Minutes of Houghton Parish Council Meeting 2nd Sept 2013

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 Draft minutes of a meeting held on Monday 2nd September 2013 at Houghton Village Hall


Present:            Cllr P Page (Chairman), Cllr I Burt (Vice Chair), Cllr P Kennesion, Cllr A Young,

Cllr T Scougall, Cllr G Butler, Mrs B Barker (Clerk to the Council), Cllr P Boulton (TVBC) and ten members of the public.


68/13            Apologies:  Apologies were received from Cllr C Bradby, HCC Cllr A Gibson, TVBC Cllr D Busk and Mr B Standfield, Chairman Village Hall Committee


69/13            Declarations of Interest/Amendment to Registration of Financial Interests

There were no changes to the record.


70/13            Presentation by Paul Francis – Local Community Officer (Fire and Rescue)

Mr Francis introduced himself as the safety officer for Test Valley and Eastleigh. New roles had been created for a number of safety officers dedicated to specific areas of Hampshire.  Mr Francis explained that his role was to work with other groups/agencies to try to prevent accidents.  He explained that, in rural areas, thatch fires are a risk and several presentations were being given in the county to help reduce this.  He will send details to the clerk who will pass on the dates/venues.  Mr Francis can be contacted at www.hantsfire.gov.uk


71/13            Approval of minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2013

The minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2013, having been circulated previously, were approved and signed by the Chairman.


72/13            Matters arising from the meeting of 01 July 2013

a)     Sheepbridge            ‘Clean up after your dog’ signs had been erected

b)     Allotments A letter had been sent to the Busk Estate and the Allotments Association confirming that the Parish Council could take no responsibility for the allotment site until a lease was in place.  An acknowledgement of this had been received from Martin Busk.

c)      Mike Rebbeck The clerk had obtained a UTR number for Mr Rebbeck confirming his self-employed status


73/13            The following correspondence had been received and sent to councillors:

HCC/Age Concern                  Food & Friendship Service- asking for volunteers to visit meals on wheels customers – the poster has been displayed and also in village magazine

IMI                  Cenotaph cleaning

HCC                  Guide for parishes –  a “who’s/who for HCC responsibilities

HALC                                                      July update and AGM invitation SAT 19 OCT SPARSHOLT 9-1

HALC                                                      Flood Insurance Consultation

NALC                                                      Draft future strategy for NALC

HCC                                                      Handypersons service –  posted in parish magazine

TVBC                                                      Spotlight on dementia – posted via village e mail and parish magazine

Ordnance Survey                  Online mapping service – signed up

The following correspondence has been received and made available at meeting

Peter Jesset/Greener Leaf                   offered to quote for grasscutting–council agreed to obtain quote. Clerk to obtain

CPRE                  Transport Toolkit

Clerk & Council Direct                  July magazine

Stockbridge Police                  Catherine Bonter replaces Sophie Downie


74/13            Planning

The following applications had been received since the last meeting:

13/01444/FULLS                  Virginia Cottage  – 2 storey extension

PC objected to the above based on materials and impact on surrounding properties

13/01595/FULLS                  Rosemary Cottage  – Erection store

PC had no objection

13/01458/FULLS                  Four Winds  – Outline application for 4 dwellings

PC objected due to access/safety


13/01928/CLES                  Wheelwrights  – Cert of lawful use

PC made no objection to confirming the use of the Wheelwrights site.

 Cllr Page explained that under permitted development a change of use from office to dwelling had been applied for.  Cllr Young confirmed that, as a consequence of the Localism Act, offices could be converted to dwellings with a change of use application that does not require full planning consent.  He, amongst others, had written to Caroline Noakes complaining about this and she had taken it up with the Planning Minister.  The change of use application had been closed as invalid because it did not have a certificate of lawful development (now applied for as above).  Questions were asked about whether the Parish Council would be able to comment on the change of use and whether the adjacent buildings could be converted under ‘permitted development’ or whether it refers to the office building only.  The clerk will seek clarification.


13/01535/FULLS                  Clarendon Cottage  – Garage and store

An application had been made to demolish garage and summer house and replacement garage and garden store.  Cllr Page declared an interest and the application was discussed at the end of the meeting after Cllr Page left the room.  The remaining members of the council had no objection to the application.


13/01919/TREES                    1 Chapelside Cottages  – Fell Poplar

Councillors agreed to inspect tree before making comments.


The following decisions had been notified since the July meeting:


13/00954/FULLS                                    Mayfield House  – 2 storey extension  – Permission

13/01013/FULLS                                    1 Chapelside Cotts  – 2 storey extension  – Permission

13/01113/FULLS                                    Coopers Farm  – Retention metal gate  – Refused – highway safety

13/01222/LBWS                                    Rowans  – Upgrade windows  – Consent

13/01135/LBWS                                    Rowans  – Install woodburner  – Consent


75/13                  FINANCE

Bank Balances as per bank statements: 

Business Instant Access Account @ 09 August 2013  – £8597.78

Parish Council Treasurer’s Account @ 08 August 2013  – £637.62

The following accounts require authorisation to pay:

Mrs B Barker                  Cheque no 620                  July & August Salary  – £240.00

Mr K Jones                  Cheque no 621                  Website fees Feb 13  – £11.11

NB: A total of £40.00 in donations had been received since the July meeting

76/13            Playground Report

Cllr Young had contacted ROSPA with regard to pigeon deterrents.  ROSPA had recommended the use of a number of large cable ties across the bars of swings etc.  Cllr Young will take forward.  He also confirmed that there was a wasp nest in the recreation ground.  Cllr Young had contacted ROSPA who confirmed that, as it was not in the children’s play area it was not necessary to remove it.  Cllr Young had roped off  the area with tape and put up warning signs.

