DRAFT MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.00 pm
ON THURSDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2017
PRESENT (five Councillors): – Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) Chairman, Lorraine Hunt (LH),
Paula Kellingray (PK) and Pam Walker (PW).
In attendance: Cllr Sandra Squire (SS), Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk,
Peter King, Parish Clerk, and seven members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present to the Parish Council Meeting.
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Tom Foy (TF), Claire Williams (CW) and Cllr Brian Long (Norfolk County Council).
2. Declaration of Interest on agenda items
No declarations were made.
3. Use of social media, audio recording of meeting and invitation for public contributions
CC asked “Will anyone present be filming, recording, blogging, or tweeting during this meeting?” There was no response from the members of the public present. CC advised members of the public that if they wished to comment on any item, before a decision was made, they should raise their hand and they would be invited to speak.
4. Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 3 August 2017
CC confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 3 August 2017.
The councillors agreed that they were content that the minutes should be signed as a true record. CC signed the minutes.
5. Matters Arising from the Minutes
It was noted that all Matters Arising were covered by the Agenda.
6.1 Chairman’s Report –
CC had nothing to report that was not covered by the Agenda.
6.2 Parish Clerk’s Report –
1. Westcotec/Sam2 (Speeding Monitors) – The Parish Clerk reported that he had obtained a further batch of speed data from the monitor positioned in Station Road. He had noted that he was still waiting for advice from Westcotec (providers of the speed monitor) for guidance on analysing the captured data. The Parish Clerk also noted that a post extension had now been installed in Lime Kiln Road making it the fifth and final speed monitoring position in the village.
2. Local Odours – The Parish Clerk reported that he and a few local parishioners, together with two councillors from Stoke Ferry Parish Council had visited Riverside Glasshouses (formerly Cornerways Nursery), next to the British Sugar Wissington refinery. It was noted that this was where a medicinal strain of the Cannabis plant was being grown under a licence issued by the Home Office. The Parish Clerk commented that the group were shown around the plant growing areas and other facilities including the processing and storage rooms. The Parish Clerk noted that when the group entered the storage rooms, there was a strong pungent smell similar to the odour that had troubled many people in the Parish and local villages at different times during the summer. The Parish Clerk commented that if parishioners wanted visit the site to experience the facilities, that he was happy to liaise with the site staff. The Parish Clerk reported that he had also contacted the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Environmental Health Department (BCKL&WN-EHD), the lead statutory organisation investigating the local smell. The Parish Clerk commented that he had been advised that BCKL&WN-EHD had received a number of complaints from West Dereham Parishioners and the department had issued a number of forms to log and compile information about the occurrence of the smells and that these should be completed and returned to their offices. The Parish Clerk noted that BCKL&WN-EHD had reported that they were unable to provide any analysis of the situation as none of the forms had been returned and the department urged that Parishioners should do so as soon as possible. The Parish Clerk added that he had also raised with BCKL&WN-EHD whether they had been able top correlate any link between the summer’s local fly and odour problems, but the department re-stated the problem of not receiving any returned forms from local parishioners to be able confirm any possible link. Two Councillors noted their concern at the lengthy delay in receiving the forms from BCKL&WN-EHD.
PB commented that more recently there had not been as many noted smells although on 23rd and 24th August, she had noted the smell known locally to be associated with the cleaning of the lime pits. The Parish Clerk reported that on Tuesday 28th August, Riverside Glasshouses had stated that they were due to employ external scientists to carry out analytical work to determine any smell association to the Cannabis plant being grown on the site, although it was not known when any results would be readily available. The Parish Clerk observed that he had kept a log of complaints referred to him during the summer period and he noted that PB’s complaint coincided on 23rd June with Riverside Glasshouse’s timetable of when they were packing a recent harvest. LH commented that further information should be obtained regarding the results from the tests carried out on 29th August. The Parish Clerk noted that the presence of the smell did seem to coincide with the timing of the second Cannabis plant harvest. Councillors agreed that local knowledge should shared amongst Parish Councils and the Parish Clerk should try and obtain any results or report from the external scientists’ analysis.
