SWAINSTHORPE PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF MEETING HELD
MONDAY 3rd NOVEMBER 2014
AT ST. PETER’S CHURCH
Councilors: Janet Flower (Chairperson); Tony Talby (Clerk); Graeme Johnson; Paul Frost; David Chapman; Glynis Frost
District Councilor Laura Webster
23 members of the public
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from Mr. Colin Foulger
The minutes of the last meeting of the 1st September 2014, having been posted and circulated, were taken as read, passed, and signed by the chairperson, after a correction to the date.
Chairperson Janet Flower thanked those responsible for clearing and weeding around the milestone: Doreen Holman and Glynis Frost
Paul Frost began by telling Council about a meeting at the Lafarge Mangreen quarry that afternoon and briefly covered their plans for extension but, since he needed to study the documents further, will bring up anything needing attention at the next meeting.
Paul Frost gave a report on the matters planning applications of The Holdings and the former Averill’s garage site (see attached) On the issue of the waste water from the unapproved car wash at Averill’s garage being allowed to drain into the water course, David Chapman said this might also be a matter for Anglia Water and is an environmental issue. The matter of the signage on the roadside has also been reported to South Norfolk Council.
The next topic was the field adjacent to the Sugar Beat/Dun Cow public house.
Paul Frost distributed a sketch map to members.
He reported having met Mr. Cruickshank on site and that the roadway built around the field looked very much like tarmac but was probably best described as hardstanding. He understood that an access road for agricultural purposes might be permitted, but saw no reason for the roadway.
Mr Cruickshank stated that the field drains had been dug because there was a problem with the pub car park flooding. The reason he gave for the roadway was access to livestock. Paul Frost also reported that Mr Cruickshank (having read the minutes of the last Parish Council meeting on the noticeboard) had been to see him to complain about our discussion of his business without asking him first. He was invited to come to this meeting.
Retrospective planning permission had now been received from Mr. Cruickshank.
He had stated that there was no change of use from agricultural, stated that the roadway was for livestock, and had answered no to all questions, including waste being removed from the site. Paul Frost had telephoned and e-mailed the planning department at South Norfolk to discuss this issue.
David Chapman asked if pig sheds would need planning permission and Laura Webster said she would check.
At this point, Mr Cruickshank having arrived, the chairperson invited questions from the public.
Yvonne Folcard asked Mr. Cruickshank why the road way was in a semi-circle around the field. The reply was that a television programme had suggested this would lead to more profit. Mr Cruickshank also expanded on various plans for the plot, including 100 chickens, pigs, which he said were very clean animals, and sheep, rotated around the field for efficiency. Yvonne Folcard remarked how small the field was for this, and a discussion ensued about ringing or tethering pigs, and how so many animals could be kept.
Jean Yaxley commented that the work had been done without planning permission and that there had been damage to agricultural land. She also brought up the smell, and being so close to the restaurant. Mr Cruickshank replied that it is agricultural land, so could not be built on or made use of. He had dug new ditches and reshaped the land for drainage and there were no puddles now. Jean Yaxley complained that he had dug so close to her property that damage had been done and that water was now running down Briar Lane. There followed a discussion about the ditching with Mr Cruickshank claiming to have improved drainage for everybody and that a river used to run down Briar Lane, and Jean Yaxley countering that that nothing was done for her.
Linda Pountain raised several objections, including the lack of detail on the planning application, the use of the proposed altered vehicular access from the A140 being unsuitable and issues around animal excrement. She also noted that the hugely substantial nature of the construction work done is totally out of proportion to any stated purpose for it.
Tony Roffe then confronted Mr Cruickshank with his lack of consideration for his neighbours or care for the village. He said his property was adjacent to the field and the smell of pigs would be bad for him, and also for customers of the pub. Mr Cruickshank that historically there had been pigs there but it was suggested this was before other development. Tony Roth asked why not grow crops and show some respect for people. There was then a discussion about Prior Notice and Mr Cruickshank claimed he did not know that he needed permission for the work he had done.
Paul Frost consulted Laura Webster about the possibility of conditions being attached if an access road was allowed. She said that planning permission was needed for the access road as well as the road around the field, and that the Highways Department would need to be consulted about traffic from the A140.
Various members of the public voiced their opinions about the smell and fly nuisance from animals in their experience. After some discussion and Mr Cruickshank saying he just bought the field because it was beside his pub, Janet Flower asked him if he was going to withdraw his application with regard to animals.
Mr Cruickshank then stated that he would be happy not to put animals on the site, and agreed that he would plant crops and herbs.
