Avebury Parish Council
Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 7 May 2019 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.
In these minutes AONB stands for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASOP for Avebury Solstice Operational Planning, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, BB & WM PC for Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council, BT for British Telecommunications plc, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, CIO for Charitable Incorporated Organisation, CPRE for Campaign to Protect Rural England, EH for English Heritage, FWO PC for Fyfield and West Overton PC, ICOMOS for International Council on Monuments and Sites, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, RoW for Rights of Way, SWASFT for South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust, TG for Transport Group, TTRO for Temporary Traffic Regulation Order, UKN for Upper Kennet News, UNESCO for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.
Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mr Ben Butler, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Ms Zandria Service and Mr Andrew Williamson.
In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
Time started: 19:31
- Public question time: there were eight members of the public present for all or part of the meeting including Eva Stützenberger (Visitor Engagement and Enterprise Manager, NT: up to and including item 6), Nathan Ward (Project Manager, NT: up to and including item 6) and Mark Pettitt BA (Hons) MRTPI (Fowler Architecture and Planning). The Chairman welcomed guests and members of the public to the meeting and invited questions. There were none.
- Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford and Mr Terence O’Connor.
- Declarations of interest: none declared.
- Minutes of meeting held on 2 April 2019: there were three requests for amendments to the draft minutes. Item 9 iii to change ‘B4300’ to ‘B4003’. Item 10 b to change ‘a letter had been sent’ to ‘a letter will be sent’. Item 11 b to change ‘from footpath 21’ to ‘from the byway’. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously. It was unanimously agreed that the corrected minutes be accepted as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Ms Service.
- Matters arising from the minutes:
- Min ref. 9.b. ASOP meeting report, permit scheme and arrangements for Solstice: Mrs Lewis confirmed that she had emailed Jill Petchey (Chair of BB & WM PC) with the parking permit.
- Planning applications: the Chairman invited Eva Stützenberger and Nathan Ward to present the NT’s plans for the Circles Café that had been submitted to WC under the planning applications listed in item 6 a-b. Plans were tabled and see appendix 1 for the floor plans and proposed elevations. Eva explained that since her presentation to the PC in December 2018 nothing had changed apart from a slight increase in the size of the upstairs windows overlooking the Henge. She reminded members that the kitchen had needed to be relocated away from the Barn for fire safety reasons and that the seating was being expanded upstairs to serve existing visitors and ease past capacity issues. Nathan said that, unlike similar project work he had been involved with at other NT locations, more emphasis had been placed on ensuring the plan for Circles Café was sensitive to the site because of the unique location and WHS status. The Chairman thanked the guests and invited questions from members of the public. The following points emerged: (i) disabled access included access to disabled toilets on the ground floor (ii) following a meeting with the WHS Avebury Committee and subsequent advice and recommendations; the windows were being moved down the roof by 400-500 mm to ensure they were more sensitive to the line of the building. Conservation glazing was going to be used. The windows would be 1500 mm longer. Ms Stützenberger confirmed that the modifications to the upstairs windows was the only change to the original plans (iii) the NT was committed to minimizing any disruption to the Village during the building works and most works vehicles would come to the site by the entrance off the Swindon road. Nathan would be engaging with the contractors to provide them with the full plans about access and restrictions on access; and was happy to share the plans with the PC at a later date. Timings of deliveries and work would also be carefully managed and a contact telephone number for the Site Manager would be provided (iv) the tendering process was currently in progress and work was scheduled to take place between July – October 2019 with a view to opening at the end of October 2019 (v) the NT had looked into trying to change the Estate Office postcode but had been advised by the Royal Mail that it would not be possible and so was increasingly using a grid reference for directions. Thanks were expressed again to NT staff and they left the meeting.
- Application for Listed Building Consent for removal of existing modern partitions and WC’s, new staircase, new voids in first floor and relocation of roof lights at Avebury Manor, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 19/00431/LBC.
