in the Village currently results in the bin lorry arriving in the congested part of Wareham Rd at the peak time for school drop-off by parents. He wondered if DWP might be approached to change their scheduling to the mutual advantage of everyone.
(ii) Attention was drawn to the remarks made by Cllr Huggins in an email to members on 23rd January. He commented that commencing this term, the school has introduced a new “Start Of Day Activity” (SODA) program whereby when the gates open (still at 8.50am) the children go into the classrooms and don’t come back out. This has resulted (or might result) in parents dropping off and leaving immediately, thereby freeing-up parking spaces more quickly and reducing congestion along Wareham Road. Cllr Huggins added that he would still like to see school opening even earlier (8.40 or even 8.30) to reduce this pressure still further.
9. To consider the proposed agenda for the Awayday on February 9th. The Chairman referred to the content of his email to all members on 23rd January which gave the following details of the planned agenda:
· Highways issues in general (we can cover project specifics within the items below)
· Village Centre project review and financial forecast.
· Lytchett Library Transfer and business plan
· Huntick Road Cycleway
· School Crossing Sustrans project
· Lytchett Matravers Development Trust – objectives and set-up
· Long term (3 years) financial forecast and precept setting
Whilst stressing the need to remain focussed at the longer term strategic planning level, he asked members to consider whether any additional items to include. He asked members to be ready to be asked to lead on specific items which they may have relevant knowledge of or expertise in.
10. To receive and consider a report on a meeting with the Village Hall Committee. The Chairman reported on a productive meeting with the Village Hall during which ideas about further refurbishment and development of the hall was discussed. They received favourably the idea of a Charitable Trust with somewhat wider responsibilities than the current Village Hall Trust. It was noted that this topic will be considered further at the Awayday in February to consider how to take it forward.
11. To consider Planning application 6/2018/0696 Mr & Mrs K Rigler Northouse Farm, Huntick Road, Lytchett Matravers BH16 6BB. Demolish existing barn and remove existing mobile home and erect a detached 2 storey building comprising of 2 holiday cottages with associated parking and access – Reserved matters application seeking approval for appearance of the 2 storey building & landscaping. NO OBJECTION.
12. To receive and consider a report on Sports Club Governance. Cllr Webb referred to the report on this which had been circuited to all members ahead of the meeting. A copy is attached to Appendix 4 to the minutes. It was RESOLVED to receive and note the content of this.
13. To receive and consider a report into progress towards CiLCA qualification for the Parish Clerk. The Parish Clerk reported that all the compilation of evidence towards of all the Learning Outcomes are now complete. He advised that the next step was CiLCA registration, at a charge of £350 to enable the evidence to be submitted for assessment. After brief discussion it was RESOLVED to approve this expenditure.
14. To receive and consider the content of reports from the leader of the Working Groups as follows:
|Village Centre||High Street Shared Space||Please see Cllr Carswell’s report at Appendix 3, as referred to in minute 7 above.
Cllr Watts confirmed that on 23rd January contractors had completed the clearance and making good of the area immediately behind the noticeboard.
Cllr Bush reported that the details of the proposed High St crossing point have been acknowledged and registered with DCC Highways.
Cllr Norris indicated that he will approach Fields In Trust to discuss re-dedication of the recreation ground to exclude the car park and pavilion, as originally intended. To also exclude a 7 metre strip adjacent to the High Street car park, the Eldons Drove car park and the land adjacent to Eldons Drove to the south of the existing upper hedge and bund. Part of this adjustment process will involve discussions with FIT about the dedication of the Foxhills Open Space. To support this, the Parish Clerk has provided Cllr Norris with a plan of the Open Space.
