Agenda and Papers for next meeting

Updated a few days before each Parish Council Meeting

  • PC Agenda 9th October 2017 + Reports

    NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)

    You are invited to attend the Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council in Freshford Village Hall on Monday 9th October 2017 at 7.00pm


    1.           Welcome and Apologies for Absence

    2.        Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations

    3.        Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th September

    4.        Open Forum

    5.        Finance

    6.       Correspondence Received

    7.       Planning Applications:

      1. 17/04322/FUL and 17/04323/LBA Peipards Farm
      2. 17/04796/TCA Sharpstone Cottage, Golden Conifer- Reduce by 40%

    8.        Notifications: 17/003839/FUL Jasmin Cottage, The Hill - Permitted

    9.       Discussion and decision on proposed trial of ‘no parking’ zone during school morning drop-off

    10.     Discussion and decision of proposed Neighbourhood Watch leaflet to be left on badly parked cars.

    11.     Preliminary discussion of further work on War Memorial.

    12.     Preliminary discussion of 'No Parking' signs at each end of The Tyning Lane.

    13.     Preliminary discussion about proposal to reinstate view south from The Tyning.

    14.     Preliminary discussion of proposal for 'passing' bay on The Tyning Lane.

    15.     External Meetings

      • VPA Highways Sub Committee – update (NS)
      • ALCA - update (AO)
      • Parish Liaison Meeting - 26th October (AO)
      • Bathavon South Forum – 15th November (JA)
      • Bath Preservation Trust – tbc (RP)
    16.    Exchange of Information

    17.       Date of Next Meeting: 13th November 2017 

    Additional Papers for Meeting on 9th October 2017

    Avoncliff Wood

    On 11th September 2017 I, along with representatives from Winsley and Westwood PCs, met Justin Milward and Ross Kennerley of the Woodland Trust. The Trust is in discussions about purchasing Avoncliff Wood and adjacent fields, including the meadow between the Wood and the Avon. The Trust’s main objective is to conserve the existing ancient woodland and to plant appropriate trees around its perimeter, so they do not envisage major changes that might bring more visitors to the area. However, they are keen to enhance appreciation of the Wood among residents, not least because they hope to have support for fundraising and volunteer woodland management. It is possible that, if old logging tracks are found, they might be restored as alternative paths through the Wood. An old entrance to the Wood, opposite Downside Nurseries, may be reopened.

    Freshford Station – funding for small improvements

    Also on 11th September Nick Stevens and I met representatives of B&NES – inc. Mark Hayward - at Freshford Station. They were looking for ways they could help enhance the station. There is a fund that provides free bike racks – we would have to pay for installation – and they felt that work parties might be interested in giving the bridge and railings a coat of paint. What they seemed to pick up on was not to make Freshford a more attractive place to catch a train from (parking problems etc) but to make Freshford an attractive place to catch a train to, primarily from Bath, enhancing the options for visitors to the area.

    Parish Facilities Audit

    I have returned an update of the Parish Facilities Audit. A significant change is that there are now 17 AirBnB properties listed in Freshford.

    Emergency Planning

    B&NES did not have much to contribute to FPC’s emergency planning checklist, while they were glad that we had been thinking about it. We have already shown the B&NES 24/7 emergency number on our sheet, but they don’t particularly want to be called unless there is something we specifically want them to do.

    ALCA meeting – 28th September 2017

    Main points:

    -  Parish Charter moving forwards. Parishes which have not yet responded to consultation will be prompted to do so. All replies will be collated and distributed to all PCs. It is hoped to submit a final draft of the Parish Charter to B&NES Council in April 2018.

