MINUTES OF ELTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE

HIGHGATE HALL ON TUESDAY 19TH APRIL 2016 AT 7.30 P.M.

 

 

            Present: Cllrs Donoyou, Gentry, Holman, and Smith

 

            In attendance: Mrs W Gray, 3 members of the public Linda Jepson,

Penny Gough- Brown (Parent Governor) and Phil Hayes

 

  1. Apologies for Absence: Cllrs Cummins, Owen, Porter, Rankmore and Strowbridge.  District Cllr Rita Mathews.

 

  1. Declaration of Interest: None

 

  1. Minutes of 15th March 2016:

Cllr Donoyou proposed, seconded Cllr Holman that above minutes were signed as a true and accurate record of meeting, all in agreement.

 

  1. Matters Arising from above minutes – update: none

 

  1. YTD/monthly accounts v budget:

Parish Clerk gave an update on the current financial position.

 

  1. Authorisation of Payments:
Highgate Hall – Use of Annexe – Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar/April 2016 £100.00
Wendy Gray – Salary/Tax April 2016 £300.00
K & M Lighting Services – Maint April 2016 £61.15

 

Cllrs Donoyou, Gentry and Smith approved the above invoices for payment.

 

  1. Street Lighting:

Cllr Donoyou reported on meeting held with Skanska – it is hoped a draft contract can be drawn up    for Parish Council to approve at next meeting.  This is an initial contract to rectify immediate      problems with longer term works subject to establishing a viable budget.

 

  1. A605 Junction:

Nothing further to report.  Cllr Donoyou attended Northamptonshire Nene Valley Footpath meeting where PC’s response to Peterborough Council’s draft local plan (Greenhill Road and A605 junction) were noted.

 

  1. Planning:

16/00439/FUL – New Temporary Classroom (3 year duration) at Elton C of E Primary School –

the parish council resolved proposed MG, seconded RD all in favour to recommend refusal to this             application for the following reasons:

  1. The elevated design of these utilitarian temporary buildings will be highly prominent in the conservation area and detract from the character and appearance of the conservation area.
  2. There is insufficient assessment of the impacts of the proposal in the conservation area and historic buildings in the vicinity.
  3. Alternative less damaging alternative sites do not appear to have been fully considered. For example, the temporary classroom could be sited in the existing school playground where it would be largely hidden from view and the playing area (where the temporary classroom is proposed) extended to compensate for the loss in open play space.  The parish council would in principle, support such an alternative.
  4. The application appears to be based on the assumption that the school can simply keep expanding its role numbers and related classroom provision on an already over-developed and cramped school site. A point may now have been reached where adjoining land will need to be acquired in order to provide a satisfactory form of development and reasonably planned inter-relationship between buildings and open and recreational areas.
  5. The application is not accompanied by a school travel plan, despite the fact that there are existing and significant problems with the almost entirely “car dependant” journey to school and the increase in school intake numbers ( an addition of over 30%) will be almost entirely dependent on car journeys to and from the site.
  6. Should the district council be minded to approve the application the parish council would wish to see
    1. AN AGREED travel plan in place and operational for the entire school before any occupation of the new classroom.
    2. A planning agreement in place to provide for improved street lighting on Overend and Middle Street where there is currently significant use by school children and their parents as drop off points.

 

16/00291/FUL – change of use of former dairy to a self storage unit, agricultural buildings at     Sheepwalk Farm, Oundle Road, Elton – Parish Council resolved that (proposed RS, seconded MG            all in favour that THIS APPLICATION IS REFUSED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS

