BLACKMORE, HOOK END & WYATTS GREEN PARISH COUNCIL
Of the Ordinary Meeting of the Blackmore, Hook End &
Wyatts Green Parish Council held on
THURSDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2023 at 7.30pm
At Tipps Cross Remembrance Hall
Cllr Keeble opened the meeting by welcoming all visitors.
MEMBERS PRESENT – Cllr R Keeble (Chairman), K Bennett, N McCarthy, V Dean, K Parkinson, T Lockhart, A Watley, K Wood, Ward Councillor T Bridge
0523 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Cllrs T Hinton, T Thomas, H Cannon, J Clarke, County Councillor L Wagland, S Clapham (Clerk – annual leave),
0524 APPROVAL OF MINUTES – 20th July 2023
The minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record with no amendments.
0525 DECLARATION OF INTEREST (for items on the agenda) – None
0526 OPEN FORUM
Speeding – Wyatts Green Road
Cllr Keeble welcomed residents from Wyatts Green and invited them to raise their concerns regarding speeding on Wyatts Green Road. Resident Mrs Jackie Pipe reported that she had spoken to Cllr Lesley Wagland regarding the excessive speed into the area and said that she is particularly worried about almost silent electric cars. She also asked for permission to install a mirror outside her property to aid her exit onto the main road. On behalf of the residents, she said that they had reached the end of their tether. Cllr Keeble confirmed that speed watch exercises have been done recently, which have identified many offenders. Resident Mr Tony Wood asked why there were restrictions on where speed watches can be carried out. Cllrs Keeble and Parkinson explained that there are safety implications and that test areas are restricted by the Police. Cllr Lockhart enquired who owned the land opposite Mrs Pipe’s residence as he felt that there may not be a problem in putting a mirror on that land.
Cllr Bridge confirmed that he was aware there was a speeding issue and he has spoken to County Cllr Wagland about this. However, he would have to come back to residents once he had had the opportunity to look into the matter in more detail. In response to a question, he explained that, whilst he was taking note of all the comments made this evening, he did need residents to email him with specific potentially dangerous or recurrent incidents. Mrs Pipe stated that she had contacted the local MP, Alex Burghart and he had recommended she contact County Cllr Wagland who had not responded.
Resident Mr Terry Forsett was frustrated by the fact that there seemed to be no urgency on this matter, despite there having been four deaths on Wyatts Green Road over a period of many years. He considered that speeding vehicles presented a real danger to residents and he referenced a recent accident near the Hi Ho garage. He further felt that dropping the speed limit to 20 mph would be ineffective. He believes that there will be a bad accident and this concern was supported by residents who mentioned a couple of earlier incidents.
Resident Mrs Jane Gay felt that a major concern was the safety of young people who are trying to cross the road from the school buses. In response, Cllr Keeble reported that the 20mph limit outside Blackmore school had been largely unsuccessful and it was generally agreed that a chicane, similar to that in Highwood Village and/or better signage and lighting, would all be better options. VAS signs would have to be approved by Essex Highways (probably not the Police).
Resident Mr John Raeburn said that this is the fourth meeting he had attended on this subject and he wanted to be sure that the Council is listening. BBC had indicated they would not take remedial action other than to provide a speed test. He asked that the Parish Council should make the area safe and take the residents seriously. Cllr Keeble replied that it is not his policy to pass responsibility to someone else but this is a matter that has to be dealt with by BBC/Essex Highways. It is not within the Parish Council’s power to resolve this issue.
Cllr Thomas reported that one of the problems was that the speeding test results from the last survey undertaken just before the Covid lockdown did not meet the specified criteria. Cllr Keeble asked that when the results from a new test were available, they would be passed to the Parish Council.
In response to a resident’s enquiry, Cllr Watley reiterated that giving an estimated timescale for any remedial action is not within the Parish Council’s authority. Explaining the County Council’s lack of cash, Cllr Keeble reported that the cost of work required to repair pot holes etc. was £70m whereas the budget was around £30m. Mrs Pipe asked whether the residents could contribute towards some practical solutions but the advice was that the costs would be astronomic. A speed camera or chicane could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Cllr Keeble concluded the discussion by thanking all the residents and advising them to keep contacting Ward Cllr Bridge, County Cllr Wagland and their MP with their concerns.
