MINUTES Parish Council meeting Monday 4th September 2023

Minutes of the Stewkley Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 4th September 2023 at 7.30pm at the Stewkley Village Hall

Cllr Keith Higgins (Chair), Cllr Gill Morgan, Cllr Brian Bottomley, Cllr Phil Delafield, Cllr Joanne Locke, Cllr Andrew Pryke, Cllr Virgilio Simeone, Joanna Simonds, Clerk & RFO
One member of the public was present during Open Forum

1. Apologies for absence Apologies were received from Cllr Andrew Arthur and Cllr Henry Hunt

2. Open Forum A member of public asked about transport and vehicles in the village saying there seems to be a lot more trucks passing through of late, delivering to Red Brick Farm. The MoP had two questions, the first being how many large vehicles are we expected to see in a working day? Cllr Delafield confirmed that 30 vehicles are permitted in and 30 vehicles out of the site per day during the hours of 07:00-17:30, and the Chair added that the PC do provide evidence of breaches directly to planning enforcement when they are brought to the PC’s attention. The MoP’s second question was to enquire about speeding measures and the status of the MVAS that was due to be put up.

3. To receive any declarations of interest No declarations were received.

4. Update from Buckinghamshire Unitary Councillor, Phil Gomm Unitary Cllr Phil Gomm sent his apologies. No update was provided.

    • The illegible street signs in Tythe Close and St Michael’s Close are still on the Clerk’s radar. They were reported for lettering replacement on 15th June, and a follow up chaser sent on 8th August but we are still awaiting response. Another follow up will be sent out.

    The Clerk confirmed she had heard back from the contractor last Friday regarding the ground screws licence application and they confirmed that the statutory service drawing which we originally submitted is now out of date and must be within 3 months of the works taking place. The Clerk has therefore reached out to the appropriate person in BC requesting an in date underground service


    5. Update from the Clerk on Parish Matters

    • On the Cricketer’s Close footpath loop, everything has now been agreed with the contractor and work is expected to start imminently.
    • Another Rights of Way issue reported is the rickety footpath behind the Carpenters Arms at the end of the second field. This has now been inspected and added to the works programme.
    • The Rec Committee has been asked if they could add the deteriorated stile entrance from Soulbury Road into the Rec to their next meeting agenda with a view to getting it repaired.
    • The illegible street signs in Tythe Close and St Michael’s Close are still on the Clerk’s radar. They were reported for lettering replacement on 15th June, and a follow up chaser sent on 8th August but we are still awaiting response. Another follow up will be sent out.
    • Our S106 application in regards to the proposed footpath to connect the main Rec Ground Pavilion car park with the burial ground car park was approved on 3rd August and work is anticipated to commence at the end of September.
    • The knocked over Speed sign on Wing Road has been reported and acknowledged by Highways, and they’ve confirmed it has been added to a package of works for this location which will be addressed when they are next in the area.
    • The Dove Street bench is in need of some TLC, and whilst repairable, it does need some wood filler, 1-2 new slats and a re-stain/paint. The Clerk will share anticipated repair costs as soon as quotations are received.
    • Our new PCSO Joshua Walton-Taylor, is working with the Clerk on arranging a ‘have your say’ at the Village Hall; an opportunity for parishioners to speak directly to TVP about any issues or concerns they may have. Two dates are being planned, the first, is looking likely to be Tuesday 3rd October at midday, with a second date to be confirmed for an evening. Once dates are agreed they will be shared on social media and published in the Grapevine.
    • A request has been made of the Passenger Transport Team at BC for two new bus stop points/signs to be put on the lampposts outside the St Michael’s estate either side of the Soulbury Road, for routes into Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes. The Passenger Transport Officer has confirmed he will visit the site on his return from leave in mid-September.
    • On behalf of residents of Littlecote Lane, the Clerk has reached out to Highways to ask if a roadside mirror could be erected for the Dunton Road, opposite the exit from Littlecote Lane, which is a completely blind bend. 
    • The Clerk has had a couple of meetings over the Summer regarding the potential lawn cemetery extension with a view to providing draft figures in time for the Budget meeting.