- Full Planning Application for relocation of roof lights at Avebury Manor, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 19/00051/FUL. The applications listed under item 6 a-b were considered and it was resolved to support both applications. Proposed by Mr Williamson, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
- Full Planning Application for removal of existing dog boarding kennels; and, the conversion & extension of existing shop/grooming parlour and kennels/kitchen to form 1 no. residential dwelling, with associated parking, turning, landscaping and private amenity space at Sarsen Kennels, West Kennett, Marlborough SN8 1QF. Ref: 19/03781/FUL. It was noted that the planning application had been received by the PC on 1 May 2019 and that feedback to WC was due by 6 June 2019. Mark Pettitt (Fowler Architecture and Planning) was invited to introduce the proposal for Sarsen Kennels. He explained that pre-application advice had been sought from WC in 2015, the relevant bodies had been consulted including the WHS Officer, English Heritage and an archaeologist; and that scheduled monument consent had been approved in 2017. The applicant intended to enhance the site and surrounding area by removing noise from the existing kennels and sympathetically converting the building using timber cladding, cream render and slate tiles on a pitched roof. Plans were tabled and considered (see appendix 2) and noted that the conversion would be 114 square metres internally and that it was the intention of the owner to split the site at a later date. It was resolved to defer a decision to the 4 June meeting to give more time for members and the public to review the information. Thanks were expressed to Mark Pettitt and the applicant for attending the meeting.
- 18/09889/FUL – South Street, Avebury – New dwelling with garage and access. Member’s noted that WC’s decision date had been 25 April 2019 however Nick Clark (Planning Officer) had responded to the PC on 30 April 2019 to say that he was awaiting further assessment from the applicants in respect of the impact on the World Heritage Site.
- 18/11456/VAR – Manor Farm, Winterbourne Monkton – revised / additional plans and information. It was resolved not to comment on the proposed variation of conditions.
- Co-option and membership: the Chairman reported that he was aware of one applicant for the role of Parish Councillor (applicant details had been previously circulated to members) and as there was no one else put forward, Mrs Donna Byatt, who had attended the meeting that night, was invited to speak. Mrs Byatt explained that she had lived in Avebury for the past couple of years, her past work experience included the role of Senior HR Manager at Williams Formula One and she currently owned and managed Elements in Green Street. She felt that her combined commercial and residential viewpoint would benefit the PC. Thanks were expressed to Mrs Byatt for her introduction, members felt that she had a range of experience and it was resolved to co-opt Mrs Byatt to the Parish Council. Proposed by Mr Williamson, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
- Review of Annual Village Meeting: in discussion the following points emerged:
- Disappointment was expressed at not having a police presence. It was noted that the Police report had not reached the PC in time for the meeting and for operational and other reasons it had not been possible to have a Police presence.
- A member felt that, whilst the presentation on the Manor Gardens was thorough and interesting, it would have been helpful to have had a more holistic view of Avebury from the NT.
- To improve attendance rates the PC might ensure that the next meeting was not in the Easter holidays.
A member of the public said that she thought the meeting had flowed well and the presentations were thorough. The Chairman said that he was grateful to everyone who had contributed to the Village meeting and acknowledged that APC had a challenging work schedule ahead of it.
- WHS Avebury Committee meeting 30 April: Mr Williamson was invited to provide an oral report on a meeting of the WHS Avebury Committee and provided an update on the following items:
- Progress report on setting up WHS Trust: the WHS team had been interested in setting up a WHS Trust for the past two years and a charitable organisation had been set up. Mr Doug Stuart (Consultant) had considered to review whether or not a CIO should be set up. There were reservations about the team becoming a separate entity from WC.
- Wiltshire Council’s Core Planning Strategy: the WC Planners were currently reviewing the Core Planning Strategy and had attended the WHS meeting as a bonus pre stakeholder consultation. The Committee had had the opportunity to discuss whether Stonehenge and Avebury should have a combined strategy. The Committee had expressed an opinion that Avebury should have specific controls. In response Mr Williamson had made it clear that the PC had yet to put forward its views. Mr Williamson urged the PC to make representation to Sarah Simmonds (WHS Partnership Manager) to encourage WC to think about separate conditions for Avebury; especially for parking and facilities for visitors. He said that he was concerned about WC’s stated aim, which was to have a thriving economy. In discussion it was agreed that the Chairman and Mr Williamson draft an initial comment for approval by members and then submit the feedback to Sarah Simmonds as PC feedback would need to be received by the end of the month. A member of the public was invited to speak and said that he would not want Avebury to become like Stonehenge as it was a community and should be kept that way. He added that the car parking charges in Avebury were too high.
