20th July 2023 Minutes

Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch.
Minutes of the Vowchurch & District Group Parish Council meeting on
Thursday 20th July 2023 at 7.30pm in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall.

PRESENT – Councillors E May (Chair), E Williams, I Chadwick, G Deas, R Lloyd and M Engel.
IN ATTENDANCE – Mrs L Cowles (Clerk)

  1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillors A Picton, S Craddock and the Police.
  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declarations of interest or written request for dispensation.
  3. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – 15th June 2023 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  4. OPEN DISCUSSION – No members of the public attended the meeting therefore no specific points were raised.
    5.1 Local Police – The local police were unable to attend the meeting.
    5.2 Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. His latest reports had been distributed to Councillors prior to the meeting via email.
    5.3 Footpath Officers report – Councillors May and Deas gave reports for all areas in the parish. In brief the footpaths are walked on a regular basis by the Footpath Officers, problems continue to be crops blocking paths along with maintenance issues on stiles and footbridges. Residents continue to be encouraged to walk the footpaths and help trim back any vigorous growth where possible.
  6. CLERKS UPDATE – The Clerk advised that the C1206 will be closed at Vowchurch bridge from Monday 31st July – Friday 18th August, this will be a complete road closure, 24 hours a day. Councillor Williams advised that some farmers have concerns regarding the timing of the closure. The Clerk has spoken to the Property Manager at CRT in Turnastone who has sent details of their land registry title which indicates that they own land up to the ditch. He would be happy to meet on site when next in the area, it was agreed that Councillor R Lloyd would meet with him. The Locality Steward had previously advised that unless the ditch is affecting the highway, he has no authority to request it be cleared as it falls outside the highway extent. The Planning Enforcement Officer has visited The Fold, Land west of White Hose and has advised the landowner that the tracks are unauthorised so will require an application within the next month. He has also visited Graig Farm and has advised there is no breach of planning and the case is closed. Councillors disagreed and are still concerned that planning has been breached. It was agreed that Councillors May and Engel would draft a letter to be sent to the Chief Planning Officer expressing the Parish Councils concerns. Herefordshire Council have advised that they will be carrying out a speed survey on B4348 and C1206. The outcome will be subject to further works which isn’t currently in the annual plan programme. The new Ward Councillor election should take place on 7th September, in the meantime Councillor Liz Harvey will help with any queries if possible.
    Site: Building & land at New Barn Old Farm, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QW.
    Description: Proposed change of use of an agricultural building and land to a use falling within Class C3 (dwelling houses).
    Application No: 231940 Grid Ref: 334847:234036
    Policy 1 of the adopted NDP: states that to protect and enhance the local environment development proposals will have to demonstrate that:
    • Their design and scale reflect the character of the local environment and existing buildings in a way which preserves or enhances the natural and historic beauty of the local area.
    The design and scale of this property is large with an increase in internal floor space of 165sq.m. This is not a heritage building and does little to reflect the character of the local environment or enhance the natural and historic beauty of the local area.
    Policy 6 of the adopted NDP states:
    • Proposals for new homes which are affordable for local people, whether as fully owned, partly owned or rented will be welcomed. This includes schemes which favour local people either as private owners or renters will also be encouraged.
    This is a large four bedroomed home, unaffordable for many local people and will not favour local people.
    Policy 7 of the adopted NDP states:
    • New development must provide a good standard of amenity for future occupants and have an acceptable impact on the amenity of the occupiers of existing residential properties.
    This property is visible from some distance especially in the winter months. There will also be an increase in traffic movement associated with a large four bedroomed house.
    Site: Land North of Marlborough Grange, Newton St Margarets., Herefordshire. HR2 0QN
    Description: Proposed amendments to extant Class Q permission 220819 (change of use of barn to dwelling) to include single storey side and rear extension and enlargement of domestic curtilage.
    Application No: 230868 Grid Ref: 334313:233489
    Councillor E Williams left the meeting
    Site: Muddyplox, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QN
    Description: Proposed discharge of section106 agreement attached to planning permission SH95/1079PF.
    Application No: 222594 Grid Ref: 334863:233244
    8.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £12,620.12 Statement Sheet No. 183 issued 17th June 2023.
    Receipts – None
    To include £5.00 bank charges 17th May 2023 to 16th June 2023.
    8.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for July and August 2023 Clerk’s hours and £312 allowance for home office use 2023-24 and £5.69 for stationery – Payment agreed.
    8.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths invoice no. TGC2281 roads account May 2023 (1) of £440.00 plus VAT and invoice no. TGC 2282 roads account May 2023 2) of £440.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    8.4 Consider payment to HMRC of £106.80 For PAYE April 2023 – June 2023 – Payment agreed.
    8.5 Consider payment to SLCC for 2023 membership of £112.00 – Payment agreed.
    8.6 Consider payment to Microshade VSM, invoice No. 17928 for Internal Audit 2022/23 of £125.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    8.7 Finance Working Group – It was agreed that Councillor A Picton would join the finance working group to replace Councillor G Deas. The latest reports were distributed to Councillors prior to the meeting. The finance working group confirmed spreadsheets, invoices and PAYE had been checked and all were in order.
  9. STANDING ORDERS AND FINANCIAL REGULATIONS – It was agreed to adopt the updated Standing Orders and Financial Regulations as per the recommendations from the Internal Auditor and increase the contracts finder threshold from £25,000 excluding VAT to £30,000 inclusive of VAT.
  10. LENGTHSMAN SCHEME 2023/24 – The Parish Council will be able to apply for £7490 Lengthsman grant funding for 2023/24 with the opportunity to receive an additional £7490 with match funding from the Parish Council. However, the request for match funding is on a request basis and may be oversubscribed, therefore Herefordshire Council may not be able to match fund the full amount applied for. It was agreed to complete the Expression of Interest form and Annual Maintenance Plan. As the Parish Council would now have additional funds in the budget it would request an additional £6890 to be match funded by the Parish Council. The Chair would sign the Lengthsman contract with Herefordshire Council once the amount of additional funding had been agreed.
  11. THE HIDEAWAYS @ PONTYPINNA – The Clerk has had no response from correspondence sent to the owners at Pontypinna. It was agreed to defer any decision regarding further correspondence to the September meeting.
  12. HGV’S AT GREEN FARM, NEWTON ST MARGARETS – Councillor Engel has spoken to residents living in the area and there is no evidence that the site is being used more than the permitted vehicle operators licence allows. There are however concerns about the size of the vehicles being used and the affect on property at the Bob Shop turning and daily lives at Percival Place. 44 tonne articulated lorries are often used, Councillors queried whether this size vehicle constitutes running an agricultural business or should planning permission be obtained for change of use to a haulage business. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the planning department for clarification.
  13. SOCIAL MEDIA – It was agreed that many residents in the area did not use social media and therefore it would not be an effective way of communicating with residents. It was agreed to highlight the website address and direct people to use it more to receive information. It was also agreed to display the parish council website address on the local noticeboards.
  14. HEARING LOOP – The Clerk advised that a portable hearing loop would not be suitable as they only have a range of approximately 1 metre. As the Parish Council do not own any halls it was agreed not to move forward with this at present.
  15. NEWSLETTER – Road closure, cost of living support, children’s holiday activities and website address.
  16. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – There was no additional correspondence.
  17. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – Thursday 21st September at 7.30pm at Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall – Lights at Gwatkins Cider.

The Chair declared the meeting closed at 9.10pm


Skip to content