1 March 2016 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council 

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 1 March 2016 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, ACSG for  Avebury Chapel Steering Group, ACSReC for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, AHA for Aster Housing Association, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, LGA for Local Government Act, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News, URC for United Reform Church, WALC for Wiltshire Association of Local Councils, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:30

  1. Public question time: There were six members of the public present for all or part of the meeting. A member of the public stated she would like to know more about the new planning applications for a fast food outlet and signage at the Coach House, and information about the proposed fence replacement in Church Walk which she felt should be decreased in height. Another member of the public said he would like to know APC’s thoughts on the licence requested by the NT. The Chairman said these items would be covered on the agenda.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Maggie Lewis (Vice Chairman), David Brotheridge, Lynzey Paradise, Zandria Service and Stephen Stacey. In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton (items 1-13) and Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies: Councillor Dr Mike Bedford
  4. Declarations of interest: Stephen Stacey declared an interest as a homeowner within the Parish and applicant for planning permission, see item 8a. He had signed a declaration of acceptance of office just prior to commencement of the meeting but therefore had yet to register his interests with WC.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 2 February 2016: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mrs Paradise.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes: on the agenda.
  7. Membership:
    1. The Chairman reported he had received two resignations, Mr Mike Daniel had resigned on 13 February and Ms Antoinette Kremer on 1 March. Members very much appreciated the time and effort they had given in service to the community and to the Parish Council, and it was agreed the Chairman write to both of them to express heartfelt thanks.
    2. The Chairman welcomed Mr Stephen Stacey as a new co-opted member of the Parish Council. Members and the Clerk introduced themselves.
  8. Planning applications:
    1. Work to trees in a Conservation Area at Greystones, Green Street, Avebury Ref: 16/01418/TCA. Mr Stacey declared an interest and left the meeting temporarily. Plans were tabled and considered. It was unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mr Brotheridge. Mr Stacey was readmitted to the meeting. 
    2. Application for full planning for outdoor seating for use as a fast food outlet within the courtyard front and rear of the Coach House, High Street, Avebury. Erection of screened refuse area and extension of opening hours. Ref: 16/00736/FUL
    3. Application for advertisement consent for 2 non illuminated removable advertisement sign boards and one A board at the Coach House Café, High Street, Avebury. Ref: 16/00949/ADV.                                                                                                 The Chairman explained the NT already had existing planning permission for a food outlet and café at the Coach House. He had received many local comments on the new applications. He also said he and Mrs Lewis had attended a meeting with the NT in last few days. The Chairman tabled a possible draft letter to WC Planners (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1) for consideration. He said the draft outlined the positive and negative concerns in terms of change of use and advertisements with recommendations at the end. It was noted letters had also been received from three households in the Parish. The Chairman asked members for their observations. The following points were raised:
      1. Existing facility was not open that often and implied no real demand.  Seating would therefore make no difference.
      2. Concept of fast food outlet not appropriate at the centre of the WHS. The venue should be a café and not a fast food outlet.                                                                                                        Ms Service requested further information on the content of the letters that had been received. The Chairman read out the letters and members noted the concerns included: litter, smells, signage that would detract from the ambience of the WHS, increased traffic and congestion, the close proximity of the toilet facilities, whether the NT had quantified the need, the impact of increased competition on other local businesses, the environmental impact including the likely increase in throw-away plastic cutlery and food containers, two large signs and an ‘A’ board not being in line with WHS Management Plan policy on advertisements and lack of provision of external bins. Mrs Milton stated that no bins had been proposed outside the Coach House and it was noted there was no information on whether the public conveniences would be renovated. She added she had already called in the application and it would go to the April or May meeting of the Planning Committee.
      3. Overall members felt APC should object to the application rather than negotiate with the NT and include the following reasons:
        1. NT are signatories to the WHS Management Plan and the planning application was for development contrary to the aims and objectives of the Management Plan.
        2. Intensification of use / greater commercialisation in the centre of the village.
        3. Mrs Milton advised members to be cautious in requesting a consent for a one year experimental period as this would not be enough time to assess the impact of the change of use.  She recommended two years.
        4. The Chairman invited questions from members of the public present.  The following points or concerns were raised:
          • No indication anyone wanted the development; the NT already had a café and should give other traders the opportunity of setting up as alternatives
          • Increased footfall and rubbish
          • Dangers of an ‘A’ sign in the street, including casual parking by coaches outside Coach House causing added problems
          • Increase in traffic and parking problems, including drivers wishing to buy snacks when driving through Avebury
          • APC should write to the Executive Board of the NT; the NT had not consulted with neighbours about the advertising, which would have been good practice and was an option on the application form
          • Competition, although Mrs Milton advised this was not a material planning consideration.
          • In the past Avebury had had an agreement there should be no fast food trading on the High Street
          • There were on-going attempts to enhance the Parish; damage would be caused to the grass triangle by extra traffic and its geometry would be compromised.
          • APC should request improvements to the public conveniences.
          • Overall members felt the NT could much improve communications.
          • It was resolved that the Chairman amend the draft letters and circulate them to members for comment before submission to the Planning Department.  APC would also attend the Planning Committee meeting when the called-in applications were considered. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
    4. Application for a Premises Licence: National Trust Estate, High Street, Avebury, SN8 1RF (to include the Estate Office/Avebury Manor/Museum/Dovecote/Circles Cafe/Great Barn/Education Room/Shop/Coach House). Application by: NT (Enterprises) Ltd.

