PC Agenda 9th April 2018 + Reports

posted 4 Apr 2017, 08:38 by Parish Council Communications   [ updated 4 Apr 2018, 14:53 ]

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 April 2018 at 7.00pm


1.     Welcome and Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations

3.     Minutes of the Meeting held on 12th March 2018

4.     Open Forum

5.     Finance and Personnel:

6.     Payments and receipts.

7.     Correspondence received

8.     Planning Applications:

·      18/01166/TCA Laurel House, Station Road. Fruiting cherry tree, Trim Crown laurel hedge – Removal and replan with yew hedge.

·      17/05741/LBA Ivythorpe bathroom renovation

·      18/01402/FUL Rosemary House, Church Lane 3 car garage

9.     Decision Notifications/Further News

·      17/05969/FUL Avonlea House: Permit

·      18/00216/FUL The Hive, Pipehouse Lane: Permit

·      17/06106/FUL Hinton House helipad: Site visit 3rd April, DMC 11th April

·      17/04322/LBA Peipards Farm: Permit

·      17/04323/LBA Peipards Farm: Consent

·      18/00630/TCA Clearing Tyning view – No objection

10. Update on ex-Clerk (AO)

11. Appointment of temporary Responsible Financial Officer

12. Agreement to change passwords on bank and email accounts

13. Approval of Budget for 2018/19

14. Migration of the Community Database to MailChimp (TM)

15. Update on preparation for the Annual Parish Meeting (All)

16. Land behind The Glebe – discussion (JH)

17. Commitment to support Village Fête – 9th June

18. Consideration of proposal to site bench by bus stop near Hall car park entrance

19. Review of MOU between FPC and FVMH

20. Update on temporary closure of Freshford Surgery (AO)

21. External Meetings:

·      VPA Highways Sub Committee, ? (NS)

·      Bathavon South Forum, 11th April (JA)

·      Parish Liaison Meeting, 30th May (AO)

·      Bath Preservation Trust, ? (RP)

22. Exchange of Information

23. (Private session) New Clerk Recruitment (PK, JA)

24. Date of Next Meeting: 14th May 2018   



Chairman’s Report


Freshford Surgery


Following a ‘health and safety’ inspection, the Beckington Family Practice has had to close the Freshford surgery temporarily while remedial works are carried out. During the temporary closure a limited service for requesting and collecting prescriptions will be provided at the Galleries shop. I have offered, on behalf of FPC, to help the Practice with communicating information about the temporary closure to the community, using the Community Database and PC notice boards.


Freshford and Limpley Stoke Fête


Limpley Stoke PC has queried the fact that all proceeds from the Fête go to Freshford Village Hall and none to Limpley Stoke Village Hall. The Freshford Hall is, of course, the community hub defined in our joint Neighbourhood Plan and serves both Freshford an d Limpley Stoke residents. I have responded to LSPC saying that it is too late to change things for this year: much work has already been done by volunteers and sponsors have been signed up on the understanding that proceeds will be going to the Freshford Hall. However, if a team of enthusiastic volunteers from Limpley Stoke were to come forward at the beginning of the planning cycle for next year’s Fête they would be welcomed and the combined community could hope for a bigger and even more successful event in the future.


Memorandum of Understanding between Freshford Village Memorial Hall and FPC


This was agreed four years ago and is now due for renewal. I propose that we agree to renew it, subject to some revision of the permitted usage by FPC. In particular, FPC will be liable for costs of running by-elections in future. The potential use of the Hall as a polling station should not be charged to FPC. Other councillors may have further comments. A copy of the current agreement will be circulated.


Proposed bench serving bus stop near Hall car park entrance


Maryann Cohen has proposed asking FLiSCA for funding for a bench and is asking for FPC comments. Councillors will need to consider the specification of the bench and its base, the location, the ownership of the site, liaison with B&NES Highways, any financial contribution that might be required, who might be responsible for ongoing maintenance etc. Councillors have already seen Maryann’s emails on the subject.

Planning application notes  9 April 2018


Ivythorpe Church Hill  17/05741/LBA

This application provides for the conversion of an existing family bathroom into two new smaller shower rooms, in a changed first floor internal arrangement with new stud walling.  The application is very short and does not provide much detail.   As an internal change to a listed building,  consent is required.   The Parish Council will expect the detail of the Villages Design Statement in respect of listed buildings  to be followed in the work carried out.                                                    Recommendation: Comments submitted as above.


Rosemary House  Church Lane  18/01402/FUL

Erection of a three car garage, following demolition of a summer house.

The Council has previously supported an application for the construction of a new detached house in the garden of Rosemary House;  permission was granted in 2016  (16/03319/FUL).     At that time an already existing summerhouse in the garden remained as part of the new building proposal, which also included parking spaces for three cars.        It is now proposed to demolish the summerhouse and build a new three car garage.  It is stated that this new garage will be of a similar mass and volume to the existing summerhouse being removed;  it will be further to the northeast on the site.   The previously agreed drive will be extended to provide access to the garage.  The three original parking spaces will remain.    In terms of building in the Green Belt, it appears unlikely that any volume changes issues will apply, and this replacement building will not further jeopardise the openness of the site.  In terms of materials and building style the Council will expect the Villages Design Statement to be followed.   Contractors’ traffic must also be carefully controlled and minimised.       Recommendation: Support.


2 April 2018

PC Agenda & Reports - 13th March 2017

posted 7 Mar 2017, 04:19 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 13th March 2017 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

3.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 13th February 2017 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

6.     Correspondence Received

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

17/00965/TCA – Sharpstone CottageRemove 1 x red cedar

       8. Groundsman pay review (JH)

      9. Parking on the Tyning (AO)

      10. SSEN ‘undergrounding’ cabling grant

       11. PC Assets

       12. Annual Parish Meeting arrangements – 27th April 2017

      13. Upcoming external meetings.

14. Updates to include:

·       Traffic & Transport (NS)

·       Neighbourhood planning projects update (MW,NS)

·       Roads and verges

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting (IMR)

·       Facilities & Funding (JA)

-        FLiSCA meeting (JA)

-        Hall stage lighting (JA)

·       Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts

36 Trowbridge Road

Bradford on Avon

BA15 1EP

Tel: 01225 863359

15. Exchange of information

       Date of Next Meeting: 10th April 2017












Freshford Parish Council

Chairman’s Report

13th March 2017 – Andrew Orme



Parishes Liaison Meeting – 15/02/2017


Councillors have received my brief summary of matters that relate to Freshford. Full minutes have now been circulated.




Continued discussion about parking problems:

-  Steph Jenkins, as a committee member of Freshford Singers, has undertaken to pass on concerns about damage to Tying Lane and to ask members to park elsewhere.

-  Alex Malir, as Chair of School Governors, has written to parents asking for consideration for residents’ concerns and passing on The Inn’s generous gesture to permit parking in their top car park until 10.00 am.

-  Alex and I are keen to progress the idea of using the layby on Freshford Lane for drop-off only for a limited time each morning and are awaiting feedback from B&NES via Nick Stevens as to viability.

-  We are also going to contact residents in the vicinity of the school to ask if any of them would permit parents to park on their drive for a few minutes at delivery and collection times.

-  Ingrid is going to arrange replacement of the couple of wooden bollards that have been knocked over.


For discussion by PC

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 a street sign, similar to the one on The Hill, on the left as you enter Tyning Lane from High Street? As a wild flight of fancy, I wonder if we could incorporate ’20 mph’ into such a sign and have – perhaps slung underneath – ‘Unsuitable for wide vehicles’. If so, could we get rid of the three poles that carry these messages


Park Corner cabling and poles


Ray Benfield had raised concerns about the proliferation of power and telephone cables over Park Corner and in particular at recent additions of extension brackets to the tops of some poles to meet new height requirements.


On 1st March I had a site meeting with SSE Networks managers – John Fleet, Network Construction Manager; Matt Anderson, Network Design Manager; Kelly Murray-Fagan, Customer and Community Advisor. The two managers, in particular, had travelled a considerable distance to be here and their attendance was appreciated. Ray joined the meeting at a later stage.


They recognised our concern about the way the cabling detracts from the visual amenity of Park Corner but explained that, for various reasons, there was often little they could do.


- Telephone and power cables must, by law, be carried on separate poles. This is relatively recent and some old poles do carry both services. If these old poles are replaced in exactly the same position they are allowed to continue to do so, but if there is any change in position the new rules must apply.

-  There are several different types of power cable, each with their own set of regulations.

-  The recent change in height requirements – to 5.2 m for service cables – has created a huge amount of extra work so the teams on the ground are mostly sub-contractors and operate according to strict



-  instructions. They have to find the cheapest solution for each job. They have no authority to negotiate with residents.

-  There is no stage at which a locality is reviewed as a whole. Each individual job is tackled incrementally and on its own merits.

-  It costs about £7,000-£12,000 to install a single pole.

-  Poles on the public highway do not need permission though SSEN do need permission to put poles on private land (BT do not). Planning permission is not needed – consent is granted by the Secretary of State – and no consent is needed if the nominal voltage is 20 kilovolts or less (i.e. domestic supply).


They did offer to look into replacing the poles that had been extended with taller poles. Ray did not think this would


achieve much. Ray also pointed out an instance where the cabling might have been better planned. SSEN offered to modify the arrangements  for this particular property – taking the service cable from a different pole. However the owners of the property, who happened to come along, had obviously not been consulted on the issue.


It has been agreed, however, that Kelly is aware of our concerns and will try to improve communication.


For discussion by PC

There is one remote possibility, because we are in an AONB. SSEN have a fund available for ‘undergrounding’ overhead cables -


This could be worth following up, but:

-  The scheme is intended for single cables rather than an entire locality, though the SSEN people thought it worth a try.

-  We would need to demonstrate local support.

-  Residents would have to accept that they might need to give approval for their drives, gardens etc to be dug up.

-  It would only apply to power cables. If successful, we would then have to persuade BT to put their cables underground too. If they accepted, the trenches would have to be bigger because there must be at least 30 cm between power cables and any others – more disruption, more cost.


Should the PC progress this enquiry?


Hedge-laying on Freshford Lane


The grant claim has now been sent to Cotswolds Conservation Board.


Annual Parish Meeting – 27th April


I hope councillors will be able to attend this meeting and help with preparing the Hall beforehand and tidying up afterwards.


Outline plan is:

-  RFO’s report

-  Chairman’s Report

-  Showing of Freshford 31/03/1974 film

-  Drinks and nibbles


Do councillors want to present reports on their own areas of involvement?


Agenda Item 11 – PC Assets – Martin Walker

Memorial Benches (as previous report)

Instructions placed to repair and recoat the three benches adjacent the Village Hall and on the Tyning. Work to be carried out in the Spring of 2017.


Street sign Clutter

Nick Stevens and Martin Walker met with Stefan Chivers of BANES Highways. With regards street clutter Martin Walker to draw up Schedule of what signs can be removed.


War Memorial.

Martin Walker met with British Legion on 6th January 2017 to discuss further work. Proposals to be designed, costed and approved.


Street Lighting.

MW to liaise with Martin Laker at BANES to update Parish Online locations of Street Lighting including the new Cemetery footpath lighting, the footpath lights down from the Village Hall and others in Church Hill, Station Road and adjacent the School.


Other Assets generally.

Further maintenance work for 2017 to be considered, discussed and agreed.




Agenda Item 14 – Traffic and transport – Nick Stevens


Midford Lane.

Limpley Stoke Parish Council has in consultation with Wiltshire Council proposed that a speed limit of 20mph be introduced.

 Margaret Field of Limpley Stoke PC has written to Freshford PC in these terms:  “It will start at the entrance to the mines and continue to the last house on the right hand side.  The bit of road from the entrance to the mines to the A36 has not been included by Wilts; I think this part of the Lane belongs to BANES.  We discussed the new limit last night at our Parish meeting and we were wondering if Freshford PC could speak with BANES to see if something could be done to get that bit of road changed to 20mph?  Currently I believe it is unlimited for about 50yards and then it is 30mph.  With the new drive entrance to Orchard House right on the corner of Midford Lane and the A36 it would make sense to try and slow down the traffic at that point.”

In response and after speaking with Stefan Chiffers of B&NES Highways Department we made clear that if Wiltshire wished to extend the 20mph limit to the Midford Lane junction with the A.36 then we would have no objection. We were then advised by Wiltshire that this was not possible as the legal process for the imposition of the new speed limit was underway and could not be amended. Limpley Stoke PC then asked us whether B&NES would consider reducing the speed limit along this first stretch of the Lane. The short answer from B&NES is: No. It would not be a sensible use of limited resources to undertake the statutory process of changing the speed limit for a section of road of some 100 metres. While it would be desirable for the new speed limit to begin from the entrance to Midford lane the layout of the Lane at this point is in itself an obstacle to speeding vehicles.


The Hill, Freshford.

The Feasibility Study for pedestrian improvements has been completed and I have a hard copy of the Report. I have asked B&NES to provide an electronic copy so that it can be circulated to all members of Council. It is anticipated that there will be a formal consultation process so that we might respond before consideration is given to whether or not to proceed with implementation of the scheme in the next or subsequent financial year.

Incidentally, the box placed on the lamp post was a traffic sensor counter.




Freshford Lane lay-by.

I have spoken with Stefan Chiffers about the proposal discussed between Andrew Orme and Alex Malir (Chair of School Governors) to make use of the lay-by as a drop off/collection point for school children and to prohibit parking in the lay-by at those critical times of the day. School children would then be escorted to and from school across the Tyning.  SC indicated that the Highways Department would have no objection to such an arrangement being introduced and that the Parish Council could place advisory signs to give effect to the new arrangements.


For discussion

New Road and Abbey Lane.

Councillors are well aware of the continuing problems faced by the drivers of service vehicles (the No 94 bus, the school bus, the mobile library van) in trying to manoeuvre their vehicles safely and without hindrance along the main arterial roads through the village. Inconsiderate or thoughtless parking along these routes leads to delay, obstruction and the erosion of verges. If it is the wish of the Parish Council B&NES Highways Department are willing to place advisory white lines prohibiting parking along defined sections of Abbey lane and New Road. The Highways Department also has authority to require home owners to cut back vegetation which encroaches onto the highway – this may help at certain pinch points.


For discussion

Road signs and street clutter

Backed up by Martin Walker’s excellent and comprehensive record of Freshford’s road signs we have made good progress in talking this through with Stefan Chiffers to identify which signs might be removed. Nothing can be done to eradicate the requirement for signs to be placed where speed limits change but there is some lessening of the legal requirement to have dual repeater signs throughout the village – single repeater signs are now permissible if consistent with road safety. We may be able to achieve initially a 10% reduction in signage and over time we can probably further rationalise signage by placing required signs on shared poles. To take this further we next need to talk with Nick Sperring B&NES Highways Inspector to ensure that there is common agreement between us. It is in the interests of the Highways Department to reduce street clutter and so save on costs and maintenance.


For discussion

Village Gateways

In speaking with Stefan Chiffers we also touched on village gateways.

Follow the link below to see the signs erected in Stefan’s home village of Farrington Gurney.


Agenda Item 14 – Facilities and Funding – John Adler


Richard Blamey had resigned his position as Treasurer in December, which meant that he also resigned as a Trustee.

The second part of the FLiSCA AGM was held.

The advertising of this meeting was slightly misleading. Following discussion on this point, the name and scope of the meeting was clarified and the accounts were signed off.

The FLiSCA board meeting mainly discussed the events at the AGM, the position of Treasurer, and the shape of FLiSCA moving forwards. Stephen Dawson gave notice of his intention to resign at the end of the meeting.

The outcome was that Mike Daniels and Steve Best both resigned their positions of Chair and Secretary respectively on FLiSCA. Orla Morrish stated her intention of resigning her position as Trustee. Stephen Dawson stated that, as a result of these events, he would not be resigning his position on FLiSCA.

This means that the only remaining members of the FLiSCA Communities Group are the 2 Parish Council representatives. Whether and how the current round of Grant Applications proceeds is currently unclear.

Request: As the Galleries and FLiSCA are essentially community assets, the PC should discuss the current situation and identify whether there are courses of action that the PC could take to provide positive support to both The Galleries and FLiSCA.


Memorial Hall

A late request was received from Claudia Towner for the PC to consider supporting the Hall in an application to Councillor Butters for a slice of the Ward Councillors Initiative Funding to provide a grant for the hall to replace the stage lighting solution. A mobile lighting desk and light dimmers are required.

Request: That the PC supports this application.












