MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS -  4th September 2012      


Present: Cllrs D Barras, E Critchlow, G Budge, L Craig, T Corson, J Newton, G Orr, A Sharpe and L Welch. County Councillor Watson
The Parish Clerk in attendance – Mrs L Hamlin

29. Apologies for Absence: Cllr I Monkhouse

30. Declarations of Interest on the Agenda – None

31. The minutes of the meeting 3 July 2012 were agreed and signed as a true record.

32. Standing Items – Public Questions and Presentation from George F White on proposed house building at Cavil Head Farm

Mrs Lillie raised the issue of the new signs being put on existing rusty posts by NCC. CC Watson stated he had noticed this and would raise it with NCC for the posts to be replaced.

Mrs Lillie asked what is happening with the bus shelter painting. The Clerk stated that in the March meeting it was stated that NCC would not undertake painting of the shelter. Mrs Lillie offered to undertake this painting and the Chairman thanked her for this.

Mrs Lillie stated the hedge needs cutting back to up Millennium Walk and the grass, the Clerk to contact NCC on this issue.

Residents have raised the question about the lack of grass cutting and the Clerk explained that the cutting of the large area of land that was in the ownership of Ministry of Justice could not be cut by the Parish Council until ownership transferred to the Council. This has now happened and the Clerk has contracted with NCC to undertake the cutting and this took place today and will be cut twice monthly during the cutting season.

Mr Gardner of George F White then presented the plans for Cavil Head.
The original proposal was for 12 houses of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms to include some affordable housing however following discussions with NCC Planning Officers this has been amended to 11 rentable houses and 4 affordable houses to be located away from the Steading. It is proposed these be located on land adjacent to the Village Hall. This is due to NCC being of the view it is more appropriate to have affordable housing in the village.
Cllr Craig stated she applauds the affordable housing but how does this fit with existing planning policies. Mr Garland stated that NCC has not as yet adopted the Core Strategy to cover affordable housing therefore the Alnwick District Council policy still applies.

Concerns were raised over where the access would be for the affordable housing and it was stated this would be on the Village Hall side of the chicane. The Councillors felt that this was an unsuitable site for an access road due to being so close to the chicane and this area is problematic still with speeding.

Cllr Barras asked where the demand is when there are 8 or 9 properties for sale. Mr Garland stated these houses are for rental only, not to purchase and not to be holiday lets.

Cllr Newton asked if the housing could be released for private ownership at some point in the future. Mr Garland said there was nothing to prevent the houses at the Steading being transferred to private ownership in the future, but there would probably be a requirement that the rented affordable housing would remain so in perpetuity.

The issue of the footpath alongside the Village Hall was raised and whether this would remain as the parish is losing its footpaths for walking. Mr Garland stated the issue is still arising that users of this pathway are abusing the right with dog fouling issues and people deviating from the footpath onto other land.

Cllr Newton asked if the application would be 2 separate applications and it was felt that it would be one application as the work would generally have to be staggered to ensure the affordable housing element was adhered to and developed in conjunction with the main application.

Cllr Barras asked what renewable energy provision is to be included. Mr Garland confirmed that there would be a minimum of 20% as per government guidelines however the Steading would have biomass with individual boilers and possibly solar panels for electricity and it was hoped that the same technologies could be used for the affordable houses as well.

Cllr Newton summarized the discussion stating that is would seem the Councillors did not have many concerns about the Steading development other than lack of pathway to the village from the Steading however there are a number of factors to think about in relation to the affordable housing, especially in the access and extending the boundaries of the village. He also thanked Mr Garland for informing the community of the plans at such an early stage.

33. Matters Arising from the meeting on 3 July 2012:

a. Ministry of Justice Land update - The land transfer has now been legally completed and the paperwork is being logged with Land Registry.

b. Light outside Village Hall – the Clerk is still waiting to hear back from NCC on this and will chase this up. CC Watson stated it was important to progress this while where are still funds available.

c. TPOs within the Parish – Details have been received by the Clerk from NCC and there are only 3 TPOs within the parish.

d. Issues at The Hemmel – The Clerk has received confirmation from NCC that the camping barn and premises have been subject to national non domestic rates (business rates) since September 2011.

e. 30mph Flashing Speeding Sign – Acklington are not the only area having problems with the flashing signs. NCC have compiled a list of problem locations which have been forwarded to the new contractors and has asked that the contractor inform NCC when rotations are carried out so NCC can go and check the signs are working.

f. Grass Cutting and Play Area maintenance quotes – Further grass cutting quotes were obtained for the new land and NCC were still considerably cheaper so the Clerk has requested NCC undertake the cutting. The contractor for the play area met with Cllr Barras and a list of snagging issues were highlighted. These have now been completed and a new contract for maintenance and checks up to the end of the financial year has been issued. Cllr Corson asked if the zip wire had been tightened and the Clerk confirmed that Geko has undertaken this work.

g. Speeding through Acklington - The Clerk has requested Speed Watch Coordinators undertaken more speed checks through Acklington and requested these take place in the mornings and evenings when speeding seems most prolific.

h. Judicial Review of NCC – The Clerk obtained advice on undertaking a judicial review of NCC in relation to the car parking charge issues from NALC. It was agreed following the advice of NALC not to pursue this course of action.

i. NALC Membership update – it was agreed at the last meeting to no renew the membership of NALC however subsequent to that meeting it was agreed between the Councillors that it would be advisable to continue with membership and subsequently the renewal was paid.

j. Footpath Issues – NCC has confirmed today that they will look into the Haul Road, Green and Rake Lane issues however they have no control over the permissive path alongside the Village Hall.

