MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF
WEALD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON THE 22nd FEBRUARY, 2017
PRESENT: Mrs R Wood, (in the Chair), Mrs L Harris, Mrs C Beddoe, Mrs K Long, Mr R Brunner and Mr J Blackman
In attendance were District Councillor Thornton, the clerk and 20 – 30 members of the public.
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – there were none.
- DECLARATION OF INTEREST – there was none.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 25th January, 2017 – the Minutes were accepted as an accurate record and were so acknowledged by the signature of the Chairman.
- MATTERS ARISING
- Portfolio Holders’ Reports
The Chairman advised that Members of the Parish Council have accepted specific responsibility for a portfolio of tasks/projects (examples: update of the Village Design Statement, supervision of the repair of the Children’s play area in the Memorial Hall field) and that at future meeting Members will report on the status of their portfolio.
- Methodist Church – Consultation Phase
The Chairman advised that the open day organised on the 11th February had been well attended by members of the public and that they and others had submitted their views on the future use of the Church to the Parish Council. Further discussion on this topic will take place later in this meeting.
- Methodist Church – Repair and Modernisation
The Chairman confirmed that the architect previously engaged has been asked to update his drawings and to seek a quote from a contractor to undertake the works he has identified as being required to bring the church back into public use. To satisfy the Parish Council’s financial regulations two further quotes will be required. The clerk will seek these quotes once a full specification of the works is available.
- Update on the Memorial Hall
Mrs Harris advised that there has been no contact with the Hall Committee since the last meeting. The “ball” remains firmly with the Committee.
- Update on Traffic Surveys
Mrs Wood advised that no progress has been made on re-siting the surveys. The Chairman continues to press Kent County Councillor Chard to have these organised.
- Recreation Ground
The recent vehicle accidents in Morleys Road have highlighted the need to reduce the number of cars parked on the road during peak times at the Recreation Ground. As a temporary measure the Recreation Ground Association, with the co-operation of the Parish Council, is in discussion with the Scout Association to use their parking space in their grounds. The permanent solution will be to upgrade the access road and install hard standing parking in the grounds. The Association is pursuing third party funding for these works.
Responses to consultation on the future use of the former Methodist Church.
Since the last meeting the following applications were reviewed by the Parish Council:
SE/16/03967/FUL – Moonrakers, Rycroft Lane, Weald – Demolition of existing cottage and outbuilding. Erection of a replacement detached dwelling house and associated parking. Landscaping and other works, including a hydro therapy pool. The Parish Council supported this application.
SE/16/03929/FUL – Land north west of Dale Farm House, Church Road, Weald – Demolition of existing stables and erection of a new dwelling with farm office for occupation by an agricultural worker. The Parish Council supported this application.
SE/17/00041/HOUSE – Nestlewood, Wickhurst Road, Weald – Replacing existing dilapidated wooden garage with similar new wooden garage. The Parish Council supported this application.
- PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
The Meeting adjourned at 7.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.15 p.m.
During Question Time members of the public participated in an open discussion on the future use of the Methodist Church. With the prospect of The Old Bakery closing later this year there was a preference to use the church as a shop which could be potentially run by the community. A committee was formed to investigate the prospects of using the church for the above purposes and to investigate the key issues connected with setting up such a community venture. There was also recognition that the church may not be big enough to accommodate a replacement shop and the committee will also investigate other potential venues for the shop.
The Parish Council agreed to move forward with the repair and modernisation of the church and to seek approval for a change of use of the church so that the church can be used for as many purposes as possible in the interests of the community (shop, café, meeting room etc).
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There were none.
- CHEQUES FOR SIGNATURE
001643 SDC £210.60
001644 Aon £40.08
001645 SDC £234.00
001646 SDC £30.00
001648 Mrs R Wood £39.00
001649 Mrs R Wood £484.42
001650 Samaritans £50.00
001651 S T O’Reilly £50.00
The Meeting closed at 8.20 p.m.