HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF FULL COUNCIL MEETING
|Councillor A Munday||Chairman||Present|
|Councillor M Radley||Vice Chairman||Present|
|Counvillor Mrs J Allen||Apologies|
|Councillor Mrs S Dingle||Apologies|
|Councillor Mrs S Diver||Apologies|
|Councillor C Fox||Apologies|
|Councillor D Gronland||Present|
|Councillor D Hume||Apologies|
|Councillor Mrs J Pell||Present|
|Councillor Mrs E Penn||Present|
|Councillor Mrs J Sutton||Apologies|
|Councillor G Warren||Present|
Also in attendance: Public - Mr and Mrs M Kern, Ms Helen Woolf, Mr K Paisley
Cllr S Kirby (BDC), Mr I Tinton (Chamber of Trade),
Ms N Joyce, Ms J Mellon, Mr D Frost, Ms B David,
Mr and Mrs R Smith, Mr M Fincken, Mr and Mrs C Ormes
Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)
Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)
116. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. There were apologies from Cllr Mrs Dingle, Cllr Mrs Diver and Cllr Hume due to ill health; Cllr Fox due to work commitments, Cllr Mrs Sutton as has recently moved and Cllr Mrs Allen as attending a Parish meeting at Gosfield.. Cllr Munday proposed approval of apologies, proposal seconded by Cllr Radley and adopted by unanimous vote.
117. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs Pell declared NPI in Agenda item 3C and also Agenda item 5- Planning 18/02084/OUT as member of Braintree DC that owns some of the land in question; NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 18/02002/FUL as park opposite is owned by BDC, NPI-18/02148/FUL as friends own the two neighbouring houses;NPI-18/01550/FUL as Halstead TC building is adjacent to property. Agenda item 8 as Chairman of H4C.
Cllr Gronland declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 18/02071/FUL as property owner is a close neighbour. Cllr Mrs Penn declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 18/02084/OUT as Chairman of Halstead 21st Century Group.
118. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:
Chairman said that he would take Agenda item 3c first
Cllr S. Kirby (BDC) stated that he would leave the meeting during all planning matters as he is a member of the Planning Committee at BDC.
c) Presentation by the 21st Century Group. Ms Helen Woolf gave a presentation about the vision of the 21st Century Group for land off St. Andrew's Road. Ms Woolf said that the proposals put forward by this group are not, at this stage, a plan but a vision of how this land could be used to enhance Halstead and involve community groups; it is a proposal for a Heritage Park. It was explained that there could be areas for adult recreation, a children's play area, a heritage zone, green spaces and a wet land/wild life area with some housing in keeping with the heritage area and. with pedestrian trails running through and linking all areas. It was stated that there has been a history of failed planning applications for this land over the past 50 years; in the 1960s The Centre was developed with a planned Stage 2 that never happened. There have been other ideas with one successful application in the 80s that did not come to fruition. There are obvious constraints on the land and various local and national policies that require compliance. It was said that the 21st Century Group's vision would work well with all of these policies to conserve and enhance heritage areas. It was said that parts of the site are heritage areas, particularly Vicarage Meadow and 9 of the air raid shelters. It was noted that during WWII parts of the land had been used for allotments, that could be brought back into use. It was said that one third of the site is a conservation area and that Braintree DC works hard to maintain such areas to ensure compliance with Draft Local Plan and National Policies that state that all reasonable efforts must be made to conserve heritage areas. It was pointed out that there are many trees on the site, giving a 'green lung' to the town and there are habitats for protected species. The area has wide biodiversity and is a corridor for wildlife. It is the view of the 21st Century Group, and a view widely held, that purely retail in town centres is no longer viable and there should be 'destinations' to attract visitors; it was felt that the proposals of the Group would give the Town such a 'destination'. Ms Woolf said that the vision shown would meet all planning policies and the Heritage Park could be a reality.
a) Public Question Time: Mr David Frost and Ms Beverley David spoke about the planning application for land adjacent to 24A White Horse Avenue-erection of a 2 bedroom bungalow. Inaccuracies with the application were pointed out concerning trees that had now been felled and parking that was not as shown. It was said that land is off a single track road that would make access for construction traffic difficult and it was noted that part of the grass verge and residents' gardens had already been damaged by heavy traffic. It was said that at present there is not access for delivery lorries nor waste collection vehicles. There have been sewage problems in the area. It was said that the proposed development would mirror the other end of the site, but this was disputed. It was said that entry to the proposed site would be by access over the driveway of other properties. It was hoped that Halstead Town Councillors would not support this application. Ms Helen Woolf spoke about the planning application for Land off St. Andrew's Road and asked if seeking outline permission was appropriate as this would establish the principle of development. It was felt that as Braintree DC owned part of the site more information should be given to the public.
