February 2015 Minutes
A meeting of Stoke Gabriel Parish Council was held on Monday 2nd March 2015 in the Village Hall
8 Members of the public were present
A Presentation was given by David Watts, Chairman of the Paignton Neighbourhood Plan Group on the proposed modifications to the submitted Torbay Local Plan. Mr Watts explained how the changes would affect both our Parish and neighbouring Parishes and suggested that ten thousand new houses were not sustainable. The next public forum would be held on 19th March 2015 and it was agreed that both Councils would keep in touch and update each other. The Chairman thanked David for his time in speaking to the Council.
Present: Mr R Tully (Chairman), Miss E Bridge, Mr P. Fenwick, Mr I Jones, Mr H Rawlings and Mr J Robinson.
1: Apologies – Mrs C Hunt, Mrs R. Garner,
In Attendance - District Cllr Rose Rowe
2: Police Report – Cllr Robinson advised that he had written to Totnes Police and a reply had been received. Although this Council had signed up to the Community Messaging service the local sergeant appeared to be unaware of this and advised that no important crimes had been committed in the Parish during 2014. PS Gerig did advise that an outboard engine had been stolen from the pontoon during December and some farm buildings had been broken into during September. As neither of these incidents being part of a series of crimes the passing on information was in their opinion questionable. Cllr Robinson suggested that both crimes were important as being on the river boat crimes were common and being a farming community with more than six working farms farmers should be made aware of related crimes. It was agreed that a further letter should be written.
3: To confirm the minutes of the last meeting on 26th January 2015 - Taken as read and signed by the Chairman,
4: Matters arising from the Minutes – Cllr Robinson advised that as agreed under item 11 the hedge had been trimmed from Kings Rydon Close to the end of the narrows.
5: Chairman’s Report – Cllr Tully advised that a letter had been received from the village PCC requesting agreement to use the Parish Orchard for a community May Fair on 2nd May. It was agreed to write a letter confirming the Parish Council’s support.
6: Reports from County & District Councillors Cllr Rowe advised that the County Council was again having to make cuts as there is a cap of 1.99% on the amount by which their portion of the Council tax can be increased. A £ 50m cut is being made in 2015/2016 and £ 1.7m of savings has to be made from the Annual Public Transport budget. A review of public transport is taking place as the County Council presently pays out £ 5.376m to support some public bus services. Cllr Rowe advised that she has attended a number of committee meetings concerning children. More foster parents were needed to look after children and encouraged those interested to contact the County Council in Exeter. Cllr Robinson advised that both he and Cllr Tully had met with Devon Highways and the local bus company and had been told that funding would continue for our Paignton bus service for the foreseeable future. Regarding the District Council two new officers had been appointed. Major refurbishment was taking place at Follaton House with modern working facilities which would make communications easier. The District had voted not to increase their share of the Council Tax for 2015/2016. After the May elections major changes in the number of Councillors and the way committees are established will be made. Cllr Robinson then advised that he was still awaiting confirmation that a meeting with both Cllrs Tucker and Hicks would be arranged.
7: Reports from Sub-Committees Cllr Fenwick reported that Cllr Robinson has met a couple from Kings Rydon Close and Cavanna regarding concerns over the proposed development. Regarding the former V & A car park Cllr Robinson advised that this Council had recommended objection to the proposed development at its October meeting and the District Council has recommended that the planning application be withdrawn. To date nothing further has taken place. Cllr Fenwick advised that he was progressing with the initial stages of setting up a steering group for the proposed neighbourhood plan, He had heard from the District Strategic planning officer that the Government has just announced the availability of the next round of Neighbourhood Planning Grants. All NP groups can apply for a grant of up £8,000 with a ‘rolling application window’ which is expected to be open throughout the year. This is accompanied by a set of Guidance Notes. Cllr Rawlings advised that he had intended to give a short presentation on the Parish web site but after discussion with Cllr Robinson it was agreed to carry this over to the next Parish Council meeting. Cllr Rawlings agreed to send a link for the web site to all Cllrs well before the meeting to enable them to look through it and prepare any questions prior to the meeting.
The following planning applications had been considered at a meeting held on 2nd March which the following Councillors were present: Fenwick Tully, Robinson, and Bridge.
- Southlands, Millers Lane – regarding existing track and construction of retaining wall. No objection
- Gabriel Court Hotel – Conversion of hotel to a single dwelling No objection
Planning Applications Granted by SHDC –
- The Lodge, Duncannon Lane – amendment to planning consent – extension stairwell
- Stoke Gabriel Boating Assoc. retrospective consent timber steps
Planning Applications refused by SHDC – None
Applications Withdrawn – None.
