Hoyle Copse

October 2015

A meeting of Stoke Gabriel Parish Council was held on Monday 26th October 2015 in the Village Hall

11 Members of the public were present

Present:  Mr R Tully (Chairman), Mr P. Fenwick, Mr S. Avery Miss E Bridge, Mr R. Harris, , Mr I Jones, and Mr J Robinson.

In Attendance: District Cllr Rowe and District Cllr  Hawkins

A presentation was given by Paul Bedford on the future of the village Primary School. Paul advisedthat the Governors of the Totnes Federation of Village Schools, of which Stoke Gabriel School is a member, are currently looking into the possibility of forming a Multi-Academy Trust. The main reason for this is to ensure the long term future of our village schools, so that they can continue to deliver high quality education to local children. The Governors recognize the important contribution made by the pre-schools (and the groups for younger children) to the success of our schools and we are keen to work with them and provide support where necessary. We will be working with them as part of the consultancy process. The proposal is for the four schools in the Totnes Federation to join with Newton and Teign Federation (two small schools) and create a Multi-Academy Trust. This group of six good schools would be large enough to form our own Academy Trust, but on our own this would not be viable. Our type of academy, should it be agreed, is a Converter Academy for successful schools. These academies are about sharing expertise and good practice. It is NOT a sponsored academy for schools that are failing. With sponsored academies, the failing school is taken over and run by another organisation. A number of questions were raised and further information can be found on the following web site. www.stoke-gabriel-primary.devon.sch.uk and www.bbc.co.uk/news/education.  The Chairman thanked Paul for his time to explain the proposals to the Council. 

1. Apologies – Mr R. Hunt, Mr H. Rawlings and District Cllr Bastone  

2. Police Report – Cllr Robinson reported that the local Crimestoppers was an independent charity which helps Police locate criminals and help solve crimes. There is an anonymous free phone number, 0800 555 111, on which people can pass on information about crime. Two crimes had been reported. Police received a report of a young male wearing a black baseball cap selling cleaning goods for exorbitant prices in the Aish area of South Brent. Residents are asked to exercise caution when purchasing goods at the door which can often be of poor quality. Sometime between 1400hrs on Friday 11th September and 0945hrs on Saturday 12th September 2015 an attempt was made to enter a garage in Orchard Way, Stoke Gabriel. The metal garage door was forced from the bottom but no entry gained and nothing stolen.

3. To confirm the minutes of the last meeting on 20th July 2015

Taken as read and signed by the Chairman

4. Matters arising from the Minutes –  None

5. Chairman’s Report –  Cllr Tully advised that he had nothing to report.

6. Reports from County & District Councillors Cllr Rowe advised that Devon County Council had been working closely with the police in identifying children at risk, domestic abuse and the treatment of children held in custody. There has been some guidance on road wardens and self help schemes. There is to be a two day paid course to include drain clearing, grass and bank trimming, sign repairs and general weed control. Cllr Rowe warned about the continuing number of scams including telephone calls and door to door selling. Devon County Council has been working with Somerset County and Plymouth City and Torbay Councils regarding the future intention to develop a devolution bid for the Heart of the South west area. This will be an opportunity to set the scene for future discussions with the Government. Cllr Tully welcomed District Cllr Jonathon Hawkins who advised that he had originally been both a County Cllr and District Cllr. He now was the District Cllr for the East Ward together with Cllrs Bastone and Rowe covering this Parish and Dartmouth and Kingswear. He sat on the Development Control Committee and the Executive Committee. He advised that he was happy to be contacted by e-mail on any matters or issues concerning his area and would alternate his visits with his fellow Cllrs. 

7. Reports from Sub-Committees Cllr Fenwick reported that the Cavanna, Paignton Roadapplication was now awaiting discussion by the District Development Control Committee. The following documents had been placed on the District web site. Planting, walls, hard works (details of roads), & location plan. Regarding the District local plan Ross Kennerly had summarised at the Neighbourhood Plan meeting in Totnes. As we know SHDC does not have a 5 year supply of land for housing and consequently is vulnerable to development particularly on Brownfield sites. More sites are needed with members encouraged to bring them forward .Duty to cooperate with neighbouring Councils is becoming more important. West Devon are further on with their plan and should complete in 2016. Tough for SHDC  but if no plan a Government Inspector will step in and make the decisions.


