Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club, on 21st March 2017 at 7.30pm.
Mr. P. Willis Vice Chairman
Mrs. J. Clements
Mr. J Rippin
Mrs. B Smith
Mr. N. Owens
Mr. J. Hunt
Cllr (OCC) Mr. C. Mathew, Cllr (WODC) Mr. S. Good, Mr. C. Francis (Treasurer LWTC), Mr. B. Barber (Chair, Village Hall), Mr. T. Gears (Treasurer, Village Hall), Mr. M. Webb, Mr. R. Webb (owners of land behind 65 Abingdon Road) and approximately 18 members of the public
1. APOLOGIES – no apologies were received.
2. PUBLIC ITEMS –Mr. Naylor ascertained that some members of the public were interested in the planning applications, some were attending for the update on the LWTC clubhouse and Mr. Johnson wished to complain about the parking on the High Street and the state of Hornsway footpath. It was agreed that the parking on High Street was a problem but Mr. Naylor pointed out that the vehicles were not parked illegally and unless causing an obstruction there was nothing the police could do. However, Mr. Naylor will compose a letter to all residents of the High Street asking them to be considerate in their parking and to park off street wherever this was available. As to the state of the Hornsway footpath between the churchyard gate and The Butts, the clerk will contact OCC Highways in the first instance but, given the budgetary constraints, he was not hopeful of any action. Ultimately it may have to be the Parish that deals with this, as it does with various maintenance tasks in the village, but residents should understand that there is a cost involved.
3. LWTC UPDATE RE CLUBHOUSE PROPOSAL – Mr. Francis reported that the LWTC had listened to the concerns raised by residents and the desire for clarity on what was being proposed. The club is now looking at a smaller building on the strip of land between court 1 and the playground boundary that will not encroach on the playground itself. Architect plans are in the process of being drawn up and the club will then communicate with the residents and return to the Parish Council with the full proposal. Mr. Barber and Mr. Gears wished to ask questions, but Mr. Naylor intervened and said that until the full plans were produced and examined it would be counterproductive to continue to discuss possible outcomes.
4. COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS – Mr. Mathew said that the outline Unitary Council proposal was being sent to the Secretary of State and there would then be six weeks of consultation on the actual plans. He also reported that the new monitoring cameras at Newbridge would be installed and in operation the next 10 weeks. Mr. Naylor thanked him for all the work he had put in to get the cameras installed.
Mr. Good thanked everyone for their messages of support received during his recent illness. He was aware of the planning applications causing concern and said that, while he could not express an opinion on individual applications, he could use his planning experience to advise residents as to the most effective way to proceed. However, he stressed that planning officers could only make decisions based on legal grounds; e.g. if OCC Highways or, say, Thames Water certify that a proposal is acceptable in terms of access or capacity then the application cannot be refused on those grounds. As a general comment, he also observed that all these housing proposals in West Oxfordshire had a significant proportion of affordable housing that would be the responsibility of the local housing association; he questioned whether the association had either the financial or personnel resources to undertake such a task.
5. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Mr. Naylor, Mr. Hunt and Mr. Owens declared an interest (not pecuniary) as members of the Lower Windrush Tennis Club
17/00483/HHD; Proposed rear single storey extension; The Eves 133 Abingdon Rd; APPLICANT: Mr. Andy Smith. No objection.
17/00535/FUL: Single storey annexe for carer; 87 High Street; APPLICANT: Mrs. Graham Jones. No objection but link occupancy to main property.
17/00629/FUL: A hybrid application for the proposed development of ten 'self-build' dwellings, with full details provided for 4 dwellings and 6 outline dwellings with all matters apart from access reserved; APPLICANT: W H Country Properties Ltd. Messer’s M and R Webb said they had made changes to the original application as suggested by WODC and answered questions. They wished to make it known that they intended to live on properties in the development and both had long connections with Standlake. The council discussed the application at some length but were unanimously of the opinion that there were no significant changes that addressed the objections made to the withdrawn application. Objection – same grounds as withdrawn application 16/01526/FUL - back building, precedent, access, sewage.
