Minutes of the Town Council Meeting 16 March 2022

29th March 2022

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

PUBLIC SESSION MINUTES

Wednesday 16 March 2022: at  19:15
Held at
Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 2BY 

 Membership:

Councillor M Radley Chairman   Present
Councillor D Gronland Vice Chairman Apologies
Councillor Miss J Atkinson   Present
Councillor P Caulfield   Apologies
Councillor P Claydon   Present
Councillor Mrs S Dingle   Apologies
Councillor M Fincken   Present
Councillor D Hume   Present
Councillor A Munday   Present
Councillor Mrs J A Pell   Present
Councillor Miss L Smith   Apologies
Councillor G Warren   Present

Also in attendance: Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)                             

219.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  . Cllr Dingle sent her apologies due to ill health. Cllrs Gronland and Caulfield sent their apologies for personal reasons, and Cllr Smith sent her apologies due to work commitments.

Cllr Pell proposed a 6-month dispensation for Cllr Dingle and acceptance of these apologies, seconded by Cllr  Claydon and unanimously agreed.

220.  DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS:

 Cllr  Pell declared NPI  item 5 , 22/03101/FUL as an objector is known to her, 7a, 7b and 7ba as a member of CSGMC and BDC, and 14 as a member of CSGMC. Cllrs Warren and Claydon declared NPI item 7a,  7b and 7ba as a member of CSGMC. Cllr Warren also declared NPI item 14, as a member of CSGMC and as a family member lives close by. He said he would abstain. Cllr Radley declared NPI item 7b and 7baas a member of BDC. Cllr Hume declared NPI item 5, 22/00399 as agent is known to him, 7a, 7b and 7ba as a member of CSGMC, item 14 as a member of CSGMC and item 16 as President of Halstead in Bloom. Cllr Atkinson declared NPI item 5, 22/00326 as applicant is known to her. Cllr Munday declared NPI item 15 as a member of BDC planning committee, and would leave the meeting for that item.

221.  PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

 Public questions

There were no public questions and no report from the County Councillor, as Cllr Siddall was unable to attend the meeting

222.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 14 February 2022.  Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of 14 February 2022 was put forward by Cllr Fincken and seconded by Cllr  Atkinson. There were 7 in favour and 1 abstention.         

Cllr Munday left the meeting

223.  PLANNING  APPLICATIONS

22/00284/LBC – 30B High Street, Halstead, Essex – Addition of gas pipe fitted externally to facade.

Cllr Hume proposed that there should be no further comment, as HTC’s

recommendation had already been added to the BDC website. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson, and unanimously agreed.

21/03101/FUL – Land North of, Oak Road, Halstead – Erection of 80 dwellings (Class C3) including affordable homes, public open space including local equipped area for play, access from Tidings Hill, sustainable drainage systems, landscaping and all associated infrastructure and development.

Cllr Hume proposed that HTC restate its original strong objection, and add to it further comments to be worked on by Cllrs Hume, Pell and the Town Clerk.

This was unanimously agreed.

  • The consequence of this development on highways is disastrous
  • An application was made 5 years ago for Oak Road to be classified as a Quiet Lane, as it is a single track road used by many for exercise, and is unsuitable for through traffic
  • This goes against the walking and cycling strategy in narrow roads/lanes surrounding the site
  • The application does not provide good connections to the main road, both Oak Road and Tidings Hill being too narrow
  • Flooding is a major concern
  • The number of houses to be built has increased from 70 to 80, although the infrastructure needed is not in place
  • The GP practice cannot accommodate the influx of new patients
  • The bus stop at White Horse Avenue needs to be electronic
  • There is inadequate parking within the plans
  • There is complete disregard for the environmental impact on agricultural land, trees, green space and habitats
  • over intensification of the site
  • In addition Tidings Hill and Oak Road are not suitable for construction traffic, or for the increased traffic as a result of the development, and signage would need to be installed permanently on Tidings Hill to warn of heavy traffic passing through
  • Plots 1 and 25 are thought to be too close to Conies Road properties

 HTC was also surprised to receive a lengthy list of further modifications only one hour before the meeting at which this application was to be discussed, and felt that the consultation should have been delayed by BDC to allow councillors to absorb the new information provided.  The Town Clerk is to write to BDC concerning this late transfer of information.