- Ridgeway National Trail: the Committee had been informed that the closure was to be repeated next year. A question was asked about the closure of the Ridgeway over Solstice and it was noted that WC was closing the byway 800 metres north of Sanctuary and that the barrier was north of byway 5. Members felt that a sign should be put up to warn visitors that the byway would lead to a dead end and there would not be room for vehicles to turn around.
- Signage: the Committee had reviewed the scheme for renewing and refreshing signage through the village and had asked WC Highways (who had presented it) to ensure that implementation respected the guidance given in the WHS Avebury Transport Strategy, in particular by making signage more discrete by not using backing boards. It was noted that the proposed directional sign to Swindon and the proposed sign reading ‘no tourist parking beyond this sign’ would not be fixed to Silbury House but sited where the existing ‘no tourist parking beyond this point’ is currently positioned.
- Legacy funding and designated work: Sarah Simmonds (WHS Partnership Manager) had requested £150,000.00 for three research projects (i) visitor access (ii) sustainable tourism (iii) burrowing animals. In discussion members noted legacy funding was available for work on trunk roads but that did not include the A4, which was designated as a trunk road. Mr Williamson reported that a methodology statement detailing the process for building up the banks on either side of the verges on the B4003 was available. A member of the public asked whether wooden posts put into the verges might be another option to help stop illicit parking.
- Light pollution in the WHS: the WHS would be talking to WC about the bright illumination of several businesses as the recommendation for bulb light intensity was < 100 candela / square meter and it appeared that the advice was not being adhered to. In discussion it was recognized that some businesses were also flouting the planning rules by installing A-boards on pavements and causing obstruction of the walkways. The WHS Plan was to reduce signage and clutter and therefore the Parish should be adopting the same view in order to decrease the sense of commercialization in Avebury. It was agreed that the Chairman draft a policy statement to that effect.
- Transport Issues: Mr Williamson added that Mrs Sarah Nichols (FWO PC) had provided a report on the Parish Chair meetings to the WHS Committee. The Chairman thanked Mr Williamson for his report.
- Project Updates:
- Transport Group: the Chairman reported that:
- Signage project: corrections to the signage as requested by the AWHS Steering Committee would need to be processed by WC Highways, but he was hopeful that the work would begin by the end of the year. See appendix 3 for version ‘A’, the first revision of the original overall signing scheme drawing(s) by Ian Turner (Traffic Engineering Team, WC).
- Resurfacing of footpath 21 and footpath 22: footpath 22 would be going ahead as planned but not footpath 21 due to limited budget. The Parish Steward would be asked to fill the potholes on footpath 21. In discussion it was noted that no timescales had been given for the resurfacing work, the leat (artificial watercourse) was blocked at the back of the NT Manor Estate and should be looked at as it was contributing to flooding on the footpaths and erosion of the surfacing and the wooden fencing along part of the path needed removing.
- A4 project at Beckhampton and West Kennett: Wiltshire Highways’ Steve Hind had promised a meeting with Atkins to discuss progress of the West Kennett and Beckhampton schemes and he very much hoped that this would take place before the next CATG meeting on 20 June.
- PC requests for ASOP meeting on 8 May and progress report on permit scheme and arrangements for Solstice: Mrs Paradise reported that she was still waiting for confirmation of the TTRO dates from WC and that Matt Perrot (WC Highways) would be contacting her the next day. WC had given her pricing for CSAS Officers but further discussion would need to be carried out in a confidential session. Discussion deferred to later in the meeting – see item 17 f.
- Play area refurbishment: Mrs Paradise said that work was in progress and she was talking with the Kennet Valley School to see if they could save money by purchasing equipment in bulk. Thanks were expressed to Mrs Paradise for her Village meeting report.
