25 Sep 14 Minutes of Meeting


Chairman: Mr. Howard Ewing
Clerk: Mrs. Lorraine Grocott BA (Hons): Local Policy
23 West Meade, Milland, Nr Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7NB
Tel 01428 741393… Email: postmaster@milland-wsc-pc.gov.uk

Thursday 25 September 2014 at The Park House Hotel, Bepton

Present: Mr H Ewing (Chairman), Mr M Balmforth, Mrs C Bower, Mrs R Hart
Mrs L Milner, Mrs H Hollowood
Cllr. Gordon McAra (County Councillor)
Cllr. John Cherry (District Councillor)
Cllr. David Burden (Councillor, SDNPA)
40 Members of the Public

Welcome: The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
He introduced the County and District Councillors,
Mr David Burden, our representative on the S.D.N.P. Authority
Mrs Anne Reynolds, Chairman Woolbeding & Redford Parish Councils

357. Apologies: Mr G Ryan
358. Declaration of Interests of Members on Agenda: There were none.
359. Minutes of the Meeting 11 July 2014 were agreed and signed.

360. Reports from the County and District Councillors
Report from Cllr McAra, County Councillor
a) There will be a 3 day closure of the road between the Park House and the T-Junction at Bell Lane from 17 November to allow drainage repairs to be carried out. (N.B. The road will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Residents will be allowed supervised access during these times but others won’t. WSCC will make the contractors aware of the school bus access needed.)
b) Council meetings can now be recorded electronically.
c) The County Council is undergoing re organization.
d) The Fire service is being reorganized despite a very large volume of protests. Midhurst will lose one of its fire engines.
e) He has written a letter of concern and protest to the supposed Mineral Plan.

Report from Cllr Cherry, District Councillor
a) Finance – CDC is unusual in that it tries to keep one year ahead of the cuts. Currently this amounts to £5.8m. The income comes from the sale of the right to buy housing which Martlett now manages and enables the District Council to keep the council tax down.
b) CDC has signed a document called Military Civilian Contract. The document signifies the District Council’s commitment to provide employment to the returned service men who have suffered terrible disfigurement.
c) Minerals Plan – All of the parishes from Pulborough to Rogate are worried about new sand mining pits opening up. The government requires the County Council to produce a Plan looking 20 years ahead. The locality must demonstrate that it can produce a quantity of sand without the need for new pits being opened up. The existing pits outside the National Park are unable to produce the required amount of sand. He urged those present to write. A locally organized Petition would demonstrate the strength of local opposition.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 25 September 2014
361. Public Participation on the Minerals Plan – The Chairman advised that the parish council will be submitting its objection after this meeting. The sites affecting Bepton are Severals East and Severals West and the site at Minsted which are dependent on each other. He introduced Mr. David Burden one of the parish councillors that represents parish councils on the National Park Board. He is also a councillor on Northchapel Parish Council.

Mr Burden said it was a great privilege to represent the parish. His grandparents were married in 1914 at Trotton and went on to live in Fair Oaks on the Severals Road at Bepton. He reminded those present that this Minerals Plan consultation is part of a process. Being a Board Member means that he has access to everyone on the SDNPA and he urged those present not to use too much emotive language in their responses.

This is a summary of the questions and answers.
There has been a lot of preparatory work leading up to this document. Some time ago, a draft Mineral Plan was produced as part of the SE Plan. There have been a number of other studies including the Soft Sand study. The County Council and the National Park are required to invite landowners and developers to put forward sites suitable for mineral mining. The officers in the County Council have done most of the background work to this document. Cowdray Estate has put forward East & West Severals as possible sites. They have been included on the list, alongside a number of others, for further study and examination. SDNPA/WSCC needs up to date information to allow them to determine whether sites can go on to the next stage. This is necessary to guard against any potentially successful challenges to the plan by aggrieved parties at a later date. There will be further analysis and consideration of these sites. A question was asked as to whether a subterranean survey had been undertaken and the answer was that the type of sand is known but not the quantity.

