M I N U T E S
Parish Council Meeting
St Ewe Village Hall
Monday 22 April 2013
7.00pm – 9.35pm
Officers Present:- Parish Cllrs – Chairman Cllr Will Richards , Cllr Allan Brooks, Cllr Diane Clemes, Cllr Rueben Collins, Cllr Trevor Harman, Cllr Janet Lockyer, Cllr Sam Roberts and Cllr Martin Wheeley
Apologies Received:- Cllr Robin Teverson (Cornwall Council) and Cllr John Dickinson
In Attendance:- Rose Hardisty, Clerk
Public Participation:- 8 members of the public in attendance
001/13 Declarations of interests
• Cllr Sam Roberts and Cllr Allan Brooks declared that they live in Kestle in relation to the proposed wind turbines but they do not believe that the interest is prejudicial as the matter effects them in a similar manner to other parishioners living in the hamlet of Kestle.
002/13 Previous Minutes
The minutes of the parish council meeting held on 11 March 2013, having been circulated with the agendas, were considered a true record and were adopted (proposed MW, seconded RC).
The Chairman indicated the intention to take public participation in two separate sections
Mr John Cook from Stephen Payne Planning Ltd addressed the council and was accompanied by his client, Mr Cooksley. Both indicated their willingness to answer any questions councillors may have about the application. Mr Cook outlined the application which is for a workshop and summerhouse. Such buildings would not normally require planning permission but because they fall outside the residential curtilage and the main dwelling is classified as a guesthouse business, permission is required. Mr Cook offered reassurance that the development was not to form part of the business and would not be used by guests. The workshop is intended as a place for Mr Cooksley to work and the summerhouse is intended to be a refuge for the family away from the business.
003/13 Planning matters
• FULL PLANNING APPLICATION
13/01284 Erection of summerhouse and workshop
Lower Barn, Bosue, St Ewe, St Austell, PL26 6ET
Councillors considered the planning documents and bore in mind the information provided by Mr Cook. The clerk also read to the council a letter from John and Dawn Dickinson who are immediate neighbours. This letter raised a number of concerns among which were the progressive and piecemeal development on the site, previous disregard for planning conditions, the size and design of the workshop and a belief that new buildings will form part of the commercial activity at Lower Barn. Mr & Mrs Dickinson were also concerned about an existing agreement with the applicants with regard to a septic tank but it was felt this was a matter between the parties. Councillors asked clarifying questions of the applicant and his agent where further information was needed. Parish Councillors recalled that planning on this site has caused issues and it is a concern when development takes place without appropriate permissions. The council noted in particular the assurances of the applicant that this further development is for the domestic use of the owners only and will not form part of the commercial activities of the guesthouse and on this basis resolved (proposed JL, seconded RC) to RAISE NO OBJECTION to the application. The entry on the planning register should indicate that the parish council seeks that suitable conditions are imposed on the development to ensure use is restricted to non-commercial.
Two members of the public left the meeting
The Chairman indicated the intention to ask the clerk to summarise the latest information about the Kestle wind turbines and then adjourn the meeting to allow public participation on the matter
• FULL PLANNING APPLICATION
13/02329 Erection of two 50kW wind turbines (25m to hub, 35m to tip) with ancillary equipment
Land South west of Kestle Farms, Kestle, St Ewe, St Austell, PL26 6JN
Councillors were able to confirm access to the on-line planning facility and that they had familiarised themselves with the comments made to date. Councillors had also received directly by email any comments received by the clerk and have had the opportunity to digest these. Six councillors (AB, DC, RC, JL, WR, SR) had taken the opportunity to attend a site visit on 18.04.2013 and this was most informative. The clerk was able to report that the applicants had indicated this morning that they intend to withdraw turbine T1 from the application. The applicants had sought advice from the council about how to go about achieving this but unfortunately no one from the planning department was able to discuss the matter with them. The clerk has also sought advice from the planning department about how to proceed in these circumstances. Unfortunately the appointed planning officer was away and only general advice could be obtained and this was that the council must resolve upon the actual application currently on the table.
