1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Mr T Tuck, Mr P Downton, PCSO T Mead
2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST LP
declared an interest in Item 8b, it was agreed that Clerk chair this item.
3 APPROVAL OF LAST MONTHS MINUTES
The Minutes of the meeting 7th March 2016 were approved and signed by the
Chairman as a true and accurate record of last months meeting.
4 CRIME/NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
BW reported that a total of 51 sacks of asbestos waste had been dumped near the
railway bridge on Sparkford Hill Lane. Also quad bikes had been using the Copse area.
There was no report form PCSO Mead.
5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
ML reported the District Council was aiming to make savings of £4million out of a
budget of £17million over the next two years. This would probably mean staff redundancies
beyond voluntary redundancies which has not happened for a considerable time.
a) Old Coal Yard Site Hanyton Close. Somerset County highways advised that the
removal of the spoil on the verge and in front of the high screen fence was being pursued
and that a new footway link will be constructed once the developer had signed and secured
a S38 legal agreement with county. It is hoped that this will be in place shortly. ML
advised that as an open day for the formal opening of Hanyton Close was due to take place
soon it might be pertinent to suggest the spoil is removed by the developer before this
takes place. It was agreed that the Clerk should reply to County with this information and
to raise the health and safety concerns for residents of Hanyton Close crossing roads to
reach the bus stop and other village amenities.
b) Small Improvement Scheme. Following correspondence with County it was
established that planning permission had been granted (Item 7b below) at Long Hazel Farm,
that Mr Piper remained the owner of the site and that there is currently no developer for
it. County advised that a legal agreement relating to highways matters in the development
may take a while and so recommend that the outstanding gateway be implemented and when
needed, as part of the legal agreement, the gateway could be re-sited in the future to
incorporate any future development. It was agreed that the Clerk write back to accept
this. Concern was also expressed that 30mph speed limit sign at the western end of the
village was in the wrong place and needed to be moved. It was explained that this had been
an issue for a number of years and no progress had been made with extending the speed
c) Bridge/A359 Castle Cary Road junction. KD expressed his concern that the recent
patching work that had been done did not address the depression on the eastern side of the
crown of the bridge, also about the cost effectiveness of the work done and that the white
lining had not yet been completed. He had established from highways that no further work
was scheduled at this location. The highways consultation with network rail regarding the
depression was also mentioned. KD will continue to follow up these issues and contact John
Nicholson. ML also to speak with John.
d) Trees at the south side of The Avenue. Somerset County Council Arborist had visited
The Avenue to look at the 7 lime trees. The inspection did not reveal that any trees were
any dead, diseased, damaged or insecurely rooted as defined by the Highways Act or that
could be described as an undue risk to the highway. He mentioned that severing the ivy
that extends a considerable way up the trunks would benefit the trees and allow for a
better assessment of them in the future however this work could not be insisted upon. It
was agreed that the Clerk write to the owners with these findings.
7 PLANNING DECISIONS
a) 15/04708/FUL Erection of dwelling and ancillary stables and B1 work shop and new
pedestrian access. Land adjacent 2 New Cottages, High Street, Sparkford, Mr and Mrs D
Nurse. Permitted with conditions.
b) 14/01958/FUL Erection of 28 dwelling houses and 1 commercial unit all with
associated highways and landscaping. Long Hazel, Farm, High Street, Sparkford. M R Mead
Permitted with conditions
8 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
a) 16/00726/COU Change of use of Home Farm from Office (B1) to residential (C1), Home
Farm House, High Street, Sparkford. Haynes Publishing. Councillors considered that it
would be good to see the farm house return to its original use. All agreed that no
objection be raised to the proposal.