3. Training – The Parish Clerk reported that he had a new date of 9th October to attend the second day of, “The Role of the Clerk” training sessions.
4. Recreation Ground Goalposts – The Parish Clerk reported that he had been in contact with Bonnett’s and had been told that the goalposts should be completed in a two to three weeks when they had been galvanised. He noted that Councillors could arrange to visit and see the goalposts in their present state.
6.3 Handyman’s Report –
The Parish Clerk provided Roy Poole, the Handyman’s Report of work carried out during August 2017, noting the following actions:-
1. Grass Strimming – Strimmed areas around all the ten bridges, the safety signs in Basil Road, both phone boxes and post boxes and the corner of Bath Road on two occasions.
2. Overhanging brambles – These had been cut back to keep a path clear in the Bath road area.
3. Speeding Monitor – Moved the monitor twice and it is currently in the The Row, Ryston Road. The handyman noted he had had to carry out repairs to the secure lock.
4. Remembrance Garden – Carried out work of edging and weeding of the borders and trim the hedging as far as possible.
5. Wereham Road Bridge – Carried out minor repairs and painted the bridge.
6. Working Hours – Noted that due to a short holiday and the weather in July, he has now worked extra hours during August to make up his lost time.
A Parishioner expressed concern at travelling along sections of Basil Road where several dangerous blind spots had been created by spreading and overhanging bushes from several properties bordering the roadway. The Parishioner added her concern that vehicles were travelling at high speeds and that it was a danger to pedestrians, horse riders and villagers leaving their driveways and entrances. After further discussion it was agreed that the Parish Clerk should write and bring this concern to the occupants of three properties where the problem existed.
6.4 Police Report –
PK reported concerns and had received complaints regarding motorcyclists speeding on Tuesday 5th September for a period of 30 to 45 minutes along Church Road and Station Road. PK noted that she advised Parishioners to contact the Police on number 101 and also the BCKL&WN Neighbourhood Nuisance Team (NNT) as they operate 24 hours a day and are empowered to take actions. Councillors agreed that the Parish Clerk should include the number of the NNT in the next Parish Council Notice. A Parishioner added that motorcyclists were also travelling the length of Basil Road at a high speed. CC noted that they were speeding around the whole village.
A Parishioner living at the south end of Station Road expressed concern at heavy lorries driving past her house at speed and on one recent occasion, drenching her in water as a result of a lorry driving through water-filled potholes in the road outside her property. She noted that the Highways Department had provided some minor repairs. The Parishioner added that motorcyclists were also causing nuisance by speeding outside her premises. CC requested that the Parish Clerk write to the letter to the Highways Department about the condition of the road and pursue the matter with the Highways Rangers. PK asked the Parish Clerk to also bring the matter to the attention of Cllr Brian Long requesting him to also follow up the situation.
6.5 Village Hall Report –
PK noted that their recent Sunday Dinners had been a success and that the next one would be on 1st October. PK commented that during the September, Abbey Road 5 would be appearing on 9th September, Keith Skipper on 16th September, being held in conjunction with the West Dereham Heritage Group and that numbers interesting in attending were going well for both events. PK added that 48 medics from RAF Marham had made enquiries about holding a Christmas meal in the Village Hall on 16th December and that every Saturday night was now booked up until Christmas.
6.6 Broadband Report –
PW reported that she had not received any further contact with either Parishioners or Karen O’Kane (KOK), Programme Director of Better Broadband for Norfolk. PW re-iterated the report that she gave at the August Council meeting that Parishioners experiencing problems with their broadband service should contact their suppliers.
6.7 Glazewing Report –
The Parish Clerk noted that Jon Miles, Director of Glazewing had not provided a report for the Parish Council Meeting, but had requested that if anybody was experiencing problems to contact the company.