Mr Ian Lobb, who was in attendance with his son, William Lobb, and brother, Richard Lobb, addressed the council on behalf of the applicants. He also produced a hard copy of the letter for councillors to read. Ian Lobb and Richard Lobb run separate businesses at Lower Kestle and Higher Kestle. Both looked to develop a wind turbine by way of diversification and decided to work together to achieve this. Ian Lobb believes that the site at Lower Kestle Farm is suitable and detailed the reasons why he believes developing renewable energy is essential especially bearing in mind climate change and its effects on farming. Ian Lobb highlighted that the scheme would be locally owned with funds remaining in Cornwall and there is also to be a community funding package. The turbine will be of the same type as currently at Tregerrick which Mr Lobb has found to be quiet and visually acceptable. Ian Lobb asked the parish council to support that application. Since the site visit, Messrs Lobb have discussed with Mi-Grid the local concerns and also considered the comments submitted to the planning department. This has resulted in a decision to change the application and now only proceed with turbine T2. Turbine T1 sited on Higher Kestle Farm has created a lot of negativity with neighbours and therefore Richard Lobb has agreed not to proceed with that part of the development. Messrs Lobb understood that the council must consider the current application but asked that the council also give an indication of what it would do if the application was for only turbine T2.
Mrs Sue Tonkin wished to address the council in opposition to the wind turbine proposals. She believes that the proliferation of wind turbines over the unique landscape of Cornwall undermines Cornwall Council’s commitment to enhance the culture and tourism facilities in Cornwall and promote Cornwall as a destination for tourism and recreation. Sue Tonkin thinks we need to nurture the unspoilt beauty of Cornwall and not thrust an industrialised landscape in the faces of visitors nor spoil the environment for local people for decades to come.
Mr Graham Chaplin, resident of Tregondean, acknowledged that the recent development in the proposed withdrawal of turbine T1 from the application would mean that some of his comments would be less relevant. Mr Chaplin accepted that the council must deal with the proposal as it stands and would therefore set out his case on that basis. Mr Chaplin indicated that councillors had all received his written submissions and would therefore just summarise concerns. Mr Chaplin was grateful to the council for undertaking the site visit on 18.04.2013 and to all concerned for making it fair and relevant to all the parties. The residents of Tregondean are absolutely opposed to turbine T1. It will have a significant impact on residential amenity and is too close to the properties to meet the residential buffer criteria set down by Cornwall Council. Residents believe that T1 due to its unreasonable proximity and exposed location will be an overbearing, unavoidable, mobile and enduring presence dominating and harming amenity of nearby dwellings and resulting in noise pollution. Residents are also concerned about cumulative effect, a harm which is recognised by the Local Plan. Combined with the two turbines at Tregerrick, the two Kestle turbines will straddle Tregondean which will be enveloped by a turbine cluster.
Mr Allen of Woodwick Farm was also in attendance but did not wish to address the council.
003/13 Planning matters (reconvened)
Councillors considered the planning documents and thanked all those present for their participation. The clerk also had available the latest print out from the on-line planning facility with copies of public comment letters. Councillors spent some time looking at the paperwork and also discussing the site visit on 18.04.2013. Occasional questions were asked of the public present when matters required clarification. Councillors accepted that they must decide on the application before them but were keen to acknowledge the recent indication from the applicants about the changes they intended to make to the application. The clerk advised the council that it would be unwise to make any commitment as to how the council would vote if the application was different. This is a significant decision for the council and the debate was wide ranging. Cllr Brooks and Cllr Roberts who live in Kestle indicated that both turbines will have a significant negative effect on the hamlet of Kestle and this would not be changed by the withdrawal of T1 from the application. They have canvassed opinion from Kestle residents and there are concerns about the effect the development will have. The council noted in particular that the MOD and SWW object to the application.