LP left the meeting
b) 16/01059/COU Change of use of agricultural buildings and land to C1, C2 and
C3 use, Sparkford Hall, Sparkford Road, Sparkford. G Beddows and J March-Smith. LP left
the room having declared an interest in this application. The Clerk chaired this item. An
invitation was extended to Mr March Smith to speak, he explained that the aim of the
application was to regularise a previous planning permission which had not included the
buildings and land now being used for activities at Sparkford Hall which include siting of
marquees for outdoor events, occasional camping for wedding guests, yoga/ fitness and
treatment sessions. Camping extends to the land whereas yoga may take place either in the
buildings or outdoors. Councillors expressed concern about the proposed C1, C2 and C3 use
of the land. The applicant went on to explain that guests in the house may exercise in the
gardens, that there might be clay pigeon shooting or archery events. Councillors mentioned
that there had been complaints about outdoor music, events carrying on late in to the
night, and fireworks going off. There continued further explanations and questions. It was
concluded that while there may not be objections to the use of the buildings included in
the application and as such business in the village should be supported that there were
reservations about the use of the land (an orchard and paddock) and further advice from
the planning officer needed to be sought about temporary or occasional use of the land,
what qualifies as de minimus use and the use categories being applied for.
Councillors also asked if it would be possible to visit the site which Mr March Smith was
happy to agree to. All agreed Clerk to contact the Planning Officer, report back and then
arrange a site visit with the applicant.
LP rejoined the meeting
9 MATTERS ARISING NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER SECTIONS
a) Sparkford Foul and Surface Water drainage issues. Mr Tidman of Wessex Water was
again unable to attend the meeting to report on the groundwater getting into the foul
sewer network but said he would attend the meeting in May. In his email Mr Tidman
commented that with regard to the possible development at Haynes site the Wessex Water
planning liaison team had advised SSDC the development shall not commence until a foul
water drainage strategy had been submitted. He went on to say there was considered
to be sufficient current available capacity for predicted foul flows only from the
development in the local sewer network. Surface water from the site shall drain to
either soak away or attenuated to local watercourses. He noted that work had been done to
restore pipes to full capacity and that further work was necessary in the Manor close area
and between Cherry Pie Lane and Church Road. Wessex Water is aware of flooding issues in
Sparkford but believes the removal of blockages by cleaning should resolve this. The
situation will continue to be monitored.
The following discussion touched on problems in February in 2016 where one resident was
unable to flush their toilet but had resolved the issue themselves rather than reporting
it. It was unfortunate that in the recent heavy rainfall there had been no flow metres
measuring capacity in the foul drains. Any drainage issues need to be reported to Wessex
Water in order to impress upon them the need for an upgrade to the system. Reference was
also made to Mr D Norris, of SSDC planning, comment at the December 2015 meeting that if a
survey by Wessex Water had been commissioned and is awaited then planning applications
could reasonably have to wait until it is complete before being determined.
ML suggested going back to Mr Norris to explain that we are having problems getting
answers form Wessex Water and what can be done about this. LP agreed to contact Mr Norris.
RB asked if we could insist that flow metering should take place. It was feared that the
recent heavy rainfall had been a missed opportunity but with the planning permission for
an additional 39 houses on the High Street and proposed 47 or 48 at Haynes site the issue
needed to be addressed.
KD reported that he had been in contact with Nancy Collins of AECOM consultants with
regard to surface water issues and that he was forwarding photographic evidence of
flooding that occurred at the end of March 2016 which demonstrates the problems
experienced in the village. Ms Collins had completed her report to the Environment Agency
but would forward the photographs as well. KD fears that with more development in the
village there will be more back up in Church Road. He could not understand why the river
had not burst its bank and thought that there should be additional pipes under the Mill
Race to take surface water away. KD to contact the Environment Agency and copy in the
ML left the meeting before Item 9b was discussed
b) Consultation on Potential Leisure Planning Obligations 16/00725/OUT Haynes
Publishing redevelopment site. Councillors were concerned about how the figures had been
generated and why at the outline application stage. LP had been trying to contact Tim Cook
with regard to feedback from the village survey which would help in considering the
figures. A number of projects were mentioned including a footbridge over the railway line
to overcome the dangers of crossing railway line thereby providing safer access from the
High Street to the playing field and the potential to improve village hall facilities
whether by building new or upgrading.
Mr March- Smith left the meeting.