Mr Yaxley then asked if the name of the pub could be changed but that was thought out of the question. Mrs Yaxley then asked if he would take up the path, but was told it was needed.
Richard Rampton suggested that crops didn’t need a path but caravans do.
David Chapman said he was pleased to hear that animals would not be kept, and Laura Webster clarified that planning permission was necessary for the access road as well as the road around the field. It was then established that such application would need to justify the need for such works. There was more discussion of the reasons and Laura Webster said that Mr Cruickshank would need to talk to the planning department. It was noted by members of the public that the track laid was out of all proportion for what was needed and that nothing at all should have been done without permission. The chairperson then said that the discussion should come to an end but Mr Cruickshank continued that the land was all overgrown when he bought it and that it was not seen or overlooked. He also said that all hedges will be reinstated and that he was not here to upset anyone. Tony Roffe pointed out that he seemed to have upset everyone and that there were concerns that something different will be done with the field.
At this point the chairperson closed the discussion.
Clerk Tony Talby reported the receipt of £2,500 precept from South Norfolk Council with an additional £80 from central government.
He has paid out £35 for the electric bill, £65 to Mr. Lincoln for hedge cutting along the A140 to the bus stop, and the replacement of a light bulb. He reported amounts in the current account of £9,345 and the deposit account of £13,615.
The certification of the audit has been received.
A request for a donation has been received from the NARS and an amount of £25 was proposed and agreed.
Correspondence regarding the precept has been finalised (? Jan)
It is proposed to keep the precept the same.
Paul Frost asked whether money would be lost from the recycling bins now that the council is collecting glass, and whether this shouldn’t be taken into consideration. Tony Talby said that the amount was only £250 a year so did not intend to alter the precept.
CHARITY TRUST UPDATE
David Chapman updated the Council on the matter of the path from the road to the church/community facility. This is the next stage of the project covering the transformation of the church for use by all the community.
He gave Council members copies of a sketch map and the quotes received from three contractors regarding the resurfacing work, and explained the different areas of responsibility covering what is now gravel path. The Highways Authority has agreed to do some patching of the area from the road, and the proposal was put forward to provide a pathway to the side of the present gravel, to be a hard surface usable by everybody. This as a more cost-effective alternative to taking up the whole gravel area. There is also an advantage in respect of drainage to not hard-surfacing the whole area. However, this pathway would encroach on what is common land, so that must be cleared with the proper authorities.
The meeting with the Highways Department also raised the issue of the general lack of drains, and this will be looked at.
Addressing the funding, Tony Talby said that £1,000 is available from the Parochial Committee, and two amounts which Laura Webster said would be available from South Norfolk of £680 and £2,000. This total of £3,680 left a shortfall of £3,748. It was proposed that the Parish Council put up £2,000 and the Charity Trust the remaining £1,748. This motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
David Chapman continued that there has been a decision to shelve the idea of a new storage shed as various difficulties have arisen, and concentrate on the next stage of what will be done with the North Aisle, the outside toilet and kitchen, both of which were intended to be temporary, but firstly the pathway. There is a suggestion of extending out from the North Door to encompass the toilet and form a “reception area”. Money not spent on the shed will be put to better use and it was agreed that the path is the priority.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was some further discussion of the land adjoining the Sugar Beat, particularly of access to and from the main road. It was proposed that the emphasis of the Council’s objections to South Norfolk would be the issue of traffic and livestock.
David Chapman told the Council about a letter from local MP Richard Bacon, who is fighting for local communities to have more say in speed limits. They should be able to adjust the limits by 10mph on their own. The topic of a 40 instead of 50mph limit on the A140m through the village has been previously discussed and urged by this Council, as has the enforcement of the 30 limit on Church Road. The question of the cost of special signage for this was discussed. From the floor Bernadette Harvey said that the need for reducing speed was essential. Laura Webster mentioned that some villages are sharing the cost of the expensive equipment which we may like to consider, maybe with Newton Flotman.
Janet Flower then told Council that the church was going to be open at weekends in future and was concerned about all the things that belong to the community hall which are left there. Clearly the church can put away its valuables but it would not be possible to remove everything in the kitchen, etc. Tony Talby said these concerns should be taken back to the Parochial Church Council and wondered whether our insurance would cover loss if the doors are left open. Andy Haggith, from the Parochial Church Council, thought not, but said that the English Heritage grant meant that we had to be open on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. This will be discussed further.
Janet Flower closed the meeting with thanks to all.