26th April 2021 Minutes

Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch
Minutes of the Vowchurch Group Parish Council meeting held on
Monday 26th April 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom
Please note that the meeting is being recorded

PRESENT – Councillors P Mason (Chair), I Chadwick, A Picton, E May, E Williams, J Kernahan, T Williams and M Engel.
IN ATTENDANCE – Ward Councillor Peter Jinman and Mrs L Cowles (Clerk).

  1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillors R Lloyd and H Franklin.
  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – Councillor E Williams declared a non-disclosable interest in agenda item 8.1 and Councillor E May declared a non-disclosable interest in agenda item 8.2; due to Covid 19 restrictions the declarations book was unavailable to sign. There were no written requests for dispensation.
  3. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 18th March 2021 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  4. OPEN DISCUSSION – No members of the public attended the meeting and therefore no specific points were raised.
  5. HGV LICENCE AT GREEN FARM, NEWTON ST MARGARETS – The Clerk confirmed that she had written to Herefordshire Council to object to this application. Bruce Evans the Engineering Manager (Highways & Transport) has confirmed that Herefordshire Council did object to the HGV Licence application but has no update with regard to the Traffic Commissioner’s decision. Ward Councillor Jinman advised that he had spoken with the Planning Department who had visited the site and have advised there are no issues with planning consent. Councillor May confirmed that some ground works had started which included a hard standing area. Councillor Engel is aware that approximately 74 residents objected to the application and is concerned that this is not a planning issue and does not constitute a change of use. Ward Councillor Jinman reiterated that the planning department do not consider this a change of use, this is for agricultural purposes and haulage is considered part of that.
    6.1 Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Jinman’s report included:
    VO53 & VO57 is still with the Planning Inspectorate. The Chair confirmed this is due to be discussed later in the meeting.
    Broadband – Councillor Kernahan had forwarded an email from Gigaclear with an update. It seems that July is a possible start date but not sure how far the roll out will go. Councillor Kernahan suggested going back to the Business Development Manager at Gigaclear to obtain a specific update from him on all the council area. There may be an opportunity to influence what they do and when they do it. It was agreed that this should not be specific to the Vowchurch group of parishes and that a meeting should be arranged to include Toby Murcott so that the whole ward area can be discussed. It would enable the whole area to get some clarity on their plans. There has also been some change in planning where mobile masts can now be increased in height up to 24 metres to enable better mobile signal.
    Dorstone Rave
    Highways – no further update
    Chairman’s Newsletter – no feedback, but will continue to forward to Councillors.
    Growth in Wild Camping
    Councillor E Williams asked why it seems a lot of money is being spent on local halls at present. Ward Councillor Jinman suspected this was grant funding from Talk Community.

6.2 Lengthsman report and any new road defects – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. The schedule of payments had been forwarded to Councillors prior to the meeting. All the drainage works are now completed apart from one job which is outstanding to invoice and another to be completed.
6.3 Footpaths Officer – Councillor May reported that since January she has walked all of Newton Parish and half of St Margarets. Any issues have been reported to the Herefordshire Council, some gates have been fastened with twisted barbed wire and cannot be opened, several new fingerposts have been installed but then one was taken down and a new stile has been delivered to one landowner. The Clerk reported that unfortunately the Footpaths Officer covering Vowchurch & Turnastone had resigned.