PB noted that everyone should have received a copy of the Environment Agency (EA) report regarding the fly situation in the form of a newsletter circulated to every household in the September Village Magazine. PB added that she had received little recent communication with the Norfolk County Council. PB reported that when she last went to look at the site she observed that the piles of waste did not look to be particularly high, although has noticed that large vehicles have been very active in Station Road. CC observed that the Parish Council should ask for information of Glazewing as to why the fly problem had re-occurred in 2017 having been given recent assurances that the similar infestation problems that affected the village in 2016 would not be repeated. LH questioned what actions the EA would be doing about the monitoring the assurances given, that waste would not be stored for more than 48 hours and whether their staff would continue to visit the site to monitor the situation. The Councillors asked the Parish Clerk to contact the EA to confirm the position. CC asked parishioners to continue to monitor the situation and to report back to the Parish Council any observed actions that cause concern.
PW reported that she had attended a Stoke Ferry Internal Drainage Board meeting with SS on 6th September and noted that under the planning comments from 14th August 2017, that there were no objections to application C882/2017/2011 had been raised. PW commented that the subject was West Dereham Recycling Site and that “no objection to discharge of conditions” was reported.
In response to a question from a Parishioner regarding the keeping of skips, CC commented that at meeting of local statutory authorities requested by the Parish Council on 1st April 2011 that Glazewing had only agreed to undertake to consider screening the skips. CC noted that it was not possible to enforce this situation and those responsible for planning had not set a number limit on the storage of skips
7.1 Cash Book and Cash Flow August 2017 – The Parish Clerk displayed Cash Book on the overhead projector, followed by the Cash Flow noting there been little activity and no further income received during the month of August.
7.2 Cheque Payments for Approval for August 2017 – The Parish Clerk displayed the itemised pending payments on the overhead projector.
Payee Cheque No. Net VAT Gross Remarks
Mazars LLP 100978 £200.00 £40.00 £240.00 External Audit 2016/7
Pear Technology Services Ltd 100979 £200.00 £40.00 £240.00 Technical and IT Support for year
Holly Landscapes 100980 £975.00 £195.00 £1,170.00 Ground Maintenance – July & Aug 17
R. Poole 100981 £240.43 0.00 £243.43 Handyman’s Payment and expenses
P. King (Parish Clerk) 100982 £538.98 0.00 £538.98 Staff Salary (including Tax Refund)
Total £2154.41 £275.00 £2,429.41
CC asked the Councillors present if they were content with the payments. All Councillors noted they were content. CC concluded that the cheques and control processes would be signed off at the end of the meeting.
7.2 Precept 2018/19 – Preliminary Review – CC advised the meeting that in the months leading up to December, each year, the Councillors start to plan the Parish Council finances for the following year by looking at the budget and consider any adjustments that might be possible or necessary. CC invited the Councillors and Parishioners to make ideas or suggestions. CC noted that the Council is saving to replace its village signs and to create a village green, at present, in an unidentified location. PB noted the need to consider the training budget and increase the contingency budget line. CC questioned whether the Council should consider installing a water supply to the allotments and noted the need for a budget to introduce the green burial area within the cemetery.
7.3 Audited Accounts for the year 2016/17 – Update – The Parish Clerk reported that the Parish Council had been through an audit of its finances during the summer. He noted that in the first instance the Parish Council accounts and annual return were scrutinised and passed by an appointed internal auditor in May and then passed to Mazars, an accountancy company, to provide an external audit. The Parish Clerk added that the Parish Council has passed the external audit and the accounts and annual return have been certified by Mazars. The Parish Clerk noted that the annual return and associated documents are required to be shown on the Parish Council’s website that members of the public may request a copy of the annual return from the Parish Clerk, for a small fee, to be confirmed. CC noted there is guidance in the Publications policy as to the setting of the fee.
