Draft Minutes of Town Council Meeting 17 May 2021

8th June 2021

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
17 May 2021 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   Apologies
Councillor P Caulfield   Apologies
Councillor P Claydon   Present
Councillor Mrs S Dingle   Apologies
Councillor M Fincken   Present
Councillor D Hume   Apologies
Councillor A Munday   Present
Councillor Mrs J A Pell   Present
Councillor Miss L Smith   Apologies
Councillor G Warren   Present

Also in attendance:    

Cllr Chris Siddall (Essex County Council councillor for Halstead)

Mark Sweeting, Tony Bishop, Angela Andrea, Flaviu Andrea

Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)

015.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  Cllr Smith sent her apologies, due to work commitments. Cllrs Dingle, Caulfield and Gronland sent apologies as they were on holiday. Cllrs Atkinson and Hume sent their apologies as they were unwell.

Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of these apologies, seconded by Cllr Fincken and unanimously agreed.

016.  DECLARATION OF INTERESTS:  .

 All councillors declared NPI item 5 21/01312/LBC as the building is owned by HTC.                        

Cllr  Pell  declared  NPI Item 5, 21/00493 as a member of H4C,item 7b as a member of CSGMC and BDC, item 8 as a member of H4C. Cllr Munday declared NPI  item 5, as he is a member of BDC planning committee, 7b as a member of BDC, and PI item 7b.  Cllr Claydon  declared NPI item 7b, as a member of CSGMC. Cllr Warren declared  NPI item 7b, as a member of CSGMC..  Cllr Radley declared NPI item 7b as member of BDC.  

017.  PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Three members of the public, residents of Oak Road, made statements objecting to the planning application 21/00493/OUT.

Angela Andrea

Angela stated that she had submitted an objection online but also wanted to make her views known to the Town Council. She pointed out that the application stated that there was wasteland on the eastern boundary, whereas she runs a licensed business from her property on that boundary, and that her business would be devalued if the development were to go ahead. She also mentioned that the surface of Oak Road was severely damaged by potholes. She also stated that there was a severe risk of subsidence if the water level were to rise. She felt that this application was an underhand way of leading to a larger development.

Anthony Bishop

Anthony said that the drawing with the application was not to scale, and this masked how close the development was to existing properties. He expressed his dismay that out of 39 proposed houses, 12 would abut his property, and his concern at the loss of privacy this would represent. He has objected for many years about vehicles using Oak Road, as it is not appropriate for so many cars to use it, and is in danger of becoming a rat run when the A131 is busy. The surface of the road is very poor and local people use itfor exercise.

Mark Sweeting

Mark is concerned about the loss of privacy which would be caused to him if the development were to go ahead. The development would be very close to his property at the rear of his garden, and the increased traffic would be passing directly in front of his property.

ECC newly elected Cllr Chris Siddall

Cllr Siddall introduced himself as a local businessman for 40 years and a former BDC councillor where he was deputy leader for 6 years. He said that he was looking forward to working more closely with HTC.

018.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 12 April 2021.  Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of April 2021 was put forward by Cllr Warren,  seconded by Cllr Fincken. There were 5 in favour and 1 abstention. 

The Minutes of the Public Realm Town Centre Regeneration meeting on 10 May 2021 were noted.        

019.  PLANNING  APPLICATIONS

Cllr Pell took the lead for this part of the meeting. Cllr Munday left the meeting.

21/00493/OUT – Land Adjacent Conies Farm, Oak Road, Halstead, Essex – Outline planning permission with all matters reserved for 39 dwellings

Cllr Fincken, seconded by Cllr Pell proposed that HTC object strongly to this application for the following reasons:

  • This is a single track road that has quiet lane status pending.  No footpaths or passing places and leads into Tidings Hill that also can’t cope with any more traffic as is also not wide enough in places.  The road also floods and the road surface is in a terrible condition
  • The widening of the road at the site entrance is not sympathetic to a country road/lane where walkers are in abundance.
  • Oak Road has pending Quiet Lane status, and is not suitable for a development of this extent
  • There are no footpaths or pavements at the side of the road
  • There was a previous application for this site which was refused
  • The design and access statement is out of date
  • The road traffic accident statistics are out of date
  • The site plan is not to scale
  • Highways are slow to engage with the planning department and public in making comments
  • There is no room for more housing in the town, as the current infrastructure cannot support an increase in population
  • The development is environmentally unfriendly and would displace a great deal of wildlife
  • There will be a loss of trees, which is likely to lead to more flooding
  • Local businesses will be affected
  • There are also deep concerns among local residents relating to loss of privacy
  • A road safety assessment is needed

This was unanimously agreed.

Cllr Fincken proposed, seconded by Cllr Radley, that Standing Orders be suspended to allow Cllr Siddall to speak. This was unanimously agreed.

Cllr Siddall agreed that Oak Road was totally unsuitable for this kind of development. He said that it was a pity that there was not yet a Local Plan in place, as one was needed. He felt that the National Planning Policy Framework favoured developers. He felt that in this case access, or lack of it, was key. He also felt that the infrastructure of Halstead could not sustain any further development.