    -  Considerable disquiet over how the proportion of Community Infrastructure Levy funds retained in the B&NES Strategic Reserve is used. In theory, the money is allocated to infrastructure projects on B&NES’ ‘Regulation 123’ List. Locally this includes redevelopment of the Village Hall and work at Freshford Station. Nobody knows how or whether parishes have to bid for funds for these projects. It now seems that it has been decided – how? by whom? – to spend the Strategic Reserve on flood mitigation in Bath and on educational projects. ALCA will try to get clarity at next Parish Liaison meeting. (No CIL funds have been raised in Freshford to date but it would be good to know how things work.)

    -  B&NES have mooted a ‘Parishes Conference’ next summer instead of a Parish Liaison meeting. ALCA couldn’t see the advantage – preferring the existing Parish Liaison format.

    -  Ward Boundary Review. ALCA understands that 4 Ward Councillors will go from the city and 2 from the surrounding parishes. It is possible that rural parishes on the fringes of Bath may be merged in to city wards.


    Passing place on The Tyning lane

    If funds permit, I ask the PC to consider whether to look into the possibility of providing a passing place on The Tyning lane, to encourage vehicles to pass each other at one particular place rather than damaging the length of the lane. I would envisage one of the plastic grid systems set into the existing grass – maybe somewhere near the Horticultural Society bench.

    Accompanying information for Agenda item 3: Minutes of the last Meeting

    Minutes of last meeting

    1. Action: to submit representations to the LGBCE on behalf of the PC. Done – the essence of the submission was that the Bathavon South ward remain as is. That the other village parishes in the ward were our natural partners and that we would not wish to see ourselves partnered with the Bathavon North ward.

    Dear Mr Stevens


    Thank you for your submission on the Bath & North East Somerset electoral review. Your views have been recorded and will be considered by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England when it makes its draft recommendations. I expect those draft recommendations will be published on 5 December. We will then begin a consultation to ask for further views which Commissioners can take account of before they make final recommendations. We will let you know when that new phase of consultation for this review opens.


    David Owen,

    Review Officer LGBCE.


    2. Action: Meeting (AO/NS) with Mark Hayward and Dave Dixon of B&NES Council at Freshford Railway Station on 12th September 2017.

    Dear Nick and Andrew, 

    It was really good to meet you both at Freshford Station earlier this week, thanks for taking the time to show David and me around. I have spoken to my colleague Sara Dixon about including the station as part of the Community Volunteering Challenges in June 2018.Having discussed the possibility of improvements to the cycle parking at the station, I have been made aware of a scheme that is providing free cycle parking stands to community organisations. We will be touch again once we have had the chance to further speak with GWR regarding the funding opportunities that they have available. Regards, Mark Hayward, Community Engagement Officer, Strategy and Performance.

    Among the possible initiatives discussed were the painting of the station railings and the bridge. I have spoken too with Rowena Wood who manages the volunteer team of station gardeners. She put forward the view that the appearance of the station car park could also be improved – a general spring clean and possibly parking spaces better defined and delineated.

    3. The VPA Transport Sub Group Meeting scheduled for the 26th September was cancelled. Sean Walsh of Highways England is no longer responsible for the A36/A.46 route. His place is being taken by Neil Winter who will be the new manager. We are now looking to fix a date for a meeting of the Group when both Sean and Neil can attend to ensure a smooth transition of responsibility. Encouragingly, HE still see continued value in meeting with the Group and have given that commitment.

    Road traffic matters.

    The work on The Hill to improve the pavement is now scheduled to take place on the 21st October and is likely to be completed in a week.   

    Accompanying information for Agenda item 7: Planning Applications and Decisions

    Planning Application: Peipards Farm; accessed from the Warminster Road (A36) Ref 17/04323/LBA  and 17/04322/FUL

    1    The application concerns the modification, refurbishment and change of use of buildings around the Peipards farmyard. The rectangular farmyard is surrounded by four buildings,  one on each side.                                                                                                                                                                                                  (a)  The Barn built in the 18th Century in cruciform shape is listed Grade II.                                         

    (b)  The Cow Byre is of similar date, and is adjacent to the Farmhouse.                                                 

    (c)  The Shepherd’s Cottage is on the NE side of the farmyard and is a two-storey masonry building also dating from the 18th Century.                                                                                                                     (d)  The Farmhouse itself is probably early 19th Century (listed Grade II) with two floors and rooms in the roof.  

