Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held at Whitestone Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday, 11th November 2021Attendance:- Chair – Councillor T Miles.
Mr Thom raised the issue of his reported involvement in the recent rental of No 1 School Houses following the minutes of the last meeting, he felt that he wanted to address the full council directly and gave his account of events. He confirmed that he had advised several interested parties to contact Carter Geering and was not aware of any unwritten rule stating that the tenancy had to be filled by a local person and advised that his interest was saving the Parish money which the Parish Council did in fact save a considerable sum handling the refurbishment ourselves. It was agreed that the rental services should remain handled by a management agency, currently Carter Geering. as they are responsible for the collection of rentals and making the necessary legal tenancy agreements for the Parish Council and maintaining compliance with legislation.
Apologies had been received from Councillors Swain, Connett and Nuttall and the Chair read a report sent from Cllr Nuttall drawing the Council’s attention to the launch of Phase 3 of the public consultation on the review of the Teignbridge District Council. This can be found on the Teignbridge website in due course. Another issue he raised was the free service offered by Teignbridge from the Environmental Health and Wellbeing pages of the website regarding advice to deal with infestation from rats and mice.
Cllr Connett had contacted with information regarding the situation at the Pathfinder Village Surgery which is under review.
72.1 21/0168/HOU Two storey and single storey side extension and replacement conservatory at Woodside, Five Mile Hill
Response sent to Teignbridge District Planning Department:- The Householder application is for a two storey and single storey side extension and replacement conservatory for the existing 2/3 bedroomed detached bungalow. The application site is located outside of a settlement and in open countryside designated as an AGLV and currently accommodates a small detached bungalow with an attached garage at one end and a conservatory at the other end. As considered against policies S22 and EN2A. The documents provided are made up of the floor plan and elevations for both the proposed and current dwelling, a site location and block plan and detailed ecological survey, alongside the necessary application form, There is no planning statement and little information on the construction methods and materials to be used and the submitted site location plan is dated Oct 2005 and thus does not show all the additional buildings which are now present on the site, beyond the bungalow on the northern half of the site. These appear to be approved holiday accommodation only and should not be used as permanent accommodation.
The proposed extensions result in a considerable mass increase in the footprint of the dwelling as well as the creation of an additional storey on the north-east elevation where the old garage is replaced and a further double garage added on the end, this needs to be assessed whether it overly dominates the character and appearance of the original property. The additional height of the roof line on this extension does appear to have been sympathetically achieved and the plot is sufficiently sizeable to accommodate the proposed additional build without loss of amenity space. The plans indicate a sizeable increase in the residential floor space and incorporates a total of seven WC’s and therefore it is expected that the sewerage capacity and additional surface water run off will need to be adequately catered for as there is no explanatory information provided. If permission is granted there is an opportunity to include significant improvement in the energy performance rating for this property, by using eco-friendly building materials which would provide an improvement to its carbon footprint. The new first floor bedrooms will introduce extensive glazing and a balcony which may pose a privacy issue especially to and from the buildings on the north east side of the site. This glazing and the additional windows on the ground floor extensions, as well as any external lighting for the enlarged dwelling and new garages, must be considered with regard to light pollution, with particular regard to the nocturnal habits of the bats as highlighted in the ecological survey. Additionally, it would be necessary to assess whether there would be any adverse impact on the residential amenity on the surrounding properties with regards to the proposed two storey extension and not result in any worse overbearing compared with the present building to comply with Policies S1 and WE8.
In consideration of light pollution it is requested that full details of both internal and external lighting, including design, siting and illumination type, shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval, It is suggested that no external lighting shall be installed on, or in association with, the new buildings, except for low-intensity, PIR motion activated lights on a short timer (maximum 1 minute) sensitive to large objects only (to avoid triggering by bats or other wildlife). Any lights should be mounted at a height no greater that 1.9m from ground level, directed/cowled downwards and away from the site hedges and trees. The lights should produce only narrow spectrum, low-intensity light output UV-free, with a warm colour temperature (3,000K or less) and a wavelength of 550mm or more. All internal lighting shall be designed to have low illuminance output, no UV component, maximum colour temperature of 3000 Kelvin and minimum light wavelength of 550 nanometres. Lighting units shall be flush mounted or recessed in the ceilings and directed/cowled away from windows, glazed doors and skylights. All glazing shall be treated to have low light transmission, i.e. with Visible Light |transmission of 40% or less. Only lightly that has been approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority shall be installed. REASON: To safeguard foraging paths for legally protected bats and to protect the dark skies from unnecessary illuminance and in the interests of residential amenity. The recommendations in the ecology report would need to be followed closely and all improvements to encourage biodiversity encouraged. It is further noted that the design has been amended to retain the original roof and tiles which will now not be affected and the proposed additional roof will incorporate matching tiles to the existing which is more acceptable.
In addition to the biodiversity issues, carbon reduction factors need to be emphasised, particularly as we have a declared Climate Emergency and more detail is requested regarding both the energy efficiency and reduction of the carbon footprint of the extensions and the construction process.
In conclusion we support the application but would requested that if Teignbridge Council are minded to grant permission that the ecological and carbon footprint issues raised in this response are conditioned and closely monitored. On the whole Whitestone Parish Council feel the proposal will enhance the building and the site is probably large enough not to be overdeveloped at this stage.
Grant of Conditional Planning Permission
72.2 21/01680/FUL Conversion of barn into one unit of accommodation for holiday use at Hurston Farm
Certificate of Lawful use or development
72.3 21/01964/CLDE Certificate of lawfulness for non compliance with agricultural occupancy condition at Furze Park, Tedburn St Mary.
73.1 Co-option of Councillor to fill vacancy.
Ms Tracey Baird was in attendance to make application for the vacancy created by the resignation of Mrs L Dyer. Her application had been circulated to Councillors and it was proposed and seconded that she should be nominated to fill the vacancy.