The Plan will be finalised by the SDNPA as Planning Authority, in conjunction with WSCC. The Plan will then go forward to Public Examination by a Planning Inspector and finally to the Secretary of State for his decision. Cllr McAra said the plan-making and subsequent decision process will be different this time as the area is now in a National Park where there is much tighter regulation of the landscape management and protection of the flora and fauna.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that this type of development should not be carried out in a National Park except in exceptional circumstances. In the Peak District National Park, the mines were already in place before the designation. An example of exceptional circumstances could be that the sand was Silica sand which is very rare.

South Downs National Park contains several areas of rare lowland heath. The SDNPA is leading on a new project called ‘Heathlands Reunited’, which aims to achieve ‘bigger, better, more and joined up heathland’ within the South Downs National Park. This project will create habitat corridors in West Sussex for wildlife. This is important for the diversity of the flora, fauna and invertebrates in this area.
It did seem odd to those present that anyone could thus think that the Severals were suitable sites for quarrying sand.

The Chairman had received a disappointing response from Andrew Tyrie MP. The Chairman had asked Mr Tyrie for his view on whether such quarrying was in contravention with NPPPF. Mr Tyrie’s response was, in effect, that this was a matter for the local authority.

In conclusion the Chairman thanked all present for attending and for responding to the consultation.
Cllr McAra advised that Midhurst Town Council has objected. Other bodies who have submitted their objections include the National Trust, Woolbeding and Redford PCs, Stedham & Iping Parish Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust. The council’s response can be seen and downloaded on the blog section of http://www.bepton.org. On behalf of everyone present Mr Brian Cox thanked Bepton parish council for their efforts.
Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 25 September 2014

362. Matters arising – There were none

363. Chairman items
a) Bepton Down SSSI – The Chairman advised that there is now a Management Plan for Bepton Down which has been agreed by Natural England, the SDNPA and the landowner – the Cowdray Estate. Mr Hamilton-Fox has noted the correspondence. Issues raised by Beatrice Potter, who has been instrumental in raising awareness of this previous SSSI, are being addressed by Natural England and the SDNPA. The Management Plan and subsequent correspondence are now being circulated to Councillors. The Parish Councillors expressed their gratitude to Ms Potter for her vigilance and sterling efforts.

364. Newsletter for the autumn – Mrs Bower would welcome copy for the Newsletter.

365. COUNCIL REPORTS – Finance
a) Statement of accounts

The above payments were approved by the council.

Note: This balance is made up of b/f £4643 (which includes the vat from footway work £3770); Clerks gratuity £487; precept £4300; Reserve moved to c/a £2782, plus/minus other payments.
Reserve amount -It was agreed that £3000 should be Earmarked in the c/a as Reserve.
b) On-line banking – The forms has been completed but as the signatories list had not been updated they were not accepted. The council needs to remove Mrs Fay as a signatory. The forms to remove Mrs Fay were completed. Mrs Milner would take them to Nat West in Midhurst.
c) New signatory – Mrs Bower would become a signatory to the accounts.
The Nat West Bank signatories are Mrs Hart, Mr Ryan, Mrs Hollowood and Mrs Grocott.
d) Conclusion of external audit 2013-14 – PKF Littlejohn has signed off the a/cs for 2013-14. The Notice of conclusion of the audit has been displayed on the Notice Boards.

