Mr J Crawford Chairman
Mr A Bourke
Mr D Braithwaite
Mr L Piper
Mr K Davis
Mr M Lewis County and District Councillor Camelot Ward
Also present: 18 members of the public
In attendance: Mrs K Bourke Clerk
|1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Trevor Tuck and Peter Downton.
2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST There were none.
3 APPROVAL OF LAST MONTHS MINUTES
4 CRIME/NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
Mr Westcott said we had survived another pilgrimage to Pilton without any bad effect. Traffic seems to be aggravated by more cyclists on the road and when the Old Coal Yard is completed there will be more traffic still. He was concerned that there was no footpath on the north side of the High Street.
Mr Lewis understand there is going to be changes in the PCSOs schedule. She will now cover Ilchester to Sparkford and then Blackmore Vale and Milborne Port and was going to be spread very thinly. He mentioned a meeting on this at Wincanton on Thursday. The Clerk confirmed the Chairman and Councillor Bourke would be attending. Mr Crawford said the budget cuts on police are continuing to bite. We must all be prepared for something of a shock with the amount of policing we are offered.
5 COUNTY/DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
The Clerk asked Mr Lewis if he could explain what had happened. He said there was a very high ratio of tractor/trailers on this road which will definitely lower the results. This means the person doing 100mph at 6 pm in the evening is ignored as are the cars doing 80mph. Mr Lewis said they were trying to lower the number of motor cyclists killed in Somerset many in their 50s and above who do 85 100mph on this stretch of road. Accidents are ignored if people arent hurt or injured in an accident even if their cars are written off.
Mr Davis reported the tree root that had appeared in the middle of the footpath in Church Road. The Clerk had already reported it and received confirmation that Highways were dealing with it. Mr Davis said an elderly lady tripped and fell over this at the weekend. He had gone out and taken off the top and sprayed a large circle around it. This type of problem should be dealt with immediately. The Clerk will contact Highways again.
Mr Bourke said as we had just received our SID results for the High Street would it be possible to send them to Lydia Howarth at Transporting Programmes so she can see the types of speeding problems we have. The Clerk will send a copy.
7 PLANNING DECISIONS
8 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
The following are comments made by parishioners:
Mrs Whetstone, who had moved to the village one year ago, said it was the thin edge of the wedge. She is horrified. The access points are wrong for the road, there are so many large lorries travelling down Church Road there is bound to be an accident. The entrance/exit to the car park is almost on the second bend.
Andy Voysey said he recognised the strong feelings about this application but he has been working closely with the developer on the car park. This would be very useful to have for the church.
Graham Tate said he had lived in the village for 42 years and the number of times that there has been the need for parking in the field you could count on one hand. The church has a very small congregation which meets only twice a month. The number of people going to church doesnt warrant a car park as there are no more than 4 cars at a time. There was a possibility that the church may possibly, in a few years, no longer be required. He cannot understand why the church wants a car park.
Nick Holbrook said he was totally opposed to the application. He owns the adjacent property to this development. He had read all the comments on the website but there were specific inconsistencies in the planning application. Section 6 said there was no right of way movement which was blatantly wrong. Instead of proposing to connect to the existing foul sewage system they are installing a package treatment plant why, when the existing one runs under the area of the proposed house? They have said there are no protected species on site. He had always thought badgers were a protected species and there is a large badger set in the field. The biological diversity statement says there are no statutory protected sites within 400 metres of the site. There are! This report is not fit for purpose. When they talk about the boundaries they sometimes refer to the site of the proposed house and at others the boundary of the field this could lead to a serious mix up if permission was given to the field rather than specifically the site.
Marcia Clifton said this proposal is outside the building line and the church has always been the end of the village. This development would have a significant impact on what is arguably the best view in the village with Cadbury Fort on the left as you enter the field and Corton Ridge and Western Bampfylde directly in front. It would also ruin the view of the church from the opposite end of the field. This is a historical site of the original village and may hold no significance nationally but it is of considerable importance to the villagers of Sparkford and surrounding areas. The right of way is regularly used by walkers who enjoy the beautiful views and the suggestion of moving a footpath that has been there for centuries is something that shouldnt be considered. The sweetener of the church car park is something that simply isnt required. Parking has never been a problem as only 2 services a month to which there are usually no more than 4 or 5 cars parked outside. The occasional wedding or funeral may have increased numbers of cars but again this has never been an issue in the years Ive lived close by. I would also like to add how disappointing it is that the new owners have already caused considerable damage to the trees and hedgerows that are within the field and also tried to stop walkers entering the field by chaining the gate to prevent access, which resulted in the council becoming involved.