      A map was tabled of the areas and buildings to be licensed (see appendix 2). The Chairman read out the details of licensable activities applied for:

      ·        Plays (Indoors & Outdoors): Monday-Sunday 10:00-23:00             ·        Films (Indoors): Monday-Sunday 10:00-23:00                                 ·        Live Music, Recorded Music, Performance of Dance (Indoors & Outdoors): Monday-Sunday 10:00-23:00                                                 ·         Late Night Refreshment (Indoors): One night per annum for Summer Solstice 23:00-05:00                                                                                        ·         Supply of Alcohol (ON & OFF the premises): Monday-Sunday 10:00-23:00

      The Chairman said that the NT had explained that it had a number of different licences and that the purpose of the application was to simplify its administration by having one comprehensive licence. Mrs Milton said she had been advised that the NT’s Solicitor could apply for a one-off licence and she recommended that the Coach House should be removed from consideration. The Chairman asked members for their initial observations. In discussion members were concerned about the parkland (orange area on map) being licensed, and that the National Trust had included the Henge within the red lined boundary shown on plan as this was a national monument with Scheduled/ Guardianship status. Both areas were easily accessed by the public and difficult to control. It was also undesirable that other areas should be licensed such as the NT ‘Farmyard’ which was open to the public, and the Manor Garden. There was also no requirement for a blanket licence, certain buildings including the Coach House should be removed from the application and there was a lack of precise information on uses.

      The Chairman reported he had been advised by WC that objections should be based on the following issues and/or foreseeable issues:

      1. Crime and disorder
      2. Public safety
      3. Public nuisance
      4. Protection of children

      Mrs Paradise asked whether APC could request a restriction on the hours of use. Mr Stacey said there were two separate issues; one was the application and the second was the need  for the NT to engage in dialogue on their plans.

      Members of the public were asked by the Chairman to provide any additional opinions. The main concern was noise levels and the blanket nature of the application that was insensitive to the fact Avebury was a small community where sound travelled. It was noted there was a lack of communication by the NT.

      It was resolved that APC would not rewrite the proposal for the NT but simply object for the above reasons and then ask the NT to a full Parish Council meeting. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously. Mrs Milton said she would in the meantime register her objection with the Licensing Committee. It was noted the consultation ended 22nd March 2016.