  1. The application plans are invalid because it does not show the site in red and adjoining land owned by the applicant in blue, nor does it clearly show the means of access to the site from the public highway.
  2. This is a highly prominent site on the brow of higher ground above the Billing Brook valley. Self storage facilities generally give 24 hr per day access. The usual site infrastructure that invariably is part of self-storage facilities includes flood lighting, customer car parks. Signage from the road etc.  The parish council believes these to be strongly in appropriate to this prominent rural setting.
  3. A public bridleway runs directly through the site. Therefore the access must remain passable to a width of at least 2m at all times.  The storage facility would result in a loss of amenity to users of the bridle-path and would present security issues.
  4. The proposed use would compromise the existing agricultural use of adjoining buildings and will create an undesirable precedent in hat when the farm tenancies come to an end the most profitable new use is likely to be related to commercial storage / light industrial. The inevitable result will be a light industrial / storage facility with all attendant signage, lighting, security measures all in an open and highly prominent rural location.
  5. The Elton / Chesterton Road has been freed of high volumes of car traffic and freed from hgv vehicles since the opening of the A605 by-pass. As a result this road is much used by cyclists and forms part of the Green Wheel Cycle Route.  Commercial usage of this site will inevitable involve an increased volume of traffic on the Oundle Road and through the village on Overend.  The parish council believe that such uses should be located where there is direct access to the primary road network.  There are many vacant garages and related buildings directly off the A road network that are more suitable for this type of development.  Such sites include the vacant buildings at the A605 Warmington Roundabout adjoining the Eaglethorpe Petrol Filling Station which is just a couple of miles from the application site and has direct access to the primary road network.
  6. If, despite the recommendation of the parish council the district council is minded to approve this proposal, the parish council would wish to see conditions imposed to
    1. Regulate signage from the Oundle Road and totally prevent any advertising related signage.
    2. Prevent floodlighting or overt security lighting of the site.
    3. Regulate the hours of use of the premises to normal shopping hours, i.e. 9 to 5 Monday to Saturday and 10.00am – 4.00pm on Sunday.
    4. Provide landscaping to ensure there is minimal loss of amenity to users of the bridleway that runs directly though the site.

Should the application be approved, the parish council would wish to see a planning agreement put in place to provide funding to either make a contribution to re-connecting the parts of Greenhill Road severed by the A605 by-pass by either upgrading the bridleway off Bullock Road running parallel with the A605 or providing a bridge over the A605 in order to provide an alternative route for pedestrians / cyclists who may be discouraged from using the Oundle Road due to increasing traffic volumes.
16/00587/FUL and 16/00588/LBC – erection of a new 3 bedroom cottage and the conversion of an existing Grade II listed `Smithy’ to create a residential annexe at The Smithy, Overend Elton –

In principle, the parish council would support a new and beneficial use for the Old Smithy, a grade 2       listed building.  However, the parish council resolved Proposed RS, seconded MG, all in favour to           object strongly to the current scheme for the following reasons:

  1. The application site plan is incorrect. The site shown includes the driveway of an adjoining property (Oakwood House) and also includes areas of public highway (verge).  The site plan therefore does not clearly and correctly show the application site (in red) or land owned by the applicant in blue.  The application should therefore be amended.
  2. The Old Smithy is a grade II listed building and the list description makes clear that part of its architectural and historic interest lies in the internal features. Despite the advice in the NPPF ((para 128 states “In determining applications local authorities should require applicants to describe the significance of historic assets including their setting.  The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets importance…”
  3. The Heritage Assessment accompanying the application is in adequate. It does not provide
    1. Any detailed structural assessment of the building (which clearly has structural issues) or the level of repair work, or the basis of any repairs / replacement of historic fabric. For example, are the roof timbers / doors / windows to be repaired insitu, or strengthened and retained or replaced in replica or just replaced?
    2. There is no assessment of internal features or their importance. ON e would expect a photographic survey at the least.
    3. No research has been conducted on the former use(s) of the building in order to determine historic relevance / interest, despite the fact that there is a wealth of material available in local archives. For example, see attached article.
    4. There is no consideration of the setting of the building and especially the ways in which new development could be sited and designed to enhance / compliment this simple artisan single storey building.
  4. The proposed new dwelling is sited as a backdrop to the smithy and its one and a half storey form will directly compete with the listed building for all views from Overend. This visual competition would detract from the setting of the listed building.
  5. The proposed new building is more akin to a suburban estate type dwelling that a new building designed to complement a listed building and to “enhance” the character and appearance of the conservation area. The awkward stair-landing window, set between ground and first floor levels, the different sized dormer windows and the simplistic lean to porch and brick chimney introduce an unsympathetic suburban form of development.  The detailing is equally unacceptable in a conservation area…the flat window heads and factory window joinery with integral wood sills, being examples.
  6. The Welsh slate roof is unacceptable. The parish council have repeatedly stated the fact that until the 1800’s the only local roofing materials were thatch and collyweston slate; from 1800’s clay pantiles (triple and single roll) were manufactured in Peterborough and widely used for low status farm buildings.  Welsh slate only came to be used after the 1850’s when railway lines were introduced.  It is clear that the introduction of large Welsh slate roofs around School Lane and Overend have diluted and changed for the character of this part of the conservation    Highgate Hall (the adjoining building is in triple roll yellow pantiles.  The Smithy is in yellow single roll pantiles; the bus shelter opposite is in Collyweston slate.  Any proposed new building will need to take a design cue from these buildings.
  7. We note the planning departments comment regarding the open frontage. The reality is that the frontage has consisted of a line of building rubble for at least 30 years and the ash trees on this part of the site are self seeded and have been periodically lopped.  The current frontage cannot therefore be mown or maintained and is of poor visual quality.

