Informal notes from Houghton Parish Council’s July 2014 Meeting

Finance: The Parish Council funds stand at £11749.11.

Matters arising from the previous PC meeting 

– A new contract for grass cutting by ‘A Smith Ageless’ was agreed for £1000 pa, which will give 16 cuts to the playing field/play equipment area and 8 strims of borders/banks.

– It was agreed that £640 +VAT would be spent to have dead branches removed from lime and chestnut trees on the playing field; a further quote will be obtained for ‘crown-lifting’ the chestnut trees.

Planning 

TVBC has notified the Parish Council of the following applications, for which the PC had no objection:

– All Saints Church: tree works

– Blacklake Farm: convert annexe to a holiday let

 – Tiebridge Farm: new porch and doorway

– Windyridge: lawful use of land as materials storage

TVBC has made the following decisions:

– 1 Chapelside Cottage: permission subject to conditions

– All Saints Church: no objection to tree works.

Solar Farm application 

This goes before TVBC Committee on 15 July, with a recommendation by the Planning Officers to refuse the application, the size and scale making an unacceptable impact. The PC will be represented. NB: TVBC voted against the application on 12 August .

Village Hall 

Clare Stevens outlined plans for extending the ‘caged’ area of the hall and installation of a patio; the window in the committee room to be replaced with a door leading to the area at rear of hall.

In response to a question by a villager about finishing off the area around the new gate into the village hall playing field, Clare stated new fencing will be erected shortly.

Playground 

The equipment and surrounding area passed its annual inspection report by Playsafety Ltd. Cllr Alan Young confirmed that the toddler swings are cleaned regularly with disinfectant to remove bird fouling.

Not only….but also… 

–  Some tiles are broken on the bus shelter and a quote will be obtained by the PC for repair; matching tiles are already available.

–  TVBC Cllr Peter Boulton advised that a number of agencies had met at Kings Somborne to discuss the floods in Test Valley and to agree preventative measures . Cllr Geoff Butler also attended this meeting and will meet a representative from the Environment Agency to walk around the village to discuss potential problems. It was suggested that a Flood Committee be set up in the village.

–  Cllr Geoff Butler expressed concern about hedges encroaching on roads. HCC has confirmed it has the authority to force landowners to cut their hedges…. but does not appear to enforce this.

–  A villager raised the on-going issue of the exceptionally high cost charged by Aster Communities to 20 households in Stevens Drove for sewage, Southern Water has refused to adopt the sewage works. HCC Cllr Andrew Gibson suggested that the householders and the Parish Council contact Caroline Noakes MP, who is believed to be assisting householders in Wallop with a similar problem.

–  HCC Cllr Andrew Gibson said HCC has allocated an additional £6 million to deal with highways issues – the PC said the following are high priority:

–  resurfacing road from Bossington Mill to John O’ Gaunt

–  pavement alongside Coopers Farm.

–  flooding adjacent to Tiebridge Farm Cottages.

–  flooding on bend at allotments.

–  drainage and potholes at Drayton Corner.

Next Parish Council meeting 

Monday 1 September 

7.30 pm