PC Meeting Agenda 13th February 2017

posted 7 Feb 2017, 06:55 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 13th February 2017 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

3.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 9th January 2017 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

6.     Correspondence Received

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

16/06132/FUL Freshford Mill - Erection of 7 no. dwellings and associated landscaping

16/06133/FUL – Freshford Mill  - Erection of 1no. dwelling following demolition of existing building.

17/00081/FUL Woodlands, High Street, Reconstruction of the garage with new bedroom accommodation above and internal alterations to the ground floor

            17/00096/FUL – The Cottage, Pipehouse Lane - Erection of first floor rear extension.            (Resubmission of 16/03538/FUL)

      17/00153/HEDGE – The Cottage, Pipehouse - Removal of part of hedgerow to make it more       manageable (Fronting Pipehouse Lane)

      17/00374/TCA Abbotsleigh Sharpstone Lane – Remove 1x Silver Birch, + remove 1 x Walnut

        8. Groundsman pay review (JH)

  9. Options and Voting for the future model for the Bathavon Forum (JA)

        10. PC Assets

        11. Upcoming external meetings.

·       Parishes Liaison Meeting – 15th February

        12. Vodafone Mast update (JA)

        13. Tyning Steps (AO)

         14. Updates to include:

·       Traffic & Transport (NS)

·       Neighbourhood planning projects update (MW,NS)

·       Roads and verges

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting (IMR)

·       Facilities & Funding (JA)

·       Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

15. Exchange of information

       Date of Next Meeting: 13th MARCH 2017



Freshford Parish Council

Chairman’s Report 13th February 2017  - Andrew Orme


B&NES Parking Strategy consultation

A submission, as circulated and discussed (by email) by the PC has been sent off. A copy of the final document accompanies this Chairman’s Report.


School Parking

Among the issues highlighted in the consultation response are the parking problems that arise near the school at the times when children are dropped off or collected. The topography of the village means that it is not possible to increase the supply of parking spaces, so all we can do is reduce or at least manage the demand. I have arranged a meeting with Alex Malir, Chair of the Governors, to discuss.


Park Corner cabling and poles

Prompted by Ray Benfield, I am arranging a meeting with SSE to see if the chaotic and unsightly mess of cables and poles at Pipehouse can be improved.

The points we have raised are as follows: −

  • Park Corner is a hamlet in the civil parish of Freshford, Somerset. It is within the Cotswolds AONB and is covered by the Freshford and Limpley Stoke Neighbourhood Plan.
  • The visual attractiveness of Park Corner is marred by unsightly poles and cables. Recent actions to increase the height of some poles by adding extension brackets have made matters worse.
  • In other old parts of Freshford, particularly the historic centre and the hamlet of Sharpstone, power cables are very much less intrusive. Why? Is it because they are in the conservation area while Park Corner is not? If this is the reason, it shows that where there is a will - or a legal requirement - to provide cabling that is more sensitive to the surroundings then it can be done. Whether this is the reason or not, how can we get the same standards to apply in Park Corner?
  • If this has been achieved by putting the cables underground in other parts of Freshford, how can we help make it happen in Park Corner. We have been told that putting cables underground "is something that was considered by the depot but for various reasons including land issues, disruption to roads, pavements and cost it was not deemed appropriate at this time”.
  • Is it right that this sort of decision is taken by ‘the depot’ without reference to residents, Parish Council, the ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plan (see below) or, apparently, anyone else?
  • Had residents been consulted, we might have been able to help with land issues and could have taken a view on whether disruption to roads and pavements was acceptable.
  • While accepting that putting cabling underground might be more expensive, I should imagine that, in addition to the considerable aesthetic benefits, there are long term savings, with lower susceptibility to damage from weather, tree growth etc.
  • If this work was "not deemed appropriate at this time", when would be the right time? − SSE seems to add to the poles and cabling in a piecemeal way, the latest example being the extension brackets which, as a step too far, are what triggered this whole discussion. Can there be no local input to help decide between options - new pole or further use of existing pole, maybe, or where a new pole should be sited?
  • Is there no stage at which someone steps back from the detail to say “Hang on. All this is turning into a bit of an eyesore. Let’s rethink the whole thing”? If not, what is supposed to stop the jumble getting worse and worse over the years?
  • Is there some sort of site review programme, where poles, cables, connections get checked periodically and, if necessary, upgraded? If so, what is the process and how do residents get consulted? −One of the objectives of our Neighbourhood Plan is "To protect and enhance our natural, built and historic environment". Any local development must comply with this Plan and Bath and NorthEast Somerset Council is obliged to take note of it too. Is there no comparable obligation on utility companies to at least engage with local communities to try to find mutually acceptable courses of action?
  • We recognise that some of the poles and cables are for telephone connections rather than power. Is there no coordination between the two utilities? If not, what can be done to bring it about. There seem to be more poles than needed, often side by side. This seems unnecessarily expensive, in installation and maintenance, while contributing significantly to visual clutter. There is a stretch down Freshford Lane from Park Corner where a row of poles on one side of the lane carries power cables while a row of poles the other side of the lane carries phone cables. Is there any technical reason why one set of poles could not carry both sets of cabling? In another instance, one pole seems only to be there to act as a stay for another pole. Shouldn’t the main pole be rethought?


Hedge-laying on Freshford Lane

This project has now been completed. Sue Wingrove’s report is provided as a separate document. Our thanks go to Sue for organising and seeing through this project, which has involved a large number of residents as well as a contingent children from Freshford School. We can now go ahead and claim the grant from Cotswolds Conservation Board. A by-product of this project is that the PC has acquired a number of tools – saws, billhooks, loppers – which are available for future maintenance of the hedge. They are also available for use by, e.g., Ian, on regular work around the village. Sue will be providing a list of the tools. John Ager has kindly agreed to store them in his garage (one of The Glebe garages). We will need to work out how to get access to them when they are needed.


Street lights near entrance to Hall car park

I have reported the poor condition of these lights and followed up with photographs. I have had this reply:

“We can confirm that further to your original report we asked our contractors to attend and provide feedback/photos of the five lights in question. They have confirmed that major tree pruning is needed and that they have had trouble accessing the lights to carrying out the level of maintenance they require. “Please note that the photos from you and also our contractors have been passed onto our lighting manager Stephen Burrell, and he intends to carry out a site visit to assess what changes we might make to improve the lighting and ease of access. “He intends to visit site in a few weeks’ time and I trust when he has more information on any intended improvements we shall be in touch.”


Rose and Crown Planning Application

This has been accepted despite opposition from Limpley Stoke Parish Council and the joint chairmen of the Neighbourhood Plan. I am attempting to see if LSPC can shed any light on the thinking behind the decision.


ALCA – B&NES Area Group – 18th January 2017

I attended this meeting. Cllrs will have seen the meeting notes. I ensured that the Parish Sweeper Scheme was included in the Parish Liaison Meeting scheduled for 15th February. Another topic discussed was the future of the Bathavon Forum but I hope Cllr Adler will lead this discussion. Andrew Orme, 31st January.



Aims and success of the project

The project has been completed and is a great success. The aim was to improve the hedge for wildlife and its appearance, conserve this part of the historic environment of the village and engage local people with thinking about and caring for their environment.

The community did pull together to complete the work, both hedgelaying and infill planting, and this project would not have been achievable in a small community with limited financial resources without their help, which exceeded expectations. A project such as this also has community value above and beyond the actual project. The project succeeded in its aim to involve the local community, and especially the next generation. The schoolchildren who planted the new hedge plants had fun and educational day out. They definitely seemed to feel ownership of 'their' bit of hedge and it is hoped they will continue to play a part in future years. Freshford is very fortunate as a community to have willing volunteers for all sorts of projects, such as the Galleries community shop, and it is hoped that there may be a future for practical nature conservation projects within the village now too. Furthermore, Freshford Parish Council now has a set of legacy tools available to carry out further projects within the local community.

One of the outcomes was for the project to be a catalyst for future projects. A future project has been identified, the hedge on the other side of the road, and the landowner Stephen Dawson will be contacting Sue Wingrove in September 2017 with a view to inviting the volunteers back for another project. The volunteers seemed to enjoy the training course, and several stated that they would like to or were actually intending to take part in further hedgelaying, even in a small way in their own gardens or property.

The project was well-publicised in the Parish Council's own newsletter and using the community email database. In addition a prominent temporary notice has been in place on the field gate by the hedge throughout the project, since October, telling passers-by about the hedge restoration project and acknowledging the help of the Cotswold Conservation Board and The Friends of Freshford who contributed to the project. It will be replaced with a more permanent plaque in due course. Press releases were issued to local newspapers, but unfortunately weren't taken up. The hedge has been admired by passers-by in the village, and by those from surrounding areas when collecting their children from the school, so the project has a PR benefit in the wider local area.

The appearance of the hedge is much improved. It looks cared for, and traditional. We look forward to seeing the hedge flourish come Spring. The Parish Council is planning to maintain the hedge to keep it in good condition, most probably trimming just one face each year in order that blossom and berries can form on the other two sides, and be available for wildlife.

Hedgelaying volunteers

The project had good support from local volunteers. The hedgelaying took place on a 2- day hedgelaying course run by Keith Stuffins, followed by a 1-day hedgelaying course. On the one day course, we were joined by teacher Ruth Poole and 2 colleagues plus a class of children from Freshford Primary School. They planted 100 cell-grown mixed flowering bird-friendly native hedge plants, after instruction by local horticulturalist Melanie Everard. This was preceded by a quiz from Sue Wingrove where they had to identify the several types of different plants using books and photos. After planting there was a treasure hunt to find as many different species as possible in the hedge, run by Keith Stuffins.


Below is a list of those volunteers who helped out 2-day course (all attendees came on both days) with Keith Stuffins, 20-21 October 2016:

1. Sue Wingrove 2. Andrew Orme 3. Christine Birchby 4. Roland Birchby 5. David Reeves (from SevernPlus,

6. mentoring student Connor) 7. Gary Parker 8. Helen Walker 9. Hugh Delap 10. David Martin 11. John Ager

12. Stephen Dawson 13. Tania Pascoe 14. Tony Boucher 15. Will Sturges (Friday only)

1-day hedgelaying course and planting with Keith Stuffins, 11 November 2016:

1. Sue Wingrove 2. Gez Rideout 3. Heather Rideout 4. Peter Jones 5. David Reeves from SevernPlus

6. plus Connor, a student from SevernPlus 7. Nicol Reeves from SevernPlus 8. plus Josh, a student from SevernPlus 9. Martin Walker 10. Ruth Poole plus two colleagues and a class of children from Freshford Primary School

Additional half-day session (untutored) to finish off last bit of hedge, 16 January 2017:

1. Sue Wingrove 2. Roland Birchby 3. Christine Birchby 4. Andrew Orme 5. John Ager 6. Gary Parker

7. Peter Jones 8. Stephen Dawson 9. Ian McKay 10. Hugh Delap

The volunteers worked incredibly hard and all seemed to enjoy the experience, and were very pleased with the results of their work. They were all from the local community and there is talk of getting together next year to lay the hedge on the other side of the road which borders a field owned by Stephen Dawson, one of the volunteers.

The volunteers were joined by Andrew Porter (on the 2-day course) and Laura Lyons (the 1-day course), who are young gardeners employed by a local company. Both work in many gardens within the local area and are studying for RHS qualifications. Both had some previous hedgelaying experience, and by being paid to go on the course were able to consolidate and extend their experience, which can be put to use within the local area in the future. Both enjoyed the course and are now ambassadors for hedgelaying.

David Reeves, from SevernPlus, (the organisation he runs, which aims to help those with learning difficulties to achieve their full potential) attended the hedgelaying course with a young student whom he is mentoring. Since Connor got so much out of the course, they both returned for the 1-day course, bringing with them Nicol Reeves, mentoring another student, Josh. David and Connor returned in early January for yet another stint at hedgelaying because it had proved such a valuable and enjoyable experience. Sue Wingrove, January 2017.


Sue Wingrove February 2017


Chew Valley/Rural Areas  - Parking Strategy Consultation

Which area/village/parish are your comments related to?

Freshford CP

Is access to local services (shops/doctors surgery/schools) in your area affected by any parking issues? Please describe the issue.

Yes – access to most village services is seriously affected by the limited availability of parking.

The most serious problems are with Freshford Primary School, when parents deliver or collect their children. The School has a small car park for staff but no parking or drop-off capacity for parents. There are c. 6 parking places about 150m along Freshford Lane, some limited roadside parking in High Street, next to the school, and in Freshford Lane passing the front of the school. Both these roads are narrow, so roadside parking reduces the flow traffic to a single lane – or none at all when car doors are open. This causes serious congestion every school day, often to the extent of obstructing buses and other vehicles. It would be almost impossible for emergency services – fire, ambulance – to get through without significant delays. To make matters worse, these roads are also used by commuters as a ‘rat run’. Some parents are able to use the Hall car park, see below, while others park unlawfully on the Tyning – the village green – damaging the grass verges and causing friction with residents.


Freshford Village Memorial Hall has its own car park with space for 30 vehicles. The Hall’s parking requirements during the day are primarily for staff of the Pre-school and parents delivering and collecting children. The parking capacity is adequate for this use but can be inadequate when functions are held at the Hall, when parking spills over on to the nearby roadside. The nearby road is not wide, so roadside parking can cause serious congestion.

The Galleries Shop and Café share the Hall’s car park, for customer and staff parking and for access by delivery vehicles. Because most Hall events, other than the Pre-school, do not coincide with shop opening hours, there is usually sufficient parking for Shop use. However, when a daytime event at the Hall clashes with busy times in the Shop there can be a shortage of parking capacity.

The doctors’ surgery is close to the primary school. It has no dedicated parking, apart from one space for a doctor. Most users park on the roadside nearby. This is not ideal, particularly for those with mobility difficulties, but because the demand is phased through the day this is not a major concern.

St Peter’s Church has no parking at all. Churchgoers, some of whom have mobility difficulties, tend to park half up on the pavement on nearby High Street and Church Hill, causing friction with residents, many of whom have no alternative to on-street parking themselves.

The Inn at Freshford has its own car park which is usually adequate for its needs. Freshford Station has a small car park. Cars are often parked without consideration resulting in difficulties for Network Rail staff and for Water Board staff when trying to access the treatment plant which lies beyond the station.

What improvements/changes would resolve this issue?

The impact of parents delivering and collecting children at Freshford Primary School is the main issue that needs to be tackled. There is no way of increasing the supply of parking in the locality, so ways must be found to reduce, or at least spread, the demand.

What challenges are there within your area/village/parish relating to residential parking?

The local topography in Freshford severely limits parking capacity. We have narrow streets and pavements, often with properties opening directly on to the pavement or street. Many older properties have no off-street parking so residents park on the street.

Residents generally arrive at a workable compromise among themselves, though this can lead to clashes when individuals prove uncooperative. However there are definitely problems when space has to be found for additional vehicles. For example, there are currently 11 properties in Freshford listed on AirBnB. These result in demand from visitors for additional parking capacity which is often not available.

Any overspill parking tends to be in nearby rural lanes. These are narrow and, when used for roadside parking, can cater for only a single lane of traffic.

Sometimes inconsiderate roadside parking can actually be dangerous. One example is at the junction of Rosemary Lane with Abbey Lane. Roadside parking at this point narrows the flow to a single lane and forces traffic heading for the A36 on to the ‘wrong’ side of the road as it enters the blind bend. Another example is at the lower end of The Hill. Cars are usually parked on the pavements on either side of the entrance to The Orchard. This forces pedestrians into the road and narrows the road at a particularly dangerous point, where it is impossible for drivers to see vehicles coming in the opposite direction – or pedestrians in the middle of the road. In both these instances buses and other large vehicles – including, potentially, emergency vehicles – often have difficulty negotiating the bends as a result of inconsiderately parked cars.

What challenges are there within your area/village/parish relating to off-street parking? (if offstreet parking is provided.

No general off-street parking other than mentioned above.

Are there any other comments you would like to make about parking in your area?

Reduced investment in rural bus services will increase demand for parking capacity in Bath as many will have to drive into Bath instead of travelling by bus. If this demand for parking is not met, shoppers and other visitors will have to go elsewhere – and Bath’s economy will suffer. It would be more sensible to invest in an improved rural bus service.

