HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 10 APRIL 2014 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors Kane, Hayward, Watkins, Henderson, Brotherston (left 7.56pm), County Councillor Reynolds (arrived 7.56pm) Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and two members of the public.
Apologies for Absence – Cllr Hicks, Usher, Wright, Millar, Casson and District Cllr Jelf
Chairman’s Announcements – The Chairman proposed, and it was unanimously agreed that she should seek the support of Sir Tony Baldry MP in the Parish Council’s attempt to stop the proposed development in Sibford Road.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 13 March 2014 and Matters Arising
Cllr Henderson proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 13 March 2014 be accepted as a true and accurate record. This was seconded by Cllr Watkins and passed unanimously.
Cllr Kane had written a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive of Cherwell District Council following a planning officer’s decision to grant planning permission for a new build on land to the rear of The Police House in The Bourne. This was despite Parish Council objections. Cllr Kane received an email today stating that she had looked into the matter and the decision to approve planning permission, despite limited access to the site, would stand.
Declarations of Interest – Cllr Brotherston declared that one of the contractors asked to quote for remedial work on the Memorial Hall is one of his clients.
Vacancy for Parish Councillor – Co-option – The Parish Clerk had placed an advertisement on the village noticeboards notifying villagers that there was a vacancy on the Parish Council following the resignation of Roger Cooke. She had received one application from Nathan Lloyd Matthews, 10 The Glebe, Hook Norton. Cllr Kane proposed that Mr Matthews be co-opted as a Councillor to Hook Norton Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Hayward and agreed unanimously. Mr Matthews completed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office and will complete a Register of Members’ Interests form, to be returned to the Parish Clerk. He was warmly welcomed to the Council table.
Cllr Matthews declared an interest in the Banbury Plant Hire, being related to the owners.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Four planning/TCA applications were received during the month. Cllrs objected to 14/00463/F, change of use of The Bell Inn from mixed use within A2/C3 to wholly residential use. Initially Cllrs had not been informed by CDC of this application. However, following a complaint by the Chairman about this oversight, CDC finally passed details to the Parish Clerk on 10 April.
Cllrs had made various comments about the layout, scale and landscaping of the Taylor Wimpey site, Bourne Lane and Cllr Kane had responded to CDC directly.
Cherwell District Council had granted six planning/TCA applications. This included application 14/00095/F, conversion of redundant agricultural buildings to form livery stables on land north-east of Wychford Lodge Farm which Cllrs had objected to.
14/00086/F, Whichford Road, conversion of redundant agricultural building into holiday cottage – withdrawn by applicant.
CDC had asked The Parish Council to suggest road names for the Station Road site. The Sidings, Buffers and Railway Close/Road were suggested. The Parish Clerk will send a response to CDC.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications – there was a short discussion about the Bourne Lane Development.
Reports or Working Groups
Recreation – Cllr Kane reported;
a) Playdale had carried out their annual inspection of the play area. The Parish Council has just entered into a 3 year contract with them for quarterly inspections.
Cemetery and Allotments
a) The Parish Council gave permission for Mrs E Griggs to erect a 3’ x 5’ shed on allotment No. 30A.
b) The signs asking dog walkers to keep their dogs on leads and to clean up after them have been installed at the allotment entrances. Cllrs thanked Peter Arnold for making and installing them.
Environment – Cllr Hayward reported:
a) The first meeting of the Environmental Champions had taken place. A number of areas were now covered but more volunteers are needed.
b) A & J Greatbatch has repaired the wall in Watery Lane. Re-planting needs to be done further along.
c) There is a “weed” sycamore growing out of the beech hedge in the play area adjacent to a bungalow and overhanging its garden. Ben Acreman has been asked to look at it. It is big enough to need consent from Cherwell District Council to fell it.
d) There is a pothole outside ‘Moonbeam Thatch’ in Netting St. The Parish Clerk will report this to OCC Highways.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall – Cllr Brotherston reported:
a) There was a Users’ meeting on 3 April where plans for the work required to make the hall safe for the foreseeable future was outlined. The Parish Council will try to accommodate users’ specific needs when the repairs are made. Users hoped the work would be completed by the end of September. The Parish Council will try to achieve this, although a completion date will be very much dependent on the work load of the contractor chosen. A tender has gone out to three companies. One has returned a quotation and can finish the work within the timeframe specified. The other two companies have yet to respond. It is expected that quotations will be less than £20K. There will be an additional cost for internal decorations. Cllrs thanked Sean Daly from Solid Structures for his continued assistance with this project.
b) The boiler has been serviced. 1.000 litres of oil have been ordered.
c) Green Energy will supply the Memorial Hall with electricity wef 1 May.