34. Report by County Councillor –

CC Watson has managed to get Council to put the C100 on the list for works to be done. The road will be resurfaced but not rebuilt. Some pot holes have been repaired recently along the road.

35. Finance

a. Financial Summary
The balance on account at 4 August 2012 is £3,901.80

b. Payments
The following list was put before members and approved for payment:
000304 L Hamlin 84.13
000305 Felton Parish Council recharges 14.36
000306 Donation to Parochial Church Council 250.00
000307 Donation to Village Hall 700.00
000308 BDO LLP 480.00
000309 Geko Landscapes 178.50
It was agreed the Clerk write to BDO LLP to see if there is a possibility in reducing the fees incurred for the audit considering the circumstances that the Parish Council had to take on the finances for the play area from NCC.

c. Receipts – None

d. Audit – There were no matters arising from the audit.

36. Planning

a. To report on any planning decisions:
12/01502/FUL – Weir on Coquet – Repair & improve existing fish pass - APPROVED
12/01735/FUL – West House, Guyzance – conversion to 4 bed property - APPROVED

b. To consider any planning matters:
12/01718/RENE – Lane East of East House Farm, Warkworth - 67m single wind turbine
12/01848/FUL – The Hemmel – photovoltaic Panels and Shelter/Wall gate
12/02305/LBC – 37 The Village – internal alterations and orangery to rear

A letter of response has been received from Ms Robinson of NCC Planning Department following the Clerk’s letter raising concerns about the development within Guyzance and how this may impact on the Conservation Area status. Ms Robinson states that all considerations have been given in relation to the applications on how they will impact the village and other than the hall there have only been 3 further applications for works. She also confirmed that the owner and NCC have come to an agreement on the installation of passing places along the C100. Cllr Craig stated the delivery vehicles are not using the access through Lodge Road, they are still coming through the village due to the bridge needing to be reinforced to allow large vehicles to pass over it. The application stated that the road had to be fit for purpose and this is not the case. Clerk to relay this to NCC.

37. Requested Agenda Items

• Adoption of Code of Conduct – it was agreed to adopt the Code of Conduct and the Clerk stated that all members interest forms have to be with the Clerk by end of September.

• The Risk assessment was reviewed and agreed.

38. Correspondence Received

• NCC – Core Strategy Events – A feedback session is being held in Stannington Village Hall on Tuesday 25 September at 7pm. Clerk to be informed of any Councillors attending.

• NCC – Local Transport Plan 2013/14 – Top 3 priority request. It was agreed to keep the three requests as per NCC’s list – 1) improve/extend footpath to railway station; 2) 20mph limit around children’s play area 3) resurface road from Acklington to Guyzance. It was agreed the issues of the road surface at Churchill Way should be a separate and more urgent matter. Also a pot hole outside No 12 Acklington Drive needs repairing.

• NCC - Ice Cream Van application for Acklington – it was agreed there were no issues relating to this application.

• NCC – Joint PC and NCC meeting – Morpeth Town Hall on Monday 8 October at 6pm

• NCC – Dog Fouling Campaign “don’t stand for it” – NCC has put up new stickers around the village for this campaign.

• Magistrates in the Community- the Magistrates have asked the Parish Council to host a public meeting to inform residents of the role of the magistrates. It was felt there would not be enough interest in this to justify holding a public meeting.

• Parochial Church Council – donation request – it was agreed to donate £250.

• Letter from Mrs Duffield re grass and hedge overgrowth – The Clerk has responded to Mrs Duffield informing her of the situation with regard to the land ownership and that this should now be resolved.

• Clerks and Councils Direct to circulate.

39. Urgent Items

• Cllr Budge raised the matter of the Remembrance Service at Guyzance. It was agreed to ask Rev Barras if she is happy to undertake this again in November and if so Cllr Barras to forward details to the Clerk and the Clerk to write to Rev Parker informing him of the service. A wreath to be arranged by CC Watson.

• Cllr Corson asked that the drains be cleaned out and the roads swept in the village. Clerk to contact NCC.

• A complaint has been received about signage for the Cart Shed and this has been removed by NCC as it is unauthorized.

40. Items for Next Agenda – None

Chairman closed the meeting at 8.55pm
Next meeting: Tuesday 6 November at 7.30pm in Acklington Village Hall