The context for this consultation states that “Bath and North East Somerset Council is in the early stages of developing a Parking Strategy for the whole B&NES authority area”. It is surprising then that B&NES Council is pushing ahead with plans for a Park and Ride on Bathampton Meadows. Surely the strategy development should have come first. Only in an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ world do you develop your strategy after making large infrastructure decisions


Agenda Item 7 – Planning Matters – Roger Paine

Planning Applications    16/06132/FUL and   16/06133/FUL – Freshford Mill

In the context of increasing costs, Environ has been reviewing its overall development at Freshford Mill, and  further changes are now being proposed.  There have been steadily increasing costs arising from works on  the ground, and in dealing with site contamination. Because of building faults, one house is to be demolished and rebuilt. 

As currently approved, the whole development provides for 21 homes; this is the  basis upon which the amended scheme  was approved in 2014.  The Parish Council supported this at its meeting in December 2014, as a way of moving the development forward and completing the overall scheme.

To recover their increased costs and ensure overall financial viability, Environ now want to increase the overall number of dwellings from 21 to 24, in these two new applications. This increase of three homes covers a number of changes in respect of newly built homes, and the use of existing buildings in different conversion styles.    

On entering the site, the proposed large detached house on the left,  Rackham Court, will not be built.   Instead, there will be five 2 bedroom cottages, and two 2 bedroom apartments, built in an L-shaped design  (net change +6).

Towards the rear of the site nearer the river,  one conversion, Carding Mill,  providing three apartments, will be replaced by one 2 bedroom apartment and one 3 bedroom duplex (net change  -1).

A further conversion, Fulling Mill, will replace six apartments with four of a different design (net change -2).

Millmans House will be demolished, and rebuilt exactly as before.

The overall change in the number of homes is an additional three dwellings.  These changes are likely to produce around six extra vehicles on site. 

The developers set out their new proposals in an open exhibition in the Memorial Hall on 19 October 2016, which was well attended.   In discussion with many of those attending, the overall response was positive.   There is a clear view that the development should be completed, but in the most sensitive way possible, having regard to the effects on the village, traffic and other consequences.

The applications cover a number of other issues. Car Ports are now being built and some will have green roofs with planting to better fit with the environment.  All outstanding flooding issues have been agreed with the Environment Agency.  Work required in respect of contamination has been addressed in terms of planning agreements and previous permissions.   A landscaping strategy has now been formulated and will be implemented.

In supporting the amended scheme in 2014, the Parish Council welcomed progress towards completing this development.  It is recommended that these two current applications should be similarly supported.  At that earlier stage further comments were submitted, which are summarised in the following paragraphs.

These current applications provide for additional building in the Green Belt, which would normally be opposed as inappropriate.    In this case it is considered that the circumstances are such that the benefits of the application, and completion of the overall scheme, outweigh any adverse effects.  The Council would not wish to see any further development on the site.

Lighting should be as limited as possible, as this is an area with a significant wildlife habitat which should not be compromised.

On transport there will be a need for a nearer bus stop for residents. Car parking spaces are limited and visitors may park on nearby narrow roads or lanes.  This will cause safety and congestion problems.

A management company will be formed to oversee communal aspects of the development.  This could change in the future which may jeopardise current site arrangements.

Contractors’ access and timing is important and should be carefully controlled. The Council welcomes the right turn only exit from the site into Rosemary Lane,  but its implementation and control could be problematic.

River walkway – the Council is of the view that this seems a high structure when set against the development as a whole.

Overall, the Council will expect the Villages Design Statement in the Neighbourhood Plan to be followed, and all planning conditions to be followed precisely.

It is recommended that the Council supports the two applications together with the comments in this report.


The Cottage    Pipehouse Lane

Planning Application 17/00096/FUL  (resubmission of 16/03538/FUL - July 2016)

This application repeats that submitted in July 2016 (16/03538/FUL), which was considered by the Parish Council in August 2016.   It provides for a bathroom extension on the first floor, over a previously built single storey extension at the rear of the property.  As a response, in August, the Council gave comments  in three areas.  

In terms of past extensions, not quantified in the application, the level of volume increase arising from this application could mean that overall, total volume increases for this property will be greater than the guideline of about one third.

This is a semidetached property and this first floor extension would overlook and adversely affect the amenity of the attached property, creating overlooking and casting a shadow over the neighbour’s garden.

Any work undertaken must comply with the Villages Design Statement in the Neighbourhood Plan.

The earlier July 2016 Application was withdrawn.

Planning Application 17/00081/FUL      Woodlands    High Street

Woodlands is a modern two storey detached house, next to The Tyning on the corner of The High Street.   The house is connected to the single storey garage alongside  - this consists of one garage and one open car port. The applicants wish to build over the garage, to provide a bedroom and bathroom, and to convert the ground floor into a garage and kitchen.   The building structure will be connected on both levels to the main house, with a new entrance lobby on the ground floor. It is unlikely that this level of increase would exceed the volume guideline of about one third.

The application states that it is not proposed to change the residential usage of the dwelling house, but rather, the use is reinforced by making it a larger family home.

The house is in the Green Belt, Conservation Area, and AONB; it is within the Settlement Area defined in the Neighbourhood Plan.  

The Council will expect the Villages Design Statement to be followed, with the style and materials being appropriate to the existing building and location.   The  impact of building work and access should be kept to a minimum during construction.  The building is fairly low lying on the site, and overlooking should be minimal, but any comments from near neighbours should be taken into account and will be reported to the meeting.


Agenda Item 10Freshford PC Assets and other Items – Martin Walker


Memorial Benches

Instructions placed to repair and recoat the three benches adjacent the Village Hall and on the Tyning. Work to be carried out in the Spring of 2017.

Street sign Clutter

Photographic record and survey has been completed.  Proposed de-cluttering works now need to be considered as part of the NP Gateway works

War Memorial.

Martin Walker met with British Legion on 6th January 2017 to discuss further work. Proposals to be designed, costed and approved.

Street Lighting.

MW to liaise with Martin Laker at BANES to update Parish Online locations of Street Lighting including the new Cemetery footpath lighting, the footpath lights down from the Village Hall and others in Church Hill, Station Road and adjacent the School.

Other Assets generally.

Further maintenance work for 2017 to be considered, discussed and agreed.

Martin Walker, 3rd February 2017.


Agenda Item 13 - Possible steps as a safety measure on the Tyning – Andrew Orme

Many residents and others are crossing the Tyning diagonally from the Tyning Lane/High Street corner to the field gate on to Freshford Lane. This is a pleasant local amenity, especially as an alternative to walking along Freshford Lane which is, at times, busy with traffic. However there is a steep section, which can be difficult to negotiate, particularly when wet or icy.

The proposal is to put some simple steps at this section, to facilitate safe passage. The step facers would be 900 x 200 x 47mm pressure treated timber held in place by two wooden stakes hammered in to the ground (no concrete). The steps – 12 in total - would be back-filled with Type 1 sub-base and topped off with some of the soil and turf that had been removed when cutting out the steps. Because of wear, the centre of the steps would probably be bare soil but grass would grow from the sides so that the steps would soon blend into the surroundings.

Similar steps – 4 in total - could be constructed over the bank near the postbox.

Ingrid has obtained a quotation for this work at £600.


Agenda Item 14 – Roads and Traffic – Nick Stevens

A meeting has been fixed with Stefan Chiffers, Highways Engineer, B&NES for Friday 24th February to discuss road traffic matters. I have asked him to find out how the plans are progressing for The Hill and we would also like to gauge his views on road signs and street clutter, village gateways, parking, white lines and disability parking bays. Are there any other matters, which councillors would wish raised?


Hugh Delap and I attended the Heart of Wessex meeting at Trowbridge on the 26th January. We acknowledged and thanked HOW for their support in completing the recent projects undertaken at the station – a new customer shelter, a new heritage style seat, and the hoggin laid in the area in front of the running in board which has also been renovated. GWR has given permission for Friends of Freshford to lay the hedge along the station boundary. Other issues being taken forward include: more cycle storage, Help point only working intermittently, timetables on each platform need to show also return journey times. It is also planned to meet with Network Rail to discuss the platform extension work.

The meeting heard also from Andy McRae of GWR on the Bath Spa station modernisation. The Parish Council has advised residents of the disruption in April to the rail service to and from Freshford via the Community Database, The Bulletin and The Galleries Notice Board.


Agenda Item 15 - Exchange of Information.

The Council’s Community Awards 2016/2017 are to be presented on the 9th February at the Guildhall, Bath by the Chairman of Council. I will be attending in company with Hugh Delap who has been nominated for the Peter Duppa Miller Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Parish Charter - The working party are due to meet again this week (Wednesday 8th February) and I will give a brief report on progress at the PC meeting.


PC Agenda 9th January 2017

posted 3 Jan 2017, 08:00 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 9th JaNUARY 2017 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

3.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 12th December 2016 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

·  Scottish Widows savings account interest rate reduction

6.     Correspondence Received

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

            16/05854/LBA 16/05853/FUL – Old Doctors House, The Hill, - Enlargement of sunken garden         area and erection of a retaining stone wall and steps (Retrospective)

      17/00010/FUL Fairclose, The Hill – Erection of freestanding greenhouse.

       8. Groundsman pay review (JH)

9. Approval of Precept 2017/18

10. Budget expenditure priorities for remainder of 2016/17

       11. PC Assets

       12. Proposed Vodafone Mast (JA)

       13. Action on dog fouling. (AO/PK)

       14. Archiving PC records (AO)

       15. Upcoming external meetings.

            ALCA, Saltford, 18th Jan – 7.30pm, AO attending.

            Bath Avon Forum AGM, Guildhall, 11th Jan – 6-7pm.

 16. Video-conferencing consultation response.

 17. Updates to include:

·       Traffic & Transport (NS)

·       Neighbourhood planning projects update (NS,MW)

·       Roads and verges

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting (IMR)

·       Facilities & Funding (JA)

- Rural Facilities Audit


CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts

36 Trowbridge Road

Bradford on Avon

BA15 1EP

Tel: 01225 863359

Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

       18.  Confirmation of revised date for APM – Thursday 27th April 2017

19. Exchange of information

       Date of Next Meeting: 13th February 2017



Freshford Parish Council - Chairman’s Report

9th January 2017



Attached separately is a document ‘Precept requirements 2017-18 for FPC discussion’. This includes four columns:

Budget for 2016/17

Probable Year End 2016/17

Precept Requirements 2017/18

Comments – these add commentary to the figures for either the ‘Probable Year End 2016/17’ or the ‘Precept Requirements 2017/18’


Probable Year End 2016/17

This shows actual and estimated income and outgoings by the end of the current year. At present we have £1,432 as yet uncommitted. Subject to discussion at the PC I propose that we use this to keep on top of asset maintenance.

Martin’s email of October 13 identified the sanding down and cleaning of four benches at the top of the ‘to do’ list – at £500-600. We have also discussed inserting simple grass steps at the steep section of the path that crosses the Tyning diagonally and also, perhaps, over the bank near the post-box.


Precept Requirements 2017/18

We seem to face a situation where central government is expecting more and more of local authorities, without providing the necessary finance. The services provided to parishes, particularly rural ones, are likely to decline. I understand that B&NES are finalising budget proposals for a three-year period and are speaking of “significant changes”. The proposal in the Local Government Finance Settlement that parish councils should have to put precept increases over 2% to referendum has been deferred – but the threat remains.

In these circumstances my proposal to the PC is:

To maintain reserves at their current level, against ‘a rainy day’.

To ask for a precept sufficient to carry out the ongoing expenditure commitments of the PC and to keep on top of obligations to maintain, repair and where appropriate replace our assets.

The proposed budget for 2017/18 shows how it might work with a precept increase of £3,000. This is subject to PC approval.

Most of the lines show expenditure that we cannot really avoid. The items which are more discretionary are:

New lamps – in at £3,000. FPC owns 40 street lamps which we must keep in good working order. The condition of three lamps is assessed as ‘poor’. These need to be replaced in the near future so we are budgeting to deal with one each year.

Tyning field maintenance – in at £500. The Tyning is still settling in as a community facility and we have allowed a small amount for additional work.

Cemetery headstones – in at £250. Some are a bit skew and need straightening.

Cemetery tree cutting – in at £1,500. The work done this year along the Tyning boundary has been well-received and opened up the cemetery very attractively. There are large trees on the other side of the cemetery that still need dealing with.

War memorial – in at a PC contribution of £1,500. If the work required costs more than this we would hope that fundraising by others would make up the difference, without which work would not go ahead.

Misc Asset repair/maintenance – in at £2,000. This budget would be available to keep on top of asset management. If the PC decides to go for a lower precept, this is the budget that would probably have to be cut.

Memorial Hall donation – in February 2014 FPC approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hall, under which the PC would pay £2,000 per annum to cover room hire and donations.


FPC will need to decide on the precept request at the January meeting.


Pipehouse Section 106 agreement

Jo Taylor wrote to point out that a payment of £24,000 for a footpath linking the ‘Rentokil site’ with the A36 had been agreed and to wonder what had happened to the money. In response to my chasing B&NES have replied that, under the S106 agreement, they have 10 years within which to spend the contribution and that it is likely to be 2020 before any works are programmed.

PC archives

I have been in touch with Somerset Record Office in Taunton and Bath City Records to enquire how best to handle old PC paperwork.

Somerset hold records relating to the burial ground but nothing else. It seems to make sense to ask for these to be transferred to Bath and then to store any further PC records in Bath, where they would be more easily accessed by residents.

The bulk of FPC’s records are old planning applications. The advice is that there is no need to retain these because they are only duplicates of B&NES paperwork which is automatically transferred to the Bath City Records. Recent applications are, of course, easily available online.

I propose:

That we destroy old planning applications, keeping only the ones that may have continuing relevance such as Freshford Mill and the Pipehouse development.

That Ingrid and I sort out older material and transfer it, for safety as much as anything, to Bath City Records.


Agenda Item 7 – Planning – Roger Paine

Planning Application  -The Old Doctors House - Retrospective Application
No 16/05853/FUL and LBA.

The Council have already considered and supported two sets of applications in respect of The Old Doctors House (November 2014, and May 2015).  These were subsequently approved by B&NES.   Parts of the application concern a Listed building.

The  works as originally proposed included a sunken garden in an area outside the house bounded by a listed wall and some parts of the listed building.  As work has proceeded, the area of this sunken garden has increased to better utilise the space, and is now much larger than set out  in the approved application.  It will provide for level access to a larger part of the area from The Folly, a significant Listed part of the building,  and enable the outside areas to be used for leisure and gardening. Additionally, a retaining stone wall will be erected  with stone steps. The work is contained within the garden and does not affect any proposals approved for the buildings.  Since the work is partially completed a retrospective application is required.

If this larger area had been included in the original applications,  the work would have probably been supported by the Parish Council;  it is recommended that this current application is supported as well, subject to the normal constraints of the Villages Design Statement in the Neighbourhood Plan.


Agenda Item 11 – PC Assets – Martin Walker

Memorial Benches

Nothing to report

Street sign Clutter

Photographic record and survey has been completed.  Proposed de-cluttering works now need to be considered as part of the NP Gateway works

War Memorial.

Martin Walker to meet with British Legion on 6th January 2017 to discuss further work. Any proposals to be costed and approved.

Street Lighting.

MW to liaise with Martin Laker at BANES to update Parish Online locations of Street Lighting including the new Cemetery footpath lighting, the footpath lights down from the Village Hall and others in Church Hill, Station Road and adjacent the School.

Other Assets generally.

Further maintenance work for 2017 to be considered, discussed and agreed.


PC Assets - Freshford Station Sign – Nick Stevens

The PC needs to determine how best to deal with the deterioration of the Freshford rail sign following on from the advice received from Conservator Phil Parkes:




I have had a look at the images that you sent (very useful, thank you) and compared them to the during photos that I have which indicate the extent of the repairs that we carried out. From comparing the two images, this does indeed seem to be fresh damage. While it may be due to deliberate damage, I note that it is adjacent to previously damaged areas and may be due to weaknesses that started several / many years ago. The spalling is typical of the type of damage that we saw in the enamel sign prior to conservation, and is something that we are unlikely to be able to prevent in the long run.


With this in mind I think that a decision needs to be made for the long term display of the sign – is the loss accepted, regular repairs made with the end result that the sign will deteriorate and lose more and more original material, or would it be better to remove it from outdoor display and replace it with a painted sign. Even if repairs are made to the current damaged areas, the exposed position of the sign and the years of previous outdoor exposure may mean that there are weak areas where corrosion is slowly taking place beneath the currently sound-appearing enamel which will delaminate in years to come. This process can be much more greatly slowed by storage indoors. While various coatings could be applied to the surface, they are unlikely to be 100% effective due to the nature of the enamel and the damage that has already occurred.