|Rec ground pathways||Nothing to report.|
|Rec Ground ball court||Please see Cllr Huggins’ report at appendix 5 to these minutes.|
|Rec Ground bollards / dolly posts||Nothing to report.|
|Eldons Drove Lane||Nothing to report.|
|DCC Transfers||Youth Hall||Cllr Bush reported on some correspondence with both DCC and the Army Cadets. In summary, DCC is currently in the process of transferring ownership of the Youth Hall land to the Parish Council for community use. Whilst reviewing the title and the lease provided to the Army Cadets, it has become evident that there is a minor anomaly over right of access to the land in that, although the Youth Hall had initial right of access, the lease to the Army Cadets has in some way superseded that right. It was noted that in practice this has never been an issue. The DCC lease with the Army Cadets is up for renewal this month, this providing an opportunity to correct this anomaly, and so the Council has asked DCC to modify the renewed lease to allow shared access to both facilities. An approach has been made to the Army Cadets estates department to discuss the matter and check that they understand the background and are willing to co-operate.|
|Library||Nothing to report.|
|Astro Expansion||Receipt of the third quote for the work to clear the shrubs / scrub is still awaited. Cllr Bush indicated that he would chase up the contractor for this.|
|New Sports Field||Nothing to report.|
|Village communications||Broadband improvement||Please see Cllr Huggins’ report at appendix 5 to these minutes.|
|Mobile Signal||Nothing to report.|
|Neighbourhood plan||Purbeck Local Plan||Members noted that consultant Mr D Bevan of HLF Planning had previously mentioned the registration of a housing number for Lytchett Matravers. It was suggested that members arrange an informal meeting with Mr Bevan to explore this further.|
15. To resolve to approve the following payments due:
|Inv||To Whom||For What||Net||VAT||Total|
|4042||T Watton||Clerk’s salary – January (12 equal monthly payments by SO)||883.15||0.00||883.15|
|4043||DCC||LGPS pension contrib January 2019||350.56||0.00||350.56|
|4044||T Homer||Handyman duties, December 2018||243.00||0.00||243.00|
|4045||Idverde Ltd||Cemetery maintenance – December 2018||303.49||60.70||364.19|
|4046||A Bush||Chairman’s Allowance 2018/19||250.00||0.00||250.00|
|4047||A Bush||Reimbursement of payment made on Council’s behalf for Sports Club Gas Bill Jan 2019||71.45||3.57||75.02|
|4048||A Bush||Reimbursement of payment made on Council’s behalf for Sports Club Electricity Bill Jan 2019||88.83||4.44||93.27|
|4048||SSE||Car Park Lighting Quarter 3 2018/19||45.11||2.25||47.36|
|4049||Borough of Poole||Make safe electricity supply to vandalised bollards at MUGA||187.20||37.44||224.64|
It was RESOLVED to approve all of the above payments.
16. To note any training undertaken by members or the Clerk in the past month. There was none.
17. To note any decisions and / or action taken by Parish Clerk under “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014”, Part 3, Paragraphs 6-10, Record of Decisions and Access to Documents.
The Parish Clerk reported the following items of routine maintenance have been requested from local contractors within de-minimus limits:
• Allotment hedge cutting.
• Eldons Drove recreation ground boundary hedge cutting.
• Car park kerb & gutter clearance.
• Hedge cutting, boundary between rec footpath and southern boundary of High St Car park.
• Removal of shrub, corner of Huntick Rd and Huntick Estate.
• Trimming lower branches of trees around Rocket Park, on rec adjacent to Hannams Close, and on Old School Green.
• Cutting back hedge / tidying up area on rec boundary adjacent to Rocket Park.
18. Correspondence.The Parish Clerk reported on correspondence he had undertaken in exploring bespoke accounts packages for Parish & Town Councils. As well as consulting an extensive personal network of other clerks, he had been in touch with a clerk in another part of the country who had also done considerable research on behalf of his own council. The results of both research exercises had strongly pointed in favour of a package produced by “Scribe”. Consequently the clerk had arranged for a demonstration of the package and obtained an information pack for members to examine. It was noted that the annual licence for this package for a council of the size of Lytchett Matravers is £347 (excl VAT) – which includes unlimited technical support, training and advice from a qualified Support Accountant; plus access to their online knowledge base, and assistance where necessary to resolve technical issues and any accounting problems. The Clerk indicated that he would circulate the Cllrs’ information pack prepared by Scribe together with suggested protocols for its use. On this basis, and subject to the approval of a convened sub-committee consisting of Cllrs Bush and Watts, it was RESOLVED to authorise the Parish Clerk to go ahead with this within a spend of up to £500.
19. To note date of next meeting and items for future agendas.
The next Full Council meeting is to be held in the Village Hall on Wednesday 27th February 2019 at 7pm.
The meeting closed at 21:40
Annotated by/on ……………………………..