Presentation from Crest Nicholson – R26 (LDP) – slides issued at the meeting.
Cllr Keeble welcomed representatives from Cavendish Consulting (Mr Thibault
Krause), Crest Nicholson (Lisa Luong), Savills (Mr Ben Thomas) and Arben Consulting (Mr Andy Wren).
Mr Thomas opened by explaining that their purpose this evening is to present the planning proposals for R26, land to the south of Red Rose Lane and to deal with any questions from Councillors. He updated the meeting on the current status of the planning application which had been submitted in July 2022. Since that time there have been delays but they have continued to work with the local authorities, including flood, highways authorities and other departments. BBC has now reopened consultation and they hope that the application will be heard at the October planning committee. Whilst the site is in Green Belt it has been included as a suitable area for housing under the LDP, providing 35 homes. The planners have tried to provide biodiversity (bat boxes, wildflower planting etc), parking, play area and green space. Vehicle access will be off Red Rose Lane with pedestrian and cycle access via Orchard Piece, to the south of the site. The listed building (Woodbines) on the corner of Red Rose Lane has been protected and consideration given to appropriate water drainage. Following the initial submission, there have been some changes including a clearer pedestrian access, alterations to parking, changes to roof structures and a greater distance between Woodbines and the new houses. The latter change is to ensure that the view from Woodbines will remain rural.
Mr Wren outlined the proposed drainage arrangements which will reduce the amount of run-off from the site. Anglian Water have confirmed that there is sufficient capacity within the area. He confirmed that the flooding modelling has all been signed off as acceptable by the relevant authorities.
Crest Nicholson has committed to net zero by 2050 and all homes will have access to electric charging points, solar panels, insulation and energy efficient appliances, resulting in a 34% reduction in carbon commissions. They hope to have planning permission by the end of 2023 and to be on site within 3 months with a planned completion date of 12-18 months. It was noted that the plans do not include ground source heat exchange pumps and Cllr Watley and Councillors were astonished by this decision as these were essential as an ecological benefit and should be installed whilst the groundworks were being undertaken.
Cllr Thomas asked if garages were being included within the area. The reply was that the allocation of parking spaces met the relevant legislation. Leading on from this, Cllr Lockhart felt that the plans (by Thrive Architects) looked acceptable but questioned how many garages were intended. It is believed that around 9 are planned but Cllr Lockhart was concerned that there were insufficient parking spaces.
Cllr Lockhart further reported that there had been 46 objections to BBC regarding the plans. Mr Thomas (Savills) responded by saying that whilst there had been objections, the area had been included in the LDP and it was hoped that the plan would be acceptable to BBC and residents.
Cllr Parkinson asked for details on the drainage basins as she was concerned these (being open and without barriers) could present a safety risk to children. Mr Wren confirmed that they were only designed to hold 1.2 metres of water in the worst weather situations. Cllr Keeble was concerned that the existing local ditches are totally clogged and they will be unable to cope with any extra flow. Cllr Parkinson believed that the surveys had been undertaken at the hottest time during 2022 when there was no rain. Mr Wren considered that as the water is being contained on the site, there should be no issues with local flooding. However, Councillors highlighted the existing and frequent problems with flooding around the pond and in Red Rose Lane itself.
Cllr Keeble criticised the fact that that No. 3 Orchard Piece will totally lose the view from their picture window which seems unreasonable.
Whilst including the proposed recreation area has protected Woodbines’ rural aspect, Councillors stressed that they did not need any more recreation equipment as there is a large recreation/play area close to the site and the Parish is generally very well provided with play facilities. Cllr Parkinson asked who will own and be responsible for maintaining the proposed play area equipment. It was confirmed that a management company would maintain such equipment, at the cost of residents. Mr Wren confirmed that residents’ service charges were a common feature of new housing developments.
Cllr Keeble asked that consideration should be given to include ground source heat pumps when groundworks are undertaken. He further requested that S106 funds should be given to the Parish Council rather than to Essex CC.
Cllr Thomas reported that he had spoken to Phil Drane who indicated that the application is likely to be heard at the November planning meeting (rather than the October one).
Mr Wren and Mr Thomas offered to deal with any further questions via email and the Chairman thanked them for attending the meeting.