Appeals Received by SHDC – None .
Ongoing Applications – Cllr Robinson advised that the Parish Council of Dittisham had also recommended objection for two wind turbines, one at Capton Dartmouth and one at Dowton Park Farm, Dittisham. Regarding the new wooden barn on land in Aish Road Cllr Robinson advised that he had met with the District enforcement officer who advised that if the building was being used for agricultural purposes planning consent was not necessary. A letter had been written to both the local MP and Secretary of state requesting that the planning application for the proposed dwellings on land at Great Court Farm should be called in. Cllr Robinson advised that a reply had been received from Sarah Wollaston confirming her support. Since this meeting a letter has also been received from the Secretary of State advising that the application is being considered. The legal land transfer forms regarding the burial site access strip have been signed and returned to the Council’s solicitor.
9: Items raised on behalf of the Clerk – Cllr Robinson advised that new bus stop signs have now been erected along the current bus route including alongside the Rydon Cross notice board area opposite the official bus shelter. This now posed a problem with the Friday evening fish and chip van which parks there from about 3.30 until 6.30 thus prohibiting the bus from stopping at the official bus stop. It was agreed to contact the fish and chip company and suggest that they park in Rydon Acres. A meeting was to be held with the District dog warden to discuss additional bins and signs for the disposal of doggy bags. Cllr Robinson advised that although it was agreed to transfer the ownership of the public toilets to this Council in October nothing had been heard from the District legal adviser. He would be chased up again.
10: Hoyle Copse Cllr. Jones’s reported that despite the indifferent weather during the past, month good progress had been made in the Copse due to good attendance of the gang including one new member. Work was carried out on completion of the hedge planting and clearing scrub at the south end of the meadow and a hawthorn hedge was planted alongside the access lane to the burial site. This will eventually help to provide a good screen of the lane and new houses. Work then shifted to the west side of the Copse to continue the policy of coppicing the ageing hazel. At the same time numerous semi mature ashes have been removed and the trunks used to support the downhill side of the path through this area. The trunks have been secured with steel rods driven into the ground. A great improvement of this path should result. Pleased to observe that first early spotted orchids have appeared. It was agreed to arrange a flail to remove scrub in the burial site, to purchase two seats for millpond and rebuild timber retaining wall near seats at Millpond.
11: Highway and Hedgerow Matters – Cllr Bridge remarked on the number of pot holes. Cllr Robinson advised that a meeting will be arranged to discuss this issue with Devon Highways and obtain their agreement for this Council to repair some of the pot holes.
12: Matters raised by Councillors – Cllr Bridge requested confirmation that a Parish housing needs survey would be carried out. It was agreed that she should obtain costs. From a point raised in the 10 minute...
...session concern was raised about the change of collection times for the Barn Park letter box which would now make letters posted one day longer. Cllr Robinson was asked to look into this and report. Cllr Jones
raised a concern about the lack of progress of updating the 2008 Parish Plan as he had noticed that no update suggestions had been brought to the Council for approval since the Parish Plan Group had been formed about 4 years ago. Cllr Jones suggested that now a Neighbourhood Plan was being set up there was no longer a need to update the Parish Plan. At this point the Chairman suspended standing orders and asked for comments from the floor. Standing orders were then resumed and this issue was discussed at length and it was generally agreed that the publishing of minutes of the group’s monthly meetings had caused great confusion in the Parish and a number of Cllrs agreed that they receive regular enquires regarding the remit and authority of the group and why there are two Parish Council meetings a month. In addition to the confusion this causes Cllr Jones considered that the group’s activities lessen and degrade this Council’s responsibilities and has an adverse effect on proper communications between this Council and Parishioners. It was agreed that it is healthy for residents to meet and discuss matters of interest to the village but it should be made clear that the Parish Plan Group are unelected and only have a mandate from this Council to update the Parish Plan and cannot make or take any decisions or make recommendations on any matters affecting the Parish. It is apparent that the word “ Parish” was causing the confusion and the group were requested to consider an alternative name such as “ Residents Group” or “Village”.
It was proposed by Cllr Bridge and seconded by Cllr Rawlings to make the following payments:
- J. Robinson Expenses February 2015: £33.13
- Trevor Sedgbeer – Gate fixings for burial Site: £42.00
- South Hams District Council – Play Ground inspection fee: £120.00
- P. Bolt – 6mtr HT Bar for Hoile Copse: £49.61
- T & J Builders – Works to the burial site and access strip: £1,978.69
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.15m
Date of next Meeting- The next meeting will be held on Monday 30th March 2015