    5. Members resolved to receive the minute of the Planning Committee’s site visit on 13 February to Rutlands Farm. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously. (See appendix 3).
  9. Transport Group: the Chairman reported the next meeting of the Committee would be held on 8 March.
    1. 30mph limit on Swindon Road: the application to CATG was tabled (see appendix 4) and it was noted the next meeting of CATG was 17 March. Later in the meeting and before item 11, it was resolved that APC offer to contribute 25% of the total required funding subject to a maximum of £1,000. Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously.
    2. Parking in Trusloe: meeting scheduled for 14 March with Centurion Western, Aster Housing and Wiltshire Council.
    3. Dropped kerb by 43/44 Trusloe Cottages: AHA had advised that any residents requesting a dropped kerb would need to apply separately as an admin fee was required for every separate request. Deferred to next meeting.
  10. ACSReC: Mrs Lewis reported:
    1. Membership: Mr Daniel and Mr Brotheridge had resigned from ACSReC. In the meantime Mrs Paradise had indicated she would like to join the Committee.
    2. Approval of Conditions of Hire and Booking Form: see appendix 5 for Conditions of Hire, web site for booking form and below for resolution.
    3. Western hedge/fence: a planning application for works to trees behind the Pavilion would be needed as existing consent did not cover that area. Final planting and clearing was due to happen that weekend. The cost of erecting the fencing was likely to be £220 (ex VAT) and a further quotation was to be obtained. Fencing materials were due to be supplied by Tony Farthing . The Chairman asked who was funding the works as APC/ACSReC were responsible for maintenance costs.  He and invited Mr Fry as a member of ACSReC to speak. Mr Fry said payment was being offered from the Community Orchard. He added that the Pavilion roof was still leaking. It was resolved APC should (i) fund £110 towards the cost of erecting the fence, (ii) nominate Mrs Paradise to join ACSReC and (iii) endorse the Conditions of Hire and Booking Form. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr Stacey and unanimously agreed. Mr Brotheridge reported the Jaguar Car Club had found the booking form not very user friendly. Mr Fry to contact them for feedback.
    4. Connecting the Pavilion to mains water supply:
      1. Members to consider quotation(s) received to connect pavilion to mains water supply: the Clerk reported one quotation had been received by noon that day and opened in the presence of the Chairman. The price was £6,184.00 (ex VAT) for the ground works including internal plumbing. Members felt the price was far too expensive and not acceptable. Members recalled the alternative solution of having a nitrate filter installed would have cost about £1,800 + VAT.
      2. Thames Water mains supply connection charge: Thames Water had quoted for the connection charge; APC had 180 days to accept the quotation.
      3. It was resolved that APC to seek prices from local contractors for works to connect the pavilion to the mains. They would not probably be TAP approved and APC would need to arrange for Thames Water to inspect the ground works.  Proposed by Mr Brotheridge, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
  11. Meeting with National Trust: report on Trust’s proposed programme of events for 2016. The Chairman tabled the NT’s schedule and Mrs Lewis reported the NT was trying to spread their events out more evenly within the year.
  12. Highways issues and repairs to Play Area at Trusloe: the Chairman reported he and the Clerk would be meeting WC Highways on 9 March in Avebury to meet the new Co-ordinator and look at outstanding issues. He reported Mr John Berkeley was the new Parish Steward. (The Clerk left the room temporarily).
    1. Members to consider quotation from Wicksteed for repairs: the Clerk tabled a quotation from Wicksteed. It was noted the protective skirt for the see-saw was £244, a new seat £63, paint £40 and the total cost for fitting the spares and rubbing down and repainting the basketball post was £560. Members felt a better price could be obtained for the labour. It was resolved the Clerk to order a new skirt and see-saw seat only and obtain alternative quotations for the fitting of the spare parts including works to the basketball post. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
    2. Climbing frame entrapment risk: manufacturer still unknown. Clerk to seek advice from Mrs Rawlins.
    3. Fence repairs and noticeboards: the Clerk reported she had instructed John Giles to straighten out the wire fencing but he would not be able to replace the fence as this was not his area of expertise. He would also try to resolve the condensation in the Trusloe and Beckhampton notice boards. It was noted APC required a handyman.
    4. Basketball pillar sign: the Clerk reported she had purchased two signs and they were tabled at meeting.
  13. Devolution of assets and services from Wiltshire Council to town and parish councils and consideration of APC providing services instead. Members agreed this should be raised with the public at the Village Meeting on 28 April.
  14. Local issues: including