17/00631/FUL: The demolition of a garage and erection of six detached dwellings, carport and associated access, parking and landscaping: Croft Farmhouse 77 Abingdon Road; APPLICANT: Chesside Homes Ltd. Objection – back building, precedent, access.
17/00686/HHD: Conversion of existing garage into gym, erection of new double garage, with home office & ancillary accommodation; 92 High Street APPLICANT: Mr & Mrs Dalton. No objection but link occupancy to main property.
7. MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on 14th February 2017, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.
8. MATTERS ARISING
Spitfire Homes – update: Spitfire Homes held a public exhibition of their proposals at the ODCC on 23rd February and, according to the company, 116 residents attended. Some residents, mostly from the Brighthampton end of Abingdon Road, have since complained that they never received Spitfire’s leaflet, nor saw any of the other notifications, and asked if the company would rerun the exhibition; Mr. Naylor agreed that this request be put to the company.
A statement was made at the February meeting that one objection to the proposal was that the primary school was oversubscribed. Mr. Naylor was contacted by the head teacher who contradicts this and says that the school has a capacity for some 20 more children and could be expanded further, which the school would welcome.
A residents’ action group, Standlake Objects to Spitfire (SOS) has been set up to fight any planning application and will be canvassing support in the near future.
LWTC Club House – see LWTC Treasurers update.
Roads, Newbridge – Mr. Hunt noted that the traffic calming ‘gates’ at the entrances to the village were in a poor state needing cleaning, repainting, and in some cases repair, and he asked what action could be taken. The clerk said this was a responsibility of OCC Highways and, given the safety implications of working on the highway, it was not something that should be attempted by volunteers. The clerk will report this to Highways but he felt that in the present financial climate it would not be surprising if no action was taken.
Recreation Ground – Mr. Rippin said he had noticed that the climbing tower bridge walkway wire support was showing signs of wear. Mr. Naylor will investigate and action taken if required.
9. CORRESPONDENCE – A number of emails have been received regarding the LWTC clubhouse proposal. Objection from Mr. & Mrs. P. Miles to development behind 65 High St. FOSS request to use recreation ground for annual summer fete with participation by an antiques fair: this was agreed in principle but assurances required on parking arrangements for the increased number expected to attend, insurance and a ban on vehicles driving on the multi games surface .
10. ACCOUNTS – the following accounts were approved for payment.
D C Bevan - clerk salary & expenses 1212.85
HMRC – clerk PAYE 290.40
Pennington Manches LLP – land reg search fees re assets of community value 39.00
Mr. Rippin suggested that in the light of the large percentage increase in the FY17/18 Precept that the clerk publish the reasoning for this (contribution to Village Hall carpark resurfacing and unplanned repairs to playground) on the website etc. This was agreed.
11. END OF YEAR RISK ASSESSMENT – the clerk took the meeting through the risk assessment check list and it was agreed that, as far as possible, the council was protected against risk. The clerk said that electronic records were held on 2 machines (the council laptop and the clerk’s home PC) and were backed up on a continuous basis to external hard drives he will be exploring backup to the cloud: this will also have the advantage of making all records available to all councillors.
12. INTERNET ACCESS AT MEETINGS – Mr. Hunt said that the council should have live access via the internet during meetings. The clerk made the point that, so far as he was concerned, this was a ‘nice to have’ feature but by no means essential. It was clear that to have this facility a change of meeting venue will be required as there were no plans for the Youth Club to have broadband access and the only other option was the Village Hall; Mr. Barber confirmed that the hall did have broadband access. Mr. Naylor reminded everyone that the Frank Douglas room at the hall was too small to accommodate more than the basic council plus county and district councillors; it was for this reason that the move was made to the Youth Club. The use of the main hall was the only option and it was decided that the clerk would make enquiries as to availability and cost and report back.
13. ANY OTHER BUSINESS –Mrs. Smith proposed a vote of thanks to the WI for their village clean-up exercise; this was agreed unanimously. Mr. Hunt asked who was responsible for the Mosaic Trail and the clerk suggested he talked to the Lower Windrush Valley project officer – who he was meeting in the near future. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.20pm.
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