MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF
WEALD PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON THE 21st December, 2016
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 Kent County Councillor Chard, District Councillor Thornton, the clerk and several members of the public.
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Mrs Mannering
- DECLARATION OF INTEREST – there was none.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 16th November, 2016 – the Minutes were accepted as an accurate record and were so acknowledged by the signature of the Chairman.
- MATTERS ARISING
(1) Update on the Methodist Church
The clerk advised that despite expectations completion of the purchase has not taken place. It is now scheduled for the 20th January, 2017.
(2) Update on the Memorial Hall
Mrs Harris advised that no further information has been forthcoming from the Hall Committee. In such an event it is unlikely that the settlement of the lease arrangements, which requires the formal approval of the Trustees of Knole Estate, will take place until well into 2017.
(3) Traffic Survey
The findings of the KCC Traffic Survey were circulated to members of the Parish Council prior to the meeting. Councillor Chard agreed to attend today’s meeting in order to summarise the findings and to answer any questions/concerns over the findings.
Scabharbour Road: The survey worryingly identified that only 21% of vehicles travelling along the survey spot over the seven day trial period were complying with the speed limit. In contrast compliance with the speed limit was much higher at the other survey spots on Morleys Road and Hubbards Hill (see later comments). There is therefore an urgent need to identify effective measures to reduce traffic speed. Mr Chard agreed to identify and cost alternative measures for discussion with the Parish Council.
Morleys Road/Hubbards Hill: The finding of the surveys at these sites identified as advised above that there was a high level of compliance with the speed limits (90% plus). The view of the Meeting was that the findings gave false readings of the actual speeds due to the positioning of the survey equipment. Mr Chard took this on board and he will discuss with KCC Highways whether the survey can be repeated on these roads at sites to be identified by the Parish Council.
Mr Chard was also asked to comment on the erection of new signage in the village give warning notices to/about cyclists. Mr Chard was not aware that these signs had been erected (by KCC Highways) and the Chairman advised that the Parish Council had not be advised or consulted before the signs were erected. The general view was that the signs were incorrectly located and were too small to give appropriate notice to road users.
(4) 2017/2018 Precept
Discussion of the setting of the above Precept was deferred to the next meeting of the Parish Council in January, 2017. Subject to advice from KCC on traffic measures in Scabharbour Road (and on Morleys Road Hubbards Hill) an allowance will be made in the Precept for the Parish Council to make a financial contribution towards the introduction of such measures.
(5) Repair of Play Area Equipment
Following representations by users of the play area a repair report and estimate has been provided by a local contractor. To comply with the Parish Council financial regulations a second quote will be requested from other contractors.
Clerks & Councils Direct – November, 2016 issue – for circulation.
The following applications have been reviewed since the last meeting of the Parish Council:
SE/16/03174/FUL – Beechmont Lodge, Tonbridge Road, Sevenoaks – Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of replacement dwelling. The Parish Council supported this application.
SE/16/03277/FUL- Land west of 1 Gilchrist Cottages, Mount Pleasant Road, Weald – Proposed two storey detached dwelling with integral garage including new vehicular and pedestrian access. The Parish Council supported this application.
SE/16/03446/FUL – Greenmantle, Rycroft Lane, Weald – Removal of existing two storey detached dwelling and erection of replacement of two storey detached dwelling. The Parish Council supported this application.
SE/16/03352/HOUSE – Wayside, Long Barn Road, Weald – Single storey rear extension and internal alterations. The Parish Council supported this application.
SE/16/03298/CONVAR – Hatchlands Farm, Bayleys Hill, Weald – Variation of condition 12 of SE/15/ 02900/FUL Changes to office hours to Weekdays 6.00-21.00 and Saturday 6.00-18.00. The Parish Council objected to this application:
· The extension of office hours and the parking of vehicles will adversely erode the open character of the area.
· The extension of office hours will also require later and longer use of outside lighting. Particularly in the winter months.
· The cumulative impact of longer hours of car parking and use of outdoor lighting is contrary to Policy GB7.
· The changes will have a detrimental impact in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where development should only be permitted where the impact of such developments enhanced or has a positive impact in the area.
(With District Councillor Thornton’s support the above application will be referred to the Development Control Committee)
SE/16/03318/FUL – Halls Green, Hale Oak Road, Weald – Restoration and conversion of existing Grade 2 listed cottage to a five bedroom dwelling. Demolition of all other buildings on site and erection of five detached dwellings with detached garages, associated parking and landscaping with development utilising existing access on Hall Oak Road. The Parish Council objected to this application:
· No application for a change of use (required) has been included in the application and no compelling reasons have been offered to support such a change in use.
· The property has been offered for sale at such a very high premium to the purchase price (in 2011) and it is therefore no surprise that no offers have been received for the site to be retained for recreation use.
· The proposed new buildings harm the openness of the Green Belt. The proposed houses are much bulkier and have higher ridge height to the chalet type buildings that they will replace.
· The current open spaces with associated wildlife will be converted to garden space. This conversion will damage the openness of the Green Belt.
· The proposed development will result in a loss of privacy to neighbouring properties.
· The former activity centre was typically used in the holidays and at weekends. The proposed houses will be used for permanent occupation and will create greater light pollution.
· The change to housing for permanent occupation will increase the regular traffic movements along a narrow road to the site which has an entrance which is also situated on a dangerous bend.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
The Meeting adjourned at 7.30 p.m. and resumed at 7.45 p.m.
7. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was none.
8. CHEQUES FOR SIGNATURE
001636 N C Graves £160.00
001637 Chiddingstone P C £124.33
001638 SDC £156.26
001639 For Methodist Chapel £66,523.00
The Meeting closed at 8.00 p.m.