8. Norfolk Minerals Site Specific Allocations Development Plan Document
CC read out from prepared notes for the meeting. There has been a predicted silica sand shortfall of 2.6 million tonnes and the Minerals Site Specific Allocations Plan of 2013 contained a requirement for a silica sand review. Back in May 2015, Caroline Jeffrey, Norfolk County Council Principal Planner for Minerals & Waste Policy (CJ) wrote to those Parish councils which have silica sand resources within their boundaries. It was the usual “call for sites”. It was mentioned at Para 8 of our 2 April 2015 minutes. Silica sand is present in the southern part of our village and covers both grades 2 and 3 agricultural land and some individual dwellings. We decided there was no action to be taken at that point because the potential sites had yet to be identified. Next came CJ’s letter of 8 October 2015 with the preferred options and none was selected in our parish. We informed the village of this at our Parish Council meeting on 5 November 2015, recorded at paragraph 5.1.2. On 6 May 2017, CJ invited Parish Council’s to comment during the announced consultation period. This did not affect West Dereham so we didn’t comment. The Parish Council have gone through all the documents and there is nothing that can be seen that suggests with the modifications that have been made, that shows that West Dereham has suddenly been dragged into the frame. The Parish Council have not commented again.
A Parishioner asked where the deposits were? CC suggested that detailed information, containing maps, could be found on the Norfolk County Council website. CC stated that the Parish Council shall continue to report on the position as and when information becomes available.
9. Parish Council Internal Affairs and Policies
9.1 Data Protection Policy
CC noted several typo errors and requested that the Parish Clerk make the necessary amendments.
LH noted that she was not aware of any record of the Parish Council paying an annual subscription to the Information Commissioners Office. The Parish Clerk would check for the payments. The Councillors were content with the policy, subject to the typo errors being corrected.
9.2 Risk Assessment
CC noted the logo, the updating of Parish Clerk’s details and some grammatical changes required amendment. The Councillors were content with the policy, subject to the Parish Clerk updating the amendments.
10. Planning Decisions
10.1 Land on the West Side of Basil Road, West Dereham, Norfolk – Application Number 17/00974/LDE – Update
The Parish Clerk read out the following from a report taken from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Planning Department (BCKL&WN-PD) website. The Parish Clerk noted the Report stated “the Decision was lawful, the Proposal was for an Application for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) for the existing use of land for overflow storage of materials relative solely to the business operations of West Dereham Plant. The date was 13th July 2017. Against the Relevant Planning History, the report stated that ‘There is no recent relevant planning history’, Consultations are ‘not applicable, given the nature of the application’, Representations are ‘not applicable, given the nature of the application’, Legal Issues state ‘Section 191 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1980 provides for anyone to apply to the local planning authority for a lawful development certificate to certify the lawfulness of an existing operation or some activity being carried out in breach of a planning condition. By virtue of Section 191, uses and operations are ‘lawful’ if no enforcement action may be taken against them and they are not in contravention of any enforcement notice which is in force’. Considerations: ‘The main issue for consideration in the determination of this application is whether, on the date the application was made (18 May 2017), the land been continuously used as overflow storage of materials relative to the business operations of West Dereham Plant. The onus of proof is firmly on the applicant. NPPG advises on the relevant tests of submitted evidence for LDC applications. If the Local Planning Authority has no evidence of its own or from others to contradict or otherwise make the applicant’s version of events less probable there is not good reason to refuse an application, provided the applicant’s evidence alone is sufficiently precise and unambiguous to justify the grant of a certificate on the balance of probability’”.
CC commented that the Parish Council was surprised by the decision of the LDC and takes issue with the fact that the Consultations and Representations were unnecessary as more than one complaint had been received from Parishioners living in Basil Road that large lorries were travelling to the site, taking and retrieving plant from a field that was an agricultural field. CC noted that the Parish Council wrote to the owner of the West Dereham Plant outlining the complaints and questioning what the plant was being used for, when the field was believed to be used for agricultural land.
CC noted that the Parish Council having received a complaint is obliged to contact the owner to clarify that no breach of planning regulations has occurred. CC commented that the letter to West Dereham Plant was sent in February 2016 and in September 2016 a response was received. CC read the response “Indeed the field in question belongs to me and for the past 15 years it has been used predominantly as a paddock closest to the road with a small area at the bottom used for storage. I can confirm over the past twelve months we have used the same area at the bottom to store additional materials for a project we are undertaking in Cambridge. This has resulted in some increases in deliveries on larger lorries which I can confirm have now ceased and we will over the next eight weeks be clearing those storied materials to be used on the project in Cambridge. We will do this by use our small 7.5 tonne lorry and tractor that will access and egress the field via Basil Road off Hilgay Road, We have also had communications with the Borough Council Planning Department and we are going to engage a planning consultant to investigate change of use if necessary as the historical use has to be considered, nevertheless, I can confirm and assure that it is not my intention to use the site for increased storage and the activity over the past months is a one off, not to be repeated”.