Finally decisions were made about an appropriate submission to the planning officer. The wording of comments on each of the issues was agreed and a vote was taken as to whether to support, oppose or raise no objection to the application. In the light of the significance of the matter it was agreed it was appropriate to record this in full in the minutes. It was resolved that the submission to the planning officer read as follows:-
“At its meeting on Monday 22 April 2013 St Ewe Parish Council considered planning application PA13/02329 for the erection of two wind turbines at Kestle by Messrs Lobb.
Councillors were assisted in the their understanding of the application by a site visit on Thursday 18 April 2013 which also allowed Councillors to visit various locations in the vicinity from which the turbines will be visible. Councillors are grateful to the applicants, their agents and local residents for facilitating these visits and to all parties for allowing each other fair opportunity to represent the facts with clarity from their own perspectives.
The applicants and a number of the opponents were in attendance at the meeting on 22 April 2013 and again the Parish Council has been assisted by the respectful conduct of the parties and the provision of succinct arguments as to points of view.
The Parish Council is of the view that this is a development which has significant and long term implications for the locality. Wind turbines by their very nature are visibly imposing and can be seen from a considerable distance and it is intended that their presence will endure for many years. That being the case, the Parish Council takes extremely seriously its responsibility to make a recommendation which properly reflects what is appropriate for the local environment and local economy together with local residents and visitors, now and well into the future.
The Parish Council notes that the applicants have indicated at this meeting that it is their intention to either (a) withdraw the current application, or (b) significantly amend the current application. The outcome of either action being that it is intended turbine T1 will no longer be pursued. However, this change has yet to be formalised and the parish clerk has been unable, in the short time available, to take advice from the planning officer as to whether time will be allowed to defer a parish recommendation until after the next meeting scheduled for 13 May 2013. That being the case the Parish Council must express a view based on the application in its current format.
Parish Councillors have taken time to familiarise themselves with the comments made by others via the on-line planning facility. The Parish Council notes that the majority of comments oppose the application in its current format and the Parish Council asks that the Planning Officer gives adequate and appropriate consideration to the comments made by members of the public.
The Parish Council notes that the application is opposed by the Ministry of Defence and South West Water. The Parish Council trusts that the Planning Officer will deal with the concerns raised and will not grant permission if to do so would interfere with the essential operations of the MOD or SWW.
The Parish Council is mindful that there are already in existence two similar wind turbines in close proximity at Tregerrick. Councillors are concerned about this and request that the Planning Officer give this fact all due consideration and fully address the issues of cumulative impact in her final report.
The proposed turbines at Kestle are in close proximity to properties and Councillors ask that the Planning Officer be rigorous in investigating the impact of noise and loss of residential amenity on nearby residents. The Parish Council would expect the Planning Officer, guided by advice from environmental health, to ensure that the turbines, at the very least, satisfy the criteria laid down in Cornwall Council’s planning guidance to prevent risk of noise pollution. The Parish Council would like to see noise pollution and loss of residential amenity addressed in detail in the Planning Officer’s final report.
The Parish Council wants the Planning Officer to consider the potential for direct negative impact on all properties and businesses within sight of both of the proposed turbines and whether the potential impact on property prices in the area falls within the category of “exceptional circumstances”.
The Parish Council appreciates that the applicants are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint by the use of an alternative power source and also to diversify in a way that increases the economic viability of their businesses. The council notes that there are some public comments which support the application on this basis.
The Parish Council accepts the argument of Tregondean residents that they will suffer a significant loss of residential amenity in particular in relation to the siting of turbine T1. It is difficult to reconcile the economic benefits the applicants will gain against the detrimental effects on the Tregondean properties and turbine T1 seems too close in proximity to be fair. The Parish Council accepts that the impact on residential amenity is less overbearing from turbine T2 but nonetheless there will an identifiable effect on properties in Kestle and the Planning Officer should fully investigate this impact.
In the light of the concerns detailed above it was resolved (proposed by Councillor Allan brooks and seconded by Councillor Sam Roberts) by 5 votes in favour and 3 abstentions, that the Parish Council OBJECT to the planning application.
