Houghton Parish Council Minutes of Meeting 3 March 2014


  Draft Minutes of a meeting held on Monday 3rd March 2014 at Houghton Village Hall

Present:Cllr P Page (Chairman), Cllr I Burt (Vice Chair), Cllr A Young, Cllr T Scougall, Cllr G Butler, 

Cllr P Kennesion, Mrs B Barker (Clerk), Mr B Standfield, Chairman VHMC and 15 members of the public

13/14Apologies:  were received from Cllr C Bradby, TVBC Cllr P Boulton and HCC Cllr A Gibson

14/14Declarations of Interest/Amendment to Registration of Financial Interests

There were no changes to the record. 

15/14Approval of minutes of the meeting held on 06 January 2014

The minutes of the meeting held on 06 January, having been circulated previously, were agreed and signed by the chairman. 

16/14Matters arising from the meeting of 06 January 2014

New access to Recreation Ground

Cllr Scougall confirmed that the new gate had been erected.  Fencing needs to be completed


The clerk had not received any response from the highways engineer, John Clarke with regard to the request to meet with Cllr Bradby and Houghton Fishing Club to discuss flooding at Chapel Close/Willow House and painting the bridge. Regarding the flooding at North Houghton, John Clarke had confirmed he would raise an order with Keith Thompson in Highways dept. for a discharge pipe.  The clerk had spoken with Keith Thompson who was not aware of this.  However, there has not been an issue at this site during the most recent floods. Cllr Butler advised that Houghton Fishing Club ought to clear the ditch across their land.  It was agreed to contact them in a couple of months when water levels have diminished.

Ovegrown Bridleway between Houghton Down and Broughton Footpath

Cllr Burt had asked Daniel Busk to cut back the overgrown hedge.  He had explained that he preferred to let the hedge grow to stop vehicles using the track.  Cllr Burt explained that it was impassable to horses and asked for it to be cut back to allow for this.  He confirmed that it was the responsibility of Richard Monk.  Richard Monk advised Cllr Burt that this was not the case and she had e mailed Daniel again and was waiting a response.  Cllr Burt to chase up.  

Laburnam Tree at Houghton Farmhouse

Cllr Young had contacted TVBC and had been advised that, if a tree exceeds 75mm in diameter at a height of 1.5m and is in a conservation area then permission should be sought for any works to it.  Cllr Young had informed the landowner that he should have sought permission to fell the Laburnum.  Cllr Page reminded everyone that the Parish Council likes to see new planting where a tree has been felled.

Kissing gate at Church Lane

        Cllr Young had contacted Peter Watson in Hampshire Highways dept and he agreed to take a look.

Cllr Young to follow up


The following correspondence had been received and copied to councillors:

HALCInvitation to Annual Conference

HALCJanuary & February updates

HALCVillage of the year competition

HCCInvitation to meeting re transport service 15/3/14

HCCConsultation on draft revised Statement of Community Involvement

HCCCllr Gibson’s January and February reviews

HCCWithdrawal of mobile library service for Houghton at end 2014

HCCSwitch Hampshire Scheme

TVBCGreen Infrastructure Strategy consultation

The following correspondence had been received and made available at meeting

Clerk & Councils DirectJanuary issue

TVBCPublic Open Space Review – TVBC is undertaking a review of the Public Open Space projects listed within each parish.  Clerk to respond

TVBCSummary of 106 payments – The clerk had received this summary showing that section 106 payments had been received in relation to planning application number 13/01130/FULLS – The Annexe at Rosemary Cottage: £590.34 for informal recreation, £820.79 for sports ground/formal recreation and £461.08 for playspace.  The clerk had e mailed TVBC to establish whether the Parish Council could apply for the funds.  Clerk to obtain response.

Mayor of Test ValleyInvitation to Grand Ball 03 May 2014

HCCInvitation to ‘Paths for Partnership’ conference – Being held on 05 June 2014 – working with parishes to manage countryside access and rights of way

Friends of All Saints Flower Festival  – Invitation to do a flower arrangement for the Festival on 14th June.  Cllrs to find somebody who could do an arrangement on behalf of the Parish Council.

Mr Ian HannamE mail regarding lime tree in recreation ground – Mr Hannam from Stevens Drove had complained that the tree in the recreation ground was blocking all light into his garden.  Cllr Young confirmed the council did not have a legal obligation to keep the tree cut back in order to allow light into gardens.  However, Cllr Butler, Cllr Young, Cllr Kennesion and Brian Standfield had inspected the Lime and Horse Chestnut trees in the recreation ground and there did appear to be some disease in the Horse Chestnut.  He had contacted the arborculturalist team at TVBC and been advised to instruct a tree surgeon from their registered list to inspect it.  Cllr Young had contacted a local tree surgeon with a ‘level 3’ qualification to inspect the trees and report.  Cllr Young to take forward


No new applications had been received since the January meeting.

The following decisions had been notified since the January meeting:

13/02786/TREESRosemary CottReduce Silver BirchPermission

Pending Consideration:

13/01458/FULLSFour WindsOutline for 4 dwellings

The application had been considered at the Southern Planning Committee meeting on 18/2/14 with the officer recommending ‘permission’.  The clerk confirmed that a section 106 payment of £18083 was being sought by Highways to construct a footpath alongside Mayfield House.  Cllr Burt confirmed that the council had written to the Highways dept. objecting to the footpath.  The clerk also confirmed that a section 106 payment of £520,520 had also been  requested by TVBC (Housing contribution).

13/02790/FULLSRoman Road 46 dwellings

The clerk advised that the council had written to TVBC objecting to the application.  A copy of the letter was available should parishioners wish to view. 