0527 Progress Check/Report – none
0528 Correspondence/Communications – Mrs Nelson had circulated with the agenda a letter from Mr and Mrs T Smith, resigning as Editors of the Parish Year Book. The Clerk is asked to write thanking them for their many years of work and it was agreed that they would be put forward for the Parishioners of the Year Award. A gift of garden vouchers in the sum of £250 was proposed by Cllr Parkinson, seconded by Cllr Bennett and unanimously approved. Action: Clerk for letter & vouchers
0529 Reports of Borough & Essex County Councillors
Following their presentation, Cllr Bridge reported that he is happy to raise any additional issues with Crest Nicholson. He informed the meeting that £1m will be available in the year 2024-25 in grant aid via BBC’s Central Affairs Committee, for Sport, Cultural and Business activities. Full details have been sent to the Clerk for future action. Cllr Bridge reported that four former BBC Councillors are being nominated as Honorary Alderman and Cllr Keeble is one of them. The meeting was pleased to hear this news and congratulations were given to Cllr Keeble. Cllr Bridge informed the meeting that the Dunton Village planning application is being heard at a special meeting in October.
POLICY & RESOURCES
0530 Finance – Payments made online:
S Clapham –
Mrs R Nelson –
Broadmead Leisure – play area inspections, £84 inc VAT
Castle Water – supply to War Memorial, £8.18 inc VAT
Tipps Cross Remembrance Hall – Parish office rent, £275
MDL – August grass cutting – £1,312.70 inc. VAT
Interact – VOIP telephone – £41.53 inc. VAT
Castle Water – supply to Recreation fields, Village Hall – £4.81 inc. VAT
Payments made on the PC Credit Card:
Cash drawn: –
0531 Financial Report to 31st August 2023
All in accordance with the Finance reports circulated ahead of the meeting, with no amendments. Cllr Bennett confirmed that a further meeting will be held to review potential costs, with a view to deciding on any grants to local groups.
0532 Financial Powers: No new reports.
0533 To receive and accept the planning meeting minutes & reports circulated as follows:-
23 Woollard Way, Blackmore – front extension, no objection
Little Tara, Hook End Road – enlargement of conservatory, no objection
Barns at Kiln Farm, Mountnessing Road – 5 new dwellings, objection
The next meeting will be held at 10.00 a.m. on Monday 25th September to discuss specifically the R26 planning application.
PARKS & OPEN SPACES (POS)
The minutes of the meeting held on 18th September 2023 at 10.00am were circulated prior to the meeting. The Minutes were accepted and the following items were discussed/approved:
Walter Hobbs –
0534 Replacement see saw – Quotations had been received and considered by the POS Committee. Accordingly, Cllr Parkinson proposed, Cllr Wood seconded and the meeting approved the purchase of the Sutcliffe Play TNB040 seesaw at the cost of £3,796.92 including installation (excluding surfacing). Action: Clerk
0535 Aerial runway – Quotations had been received and considered by the POS Committee. Accordingly, Cllr Parkinson proposed, Cllr Wood seconded and the meeting approved the purchase of a replacement button seat at the cost of £130. Action: Clerk
0536 Junior climbing Unit – A quotation had been received and considered by the POS Committee. Accordingly, Cllr Bennett proposed, Cllr Keeble seconded and the meeting approved the replacement of the worn scramble net rope braiding at a cost of £380.00
0537 Entrance bridge (Club end of the Village Hall complex) – The POS Committee had reviewed the state of this bridge and it was now proposed and agreed that the bridge be removed completely, with the entrance gate being closed and padlocked.
Action: Clerk to arrange removal
0538 Recently constructed bridge to Walter Hobbs – The POS Committee recommended and it was agreed that the loose bottom strut be repaired/tightened to prevent any accidents by users. The Clerk is requested to obtain a quote for this work. Action: Clerk
0539 Ted Marriage – Bramble removal – A quotation had been received and considered by the POS Committee. Accordingly Cllr Lockhart proposed, Cllr Keeble seconded and it was agreed that MDL be instructed to clear brambles and hedges around the field at a cost of £600. Action: Clerk
Subsequent to meeting, Cllr Lockhart instructed MDL to carry out this work on behalf of the Council.
