Minutes 10th October 2017

Meeting held on Tuesday 10th October at 7.00 pm in Storridge Village Hall


Councillors Geoffrey Fielding (Chairman), Fred Beard, Ann Carver, Alan Eldridge, Wynne Harries, Tanya Lloyd-Jones, Anne Scarsbrook, Derek Scully, Geoff Thomas.

In attendance

Lynda Wilcox (HALC Clerk Cover)

20 members of the public.

1. Apologies for absence were received from Bruce Herriott and Simon Davies. It was noted that Cheryl Lambert had resigned due to work commitments.

2. Declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation … There were none.

3. Minutes of previous meeting held on 12th September

It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes subject to the following amendments:

3.1 Page 2 … Delete items 6.2 and 6.3.

3.2 Page 3 … Item 8.6 … Delete ‘Chairman’ and insert “Dr Herriot”. Delete ‘the chairman’s house’ and insert “Cradley Village Hall”.

3.3 Page 4 … Item 10 … Delete ‘the chairman’ and insert “Wynne Harries”.

The chairman then signed the minutes as a true record and initialled the amendments.

4. Open Session:

4.1 Guest Speaker … Mike Emery – Director NHS/CCG Herefordshire gave a very informative presentation on current matters in relation to the NHS and CCG and answered questions from those present.

4.2 Ward Councillor … It was noted that Councillor Patricia Morgan had resigned and an election would be held for a new Ward Councillor.

4.3 Local residents’ views on parish matters:

4.3.1 Detailed discussion took place on current road works and detours due to road closures.

4.3.2 Concerns were raised about planning applications 5.1 and 5.2 below.

5. Planning

5.1 Application P172366/F … Land at (part) Shuttifield Coppice, Storridge. Proposed creation of ‘holiday use’ within woodland. Three yurts with welfare facilities, including bio-disk treatment unit and reed beds.

PC COMMENT: Cradley Parish Council unanimously RESOLVED to strongly oppose the application for the following reasons:

5.1.1 It conflicts with Cradley NDP Policy 5:AONB … because it would adversely affect the intrinsic natural beauty of the landscape, does not promote the economic and social well-being of the designated area and their communities neither does it enhance the quality of the landscape or biodiversity.

5.1.2 It conflicts with Cradley NDP Policy 6: Local Wildlife Sites … because the development proposals would directly affect this wildlife site and the application does not demonstrate that there would be no harm to the substantive nature conservation value of the site nor that appropriate mitigation and compensatory measures could be taken nor that the reasons for the development clearly outweigh the need to safeguard the nature conservation value of the site.

5.1.3 The development would adversely affect the natural habitat of wild ducks, buzzards, badgers, dormice, roosting bats and great crested newts.

5.1.4 The road is a converted track and the last section is privately owned. There could be a 40% increase in traffic by motorists not used to country tracks coupled with a blind bend.

5.1.5 Traffic accessing the yurts would have to pass all the current properties on the track.

5.1.6 Limited parking places (4) would cause a problem.

5.1.7 The development would cause light pollution, both from the yurts themselves in a very rural location and from the headlights of cars accessing the development.

5.1.8 Noise problems would occur from holidaymakers partying and playing loud music, possibly late at night and into the early hours of the morning.

5.1.9 Anti-social behaviour from the holidaymakers could pose a problem because the site owners live several miles away and would not therefore be able to nip it in the bud.

5.1.10 Mobile phone reception is almost non-existent which would cause a problem if medical or other assistance was required by the holidaymakers.

5.1.11 Any form of development in this tiny rural hamlet would set a precedent for the future.

5.2 Application P173290/F … Land to North of Chapel Lane, Cradley. Proposed erection of 3 new dwelling houses.

PC COMMENT: Cradley Parish Council unanimously RESOLVED to strongly oppose the application because it conflicts with many policies in their NDP but in particular:

5.2.1 The proposal conflicts with Cradley NDP Policy 1: Settlement Boundary … because it is outside the settlement boundaries defined on the Cradley village Policies Map.

