YARPOLE GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 8th December 2020 via zoom
Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Ian Salmon, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Geoff Trotter, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Harold Holder, Cllr Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms Emma Lewis .
3 members of the public were present.
1. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Daniels.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: Cllr Nurse made a declaration of non-pecuniary interest in respect of item 5.4 and it was agreed that she would take no part in the discussion.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: An update was provided in relation to the situation on the River Lugg by Kingsland. The Minerals and Waste plan will be considered by Herefordshire Council next week.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: No report had been received.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: No issues were raised.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 3rd November 2020: The minutes were agreed and will be signed as a correct record after the meeting.
5.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £17,944.42 and the Business Reserve has a balance of £15,087.93.
5.2 Cheques: Cheques will be signed as follows – Clerk wages £579.98, HMRC £5.40, Hi Trees( footpaths) £456.00, Kevin Davies (footpaths) £200.00.
5.3 Budget and precept for 2021/22 and updated reserves plan: The budget for 2021/22 was agreed and the precept set at £25,000. The updated reserves plan was agreed.
5.4 Annual contribution to be made to burial ground upkeep in Yarpole and Lucton: It was agreed, as per the agreed formula (100% Lucton costs and 75% Yarpole costs), to give £1325.00 to the PCC as a contribution to the upkeep of the burial grounds in Yarpole and Lucton.
6.1 204103 – Brookhouse Farm, Yarpole – removal of hedgerow: The Parish Council agreed that they did not object to the plans to remove 2 small sections of hedgerow (1& 2 on the map) to improve road access visibility, but that they strongly objected to the proposal to remove 86 metres of hedgerow (3 on the map) within the fields. The hedgerow is over 30 years old and therefore worthy of protection under the 1997 Hedgerow Regulation Act – the application does not indicate whether the hedgerow contains protected species, endangered species or woody species and associated species which would afford additional protection – and the removal of another hedgerow in Yarpole is bound to have a detrimental impact on local wildlife. The adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan makes clear that “hedgerows that support the historic pattern of the particular village setting and development shall not be removed” (7.8) – this hedgerow is visible from the roads and footpaths and as such is clearly part of the village setting and as such is protected by the NDP. Policy YG13h of the NDP states that any development proposals should “retain natural habitats and features…such as hedgerows” – this proposal contravenes the stated policies of the NDP and should be refused.
6.2 203733 Vicarage Farm, Green Lane – proposed formation of stud walls and installation of shower on ground floor: It was agreed that the Parish Council supported the application.
6.3 Croft Crescent development. The Clerk had emailed Broadheath Construction about the possibility of a link to the footpath network being included in the development, and had received an email response asking if, in principle, the Parish Council would take on ownership and liability for any land given over to a new footpath. During discussion it became clear that the exact location of where a footpath was envisaged on the site (as mentioned in the NDP), and which footpath this would link to was not clear, together with the impact on adjoining fields. It was agreed that the Clerk would send a holding email to Broadheath Construction and a meeting would be held in the New Year to confirm the location of the intended footpath.
6.4 Update on current planning applications/matters: No matters to report.
7. Updates and action
7.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: Residents in Lucton have expressed concern at the number of tractors coming through the village and causing damage to the road. It was agreed that the clerk would write to the landowner in question and see if they would meet with the Parish council to discuss possible solutions to the problem.
7.2 Parish Hall: A hall committee meeting will be held on the 10th December. The Clerk has spoken with the Parish Council solicitor, who is chasing up the final part of the searches for the land transfer to the parish council and is hoping to have the paperwork with the Clerk in the next few weeks.
7.3 Footpaths and Lengthsman: The Clerk will contact the BBLP steward to discuss how to get a replacement Yarpole sign for the road coming into the village from Bircher. It was noted that the PCC have decided not to seek ownership of the footpath from the church to Church Farm, and have asked land registry for definitive information on who holds the title to the land. Cllr Salmon agreed to undertake some land registry searches on the land to see if ownership can be established. The Parish Hall are holding a meeting to discuss their storage plans and will also discuss whether footpath equipment can be included in any planned storage.
7.4 Parish Traffic Concerns Update: The update on traffic concerns that the parish council is working on, which had been circulated by the Clerk, was noted.
7.5 Welsh Water – update: Action to try and get Welsh Water to address the flooding problems in Yarpole is ongoing.
8. Items for the next agenda: No items were raised.
9. Date of Next meeting: The meeting dates for 2021 were agreed, with the next meeting of the Parish Council to be held on Tuesday 5th February 2021 at 7.30pm.