77/13            Village Hall Report

Cllr Scougall explained that her husband had broken his hand and had not yet been able to fix the plates on the recently purchased chairs.  Clare Stephens reported that a new boiler had been purchased thanks to grants from VEOLIA.  It had been installed at the rear of the building leaving more space in the kitchen.  Coffee mornings were continuing, the most recent being in aid of the cadets who had been given £110.

It is hoped that a new vehicular access can be installed near the bottle bank area.  This may mean that the bins will need to be resited.  Clare agreed to take the matter forward with TVBC and HCC.  The clerk confirmed she had spoken with TVBC regarding resiting the bottle bank and been advised that it might be appropriate to remove the three existing bins and replace with one bin which would be emptied weekly.  TVBC had not been able to confirm if there would be a cost involved with this.  

78/13            Village Design Statement

Cllr Page confirmed that I would be presented to the village within the next few weeks

79/13            Solar Farm

A planning application had not yet been submitted but is likely to be by the end of September.  Broughton Parish Council and ‘Broughton Against Kronas Solar’ would like a meeting with Houghton Parish Council once the application is submitted.

Cllr Burt confirmed that she had received correspondence from Kronas Solar addressing the concerns that had been raised with them, including the following:

1.   Kronas confirmed it would switch from a welded wire fence to a deer fence, subject to insurance approval

2.  The fencing will be behind hedges and trees and hidden from external views.

3.  7 acres on the western side would be excluded and turned into a wildflower zone to minimise the visual impact at Beeches/Hildon Road.

4.  Kronas would be flexible with regard to a financial contribution and happy to discuss with Houghton PC

The clerk clarified that the original correspondence from Kronas regarding the financial contribution referred to it as a’Unilateral Undertaking’ between Kronas and TVBC.  TVBC had confirmed that, whilst it is not a Section 106 payment, it is a legal agreement that would be scrutinised by its lawyers.

80/13              Local Plan/Correspondence from Mr and Mrs Stephens and Mr Standfield

Cllr Page reminded those present that TVBC were in the process of drawing up a draft Local Plan and settlement boundary. (The settlement boundary defines the existing settlement).   The Parish Council had submitted its proposal and comments to TVBC following the meeting on 16th April where parishioners participated in drawing up a version of the settlement boundary.  He confirmed that, on 21 August, some members of the council had met with Graham Smith, Planning Policy Manager at TVBC as Mr Smith wanted to show parish councillors his final draft.  During that meeting, Mr Smith explained that the draft did not include the south of the village, extending to Bossington Mill.  Cllr Page confirmed that correspondence had been received from Mr and Mrs Stephens and Mr Standfield asking that the Parish Council request that the land between Forge Cottage and Orchard Cottage be included in the settlement boundary and this had been discussed with Mr Smith at the meeting on 21 August.  It was felt that this plot of land fell outside of the specified criteria and should not be included.  The clerk explained that Mr Stephens had specifically asked that the council address the points in his correspondence and the chairman then read the text of his letters/e mails.  Council agreed that the plot did not fall into the category specified by TVBC as the settlement area and should therefore not be included. (For more information regarding this criteria – refer to the minutes of the meeting on 2nd April) 

81/13              Parish Matters – Councillors

Cllr Young had received complaints about the overgrown brambles along the footpath bordering the Wheelwrights site.  The clerk will con tact the new owners (Houghton Land).

82/13              Parish Matters – Parishioners

Mr Cardoe explained that his planning application for the retention of his gate had been refused and wanted some advice on the way forward.  To gain planning permission for a new gate would mean that it would have to be set back approx. 12 metres from the road.   The council confirmed that this was the only way forward.

Mr Gregory expressed concern about the access at Four Winds.  He felt that the existing track could not accommodate vehicles for four dwellings and wanted his comments noted.

Mr Marshall was disappointed that councillors did not do a site visit prior to objecting to his planning application at Virginia Cottage.  He felt that, had they done so, they would have agreed that the extension would not have been visible from the road.  Cllr Burt apologised that a site visit had not been carried out.

Mrs Harding had been asked to mention that Field Path was impassable and also that some rubbish had been dumped.  Cllr Young confirmed that he had walked along it that day and it did not seem overgrown nor had he seen any rubbish.  Nevertheless, the lengthsman is due to strim it within the next two weeks.  Mr Gregory complained that the lengthsman had left cut turf on the bank outside his premises and should have taken it away.   Cllr Burt explained that the lengthsman responsible for this had  left and the new lengthsman was working well.

Mention was made of the dreadful smell in the village recently.  Will Buckley confirmed that the ‘muck spreading’ had now finished for the year.

The meeting closed at 9.00 pm