The Parish council believes a possible solution would be to site a new building directly on the frontage to the south of the Smithy thus creating “frame rather than a competing element for the Smithy.  Such a building would need to be single storey (it could have an upper floor contained within the roof space which would need to be lit by roof lights rather than dormers, sited on the west roof-slope.

All traditional buildings in this part of the conservation area, Highgate Hall, 2 Overend, The Black horse PH, and the new buildings on the former garage site currently being constructed are sited on the back edge of the footpath, are of symmetrical design and incorporate detailing such as voissoirs and stone sills, windows with a separate frames and opening lights, stone chimneys and other detailing which is not interpreted in the current proposal.

The attached sketches illustrate these points.

  1. The proposed dwelling is too close to the boundary with Highgate Hall and would suffer noise and inconvenience from cars parking / manoeuvring to the detriment of the operation of the Hall, a valued community facility in use 7 days per week.
  2. The proposed access lacks visibility for pedestrians using the footpath (to the well-used Highgate Hall) and for vehicles approaching on Overend. It is appreciated that the access exists but the proposed use introduces vehicular use which has not taken place before.
  3. The view has been put that this frontage site, adjoining a highway which has been in place and is documented since at least 1800, should be notified to Cambridgeshire County Archaeological Department.

Should, despite these reservations, the district council be minded to approve this development the         parish council would wish to see planning conditions and agreements in place to:

  1. Improve the street lighting on this part of Overend, which is poorly lit.
  2. Move the advisory speed signage and the 30 mph limit signs further north (toward Peterborough) to give greater warning to vehicles to slow.
  3. Ensure the proposed materials are dealt with as reserved matters and the slate roofs and (non-specified) gutter materials are excluded from any grant of consent with a recommendation / note that these should be more appropriate to the setting in this part of the conservation area…iecollyweston slate or handmade clay pantiles and cast iron rain water goods.
  4. Exclude detailing such as the windows sills and heads and chimneys become reserved matters with a note that detailing appropriate to the conservation setting is sought.
  5. Include a full structural evaluation and greater clarity on what elements of the historic fabric of the Smithy are to be conserved, repaired, replaced in replica or simply replaced with modern materials.

 

  1. Grasscutting:

7 Tender letters sent out, 2 received and duly opened at meeting:

 

Contractor Submitted

Tender

Yes/No

Cost per Cut Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total Contract

Price (3 years)

Contractor 1 Yes £425 £2125 £2125 £2125 £6375
Contractor 2 Yes £680.49 £3402.45 £3402.45 £3402.45 £10,207.35

It was unanimously agreed to offer the contract to Contractor 1.

 

  1. Trees/Verges and Footpaths:
  • Iron Bridge – Elton/Nassington – further draft letter penned to our expert for his comments, all Cllrs happy that reply goes when received.
  • Repair of Verges Project – Stocks Green, proposed solution roll and turf area eliminating need for paving slabs. Cllr Holman will report back to EE and advise CCC will be returfing.  Proposed Cllr Smith, seconded Cllr Donoyou, all in favour.

 

  1.  Correspondence:

Letter from HDC re grass maintenance programme – Cllr Donoyou will check and maps supplied and report back.

 

Black Bins – all Cllrs comments received – can we keep bin 8.

 

  1. Reports from Councillors:

Email received from the Woodland Trust – “Thank you for contacting us about your tree pack, and it is great to see that your trees are doing so well!  If you need any more trees, we are currently accepting applications for our November 2016 delivery and welcome repeat applications:  www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/communitytrees.”  Project Officer (Woodland Creation).

 

Red Bridge (Barges) – Elton Society have a meeting with Sue Scott (Enforcement Officer) about it, Cllr Smith will represent Parish Council.

 

Cllr Donoyou had been advised by a resident that the grass verge in front of the village shop was very badly chewed up.

 

Cllr Donoyou – Grand Fondu taking place again on 17th June.

 

Cllr Holman had been approached by Mr Peter Mills who would like to donate some second crop daffodils for planting in various areas in the autumn.  Cllr Holman will contact Mr Mills to say we would be very pleased to accept his offer.

 

  1. Date of Next Meeting:

Tuesday 17th May 2016 – Annual Parish Meeting followed by Annual General Meeting commencing at 7.30 p.m.

 

Meeting closed at 9.20 p.m.

 

Signed: ………………………………                                   Date: ……………………..