Cllr Munday responded that Halstead TC could only look at the information put forward as the Council is a consultee only on planning applications and that it would be for Braintree DC to establish whether the application was appropriate.
b) Presentation by Snapdragon on behalf of Bellway Homes development in Sudbury Road. This presentation had been postponed until the new year.
119. MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting on 12th November 2018. Minutes had been circulated and Proposal to adopt was put forward by Cllr Warren and seconded by Cllr Gronland. Minutes adopted by unanimous vote.
120. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Cllr S Kirby (BDC) left the meeting at this point.
Cllr Mrs Pell, vice Chair of Planning took the Chair for this part of the meeting but left the meeting for the first two discussions. Before departing Cllr Pell advised members that decisions could only be made on the information before them.
18/02084/OUT - Land off St. Andrew's Road, Halstead. Development of land for residential and community use - erection of up to 73 dwellings comprising 32 houses and 51 apartments with associated car parking, amenity spaces and external works. It was noted that there are many objections to this application. Cllr Mrs Penn highlighted planning policies regarding conservation, heritage assets that should be preserved and enhanced and noted the local heritage list that included much of the land at this site including Factory Terrace that is Grade II listed. Cllr Penn said that access via St. Andrew's Road/Mallows Field would be very difficult particularly with the already increased traffic flow in the Town. Cllr Penn also felt that the proposed plans would be over development of the land and would conflict with the already stated views of Braintree DC about the view across the valley. Cllr Gronland queried whether Braintree DC, as owners of part of the land, were entitled to decide on this application; Cllr Radley said he understood that land had been sold subject to successful planning application for the site. Cllr Radley said that HTC could only comment on what is before them and noted that access to the site would be an issue and felt that 73 dwellings would be overdevelopment of the site. He said that the proposal for 2½ storey buildings would be too prominent and not in proportion and the removal of heritage shelters was of concern; he suggested that HTC object on these points. Cllr Warren said that he agreed with all points raised and felt that the Town's infrastructure is already overloaded and would struggle to cope with the proposed additional housing. Cllr Munday noted that the access points are zones used by children going to school and additional traffic there would be a danger.; Cllr Radley proposed objection to this application on the following grounds: 1) Poor access to the site and additional traffic in St. Andrew's Road/The Centre. 2) Overdevelopment of the site. 3) 2½ storey buildings would be too prominent. 4) The existing heritage air raid shelters should be respected and retained where possible. 5) Development too close to the Heritage site of Vicarage Meadow. 6) Additional traffic would mean danger as site is in close proximity to schools. It was asked that policy RLP 95, national planning policies and draft local plan be respected and adhered to when discussing this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren. Vote was taken with 4 votes for the proposal and 1 abstention.
18/02148/FUL - Land adjacent 24A White Horse Avenue, Halstead. Erection of a 2 bedroom bungalow. It was noted that residents had spoken about this application and it was agreed that trees and hedge had already been removed although were shown on plans. It was said that parking would be an issue and that vehicles would have to traverse other properties in order to access the proposed building. It was noted that there had been sewage problems in the area. Cllr Warren noted that access to the site was appalling as it was really only a path and not suitable for additional traffic. Cllr Warren proposed objection to this application on grounds of unsuitable access to the site, the proposed building would not fit in the street scene and destruction of the local ecological environment. The compliance with parking regulations was also queried. Cllr Gronland seconded this proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Mrs Pell returned to the meeting, and regained Chair for the next items.
