January 2003 PC Meeting Report

Report on the January Meeting
Tuesday 7th January 2003, Shawford Parish Hall

Public Session

This month, the Parish Council meeting was dominated by the public session during which representatives of the Southdown Residents Association voiced their objections to the position adopted by the Parish Council on the “Mawdlam Lodge” Planning appeal. Mr. Roy Freeland spoke on behalf of the Residents present, stating that they objected to any form of development on this site, as they felt it would destroy the character of the Area. Current Planning Policies designate this area as a low-density residential area characterised by large houses in large plots of land and is protected from development by policy proposal EN1 which is currently in force. The requirements of Government Planning policy as stated in PPG3 can be overruled as such policies should not apply to the area in question, which is protected by policy EN1.

Councillor George Beckett explained the Parish Council’s position in that whilst the Parish Council had previously objected to any development on this site, it had been acknowledged that the overall policy situation had changed since the initial objection. The need for higher density housing had to be accepted and it is recognised that the proposed policy of PPG3 is intended to achieve this and thereby prevent extensive development of Greenfield sites. However, in this instance, it is not proposed to implement the full requirements of PPG3, but to allow development of a maximum of two dwellings, which the site can sustain. By this means, it is hoped that the Parish Council can achieve some credibility with the Planning Authority by not objecting to such a modest development, which is in keeping with the surrounding area. Objecting to all Planning Applications and development is a course of action, which is deemed not to be sustainable. For these reasons the Parish Council has supported the Appellant, a position consistent with seeking the lowest density of development, where development is considered inevitable.

Finance Committee

Councillor. Adrian Walmsley reported on behalf Councillor Nick Campbell-White who was not in attendance, on the work undertaken by the Finance and Administration Committee. Extensive work had been undertaken in respect of the Budgets for the financial year 2003/2004. The result of this work was that the recommended Precept for the financial year 2003/2004 was set at £23,298-00, an increase of only 2.72% over the previous year. Accordingly, it was unanimously accepted by all Parish Councillors that the Budget be adopted and the Precept as recommended would be submitted to District Council.

Councillor Walmsley also advised, in respect of the New Pavilion Project, the expected notification of award from Sport England for funding of the new Pavilion has been delayed. New regulations for such buildings, due to be implemented in 2004, concerning disabled access have to be accounted for. Accordingly, the Architects have been requested to re-work many of the plans for re-submission to Sport England at the beginning of February 2003. These additional changes will entail additional cost, but it is understood that such additional costs will be borne by Sport England.

Significant disappointment was expressed over the Tennis Club’s delay in complying with previous agreements to implement screening of a neighbouring house, subsequent to the resurfacing at a slightly higher level of the Tennis Courts. Whilst some preparatory work has been put in hand, the main aspect of planting some trees is still outstanding. The dispute centres upon the types of tree that could be planted and the Parish Council resolved to make some effort to ensure that the planting, agreed with the householder and the Tennis Club at the outset, be carried out.

Annual Parish Assembly

It was decided to hold the Annual Parish Assembly on Wednesday 30th April 2003 at the Parish Hall. The Council will invite David Attwell, Chairman of Winchester City Council Planning Committee as a Guest Speaker.