Minutes of Walford Parish Council Meeting
Held at Walford Church – St Michael and All Angels
Wednesday 27 March 2019 at 7.30pm
Councillors: Frank Myers (Chairman), Eric Drummond (Vice Chairman), Michael Agyeman, Murray Alston, Dave Berry, Karen Chinn, Simeon Cole, Heather Evans, Nesta Hirst, Sophie Hurley, Angus McIntosh and Guy Smith
In attendance: Richard Abolins (Clerk), Paul Newman (Ward Councillor) and approximately 26 members of the public.
- Apologies for absence – none
- Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation
Councillor Myers declared a non-pecuniary interest as non-executive director of Riversea Holdings, appointed to represent the interests of Walford Parish Council, in relation to references to the Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch.
Councillor Drummond declared a non-pecuniary interest in planning application 190548
- Adoption of Minutes of previous meeting
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2019 as a true and accurate record. They were signed by the Chairman.
- Public Session
- Report from the Community Support Co-ordinator – there was no report
- The representative for the applicants for planning permission at Cherry Tree Lane discussed at the last meeting, thanked the Council for their professionalism and impartiality. He was concerned, however, that he was continuing to be treated badly by some residents and wondered if the Council could shed any light on this. The Chairman assured him that the Council had taken no further action since the discussion on the planning application.
Several parishioners expressed their objections to the proposed development of nine houses on Sharman Pitch. Amongst these objections were that such a development in the AONB would destroy the character of the hamlet and that the likelihood of increased traffic flows had not been correctly assessed. There was little acknowledgement to sustainable development in this application and with the trend towards 4/5 bedroom houses, they were not affordable to local residents. The Chairman thanked them for their comments which would be considered by the Council in their discussions.
- Report from the Ward Councillor
The Chairman explained that although he was present, the Ward Councillor would not be presenting a report because of the rules on the pre-election purdah period.
- 190548 Upper Lodge, B4234 Bishopswood, HR9 5QY
Councillor Drummond left the room.
After considering the plans, the Council agreed that there was a similar footprint in the proposal and resolved that there was no objection.
Councillor Drummond returned.
- 190316 Waters Edge, Sharman Pitch, Howle Hill
The agent acting on behalf of the applicant gave a brief overview of the plans. The opportunity for development arose from the relocation of the nursery business on the site. The proposal was for two 2 bedroom, one 3 bedroom and six 4/5 bedroom units. The land sits in a hollow which gives scope for use of existing vegetation to fit in with the surroundings, although some hedgerows may need to be removed to improve visibility splays. Traffic should be greatly reduced as a result of the nursery business closing.
There was much discussion about whether this development fitted into the core strategy, the impact on AONB, and the accuracy of the traffic survey. Although the units will have garages as well as 2 parking spaces, it was agreed that garages are rarely used and that in larger households there were often more than 2 cars.
In a vote, 9 councillors agreed that there should be some housing on the site. 3 councillors voted against. It was resolved to respond as follows.
- The planning experts were qualified to deal with matters of core strategy and AONB
- There should be a re-analysis of the traffic statement and the parking provision should be reviewed.
- There should be careful consideration of the appearance of the development in the context of the existing dwellings
- There should be greater inclusion of sustainable energy
- There had been some confusion over when the first meeting after the election could be held. The date originally planned was not legal and it was resolved to change the meeting to Thursday 16 May 2019 at 7.30pm at Bishopswood Village Hall.
- The Finance Chair reported that with the year end imminent there would be a surplus against budget for various reasons – salary costs less because there was no clerk for four months, no election costs, no contingency required. She reported that the Chairman had received confirmation that Hereford Council will pay all of the electricity installation costs at the Canoe Launch. We will refund Riversea who have funded these costs.
- Councillor McIntosh checked and signed the bank statements and cash books. The Chairman of the meeting signed the bank reconciliation. (attached)
- The Income and Expenditure Account was noted
- It was resolved to approve the proposed payment schedule (attached)
- It was resolved to ratify the regular payment schedule (attached)
Highways / Rights of Way
- Rights of Way –signage was being installed. If any had been missed, please let the RoW Officer know
Lengthsman – everything in hand
The Chairman thanked Councillors Evans and Cole for all their work.
- A draft contract had been circulated and the process for re-tendering would be started.
- A meeting had taken place at the Leys Hill junction with Balfour Beatty to discuss road safety but had not achieved any real progress. There simply is no budget available to implement measures such as traffic lights or mini-roundabout.
- Proposed cancellation of Stagecoach route 35
It was understood that usage of the route may be uneconomic, but the Clerk will ask Stagecoach for a fuller explanation of the economic rationale behind the decision.
- It was resolved unanimously to adopt all four policies.
- Policy for policy review
- Grants policy
- Reserves policy
- Dealing with unreasonable behaviour
- The Clerk had circulated a proposal for changing the schedule of meetings, including consideration of amending the standing order which requires meetings to be held on Wednesdays. This will be discussed at the next meeting with the new council.
- The election timetable had been circulated and the Chairman noted Wednesday 3 April as the last date for handing in nomination papers.
- Items for next meeting agenda (No discussion)
- To consider meeting schedule
- Confidential closed session – the public were asked to leave the room.
- A valuation report had been received on the access to Phoenix Meadow. It was resolved to ask the surveyor to negotiate a settlement, including costs.
- It was resolved to approve the end of the Clerk’s probationary period, which had been highly satisfactory.
- It was resolved to increase the Clerk’s salary in accordance with NJC pay scale.
The meeting closed at 21:05.
SIGNED_____M van Lienden_________________________________________ DATE_16 May 2019__________________________