Cllr Atkinson left the meeting

22/00326/HH – 42 Churchill Avenue, Halstead, Essex – Conversion of garage to a home gym and extend to infill undercroft section to the front elevation at ground floor.

Cllr Hume proposed no objection but regretted the loss of a garage. This was seconded by Cllr Fincken, with 5 in favour and 1 abstention

Cllr Atkinson returned to the meeting.

22/00338/HH – 5 Oxford Road, Halstead, Essex – Single storey front extension

Cllr Hume proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Pell and unanimously agreed.

22/00329/FUL – Land Adjacent to Blamsters Farm, Mount Hill, Halstead – Proposed affordable specialist neighbourhood for older people and/or those living with or supporting someone with a disability, consisting of 33no. Affordable dwellings and a community hub building, with associated landscaping and infrastructure.

Cllr Fincken proposed objection to this application, and that Cllrs Hume, Pell and the Town Clerk should work together on preparing a detailed response. This was seconded by Cllr Warren and unanimously agreed.

HTC objects for the following reasons:

  • Once again this application shows over-intensification of a site, which will result in parking problems
  • The proposed 3 storey building is too high and is not in keeping with the area and surrounding buildings
  • The bus stops on the site should be electronic
  • Flooding which occurs at the entrance to the main road is the biggest problem, and will continue to worsen
  • This development would result in an increase in traffic at a dangerous junction
  • There has been insufficient exploration of the fauna and flora which will be affected by this development
  • Archaeological artefacts have been found on an adjacent site, and this site should also be explored from an archaeological point of view

22/00399/HH – 15 East Mill, Halstead, Essex – Two-storey rear and single-storey side extension

Cllr Atkinson proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Warren, on the condition that the safety of passing school children should be protected, and that the developers liaise with the local school over their safety. This was unanimously agreed.

 22/00279/FUL – Store Rear of, 45 High Street, Halstead – Demolition of warehouse building and erection of two storey detached dwelling house with parking.

Cllr Atkinson proposed that HTC object on the grounds of appearance. This application presents a very modern design in a historic setting. Developers should be asked to present a design more in keeping with the historic nature of the vicinity. Cllr Warren seconded this, with 6 against and 1 abstention.

22/00546/HH – Terrington, Beridge Road, Halstead Two-storey / single-storey side and single storey rear extensions.

Cllr Pell proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously agreed.

 Cllr Munday returned to the meeting.

224.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS

Cllr Radley reported that March had been busier than recent months. He had been particularly impressed by the High Sherriff’s awards to charitable organisations at Hylands House. Funds were donated by Essex Police under the Proceeds from crime Act.

The report was noted

225.  FINANCE Cllr Claydon led the discussions for this part of the meeting

a)  To receive the income and expenditure report for the month of February

Cllr Claydon proposed, seconded by Cllr Fincken that the income and expenditure report be approved, and this was unanimously agreed.

e)  To approve the transfer of £2000 to the new current account

Cllr Atkinson proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren, that HTC should transfer £2000 to the new current account. This was unanimously agreed.

b) and b(a)  To approve the List of Payments to be made in March

Cllr Claydon proposed, seconded by Cllr Munday that the lists of payments be approved, and this was unanimously agreed.

c)  To approve the Reconciliation of bank and petty cash accounts

Cllr Claydon proposed, seconded by Cllr Munday that the Reconciliation be approved and this was unanimously agreed.

d)  To consider the purchase of poppies for remembrance

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren that poppies should be bought for remembrance, and this was unanimously agreed.

226.  To receive reports from District Councillors

Cllr Radley reported that he had attended the BDC meeting in February where the budget had been approved. He also said that the Chief Executive, Andy Wright, had announced his retirement, and that there would be a recruitment process. Topics have been requested for future scrutiny, and Cllr Radley has suggested the topic of S106 monies.