Major items, cooperation with Neighbouring authorities, land availability, housing numbers, consultation with towns and parishes  are the goal of winter 2016 submission. Infrastructure will also be addressed. Ross Kennerly also reported that at a national level there is some uncertainty over how Neighbourhood Plans advance where a development plan is emerging. Neighbourhood Plans are being both approved and delayed where they are emerging alongside District development plans. There is a clear risk to the momentum and confidence in the Neighbourhood Plan process and it is recommended that specific guidance and support is provided for Neighbourhood Plan Groups to ensure continuity as Our Plan moves to next steps.’  On the Torbay local plan the Inspector’s Final Report on the Examination is now available. It concludes that the Plan is sound, subject to a number of modifications. The Main Modifications are summarised as;

  • Revise the plan period to 2012-2030.
  • As a consequence revise the quantum of housing to be planned for to 8,900 dwellings
    • The trajectory is: 400 dwellings per year for the period 2012/13 – 2016/17 460 dwellings per year for the period 2017/18 – 2021/22 510 dwellings per year for the period 2022/23- 2030/31
  • Add provision for Torbay Council to undertake the necessary development plan work if the proposed Neighbourhood Plans do not follow the Council’s strategy.
  • Add Churston Golf Club to the list of possible housing sites for the medium/long term.

At Collaton numbers reduced but still 60 on Brownfield site – we will be invited to a meeting in the near future. It is hoped that the Torbay Local Plan will be adopted in December 2015.

In Cllr Rawlings absence Cllr Fenwick advised that there would be a web site training session to take pressure off Cllr Rawlings and his Colleague. 

8. Neighbourhood Plan Report Cllr Fenwick advised that a further meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan steering group committee was held on 21st October 2015. It was hoped that a project plan and financial budget would be presented at the November meeting on 18th November 2015. Cllr Tully thanked both Cllrs Fenwick and Harris and suggested that progress was being made and that an end date had been suggested. He was concerned that little interest was being shown by the Parishioners in the plan.

9. Planning  The following planning applications were considered at a planning committee meeting held on 26th October 2015.

  1. 13/1832/15/F  Higher Southills Farm, Cornworthy – READVERTISEMENT proposed mast MIP communications. Consultation only. No objection
  2. 52/2128/15/F   4 Waddeton Cottages, Waddeton – Conversion of existing garage with linked utility room to form ancillary accommodation.  No objection. Cllr Tully declared an interest and took no part in the discussion.
  3. 52/2198/15/F   Bramleys Orchard, 8 Yonder Meadow -  Extension to dwelling.    No objection.
  4. 52/2260/15/F Hunters Moon, Mill Hill – Extension over garage with ancillary accommodation. Concerns over height of proposed new garage. Request measurements from District Council.

Planning Applications Granted by SHDC –  None

Planning Applications refused by SHDC – 

Applications Withdrawn –  None  .

Appeals Received by SHDC –  Land at Lower Longcombe – Erection of single wind turbine. Appeal dismissed and planning permission refused. .


Ongoing Applications –  Cllr Robinson advised that this Council that there would be a public consultation event concerning proposed development on land at Coombe Shute on Tuesday 27th October 2015 in the Old School room from 2.00pm to 7.00pm.  Cllr Robinson advised that a site meeting had been held at Marian’s Maples, Vicarage Close, which had been attended by our District Ward member, the District Planning officer, the developer, five Parish Cllrs and a number of near neighbours. Discussion had taken place and a number of changes to the plans had been requested together with a number of conditions. Cllr Robinson advised that agreement to the alterations and conditions had been received from the developer and he would arrange to meet with the Planning officer to agree a way forward. It was proposed by Cllr Fenwick and seconded by Cllr Avery that this Council should recommend support for this application on condition that the alterations and suggested conditions are included in the plans brought to the District Development Control Committee. Both District Cllrs Rowe and Hawkins confirmed their support.      