The opinion expressed above relates specifically to the active application PA13/02329 in the format available to the Parish Council for consideration on 22 April 2013. The Parish Council asks that any changes to the proposals are not accepted by the Planning Officer as “non material minor amendments”. The Parish Council seeks to be re-consulted on any amended or resubmitted application and reserves the right to make a different recommendation to that given here.”
Six members of the public left the meeting
003/13 Planning matters (continued)
• PLANNING ENFORCEMENT
EN13/00783 Request for lawfulness of dwelling and caravan
Longfield, Hewas Water, St Austell, PL26 7JQ
Case Opened and Closed – No breach found
The council noted that this matter opened and closed during the week commencing 12.04.2013 and notice was received after the publishing of the agenda for this meeting. The council also noted that planning permission has been granted at this site (PA11/06958) for the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of a new dwelling. The council agreed that no action was necessary at this time.
• PLANNING ENFORCEMENT
EN13/00786 Alleged plant hire business being run from farm
Trelissick Farm, Tregony, TR2 5SW
The council noted that this matter opened during the week commencing 12.04.2013 and notice was received after the publishing of the agenda for this meeting. It was agreed that the clerk make further enquiries of the enforcement officer and include the matter as an agenda item for the next meeting.
• FULL PLANNING APPROVAL (with conditions)
12/03871 Removal of conditions to enable food preparation for consumption on or off the premises
Lobbs Farm Shop, Countryside Barn, Heligan, St Ewe, St Austell, PL26 6EN
Approved with conditions
The council noted the above approval without comment.
• FULL PLANNING APPLICATION
13/01134 Erection of three log cabin holiday lets
The Loft, Trevithick Farm, Tregony, TR2 5SL
Councillors considered the planning documents and noted that no public comments are currently recorded at the online planning facility. The council resolved (proposed AB, seconded RC) to RAISE NO OBJECTION to the application with a proviso that the planning officer is fully satisfied that the amenities and parking for each chalet are sufficient and conditions are imposed to restrict to holiday use.
• FULL PLANNING APPLICATION
13/01617 Extension to agricultural building to be used as a grain store
Penstrassoe Barton, Lower Sticker, St Austell, PL26 6JN
Councillors considered the planning documents and resolved (proposed SR, seconded RC) to RAISE NO OBJECTION to the application.
004/13 Election May 2013
• Update regarding County Council election
The clerk advised that there are three candidates for County Councillor to the St Mewan and St Ewe Ward; Malcolm Harris an independent, John Kneller a conservative and Janet Lockyer a Liberal Democrat. The results of the election should be available on Friday 03.05.2013 and it was agreed that clerk will keep councillors informed as and when she receives details of the results.
• Update regarding Parish Council election
The clerk advised that there are nine nominated persons for the parish council and as a result there will be no need for an election, the number of seats being ten. Eight are existing councillors with only Cllrs Collins and Wheeley not having put themselves forward on this occasion. Lynnette Tregunna of Polmassick has been nominated and will become a new parish councillor after the elections. This is a welcome return as Mrs Tregunna has served as a parish councillor in the past and will bring her previous experience and local knowledge to the council. After 02.05.2013 the result of the uncontested election will be declared and there will then be an administrative process to go through to advertise and fill the one casual vacancy that exists. In legal terms, the outgoing council retires on 06.05.2013 and the new councillors take office and existing councillors begin a new term of office on this date. In an election year the council must hold its annual general meeting on the day following the new members coming into office OR within 14 days of that date. The first item of business must be to elect a new chairman and where the outgoing chairman is no longer a councillor his last duty is to attend the AGM to chair the election of his successor. The new chairman is then required to sign a declaration of office for the post and then takes up the chair and starts duties immediately
Martin Wheeley has decided not to stand as a councillor because of other commitments. The chairman thanked Cllr Wheeley for his immense contribution to the parish council and especially the role he played on the Community Land Trust in bringing the affordable housing to fruition. Cllr Collins has indicated that he is willing to be co-opted back onto the council but applications are also welcome from other individuals. It was agreed that the clerk should advertise the casual vacancy in line with instructions from the returning officer.