Bank Balances as per bank statements:      £

Business Instant Access Account as at 10 February 20149850.29

Treasurer’s Account as at 22 January 2014   759.43

The following accounts require authorisation to pay:

Mrs B Barker – January/February Salary + £60 expenses   420.00

T Bonnar – Website fees (replacement chq 000612)          22.22

Cheque number 000612 dated 13/05/2013 had been stopped (lost)

Receipts since last meeting:

VAT Repayment   105.57

Predicated balances once all cheques presented£10167.50

20/14Parish Matters – Councillors

Cllr Butler was very pleased that the village had not been substantially affected by the flooding.  He formally thanked Cllr Burt for her efforts with regard to the Solar Farm planning application.  The council joined him in acknowledging her hard work.

Cllr Young confirmed he had carried out a visual inspection of the playground and there were no issues to report.  He advised that he had been asked by a number of people about the local plan and the inclusion of the site between Orchard Cottage and Forge Cottage in the settlement boundary.  His personal view initially was that he agreed that it should be included.  He had then swayed against that view but now felt that it should be included on the basis that, given the need for housing, it is likely to be developed in the future.

Cllr Gibson – the clerk confirmed that Cllr Gibson had asked her to advise the council that he is still trying to establish who is responsible for the Horse Chestnuts at The Mill.

Cllr Page reminded everyone that Cllr Scougall had lots of packets of poppy seeds to give away.  It had been suggested to him that a competition might be held to encourage the poppy planting and a display of photographs of the poppies in bloom

21/14Parish Matters – Parishioners

Village Hall Report – Brian Standfield was pleased to be able to advise the council that a new range cooker had been ordered for the village hall and new wall lights (dimmers) had been installed.  The hall had 85 new chairs and donations for a further 2.  The minimum order is for 5 so further donations are needed. 

Mr Gosse advised that the ditch adjacent to Orchard Cottage had silted up and the bend at the allotments was flooding badly.  A discussion was then had about the build up of water at the war memorial and the overgrown ditches between Bossington Estate offices and River Cottage. The clerk will e mail Highways dept and ask for these works to be put on their list.

Mrs Harper felt that one bottle bank in the village was not enough.  At Christmas it had been full.  Cllr Scougall explained the reason for reducing the number of bins from three to one was to accommodate the new access at the recreation ground.  The bottle bank was being emptied once a week.  However she would contact TVBC to ask them to empty more regularly if necessary. 

Mr Woodall was very pleased with the plans for the church.  He had met with a landscape architect who had produced a plan.  A topographical survey had been carried out identifying all of the graves and trees etc.  The next project is to restore the pumphouse.  He was very happy that the village was ‘engaged’ and a further working party had been arranged for early April. 

Mrs Gosse asked what the Transport meeting will be about on 15th March.  She was worried that the village may lose services.  The clerk explained that the passenger transport forums are held regularly but would check the agenda.

22/14Local Plan

Comments on the draft of the Revised Local Plan need to be submitted by 7th March.  Cllr Page explained that the recent version of the settlement boundary drawn up by TVBC differed from the Parish Council’s suggested boundary as follows:  1.  TVBC had excluded the southern end of the village, finishing the boundary at River Cottage.  2.The piece of land between Orchard Cottage and Forge Cottage had been included in the boundary.  

Cllr Page read a letter from Mr Stephens and Mr Standfield that had been sent to the Parish Council as well as TVBC putting the case forward that the plot was an overgrown allotment and not countryside.  Mr Stephens and Mr Standfield were hoping to purchase the land from the landowner and erect two modest houses.  Members of the council felt that this would be preferable to the land being overdeveloped.  Mr Shaun Bradby pointed out that including it in the boundary might lead to the land being sold to the highest bidder and several large houses built on it.  Mr Woodall felt that, including this parcel of land and developing it would set a precedent and give rise to further linear development in the village. The council was asked if the land could be developed even if it was excluded from the settlement boundary.  The clerk explained that, land outside the settlement boundary could only be developed in exceptional circumstances such as 100% affordable housing or community led development.  Councillors took a vote on whether they were satisfied with the version of the settlement boundary and all agreed they were.  The clerk to comment via online submission to TVBC.

23/14Proposed Solar Farm

Cllr Page explained that the application had a number of errors and Kronas had been asked to address these.  Cllr Burt confirmed that they had until 7th March to do this.  She had spoken to Kronas and it had been confirmed that the amended plans and documents would be received by TVBC in a day or two, after which time the parish council would have 28days to comment.  Cllr Burt and Sarah Hendy from Broughton Parish Council had spent a great length of time identifying the errors within the application and submitted their comments to TVBC.  The case officer had written to Kronas detailing the areas that needed to be addressed.  Cllr Burt advised that two people (one being the owner of Marshcourt) had written to TVBC objecting to this as they felt that the application should have been rejected given that it was seriously defective.  They felt that it gave the appearance of  bias in favour of the applicant.   Cllr Burt confirmed that, should the amended application contain errors, she would not be prepared to scrutinise again and report back with the various shortcomings and would recommend that the application be refused.

Cllr Burt then explained that the parish council was considering the ‘Unilateral Undertaking’.  She made it clear that this was a totally separate matter to the planning application and was being sought ‘without prejudice’.  A team of people including Cllrs Burt, Page and Butler along with Thomas Graham and Charles Burt were working with members of Broughton Parish Council to negotiate the best arrangement for both villages.  They had held a conference call with Kronas and asked for a substantial amount.  It had not been agreed whether to ask for a one-off payment or yearly payments.  Instalments over the life of the solar farm might not be feasible given that Kronas are likely to sell the development on.  They were investigating whether a contract could be set up with the landowner. Cllr Burt confirmed that TVBC would not underpin any contact and that it would need to be between the Parish Councils and the company. 

The meeting closed at 9.10pm