10. Items raised on behalf of the Clerk – Cllr Robinson confirmed that he had requested a reversal of the decision made by the District Council to stop consulting Parishes on change of use applications. Cllr Robinson advised that a number of Parish Councils had objected to this decision and had requested that the District Council reconsider. It appears that this Council is the only one to have received a response from the Leader of The District Council who had written to Cllr Robinson advising that he had had a discussion with Officers on this subject, due to the short time for prior notifications it is not possible to consult with Towns & Parishes. He understood that this was in line with many other types of Council. He also believed this to be normal practice Cllr Robinson requested that our District Cllrs looked into this matter. Further to the issue regarding the future of the Mother and Toddlers Group Cllr Robinson advised that both he and Cllr Bridge had met with the group and discussed the issue with both the pre-school and primary school. A meeting between the Mothers and Toddlers and the school head had been arranged. And it was hoped that the group could continue its meeting in the primary school hall. Cllr Robinson proposed that this Council should supply a storage container for the additional equipment which would be kept on the school play area. This was agreed by all. A request from the Village Wassail group had been received requesting use of the village orchard for next year’s event on 16th January 2016. This was agreed by all. It was discovered that the village decorative lights were not officially insured and Cllr Robinson requested agreement for them to be insured under the Council insurance policy. This was agreed. A letter had been received concerning the future of the lights and Cllr Robinson proposed that the Council should formally take ownership of the lights and have control over their use. The lights had recently been taken down for repair and maintenance but the cost involved in restoring them and fixing them permanently safely back was costly. It was agreed that the original group of volunteers would continue to look after the lights on behalf of the Council and a sum of £ 1,000.00 would be made available to cover costs. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Avery. Objections had been received regarding the keeping of chickens at a property on Rowes Meadow. The problem was the alteration to the stone garden wall and unsightly wire protection. It was agreed that Cllr Avery would talk to the owners to seek a solution before further action is taken. Cllr Robinson advised that the Government had agreed to fund Public Access Defibrillators in England and suggested that this Council should apply. It was agreed that further investigation be made and report given at next Month’s meeting.   

11. Hoyle Copse  Cllr. Jones’s reported that work had started and the group well supported. Clearing of brambles had taken place in previously coppiced areas. Concern was raised regarding dog poo bags being left hanging in trees in the Copse. Notices have been posted and it was hoped that this problem would cease.

12. Highway and Hedgerow Matters – Cllr Bridge asked if the ownership of the small strip of land adjoining the village shop had been discovered. Cllr Robinson advised he was still awaiting advice from

Devon Highways. Cllr Rowe advised that she would find out the owners name and report back to Cllr Robinson. The waste piece of land in Darton Grove had become very overgrown and rats had been seen


jumping over fences into private gardens. Cllr Robinson advised that he had received notice of proposed stabilisation work to be carried out by Devon Highways to Byter Mill Lane. They had requested this Councils support to extend the existing section of low level wooden single rail birds mouth fence from where it currently stops up by Wickendon along the full length to join into the new timber post and rail by the houses. This new fence would run along the road edge preventing cars from using the pull in’s. It was important to weigh up the longer term advantages of protecting the embankment and road edge with the convenience of a couple of parking/passing places. From an engineering point of view the County Highways team wished to protect the road for the future. It was agreed by all to confirm our support.

13. Matters raised by Councillors –  Cllr Fenwick requested agreement to write to those responsible for the fantastic  idea of having a scarecrow festival. There were over 70 scarecrows spanning the entire village. Cllr Bridge advised that next year it would be considered to have different classes which could be entered. Cllr Fenwick advised that as the District were considering being totally paperless a parish lap top computer to should be purchased for use by the Parish clerk. It was agreed that Cllr Rawlings would be asked to look into this and report back to Cllr Fenwick. Cllr Tully advised that our new team rector Reverend Gill Still and her husband Fred had finally moved into the vicarage and taken on her new role. It was agreed that a letter of support should be written to Gill. The newly agreed housing survey should be placed on the Parish web site. 

14. Accounts –

It was proposed by Cllr Rawlings and seconded by Cllr Bridge to make the following payments at the meeting held on 7th September 2015:

Payee Purpose Amount VAT Reclaimed
Plandscape  September orchard, hedges and verges cut  £245.35 £40.89
J. Robinson Expenses for the period September 2015                                               £72.96  
The Poppy Appeal Poppy day wreath £17.00         
Michael W. Pipe  Land registry costs – Burial Site access £40.00         
Devon Communities Together Housing Needs Survey £3915.60     £652.60

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.30pm

Date of next Meeting-   

Full Council meeting: 30th November 2015

To download these minutes as a pdf file, please click on the link below

October 2015 minutes (124.72 kB)