A Parishioner confirmed that the contents of the field containing building materials is the same as six months ago and noted that at this time the owner is still using smaller 7.5 tonne vehicles, this because larger vehicles would not be able to make the turn into the entrance, to gain access to the site due the road width and the nearby position of a bridge on Basil Road. Larger vehicles would need to come from the other end of Basil Road via Station Road to be able to access the site.
CC noted that there is an undertaking from the owner that it is not his intention to use the site for storage and the activity of using large vehicles is presumably a one-off. CC added that the planning consultant that the owner employed was to look at the change of use, to ensure that he was not breaking the law. The advice received was that the use of the site for storing materials exceeded 10 years, so the owner could continue. CC interpreted that the owner is saying that his intention is not to re-use large vehicles as he did for the project. CC commented that it would now be sensible to seek confirmation from the owner that this is still the case, in light of his receipt of the recent LDC. CC added that the certificate shows that the owner now has lawful use of using the land for storage.
A Parishioner commented that his concern was the uses of the word ‘overflow’. CC commented that the owner obtained permission for use of overflow for storage of materials, relative solely to the business operations of West Dereham Plant.
CC stated that the BCKL&WN-PD needs to clarify whether by approving the LDC for a small area of storage, if it allows the owner to use the whole field or is restricted to still keep to the small area.
LH noted that there had been a complaint from a Parishioner showing on the BCKL&WN-PD planning portal of alleged unauthorised use, but that the case had been closed by the case planning officer.
CC asked the Parish Clerk to contact BCKL&WN-PD and determine the scope of the LDC as to how far it extends over whole field. CC noted that depending on the BCKL&WN – PD response will determine whether further clarity will be required from the West Dereham Plant owner.
11. Transparency Code Grant Application 2017/18
The Parish Clerk commented that this is a grant that the Parish Council can apply for, but in a limited field. The Parish Clerk noted that last year the Parish Council had been able to apply for a new laptop and software. The Parish Clerk added that he now understands that the deadline, despite keep changing is not until the end December 2017. The Parish Clerk noted that his initial review suggests that the Parish Council might be able to apply for the Parish Clerk’s time working on the Parish Council website. The Councillors agreed that the Parish Clerk should pursue the application.
12. Farm Tenancy 2017/20 – For approval
CC confirmed to the meeting that the Parish Council owns a piece of land next to the allotments off Hilgay Road that is let out on a three year rolling tenancy. CC added that the tenancy is now up for renewal starting on 10th October 2017, that a bidding process has taken place and four bids have been received by the Parish Clerk and these have been held in sealed envelopes and brought to this evening’s meeting. CC noted that names and bid amounts will not be mentioned. The Parish Councillors opened and reviews the bids and were unanimous in their decision. The Parish Clerk is to contact those who had placed bids with the Councillors decisions.
13. Grounds Maintenance 2017/20 – For approval
CC reported that the Parish Council had received an offer of a three year Grounds Maintenance contract with the existing contract holder, held at the current price. Councillors agreed that they had been pleased with the standard of work during this year and were content to extend the contract for a further three years. It was noted that the Parish Clerk would need to add the grass cutting of the area of the current allotment Plot number 8 and confirm inclusion of the hedge along the edge of the allotments on the Hilgay Road side.
The Parish Clerk reported that he had not received any other correspondence other than that covered by the Agenda.
15. To receive further reports/items of business for the next Agenda
Councillors had nothing to add to the Agenda.
16. Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 5th October 2017 at 7.00pm
CC confirmed the date of the meeting.
17. Open Forum
Closure : The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and final closure of the meeting was at 9.15 pm.
There were no further items raised by members of the Public present.
Next meeting is the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 5th October 2017 at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.
Clerk: Peter King – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 01366 502110
Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………