I am sorry that I cannot be more positive than this, as I discussed at the time, we cannot prevent damage if the sign is displayed outside, only try to slow down the rate and seeing these areas of damage I think you need to address whether this is an acceptable rate or not. I am happy to discuss further with you if necessary.


Yours sincerely,


Phil Parkes


Agenda Item 13 – Dog Fouling matters

A discussion paper


As is often the case with English, the most useful, simple, clear words – usually Anglo-Saxon in origin – are deemed ‘bad language’. The alternatives are mostly highfalutin’ Latin, twee infantilisms or euphemisms. To protect those of a sensitive disposition, we’ll be using Latin and euphemisms.

The problem

Many places in our village are fouled by excrement from pets. Some people are happily unaware of this but for most people who walk around the village, including dog-walkers and those steering young children, it is all too evident. Dogs are the main perpetrators in public spaces - streets, pavements, footpaths, the Tyning, the playing field – while cats are the main problem in private gardens.


It is possible that some of the excrement is produced by foxes or badgers, though to a far lesser extent than by dogs and cats.

This creates problems in three areas:






Dogs, cats and foxes are hosts to roundworm parasites – toxocara – the eggs of which are passed in the excrement of infected animals. The eggs only become infectious after 10-21 days, so there's no immediate danger from fresh animal faeces. However, once the eggs are passed into sand or soil, they can survive for many months. Humans can become infected if contaminated soil gets into their mouth. Once the eggs are inside the human body, they move into the bowel before hatching and releasing larvae (the earliest stage of development). These larvae can travel to most parts of the body. However, as humans aren't the normal host for these larvae, they can't develop beyond this stage to produce eggs. This means that the infection can't spread between humans. Most symptoms, if experienced at all, are mild. In serious cases there is a risk of permanent vision loss. Because young children are most likely to be playing on the grass and in contact with the soil, they are most at risk. We should keep this risk in proportion – NHS Choices states that toxocariasis, even in its mild forms, is rare in the UK.



A risk faced more by older people, perhaps, is of slipping on excrement and suffering a fall. Excrement, perhaps concealed by fallen leaves, can be very slippery and, particularly on our steep streets, can lead to a nasty accident.


However, even if all pet dogs and cats were successfully wormed, so that there was no health risk, their excrement would still present a major problem – an offensive, smelly and unnecessary pollution of our environment. We do not need to dwell on our disgust at stepping in excrement and treading it into our homes and cars or – worse, particularly with children – getting it on clothes, hands and faces. We really should not have to watch our step as we stroll around our village or go out into our gardens.

The law

We do not have a problem with stray dogs in Freshford so, for every fouling incident, someone is nearby who is either the owner of, or at least responsible for, the dog. It is an offence under The Dogs (Fouling of Land Act) 1996 to allow a dog for which you are responsible to foul and not pick up the mess. Penalties are set by local authorities; in B&NES Dog Wardens are authorised to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £50 to anyone caught failing to pick up their dog’s mess.

Not having a suitable bag is not an excuse. Even responsible owners may get caught out if, having used and disposed of one bag, they do not carry a spare in case a further need should arise. And not being aware that the dog has fouled is also not an excuse. Those in charge of dogs must stay vigilant. This applies particularly, perhaps, when dogs are exercised during the hours of darkness.

The law seems not to say anything about fouling by cats. That does not make it any the less offensive. Most cat owners, other than those who have house-trained their pets, have little idea of where their cats use as a lavatory.



Disposal bags. Obviously these need to be actually carried and used by whoever is responsible for a dog. When used, these can be disposed of in any bin around the village. FPC and B&NES arrange collection from there. What compounds the offensiveness is when bags are not disposed of properly but left decorating a hedge or fence.

DNA testing. Under these schemes, dogs’ DNA is registered so that excrement can be tested and responsible owners can prove that a particular pile of excrement is not their fault. It is expensive and doesn’t seem to solve the problem for unregistered dogs. It is being trialed in - but of course - Barking, in East London.

Cat containment systems. A cat wears a collar that delivers a mild pulse of static electricity when it crosses an electronic boundary fence e.g. around its garden. The cat soon learns not to stray. Obviously, as well as limiting where it deposits excrement, this reduces risk to the cat from being run over and reduces the amount of wildlife the cat kills.


Who is to blame?

It is not the pets that are at fault, nor is it the fault of the majority of responsible residents, who recognize that dealing with excrement is a necessary obligation when taking on a companion animal.

Perhaps there are a small proportion of owners who either don’t care or who are unaware of the offence they cause.

And perhaps there are a few people who walk other people’s dogs for them who do not regard clearing up the excrement as part of the deal. Clearing up after your own much-loved pet is one thing; clearing up after someone else’s dog may be much more distasteful.


What can be done?

It would be good to get wider engagement by residents in tackling the problem.

Claudia Towner has suggested involving the school children in designing some laminated posters, which could be put up as a temporary feature.

Roland Birchby suggests, and kindly offers to pay for, the display of "no such thing as the dog poo fairy" roundels.

Perhaps targeted signage – “This is where children play…” – at the playing field and close-mown part of The Tyning.

Roland also carries spare disposal bags, offering them to dog walkers who seem to be without.

This idea could be extended to all responsible dog walkers, so that they all might carry a supply of spares.

I understand that B&NES sometimes provides free bags via The Galleries

Or maybe the PC could encourage this by buying some in bulk

We could encourage responsible residents to contact the B&NES Dog Warden Service with as much detail as possible when they see people who allow fouling to take place.

Perhaps we can try to get a specific message through to owners who ask others to walk their dogs:

Are you confident that the walker is clearing up after your dog?

Are you making it easier for them to do so by supplying disposal bags?

Let’s have plenty more ideas, leading to community action to deal with this offensive problem.


AO 28/12/2016



PC Meeting Agenda 12th December 2016

posted 6 Dec 2016, 05:32 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 12th December 2016 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

3.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 14th November 2016 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

6.     Correspondence Received

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

16/0557/FUL – 6-7 Upper Mount Pleasant, Erection of single side extension

16/05451/FUL – The Cottage, Pipehouse Lane, Erection of extension to form annexe and conversion of garage. (Resubmission of 16/04591/FUL)

Rose & Crown – Change of Use planning application

       8. Groundsman pay review

9. Precept 2017/18 Discussion

       10. PC Assets

      11. VPA update (PK/NS)

      12. Parish Charter update (NS)

      13. Upcoming external meetings.

14. Updates to include:

·       Traffic & Transport (NS)

·       Neighbourhood planning projects update (AO)

·       Roads and verges

-  Street sweeper scheme update (JH)

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting

·       Facilities & Funding (JA)

·       Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

 15.  Dates for 2017 PC Meetings

16. Exchange of information

CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts

36 Trowbridge Road

Bradford on Avon

BA15 1EP

Tel: 01225 863359

       Date of Next Meeting:  8th January 2017







Freshford Parish Council

Chairman’s Report – Andrew Orme

12th December 2016


Street lighting – costs of energy supply and maintenance

I wondered why some (most?) residents of B&NES have the benefit of street lighting paid for out of Council Tax, whereas Freshford residents, who of course pay Council Tax in the normal way, have to pay extra through the Parish Precept to cover the cost of our street lighting. This is manifestly unfair.


We have the benefit of street lighting that reflects to a considerable extent the heritage of our village. I did not want to change this arrangement, which works well under Ingrid’s management, but had hoped we might get a financial contribution from B&NES in recognition of the money they save by not providing this service in Freshford.


Cllr Neil Butters helped to raise the matter with Cllr Charles Gerrish, Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency. Cllr Gerrish replied, somewhat guardedly:

“Without any commitment I recall a similar conversation some years ago re Peasdown where the position is worse i.e. some old lights are parish whilst new ones are B&NES. Fundamentally the discussion at that time was that if Peasdown had been prepared to bring the old lights up to standard B&NES would consider adopting them – Peasdown (although they had the funds) declined to do so. Theoretically the conversation should be with Street lighting team – the initial issue would be the current condition of the lights and are they in an area that B&NES would normally consider providing lighting for?”


Our street lights are, within the constraints of our budget, in reasonable condition (with the exception of the five lamps along the footpath opposite the lower part of the cemetery which are supposed to be maintained by B&NES). My concern, should B&NES take over the management, would be that replacement lights would be ‘standard issue’ and there would be no concessions to the context or local opinion in Freshford. I intend to pursue the matter with the Street Lighting Team to see if we can get a financial contribution instead. Don’t hold your breath.


Precept planning

At our meeting in January we will need to approve our budget for 2017/18 so, at our meeting on 12th December, we will have a preliminary discussion.


Many of the lines on the budget more or less write themselves. These are jobs we have to do and costs we have to incur so we just need to show expected costs for next year, looking as always for areas where savings may be made.


One thing we do have some control over and which we need to consider is the amount we feel should be spent on asset maintenance. Since Martin took over responsibility for FPC’s assets, he has done sterling work on detailing the requirements and priorities. This work has not been properly addressed for some time and there is something of a backlog. We can see how much budget might be available after we have covered our ongoing needs. If we feel we want to do more, we need to look at either raising the precept or dipping into reserves - or a combination of both. This is the discussion we will have.


Agenda Item 7 – Planning – Roger Paine

Planning Application 16/05557/FUL      6-7 Upper Mount Pleasant

The application provides for a single storey extension to the north east end of the existing  property,  which itself is the end cottage in a row of seven  former smaller cottages.  Part of this row was formerly the Cottage Hospital.

The application is very brief and few documents or details are provided.    A simple analysis of the plans would indicate that the proposed ground floor extension would not exceed the Council’s guideline that such extensions should not produce a volume increase greater than about one third.   This analysis is only very approximate based on floor area.

Such an extension would change the overall style of the row of cottages, but the building would only be seen by a limited number of properties in the vicinity.

The Council would want to ensure that the style and materials of this extension are in keeping with the location and the existing row of buildings, in accord with the Villages Design Statement.     The Council would not expect the extension to exceed the volume increase guideline.


The Cottage Pipehouse Lane – Extension to Garage  16/05451/FUL

An application for a garage extension to The Cottage (16/04591/FUL) was considered by the Council at its October 2016  meeting,  and comments submitted;  that application was withdrawn. This new application is for a considerably smaller extension to the garage.

The garage is attached to The Cottage and will be enlarged  on its west side at ground level.      This will provide a bedroom and bathroom.   Internal stairs will lead to the new first floor containing a sitting room and kitchen.   The garden and parking areas outside will be changed.

It is stated in the application that the previous proposals would have involved build of about 135 sq.m.  This application involves about 10 sq.m.

The Council’s comments in October included the requirement to adhere to the Villages Design Statement, access by contractors, and the avoidance of creating any kind of precedent.  These same comments apply in this case.   In October concern was expressed about the size of the extension in terms of the Council’s guideline; whilst detailed figures were not given it appeared that the guideline of about   one –third would be exceeded. In this new case the extension is small, and issues of overlooking would be minimal.

The Council will recall that an original application to build a new detached house  (April 2016)  in the garden of The Cottage was supported by the Council, but opposed by B&NES. This is now subject to a formal Appeal with the Planning Inspector.



Agenda Item 10 – PC Assets – Martin Walker

Memorial Benches

Margaret Dodge proposal for the Alan Dodge bench is ongoing.

Street sign Clutter

Photographic record and survey has been completed.  MW has met with Martin Laker of BANES in Freshford.  Street sign details, location, type and photograph have been plotted as a separate layer on Parish Online.  Proposed de-cluttering works now need to be considered as part of the NP Gateway works

War Memorial.

Martin Walker to meet with British Legion to discuss further work all to be costed and approved. Meeting date awaited.

Morris’s Lion

The Clerk, Andrew Orme and Martin Walker have met at the Village Hall to research past Parish Council records relating to moving of Morris’s Lion to Manor Barn. MW has since met with Lisa and Nick Derbyshire to consider what work is required with responsibilities for costs. To be agreed.

Street Lighting.

MW to update Parish Online locations of Street Lighting including the new Cemetery footpath lighting, the footpath lights down from the Village Hall and others in Church Hill, Station Road and adjacent the School.

Parish Online Mapping

MW will attend the BANES presentation on Parish Online mapping on Tuesday evening 6th December.

Other Assets generally.

Comments as previous November 2016 report

Further work for 2017 should be considered, discussed and agreed.



Agenda Item 11 – VPA Update

Re: West of England Joint Transport Study: Transport Vision


            This letter is the response of the Valley Parishes Alliance to the Consultation on the above.


1          Summary


1.1           The Valley Parishes Alliance objects strongly to three aspects of the JTS, viz.

a)     The proposal to build a road to link the A36 with the A46;

b)     The proposal to build a Park & Ride carpark in the Bathampton Meadows; and

c)     The proposal to build a Freight Consolidation Centre on Bathampton Meadows.


1.2           We have specific objections to each of the sub-projects above (more on this below) but an overriding objection to all three relates to the environmental impact that the projects would have on the Avon valley and Bathampton Meadows.


1.3           With regard to a link road, our objections are based on the evidence that a link road will not fulfil the objectives of materially reducing congestion and pollution in the centre of Bath. Moreover, although a specific routing has not yet been proposed, it is clear that both the A36 and A46 are distinctly unsuitable to carry the inevitable increase in traffic generally and HGVs in particular, that would result.


1.4           There is no evidence to suggest that a Park and Ride facility centred on Bathampton Meadows will have any effect at all on the London Road traffic. It is more likely to be an under-utilised white elephant.


1.5           If a Freight Consolidation Centre (FCC) were constructed on the Bathampton Meadows, it would serve as a magnet for HGVs, and would result in spawning many more delivery vehicles onto the congested London Road approach to the City. Its out-of-hours operations would provide an unacceptable amount of noise and light pollution to this otherwise tranquil pastoral environment.


1.6           Any one of these projects would likely have an NPV which could never justify the cost of construction and the spoiling of the natural environment forever.


1.7           The above requires rigorous, analytical, evidence-based debate, and not comments which ignore detailed discussion and conclude that it is simply ‘common sense’.

2.         Environmental concerns




2.1  The Avon valley and the Bathampton Meadows lie in the setting of the World Heritage City. The responsibility to protect the WHS landscape setting is set out in international, national and local documents, e.g. 2008 City of Bath UNESCO report; 2009 Government Circular on WHS protection; 2009 B&NES Public Realm and Movement Strategy; 2010 WHS Management Plan; 2013 WHS Setting Supplementary Planning Document.

2.2  Any link road would be in the Cotswold AONB and setting of the Bath World Heritage Site. A Public Enquiry concluded that a link road would have intolerable impacts on the landscape and be devastating to recreational amenity’.

2.3  Most of the Bathampton Meadows lie in Green Belt.

2.4  Most of the meadows lie in flood plain, clearly unsuitable for an FCC or car park. The small low-lying area which is not in flood plain is vital as an emergency area to provide for water storage at times of flooding. The entire area could not be considered without significant upstream flood defence measures.

2.5  It is understood that actual design detail for any of the projects is yet to be undertaken. However, any one of these projects would have an NPV which could never justify the cost of construction compared with the inevitable devastating impact to the natural environment.

2.6  All three projects will provide an unacceptable degree of noise (HGVs, car parking, or freight management activities). We consider that this increase cannot be justified in an open and natural AONB.

2.7  Light pollution will also be a major factor – particularly with the extended hours of operation required for an FCC.

2.8  It is purely a matter of balancing project effectiveness and cost, with the value of unspoilt pastoral countryside, forever lost as a local amenity in the gateway of the World Heritage City. Our view is that the link road and P&R projects will not be effective (will not satisfy their objectives), and that the FCC project is unjustified in its pervasiveness in the meadows location.  The Green Belt, AONB, and WHS setting are far more valuable and outweigh the devastating impacts of these three projects.

3.         Specific concerns regarding a link road


3.1  A36/46 Link Road schemes have been proposed many time in the past 30 years – but never considered viable.

3.2  Any link road would be in the Cotswold AONB and setting of the Bath World Heritage Site. A Public Enquiry concluded that a link road ‘would have intolerable impacts on the landscape and be devastating to recreational amenity’.

3.3  The A36 and A46 are geologically unstable, requiring frequent closures for maintenance, and are therefore unsuitable for increased HGV and other traffic that would result.

3.4  Bath traffic is predominantly local. Government figures show that only 1 in 20 cars represent through traffic. Minor congestion relief will therefore be temporary around Cleveland Bridge and London Road but nowhere else in Bath will benefit. B&NES agree with this conclusion.