73.2 School Houses
Cllr Miles reported that there had been a problem with the new storage heating installed at 1 School Houses and it had been necessary to contact the installers for this fault to be remedied.
73.3 Toilet facilities for Crossway Park
Whitestone Parish Hall Committee has discussed the Parish Council's request that they continue to provide toilet roll and hand towels for the outside loo from their supplies and it was agreed that it is a sensible arrangement. On analysis of previous yearly costs of these items the Hall Committee Treasurer, Andy Rose, considers a reasonable proportion of the total used for the outside loo is £15.00 per month. Along with the charge for the cleaner of £79.25 per month this brings the total charge to the Parish Council for the upkeep of the outside loo to £94.25 per month. Following discussion it was proposed and seconded that this charge be accepted and reviewed in six months..
73.4 Progress on parking at Crossway
Teign Housing have been contacted and Cllr Miles is awaiting a response.
73.5 Vehicle Activated Speed Signs
It was reported that the battery on the sign at the bottom of the hill before the Royal Oak has been replaced, and the sign is working well. Highways have agreed that we can change the position of the pole on the sign coming into Whitestone from Tedburn. We need to let them know the exact location. Cllr Evans is meeting Phil Mingo on Friday to discuss the ideal position and will then send the co-ordinates into Highways for approval.
73.6 Action on Climate Change
Cllr Llewelyn confirmed that a meeting has been arranged for 7.30pm on Wednesday 24th November and notices have been placed throughout the Parish for parishioners to attend. Cllr Fairley confirmed that trees for planting throughout the Parish were on their way.
73.7 Winter preparations
Cllr Miles reported on the necessity for the grit bins throughout the parish to be checked and report any empty, damaged or missing bins and the Clerk will forward a list to Mr Blades for his information with a request that this should be done.
74.1 A Planning Appeal (Reference 3280127) has been made against the refusal of an office building with residential dwelling at lower ground floor level at Cross Park Farm and the Parish Council have been invited to respond.
74.2 Discussion took place regarding the Council providing tools etc. for litter picking throughout the Parish and it was agreed that this should be done on a voluntary basis by parishioners at their own risk. Mr Thom reported that he was aware of an organisation which supported this activity and he will make further enquiries. Mr Thom left the meeting at 8.45pm.
74.3 A parishioner had noted that work was taking place at Meadow Croft with no obvious planning having been applied for. Upon investigation Teignbridge District Council confirmed that planning was not required as the work on the driveway was to resolve a drainage problem.
74.4 Notification has been received for an agricultural barn to be erected at Pound Farm and this will be reported at the December meeting.
74.5 Cllr Miles reported that she has now purchased a laptop and the necessary software, cloud storage and support package for the use of the Council at a cost of £1,023.49 previously agreed in the budget.
74.6 Cllr Miles reported that she will be attending the Remembrance Day Service at St Catherine’s Church on 14th November and it was resolved that a donation of £50 was sent to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
74.7 The Social Media Policy had been distributed and will be discussed next meeting.
74.8 Attendance at the forthcoming Virtual Highways conference was sought for the 24th and 25th November.
74.9 Budget to be set at the December meeting so details of next year’s expenditure to be brought to the meeting.
75.1 1 School Houses rental to 14th November £775.00 - £300 (includes £50 VAT) = £475.00
75.2 STAWL donation specifically towards Lower Hare Farm solicitor invoice £495.00
75.3 Reimbursement of Council Tax for 1 School Houses £113.61
The following expenditure was proposed and seconded for payment. All in favour and the cheques were signed by Councillors Miles and Belt and Mrs Vaughan as Clerk to the Council/Responsible Financial Officer.
75.4 Mr L Blades £340.35
75.5 Curry’s PC World laptop and support package £1,023.49 (includes VAT £170.58)
75.6 Royal British Legion donation £50.00
76.1 Cllr Bryant asked that the village telephone boxes project be given some attention.
76.2 Cllr Belt reported that the litter bin which was earmarked for Nadderwater had not yet been installed and she was requested to approach Mr Blades with a view to fixing this in a suitable position. She also reported that she does not seem to have the spare key for 2 School Houses and was requested to apply to Carter Geering with a view to one being cut for her. Additionally, she was asked to request that Mr Blades clear the ditches running down from Heath cross towards Tedburn as this is a flood risk and causes hazardous flooding if they are allowed to get blocked.
76.3 Cllr Llewelyn was anxious for publicity being given for the Trust which was set up in the 18th century by Mr John Splatt, a successful candle maker in Heavitree. The fund is intended to provide financial assistance to residents of the ancient parish of Whitestone who wish to further their education or training for academic or practical purposes, funding for leisure activities are not eligible for consideration. There is no restriction on the age of applicants who may apply and applications are not means tested. All applications are assessed in confidence by the Trustees with reference to the provisions of the Trust Deed. Successful grant applications range typically from £50 to £500, depending on particular circumstances. The Trustees are elected representatives from village organisations who meet twice a year, normally in May and November to consider applications. Notice in advance of the meetings is given in the Parish Magazine.
76.4 Cllr Fairley reported on the Crossway playground and the display of Remembrance Stones in the Community Garden. Cllr Lee reported that she had replaced the advisory signs on the adult play equipment.
Ms Baird spoke regarding the possibility of arrangements being made regarding the outside toilet for usage of people using the Crossway Park and further discussion took place regarding energy saving measures; i.e. Electrical connection for Hand dryer, sensor tap and soap dispenser to reduce waste and mess – ideas to be brought to the next meeting for further decisions being made at the December meeting.
The next Parish Council meeting will take place in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 9th December 2021.
The meeting closed at 9.30pm.