March 2009 Meeting Report
Report of the meeting held on Tuesday 3 March 2009 in the Compton Room Shawford Parish Hall.
Following the cancellation of the February meeting, because of inclement weather conditions, councillors faced a heavy agenda on 3 March.
PCSO Nolan reported that there had been four crimes in the past month, including theft from a vehicle in Cliff Way; diesel from the park & ride construction site and items had also been taken from an unsecured vehicle in Shepherds Lane. There had also been an incident of trespass at Shawford railway station and a report of rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, including tampering with vehicle door mirrors, in Martins Fields.
Local Development Framework
Councillor Beckett briefed the Council on the potential impact of the Local Development Framework (LDF), which will contain a set of core strategies against which all future WCC decisions will need to be assessed. He also recommended that, since WCC reviewed its conservation policy every five years, the Council should consider writing to the Conservation Officer stressing the importance of retaining conservation status for Compton Street. Councillors agreed and we will be contacting the Compton Village Association shortly to agree on how best to put the case for retention.
During the public session, Mr Andrew Witt expressed concern at the excessive pruning of three trees in Attwoods Drove and wondered who had been responsible. Since the work had not been undertaken by the Parish Council, it was agreed that District Councillor Eleanor Bell would pursue the inquiry with Winchester City Council (WCC). Mr Witt also wondered whether street lighting in Compton Street could be improved. The Council recommended that Mr Witt should approach the Compton Village Association, if they considered improvements were required, the Association should make their recommendations to the Council for consideration. However it should be noted that next year’s budget does not contain a provision for an increase in street lighting.
There was considerable discussion about developments at Four Dell Farm. Councillors expressed concern at the potential increase in industrial activity at the Farm and the apparent willingness of planning officials and the Inspector to agree to each application, irrespective of concerns expressed by elected officials and members of the public. Councillor M Bell agreed to seek an explanation from the Planning Department on the circumstances that had changed since the original imposition of conditions at Four Dell Farm. He also noted that there had been one objection to the Tennis Club’s application to install new floodlights, including on Court 3. Councillor Campbell-White reported that, in his letter about tidying up the Memorial Playing Fields, he had informed neighbouring households about the application but had not received any adverse comments. Nevertheless he believed that the 9.30pm restriction on the present courts, should also apply to Court 3. Councillors agreed.
Traffic and Parking
Councillors also discussed the project to provide speed lights within Compton and Shawford and the neighbouring parishes and the recent survey of rail users at Shawford station. It was agreed that temporary speed signs should be sited near the junction with Compton Street, half way down Otterbourne Road, and the approach to Shepherds Lane (by the Wayside Cross). These can be altered, as required. Councillor Caffyn reported that the recent survey of rail users at Shawford railway station had indicated that around 120 passenger journeys are made on week days between 0530 and 0930, a considerable percentage of which are from Colden Common and Twyford. Discussions with Shawford residents had indicated that every one believed the station provided a valuable service to the community and most would prefer the ‘status quo’ to any plans for a large station car park. Following discussion, it was agreed that the railway station is a considerable asset to the parish and that no action should be taken to undermine the facility.
Children's Play Equipment
Councillor Millar was pleased to announce that the Winchester City Council had agreed to the Council’s proposals to install new equipment at the Compton Play Area. Half of the funding would be received shortly, with the balance following an inspection of the completed project. She has subsequently been in contact with the successful bidder and we hope that work on the installation of the new equipment will begin in April or early May.
Councillors also discussed the proposals about the woodland management and maintenance of Sparrowgrove and Oakwood Copse. Several raised concerns about the lack of a detailed maintenance plan and the possibility that, should the enthusiasm of the current members of SOCCT wane, responsibility for the copse could fall to the Parish Council. Nevertheless the majority believed that the purchase of the copse would provide an excellent facility in the south of the parish and were prepared to accept the assurances provided by SOCCT. A recommendation, that the £5000, previously committed to this project, should be released upon completion of the purchase of the copse, was approved. I have subsequently heard that the purchase of the copse should be completed by the end of March, so there is a good chance that parishioners will be able to enjoy the use of the copse during the Easter holiday.
Annual Parish Assembly
Finally, Councillor Walmsley is coordinating contributions towards the Council’s Annual Report, which will be distributed in the week beginning 5 April. Should any parishioner have any questions on the report, councillors will be happy to answer them during the public session of the Annual Parish Assembly on 23 April 2009. The next Parish Council meeting will be at 7.15 pm Tuesday 7 April 2009 in the Reeves Scout Hall Compton.
The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for 7.15 pm on Tuesday 3 March 2009 in the Compton Room, Shawford Parish Hall.
DAVID DRAKE, CLERK