3.5  Less than 5% of London Road traffic is HGVs, and only half of that figure is traffic flowing North-South. Replacing this traffic by smaller distribution vehicles (as will happen if an FCC is built) will clearly reduce any benefit which could otherwise have resulted.

3.6  New roads are invariably proven to induce more traffic unsuitable for the A36 and A46.

3.7  Bathampton is on the edge of an Air Quality Management Area with emissions just below EU safety limits and on a rising trajectory, while parts of London Road already exceed them. A link road attracting more East-West traffic (as shown in Government statistics) could only lead to further rises in emissions levels.

3.8  An A36/46 link road proposal fundamentally conflicts with B&NES Council’s own environmental policies.

3.9  A serious attempt to reduce HGV numbers in the city requires much greater support for Wiltshire’s plans to improve the A350 as a genuine north-south trunk route. If this were done, the HGVs would be attracted elsewhere rather than the A36 and A46.

3.10        Despite claims of possible benefits there is no proven economic case for a new link road.

4          Specific concerns regarding a Park & Ride facility


4.1           B&NES has recently conceded that a Park & Ride facility to the east of Bath will not reduce traffic congestion nor pollution on the London Road and Cleveland Bridge. This was done via reports to a Planning Inspector in autumn 2016. Since the stated aims of a public consultation in 2015 cannot be met, it is clearly not justifiable to spoil the Bathampton Meadows.

4.2           Park & Ride no longer has the support of DEFRA as a means of reducing congestion and pollution in towns. In 2009 DEFRA Local Air Quality Management Policy Guidance stated ‘Park & Ride is unlikely to affect town centre traffic levels, and may simply add to the amount of traffic entering the town’. In 2016 DEFRA completely removed all reference to Park & Ride in its tool kit that Local Authorities should consider in their efforts to reduce congestion and pollution. Instead they recommend behaviour change measures.

4.3           Research evidences that Park & Ride on the edge of cities adds to the number of kilometres travelled (on average 1 to 4 additional kilometres per P&R user). In addition, fewer than half of P&R users  would otherwise have driven into the city. The other users are new car trips or people transferring from public transport.

4.4           In November 2015 B&NES Council resolved that an integrated transport plan for the east of Bath was required to provide quality public transport proposals to serve the Wiltshire towns. There are no such plans within the JTS for east of Bath, although substantial expansion in other areas of the WOE  LEP is proposed.

4.5           The methodology and modelling tools used by B&NES in the past (for predicting take-up rates for P&R facilities) have been shown to be seriously flawed. Existing sites are, on average, only 41% full, and even at the busiest times average only 60% of capacity. Prior to proposing up to £10m on construction of a new P&R, B&NES must resist using untested assumptions and conduct a thorough patronage study.

4.6           It is now apparent that the only time Park & Ride is well used is during predictable seasonal events such as the Christmas Market which, according to B&NES' Cabinet Member for Transport, increases the take up of Park & Ride by 42%.  In 2015/16 Council parking data shows there were 19 days when average Park and Ride capacity exceeded 80%.  Of these, 17 coincided with the Christmas Market. The Council has this year secured over-spill Park & Ride for 140 cars at Lansdown North Playing fields for Saturdays during the Christmas Market. If this initiative were to be continued and expanded to manage future peak demand it would remove the need for further permanent Park and Ride Sites, and produce a capital saving of £10m.

4.7           It is critical that investment is focused on solutions that reduce congestion at peak times. Yet, at this time of day, Park and Ride sites are only 25% full. Bath’s Park & Ride sites are emptiest when congestion is at its worst, and there is no evidence that the behaviour of east of Bath commuters is any different to those who drive past Park & Ride from other destinations every day.

4.8           Since city centre traffic is already critically high, and is not predicted to reduce significantly with any of the schemes proposed for the east of Bath, it is important for B&NES (and, therefore, the WOE LEP) to concentrate on measures which may change behaviour. A Congestion charging scheme appears to have the greatest potential for such a modal shift. This would inevitably deter residents from driving into the city, and making greater use of existing bus services and other schemes (cycling, walking).

4.9           Concentration on the aspects of congestion which are most damaging (such as the daily school run, which is a significant factor during term times, and the disruption felt when unusual events take place such as Christmas Market and Bath Rugby days), could result in significant gains being made.

5          Specific concerns regarding a Freight Consolidation Centre (FCC)


5.1           We object strongly to indications that the proposed FCC is to be located on the Bathampton Meadows. Once the protection of the Meadows is properly understood (refer to Section 2 above), the further desecration of this site should be immediately rejected.







5.2.  We agree that an FCC in the vicinity could easily contribute towards the reduction of emissions affecting air quality (PM and NOx); CO2 emissions; traffic congestion; and conflict between road users. The inevitable attraction that an FCC would have for HGVs, however, would be a significant reason to not site it in the Bathampton Meadows.

5.3.  The FCC located in the northern fringe of Bristol was originally touted as a facility to serve Bristol and Bath. Its proximity to through rail is a major benefit for this site. We are unaware, however, of any attempt to promote its use for freight destined for Bath. Any plan to construct an FCC specifically for Bath, must surely only follow once an assessment of the potential for this site is made. To promote a plan without such an analysis will surely be criticised as ‘planning on the hoof’.

5.4.  A typical FCC operation includes long hours of operation, and significant noise and light pollution. These characteristics preclude its location in a low-lying bowl of natural meadowland. A proper evidence based study must be conducted to assess other locations which could be far more suitable and less pervasive on the life choices of hundreds of residents (For example, the hilltop site at Charmy Down (overlooked by no-one) or a site further north close to the junction of the A46 with the M4 motorway.

6.         West of England Consultation Questions







The following are the VPA’s answers to the suggested questions posed by the WOE Consultation. The VPA has little knowledge of the Bristol, Weston-Super-Mare and northern fringe areas, and so offers no opinion.

Q1.      Is the level of ambition for the Transport Vision about right?

Answer. In the East of Bath the vision is entirely wrong. The link road and P&R schemes are now agreed to be of no benefit towards reducing congestion in the city, are of marginal benefit in doing so on the London Road and Cleveland bridge, and so cannot be justified. No work has been undertaken to indicate the FCC location is appropriate. The inclusion of these three projects cannot trump the need to protect the Green Belt, the AONB, and the Setting of the WHS.

Q2.      Do you think we are proposing the right mix of public transport (bus, rapid transit, park and ride and train)?

Answer.  As stated, a Park & Ride facility on Bathampton Meadows is not justified and should be removed from the plan. Further consideration should be given for a Congestion charging scheme in the centre of Bath.

Q3.      To what extent do you agree with the principle of diverting non-local traffic, including onto new roads, to accommodate public transport and cycling schemes?

Answer. In the East of Bath, there is no possible routing of a new road which would not have ‘intolerable impacts on the landscape and be devastating to recreational amenity’. A large question on the effectiveness of such a road persists.

Q4.      To what extent do you agree with the concept of a light rail (tram) solution on some rapid transit corridors?

            Answer. Subject to rigorous assessment of the need, likely effect, and value for money – this should be considered.

Q5.      To what extent do you agree with using financial incentives and financial demand management at a local level to raise funds to help pay for the transport vision? 

            We cannot answer this question without specific proposals.

Q6.      What kind of schemes would be most appropriate to deliver an upgrade to sustainable travel between the East Fringe and Bristol city centre?

            We have no opinion on this matter.

Q7.      Do you agree with the following elements of the package?

  • Marketing and education to change travel behaviour. 

Strongly agree

  • Area packages of improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and buses. 

Strongly agree

  • Strategic Cycle Routes - new or upgraded routes. 

Strongly agree

  • Park & Ride - new or expanded sites.

Strongly disagree in the east of Bath. Other sites - neutral

  • Bus network improvements.


  • Expansion of the MetroBus network.


  • Light Rail routes.

Tend to agree – depends on the specifics.

  • Rail improvements – improvements to existing services and facilities.

Strongly Agree

  • New railway stations

Agree where feasible

  • Road improvements, including junction improvements & addressing bottlenecks

Strongly agree

  • New road connections

None are feasible in the east of Bath

  • Freight management including consolidation centres

Depending on location – strongly agree. Strongly disagree with a Bathampton Meadows location.

Q8.      Are there any other schemes you would like to see in the package?

            Serious consideration should be given to a Congestion Charging scheme in the city centre.


Agenda Item 12

Parish Charter.

The Parish Charter Working Group is now up and running. The first meeting took place on the 24th November (see draft Minutes in separate attachment) and a workshop is to be held on Tuesday 6th December at Keynsham. The Group is aiming to have the Charter completed and implemented by June 2017.


SSE. Customer Focus Group.

On behalf of the PC I attended this inaugural Customer Focus Group meeting at Melksham. It was an opportunity to ‘share views and experiences’ of SSE’s investment in the regional network with particular reference to:

  • Scenarios around Planned Supply Interruptions – what is important to you
  • How you contact us through our General Enquiries line and your expectations of that service
  • Resilience -  heading into the Winter period - for yourself, your community and your business

Two matters that might be worth following up through Parish Comms and/or The Bulletin.

1. Call 105. You can call this number free to report or get information about power cuts in your local area. You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put you or someone else in danger.

2. Customers of SSE may join SSE’s Priority Services Register - eligibility extends to pensioners, those who are disabled or who have a chronic illness or who are recovering from major surgery, those with a young baby and those who are dependent on electricity for home medical care. Registration will give priority to these customers and additional practical help and support.


Agenda Item 14

Road Traffic Update.

High Street Junction – Re-instatement Defect. Received from Neil Martin, Streetworks Engineer, B&NES Council:

I went to this job a couple of weeks ago and emailed the Inspector but not you. I am happy with the anti-skid and in time it should dull down and match the rest. I first thought it was wearing off but it’s actually dirt. We will continue to monitor this site as it has a 2 year guarantee period.


I have acknowledged receipt while making it clear that we do not share his happiness for the work done. In the circumstances I suggest that the PC continues to monitor the site and report any further concerns as and when they arise.


Abbey Lane and car parking.

I have been in contact with the Football Club to see if there is any prospect of them permitting space to be used for off road car parking. They have yet to get back to me.


A36. Severance Survey

Keith Marsh on behalf of Skanska (and Highways England) has begun work on surveying the ‘hot spot’ sites along the A36 with a view to putting together a case for road improvements. Hugh Delap has provided Keith with detailed information particularly – but not exclusively - relating to Midford Lane and the Pipehouse junction and it may be that both he and I will carry out a site inspection in company with Keith Marsh at the appropriate time.


No 94 bus service

The most recent information came from Andy Strong of B&NES to Neil Butters:

Libra Travel has cancelled their registration for 94 so it’s in the public domain now. Our colleagues at Wiltshire have carried out some passenger surveys and have gone out to tender for a replacement service, including options for some reductions to reduce the operating costs. Neither we nor they would be able to bear an increase in the contract cost so if, as is likely, the lowest price for a like-for-like replacement is higher than the current price. I’ll update you as and when I have more info. 

The closing date for tendering is thought to be this week. Local users are naturally very concerned about the prospect of there being no bus service and need to know as a matter of urgency if a service will continue to operate. In some instances hospital appointments in the new year are being offered to resident users of the service who then are reluctant to go for the dates offered in case they cannot make the journey. We should press for matters to be resolved a.s.a.p.

West Of England Joint Transport Study. A36/46 link etc.


By separate attachment is the draft paper prepared by Steve Mackerness on behalf of the VPA and which will provide a solid basis for informing further objection/comment submitted by VPA parish councils and individuals.


Agenda Item 14 – Facilities and Funding – John Adler


The FLiSCA AGM was held.

Nothing of note to report.

Public Phone Box

Consultation response was provided to BANES to collate and respond to BT.

Bath Avon Forum

There was not a quorum for the meeting, therefore the AGM element has been postponed to January 11th. It will be held in Bath at The Kaposvar Room, Guildhall as it was decided that this was probably a better location for other PCs to reach.

There was a discussion about the structure of the Bath Avon Forum and why it is so poorly attended.

It was stated that this is the forum where PCs can hold BANES to account. A point I raised to Neil Butters was that whilst this may be the case, and that the presentations given by BANES are full of useful information, the detail comes thick and fast. The current structure does not allow for any thinking time, and sensible questioning comes from having given matters consideration. Therefore, questions come to mind essentially after the event – basically BANES councillors are prepared, but the audience isn’t especially as papers are not distributed in advance. I will raise this point more formally at the AGM.

The focus was on Transport and Finance.

Joint Spatial Plan and Joint Transport Study

Critical Issues:

  • National housing crisis
  • Maintaining economic prosperity
  • Unsustainable travel impacts climate change and poor health
  • Bath’s world class environment brings economic & community benefits

The JSP will:

  • be a statutory Development Plan Document for 2016-2036
  • A plan for the West of England
  • identify the number of new homes & employment land across the West of England
  • set out the spatial strategy for growth

The JTS will :

  • look at current & future challenges on our network
  • identify transport infrastructure needed to support development

JSP Strategic Priorities

  • Economic: To identify and meet the need for housing and accommodate the economic growth objectives of the LEP Strategic Economic Plan
  • Social: ensure all sections of our communities benefit
  • Environment: protect & enhance the sub-region’s diverse & high quality environment and ensuring resilience.
  • Infrastructure: new development is properly aligned with transport and other social infrastructure

A New Local Plan for B&NES

  • Combine Core Strategy & Placemaking Plan
  • Roll forward policies to 2036
  • Allocate JSP Strategic locations (new Green Belt boundary)
  • Set out site development & design principles
  • Designate and infrastructure proposals
  • Other housing/ employment land supply – allocate other sites
  • Approach to affordable housing policy
  • Universities and student accommodation
  • new policies warranted by new legislation, a time related target e.g. retail capacity, renewable energy targets

There was much discussion on aspects relating to Bristol, and Bath but little that impacts Freshford directly.

It was stated that the New Local Plan is being defined from a review of the Core Strategy along with the Placemaker Plans. The position of Neighbourhood Plans was not made clear. A further point to raise at the AGM.

The presentation got slightly confusing as sometimes Bristol was involved, and the impact on BANES was hidden – such as the housing shortage. The JSP needs to identify 39,000 dwellings, but BANES require 13,500 dwellings with no clear view on the shortfall. What are the pressures on Freshford? I highlight this point to underline the need to assimilate information prior to the meeting as this passed me by at the time.

The JSP addresses a wide area including Weston-Super-Mare, Bristol, Bath and environs. The BANES Core Strategy solely addresses BANES.

One highlight is that there is a national focus on a major road building programme. The A36/A46 link is on the agenda, and was highlighted:

  • The A350 route is on the agenda
  • BANES are working with Wiltshire on this, and with Highways for England

Therefore, a direct A36/A46 link at Bathampton is not necessarily a foregone conclusion.

The new Local Plan is currently out for consultation, and is on exhibition at Bath One-Stop Shop from the 5th-19th December.


There was a presentation on BANES finances.

I was assured that we were to be provided with the slides – however these have not been forthcoming. I am chasing and will submit an updated report when received as it is important that these details are correct.

Basically, the bottom line seems to be that central government support for local councils is being seriously reduced over the coming years. Therefore it would seem to be beholden on BANES to increase new business area in the local community so as to increase their revenue from retaining new business rates.

There is a massive gap between funding and expenditure nationally – but BANES seem to be managing. Currently.

Public Phone Box

Consultation response was provided to BANES to collate and respond to BT.


Agenda Item 15 – 2017 PC Meeting Dates

Date of Annual General Meeting, Annual Parish Meeting and Parish Council Meeting for 2017 to be held at the Memorial Hall, Freshford at  7pm unless otherwise stated.


