Minutes of a Meeting of Stewkley Parish Council held on Monday 2nd August 2021 at 7.30pm at the Stewkley Village Hall
Present: Cllr Keith Higgins (Chair), Cllr Gill Morgan (Vice-Chair), Cllr Andrew Arthur, Cllr Brian Bottomley, Cllr Margaret Burgess, Cllr Phil Delafield, Cllr Henry Hunt, Cllr Andrew Pryke, Cllr Virgilio Simeone, Joanna Simonds, Clerk & RFO, Cllr Phil Gomm and 14 members of the public.
Before officially opening the meeting, the Chairman welcomed Jo as the new Clerk & RFO.
1. Apologies for absence None
2. Open Forum The Chairman opened the floor to members of the public to raise any items they may have, kindly requesting that any matters be raised now rather than interrupting the meeting later on.
A representative of Village Foundations Ltd, gave an update on the Wing Road East application, outlining how they had arrived at the plans they have. He emphasised the high-quality design of the 15 dwellings and the fact that the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group (NPSG) had been consulted on a variety of layouts. The 15 dwellings comprise 2 bungalows, a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedroomed units, (with 2/3rds of the scheme being 2 and 3 bed properties), and a 25% provision for affordable housing. The site also allows for 9 visitor spaces and additional land to the east to provide some wetlands for species rich habitat. They also propose some traffic calming measures including a chicane to slow vehicle speeds, and a 40mph buffer, in-between the 60mph and 30mph speed signs, to be implemented through a Section 278 agreement. Numerous parishioner concerns were raised directly with Village Foundations, not limited to the 60-90 extra vehicle movements per day, parking issues, light pollution, extra noise, who would police that the hedge be retained in perpetuity, material references to yellow brick when it should be red brick, concerns on the placement of the pedestrian crossing and how conditions would be upheld if this application does get approval. Village Foundations said they would take these concerns away and aim to address them where possible.
A member of the public referred to their application to purchase 11 Griffin Field, under the impression it would be discussed this evening. The Clerk confirmed she would pick this up with Hightown tomorrow, unaware anything was outstanding here. Action Clerk
3. Declarations of interest None Proposed: Cllr Morgan Seconded: Cllr Hunt Agreed unanimously
• A resident of Dove Street referenced her planning application on tonight’s agenda to make Cllrs aware the only reason they are looking to extend over their garage is because their family have outgrown the house. However, with their daughter in the village school, the last thing they want is to move from Stewkley’s wonderful community and that is why they have applied for planning
and would be grateful for the PC’s backing here.
4. To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting
Cllrs approved the decisions taken under delegated powers and resolved to revert from delegated powers to full Council decision making hereon in.
5. Buckinghamshire Council reports
- Cllr Gomm confirmed his appointment to: Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee; North Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee; Standards and General Purposes Committee; Haddenham & Waddesdon Community Board; the Winslow & Villages Community Board.
- On the East West Rail project, BCC now has an Officer employed that will act as the coordinator between BC and the operators of EWR and HS2, so one representative from each Parish Council will link to that Officer so they can take concerns and queries forward.
- Speeding is a big concern, and a taskforce will be set up to deal with the issue throughout the Ward.
- There will be a big drive to promote wilding areas for which funding is available.
- A volunteer group will be set up to deal with the overgrown rights of ways and bridleways (an issue across the Ward) and Cllr Gomm is looking for someone within the Parish to lead this.
- Cllr Gomm asked whether there was appetite for a community bus. The Chairman and Cllr Morgan confirmed there was and that S106 money is available from St Michael’s Park.
6. To discuss planning applications and make recommendations
a) 21/02883/APP – Land East of Wing Road, Stewkley LU7 0JB
As the PC have until 8th Sept to comment on this application, it was resolved to delay until the next mtg when Village Foundations should have addressed concerns raised this evening. Proposed: Cllr Higgins
Seconded: Cllr Pryke
b) 21/02883/APP – 35 Dove Street, Stewkley
The only concern raised was that of parking as with the addition of a 4th bedroom, in time this would naturally result in an extra vehicle. The applicant confirmed they planned to address this utilising the front patch of grass. Cllrs resolved to SUPPORT the application on sight of an updated drawing to reflect this.
Proposed: Cllr Pryke Seconded: Cllr Higgins Agreed unanimously
c) 21/02939/APP – 37 High Street North
This being a straightforward application, Cllrs resolved to SUPPORT.
Proposed: Cllr Pryke Seconded: Cllr Simone Agreed unanimously
a) Budget monitoring – Noted
b) VAT report – nothing to report
c) Community Fund and community actions
Cllrs resolved to publicise this again in the next Grapevine. Actions Cllr Morgan & Higgins
d) Finance sub-committee proposal to consider s106 money accruing from Wing Road East development.
