Present: Cllrs L Bennett, P Clark, D Coffin, I Houston, T Hunt, S Longdon and J Thomas.
In Attendance: County Cllr R Legg, T Chapman (Parish Clerk) and one member of the public.
- Welcome and to receive apologies for absence
The Clerk welcomed the Councillors and member of the public to the meeting. No apologies were submitted, all in attendance.
- To elect a Chairperson of the Council
Cllr I Houston proposed Cllr L Bennett, Cllr S Longdon seconded. Cllr L Bennett kindly accepted the office of Chairperson. The Clerk will deliver the acceptance for for her to sign.
- To elect a Vice Chairperson of the Council
Cllr L Bennett proposed Cllr I Houston, Cllr P Clark seconded. Cllr I Houston kindly accepted the office of Vice Chairperson. The Clerk will deliver the acceptance form for him to sign.
- To appoint representatives to outside bodies
- Tree Preservation Officer: Cllr D Coffin
- Pennant and Heritage: Cllr T Hunt
- Rights of Way/ Footpaths Officer: Cllr S Longdon
- Village Hall Representative: Cllr J Thomas
- Planning Representative: Cllr P Clark
- To appoint councillors to Working Groups
- Planning Working Group: All Councillors will review the applications. No working group needed.
- Playing Field Working Group: Cllrs L Bennett, P Clark and S Longdon. Cllr D Coffin is happy to help with the playing field inspections in September.
- Village Plan Working Group: Cllrs L Bennett, T Hunt and I Houston
- To consider the payment of any subscription falling to be paid annually
It was agreed to continue the membership of DAPTC and automatically renew the Parish Council Insurance, LCN and Amazon services for the website. (The Parish Council's long term contract for the insurance ends September 2021.)
It was suggested it would be a good idea to have a nominated person to check the signage throughout the village is in good order. Cllr S Longdon kindly volunteered for this task. The restricted access sign at the junction of Back Lane and Underdown is missing. The Clerk is happy to report the missing sign. Action: Clerk
- To receive declarations of interest or grants of dispensation
Cllr P Clark declared an interest in the planning application WD/20/001302.
- To approve the minutes of the previous meeting
The Clerk noted a member of the public attending the previous meeting felt the statement concerning residents tidying up the garden of 3 Cross Road is misleading. The statement did not clarify specifically if it referred to the Cross Road residents or village residents that would tidy up and it was not possible to do so as the owner is not known in order to provide permission. The Clerk suggested the statement is retracted, all in favour. With this change the minutes were approved by the Councillors and signed by the Chairperson, Cllr L Bennett, as a true record of the meeting.
- To consider and comment on Dorset Council Planning Applications
WD/D/20/001302 Stoford: Change of use from railway to leisure. No objections raised
WD/D/20/001057 Clifton Maybank: Renewable energy scheme Cllr I Houston sent an email to all the Cllrs summarising the virtual meeting Cllr L Bennett and I Houston had with Kelly Clutterbuck, Head of UK Development for Voltalia. Cllr I Houston discussed with Ms Clutterbuck the importance that the open spaces and agriculture land is to many residents living in the countryside and the emotional impact that a development on that scale would have; and that the national policy has favoured such projects over the support of small farmers and local food production. The other issues raised concerned access to the site from Stoford, via a listed and frequently damaged narrow bridge at one end and a low 12ft 6in railway bridge from the other. There will be an ecological impact of which Ms K Clutterbuck assured the Cllrs they will do their best to mitigate the impact.
Cllr I Houston mentioned he was disappointed to see that Dorset Highways had no comments or objections to the traffic management plan. Cllr R Legg suggested the Parish Council finds out where the large equipment/lorries are coming from and their most direct. Action: Cllr I Houston
Cllr I Houston noted the objection from the resident of Clifton House were interesting and he will follow-up with them to discuss the ecological impact in further detail. Action: Cllr I Houston
Voltalia has a scheme to support local community projects in order to benefit the areas they impact.
The Clerk will check with the Clerk to Stoford & Barwick to ask if they have any issues other than their objections concerning the narrow bridge within their boundary. Action: Clerk
District Cllr R Legg will follow-up with highways.
It was resolved to object to the application.