    6. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 3rd July 2023
    The draft minutes were approved and signed as a true record by the Chairman.
    Proposed: Cllr Morgan Seconded: Cllr Delafield / Agreed unanimously

    7. To ratify the two August planning applications
    Cllrs ratified the following two planning applications received in August as follows:
    23/02161/AGN – Kingsbridge Farm, Dunton Road, Stewkley – Cllrs resolved to SUPPORT
    23/01302/ADP – Silkwell Stud, Dunton Road, Stewkley – Cllrs resolved NO OBJECTIONS

    8. Planning
    23/02388/COUAR – Stewkley
    Mount Pleasant Farm, Dunton Road, Stewkley LU7 0LU
    Cllrs agreed key information was missing on this application as follows:
    Key cross and long sections through the proposed scheme, at key areas, to demonstrate that the scheme has adequate height to provide the design as shown once all the necessary refurbishment/ upgrades have been completed.

    Access to the car park spaces appear to be around potential agricultural/ industrial working areas plus the spaces appear somewhat difficult to enter and exit.

    For these reasons, Cllrs resolved unanimously to OPPOSE this application and request further information to allow the Council to make a decision.

    23/02447/APP – Stewkley
    125 High Street North, Stewkley LU7 0EX
    Cllrs agreed the following points needed to be raised before this application could be supported:
    Concern around the proposed side and rear extensions overshadowing the adjacent property. Proof that this isn’t the case should be provided.

    New windows above ground floor overlooking the adjacent property and possibly directly into the adjacent house windows (privacy). Windows should be obscured glass and not openable.

    The large rear extension extends to the ridge of the existing house which is not in accordance to AVDC (Bucks CC) Design Guideline Document for house extensions. This should be at least 60-90cm below the ridge.

    Cllrs therefore resolved unanimously to OPPOSE until the above has been confirmed/rectified.

    23/02454/APP – Stewkley
    The Long House, Potash Nursery, Mursley Road, Stewkley MK17 0JE
    Cllrs resolved they had NO OBJECTIONS to this retrospective application.

    23/02471/VRC – Stewkley
    Farm Land off Dean Road, Stewkley
    Cllrs resolved unanimously to OPPOSE this application for removal of Condition 9 for the following reasons:

    The applicant is in breach of the Condition in the first place by not stopping up and removing the access altogether within one month of the new access being created some years ago now. The applicant accepted this Condition at the time and carried out the planning proposal. This should fall within an Enforcement Notice procedure and not a beneficial gain to the applicant.

    The ‘yard’ ,as described by the applicant, needing this access is subject to a current Breach and Enforcement Notice in itself. It would appear to undermine the Planning Teams credibility to approve a condition to allow a current planning breach access whilst in itself being a breach of a separate application.

    23/01700/APP – Stewkley
    Stewkley Village Hall
    Cllrs resolved to SUPPORT this application.

    23/02611/APP – Stewkley
    Bonham Farm, 36 High Street North
    Cllrs resolved to SUPPORT this application but asked the Clerk to highlight to the applicant that this must not at a future date be converted into a residential dwelling. Action Clerk

    9. Enforcement Issues

    • Having received no update, the Clerk was asked to follow up with Enforcement on the Donoghue artic lorry/Red Brick Farm breach that was reported on 24th June. Action Clerk
    • Cllr Bottomley confirmed that no action has been taken in regard to 74 High Street South. The Clerk was asked to follow up with Enforcement. Action Clerk

    10. Finance
    To ratify the August payment run as circulated
    To approve the September payment run as circulated:

    SPC payments September 2023

    To approve the Accounts to 31st August 2023 as circulated
    To note the External Auditor’s Report & Certificate, confirming completion of the Y/E 31/3/23

    All 4 finance matters were unanimously approved.

    11. Recreation Ground
    It was noted that the July RecFest event was an enormous success.

    12. Highways, Footpaths, and Lighting
    On lighting, Cllrs expressed their keenness to get some more of the lighting budget spent.  The Clerk to drop Cllr Arthur an email requesting he liaise with Cllrs Bottomley and Delafield to decide between them what should be actioned next. Action Clerk  

    13. To report on meetings attended
    There were no meetings to report on.

    14. Date of next meeting
    The next meeting will be held on Monday 2nd October 2023 at The Village Hall.

    The meeting closed at 21:26.