Home Page

Draft MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SPARKFORD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 4th April  2016 AT 8.00 PM
IN SPARKFORD PARISH HALL

Present:
Mr L Piper -  Chair
Mr K Davis
Mrs A Roylance
Mr D Nurse,
Mr Bell
Mrs A Voysey - Clerk

In attendance ;- Mr M Lewis County and District Councillor, Mr Westcott, Neighbourhood Watch
2 members of the public

A moment silence was held to remember the life of Mrs Karen Bourke, past clerk of the SPC, and her husband Tony at this sad time

After a short opportunity for members of the public to address the Council, the Chairman opened the meeting at 8.03 pm.

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 MONTH’S MINUTES 
The Minutes of the meeting 7th March 2016 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true and accurate record of last month’s 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.

6 HIGHWAYS
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 limit area.
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 Clerk

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 Clerk’s 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.

11 CORRESPONDENCE
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 reported.

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.
AV/04.04.16

Home Page
Previous Minutes