    2   Apart from the Farmhouse, the buildings on the other three sides of the farmyard are older and were used for farming purposes whilst this farm was managed together with another local farm.    When it became a separate farm at a later date, the Farmhouse would have been added.   Both the Farmhouse and Barn are listed which means that the other two buildings can be considered to be listed as well, as they are within the overall curtilage of the site being considered.  The 1838 Tythe Map shows the farmyard with the same basic shape as currently exists.

    3   The buildings have been extended and changed over the years in a variety of styles and materials, sometimes in an ad hoc way.  Various other structures have also been added over time, and much of this building work has not been in keeping with the original.   The new owners are proposing changes that will bring the buildings into use and preserve their future.

    4   The overall scheme brings the buildings up to date with significant large scale work and landscaping improvements.  Very little of the site can be seen away from the farm and there are no height changes in the buildings, or access effects from the road.   Instead of one current domestic house (together with a Cottage currently used for farm storage), there will be three separate renovated and up dated homes.

    5   The Barn is to be converted into a five-bedroom dwelling utilising the high spaces two floors high in the Barn, and also demolishing some low quality and redundant farming structures around the building.  Original features will be retained and appropriate materials used.

    6    The Shepherds Cottage not used domestically for many years, is to be converted into a three-bedroom home. Internal spaces will be reorganised with a new staircase.  An old lean-to block will be demolished. Much of the inferior and out of character structures added to the building will be removed.

    7    The Farmhouse.  As a domestic dwelling considerable refurbishment is required to deal with damp, lack of insulation and the need to bring the building up to modern standards. Spaces will be reorganised, some of the rear extensions removed, and new bathrooms installed.   To provide storage and utility areas, part of one end of the adjoining Cow Byre will be made an addition to the house.

    8   Overall these proposals are to be welcomed.  The buildings will be renovated, preserved in historic terms and brought into use on the farm. The Council will expect all appropriate planning issues to be addressed and followed, including the Neighbourhood Plan and Villages Design Statement.  This will include converting a farm building (the Barn) into a domestic dwelling.    In supporting these proposals, the Council would not expect or agree to any further development on the overall site which should remain a managed farming business within the Green Belt and AONB.


    Accompanying information for Agenda item 9: Discussion and decision on proposed trial of ‘no parking’ zone during school morning drop-off

    Here is a draft letter to be sent to the Community Database, which more or less summarises what is proposed. Is FPC happy to support this trial?

    An attempt to reduce traffic congestion at the start of the school day

    This is to let you know that Freshford Parish Council is working with the Primary School on a plan to reduce traffic congestion at the start of the school day – for everyone’s benefit.

    We propose to make the lay-by alongside Freshford Lane – on The Tyning side – available for drop-off only between 8.30 and 9.00 on school days. The idea is that parents will be able to drop their children off without first having to park. They will then be able to drive quickly on, making way for others. The children will walk across The Tyning to the side gate of the school.

    If things work as we would hope, this will mean that:

    -  Children can be delivered safely and promptly to school

    -  Parents will avoid the daily stress of finding somewhere to park.

    -  The 94 bus and other vehicles will be less likely to find the road blocked.

    -  And inconvenience for residents will be significantly reduced.


    We will be testing this arrangement for a two-week period from xx/xx/xxxx. If successful, we’ll then decide how to implement it on a continuing basis.

    This will only work if we can keep the lay-by clear of parked cars at the crucial time, so please could everyone avoid using the lay-by for parking between 8.30 and 9.00 from xx/xx/xxxx to yy/yy/yyyy. Any residents expecting visitors, tradesmen etc at these times should also make them aware of this restriction.