0540 Cabin slide – Replace decaying timbers – Following a review by the POS Committee it was agreed that this remedial work should be undertaken, provided an acceptable quotation is received from Broadmead Leisure. In the meantime, Cllr Lockhart will examine the cabin slide and report back. Action: Cllr Lockhart/Clerk
0541 Fence – Replace decaying timbers – A quotation had been received and considered by the POS Committee. Accordingly Cllr Lockhart proposed, Cllr Parkinson seconded and the meeting approved the proposal to instruct the contractor to replace the timbers at a cost of £400. Action: Clerk
Goal – Following consideration by the POS Committee and a review of the location of the goal, it was agreed that the goal (whilst not Parish Council property) will be left in its current position. No further action is recommended.
GENERAL PARKS & OPEN SPACES
0542 Christmas lights – Cllr Watley reported that these are in good condition and that, provided the squirrels have not been too active, they should be adequate for 2023. However he reminded the meeting that when ordering the cherry picker, this MUST be a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Action: Clerk at the appropriate time
0543 Spring bulb planting – Cllr Watley reported how attractive the spring planting had been and recommended that more bulbs should be planted at the appropriate time.
0544 Purchase of waste bin for Elkins Green – A price had been obtained and considered by the POS Committee. Accordingly the meeting approved the proposal to purchase a rural green Jubilee waste bin at a cost not exceeding £250. This bin is not to be located too close to the new bench. Action: Clerk
0545 Chairmanship of POS Committee – Cllr Watley has resigned as a Parish Councillor and noted that this is his last meeting. He thanked Councillors for all their support over the past years.
Cllr Bennett felt that having a Co-Chair for the POS Committee could make attendances at meetings awkward and that it would be better to have a Chair and Vice. Cllr Parkinson felt that she did not have sufficient knowledge at the present time but she agreed to become Chair, with Cllr Cannon as Vice Chair. She was thanked for taking on this role and Cllr Lockhart offered to give her a “guided tour” of the Hook End/Wyatts Green area and facilities.
0546 Overflow car park & LED lighting – Blackmore Village Hall has requested a formal letter from the Parish Council, as owners of the Millennium Park land, giving permission to the Village Hall to relocate the existing bund and install 4 lamp standards for low level LED illumination in the overflow car park. This approval was given and the Clerk is asked to prepare and send a suitable letter. Action: Clerk
BLACKMORE VILLAGE HALL:
0547 The POS Committee had considered a request from the Blackmore Football Club for assistance in the purchase of new moveable goalposts at Walter Hobbs playing fields. Accordingly Cllr Wood proposed, Cllr Watley seconded and the meeting approved a contribution by the Parish Council in the sum of £2,157 towards this purchase. This equipment will be the property of the Parish Council and the order is to be placed by the PC. Action: Cllr Keeble to liaise with the Football Club
0548 Following consideration by the POS Committee, a contribution of £678, being 20% of the cost of new CCTV equipment at Blackmore Village Hall complex, was proposed by Cllr Bennett, seconded by Cllr Parkinson and approved by the meeting.
0549 The meeting agreed that, following some necessary alterations, the replica church spire will be displayed for a short time at Kiln Field, outside Mill Lane play area and then finally on the main Village Green.where a suitable location will be decided.
Action: Cllr Keeble to liaise with Mr Iddisdon
0550 CLERK’S REPORT
- It was noted that two Councillor vacancies will arise from September. The names of two candidates – Heather Eltham and Jane Swettenham – have been submitted to BBC and it is hoped that they can be co-opted in October.
- The Clerk had notified Councillors that the Council’s insurance company has confirmed it is not a legal requirement to undertake annual ROSPA inspections
- Year Book – see under Correspondence above.
0551 Date of next meeting(s):
POS – Monday 16.10.2023– 10.00am – Zoom
PC – Thursday 19.10.2023 at 7.30pm – Tipps Cross R Hall Committee Room
Planning – Monday 25th September at 10.00 a.m.- Zoom
0552 INFORMATION EXCHANGE/NEXT AGENDA ITEMS
Cllr Keeble thanked Cllr Watley for his many years of service, as Parish Councillor, Council Chairman, Chairman of the POS Committee and leadership of the Blackmore Allotment project. His involvement will be much missed.
CLOSE OF MEETING –