VOWCHURCH GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch
Minutes of the Vowchurch Group Parish Council meeting held on
Thursday 18th March 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom
Please note that the meeting is being recorded
PRESENT – Councillors P Mason (Chair), I Chadwick, E May, A Picton, E Williams, R Lloyd and M Engel.
IN ATTENDANCE – Ward Councillor Peter Jinman, Mrs L Cowles (Clerk) and two members of the public.
- ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillors T Williams, J Kernahan and H Franklin.
- RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – Councillor R Lloyd declared a non-disclosable interest in agenda item 7.1; due to Covid-19 restrictions the declarations book was unavailable to sign. There were no written requests for dispensation.
- ADOPT MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 18th February 2021 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
- OPEN DISCUSSION – For residents to raise local matters – No specific points were raised.
As the members of the public in attendance were present to discuss the planning consultation in agenda item 7.1, the Chair agreed to move the item forward.
5.1 Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Jinman’s report included:
Broadband – Discussion is still on-going with the possibility of organising a meeting with Gigaclears’ Chief Executive or Ex Chief Executive as discussed at the February meeting. There is hope for a community update in the summer to include Abbeydore & Bacton along with Longtown. Councillor Engel confirmed that the event with Jesse Norman in September will now be at 6pm, subject to any Covid 19 restrictions.
HGV Licence application Green Farm, Newton St Margarets – Many locals have been in contact regarding an HGV Licence application at Green Farm, Newton St Margarets. The Clerk along with other Councillors confirmed that they have also heard from many concerned local residents. This has been advertised in the Hereford Times and any objections must be made to the Traffic Commissioner in Leeds by 25th March 2021 at the latest. Pursuing this is a complicated process where Parish Councils, resident associations and action groups cannot make any representation unless they are owners or occupiers of affected land in the vicinity of the operating centre. Groups can ask their local authority to put their case and ask them to consider making an objection. Ward Councillor Jinman advised that he has been in contact with the Engineering Manager at Herefordshire Council and would encourage the Parish Council and local residents to write to him requesting an objection. The Parish Council agreed that this site was completely unsuitable and would ask Herefordshire Council to object on the grounds of concerns for neighbours, inappropriate size of roads and change of use from agricultural land.
Leader of the Council Newsletter – Ward Councillor Jinman will forward a copy of the Council Leaders newsletter to Councillors to let them know what has been happening lately at Herefordshire Council. If Councillors have any comments to make after receiving; please let him know.
5.2 Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. The Clerk reported that the drainage grant works were on schedule and these invoices and worksheets have been received but not in time to be included on the March agenda, these will be forwarded to Councillors as soon as possible.
- CLERKS UPDATE – The latest correspondence from the Planning Inspectorate regarding footpaths VO53 & VO57 had been sent to Councillors. Herefordshire Council have until 17th March to submit a Statement of Case, which will then be sent to objectors who have until 28th April 2021 to submit their own Statement of Case to the Inspectorate. As this is close to the April meeting it was agreed that Councillors Mason, Picton and May would draft any response to be agreed by the Parish Council at the April meeting.
Herefordshire Council will be holding their next Parish Council summit on 30th March – details to follow.
An application has been received regarding the Footpath Officers position covering Vowchurch and Turnastone, the Clerk has responded that there are currently no vacancies.
Balfour Beatty are reviewing the verge cutting policy for 2021, the Clerk has requested an extension to comment to enable this to be discussed at the April meeting.
The Clerk will be on annual leave from Friday 26th March – Tuesday 6th April 2021.
- CONSIDER PLANNING
7.1 PLANNING CONSULTATION
Site: The Fold, Land west of Whitehouse Farm, Turnastone, Herefordshire. HR2 0RE
Description: Proposed change of use of land to a glamping site comprising of four glamping units and associated facilities, new vehicular access and gravelled parking area.
Application No: 210198 Grid Ref: 334571:235654
The Parish Council received a presentation from the applicant and was able to question him about the plans, including details of proposed landscaping which many councillors had not seen.
On balance the Parish Council concluded that it would support the application primarily on the basis that local farmers should be able to diversify their sources of income. At the same time the Parish Council has some concerns which are set out below:
The Council discussed reservations about the design of the proposed units, including those expressed in objections from quite a number of local residents. These are, in essence, that the designs do not reflect traditional local buildings or the materials used in their construction. The designs are contrary to the preferences set out in our Neighbourhood Plan which reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of local residents.
The applicant was unwilling to consider any change to the proposed designs.
The Parish Council also raised questions about the necessity of altering the existing vehicular access to the site, but accepted that there were difficulties which made this necessary, though a compromise access nearer the current one would need less alteration whilst improving sight lines for exiting the site.
We also expressed concerns about the provision of services to the units, in particular the possibility of pollution of the nearby water courses by effluent. There is also the risk of
fires given the closeness of woodland and the proposed new tree planting.
In supporting the planning application, the Parish Council asks the Planning Authority to take these concerns into account.
7.2 PLANNING CONSULTATION
Site: Land at Ritty Farm, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire. HR2 0JW
Description: proposed siting of temporary removable wagon for use as holiday let to include access, parking and landscaping.
Application No: 210259 Grid Ref: 332271:233323
8.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £8,429.53 Statement Sheet No. 154 issued 17th February 2021.
Receipts – None
8.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for February 2021 Clerk’s hours and £11.99 plus VAT Zoom subscription – Payment agreed.
8.3 Payment to GV Webdesign, invoice no. VC 1/21 for website hosting and website address of £150.00 – Payment agreed.
8.4 2020/21 AUDIT – It was agreed to appoint Mr Paul Russell of Microshade Business Consultants as Internal Auditor for 2020/21
- DONATIONS – It was agreed to donation £100.00 to Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and £50.00 to Black Hill Communities Network.
- B4348/C1206 SIGNAGE – As the speed review on the B4348 and C1206 will not be reviewed again until 2022 it was agreed to explore the cost or road signs displaying ‘Please drive carefully’ either underneath or incorporated in the two Vowchurch village signs on the B4348 and the Turnastone sign on the C1206. Ward Councillor Jinman advised that stick on signs displaying ‘slow in our community’ can also be obtained from the Police. Residents would be encouraged to display these on or near their property.
- B4348 & C1206 WATER RUN-OFF FROM FIELDS – The Environmental Officer has now confirmed that he has written an advisory letter to the landowner but unfortunately has not had the opportunity to chase this up. The fact that they have written to the landowner will enable them to take stronger action in the future with regard to soil runoff as they have been directed to give advice in the first instance around regulations by DEFRA. It was agreed that the Clerk would follow this up for a response in time.
- PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION ORDER FOR DOG CONTROL – It was agreed that Herefordshire Council’s current public spaces protection order (dog control) should be extended for another 3 years.
- RESILIENCE PLAN – Councillor Chadwick advised that he had re-drafted some of the current plan but asked how much detail the Parish Council wanted to include as this could become a problem with GDPR. It was agreed to currently work on a basis plan to include contact details for village halls, places of worship etc. which would help emergency services and then potentially move forward with a more detailed plan in future. Any plan would need to be updated on a regular basis. Councillor Chadwick agreed to continue to work on a draft plan and update at the April meeting.
- APRIL NEWSLETTER – Fibre broadband, Countryside Code, Locality Steward workload
- RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 15th April 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom – Resilience Plan, HGV Licence at Green Farm update and quarterly Footpath officers report.
The Chair declared the meeting closed at 8.57pm