Neighbourhood Plan (HNNP) Sub-Committee – Cllr Hicks had submitted a written report:
A HNNP meeting was planned for the 31 March but was re-scheduled for the 7 April. Julia Edwards and Jonathan Muller had a productive meeting on 27 March with Adrian Colwell, Head of Strategic Planning at Cherwell District Council (CDC). The main points from the meeting were: –
Does Mr Colwell view Hook Norton’s plan as in line with the Cherwell strategy? Mr Colwell was very supportive of Hook Norton’s current approach and believes that it is in alignment with the overall strategy of the Local Plan, i.e. to meet increased housing need through large developments in Banbury and Bicester where transport links, amenities, economic activity etc. all exist to support the new housing – and not in villages where it does not. However, he did caution that this could still be challenged on examination.
What is the impact on the Cherwell Local Plan of the latest SHMA report? The proposed Local Plan allows for c670 houses to be built per annum. The new SHMA suggests that the need could be nearer 1,000. An assessment has therefore been commissioned to validate the true number required. Mr Colwell expects it to be c800. He believes this can be met by modifications to the Local Plan, including bringing forward some of the sites that have already been allocated. He does not believe that CDC will need to change the required numbers in the villages, including Hook Norton.
What is the current status of the Local Plan examination? The pre-hearing meeting took place this week, with the main issue being that some Oxford Colleges and Oxford City Council have asked for their housing requirements to be taken into account, with the potential requirement to expand the city into Cherwell. The inspector will decide whether or not this should impact on the examination process. The worst case scenario is that CDC will have to reconsider its plan, which could delay the process by another 15 months.
The next steps. The hearing will be in June with the report expected in October. At that point there are three options: CDC can proceed to adopt the plan, CDC need to make modifications to the plan and can then proceed to adopt it, the plan is rejected. Mr Colwell has agreed to meet again after the hearing, probably in the form of a meeting with all NP groups in the district. He said that there is no point in submitting the HNNP until after the June hearing at the earliest. Then all the challenges to the local plan will have been heard and Hook Norton will be better placed to know if there are any implications for the HNNP.
Assets of Community Value
The Parish Clerk confirmed that The Sun Inn, The Pear Tree Inn, Hook Norton Pre-School Playgroup, Norman Matthews Hall and the Library Building had met the relevant criteria specified in the Localism Act 2011 & the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012. They will now be added to CDC’s Register of Assets of Community Value, along with The Bell Inn and the Village Shop.
Proposed Development – Sibford Road
Concerns were raised about the proximity to the primary school, lack of school places and the effect on the neighbouring dairy farm which currently has a slurry pit nearby.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council
The Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised on the schedules totalling £9,034.84 for the Parish Council and £121.50 for the Memorial Hall. Cllr Watkins moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Hayward and approved unanimously.
End of Year Accounts 2013-2014
The Parish Clerk had circulated accounts for year ended 31 March 2014 before the meeting and sought formal approval. Cllr Kane moved acceptance of the accounts, this was seconded by Cllr Hayward and approved unanimously. The accounts will now be passed to the internal auditor and external auditors BDO for verification.
The Clerk had also supplied Cllrs with Memorial Hall accounts for the year ended 31 March 2014. The accounts will now be passed to the internal auditor for verification.
Report on District Council Matters – nothing to report.
Report on County Council Matters – County Cllr Reynolds had given a written report to the Annual Parish Meeting and had to nothing further to report.
Correspondence – The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month. A request had been received from a local girl guide asking for financial support towards a field trip abroad. Cllrs wished the guide every success in her ventures in Canada but regretted that the Parish Council is unable to finance individuals undertaking trips such as this. Cllrs suggested that the Heath Allotment Trust might consider her request.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public – there were no matters arising.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 8 May 2014 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.38pm.