February 2003 PC Meeting Report

Report on the February Meeting
Tuesday 4th February 2003, Shawford Parish Hall


Whilst reviewing the minutes of the last meeting, it was clarified that contrary to what was suggested last month, Mr Roy Freeland was not speaking on behalf of the Southdown Residents Association concerning the Mawdlam Lodge Planning issue, but was speaking on behalf of residents of Southdown who attended the meeting.

Post Office

Cllr. Mrs Jean Millar advised the meeting that there is interest in opening a part time Post Office in Compton Village, possibly one morning per week. District Councillor Charlotte Bailey has been in communication with the Post Office authorities who advised her that they are keen to re-open a Post Office facility in the Village if they can find someone to take on the task and find a suitable location. Charlotte Bailey will be pursuing the matter and will establish how great the need is to see if a stronger initiative should be taken.

Public Session

Mrs Patricia Caffyn on behalf of the Shawford Village Residents Association raised various questions during the Public Questions session. The Chairman will answer these in writing. During the same session, Mr Tim Hunt made representations concerning a new Mawdlam Lodge Planning application.

Tree Warden’s report

Cllr. Mr. Tom Threlfall reported upon the progress of the Railtrack contractors, presently clearing the vegetation and scrub on the railway embankment. He expressed his appreciation as to the efficiency of the contractors in their disposal of the accumulated debris. Cllr. Threlfall will contact Railtrack to enquire if and when they will attend to the opposite embankment, with especial reference to the Birch trees overhanging the newly refurbished Parish Hall.

New Pavilion

Mr. Paul Murray reported upon the progress of the Lottery Grant application for funding the New Pavilion. Unfortunately, the Sport England meeting to discuss this issue had been postponed until next week. Consequently, the Parish Council will have to wait until the 11th February 2003 to hear the outcome of this application. [Editor’s note: on 11th February Sport England deferred the decision again]

Finance and Admin Committee

Preparatory to receiving positive news regarding the Lottery Grant application, Cllr. Mr. Nick Campbell-White put forward two motions enabling the Parish Council to move forward with the New Pavilion Project. With suitable caveats concerning the funding of the project included within these motions, the Parish Council unanimously agreed to motions to arrange for the successful bidder to book a suitable period for building and for the Finance and Administration Committee to oversee the drawing up of a suitable Building Contract. This latter item to be placed before the full Parish Council at the March 2003 meeting

Planning Committee

Cllr. M.Bell reported upon the activities of the Planning Committee, making special reference to the Planning issues of Alswitha, Mawdlam Lodge and Longacre.

The council noted with dismay the granting of permission on the site adjacent to “Alswitha”, which had been considered too small and to impose to great effect on the neighbouring property.

Notwithstanding its support for two dwellings on the “Mawdlam Lodge” site, the council voted to support the current application for one dwelling as an alternate proposal, as it followed the council’s policy of supporting those proposals which result in the lowest density development.

The council also noted with further dismay the informal reports that a new application for up to 18 dwellings on the “Longacre”, Hurdle Way, site may shortly be made. The council recognises that there may be differences of opinion as to how high density development should be opposed, but all residents were in favour of efforts being made to minimise development densities. Whilst the Parish Council must accept some modest development within the Parish, development that radically changes the character of the Parish must be resisted.

Memorial Playing Fields

Considerable discussion took place regarding the agreed screening of the tennis courts from a neighbouring property. Mrs Ros Pugh who was attending the meeting clarified the position regarding the planting of trees. The addition of Trellis on top of the boundary fence, being the first part of the screening issue, had been completed. After some discussion, it was agreed that the Tennis Club will plant three ornamental trees within one metre of the boundary thereby completing the agreed screening. The type of ornamental trees will be ones that will not drop undue amounts of debris onto the Tennis Courts.

Cllr. Mrs. Mary Shaw advised the meeting that the bench seat, together with commemorative plaque, that had been purchased with surplus funds resultant from the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, has now been installed within the Children’s Play Area at Memorial Playing Field. It was considered that the location and type of bench seat was most attractive.

Parking in Compton Street

Cllr. Mrs Celia Simmons reported upon her positive meeting with Mrs Sollom, Head Teacher of Compton Primary School, concerning the issue of Parking in Compton Street. At the start and end of the School day, car parking in Compton Street has become a significant problem, if not a danger. Various proposals were discussed with Mrs. Sollom, including the encouragement of “shared cars”, Children walking to School and the possibility of using the field opposite the School as a short-term car park. These matters will be pursued over the next few months with a view to achieving a satisfactory outcome.

Highways and Byeways

Due to the depositing of horse manure in the sub-way under the M3, Cllr. Simmons had been investigating the appropriateness of horses being allowed to use the sub-way. The sub-way under the M3 is classified as a footpath and therefore horses should not use it. However, the only other route horses can take to get over the M3 motorway would be the bridge. This was considered to be a far greater danger to both the horses and riders. Accordingly, Cllr. Simmons will monitor the situation to establish if horses using the sub-way is a significant problem.