Cllr Pell reported that she had also attended the budget setting meeting and Member development. At the leaders’ meeting, there had been a cross party motion pledging support to Ukraine, and a reassurance that BDC has no connection to any Russian businesses. The cabinet meeting on 14 March had approved the plans for Town centre regeneration, which will now go out to tender. Member development courses are planned for the coming year. She asked the Town Clerk to write a letter of thanks to Andy Wright.

Cllr Munday reported from the Members’ evening that residents should expect significant changes in the NHS relating to CCGs. He had also attended the budget meeting and 2 planning meetings. He was pleased that the Bournebridge development plan had been thrown out, but feared that it might get through at appeal.

Cllr Hume reported that he had also heard about changes in the NHS which might not please residents. He had been able to attend Full Council via zoom, and was counted as present, but was not able to vote. He was about to attend the Local Plan subcommittee on 17 March, but thought that the Local Plan would not be completed before the end of the year.

Reports were noted

227.  To receive reports from Champions

Open Spaces – Cllr Fincken reported that he and Cllr Atkinson and Cllr Pell Had met with officers from BDC regarding the use of S106 monies to pay for tennis courts at Courtaulds Sports Ground. The possibility of building a MUGA as well as tennis courts, and of the area being floodlit had been discussed.

Cllr Fincken proposed and asked the Town Clerk to report a preference for the tennis courts only, as these would be easier to monitor and control. Users would be able to purchase an annual pass and key for a small fee. Floodlights were not recommended as they would cause too much disturbance to local residents. A play area for children near to the site of the mast is another possibility, hopefully to include a junior gym. He asked the Town Clerk to write to BDC with these recommendations. Cllr Atkinson seconded this, and it was unanimously agreed.

Education – Cllr Hume reported that there is to be a meeting related to parking at St Andrews school on 20 April

Cllr Pell left the meeting as she was feeling unwell.

228.  To approve an update to the Leave from work policy

Cllr Fincken proposed approval of the updated Leave from work policy, seconded by Cllr Warren, but said that if there was disagreement about the Clerk taking leave, this should be referred to SAC. This was unanimously approved.

229.  To approve the Christmas Closure dates for 2022.

Cllr Munday proposed approval of the Christmas closure dates 2022, seconded by Cllr  Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

230.  To approve a bench and clock in commemoration of the Queen’s platinum Jubilee.

Cllr Radley proposed that HTC accept the refurbished bench to replace the rotten one in the churchyard. This was seconded by Cllr Munday and unanimously agreed.   

Cllr Fincken proposed that HTC buy a flat clock to place on the Library building. The Town Clerk is to consult with planning on Listed building consent and planning, and to work with Cllr Claydon on deciding how this should be funded, either from this year’s surplus or by changing the budget for the coming financial year. This was seconded by Cllr Claydon and unanimously agreed.

231.  Proposed upgrade to radio mast at Courtaulds Sports ground

Cllr Munday proposed that discussion of the mast be deferred until April with a recommendation on future rent, a rent history and lease dates. Cllr Atkinson seconded this, and it was unanimously agreed.

232.  To approve an update to the Financial Regulations.

Cllr Munday proposed that the update be approved, seconded by Cllr  Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

233.  To receive an update on Halstead in Bloom

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously agreed, that the Halstead in Bloom report be noted.

234.  To select a councillor to represent HTC at the Empire

Cllr Atkinson proposed that decision on representation at the Empire be deferred until the Annual Town Council meeting in May, to allow all councillors the opportunity to take on the role. This was seconded by Cllr Hume and unanimously agreed.  

235.  EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

To give consideration to adopting the following resolution: – “That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted and pursuant to the provisions of section 1(2)-of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, as amended, the public and the press be temporarily excluded from the meeting”.

Cllr Radley proposed the exclusion of the public and press, seconded by Cllr Warren and unanimously agreed.

236.  To note the Minutes of the Staff Advisory Committee meeting of 9 March 2022, and to approve the recommendations made at the meeting.

The recommendations were discussed.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at   21.17

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