Malcolm Littlewood said there are many reasons given why this planning application should be rejected. This field gives Sparkford church a unique setting in Somerset. He didnt consider the church needed a car park. He was interested to find that there had been a recent change to the name of the applicant to Mr A Hopkins. This doesnt marry up with the person whose house it will be.
Mr Braithwaite said all these comments reiterate the Councillors views which have already been supplied and parishioners have every reason to be anxious. This needs to be stopped before it starts.
Mr Davis said everyone has said what we are all feeling. This will not be good for the village.
Mr Bourke was in total agreement with everything that has been said. There is no value in this application whatsoever. Have we actually got a full and final applicant on this application?
Mr Crawford confirmed the applicant has now been changed to Mr Andrew Hopkins. Mrs Whetstone confirmed she had a conversation about the application with Mr Nick Colbert. Malcolm Littlewood said this was pertinent to how the Area East Planning Committee is run.
Anne Voysey said there was no problem with an applicants name as long as they had the owners permission. The problem was this was in the wrong place to see such a large house.
Mr Crawford asked if there were any further comments. The meeting then took a short break to allow parishioners to leave if they wanted.
b) 14/02586/FUL Erection of two buildings for use
as animal shelters/Feed stores. Land OS 7267 Church Road, Sparkford. Ms Wendy Evans.
c) 14/02481/OUT Erect detached dwelling and form
new access. Land adjoining Longhazel, High Street, Sparkford. Mr & Mrs Clive
d) 14/02556/FUL Residential development of 11
dwellings. Land OS3432 (rear of The Burrows) High Street, Sparkford, BA22 7JH. Mr &
Mrs Nigel Tucker.
Mrs Moojens said she was opposed to the application. There is a lot of water already in the field and with the water draining off the roofs it would only add to the problem. The field is out of the building line and definitely out of order.
Bill Westcott said there was absolutely no infrastructure to support any more developments. The village is not capable of taking any more housing. The school in Queen Camel is overflowing and it is difficult to make an appointment to see a Doctor at the medical centre. There are less jobs here now than there were 10 years ago.
Royston Piper asked what this would add to the village. Mr Crawford
said there would be a demand on the applicant to pay money to the District Council in the
form of a 106 agreement. Some of this money would come back to Sparkford under the aegis
of sport and leisure facilities.
Mike Lewis said the Old Coal Yard was on the market with a £32,000
106 Agreement on the assumption it was going to be commercial buildings but now it has
been purchased by a housing association the Section 106 Agreement needs to be negotiated.
The money raised should solely come to Sparkford.
Mr Crawford said the residents of Apple Cottages were concerned
about run-off of rainwater towards their properties. They were also concerned about
sewage. The tall buildings had windows overlooking their properties.
Mr Bourke said the Parish Council were happy to see more building but we want the services and infrastructure to support them. This is the main reason why we are opposed at the moment until someone puts in the services but this must be done first.
Mrs Moojens said there was a speeding problem in the High Street and it is an accident waiting to happen and any more houses would be dangerous.
e) 14/02654/FUL Change of use of annex to separate
dwelling. Cherry Pie Cottage, Cherry Pie Lane, Sparkford, BA22 7AT. Mr Martin Harcourt.
9 MATTERS ARISING
b) Clearing the river
c) Wessex Water
Mr Bourke said the sewers need replacing if they are permeable to
surface water ingression.
10 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
11 CORRESPONDENCE None had been received.
12 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Clerk is currently awaiting contact from the Local Area Team at the Highways Agency in relation to the cattle grid at Hazlegrove School.
Andy Voysey said at the Parochial Church Council meeting they discussed that the one thing the village didnt have was a War Memorial and would like to ask the Parish Council to support a fund raising drive, over 4 years, to raise money to honour the five Sparkford men who lost their lives in the First World War. It was agreed that Mr Voysey would put an article in the Parish Newsletter to inform parishioners about this. It was also agreed to put this matter on the Agenda in September/October to discuss it further.
Mr Davis raised the issue of the speed of lorries going down Church Road, especially at the corner by the church. Mr Braithwaite agreed that the size of the lorries was too large for this road and bend they were articulated tankers. It was agreed that the Clerk write to Gregory Distribution at Evercreech Junction who own these milk tankers to explain the situation. Mr Lewis said to contact Sharon Edwards who is the General Manager.
13 QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM COUNCILLORS There were none.
14 ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
15 DATE OF NEXT MEETING