FRANT PARISH COUNCIL

THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
FRANT MEMORIAL HALL, FRANT
ON WEDNESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY 2013 AT 7.30PM

Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chairman), Argue, Best, Hall, Harris, Mrs Howell, Mrs Myers, Rowland and Rutherford.
Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), County Councillor Tidy, PCSO Sarah Roberts, PC Richard Walters and Bob Standley.

1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillor Wright.  Apologies were accepted.

2. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
None.

3. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 16 January 2013 as a true record.
Under item 9.3 the sentence ‘ It was noted that half of Eridge village presides in the Rotherfield Parish.’ was amended to read ‘It was noted that half of Eridge village resides in the Rotherfield Parish’
Following the amendment, the minutes of the meeting held 1 January 2013 were signed as a true and accurate record.

4. To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.
None.

5. Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.
None.

6. To receive Police Report.
There is not much to report from the Parish.  However, tools have been stolen from a shed on Bayham Road at the junction of Tunbridge Wells.
Cllr Mrs Howell questioned why there is a lot of debris from car accidents on the roads, both locally and generally, and whether this should not be cleared when accidents occur or is it the responsibility of East Sussex Highways?  PCSO Roberts advised that debris should be removed when vehicles are cleared.  However, police are not in attendance at every accident as many are not reported.  In that case it should be the responsibility of the recovery vehicle or, in the final instance Highways.  Cllr Tidy advised that Highways would ultimately clear roads but there is no specific timetable as to when this would be completed.
Cllr Mrs Howell also reported several instances of dognapping in the area.  The police advised that they get involved if it is reported within the area.  The recent incidents in Mayfield and Rotherfield are under the jurisdiction of Heathfield Police.  Cllr Mrs Howell advised that it is believed dogs are taken for baiting.  Cllr Tidy noted that there are reports in Farm Watch of such incidents, especially in West Sussex.

7. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
County
• The Budget meeting was held last week.  The budget presented by Cabinet was very similar to that in the consultation with the general public and Parish Councils.  There are some areas to highlight to Parish Councils as there is mitigation in some areas, in particular transport and environment.  ESCC are going to maintain the grass cutting budget along with Highway maintenance and winter gritting maintenance as these are areas of importance to the general public.  It was noted that ESCC grit 50% of roads when it is snowy and 70% of roads when frosty.  This is versus Kent who grit 30% of roads.
• Pot holes are being filled as quickly as possible.  If anyone has anything to report they should call Highways on 0345 60 80 193.  Reports can also be made via the website.
• There will not be an increase in Council Tax from County Council, Fire Authority and Police.
• Historically ‘village gangs’ from ESCC have visited parishes to complete ad hoc maintenance work.  From 1 April 2013 this will be changed so that half funding for the village gang is from ESCC and the Parish Council is to fund the remaining half.
• Cllr Tidy has spoken regarding the schemes for people suffering with dementia.  The Alzheimer’s Society has reported that the earlier the Alzheimer’s is diagnosed the more opportunities there are to slow down it’s progression.  the County Council has a big responsibility and public health and are putting together a project for people to identify Alzheimer’s at the earliest opportunity.
• Cllr Hall noted that grass cutting has already started for this year.  It was requested that the County Council liaise with the District Council to enable litter to be collected before the grass is cut and, therefore, litter is chewed up.

District
• The budget for Wealden District Council was approved this morning, with no increase in Council Tax.
• Following the Wealden Parish Conference, improved feedback between Parish Councils and Wealden was requested.  A page has been set up on the Wealden website (www.wealden.gov.uk/localcouncils) which will publish relevant information.  WDC would like to hear any comments regarding this webpage.
• Each year WDC run days promoting safety awareness for parents and children.  This year an additional event will be held in Crowborough, 10.30am-1pm, 11 April 2013.
• Wealden are changing their curb side waste collection in July 2013, increasing the amount being recycled.  Leaflets advertising the changes are to be distributed to residents next week.  Residents are to opt in or out of purchasing a green bin for garden waste.  The Clerk is to put notices on the notice board advertising this.
• Cllr Mrs Howell has spoken to Enforcement regarding the development at Pococks Gate.  Cllr Mrs Howell has asked for the size of the building to be verified.  Enforcement advised that the Parish should be sent a weekly planning list which details all development within the area.  The Clerk advised that this is not received.
• It was also noted that the Farm Shop, Bunny Lane, has closed.

8. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
• Southern Gas Networks have requested a meeting next week.  Cllrs Hall and Mrs Howell are to attend.  The Clerk is to arrange the meeting.
• A request has been received to use Frant Green for picnics during a wedding in September.  Cllr Hall advised that the Trustees of the Green are happy for the Green to be used.  The Parish Council have no objection in principle and are also not liable for any litter, damage or accidents.  The Clerk is to obtain contact details.  The applicant should also liaise with the Cricket Club to ensure a match is not taking place.
• Cllr Harris has contacted Andrew Craft, Property Director of Chichester Diocese, regarding the access across Glebelands.  A right of way cannot be established unless 20-40 villagers advise they have used the path for 20 years.  Cllr Harris has advised we might consider buying access rights but the price is yet to be determined.  Mr Craft has asked what width we would need the access to be as it will be fenced.  The Parish Council agreed a width of 10ft and would assume the responsibility for fencing.  Cllr Harris is to continue with enquiries.
• Frant Court Management Board have lodged a complaint with Wealden owing to the approval of a recent retrospective planning application erecting a fence.  This fence is in contravention of covenants for Frant Court and the Management Board are concerned this will set a precedent.  Unfortunately, the response from Frant Parish Council was not submitted before the deadline and, therefore, the decision was considered without this information.  Bob Standley advised that the covenant should override the planning application but this would be a civil issue.

9. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
9.1 To receive update regarding Bells Yew Green.
Some commuters have been parking by the build outs as the yellow lines have stopped short.  Cllr Crookshank has approached some commuters advising that they should not be parking there.  No further incidents have been noted.

9.2 To receive update regarding Little Bayham.
The settlement signs have been erected.  However, one has been installed at a height of 10ft.  Cllr Harris is to contact Michael Higgs, ESCC Highways, for it to be reduced in height.
It was noted at this point that the sign for Frant Lakes has been reduced in height.

9.3 To discuss the parking restrictions outside Frant Stores.
A request has been submitted to Highways to gain parking restrictions outside Frant Stores.  This is to be discussed at the SLR meetings.

10. Planning Matters
10.1 To approve the Minutes of the meeting 4 February 2013 as a true record.
The minutes of the meeting held 4 February 2013 were signed as a true and accurate record.

10.2 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
• WD/2013/0043/F – 2 Yew Tree Cottages, Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9HB
Proposed new single-storey split-level extension to the rear of the existing house, to form a new sun room and kitchen extension.
No objection.
• WD/2013/0044/LB – 2 Yew Tree Cottages, Frant Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9HB
Proposed new single-storey split-level extension to the rear of the existing house, to form a new sun room and kitchen extension.
No objection.
• WD/2013/0209/F – Yew Trees, Bells Yew Green, TN3 9AP
Extension to the rear of the property and internal alterations.
No objection.
• WD/2013/0210/LB – Yew Trees, Bells Yew Green, TN3 9AP
Extension to the rear of the property and internal alterations.
No objection.
• WD/2012/2574/FR – 10 Knowle Cottages, Wadhurst Road, Frant TN3 9EJ
• Retrospective application for the conversion of double garage/stables to holiday cottage with two dormer windows, parking provision, access track and new access point (revised scheme incorporating the replacement of the dormer windows with rooflights and other internal/external alterations together with revised access/exit arrangements.
• Object.  We believe our previous comments to still stand:
The Council object to this application.  We believed this application to be with the enforcement officer as Frant Parish Council have already written to Wealden District Council.
Our previous response under application WD/2010/1423/FR still stands:
The Council strongly object and believe the property should be returned to it’s former use.
A new track has been constructed over a green field site in an area of High Weald’s AONB.  The garage has already been sectioned off from the main building and is not in keeping with the original property.  An entrance onto Wadhurst Road has also been created despite no permission being given from the Highways Authority.
However, if Wealden agree to this application despite this Council’s strong  objection, we would ask to put a Section 106 onto the property so the cottage remains part of the dwelling and is a temporary accommodation only for holiday let and not to be sold as a separate dwelling for permanent accommodation.

