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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.