MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF BUCKLAND BREWER PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON
MONDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2016 AT 7:30 AT BUCKLAND BREWER METHODIST CHAPEL
Members Present: Miss Rosie Beer, Mrs Barbara Babb, Mrs Marie Douglas, Mr Andrew Hewitt, Mr George Heywood, Mr Jim Lowe, Mr Trevor Mills, and Mrs Shirley Tilley.
Also in attendance 10 members of the public
Parish Clerk: Patrick Blosse
- Apologies for Absence David Watson and Cllr Alison Boyle.
- Declarations of Interest None
- Public Participation Yvonne Elliott, David Hunt and Brenda Mills spoke to object to the planning application for 18 new dwellings on land adjacent to Southwood Meadows. A number of objections were raised in a general discussion. See item 388. Planning.
- 2017/18 Budget The Clerk distributed a copy of the budget for 2016/17 and highlighted some items that were one-off growth items for the year, such as the replacement of the Elections Reserve of £1,600 and £4,000 for ‘fencing and other works. Jim Lowe proposed that there should be no increase in the council tax rate next year. This should have the effect of increasing the amount of precept slightly as there will be more new houses included in the council tax base figure. It was understood that this could be an acceptable proposition provided that all expenditure was adequately justified. Although Trevor has not yet been able to compile a complete estimate of the cost of levelling, reseeding and fencing the amenity field and any works needed for the school field, it was agreed that, with another year’s budget of £4,000 towards these works, together with the money from the turbine and the 2016/17 budget (a total of £13,000), there should be sufficient to meet all of these costs. Stephen Harding had sent an email listing some items that would be needed for the new village hall, the main one being a new oven at a cost of up to £1,500. The Clerk will compile a budget taking into account these comments and any other known factors for presentation to the Council at its January meeting. It was agreed that the meeting on 11th January 2017 would be devoted to the 2017/18 budget and any urgent items, with the remaining business for the month deferred to a meeting on 25th That meeting would also ratify the final budget and precept decisions for the next financial year.
- Planning: Called in Application: Land at Southwood Meadows, Buckland Brewer – 1/0099/2016/OUTM Most of the residents who attended this meeting lived in Southwood Meadows and would be directly affected by the development works and the impact of having an additional 18 households using Southwood Meadows as the access to their properties. A number of objections were raised including:
- The proposed plot is outside the settlement boundary agreed by Buckland Brewer Parish Council and which has been incorporated into the draft local plan to 2031 that is currently being considered by the Planning Inspectorate. This plan is likely to be approved within the next few weeks or months. It was pointed out by Jim Lowe that planners were concerned about meeting the 5 year housing supply target and that this application was probably being rushed through to help boost that figure as it would be unlikely to be approved once the new local plan is activated.
- The development was not put forward for consideration during the extensive consultation that led to the Buckland Brewer Settlement Plan. The settlement plan provides for up to 103 additional houses in the period up to 2031, which the Parish Council felt was the appropriate amount to generate sustainable growth in parish. This further development would put more strain on the infrastructure of the village.
- Access to the proposed site, both during the development stage and once the properties were occupied, was felt to be inadequate. The brick block road surface was not designed for the movement of heavy vehicles or for the quantity of traffic that would follow when the properties are occupied.
- The plans include a reference to a 2 metre maintenance strip between the road and property boundaries. This strip is in fact only 1 metre and this was felt to be too dangerous for the residents of Southwood Meadows and other users, including, potentially, young children walking to school.
- The plan referred to transport facilities that were now out of date. There is no longer a 372 service through the village every day.
- It was felt that the new estate would provide another access route to the playing field, to the detriment of the residents in both Southwood Meadows and the new houses.
- The s106 contribution was felt to be too low in relation to the size of the development. It was believed that any s106 monies made available to the Playing Field Association could only be spent on capital items. The Association needs more revenue funds to keep the current equipment maintained and to meet growing insurance costs. Further capital investment could not be considered unless there is an adequate revenue stream to meet day-to-day running costs. Planners should be asked to consider this before finalising the s106 agreement.
- Members were disappointed to see that none of the items that they had put forward as potential s106 elements had been included.
It was agreed that Andrew Hewitt would attend the Plans Committee to speak on behalf of the Parish Council. The residents of Southwood Meadow were advised that they could also nominate up to two people to speak on their behalf if they wished to raise their objections at the meeting. They were also advised to discuss what they might say with the District Councillor, Bob Hicks
PART II: Press and public were excluded at this point. Marie Douglas and Rosie Beer also left the meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:45 pm.