- Broadband/high speed: there was no further update.
- Transport Group: the Chairman reported that:
- Local Issues:
- A303 written representation: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 4 for a copy of the representation sent to the Planning Inspectorate on the 2 May 2019). The Chairman stressed that the PC had two main points: (i) the PC was very concerned about the possibility of Avebury’s WHS status being removed by UNESCO bearing in mind that the written report by UNESCO/ICOMOS following its most recent visit (which took place in March) was that the scheme for a tunnel as proposed by Highways England should not be built and (ii) the PC was very concerned about tourists being deflected from Stonehenge recognizing that at peak times Avebury, with about 350,000 visitors per year, was already close to saturation. It was resolved to ratify the representation sent to the Planning Inspectorate on 2 May 2019. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Butler and agreed. Clerk to supply Ms Service with a hard copy of the letter.
- Options for BT ‘phone box in West Kennett and feedback from residents in West Kennett and the wider community: there had been a delay in getting letters out to West Kennett residents but the Chairman would be actioning the task asap. The Clerk reported that she had received feedback from two residents in West Kennett who were keen to see the ‘phone kiosk repainted with shelves installed and turned into a library for the benefit of walkers and the community. The PC’s view was that the ‘phone kiosk was important as an emergency ‘phone. The Clerk said that the PC could also ask BT to repaint the ‘phone box.
- New notice board for West Kennett: in progress, the Clerk was waiting for quotations.
- Replacement planters for the High Street: work in progress and Mrs Paradise was also looking into the feasibility of asking local businesses to sponsor a planter. Mr Williamson reported that he had tightened the girth around the seventh planter and it was acknowledged that several planters would need replacing very soon.
- Repainting of BT ‘phone box in the High Street: the Clerk had written to BT and they had requested a photograph of the ‘phone box that needed repainting. Mrs Lewis offered to take a photo’ and email it to the Clerk. [During item 11 e the Chairman reported that a letter had been received that night containing a complaint about a campervan parked in the High Street. The Clerk acknowledged receipt of the letter but advised members that it was not Parish Council business and to desist in discussing the matter].
- To consider whether a third defibrillator is needed: in discussion members considered whether it would be possible to install a defibrillator in the West Kennett ‘phone kiosk whilst keeping the ‘phone line operational and Mrs Lewis offered to ask SWASFT. It was noted that Mrs Lewis had submitted an application for a defibrillator to SEN’s annual grant scheme by the scheme’s deadline, so that the PC might have the chance of being awarded funding. Further documents would be needed if the PC wished to finalize the application. It was noted in conclusion that the PC needed to decide whether a third defibrillator was needed and in particular whether, if there was a clear need, the PC, ASSC, or another body would be the right sponsor.
- Fly Tipping: Mr Butler reported that there had been fly tipping along the byway to Yatesbury. He had registered the issue on the on-line system but had been told it was not WC’s responsibility. Mr Williamson advised him to speak directly to Martin Cook at WC for further advice.
- Parish Steward Priority Sheet: the Chairman reported:
- Report on work completed in April: the Parish Steward had filled potholes located on the side of the road (also part of the Sustrans cycle network) from Bray Street Cottages to Yatesbury road. Road signs had been cleaned; railings on Big Arch Bridge painted white and verges on Big Arch Bridge and leading up to the bridge had been strimmed. Mrs Paradise asked that the Parish Steward be advised not to overfill the potholes as they then became a tripping hazard.
- Job requests for May / June: the Chairman advised that the Parish Steward was seconded to WC grass cutting duties in May and that members should think about highway issues for June. [Items currently on the list include: grass cutting on footpath verges that link South Street to bus shelter in Avebury Trusloe, pothole filling on Hunter’s Walk, FP21, and (if possible) on south bound A4361 just past bus shelters and Rawlins Park. N.B. hand clearing of drains and gullies in Church Walk was not possible so the Parish Steward hopes to organize jetting by mechanical means though this will be possible only if the specialist vehicle required can access the area].