Monday, 9th January, Parish Council Meeting

Monday, 13th February, Parish Council Meeting

Monday, 13th March, Parish Council Meeting

Monday, 10th April, Parish Council Meeting

Tuesday, 25th April, Annual Parish Meeting, 8pm Main Hall

Monday, 8th May, Annual General Meeting

Monday, 12th June, Parish Council Meeting

Monday, 10th July, Parish Council Meeting

Monday – 14th August Provisional date

Monday, 11th September, Parish Council Meeting

Monday, 9th October, Parish Council Meeting

Monday, 13th November, Parish Council Meeting

Monday, 11th December, Parish Council Meeting













PC Agenda + Reports 14th November 2016

posted 8 Nov 2016, 09:13 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 14th November 2016 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

3.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 10th October 2016 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

6.     Correspondence Received

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

16/05021/LBA 16/05020FUL – The Inn, The Hill Freshford - Conversion of existing outbuilding to residential use related to the public house. ( 1No. B & B Unit/ Holiday let)

Pre-application discussion – Freshford Mill

      8. Report from Flood and Drains representative - Malcolm Shirley

      9. Clerk Salary Review (NS)

      10. PC Assets

·       Morris Lion

·       Discussion about asset maintenance priorities

      11. Upcoming external meetings.

·       VPA meeting – 7th December (PK, NS)

·       Bath Avon Forum – 28th November  (JA)

12. Updates to include:

·       Traffic & Transport (NS)

- Parking outside St Peter’s Church (JH)

·       Neighbourhood planning projects update (AO)

·       Roads and verges

-  Street sweeper update (JH)

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting

·       Facilities & Funding (JA)

·       Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

13. Exchange of information

       Date of Next Meeting:  12th December 2016

CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts

4 Cliffe Drive,

Limpley Stoke, BA2 7FY

01225 723036





Freshford Parish Council - Chairman’s Report

14th November 2016


VPA Highways Committee meeting – 11th October 2016


The key points relating to Freshford:

The Route Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) is in preparation. This covers major schemes for the period 2020-25. There will be a period of consultation from November 2016 resulting in a report in Spring 2017. Details will probably be included in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, October 2017. It is possible that either the A36/A46 link or the trunking of the A350 – or both – will be included. If so, the first stage will be a more detailed study of these options. RIS2 will underpin the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study, which itself will be part of the West of England Devolution Deal. The current phase of consultation runs to 19th December, see

Speed on the A36. Sean Walsh explained that Highways England’s remit is in general to ensure the free flow of trunk roads, so speed restrictions or double white lines are unlikely to be approved. They take notice if there are six incidents involving injury within a 100 metre stretch within 5 years – near misses don’t count. Even then, they will investigate the cause of the incident before taking action. Although the final report is not yet published, it is possible that the recent fatality at Branch Road may have been the result of driver error rather than speed.

Severance. A study is being funded of the implications of the way that the A36 cuts across our parish. Our comments have been invited. We could be talking about help/refuges for pedestrians crossing from Midford Lane to Church Lane, from Pipehouse to Pipehouse Lane, and possibly bringing back into use the underpass under the main road near Branch Road (where the footpaths from Rosemary Lane come up to the A36). Nick Stevens has taken this under his wing.

Variable Message Sign. It seems that the VMS will be installed soon, near Pipehouse.


Parishes Liaison Meeting – 12th October 2016


Key points relating to Freshford:

Parish Sweeper Scheme. Things are moving, but slowly. The minutes of the 11th May meeting recorded that a presentation on the scheme had been given. I pointed out that this was not the case but that the item had been dropped through pressure of time. Martin Shields, Divisional Director – Environmental Services, apologized for the delay and gave an ‘update’ on progress. I pointed out that that in the intervening 5 months there has been no progress. He said that Tricia Vincent ( was taking things forward and that she had been in touch with all parishes in the scheme. I pointed out that she had not contacted FPC (nor Monkton Combe or Hinton). It is agreed that greater clarity is needed about what both sides can expect from the arrangement. It is hoped that dialogue will be concluded over the next two months.

Waste and recycling collection. From Autumn 2017 food waste and recycling will continue to be collected weekly but waste will only be collected fortnightly. A key part of this is to encourage people to recycle more, particularly food waste – far too much of which is put into the non-recyclable bin. A lorry-load of recyclable waste earns the council £100; a lorry-load of non-recyclable waste costs the council £1,000.

Parish Charter. This is being reviewed, with a Working Group due to meet for the first time in November; our man Nick Stevens is on the case.


Emergency Planning

I undertook to look into whether we, as a parish council, should be doing anything about ‘emergency planning’.

Stephen Pope, Programme Coordinator, Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum, Avon and Somerset Constabulary HQ ( tells me “There is no legislative requirement placed on parish councils to undertake emergency resilience planning.   However, increasingly, councils and community groups are beginning to appreciate the benefits of conducting work to strengthen the resilience of local communities and individuals against events such as flooding and severe weather.   This is taken forward under the generic title of “Community Resilience” and an increasing emphasis is being placed by Local Authorities, especially in the Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum area, on supporting communities in this approach.”

Stephen Bell, Communications Hub Manager, Bath & North East Somerset Council (Stephen_Bell@BATHNES.GOV.UK), says “In terms of community resilience we are always keen to engage with local communities to assist and advise on resilience issues particularly in a time of crisis. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.”

Rob Davis, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Service Delivery, Avon Fire & Rescue Service ( says “Avon FRS is hosting a Community Resilience Team, managed by another voluntary team that has responded to major disasters internationally, such as the Nepal and Haiti earthquakes. If you would like to meet and discuss the whole subject of community resilience please let me know.”

There is also a PDF leaflet – “Community Resilience – A framework for Practitioners”.

I suggest we take no immediate action but mull things over and perhaps have a discussion at a later date.


Agenda Item 12 – Roads and traffic – Nick Stevens


Feasibility Study: The Hill.


I had a site meeting with Tom Hayward, Programme Manager and Tasos Papaloucas, Project Manager both of B&NES Highways Department on the 1st November to discuss the Study to be undertaken. I have passed on to them copies of all the papers that the PC submitted in support of the submission to improve road safety along this stretch of road. Tasos will now proceed to draw up plans and proposals which he will then submit to the Parish Council for consideration and on which we can then consult further with residents. Tom Hayward indicated that there was a reasonable prospect of the scheme being brought implemented within a year or two if we can reach agreement on what is to be done.




The High Street Junction.


BT has now carried out work to the junction road surface as required by the Defect Notice served on them by B&NES Street Works Department in May of this year. It is my view that BT has not complied with the terms of that Notice in that the road surface has not been restored to its original condition but instead has received a superficial paint treatment which is already showing signs of deterioration. No attempt has been made to match the match the repair with the existing surface.


I have drawn this to the attention of the Highways Department and wait to hear what they intend to do to ensure that BT complies with the terms of the Notice.


Abbey Lane


A Freshford resident has expressed concern that the number of vehicles parking in Abbey Lane close to its junction with Rosemary Lane is a serious hazard to moving traffic. Obstruction of the highway at this point leads to motorists being unable to keep to their side of the road and consequently drivers are finding that they have to move over to the ‘wrong’ side of the road on what is a blind corner. There is ‘an accident waiting to happen.’


Abbey Lane is within the parish of Hinton Charterhouse but since it is more clearly identified with Freshford it may be that Freshford PC should take the initiative to see what can be done to ensure that the road remains unobstructed at this point. The simplest solution would be for advisory white lines to be marked out on the road surface to dissuade people from parking there.


Severance Study: A36


As yet I have not been able to speak with Sean Walsh of Highways England to get an update on how matters are progressing. The PC has already submitted evidence to HE detailing the substantive issues arising due to severance of the community by the A.36. What we would now wish to do is to examine with HE the range of possible solutions.






It is coming up to that time of year when B&NES Highways Gritting team systematically carry out a full survey of all the gritting bins within their area and ensure that they are in good order and full. Earlier this year I asked that an additional bin be placed close to the entrance of Pipehouse Lane now that the new development nears completion – a plea that appears to have fallen on icy ground but I shall keep trying.




PC Agenda 10.10.2016 +Reports

posted 4 Oct 2016, 08:39 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 10th October 2016 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

3.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 12th September 2016 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

·  Received the External Auditors report for 2015/16 accounts

·  6 month budget review

6.     Correspondence Received

·       PC response to the technical consultation on local government finance.

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

16/04591/FUL - The Cottage, Pipehouse Lane – Erection of extension to from annexe

16/00063/RF – The Cottage, Pipehouse Lane, Planning inspectorate appeal

16/04616/FUL 16/04617/LBA – Fairclose Farmhouse, The Hill – Internal and external alterations for the erection of detached garage and home gym with new drive.

16/04589/LBA – The Corner House, The Hill – Demolition of wall and gate-posts to widen access.

16/04494/TCA - Fairclose Farmhouse, The Hill – Removal of Yews x 2

16/04508/TC5 – The Glen, Rosemary Lane, Remove dead Cypress

            Upcoming external meetings.

·       Parishes Liaison – 12th October (AO)

·       VPA Highways – 12th October (HD)

·       VPA meeting – 7th December (PK, NS)

·       Bath Avon Forum – 28th November  (JA)

8.     The Tyning (SW/JH)

9.     PC Assets

·       Alan Dodge Memorial Bench

10.  Updates to include:

·       Traffic & Transport (NS)

·       Neighbourhood planning projects update (AO)

·       Roads and verges

-  Street sweeper update (JH)

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting


CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts

4 Cliffe Drive,

Limpley Stoke, BA2 7FY

01225 723036

Facilities & Funding (JA)

·       Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

11.  Exchange of information

       Date of Next Meeting:  14th November 2016


Agenda Item – Planning – Roger Paine

1   The Corner House, The Hill, Freshford     16/04589/LBA

The Council has previously considered and supported planning applications in respect of this property, which is diagonally opposite the church.   Internal changes and restoration have been undertaken, together with a new entrance porch and the removal of some of the rendering on the outside walls.    All the work has been carefully undertaken on this listed building. It is now proposed to remove a gate and a small (1.1 m) length of wall on the boundary with the footpath, to make access into the drive more straightforward, and safer for cars to park by  improving sight lines. The work will be completed with appropriate materials, which are in line with the building as a whole.  It is proposed that the Council supports the application.

2   Fairclose Farmhouse  (opposite The Inn) 16/04616/FUL and 16/04617/LBA

This application provides for the building of a new detached garage and drive at the north side of the main house. The house is Listed Grade ll.   This was part of an application involving significant internal and external works to the whole house in 2012 (12/00520/FUL), which was granted planning permission at that time. The owners now wish to make small amendments to their original plans for the garage; the other works have been completed. This current proposal provides for a slightly amended footprint and roof profile to simplify the construction.  Building work will be with rubble stone to match the existing house and two trees will be required to be removed.   The house is in the Conservation area.

Planning permission already exists for the basis of this work, now slightly amended. The site is on a difficult bend of the road. It is proposed that  the Council supports the application with comments highlighting the need for care during construction by contractors, at this narrow point on the road, together with a sharp bend.   Access into the proposed drive was highlighted previously, and taken into account when consent was granted.


Agenda Item 9 – Assets and other items – Martin Walker

Street sign Clutter - Photographic record and survey has been completed. Proposed works to be considered as part of the NP Gateway works. MW has met with Martin Laker of BANES in Freshford.  BANES to assist with plotting information onto Parish Online. 

War Memorial - Quotation of £275 received from Stone Conservator to delicately clean and repoint open joints.

Village Hall Drainage update - The Mann Williams report with long term recommendations has been received and forwarded to FVMH, FPC, FLiSCA and Galleries. Quotation for work received from Valletta and under consideration.


Agenda Item 10 – Traffic & Transport – Nick Stevens

Parish Road signs - Martin Walker has circulated details to councillors advising that he has met with Martin Laker who has confirmed that the Freshford road signs and fixed assets can be uploaded to Parish Online. Martin Walker successfully put the case for a University student taken on by B&NES to do the required work for the parish council. A masterstroke! Once the information is uploaded it can be shared with B&NES and we should have a full electronic Parish Online Schedule of road signs and asset. We hope to meet soon with the B&NES team to get things up and running. 

Highways England - Meeting with the VPA Highways Group on Wednesday 12th October. The meeting will be chaired by Hugh Delap. I cannot be there but if there is a Freshford Councillor able to attend they would be most welcome. The meeting will be at the Inn at Freshford – 10.45a.m. start I think but please check this.

The Hill Survey - I wrote to Stefan Chiffers in July seeking a meeting before the Survey commenced. I have not heard back from him yet.

Staples Hill - Received from a local resident a complaint about a ‘dropped’ section of pavement on Staples Hill. Advised him to register his concerns through Council Connect and said that the damage would be inspected by Highways Engineer Nick Sperring.




Agenda Item 10 – Environment – Sue Wingrove

The hedge laying course that will be run for Freshford parish Council by the Cotswold Conservation Board is confirmed for 20-21 October (2 day course) and for 11 November (1-day course).

There has been a good response from volunteers, with around 18 signing up for the 2-day course and 8 or so for the 1-day course. On 11 November children from Freshford School will also be involved and Ruth Poole from the school is in touch with the hedge laying instructor Keith Stuffins to determine safe and useful tasks for them to do.

Could we put round a community email a week before to let people know it is happening and to recognise the role of the CCB (I will supply some wording). Also could I arrange to have a candy board on the field gate, again advising the public and acknowledging the grant (this is a condition of the grant).


Agenda Item 10 – Policing, Facilities and Funding – John Adler

Police Matters

The next surgery with the community policing team is on 4th October in the Galleries. Notification was sent out by the Neighbourhood Watch.

Memorial Hall

The playground redevelopment is progressing. The old slide was sold, which helps the financing – and it’s good to re-use rather than scrap.


The FLiSCA grant period is underway for grants exceeding £250 – closing date for applications is 15th October. Application forms are available at the Galleries, online at, via an email request to or from a member of FLiSCA (I do have forms available).

Communities Meeting

This is the main aspect of the report this month.

With the Communities Meeting being in the evening on 5th October, the report on this meeting will follow.


PC Agenda - 12th September 2016

posted 6 Sept 2016, 04:20 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)



  1. Apologies for Absence

  2. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation

    to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

  3. Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

  4. Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 11th July & 8th August 2016 (approval & matters arising)

  5. Finance and personnel

    Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

  6. Correspondence Received

  7. Planning Applications and Decisions

    16/04017/FUL - Homewood Farm, Pipehouse - Conversion of barn to single dwelling 16/04101/TCA - Riversmeet, 2 The Orchard - To carry out height reduction and reshape by

    shortening extended limbs by up to 12-15. Birch - cut back over garden of No2 The Orchard

  1. Upcoming external meetings.

    • ALCA – 14th September

    • ACLA County AGM on 8th October

    • VPA Highways – 20th Sept (PK)

    • Bathavon Forum – 5th October (JA)

    • Parishes Liaison – 12th October (AO)

  2. The Tyning (SW/JH)

Tyning questionnaire analysis and discussion 10. PC Assets

Memorial Benches (JH)

  1. Updates to include:

    • Traffic & Transport (NS)

    • Neighbourhood planning projects update (AO)

    • Roads and verges

      - Street sweeper update (JH)

    • Trees & Footpaths (JH)

    • Street Lighting

    • Facilities & Funding (JA)

    • Communications (AO)

    • Bulletin (PK)

  2. Exchange of information

Date of Next Meeting: 10th October 2016

CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts 4 Cliffe Drive, Limpley Stoke, BA2 7FY 01225 723036

Freshford Parish Council - Chairman’s Report 12th September 2016

Neighbourhood Plan Projects

An informal meeting was held at Temple Court on 12th August to compare notes on action points for Freshford and Limpley Stoke. For Freshford: Nick Stevens, Martin Walker, Andrew Orme; for Limpley Stoke: David Gwyther, Margaret Field. David Gwyther has subsequently left LSPC.

Most projects were, understandably, specific to each village. The four areas of short-term interest that were common to both communities, and where it was agreed that solutions should be co-ordinated, were:

  • −  Affordable Housing – Both B&NES and Wilts have acknowledged the existence of the Freshford and Limpley Stoke Neighbourhood, as far as affordable housing is concerned. Margaret Field was going to find out whether there had been any interest from people with LS connections in the two one bedroom apartments at Freshford Fields.

  • −  Safe crossing of the A36.

  • −  Street signage clutter – it was agreed that the current situation should be assessed bearing in mind the

    guidance received from Steffan Chiffers.

  • −  Village Gateways – it was recognized that these might be problematic:

o Where to locate?
o Who owns the land?
o How they could be sited in already narrow lanes?
o Possible resistance to stone gateways as traffic hazard? o Cost?

It was agreed to progress the street signage review first, to see what signage might need to be incorporated on gateways.

Footpath to Avoncliff

Works were completed on the muddy section of Footpath BA12/5 – Freshford to Avoncliff – in early August. The works did not address the full width of the path but installed a metre-wide concrete path from the kissing gate at the far corner of Ham field, opposite The Inn, to the next kissing gate where the path comes out from Avoncliff Woods on to the riverbank again. There is rather an abrupt end to the new path at this point, where it comes to the Wiltshire border. The path looks rather new and ‘concretey’ but will soon mellow.