Cllr Fincken proposed, seconded by Cllr Radley, that Standing Orders be reinstated. This was unanimously agreed.

21/01078/HH – 4 Woodpecker Close, Halstead, Essex – Proposed rear conservatory

Cllr Pell proposed no objection to this application, seconded by Cllr Fincken, and unanimously agreed.

21/01071/FUL – 32 Trinity Street, Halstead, Essex – Change of use from Class E (a) (shop) to (C3) (residential)

Cllr Pell proposed no objection to this application, seconded by Cllr Claydon.

There were 3 in favour and 2 against. The motion was carried.

21/01212/HH – 5 Oxford Road, Halstead, Essex – Replacement of felted garage roof with timber pitched roof.  Link existing garden sitting area roof to new roof.

Cllr Pell proposed no objection to this application, seconded by Cllr Fincken, and unanimously agreed.

21/01133/HH – 49 Winston Way, Halstead, CO9 1TW – Relocation of existing sectional garage from side of house to front of property to create more garden space

Cllr Pell proposed no objection to this application, seconded by Cllr Fincken, and unanimously agreed.

21/01312/LBC – Halstead Library, Bridge Street, Halstead, CO9 1HJ – Creation of a new internal entrance lobby and installation of three external signs.

Cllr Pell proposed that HTC should not comment on the application as they own the building. This was seconded by Cllr Fincken and agreed unanimously.

Cllr Pell reported that she and Cllr Hume had discussed the Mount Hill application which will be discussed at the BDC planning meeting on 25 May. They had agreed that Cllr Pell should attend the meeting to represent Halstead.

Cllr Munday returned to the meeting.

Cllr Pell returned the chairing of the meeting to Cllr Radley                       

020.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS

Cllr Radley reported that on 11 May he and Cllr Gronland had judged Poster entries organised by a school in Braintree and the 21st Century group, relating to the air raid shelters. He has also had an invitation to Armed Forces day in Braintree on 26 June.

021.  FINANCE Cllr Claydon took this part of the meeting

a) There was no income and expenditure report for this month, as the Finance Officer continued to be on sick leave.

b) To approve the List of payments to be made in May

Cllr  Fincken proposed approval of the List of payments. This was seconded by Cllr Pell and unanimously agreed.

c) There was no bank reconciliation this month as the Finance Officer continued to be on sick leave.

d) To approve direct debits for the financial year 2021/22.

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren, the approval of the direct debits for the financial year 2021/22.

022.  H4C

Cllr Pell reported that the Trustees had met, and are intending to have a meeting in the near future with HTC and BDC.

023.  To receive reports from District Councillors

Cllr Munday reported that he had attended one in-person planning meeting.

Cllr Pell reported that she had attended the leaders’ meeting and the scrutiny meeting. Some meetings at BDC are hybrid, and for Full Council currently meetings remain virtual with recommendations which can be executed by the Chief Executive. She said that the new monitoring officer Kim Cole is very capable.

Cllr Radley reported that he will be able to get the housing figures projection for the next 5 years very shortly.

Reports were noted

024.  To receive reports from Champions

Police – Cllr Warren said the police had been warning of numerous thefts of catalytic converters.

Surgery – Cllr Radley said that there would be a report on progress at the surgery for the June meeting.

Open spaces and environment – Cllr Fincken reported that Anglian Water had said that they would be providing an alternative scheme for covering the sewage pipe which was intended to be less likely to catch debris floating in the river. The inclusive play equipment is being installed in the Public Gardens. He also said that he and Cllr Atkinson would look at the Action Plan with Nicola Murphy at BDC. It was also noted that the all-weather football pitch at the Sports Centre was almost finished.

The Town Clerk was asked to check the progress with the Ramsey Road Playing field improvements.

Education – It was reported that it was felt that S106 monies allocated to schools had not been delivered.

Tourism – Cllr Pell said that running events could now be considered.

Champions’ reports were noted

025.  FOOTBRIDGE  UPDATE.

Cllr Munday reported that the painting of the bridge had been completed. He said that there had been a working group meeting on 12 May and it had been agreed that the bridge would be reopened very soon. There remains work to be done in the water under the bridge, which could not be done in fish-breeding season.

It was agreed that it would be good if the fence behind the Daycare centre could be painted, and the Town Clerk was asked to find out who owns the land.

Cllrs Fincken and Radley expressed their thanks to Cllr Munday on behalf of HTC for all the hard work he had put into reopening the bridge.

Cllr Radley proposed that HTC give approval to HiB’s request to set up a memorial garden next to the bridge in memory of the benefactor who had left a legacy to HiB. This was seconded by Cllr Munday  and unanimously agreed.

026.  TOR for Staff Advisory group

Cllr Fincken proposed, seconded by Cllr Munday, that the Terms of reference should be approved, subject to adding “ and report to Full Council” to bullet points 6 and 7.  This was unanimously agreed.

027.  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 Pell proposed, seconded by Cllr Munday, that the public and press be temporarily excluded from the meeting, and this was unanimously agreed.

PRIVATE SESSION

028, 029, 030   Three staff matters were discussed

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 21:17

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