    A few volunteers to help ensure the smooth running of this trial run would be greatly appreciated. If you would be prepared to show up and help supervise, not necessarily every day, please just reply to this email.

    Please remember:

    NO PARKING - 08.30-09.00




    Accompanying information for Agenda item 10: Discussion and decision on

    Proposed Neighbourhood Watch leaflet to be left on badly parked cars

    Neighbourhood Watch has received an offer to print some windscreen leaflets, which could be used to advise a motorist that they are parking inappropriately. NHW can get police support for repeat offenders, but that is unlikely to be a common event.

    It would be good if NHW had the support of the PC, Church and the Primary School.


    The main purpose of this initiative, is to ensure pedestrian safety, access for emergency and refuse collection vehicles, to avoid delays to the bus and school buses.

    This is a draft of a possible flyer, for comments.


    Accompanying information for Agenda item 12: Preliminary Discussion – ‘No Parking’ signs on The Tyning lane

    It seems that many drivers do not realise that they should not park on Tyning Lane.  (I wonder what they think the bollards are for.) There is a stone, set back from the lane, with ‘No Parking’ carved on it. Even if the words were legible, it is not really clear where it applies. I wonder if it might help to have street signs at each end, similar to the one on The Hill.


    Accompanying information for Agenda item 13: Preliminary Discussion about proposal to reinstate the view south from The Tyning

    Discussion – the bench with no view

    The bench halfway along the Tyning lane used to enjoy a magnificent view up the Frome valley. Unfortunately the wooded slope in the foreground has been left unmanaged for several years and is now overgrown, leaving the bench facing a wall of green. Should the Parish Council take action?

    The options seem to be:

    -  Leave things as they are The bench is hardly, if ever, used and is therefore a pointless asset. There is a small ongoing expense for maintenance. The bench exposes the PC to some ridicule

    -  Remove the bench completely This would incur a one-off expense but there would be no on-going maintenance cost. The concrete base on which the bench stands would remain as an eyesore unless removed – more expense – or put to some other use.

    -  Re-site the bench The bench itself seems reasonably sturdy and could be re-sited elsewhere in the village. Costs would be incurred for a new base, for moving and installing the bench and for on-going maintenance. The original concrete base would still remain.

    -  Rotate the bench This would be a fairly low-cost option but is not ideal. The concrete base is set somewhat lower than the level of the lane. The view from the bench would therefore be of car wheels and the knees of pedestrians walking along the lane – possibly not much of an improvement on the current situation.

    -  Tackle the overgrown woodland to restore at least something of the original view This would obviously be considerably more expensive but is an option I would like to invite the PC to consider. The result would put an end to the current nonsense of an unused bench with no view and would enhance the Tyning with a distinctive feature that would be unlikely to offend anyone and would give pleasure to many.


    If the PC decides to explore the idea, it should be approached in stages:

    -  The woodland to be cleared is, I believe, on land owned by the PC as part of the Tyning purchase. This would need to be confirmed.

    -  Then we would need to sound out B&NES on whether there would be difficulties in obtaining the necessary planning consent. I hope there would not. It is clear from the siting of the bench that there used to be a view. All we would be doing is putting right years of neglect. There would be no negative effect on biodiversity or the environment. Such a project is specifically supported in the Freshford and Limpley Stoke Neighbourhood Plan, paragraph 4.2.05.

    -  Next we would need to get quotations for the tree surgery work required. As the PC owns the land, my feeling is that any fallen timber could more or less be left in situ, to rot down over the years, so there need be no expense in removal. Top growth could be chipped and also left on site. We would need to understand the ongoing cost of maintaining the openness of the view.

    -  We should investigate the availability of grants to support such a project.

    -  When all the facts are known the PC would need to decide whether the costs are acceptable and whether and when the work should be put in hand.


    Andrew Orme 

    Posted 4 Oct 2017, 07:09 by parish council
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