  1. CLERKS UPDATE – Herefordshire Councils Minerals and Waste Local Plan pre-submission consultation runs from 12th April – 24th May.
    The C1206 near Castle Ibo Farm will be closed from 1st June for three days for Welsh Water to complete works.
    The ‘Slow Down in our community signs’ have been received from the Police, it was agreed to drop these off in Vowchurch for distribution to local residents.
    Site: Holt Farm, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire. HR2 0PT
    Description: Application for removal of condition 3 of planning permission SH971193/PF (Conversion of
    Redundant barns into holiday accommodation). To allow the three barns to be occupied as dwellings.
    Application No: 210566 Grid Ref: 330393:235708
    Site: Marises Barn, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QG
    Description: Proposed detached double garage with workshop.
    Application No: 210779 Grid Ref: 333135:234770
    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
    COMMENT – The Parish Council would like to reiterate their previous comments.
    They note the applicants amended access proposals which appear superior to the previous proposal and therefore have no objections.
    Site: Land at Ponty Pinna, Vowchurch, Herefordshire
    Description: Proposed non-material amendment to planning permission 200353 – amendment to the design and layout of the Burrow. The width of the Burrows has increased and the length of the Burrows has decreased slightly. The internal layout of the Burrows has been altered providing an additional bedroom to the accommodation.
    Application No: 211540 Grid Ref: 337259:235701
    Site: Upper House Farm, The Common Road, Lower Maescoed, HR2 0HP
    Description: Application for prior notification for a covered muck store building.
    Application No. 211069 Grid Ref. 334123:230759
    9.1 Confirmation of updated bank balance – £11,572.62 Statement Sheet No. 156 issued 17th April 2021.
    Receipts – £5550.00 Drainage grant.
    9.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for March 2021 Clerk’s hours, £11.99 plus VAT Zoom subscription and £46.98 plus VAT Ink Cartridges – Payment agreed.
    9.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths (as per separate sheet) of £7119.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    9.4 Payment to HMRC of £65.20 for PAYE January – March 21 – Payment agreed.
    9.5 Financial quarterly report – The finance working group had been unable to meet due to Covid-19 restrictions. The quarterly financial spreadsheets and PAYE information were noted.
    9.6 CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION 2020/21 – The Certificate of Exemption 2020/21 for smaller authorities was approved.
  4. PLANNING INSPECTORATE ROW/3241619: Footpaths VO53 and VO57 (Part) Vowchurch Public Path Diversion Order – A draft response had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting. It was agreed to respond to the Planning Inspectorate without amendment.
  5. PROPOSED PUBLIC PATH DIVERSION ORDER, PR5, VO69A, PR5A, VO34, VO69, VO67 AND VO38 (PART) – Councillors Picton and May have both walked some of the footpaths in the area. There are no official footpath signs at all but a lot of signs stating ‘curtesy footpath’. There are no official signs near the house where the route has been diverted. The diversion on the northside of the property is approximately 50-100 feet below the skyline. It was agreed that Councillors Picton, May and Kernahan would draft a response to the landowners for approval by Councillors.
  6. 2021 VERGE CUTTING – As first discussed in June 2019, it was agreed to request that the parish council would prefer verges to be cut once per year in the late summer/early autumn. For the rest of the year limit the cutting to safety cuts of one metre or one flail’s width wherever cutting is necessary
  7. LENGTHSMAN CONTRACT TO BALFOUR BEATTY 2021/22 – It was agreed to sign the Lengthsman contract with Balfour Beatty for 2021/22.
  8. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN POLICIES AND PLANNING CONSULTATION COMMENTS – Councillors must have an understanding of the planning policies that the Parish Council operate under. Herefordshire Council notify the Clerk that there is a planning application in the area, there is a time limit to get a response back to the planning department which sometimes involves a request for an extension. Often applications need to be looked at quickly and comments need to be made at the meeting. Councillors must look at the applications prior to the meeting and be prepared to make comment about the application. Any comments must follow Herefordshire Council’s Core Strategy which sets out planning for the whole of the County; part of which covers planning in rural areas and use of redundant farm buildings. New developments are not allowed in open countryside, they can only be considered in villages designated in the Core Strategy of which we have two in the area, Vowchurch and Michaelchurch. The Core Strategy can be viewed on the Herefordshire Council website and it is important to be aware of it. The Parish Council developed the Neighbourhood Development Plan after consultation with the whole community and it contains a number of policies which are important to them including design of building and lighting etc. Councillors need to understand that the community was consulted throughout the process; many of their suggestions are included in the plan and Councillors must be aware of these policies. Ward Councillor Jinman commented that one or two areas of the County are being asked to take part in an exercise considering the latest Government planning for the future white paper where in effect there will be a dilution of local development plans and some of the Parish Council powers will be removed.
  9. MAY 2021 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL AND ANNUAL PARISH MEETING – The emergency legislation allowing parish councils to hold virtual meetings beyond 7th May 2021 will not be extended. However, a group of principal authorities are taking the Government to Court to get a ruling as to whether the wording of the 1972 Local Government Act is wide enough to cover meetings remotely anyway. The Court Hearing is scheduled for 28th April. Until then, it will not be known if the Parish Council will have to resume face to face meetings.
  10. PARISH COUNCILLOR VACANCY – The Clerk confirmed that the Parish Council were now able to co-opt a Parish Councillor to represent Michaelchurch Escley. It was agreed to advertise in the local newsletter.
  11. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL AND ANNUAL PARISH MEETING – Thursday 20th May 2021 at 7.30pm, venue TBC – Road sign costs, Resilience Plan, Green Farm, Highways, Internet banking, Proposed footpath diversion at Poston House.

The Chair declared the meeting closed at 8.25pm


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