ALCA Transparency Fund

We have budget to buy a projector and laptop - a grant of £1350 plus £200, if needed, from Limpley Stoke for the purchase of our share of the jointly owned projector. It makes sense if any laptop bought could serve, if need be, as the main PC for the parish council so our Clerk should be part of the purchasing decision. Because of other commitments, this is unlikely to be before November. The deadline is that we need to have spent the grant within the current financial year.

Agenda Item 7 – Planning Applications – Roger Paine

Freshford Parish Council September 12, 2016

Homewood Farm, Pipehouse 16/04017/FUL Conversion of a Barn to a one storey dwelling; in Hinton Charterhouse Parish, but on the Freshford boundary.

The farm is the first dwelling on the left hand side as you enter Pipehouse. Access to the site is from a driveway almost at the A36 entry. There have been previous renovation and conversion planning applications in connection with Homewood Farm, which have been agreed, and which have modified some farm buildings.

The farm includes 24 acres of land, but with previously rented additional land now not available, the farm is not viable as a business alone and the owners wish to retire from farming activity.

In 2003, approval was given to convert an L-shaped farm building into three dwellings, one of which provides a home for the applicants. As part of that application, a further large steel framed barn next to those buildings was partially demolished. This application provides for the conversion of part of that barn into a one storey, three bedroomed dwelling, which will be entirely within the envelope of the existing barn. It is stated that appropriate and sensitively matching materials will be used. There will be no increase in the

existing footprint, and a reduction of existing floor space, as part of the building will be demolished in this scheme.

The application considers this building in the context of the approved housing development in Pipehouse, in terms of the appropriateness of building within the Green Belt and AONB. The farm is a brownfield site, and an unused and unattractive farm building is to be improved and renovated, and put into use. Part of an adjacent farm building will also be demolished to improve the environment of the proposed renovation. Overall the site will be improved in appearance. It is considered that in terms of the content of the NPPF, the works proposed do not constitute a diminution of the attractiveness, or openness of the Green Belt.

No comments have been received from nearby residents and the formal views of Hinton Charterhouse Parish Council as a statutory consultee are awaited.

Subject to the above, it is suggested that this Council’s response should be comments concerning materials, style of building, contractors access, and the satisfactory resolution of any safety and Highways issues. Because access to the site is very close to the A36, any traffic or parking issues should not impact significantly on other Pipehouse residents or their homes.

Agenda Item 10 – PC Assets - Freshford Parish Council Report September 2016 - Martin Walker


Notice Boards

Nothing to report

Memorial Benches

Nothing to report except the Mrs Cunnynghame bench at the top of Dark Lane is dilapidated and in unsafe and in unusable condition. It should be removed or replaced.

Tyning Wall Fracture and Cemetery Wall

Consideration to be given to suitable safety fence/barrier/railings between Tying and High Street next to the School.

Freshford Railway Station “Running In” Boards

Update awaited on Conservator’s repairs to the board on the Platform to Bradford on Avon

Street sign Clutter

Photographic record and survey has been completed. Proposed works to be considered as part of the NP Gateway works. MW to meet with Martin Laker of BANES to consider how best to identify the Street Clutter on Parish Online.

War Memorial.

MW to meet with Stone Conservators to obtain quotation for repair and maintenance.
The Memorial is listed Grade II and all work beyond repair will require listed building consent.
Other Asset Proposals for 2016
Other proposals for Asset repair during 2016 include:
Replacement/repair of other benches on Dark Lane, The Tyning and bench outside Village Hall etc. Cemetery maintenance to vegetation and Freshford Lane stone wall.
Removal of ivy to the Crowe Lane finger post sign. (part completed)

Village Hall Drainage update.

The Mann Williams report with long term recommendations has been received and forwarded to FVMH, FPC, FLiSCA and Galleries. Quotation for work awaited from Valletta. 

PC Agenda - 11th July 2016

posted 5 Jul 2016, 08:22 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)



  1. Apologies for Absence

  2. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation

    to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

  3. Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

  4. Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 13th June 2016 (approval & matters arising)

  5. Finance and personnel

    Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

  6. Correspondence Received

  7. Planning Applications and Decisions

    16/03124/DPLAO - Prior approval to extend platforms as part of the West of England DMU Capability Works (At Freshford Station, Station Road, Freshford, BA2 7WQ)

    16/02999/FUL – 10 The Glebe. First floor side extension, and single storey rear extension. 16/03319/FUL – Rosemary House, Church Lane, Erection of detached single storey house on land

    to rear of existing dwelling

    16/05118/OUT - Southernwood Church Lane Limpley Stoke Wiltshire BA2 7GH. Proposal: Erection of 1 No. dwelling and associated access works (Plot 1). Outline application

    16/04907/FUL - Southernwood Church Lane Limpley Stoke Wiltshire BA2 7GH, Erection of 1 No. dwelling and associated access and landscaping works (Plot 3)

16/01219/FUL - Cottage, Pipehouse Lane – Decision - Refuse Affordable Housing

  1. Neighbourhood Plan Projects (NS/AO/MW)

  2. Upcoming external meetings.

VPA A36/46 Link 10. The Tyning (SW/JH)

Tyning questionnaire analysis

  1. PC Assets

  2. Updates to include:

    • Roads & Traffic (NS)

      • -  Discussion on B&NES feasibility study – The Hill

      • -  Discussion on Highways England Road Investment Strategy

    • Roads and verges
      Discussion on strimming of verges, purchase of equipment (SW)

    • Trees & Footpaths (JH)

    • Street Lighting

      - Update on Laurel House Lamp

    • Facilities & Funding (JA)

    • Communications (AO)

    • Bulletin (PK)

CLERK – Ingrid Maher Roberts 4 Cliffe Drive, Limpley Stoke, BA2 7FY 01225 723036

13. Exchange of information
Date of Next Meeting: 8
th August 2016 if required.

Agenda Item 7
Planning Applications and Decisions – Roger Paine
Planning Application 16/02999/FUL - 10 The Glebe Freshford

This application sets out proposals for a first floor side extension, and single storey rear extension, to the existing semi detached property in The Glebe. The plot is adjacent to open countryside, in the Green Belt, AONB, the Southern Settlement Area, but not in the Freshford Conservation area.

The paperwork for the application provides no detail of the proposals, except some small scale plans. As such it is difficult to provide detailed comments. No pre-application advice has been sought. The application form indicates that materials to be used will be in line with and similar to those of the existing building. An approximate assessment of the plans would indicate the increase in floor areas of the building to be between 20% and 30%, but these are not accurate, nor do they include volume increases upon which the Council’s usual guideline of about one third is based.

Further information will be attempted to be sought for the meeting. The Council’s comments would be based on adherence to the usual guideline of a volume increase of about one third, together with adherence to the Villages Design Statement requiring the style and materials used to be appropriate in the setting of the existing building and local environment.

Planning Application 16/03124/DLPAO Extension of the platforms on Freshford Station

This application is being submitted by Network Rail. The electrification of the Great Western Main Line and the associated use of new rolling stock, will allow other Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) to be available on the Cardiff- Portsmouth service group, which passes through Freshford. This will address the need for stock to be updated and to be of greater capacity. To meet this improvement, with longer trains, the platforms will need to be extended.

At present the two platforms are each about 80 metres in length. Both platforms will be lengthened by about 36 metres in the Bradford direction to provide for five car trains. There will be new platform edges, with tactiles. Building work will be required for the extended platforms, fencing and surfacing which will be in line with the existing platforms.

The development will be implemented as a permitted development under the relevant Act of Parliament of 1845, as updated by Government Order in 2015. A full planning application is not required, and the Planning Authority may only comment, or impose conditions on design and siting. The station is not Listed.

It is recommended that the Parish Council give comments welcoming the extension of the platforms in terms of improved rail services. The Council would wish to ensure that building work and materials used are appropriate to the site and existing platforms bearing in mind that the site is in the Green Belt and AONB. The Villages Design Statement is relevant for this aspect.

Of particular concern is the access to the station site, which is along Station Road, itself very narrow. Congestion, noise and parking could cause significant problems, and the Council will expect Planners to impose the necessary conditions to address these issues.

Agenda Item 11

PC Assets – Martin Walker

Notice Boards - Nothing to report

Memorial Benches - Future repair and maintenance policy to be agreed.

Lamp no. 7 on Laurel House - Restored lamp refurbished and re-fixing expected shortly.

Tyning Wall Fracture and Cemetery Wall - Consideration to be given to suitable safety fence/barrier/railings between Tying and High Street next to the School.

Freshford Railway Station “Running In” Boards - Work to the broken “FRESHFORD” letters on the Platform to Bath/Bristol has been completed. Thanks to Roland Birchby.

Update awaited on Conservator’s repairs to the board on the Platform to Bradford on Avon

Street sign Clutter - Photographic record and survey has been completed. Proposed works to be considered as part of the NP Gateway works.

Morris’s Lion above entrance to Manor Barn - Inspection and recording of the Lion and damaged stone to Manor Barn entrance carried out on 31st May. The stonework to the lion is sound but the plinth

on which the Lion sits has suffered decay and damage. Meeting held with owners of Manor Barn to present findings.

War Memorial.

Meeting held with the British Legion on 1st July to consider three phases of work, ie repair maintenance and cleaning,
new paved level access and
improvements to the entire site.

Discussions are ongoing.
The Memorial is listed Grade II and all work beyond repair will require listed building consent.
Other Asset Proposals for 2016
Other proposals for Asset repair during 2016 include:

Replacement/repair of other benches on Dark Lane,
The Tyning,
Outside Village Hall etc.
Cemetery maintenance to vegetation and Freshford Lane stone wall. Removal of ivy to the Crowe Lane finger post sign. (part completed)

Village Hall Drainage update - Mann Williams are instructed and site investigations have commenced as part of the proposed long term scheme. The Mann Williams report is still awaited.

Agenda Item 12

Roads and Traffic – Nick Stevens

Network Rail – Platform extension at Freshford.

Please see correspondence below. NS to raise at HOW meeting to be held at Trowbridge on the 14th July.

Hi Catherine

Nick has forwarded the planning notification from Network Rail that they plan to extend the platforms at Freshford.

As there is no need for Network Rail to make a formal planning application when we would have the opportunity to put forward any views on the proposal, I wondered if you would kindly take forward to the relevant person/s at Network Rail the following comments from the Station Garden volunteers.

  1. That the works take into account the garden and that care is taken to ensure that there is no damage to our planting or edgings

  2. Looking through the documents, it would appear that the existing Bath bound platform may be raised slightly so we ask if this will impact on the sleeper edge between the garden and the existing platform surface

  3. We presume that the works will all be accessed from the railway and Station Road and the other village roads will not be used for transporting materials.

The team who installed the new shelter were really good and hopefully the same will be true when the extension work takes place.

Regards Rowena

Thanks, Rowena. This is something I would pass over to the station manager to deal with, as NR should be coordinating with GWR for that, but our brand new station manager, James Wilcox, has not yet got his feet under the table. I don't even have his contact details yet.

NICK - Please raise at 14th July meeting in Trowbridge when we will meet James for the first time, together with his boss, Martin Hardy. Rowena has laid that email out so well, I will save it to forward on to one or both of them if required after the meeting.

I'd be reluctant to try and forward it direct to someone in Network Rail myself as I suspect, from recent experience, they would simply ignore it. I am afraid I have no "pull" with them at all!

M: 07971 111816
Catherine Phillips, Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership Officer

Roads and Traffic update.

Feasibility Study -The Hill, Freshford.

I have written to B&NES Council Highways Department asking that we meet with them for a site meeting prior to the commencement of the Study. This course was recommended by Stefan Chiffers of B&NES when we first discussed the FS back in February. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that we are all clear about what outcomes we are seeking. These are as set out in my Report to the PC in March 2016 with the further addition that we ask that the Study embraces also the current problem of vehicles using Church Hill as a through route.

Severance of Community.

On behalf of the PC I wrote to Sean Walsh of Highways England:

Some time back you suggested that if Freshford and Limpley Stoke parishes were concerned about the issue of severance of the community by the A36 we should put our thoughts in writing to Highways England.

That is something that I would like to pursue. But before doing so I would welcome your advice on its content. In particular- what are the key points that we should be seeking to make and how much detail should we provide?

In the Road Investment Strategy for 2015/16 to 2019/20 it is said:

However, we recognise that the SRN can also have a negative impact on communities. Busy roads can generate noise, and sever access in towns and villages, impeding cyclists and walkers. Solving these issues has been a focus of the Highways Agency, and it is important that the new Company strives to do even more to deliver improved outcomes for those living and working near the network.

In seeking to both solve these issues and to deliver improved services I know that we take heart from the fact that we have established a helpful and effective relationship with HE through your good self and we would very much like to work together to see what can be done now to improve the negative impact that the trunk road has this community.

With best wishes,
Nick Stevens, Freshford Parish Council

Received in reply from Sean Walsh, Assets Manager, Highways England:

We have information from the first round of Route Strategies (2015 to 2020) and we have captured issues from previous engagements with your Local Enterprise Partnership and Local Highways Authority, which we can share with you, if you want this let us know. However, this might not represent all the issues you think need to be addressed on the Strategic Road Network in the period from 2020 and beyond. If you have other information and want to raise other issues, we would be keen to hear from you.

If you want to report individual issues that affect you as a motorist on, or as a neighbour of, the strategic road network, we invite you to enter these via this online mapping tool.

If you have datasets, models or mapped evidence, please email us at so we can discuss the format.

Using the online mapping tool I have identified the key section of the A36 between Pipehouse and Church Lane/Midford Lane and raised with them the key issue namely that the trunk road hampers safe access by residents living to the west of the road to key village services – the shop, the school and pre- school

and surgery and dispensing practice. Referring to the Neighbourhood Plan highlights issues of speed, pedestrian refuges together with the general rationale of seeking to improve road safety.

The PC has been chipping away at this for some years and at last there is a glimmer of hope that our concerns might form part of the Strategic Road Network programme from 2020 onwards.

The Heart of Wessex Community Rail Partnership.

I will be attending the HOW meeting on the 14th July at Trowbridge in company with Hugh Delap. We are hoping to make progress to resolve the unsatisfactory operation of the ‘one door opening’ on arrival at Freshford which has on occasions led to travellers being unable to alight and then having to make their way back to Freshford from Bradford on Avon. It is a hit and miss affair and GWR must do better.

The HOW Annual Report for 2015/16 – well worth a quick read – can be found at:

Agenda Item 12

Facilities and Funding – John Adler

Police Matters

Those responsible for the recent spate of car crimes appear to have been caught.

Sue Mountfield has been re-appointed as an independent PCC, and is asking for public input to the aims and objectives:

To ensure the Police and Crime Plan continues to reflect your needs we want to hear from you. Have your say online consultation.aspx or call us on 01275-816377 for a hardcopy of the survey.

The consultation closes on Tuesday, August 30, 2016. Following which the information will be used to form the aims and objectives of the forthcoming plan.

Memorial Hall - Nothing to report. FLiSCA

The FLiSCA board meeting was held on 4th February – just before writing this report. A verbal update will be provided to the PC, and written details provided once the minutes are available.

Communities Meeting

The Devolution issue is being considered by BANES. There is concern as the result of the local referendum was 4 to 1 against an elected mayor. However, this is what is being put in place.

There is a 6-week consultation period beginning 4th July.

The view of parish Councils and Forum Groups is needed – but time is extremely short and information in short supply.

The process is that the Secretary of State considers the consultation, and the issues an Order. BANES then considers the Order.

4 councils are considering the deal (North Somerset have pulled out).

There are a number of public presentations on this issue, and people and PCs need to be engaged as the underlying question is what does this mean to the constitutional process?

The main concern is that this shapes the future and the future relationships will be based on the responses received, such as between the council and parish councils.

The fact that the BANES community voted against this approach, but it is still being imposed could lead to conclusions that may not be far from the truth.

The headline is that £1bn is available across 30 years – which sounds appealing as a headline figure. However, this is split across the 4 councils and Bristol will receive the lions share, leaving a small portion available across 30 years.

The Governance Review states that additional funding is available from EU Structural and Investment Funding ...

Request That the PC considers Devolution and agrees a process of enabling an understanding and forming a formal response to the consultation.

The Communities meeting was then focused on the provision of Health facilities within BANES, which does not include Freshford as Freshford surgery is a remote ‘arm’ of the Beckington Surgery which is in Wiltshire.

There is a central fund available for the development of local health facilities.

