July 2020 minutes


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 7th July 2020 via zoom.

Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Geoff Trotter, Cllr Ian Salmon, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Sebastian Bowen, PCSO Steph Annette (items 1- 3.2 only) Parish Clerk Ms Emma Lewis .

No members of the public were present.

1. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received from Cllr Denny, Cllr Holder, Cllr Daniels and Cllr Grant.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: Declarations of non-pecuniary interest in item 8 were made by Cllrs Nurse and Russell. It was agreed that they would take no part in the discussions.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: Herefordshire Council meetings are taking place via zoom, with the next full council meeting scheduled for 17th July. The ceiling in court number 1 at the Shirehall has collapsed and this, and other building issues at the Shirehall, are currently being addressed.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: Police surgeries in the community are being resumed, although these will be held outside, weather permitting. Nottingham knockers are back in the area, so residents are reminded to be vigilant.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: No Local residents were present.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 3rd March 2020: The minutes were agreed and will be signed as a correct record after the meeting.
5. Annual Accounts – 2019/20
5.1 Annual Governance Statement: The annual governance statement was agreed and will be signed by the Chair after the meeting.
5.2 Accounting Statement: The annual accounting statement were considered and agreed. It was noted that the internal auditor had raised no issues for consideration
6. Finance
6.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £27,902.83 and the High Interest account has a balance of £15,087.29.
6.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows – BHIB insurance £468.59, Clerk wages £567.31 and HMRC £2.40.
6.3 Budget update and reserves plan update: The budget update and reserves plan update were considered and agreed.
7. Planning
7.1 201611 Land Adjacent to Bircher Hall – new detached house and garages: The Parish Council agreed that they wished to strongly object to the application to erect a new detached 4 bedroom house, which is outside the settlement boundary as delineated in the adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan. The NDP is clear in policy YG2d that any development outside of the settlements should be “limited and located in accordance with relevant policies in Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy Policy RA3” – and the proposed new house meets none of the criteria outlined in policy RA3 of the Core Strategy as it does not replace or re-use an existing building, meets no agricultural or forestry need and is not necessary for the establishment or growth of a rural enterprise.
The design and access statement for the proposal disingenuously states that the house is in a site “adjacent” to the Bircher settlement boundary (6.11) when the location plans make clear that the outline site is in a location some distance detached from the settlement boundary. The proposal for a 4 bedroom property in no way helps to meet the housing need in the parish – which is clearly focused on 2 and 3 bedroom properties and small housing for elderly people (paragraph 3.14 of NDP). Policy YG1b of the NDP refers to encouraging “active travel” in the parish – and the proposal for a house outside of the settlement boundary where there is no clear pavement or footpath link between the proposed site and centre of Bircher village is in clear contravention of this desire to ensure connectivity of any new housing within the villages of the parish. As the proposed site is within a protected woodland, it contravenes policy YG3d which states that “development shall not result in the loss of important features such as trees, hedgerows and green space that contribute to the unique character of the village.” The proposed new driveway for the property is also of concern, as this will involve cars exiting onto an extremely busy road (B4362) where the national speed limit is in force, with the sight lines in the location being extremely poor.
7.2 201593 The Knoll Orleton – erection of 2 storey rear extension: It was agreed that the Parish Council had no comment on the application.
7.3 201714 Land at Croft Crescent field – proposal to widen and move agricultural gateway: It was agreed that the Parish Council supported the application.

7.4 Update on current planning applications/matters: It was noted that there had been no determination yet on the application for a new house in the grounds of Rosebank Cottage in Lucton.
8. Village Hall – to discuss/agree transfer of additional gifted land to Parish Council as Custodian Trustee and payment of solicitors costs for village hall: Following Charity Commission rules, the village hall must transfer the land gifted to the Parish Hall Committee by the Bashford family to the Parish Council, as the Parish Council acts as the Custodian Trustee for the village hall. It was agreed that the Parish Council would accept the transfer and that the Clerk should contact Lucy Rea at Lloyd Cooper to instruct her to act on behalf of the Parish Council in the matter.
9. Website Accessibility Statement: The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 make it a legal requirement that all public sector organisation websites are accessible by 23 September 2020. Eyelid Productions undertook the necessary work to the Parish Council website to ensure compliance during June 2020, and the Parish Council agreed the accessibility statement that is included on the website.
10. Updates and action
10.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The drainage pipes under the ford in Lucton have been partially tarmacked over by BBLP during repair work, and Cllr Bowen has asked that this be repaired as soon as possible, and also suggested that larger drainage pipes be installed to try and prevent the ford from flooding.
10.2 Parish Hall: Work on the new car park and recreation area is continuing and the new oil tank is in place; wi-fi will be installed at some stage by Gigaclear.
10.3 PROW and Lengthsman: It was agreed that the Chair sign the 2020/21 lengthsman/PROW contract after the meeting.
10.4 COVID 19 update: The Parish Council noted its thanks to all the volunteers who have been helping during the crisis, particularly Rowena and her husband and all those helping in the village shop and those helping via the Good Neighbour Scheme.
10.5 Traffic Schemes: The update that had been circulated by the Clerk was noted. The proposed yellow line scheme for the junctions by Green Lane in Yarpole will go out for public consultation later in July, and the Clerk will circulate information once this is received.
10.6 NDP: The update on the NDP from the meeting held with Sam Banks from Neighbourhood Planning was noted. It was agreed that any review of the NDP will await further progress on Herefordshire Council’s revised Core Strategy.
10.7 Community Field: Two quotes to draw up initial plans for the field had been received from landscape design companies; it was agreed that the Parish Council would accept the quote from Red Kite design and the Clerk will contact them after the meeting to arrange next steps in the process.
11. Items for next agenda: Welsh Water update.
12. Date of Next meetings: Tuesday 1st September 2020, Tuesday 6th October 2020.