18/01971/FUL - Framcombe. Upper Chapel Street, Halstead. Proposed new dwelling house. Cllr Mrs Pell noted objections to this site and that trees would need to be felled. It was noted that proposal was for a 1½ storey building and that a previous application for a 2 storey building at this site had been refused. Councillors felt that the proposal was too large for the site and that access would be difficult - although ECC Highways had lodged no objection at a previous application. Cllr Warren proposed that Council object to this application on grounds of overlarge development and poor access to site. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Penn and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01969/FUL & O PP-07249432 - 9 First Avenue, Bluebridge Industrial Estate, Halstead. To retain temporary building previously approved under application 13/01009/FUL Cllr Mrs Pell said she could find no objection to this application, although hoped that the building would be made permanent in the future. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Radley and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01983/FUL - 6 Brook Farm Close, Halstead, Essex. Conversion of external double garage into 1 bed annexe. All services to link back to existing dwelling, Cllr Mrs Pell said she could see no objection to this application, but felt that the proposed annexe should be tied to the existing building for family use only. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application, but asked that the annexe be tied to the existing building for family use only. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
18/00321/LBC - 3 Market Hill, Halstead, Essex. Alterations required to form first and second floor flats and ground floor restaurant and basement bar. Cllr Mrs Pell said that there had been a previous similar application and advice had been given by the Historic Building Department of Essex CC. It was felt that this advice should be adhered to where possible. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application provided that advice given by Historic Building team should be adhered to where possible. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Radley and a vote was taken. Proposal was carried with 1 abstention.
18/0271/FUL - Gardenia, 20 Balls Chase, Halstead. Single storey rear extension. Infill existing carport/garage. It was noted that there are drainage problems in this area but that building regulations would have to be taken into account. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application and proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Penn. Vote was taken and proposal was carried with 1 abstention.
18/02098/FUL - 7 Bois Hall Gardens, Halstead, Essex. Proposed two storey side extension and single storey rear extension. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application, proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
18/02109/LBC - 23 Mill Chase, Halstead, Essex. Replacement of existing vertical sash windows with like-for-like timber vertical sliding sash windows in white with slim sealed units. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application provided that windows were like-for-like. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Penn and carried by unanimous vote.
18/02002/FUL - 71 New Street, Halstead, Essex. Proposed 2 storey and single storey rear extension; 2no. roof lights to front roof and 1no. roof light to rear of main roof; quality heritage style replacement windows and door to front of the house; new obscure glazed bathroom window at ground level side elevation. it was noted that neighbours were concerned by diminution of light to their property. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application provided that neighbours at 69a are not disadvantaged by loss of light. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
18/02095/LBC - 30A High Street, Halstead, Essex. Strip back areas of property affected by fire and water damage and reinstate to match existing. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01550/FUL REVISED - Bartholomew House, Colchester Road, Halstead. Conversion to 5no. flats. It was noted that a similar application had been received previously and that there were objections from neighbours, some of which were of a legal nature. Environmental Health Dept. had made some conditions There was also advice from Historic Building Dept. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application provided that Environmental Health conditions and Historic Building advice are met. Cllr Gronland seconded this proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr Munday.
121. MAYOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS. Cllr Munday noted events attended and spoke about forthcoming meeting with the leader of Essex County Council and Andrew Cook, Director of Highways and Transportation regarding strategic lorry routes. Cllr Mrs Pell said that all Town Councillors would like to have information but was told that only Mayor and Deputy Mayor had been invited this time. There would be a report on this meeting at the January Full Council meeting. Report was noted
122. FINANCE. Cllr Radley Chair of Finance presented Finance Reports.
7 A. Monthly Finance Report: Cllr Radley noted that position had not changed with income being ahead of budget and expenditure slightly below forecast. Car park revenue was still on track and bookings for the Queen's Hall were increasing. There had been no expenditure from reserves during the month. Acceptance of the report was proposed by Cllr Radley, seconded by Cllr Munday and carried unanimously. Report was noted
7B. and 7B(a) Payments to be approved; Expenditure on Christmas lights, including manufacture of brackets for new illuminations was noted. Payments to Halstead Choral Society and the Salvation Army re. the torchlight procession and carol service were observed. It was noted that the donation to Salvation Army was £100 but members thought that this should be increased, and Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the report, but asked that the donation to Salvation Army be raised to £150.00. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
7C. Reconciliation for the month was before Council and staff were complimented on management of the accounts; Clerk was asked to pass on Council's thanks. Acceptance of the report was proposed by Cllr Radley, seconded by Cllr Mrs Penn and carried by unanimous vote.