It was agreed that the clerk will keep councillors informed and that the AGM be scheduled as the first meeting on Monday 13.05.2013, followed by the Annual Community Meeting and then the usual parish council meeting.
005/13 Polmassick Flooding
Cllr Janet Lockyer will be attending the Community Flood Forum on 25.04.2013 on behalf of St Ewe Parish Council. Cllr Lockyer also reported that there had been a near flooding incident on 21.03.2013. A little water got into “Hillside” but water levels did not reach other properties. On this occasion local residents used sandbag supplies to block the public highway and divert water coming down the hill from St Ewe into the newly installed drain beneath the notice board. Whilst the existence of the drain saved the day it is clearly not appropriate that residents have to block the public highway with a dam of sandbags in order to get surface water to drain away safely. Teresa Frost of Highways did attend the incident at the time so saw for herself the issues. It was agreed that the clerk write to Highways highlighting the problem and asking that action be taken to ensure that the water coming down the hill from St Ewe flows naturally into the installed drain.
• Potholes, weather damage and drainage issues
The clerk reported the matters raised at the last meeting but has yet to receive a reply from Highways, although this does not mean action has not been taken. Councillors reported that the pothole near the deer farm has been filled but there is a new hole further up the road towards Tucoyse. Road closed signs were erected on the road from Trudgian Farm to Griggs because of flooding and no one has been to remove these. It was agreed the clerk would write to Highways about these issues.
• Roadside parking St Ewe
The council noted that the clerk reported the concerns raised at the last meeting to PCSO Hemming but has not received a reply. PCSO Hemming has also been invited to attend the Annual Community Meeting on Monday 13.05.2013.
• Any other urgent matters
No other matters were reported.
• Arrangements for 2013
The clerk was pleased to confirm that she has received the LMP paperwork from CC and this confirms an available grant of £292.00 under the same terms as last season. It was resolved (proposed AB, seconded SR) to accept the LMP offer made by CC and the necessary paperwork was signed by the clerk and chairman. A quote has been received from Jim Davies to undertake the essential footpath maintenance in line with the requirements agreed at the last meeting. The quote is for £320.00 and this falls within the budget agreed by the council in November and leaves some budgeted money over to undertake specific maintenance problems which arise during the season. The council must spend at least £325.00 on footpath maintenance in 2013 to receive the full LMP grant from CC. It was resolved (proposed JL, seconded WR) to accept the quote from Jim Davies and to provide him with all the relevant LMP paperwork as soon as possible. It was further resolved (proposed AB, seconded WR) that power be devolved to the clerk, in consultation with the footpath portfolio holder (currently Cllr Brooks), to spend up to £100 on urgent footpath maintenance work should issues arise between council meetings.
• Any other urgent matters
No other matters were reported.
008/13 Notice Boards
The council noted that in line with the resolution of the council at the last meeting, the clerk wrote to Lee Price on 22.03.2013. The letter sought a response with 14 days (ie by 08.04.2013) but no response has been received. The letter also indicated that if Mr Price does not submit an invoice within 3 months, the council will assume he does not intend to request any further payments from the parish council. The notice board has been removed from Polmassick and is undergoing repairs for which the clerk has had to purchase materials. Sadly, the notice board is already in very poor condition and quite a number of problems have had to be resolved. It is the view of Mr Pearce who is undertaking the repairs that none of the materials used in the original construction were fit for the external location of the notice board. It is hoped that the notice board will be back in position within two weeks and the parish council will have to deal with the costs of materials and work done at the next meeting. It was agreed that the clerk should prepare a full report in consultation with Mr Pearce about the problems encountered to use as evidence should Mr Price seek any further payment from the council. The clerk has not received any response from Teresa Frost with regard to Highways paying for the replacement pane of perspex.