- To discuss the telephone box repairs and purpose
The refurbishment is progressing very well. The Parish Council approved the request for materials costing an estimated £500.00 - £600.00. Cllrs J Thomas and S Longdon will work together to resolve the purpose for the telephone box. Action: Cllrs J Thomas & S Longdon
The Clerk will forward the suggestions and contacts to Cllr J Thomas. Action: Clerk
- Officer Reports
Trees: Cllr L Bennet had nothing to report
Footpaths: Cllr S Longdon reported R. Down did an excellent job repairing Fanny Brook’s Lane. All footpaths are slightly overgrown but passable. The Clerk will write to Mr Down to thank him. The cost was £50.00. Action: Clerk
Village Hall: Cllr T Hunt reported the committee has been unable to hold a meeting. The Clerk reported the hall will be closed to organisations, excluding the Pre School until September. There has been a loss of income and hopefully they can access grants to replace it.
County Cllr R Legg reported after contacting the Dorset/Somerset Fishing Authority it is permissible to fish all along River Yeo through Bradford Abbas from the southern bank. The fishing authority is not aware of the new owners. Cllr R Legg will contact the owners to discuss this in further detail. He also stated that it is disappointing that not many applications are put forward to Committee.
Cllr R Legg asked if he is needed for the rest of the meeting. Cllr L Bennett suggested the item concerning the footpath behind the Grange is discussed while Cllr R Legg in in attendence. All agreed.
Cllr L Bennett, T Hunt, Country Cllr R Legg and a representative from the Primary School met with the owners of the field behind the Grange to get a better understanding of their concerns. Cllr L Bennett summarized the meeting.
At the time of the meeting the school did not have a key to access the sports field. Dorset Council, on behalf of the SAST, had not sprayed weeds until the 10th of June, after it was reported by Cllr J Thomas some of her roses were inadvertently sprayed. DC does not normally spray the path along the wall of Tudor Cottage. It remains unknown who is spraying the weeds in the footpath to the field.
The Cllrs had a few suggestions that would allow access to the river: the possibility of an agreement between the Parish Council and owners of the field in order to use the traditional route near the river, with the consent of the owners, it becomes a permissive path and the Parish Council’s indemnity insurance covers the area, or perhaps the definitive map / route could be moved along the river, although this is a lengthy process. It was resolved not to take any action at this time.
Cllr R Legg noted the 1965 ROW deed showed the footpath must be 8ft wide, presumably for equipment accessing the primary school’s sports field. He felt modern equipment may struggle if the path were only 8ft wide.
(Cllr R Legg left the meeting)
- To discuss local footpaths issues
- Wyke Farm Area
Nothing to report. The Clerk noted there is a narrow path through the maize fields left for walkers all the way to Sherborne. Cllr I Houston will ask Mr A Dallas to attend the September PC Meeting in order to discuss his operations and the some of the challenges the village faced over the past year. Action: Cllr I Houston
- Fanny Brooks Lane
The Parish Council very much appreciates all the work Mr Down has put into the repairs.
- East Farm Right of Way Case
Cllr L Bennett received an email asking if the footpath at East Farm is open to walk as they found the entrance gate closed and locked. The Clerk forwarded the query to V Penny (Dorset Council) and from the reply the Clerk remains uncertain the legal standing on walking the route. Cllr L Bennett read aloud parts of the emails between Cllr R Legg and V Penny. After a lengthy discussion the Councillors came to the understanding until the Right Of Way is “confirmed” it is not permissible to walk the route. It continues to be a long way down the list to be put before the Inspectorate after the objections were put forward and looking unlikely it will be resolved before 2024. The Clerk will email Cllr R Legg to ask if there is another way to present the case or contact the Inspectorate. Action: Clerk
Cllr I Houston noted some time ago the Guardian was running a campaign concerning definitive footpath order applications in the future. Cllr I Houston is happy to follow-up on this. Action: Cllr I Houston
- Footpath behind the Grange
This item was discussed earlier in the meeting.
Cllr L Bennett suggested the meeting ended at this point and continued next week. It was unanimously agreed to continue on the 21st July at 7:30pm.
The Clerk requested before the meeting closes the Councillors discuss the payments for July. Cllr T Hunt proposed and Cllr I Houston seconded to accept the payments proposed.
The Clerk also noted she received an email concerning the stated of traffic mirror at the junction of Back Lane and Church Road. It is foggy, cannot be cleaned and should be replaced. The cost of a replacement is approximately £85. All agreed to purchase the traffic mirror. Action: Clerk
Meeting ended 9:35pm
Proposed July & August Payments:
£ 45.00 Internal Auditor
£155.80 KM Dike invoice per month
£220.00 Clerk's wage 4 & 5
£ 25.00 approximately £25.00 per month for the LCN website costs
£ 50.00 Footpath repairs
£345.48 DAPTC Annual Subscription
£205.09 Clerk's expenses
- Wyke Farm Area