Stanhoe Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday, 29th May 2014 at 6.00pm
in the village Reading Room
Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518409
Mr. T. Austin (TA)
Mrs. P. Austin (PA)
Mrs. R. Brown (RB)
Mr. M. Roche (MR)
Mrs. P. Roche (PR)
Mr. J. Seedhouse (JS)
Mr. D. Bridge (DB)
1. Election of Chairman and Vice-chairman
TA, Chairman, indicated that he would be willing to serve another term. TA was proposed as chairman by PR and seconded by MR. Due to the absence of the existing Vice-chairman following major surgery, it was agreed to postpone the election of a Vice-chairman until a later date. Councillors wanted to record a vote of thanks to TA for all his hard work and for accepting the chairmanship for a further year.
2. To consider apologies for absence
Apologies had been offered by DB due to recent major surgery and were accepted.
3. To consider approval of the Minutes of the last meeting
These were passed and signed by the Chairman.
4. To record declarations of interest from members in any item to be discussed
No declarations made.
5. To adjourn meeting to allow public participation
No public present.
6. Planning Matters
The solar panels at Stanhoe Hall had not been installed in the position shown on the planning application. Following a number of complaints, the parish council had asked the Borough to investigate the matter. The owners had written to the Chairman to explain that the application had been submitted incorrectly by the company due to install the panels and the current position was always what had been intended. A new application is being submitted for the current positioning and will include details of extensive planting to screen the panels from roadside view. The clerk will check with the Borough Planning Dept. if the new application has been received. It should be noted that the parish council does not have the power to refuse planning permission but is merely consulted for an opinion.
An application, for the demolition of the existing Station Farm Cottage and the erection of a replacement dwelling, was withdrawn prior to consideration by the Borough. Neighbours are anxious that any development should have an agricultural restriction placed on it, in line with nearby properties, which would require the dwelling to be occupied full time by an agricultural worker. This restriction has been in place for many years and has been upheld by the Borough in the case of a nearby property.
The application for the erection of three holiday cottages on the site of Mill House, Burnham Road has been recommended for approval by the Borough at their next planning meeting.
7. Update on Jack’s Lane Wind Farm
A Community Liaison Group (CLG) meeting had been held on 21st May in Syderstone. The original contractors appointed had gone into liquidation but new contractors had been appointed and work was progressing.
TA had noticed that, in widening the lane to allow for construction traffic, simple hardcore had been put down which was not what had originally been suggested. It was thought that a system ‘grasscrete’ blocks would be used which allow grass could grow up through them thereby maintaining some sort of green verge. TA would query this with RES.
The domestic electricity discount scheme had been discussed with the criterion for eligibility being that a property should be within 2. 4km of a turbine. Any property outside this limit but with an identical postcode to properties within the limit would also receive the discount. Unfortunately, there are some properties in Stanhoe which will not receive the discount as they are outside the limit and have a separate postcode. TA had raised this matter at the CLG meeting but it seemed that no exceptions could be made as the same situation existed in Syderstone with many more properties being affected.
The community fund of approximately £30k will be allocated using different criteria, yet to be finalised. The fund will be administered by the Norfolk Community Foundation based on decisions made solely by an independent panel of representatives from the areas affected.
8. Year End Accounts
The clerk circulated copies of the accounts for the year ended 31st March 2014. Unusually, there had been an excess of expenditure over income for the year of £948 due to the unexpected need to replace the junior swings in the playground as a result of rotten timbers on the previous ones. The cost, including some other minor repairs, had come to £1,784. By making savings elsewhere, the difference of £836 had been met from the annual precept, however, the overspend had now depleted the funds held in reserve.
There was a query regarding the lack of any donation to the MEHM Trust in 2013/14 (which in recent years had been £100 per year) but, in order to make savings, no donations had been given to any charitable organizations in 2013/14. No other queries were raised. Acceptance of the accounts was proposed by PA, seconded by MR and agreed unanimously.
9. Financial Report & Approval of Payments
The clerk circulated a financial update for the period from 1st April 2014 to the date of the meeting. No queries were raised. Payment was approved for the clerk’s salary.
10. Possible donations to charitable organizations
A number of charities had sent requests for donations. After some discussion, it was agreed that £100 should be donated to the Burnham Market Area Community Car Scheme (BMACCS) which directly benefited many local residents.
A suggestion was made that a possible donation to the MEHM Trust should be for a specific purpose. For some time, the need for repairs to the shed adjacent to the village hall had been discussed. This was the responsibility of the Trust and it was agreed that the clerk would write to the Trust secretary requesting that an estimate be obtained for the necessary repairs. The parish Council could then decide on a level of contribution towards the costs.
An annual subscription had been paid in recent years to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) but this would be increasing substantially in financial year 2014/15. It was agreed that membership of the organization was not necessary so the subscription should be cancelled.
11. To receive items for the next Agenda – meeting of 10th July 2014
Items put forward were:
- Village Emergency Plan
- Repairs to shed and possible contribution to costs
- Increase in dog mess around the village
- Dates & times of future meetings including Annual Parish Meeting
Councillors were reminded that Agenda items could be presented to the clerk up to one week before the meeting date.No other matters were discussed and the meeting closed at 7.15pm. to be followed at 7.30pm. by the Annual Parish Meeting, open to all local residents.