7D. Payment by online banking. Report was before Council regarding changes to regulations meaning that online banking for Councils was now possible. Two Councillors would have to approve each payment (as is the case at present with cheque payments) and it was said that all payments would need to be approved by Council as is the case currently. It was pointed out that this would be time saving and also financially beneficial to Council. Clerk advised that two signatories, at least, would have to be identified, and it was agreed that this should be the same as the current cheque signatories for the time being. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that online banking be adopted by Council, with signatories to remain the same as the current cheque signatories for the time being. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
123. COMMUNITY HALL REPORT It was reported that an informal meeting had taken place with Cllrs Munday and Radley and it was hoped that in the new year a meeting with full Council and Trustees will take place. Cllr Munday noted that the recent meeting had been positive and informative. Report was noted
124. YOUTH REPORT. Cllr Mrs Penn noted that members of youth group had assisted at the torchlight procession. They had been very enthusiastic about the Christmas Fayre when 8 of the group had arrived to help with a proposed stall by the youth bus on High Street. Unfortunately, the day had been wet and windy, and the gazebo had almost blown away meaning the stall was abandoned. One of the group leaders had subsequently visited the East of England store and the team have been given permission to have a stall in Weavers' Court one day from 10am to 2pm to sell the goods held and to engage with the community. Cllr Penn said she was proud of their efforts, and that they hoped to put together a short presentation for the Council at next meeting. Report was noted
125. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS. Cllr Mrs Pell reported attendance at several meetings including discussions regarding the forthcoming elections in May 2019, polling stations for those elections and costs for workers at those elections; a budget meeting of overview and scrutiny group; some governance training; a cabinet meeting; a planning meeting attended on behalf of Halstead TC regarding the proposed Mount Hill development (which had been refused); a licensing meeting and a meeting with Highways speaking about Sudbury Road. Report was noted
126. LOCAL COUNCIL AWARD SCHEME. Clerk advised that Council had met all requirements for the initial Foundation Award and formal recognition would come in December. The next level of the Award is for Quality, and Clerk advised that if moving to this higher level within a year all existing reports could be used again as all documentation had already been approved. Clerk advised that cost of registration and accreditation for Quality Award is £150.00. Cllr Munday proposed that Halstead TC should apply for Quality Award at a cost of £150.00 and this proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland. Cllr Penn asked that Council recognise the hard work put in by Council staff in order to achieve Award. Vote was taken on proposal and carried by unanimous vote.
127. TOWN PLAN UPDATE. Plan had been sent to Councillors and changes were noted. Councillors asked that Mike Plowright of Colchester Institute be formally thanked for his work in amalgamating the Word version and design version of the plan. Cllr Munday proposed that Plan be approved and this was seconded by Cllr Penn. Vote was taken and Plan was adopted by unanimous vote.
128. PRINTING Report was before Council regarding printing of the Plan to agreed specifications. Costs were included, and it was said that all eventualities had been allowed for in budget. It was said that Plan should be in place for at least 5 years and discussions took place on how this report should be used. It was said that the Action Plan should be updated regularly and this update will appear on Council web page. Cllr Mrs Pell felt that as all residents had been consulted the Plan should be circulated to all properties but after discussion it was decided this would be too expensive. Discussions took place on how the Plan could be distributed, and it was said that stocks could be held at the Library and other public buildings as well as at Town Council Office. Cllr Munday proposed that 2000 of the Plan leaflets be printed at a cost of £672.00, with further reprint if required at a later date and that Councillors should make efforts to identify distribution points. Cllr Mrs Penn seconded the proposal and a vote was taken. There were 5 votes for the proposal and 1 abstention.
129. EVENTS LEAFLET. Report was before Council and it was noted that many more organisations have asked to be included meaning the events leaflet will now be 16pp. Cost to produce and print 3000 leaflets was quoted at £784 but Braintree DC had agreed a contribution of £500 towards production as part of the Town Centre Regeneration programme. Cllr Munday proposed Council commissions production and printing of Events 2019 leaflet at a cost to Council of £284.00. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell and carried by unanimous vote.
130. SUMMER FAIR Cllr Munday noted that the Town's Christmas Fayre had been held for 4 consecutive years and had expanded going from strength to strength. Cllr Munday said that he would like, in a personal capacity, to organise a summer fair on 3rd August 2019 with any profits going to the Mayor's charity. He said that this event would go ahead regardless of outcome of the forthcoming local elections in May and would take place in Halstead Public Gardens. He asked that this event be shown in the proposed Events Leaflet. Cllr Mrs Penn asked if the event would spread to the High Street/Weavers' Court area but was told that as a pilot event it will be at public gardens for now. Report was noted.
131. 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'
There was no further business. Meeting closed at 9.06pm