ML rejoined the meeting
c) and f) McDonalds and Sparkford Service Station. The Clerk
had written to both after the last meeting to request that the one way be re-established
with adequate signage. The manager of Sparkford Service station replied that he had passed
the matter on to his directors. Nothing was heard form Matt Biles. It was noted that there
had been further chaos over the Easter/Bank holiday weekend with traffic moving into the
service station area from McDonalds via the exit. Clerk to follow up.
d) Village information evening survey feedback. LP to follow up
(note item 9b above)
e) Training feedback negotiate a better outcome in
planning. TT to report at May meeting.
g) 16/00508/TPO application to carry out work to trees at
Sparkford Cricket Ground TPO (SPAR9) 1978. The SSDC tree officer had emailed his comments
on the above application explaining that the young ash trees are not covered by the TPO
and so they were not part the application. He advised that if the Parish Council did not
wish to see the ashes felled then it, as owners of the land, must make this clear to Mr
Hunt. Similarly with the felling of the Lime tree no.358 Mr Poulton considered this
acceptable subject to an agreed replacement planting but this could only take place with
the landowners permission. Permission to crown-raise the oak trees would be refused as
there was no arboricutural reason to do so. An explanation of value of retaining a diverse
age-structure of younger trees within local tree populations was given to Mr Hunt along
with current guidance on tree risk management which it was hoped would give a reasonable
level of assurance.
It was agreed to write to Mr Hunt to let him know that as landowners Sparkford Parish
Council did not give permission for the young ash trees or Lime 358 to be felled. But also
that the Cricket club be invited to the June Parish Council meeting to forge a working
relationship with the club.
10 FINANCIAL MATTERS
a) Payment of Clerks Salary was amended from the typing error(£199.10) on the
agenda to £198.10. All agreed
b) Payment Greenslade Taylor Hunt half yearly rent for playing field
£125.00 was approved.
c) End of year income and expenditure and summary of accounts were
circulated and approved.
d) Receipt of transparency code funding of £393.00 was noted
e) VAT refund claim for £512.17 had been submitted on 13/03/16 but had not
been received before 31/03/16.
a) Emails had been circulated regarding TT decision to stand down as Chair of the
Parish Council with effect from the May 2016 meeting. A brief discussion took place with
regard to who might be prepared to stand for consideration as Chair.
b) An email had been received regarding hazards posed by vehicles parking
on pavements in the village especially for elderly and disabled parishioners. It was
agreed to draw this to the attention of PCSO Mead.
12 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS
a) RB enquired about the idea of a halt station in the village. Clerk to send previous
correspondence to RB. ML offered that David Warburton might be able to give
advice/assistance having been involved with the Somerton station project, also David
Fothergill portfolio holder at Somerset County Council for highways and transport.
b) KD wished it to be minuted that he did not wish his name to be associated with
the comments of TT reported in the Western Gazette, 31st March 2016, regarding the Haynes
Publishing site and the current planning application as the Parish Council had not yet
considered the application at a Council meeting.
There then followed a discussion regarding whether TT should declare an interest in the
application and not chair the Extra-ordinary meeting on 11th April 2016. LP to
liaise with TT but in the event of TT not declaring an interest advice was given that it
was possible for Councillors to move that he be excluded from the meeting. All agreed with
this course of action.
c) KD noted that Sparkford Cricket Club had arranged for a test bore hole to be
drilled at the Cricket Ground. The Parish Council had not been advised of this.
13 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
Ask Tim Cook to attend the May meeting.
Martin Tidman of Wessex Water to attend May meeting
Sparkford Cricket club to be invited to June meeting.
Items such as McDonalds, The Old Coal Yard site, the Bridge/A359 Castle Cary junction to
be brought on to the agenda on a quarterly basis unless there was any correspondence to be
14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Extra-ordinary Meeting, Monday, 11th April 2016 8pm to consider planning
application 16/00725/OUT. Annual Parish Council meeting 9th May 2016 8pm, to be
preceded by the Annual Parish meeting at 7.30pm. All at Sparkford Parish Hall.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 10.01pm.