    1. URC Chapel: the Chairman reported he had received a copy of a flier that day in time for APC’s meeting that the Avebury Chapel Steering Group was planning to circulate to residents. It stated that enthusiastic support had been received for their mandate with 57 in favour and four against ACSG taking the project forward. In discussion, members felt the item should be on the Annual Village Meeting agenda and needed proper consultation and time. The Chairman asked members of the public for their opinions; they felt the issue was very important. The Chairman read out a synopsis on the URC Chapel that would be published in APCs Headlines in March in UKN. It was agreed APC should invite local people and ACSG to an open meeting, possibly on Monday 18 April at 7pm as an extra ordinary meeting of APC.  (Mrs Paradise left the room temporarily).
    2. Manor garden fence on Church Walk: (emails previously circulated). The Chairman explained he had been approached by members of the public who were concerned that it appeared that the fence was about to be replaced imminently. Local people thought that improvements to the setting of Church Walk and the Manor, which were both in a Conservation Area, could be achieved with a more attractive form of boundary. He had emailed Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT Manager) to enquire about the planning position.  A member of the public had been notified by Mrs Tomlin early in February that the fence was going to be replaced rather than repaired. He had also emailed Helen Garside (WC Conservation Officer) for advice. The NT had replied that the existing fence was legal and that it was still considering its options. Ms Service suggested arranging an on-site meeting. Chairman to respond to NT.
    3. Housing needs survey: deferred to next meeting
    4. Community Wi-Fi and Broadband speeds: Mrs Lewis said a repeater node had been installed in the Post Office and one would be put in the Manor. Feedback from the public on broadband speeds was that speeds ranged from 35 mega bits per second to <1 mbs. It was noted people who had signed up for fibre were receiving the best speeds. Mrs Lewis would now sort the data out geographically.
    5. Defibrillator for Avebury: Mrs Lewis to talk to Tim Chamberlain (NT Facilities Manager) about re-siting NT owned defibrillator.
    6. Emergency Plan: it was noted a Snow Plan was required and Mrs Lewis and Mrs Farthing would work on this.
    7. Puddles and potholes in Green Street: the Chairman reported work had been completed by WC.
    8. Planters in High Street: deferred (to 9 March meeting with Highways)
    9. Beckhampton surface water: deferred (to 9 March meeting with Highways)
    10. Possible removal of railings at Avebury Trusloe: the Clerk tabled a consultation notice she had prepared with photographs of four sets of railings. Members decided to include the request for feedback in a flyer to all households.
    11. Bins for Avebury Trusloe for use by dog owners: No further information, removed from agenda.
    12. Phone kiosk in Avebury Trusloe: the Clerk reported she had been advised by BT there was no problem if anyone wanted to clean the outside of the kiosk. Members requested the Clerk to contact BT to get their engineers to straighten the kiosk.
    13. road sweeping: the Clerk said she had chased this up with Highways.
  15. Communications: February Headlines submitted to UKN and published on notice boards.
  16. Correspondence: not covered.
  17. Finance and admin:
    1. Donations: the Clerk reported further requests had been received from Victim Support and The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust that should have been considered last November. Members noted both charities were of benefit to local residents and as per APC Policy it was resolved to donate £50 to each organisation. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
    2. Cheques for payment and cheques for ratification: it was unanimously agreed that the following cheques by paid. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
      1. Stocksigns Ltd: x2 small warning signs for basketball net                                                                                                 £79.25
      2. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: 22 Jan – 21 Feb 2016                                                                                            £348.28
  18. Date of next meeting: 5 April 2016. Apologies received from Mr Williamson.
  19. Any other business: (i) Ms Service expressed thanks to the Butlers (landowners) for planting that had been carried out by the new big barn complex as part of the conditions of their original planning application. (ii) Mrs Paradise reported she had received a complaint from a member of the public about the slippery nature of the walkway in a part of the Henge behind the Chapel. (iii) Mrs Lewis said the WI were supporting the ‘Clean for the Queen’ initiative.
  20. The meeting closed at 21:52

Appendices:

  1. Draft letter on the Coach House to WC Planners dated 28 Feb 2016
  2. Map of NT areas and buildings in licence application
  3. Minute of the Planning Committee’s site visit on 13 February to Rutlands Farm
  4. Application to CATG for 30mph on Swindon Road
  5. ACSReC Conditions of Hire and Booking form