e) Adoption of NALC Financial Regulations 2014 – The Clerk had emailed to councillors a draft copy of the new code with a line through parts of the document which, she felt, were not relevant to the council. The document was adopted, subject to points made by the Chairman.
Item 2.2 states that on a regular basis, at least once in each quarter, and at each financial year end, a member other than the Chairman (or a cheque signatory) shall be appointment to verify bank reconciliations produced by the RFO. The member shall sign the reconciliations and the original bank statements as evidence of verification. This activity shall on conclusion be reported, including any exceptions, to and noted by the council. The council appointed Mrs Milner.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 25 September 2014
f) Request from Methodist Church for a donation to modernise their facility – After discussion the council agreed not to support this request.
g) SALC Clerks Net-work training day 7 July – The Council agreed to pay a one-third contribution to this training.
366. Planning report – Mrs Hart – Councils Response to Applications
The Old Brickworks, Bepton Road requests temporary permission for 5 years to separate and crush stone and concrete from soil to create material to be used to backfill electricity cable trenches. Letter of objection sent. This has been referred to the SDNP committee for their September meeting.
SDNP/14/02271/HOUS & SDNP/14/02272/LIS
Bepton Hotels Ltd requests permission to erect a conservatory at The Old Cottage. Letter of no objection sent. Pending decision.
Mr. Mark Bilsland of Padwicks Farm requests permission to adapt the cart barn with minor internal and external alterations to facilitate use as home office and studio. Letter of no objection sent. Approved.
SDNP/14/003131FUL & SDNP/14/03133/LIS
Mr. Mark Bilsland of Padwicks Farm requests permission to convert and extend the main barn to create a holiday let. Letter of no objection sent. Pending decision.
Mr. James Keyes of Hopkiln Cottage, Bell Lane requests permission to convert the existing Hopkiln dwelling, to form a link to a replacement of the existing cottage and to erect a detached double garage. Letter of support sent.
Mr D McFarland on behalf of 1 and 2 Heathlands Cottages requests the discharge of condition 3 relating to 14/02901/FUL. Letter of no objection sent. Pending decision.

Electronic only consultation on planning applications
As advised by previously, for parishes that fall within the South Downs National Park, the SDNPA will be holding a series of training road shows on a park wide basis in late October/early November. An invitation to the road shows will be sent by the SDNPA closer to the time

367. Environment and Amenities
a) Overgrown vegetation on Minching Lane -Mrs Hollowood has reported this to Rights of Way.
b) It was noted that the Bepton Village sign needs cleaning. Mrs Hollowood offered to clean it.
c) Crown lift oak tree – It was noted that the oak tree on the junction of Severals Road needs crown lifting. Mrs Hollowood offered to speak to someone in the Cowdray Estate Office. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the Cowdray Estate Office about this.
d) Notice Board on Severals Road – Perspex needs replacing.
e) The ARC project has £33,000 available for local communities for implementing a range of habitat / wildlife / access improvements. The average grant value is £500 but they will consider applications up to £1000. Mr Balmforth will forward the Email to Friends of Midhurst Common.
f) Emergency Planning for winter season – Mr Balmforth to contact Mr Spiller at WSCC to provide new salt bags. These will be stored in unused barns at Church Farm by kind permission of Mr Hamilton-Fox. Mr Keith Parkes is the official contractor to spread the salt.
g) Footpath outside Frogmore – Mr Ewing to write to Smiths Gore with the outstanding items.
Mr Balmforth asked whether we needed to do any maintenance work on the footpath which was cleared last winter. It was agreed that it was clear at the moment so none was necessary. But an eye had to be kept on it.

Minutes of Bepton Parish Council meeting 25 September 2014

368. Highways/Rights of Way
a) With reference to the drainage at Bepton Village, there had been uncertainty about the ownership and therefore responsibility. Following a meeting between Cowdray and WSCC, Cowdray had excavated and cleared the ditch. However, there was a broken pipe which WSCC were now addressing.
b) Bepton Road will be closed between Park House Hotel and its junction with Bell Lane on 17.11.14 for 3 days to allow drainage repairs to be carried out safely. (N.B. The road will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Residents will be allowed supervised access during these times but others won’t. WSCC will make the contractors aware of the school bus access needed.).
c) Padwicks Farm, Meadow View flooding – the County Council have taken on board the reason for the flooding and will be doing something about it.

369. District /County Organisations
a) The Clerk attended the SSALC AGM on 3.9.14.
Lord Lytton retired as President. Sir Michael Chater, OBE was elected.
a) CAB – AGM Arun & Chichester Branch 17 October.
b) CDC All Parishes meeting Tuesday 21 October – Awaiting Agenda
c) SDNPA workshop – focus on SDNPA Local Plan 7pm – Mrs Hart to attend.

370. Other Matters – There were none.

Date of next meeting – 27 November 2014 @ 7.00pm, The Park Hotel, Bepton

Chairman: …………………………………. Date: …………………………..