5.2.2 The proposal conflicts with Cradley NDP Policy 2: Housing Provision … because it is not in an area defined as having a moderate, high or very high capacity to accommodate development and does not make a positive contribution to the landscape setting. Furthermore, it does not comprise affordable housing on a rural exception site, is not essential to agriculture, forestry or other land based employment, nor are the dwellings of exceptional quality or truly innovative.

5.2.3 The proposal conflicts with Cradley NDP Policy 9: Design … because it does not take appropriate account of the setting in terms of bulk and mass, siting, design, materials and boundary treatments, nor does it strengthen the distinctive character of the plan area.

5.2.4 The materials proposed for use are not listed.

5.2.5 Access would require the felling of at least one of a number of oak trees with TPOs and would damage the root system of others.

5.2.6 This application is the first serious challenge to Cradley NDP and the parish council sees it as a test case for the planning officers to uphold the lawfully adopted policies contained within that NDP.

5.3 Application P172602 … Tolcarne, Storridge. Proposed side and rear extension PC COMMENT: No objection.

5.3.1 Brick for the extension needs to match the existing house.

6. New website

6.1 Members received a verbal report from the Risk Management Working Group and noted that three quotations had been obtained and considered. Members unanimously RESOLVED to follow the Working Group recommendation to request Eyelid Productions to set up a new interactive word press website for Cradley Parish Council.

7. Review of Standing Orders

It was RESOLVED that HALC be requested to double check the content of the draft Standing Order, in readiness for adoption at the next meeting.

8. Finance

8.1 Six-monthly review of finances … Cllr Geoff Thomas was having difficulty in reconciling some figures. A Finance Working Group Meeting was scheduled for 19th October and matters would hopefully become clearer then.

8.2 Review of Financial Regulations … It was RESOLVED that HALC would double check the content of the draft Financial Regulations in readiness for adoption at the next meeting.

8.3 It was RESOLVED to pay the following invoices:

8.3.1 HALC Training (£200+£40 VAT) & Meeting Cover £164.85+£32.97 VAT)

8.3.2 Bromyard Timber & Fencing £188.90+£32.78 VAT … repairs on recreation field.

8.3.3 Cradley Village Hall hire charges £63.00.

8.3.4 Lengthsman – J Phillips – £983.26.

8.3.5 New projector £224.99+£45 VAT.

8.3.6 Office sundries £22.16+£4.43 VAT.

8.3.7 It was RESOLVED to purchase a Pin Oak Tree £71.94.

9. Working Group Reports

9.1 It was RESOLVED to merge the Lengthsman/P3 Working Group with the Recreation Working Group to form a Village Infrastructure Working Group. Members would be Geoff Fielding, Derek Skully and Geoff Thomas.

9.2 Environment … It was RESOLVED to put the Working Group into abeyance until Spring 2018.

9.3 Small Donations … No new matters raised.

9.4 Risk Management … It was RESOLVED that the PC would take control of risk.

9.5 Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) … It was RESOLVED to have a final meeting of the Working Group and close it down by the end of November.

9.6 Village Infrastructure … There was concern that the traffic survey was being undertaken at the wrong time because of the impact of current road closures.

10. Information Sheet … Members noted the sheet which had been prepared by the chairman.

11. CMS Newsletter

Wynne Harries would submit a report on items discussed at the meeting to the newsletter editor.

12. Matters raised for next agenda: 12.1 Fly posting.

12.2 Financial Regulations.

A resolution was passed to exclude the public.

13. Employment Matters

13.1 It was RESOLVED to pay identified outstanding salary payments to the ex-clerk.

13.2 It was RESOLVED to request and follow legal advice re correspondence received relating to the ex-clerk.

13.3 New clerk … It was RESOLVED to hold interviews for the new Clerk/RFO (Responsible Financial Officer) on 27th October, subject to hall availability. The interview Panel would be:

13.3.1 Geoff Fielding.

13.3.2 Wynne Harries.

13.3.3 Ann Scarsbrook.

14. Date of Next Meeting … Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 7.00 pm.