To note applications granted, refused and withdrawn by District Council:
• WD/2012/2326/F – Frant Bowls Club, Adjacent to Village Hall, The Green, Frant TN3 9ED – Proposed small extension to end wall to existing pavilion – Approved
• WD/2012/2424/F – 2 Fairview Cottages, Fariview Lane, Broadwater Forest, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9LU – Detached annexe building in the garden, to replace an existing garage/workshop/log store building – Approved
• WD/2012/2017/F – Court Lodge, Bells Yew Green, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9BJ – Conversion of disused barn to form a single holiday unit.  As approved under WD/2005/1222/F (now expired) – Approved
• WD/2012/2522/F – Fir Trees, The Green, Frant TN3 9DN – Single storey front dining room extension and enclosed porch, vertical tiling to first floor on each elevation – Approved.

10.3 To review available planning sessions
Training is available regarding Neighbourhood Development Plans.  It is to be held 20 March 2013 in Crowborough.  The Chair and Clerk are to attend.

11 Finance
11.1 To approve accounts payable.
The Accounts were approved.

Payee Name                                                       Chq Ref         Amount             Transaction Detail
Wealden District Council                                 DD                2,295.36            Grounds Maintenance 2012
North Wealden Community Transport         582               111.00                 Wealdlink Oct 12 – March 13
Wealden District Council                                  DD               63.36                  Dog bins – Quarter 3
South East Water                                                DD               182.98                Frant Football Pitch Oct 12-Mar 13
East Sussex County Council                            583                14,400.00         Frant Zebra Crossing
Frant Memorial Hall                                          584              8.00                    Hire 4 Feb, 1hr@£8
Z McGregor-Gould                                           585               86.66                    Cleaning duties, February
S Codling                                                            586               678.81                  Salary & Mileage, February
HMRC                                                                587                10.26                    Tax/NI, February
D Wright                                                           588                19.20                   Mileage, Planning Cttee, Hailsham
Bells Yew Green Village Hall                       589                48.00                    Hire 20 Feb, 19 Jun, 20 Nov 2013
S Codling                                                            590             36.00                    Stamps

It was noted that the water source for the football pitch/allotments needs to be moved.  Cllr Argue is to contact South East Water to check if there is a leak at this source.

11.2 To consider review the provision of Wealdlink Transport Services.
Currently only one parishioner is regularly using the Wealdlink Transport Service.  The service has been advertised in the Parish News and on the notice boards.  If no more parishioners use the service it may have to be reviewed.

12 To discuss vacancy for Councillor, Bells Yew Green Ward.
The vacancy for Councillor has been advertised.  If there is more than one nomination there will be an election.  Should there be no nominees the Parish Council can co-opt a member when they come forward.

13 To review RSPB and new dog walking policy.
It was noted by Councillors that problems with dogs have not been witnessed.  However, there is an increase in people coming from Tunbridge Wells as the installation of the car park makes it more accessible.
Cllr Mrs Best advised that the RSPB have invested a lot of money in this site over a 20 year period.  The site was primarily purchased because of the natural heathland.  The RSPB have stripped the forest away and now have ground nesting birds in the area.  The car park and open spaces have made the area a more friendly and accessible site, favourable to dog walkers.  However, the primary concern is for the conservation and increasing population of ground nesting birds.  Therefore, during season the RSPB want dogs on leads.  Cllr Mrs Best has spoken to Steve Wheatley, RSPB, who is sympathetic to concerns and will open the reserve to dogs off leads out of the season.  He is happy to come to a meeting to discuss the new policy with residents.
Cllr Mrs Best advised  proposal indicating a strip of land between the areas with ground nesting birds which links with the Sussex Wildlife Trust.  It may be possible to ask the RSPB to consider having this area for dogs off leads.
Cllr Mrs Howell noted that she has recently had a notification regarding a public bridlepath going from the car park.
Cllr Mrs Best is to ask Mr Wheatley to the Annual Parish Meeting to speak to parishioners.  Cllr Mrs Best will also ask about the proposal and bridlepaths.

14 To discuss the Annual Parish Meeting.
The Annual Parish Meeting is to be held 29th May 2013 in Frant.  The Clerk is to invite local groups to attend.  They can have a stand advertising their group and can speak for 5 minutes if they wish.

15 Correspondence for noting.
Noted.

16 Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
Cllr Argue advised that he is getting a quote for replacing the missing balustrade and spindles at the Victoria Well.
It was noted that a wooden post has been knocked out of place on The Green opposite Frant Memorial Hall.  This is to be discussed at the meeting with Southern Gas Networks.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8:56pm.