In the event this application goes through, as with the Soulbury Road development, there will be an amount of S106 money available to the community, under the heading of Sports and Leisure. The Chairman suggested the Finance sub-committee put forward a few suggestions of what that
S106 money could be used for, and it was agreed that Cllr Morgan sit on this sub-committee rather than the Chairman. Action Finance sub-committee
8. To draw cheques, ratify BACS payments and to check accounts
Cllrs approved the latest payment run
Proposed: Cllr Morgan Seconded: Cllr Bottomley Agreed unanimously
9. Neighbourhood Plan
The NPSG are recommending the PC accept the modifications as presented by the Independent Examiner (IE). John Sheldon, Chair of the Conservation and Heritage Working Group did object to some of the proposed modifications and asked that his objection be registered. The Steering Group has considered the points made and decided to maintain their recommendation as, being largely procedural, changes could be made at the first 5 year Plan review to correct them. The IE report is also being considered by BC as the Local Planning Authority and they have 5 weeks to make their own decision. On that basis, the Chairman proposed Cllrs support this recommendation to adopt all modifications proposed. Cllr Morgan added that she believes the IE was very fair in his review of our plan, and that not accepting the IE’s recommendations would mean that we would not be forwarding our NP through to referendum.
Cllrs resolved to accept the recommendation from the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and to adopt all proposed modifications, as presented.
As part of this process, there are two costs that the PC will be picking up as a consequence; one is
for the printing, to adapt the plan and put in modifications, and equally there are some maps that need to be redone and we’ll be using the same consultant, Neil Homer, to do that so the estimated costs are £200 + VAT for printing and £650 a day plus VAT for Neil Homer’s fees.
Proposed: Cllr Higgins Seconded: Cllr Morgan Agreed unanimously
10. Recreation Ground
Cllr Morgan commented that the AGM last month was quite well attended. Julie Dawson would like to step down as Chair, but no successors have come forward so far.
11. Highways, Footways and Footpaths Lighting
a) Lighting update
The Chairman and Cllr Bottomley commended Cllr Arthur on the excellent document he had put together ahead of the tender process.
b) Devolved services agreement
The Chairman confirmed SPC have two issues, one is hedges and the other, rights of way. Since the beginning of the devolved services agreement, Stewkley have not maintained any hedges within the village. We received a revision to the contract in 2019 for the grass areas of Stockhall Crescent and Fishweir but nothing about hedges. So we need to know from Bucks, what do they believe we are responsible for and why didn’t they tell us. Cllr Gomm said he has pulled out the SPC contract from 2015 and today he has been provided with maps dating back to 2013 which he would circulate to the Clerk. Action Cllr Gomm He added that the way to identify who owns certain pieces of land is to contact the Rights of Way Officer and there is a website where you can report issues. The Clerk to investigate Action Clerk. In terms of our future planning, the Chairman asked whether there was any information yet on the 2022 review. Cllr Gomm confirmed he believes there is appetite to continue with devolved services and confirmed
c) Country wilding project
Following the discussion at last month’s meeting, Cllr Bottomley, John Flewin and David Lett are getting together next week to talk about how they take the wilding project forward and the organisation of wilding trials. The working group are aware there is a microgrant of up to £500 that can be applied for.
12. Stewkley Wildlife Reserve
Thanks were noted for the interesting report produced by Alan Dickens, and Cllrs approved the expenditure of additional plug plants.
Proposed: Cllr Higgins
Seconded: Cllr Arthur
13. Burial Ground
- Cllrs approved the fuel payment for the cutting of the burial ground and the wildlife reserve.
- Following the last PC meeting, the Chairman confirmed he had put up some temporary notices for the burial ground. Cllrs Delafield and Burgess confirmed they’d agreed some wording for more permanent signs. This to be circulated to Cllrs for agreement following which the Clerk can proceed with getting Harlequin Press to create some permanent signs. Action Clerk
- Cllr Bottomley asked whether any member of the Council had been approached regarding permission to use the burial ground car park for dog training. On a Sunday morning a group have been frequenting the burial ground car park to do training for big dogs. It was agreed that if he seems them again, Cllr Bottomley would approach the group, but in the meantime, the Chairman will put up a notice to say that dog training is not permitted on these grounds. Action Chairman 14. General Items
- East West Rail Depot visit
A report following the visit Cllrs made is in Dropbox
- Cllr Morgan attended the 8th July North Bucks Parishes Planning Consortium (NBPPC) AGM and the minutes are in Dropbox for information. Two points to note from the meeting are (i) the need for NBPPC to reassert itself with Buckinghamshire Council Planning because having spent a long time introducing itself to AVDC planning and having formed some good relationships with some of the planners, it now needs to start again with BC so that process of introduction to establish itself as a stakeholder has commenced. (ii) all future meetings will be held via Zoom. The next meeting is a special meeting set up between NBPPC and BEAG, which is the action group for Buckinghamshire environment for which Rachel Webb is one of the main drivers. This meeting will be held on 15th September and the main purpose of that meeting is that although the expressway road has been stopped, the development that was going to go with that expressway has not been stopped and that is partly what BEAG want to talk to the NBPPC about.
- Cllr Burgess mentioned that residents of Orkney Close are still concerned about the sewerage issues, which are ongoing.
- Cllr Pryke complimented Alan Dickens on his grass cutting of the Recreation ground commenting on how good it looks.
- Cllr Arthur referred to the overgrown hedges by Dove Street and opposite the Rec. The Chairman confirmed that we need to clarify ownership with Bucks.
- Cllr Bottomley thanked Cllr Simeone for the fantastic tidy up job of the Fishweir green. This was echoed by the entire Parish Council.
- The Chairman said he’d met up with Dandara’s Head of Construction and the Site Manager earlier today and will write up a report and circulate to Cllrs. Action Chairman 15. Date of next meeting Monday 6th September 2021 at 7.30pm
The Chairman thanked everyone for their contribution and declared the meeting closed at 22:03.