009/13 Audit matters
• Presentation of the accounts, year-end figures and bank reconciliation
The council viewed the document and it was considered that it showed an accurate representation of the state of financial matters as at 31.03.2013. It was resolved (proposed AB, seconded JL) that the accounts be approved.
• Consideration of internal auditors report
The internal auditor, Brian Smelt, has reviewed the annual audit form and the council’s accounts together with supporting files and documents. He has found the accounting to be accurate and found no matters of concern to be recorded on section 4 of the annual audit form. The council noted with thanks the work of Brian Smelt.
• Consideration and completion of audit commission’s annual return
The council considered the annual audit form and also the variance statement prepared by the clerk. The variance statement is required by the audit commission to explain significant differences between the figures for the last financial year and the one immediately preceding it. It was resolved (proposed JL, seconded MW) that the chairman sign section 1 as these figures accord accurately with the year-end figures and also that the council is satisfied with the explanations offered in the variance statement and supporting documents. Councillors then considered section 2 of the form, the annual governance statement, addressing each question in turn and reaching a conclusion about a response. Where necessary the clerk provided further information about the ways in which each issue is dealt with by the council. It was resolved (proposed JL, seconded MW) that a ‘yes’ response was the correct response to all the questions raised save for question 9 where the appropriate response is ‘not applicable’. Section 2 was then signed by the chairman and the clerk as is required. The clerk is to submit the necessary papers to the appointed auditors as soon as possible, keeping a copy for the parish records. The clerk also advised the council that the accounts are to be made available for public scrutiny and notices have been placed on all the boards about this. It was further agreed that a notice be put in Tower & Spire advising parishioners of their right to examine parish financial documents.
010/13 Financial Matters
• Notification of first instalment of precept received
The council noted that the sum of £2,634.50 has been received from Cornwall Council and this represents half the precept request. The council also noted that a further £157.17 has been received and this represents 50% of the CTS grant which assists the parish council in offsetting the changes to the tax base figure.
• Presentation of financial update and budget review
The council viewed the document and it was agreed that it accurately represented the budget proposed during the November meeting (092/12) when the matter of precept was considered. This budget document will be updated throughout the year and be presented to the council at its regular meetings.
011/13 New information posted on Notice Boards
• Minutes of 14.01.2013
(and at www.cornwall.gov.uk/steweparish and http://roseland-online.co.uk/roseland-cornwall-community/parishes/stewe.html)
• Official Audit Notice
• Stephen Gilbert MP Summer Surgery dates
The council noted the information posted on the notice boards.
012/13 Any other business
No other business was raised.
013/13 Date of next meeting
The date of the next scheduled meeting is Monday 13 May 2013 at 7.00pm which is the Parish Council AGM at 7.00pm, followed by the Annual Parish Community meeting and after that the usual parish business will be dealt with. Dates of planning meetings are subject to receipt of planning applications and are arranged as and when required. The date of the next employment committee meeting will be arranged as necessary.
Meeting closed at 9.35pm
Notice – Parish Council Elections – 02.05.2013
St Ewe Parish Council is pleased to advise parishioners that the following have been elected by way of an uncontested election to serve for a term of four years:-
Allan Brooks of Kestle, Diane Clemes of Tregilgas Farm, John Dickinson of Bosue,
Trevor Harman of St Ewe, Trevor Johns of Polmassick, Will Richards of Trudgian Farm, Sam Roberts of Kestle and Lynne Tregunna of Polmassick.
Rueben Collins of St Ewe has been co-opted to fill the remaining vacancy.
PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE CLERK OR ANY COUNCILLOR
WITH ISSUES YOU WANT RAISED AT THE PARISH COUNCIL
Meetings take place on the second Monday in May, July,
September, November, January and March
Rose Hardisty, Clerk to St Ewe Parish Council
The Headlands, School Hill, Mevagissey, ST AUSTELL, Cornwall, PL26 6TH