- Communications: the Chairman reported that PC Headlines had not been submitted to the May Edition of UKN but a bumper edition would be submitted for June. The notice of a casual vacancy had been published on the PC’s web site and that position was now filled at the meeting that night. Members noted that a further vacancy would occur the next day due to Mr Williamson’s resignation. The Chairman expressed sincere thanks to Mr Williamson for his time on the PC and said that he had provided a sterling service and that all present would miss him.
- Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
- Invitation to CPRE Wiltshire AGM, 11:30am on 20 June at Bowood House.
- Temporary Closure of: A4 Bath Road (Part), Marlborough (07/05/19 – 31/05/19).
- Temporary Closure of: B4003 (Part) Avebury (01/07/19 – 02/07/19).
- Police crime report January – April 2019 had been received and see appendix 5.
- Community First – members bulletin Spring 2019.
- WC Town and Parish Evening Meeting – 13 June at Kennet House, Devizes.
- Finance and admin including: the Clerk reported:
- Parish precept: £6,350.00 had been received on 23 April 2019.
- VAT rebate: £751.71 had been received on 20 March 2019.
- Internal audit and annual return: internal audit for the year end accounts was being arranged [13 May 2019] and the annual return would need to be approved at the PC’s June meeting.
- Community litter picking equipment: the Clerk reported that the following items of equipment were now owned by the PC and encouraged members to organize Community litter picking during the year.
10 plastic hoops (14″)
20 litter pickers
20 red pvc gloves
10 adult hi viz jackets, 6 child hi viz jackets
1 large sweeping brush
1 graffiti removal kit
- Cheques for ratification: it was resolved that the following cheque raised on 16 May 2019 be ratified. Proposed by Mr Williamson, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
- HM Revenue and Customs: tax and National Insurance £143.76
- Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr Williamson and carried unanimously.
- Avebury Social Centre: rent for extra meetings 12 March and Village meeting 16 April 2019 + rent of projector for Village meeting £30.00
- Information Commissioner: data protection renewal fee £40.00
- WALC: annual subscription 2019/2010 to WALC and NALC (including VAT) £ 195.50
- WALC: 3x copies of the Good Councillor Guide (including VAT on P&P) £12.87
- Community First: annual insurance 3rd year of LTA £398.38
- Miss E Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 March – 21 April 2019 £372.59
- Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 4 June 2019
- Any other business:
- Mrs Lewis said that she had witnessed a tour bus stopping on the A4361 by Silbury House to let passengers off the bus and felt that it was a dangerous place to stop as it encouraged overtaking. She requested that the PC consider putting together a policy on Tour Bus parking.
- The Clerk reported that she had received a call from a member of the public to report that there was an accident on A4361 northbound on 11 April involving a pick-up truck coming off the road at the first bend and demolishing fencing. She had advised the member of the public that the chevron on the southbound road was being moved and re-positioned to the northbound bend as part of the WC signage project taking place later that year. Mr Williamson tabled the signage map and advised that according to the map the chevron was going to be reinstalled on the southbound bend.
- The Clerk reported that lighting in the bus shelter (north of A4361) at Avebury Trusloe had been fixed by WC.
- A new latch was still needed for the Community Shop notice board.
- The combined Parishes RoW meeting was booked for 3 June at ASSC and the Chairman would be representing APC at it.
- The Chairman said that in view of an earlier request for a confidential session on parking permits it was advisable in the public interest that the public be temporarily excluded. WC’s pricing for CSAS The Community Safety Accreditation Scheme was discussed and it was agreed that Mrs Paradise find out the price for two officers for 24 hours. Ms Service expressed thanks to Mrs Paradise for her work.
- The meeting closed at: 22:40
Appendices: (included in the book of Parish Council papers)
- Reordering of Circles Café, Avebury: floor plans and elevations
- Sarsen Kennels, West Kennett: site plan, floor plans and elevations
- Version ‘A’, the first revision of the original overall signing scheme drawing(s): drawing 1, drawing 2, drawing 3, drawing 4, drawing 5, drawing 6
- A303 written representation submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 2 May 2019
- Police Report for Jan – April 2019