Should the Memorial Hall progress with the aims and objectives as outlined in the Neighbourhood Plan, then BANES are interested in discussing funding possibilities. At the Fete Martin outlined to me the current thinking of the Hall Redevelopment Committee on the potential provision of a surgery facility. If solely providing a Surgery facility is undertaken, then any additional funding from central government grants needs to be taken up with Wiltshire by the Hall Redevelopment Committee as the surgery is not BANES based. This is not particularly helpful, and boundary issues is a major concern for BANES, in many more ways than this as access to BANES health courses is only available through BANES based surgeries.

The recruitment of doctors is a major concern. It was stated that whilst funds are available, and there is a need for more doctors, recruitment is a problem. This is especially concerning as it was stated that 30% of doctors in BANES are over 50 years old.

The BANES programme is ‘Your Care, Your Way’.

It was also stated that the management of Health Facilities within BANES is currently out for tender. Which does seem to be a step on the road of privatisation, and underlines the importance of getting involved in the Consultation on a West of England Mayoral Combined Authority (the first item above).

Much is happening very quickly, and personally I’m not convinced that we truly understand what is happening, or whether we can actually effect any change to what is happening. 

PC Agenda - 13th June 2016 + Reports

posted 8 Jun 2016, 00:11 by Parish Council Communications


NOTICE OF MEETING (Local Government Act 1972)


MONDAY 13th June 2016 AT 7.00PM



1.     Apologies for Absence

2.     Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations - Members are reminded of their obligation to declare any interest they may have on any Agenda item to be discussed.

3.     Open Forum - an opportunity for residents to address the Parish Council.

4.     Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held on the 9th May 2016 (approval & matters arising)

5.     Finance and personnel

·  Payments of invoices and notice of receipts

·  Note NJC National Salary Award pay increase to Clerk for 2016

6.     Correspondence Received

7.     Planning Applications and Decisions

16/02431/FUL - Cornerstone, Freshford Lane, Freshford - Erection of timber single storey rear extension and new retaining wall

·       Sales of Peipards Farm (NS)

8.     Neighbourhood Planning (NS/AO/MW)

9.     Upcoming external meetings.

·       JA will attend the Bathavon Forum on the 22nd June 2016

·       PK will attend the next VPA meeting on the 7th September 2016

10.  The Tyning (SW/JH)

·       Fencing along the Tyning

11.  PC Assets

·       Street Bench policy ratification (SW)

12.  Updates to include:

·       Roads & Traffic (NS)

·       Roads and verges

- Strimming of verges (SW)

·       Trees & Footpaths (JH)

·       Street Lighting

·      Facilities & Funding (JA)

·       Communications (AO)

·       Bulletin (PK)

13.  Exchange of information

       Date of Next Meeting: 11th July 2016







Agenda item 5 – Finance – Andrew Orme

ALCA Transparency Fund

Ingrid has successfully obtained a grant of £1350 towards the cost of a laptop and projector for use by FPC. We will also need software and probably a screen. We had included £750 for this in our budget and we have also suggested to Limpley Stoke PC that they should buy out our share in the jointly owned projector, so we should have spare budget which we can allocate elsewhere.


Agenda item 5 – Personnel – Andrew Orme

New pay scales for Council Clerks

Councillors should note that new pay scales have been agreed nationally, back-dated to 1st April 2016, so Ingrid’s hourly rate will increase slightly. Ingrid is overdue a review of her conditions of employment, which we will undertake in the autumn.


Agenda Item 7 – Planning Matters – Roger Paine


Planning Application     Cornerstone, Freshford Lane (opposite Freshford Primary School)     No 16/02431/FUL

1  This application is for a single storey timber extension at the rear of the existing house  to improve family and ground floor space in the home.  There will also be a new reinforced retaining wall against the east elevation of the extension, where the plot meets New Road.  At that point the road is at a higher level than the garden of the house and the owners are concerned about the stability of the existing wall, especially with heavy traffic in New Road.   The site lies in the Green Belt, AONB, and the Freshford Housing Development Boundary.  It is not in the Conservation Area.

2  The extension will be flat roofed and made of pre constructed glass and larch clad panels.  Because of the slope of the rear garden, and the position of the house on the corner of the road, views of the extension will be limited from other houses.

3  The house was extended about eight years ago under approved application 07/03798/FUL.     This current application does not give any indication of the volume size of the proposed extension.   In order to gauge how this would be affected by  the Council’s  guideline of extensions in the Green Belt  not exceeding about one third of the original build in overall terms, further information would be required on this and previous applications.  This should be sought and examined in terms of considering the application.

4  The materials to be used are of a modern style, not unlike those in previously approved extensions in the village.     The materials and style of the building must fit with the guidance in the Villages Design Statement, in the Neighbourhood Plan.

5   In the absence of volume and area sizes and increases, the Council is concerned to ensure that the ‘about one third overall’ guideline is followed, as well as the criteria of the Design Statement. In addition, at this point the road is narrow and congestion often occurs outside the school. If agreed, conditions applying tocontractors access, noise and parking should be applied.  These comments should be submitted to B&NES.


Peipards Farm – Nick Stevens

I set out below an edited enquiry received from a resident of the village:

“ As you probably know the Peipards Farm has just gone on the market (rightmove, particulars) and the 4 fields to the Freshford side of the A36 are potentially available as a separate lot (40 acres). I was wondering whether there would be any appetite among neighbours, other villagers or the Parish Council to jointly purchase the land.  

I have spoken to the agent, who provided the following feedback:


1.     They would prefer to sell the farm as a single unit, so the 4 fields would not potentially be available until an offer is made on the main farm

2.     They are looking for about £10,000/acre. The 4 fields total around 40 acres. The agents quote is probably slightly pricey – permanent grassland without development potential is probably worth £8K to £9K/acre; at £10,000/acre I don’t think the agent think there is potential to build otherwise the price would be nearer £1,000,000/acre.

3.     Rental income from the fields is about £50/acre, plus there is a Basic Payment Scheme subsidy of £70/acre – so only a 1% yield.


Enquiries are continuing. Councillors are asked to note the position and that it may be that interested parties might wish to address the PC at its meeting in July.



Agenda Item 9

Parishes Liaison Meeting – 11th May 2016

Councillors have been sent minutes of the meeting, so these are just brief comments.

 -Devolution to ‘West of England’. This is the plan for the four regional councils – B&NES, North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire - to work together under a regional mayor in exchange for increased funding worth over £1 billion. The councils seem to be saying that they are already working together, would like the extra funding but could do without the mayor. There are checks and balances to stop one council swamping the others. If the government insists on a mayor there is already a West of England Partnership office with c30 strategic-level staff, which would largely form the mayor’s office, so there would not be large additional costs. The consultation continues until August 2016 and a draft order creating the combined authority would be laid before Parliament in October.


New approach to reviewing traffic schemes. This involves evaluating a whole route rather than just looking at specific locations, with inputs from traffic specialists, police and data. The trial route was the A37, which has had a high number of deaths and serious accidents. The chairman of Whitchurch PC  commented “For heaven’s sake, get on with the A36/A46 link!”. Interestingly, from FPC’s perspective, Tony Clarke (B&NES Cabinet Member for Transport) replied that probably the best thing that could be done to relieve pressure on Whitchurch was to open junction 18a on the M4, which would link up with Emersons Green and the South Bristol Link Road, when that was completed. In addition over the next 20 years there would be additional opportunities to solve problems on the A37, because Dorset wanted to develop Weymouth as a major port. He said that it was possible that the A36/46 would be detrunked and the A350 trunked.



Agenda Item 8

Neighbourhood Plan Projects – Andrew Orme


The Neighbourhood Plan identifies a number of objectives and activities to be undertaken over the next 23 years. We obviously cannot hope to achieve them all at once. At FPC 9th May it was agreed that Nick Stevens, Martin Walker and Andrew Orme would meet to come up with a list of projects that could be realistically tackled in the near future. This list, below, is drawn up from a Freshford perspective though many of the projects are relevant to the whole neighbourhood. After discussion and approval by FPC the list will be copied to Limpley Stoke PC and a meeting will be arranged to discuss and co-ordinate our joint approach.




NP Ref




(Page, para)







Affordable Housing


4 homes built, part of Freshford Fields. Ongoing aspiration should suitable sites become available.


Laying hedge by Freshford Lane

18/4.2.05 18/4.2.07

In hand. Work scheduled for Oct/Nov 2016.

Cotswolds Cons Brd £2,000; FPC £430; FoF £250; volunteers £1,800.

The Tyning


Community questionnaire being analysed. This will doubtless result in various individual projects.


The Cemetery


Tree surgery in hand, Oct/Nov 2016. Consider other measures within the PC Asset Management programme.


Repair and landscape Freshford War Memorial


Initial discussions in progress with Royal British Legion.


Re-equip Queen Elizabeth Playing Field


In hand. Order details to be provided to FPC.

B&NES S106 funds £15,931.50

De-cluttering signage


Initial discussion with B&NES. Our suggestions being documented.


Village Gateways


Signage implications to be considered (see above). To be discussed with Limpley Stoke.


Village Hall/Hub


Ongoing support for development plan. We await details of specific projects.


Village Inn


Now registered as Asset of Community Value.




Agenda Item 9 – PC Assets – Martin Walker


Freshford PC Assets

Notice Boards

Repairs and recoating completed. Notice boards refixed.


Memorial Benches

Future repair and maintenance policy to be agreed.

Contractor has removed the “Mrs Trail” dilapidated bench on the Tyning. Decision awaited on replacement bench


Lamp no. 7 on Laurel House.

The lamp has been removed and is with Ironart for repair and redecoration with dark green coloured paint. Ironart will also source a new glass bowl and then hand back to SSE for reinstallation.


Tyning Wall Fracture and Cemetery Wall

Work  completed.  Fracture to repointed High Street wall to be monitored to see if there is any further movement.

Consideration to be given to suitable safety fence/barrier/railings  between Tying and High Street next to the School.


Freshford Railway Station “Running In” Boards

The broken “FRESHFORD” letters on the Platform to Bath/Bristol have been removed for repair. Thanks to Roland Birchby.

Update awaited on Conservator’s repairs to the board on the Platform to Bradford on Avon



Street sign Clutter

Photographic record and survey has been completed. Details forwarded to Councillors Orme and Stevens. Proposed action to be considered as part of NP Projects.

Other Asset Proposals for 2016

Other proposals for Asset repair during 2016 include:

·       Replacement/repair of other benches on Dark Lane, The Tyning, outside Village Hall etc.

·       Cemetery maintenance to vegetation and Freshford Lane stone wall.

·       Removal of ivy to the Crowe Lane finger post sign. (part completed)



Village Hall Drainage update.

Mann Williams are instructed and site investigations have commenced as part of the proposed long term scheme.  The Mann Williams report is still awaited.


War Memorial

The British Legion wish to improve access to the War Memorial next to the Tyning and Cemetery , if possible prior to Armistice day in November 2016 .  Provisional date for meeting with British Legion at the War Memorial  arranged for 1st July 2016 at 11:15am. To be confirmed.


Morris’s Lion High Street Freshford

The owners of Manor Barn have reported decay and damage to Morris’s Lion stonework which now sits above the Manor Barn stone gate entrance. It was previously located above the entrance to Morris’s Stores opposite and was relocated from Morris’s Stores to Manor Barn in 1979.

The stonework to the lion is sound but the plinth on which the Lion sits has suffered decay and damage. We need to establish responsibility for repair.


Agenda Item 12 – Roads and Traffic – Nick Stevens


I have spoken with Stefan Chiffers (SC) B&NES Highways Engineer on these matters:


The High Street Junction

We talked about the BT scarring of the new junction surface and SC gave me the contact details for Paul McElhone, Street Works Co-Ordinator of B&NES Council. SC confirmed that BT are under a duty to replace like with like. Once I have given PE evidence of the work undertaken by BT he will serve on them a Defects Notice requiring them to re-instate the junction to how it was. SC said that BT often cut corners on this type of work to save money and will only carry out the required works once a Defect Notice is served.

B&NES Council has now issued the Defect Notice on BT requiring that the junction surface be properly restored. 


The Hill

The project has now been forwarded to the Design Team of B&NES with a view to them taking this forward with effect from 1st July. The Feasibility Study will include a Topographical Survey and modelling of the various options possible to improve road safety along this stretch of road. What SC would like to see by the end is a ‘do-able’ scheme which has been properly costed. The process will necessarily involve ‘stakeholder engagement’ and SC has asked that I send him on behalf of the PC an email towards the end of June seeking a site meeting with him and the Study Team so that things start out on  the right footing.


Road Clutter and Signage.

I advised SC that the signage review has now been completed and that we will soon be submitting details of our findings. SC said that he would approach it in these broad terms:

What signage can be omitted altogether?

What signage may need to be re-located?

What signage should stay in place?

What signage should stay in place but be replaced with correct or updated signs?

SC said that in the latest rounds of cuts he has been left with no budget at all for minor works. He hopes to liaise with Nick Sperring Highways Inspector, to agree with him about what signs can be omitted. It may be possible for The Inspector’s Team to cover the cost of the taking down of redundant signage since it would mean a potential saving in the number of signs under their responsibility.

How do we move forward from here?

Councillors are invited to approve the following approach in our wish to see the village both de-cluttered of unnecessary signage and for the required signage to be rationalised and placed with sensitivity and to good effect:

1. The basis for discussion will be the comprehensive and excellent review undertaken by Martin Walker. See separate attachment ‘Freshford Signs.’

2. We should enter into discussions with Limpley Stoke PC so that both councils adopt a consistent approach. We need to pay particular attention to implementing the ‘Village Gateways’ proposals as this will, to a large extent, determine the signage to be placed at the Gateways which will in turn influence the placement of other signage throughout the village.

3. The Feasibility Study on The Hill (above) gives us an early opportunity to talk with B&NES Transport Department about local road safety issues and possible improvements and we should press hard for the study to incorporate the Village Gateway proposed to be placed close by the bridge and the Inn. It could then set a precedent both in concept and design for the gateways throughout the village.

4.  We would then meet with Stefan Chiffers and members of his team to talk through the proposals in specific detail and see what can be achieved. As always it is desirable that we have a clear idea not only of what we want but also that we illustrate what we think can be done to improve the roadscape. Simple measures such as single poles carrying a number of signs can dramatically reduce cluttering and visual intrusion. All councillors are welcome to contribute ideas and suggestions.



Freshford Station.

The next meeting of the Heart Of Wessex volunteers is to be held at Trowbridge on the 14th July. I will be in attendance with Hugh Delap. Catherine Phillips is pressing on our behalf for resolution on two priority matters – the variable door opening behaviour (passengers for Freshford finding themselves unable to get off the train because of the random practice of only opening the front door of the train) and the fact that the Help Points display is too often out of order.



Agenda Item 12 – Communications – Andrew Orme

Community Database

Until now, the Community Database has been run from the gmail account. We have responded promptly to requests to change email addresses, to be added or removed from the list (in the latter case, usually because the recipient has moved away from the area).  However we have found on recent mailings that a number – usually c. 20 or so – have bounced back, rejected as spam. The addresses and numbers affected are not consistent – on the most recent CDB email only three were bounced back. My own personal address is sometimes among them. What we think may have happened is that some recipients, rather than just deleting emails that are of no interest, may have marked them as ‘spam’. This then taints all mail coming from the same source. If any subsequent emails are automatically directed into a ‘spam’ folder and are not retrieved as ‘not spam’, then this merely confirms that there is something dodgy about the sender. There is apparently nothing that can be done to persuade the system that our emails are legitimate so I will be looking, when time permits, at alternatives such as MailChimp.




Agenda Item 13 – Exchange of Information - Andrew Orme

Community Infrastructure Levy

I now feel I understand more about the CIL. These notes are a summary of the aspects most likely to affect Freshford but are not in any way an authoritative statement of the regulations.


CIL is charged on

-  the development of new dwellings of any size

-  or on the redevelopment of existing dwellings - e.g. extensions - that add 100 square metres or more to the gross floor area


The current charging rate for Freshford is £100 per sq. metre.


The levy is calculated as at the time planning permission is granted, subject to indexation if there is a delay in completing the development.


A proportion of the levy is paid directly to the local parish council. Normally this is 15%, subject to an overall cap of £100 per council tax-paying dwelling in the parish. However, where a Neighbourhood Plan has been ‘made’ – i.e. us – the amount paid directly is 25% and is not capped.


Distribution to the parish council is made twice yearly on 28th April and 28th September.


The balance of the CIL receipts – the ‘CIL Strategic Reserve’ - is managed by B&NES to invest in infrastructure. There is a ‘Regulation 123 List’ of approved projects. This includes the redevelopment of Freshford Village Memorial Hall and step-free access to the far platform at Freshford Station. Funds are allocated to projects through a bidding system.

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