Minutes 30 October 2019

Meeting of Abbots Morton Parish Council at 8:00PM on Wednesday 30th October 2019 at Abbots Morton Village Hall


Present: Nick Humphries (Chair), Martin Willingale, Richard Whitlow
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), David Wilkinson (District Councillor), members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were approved from Karen Brighton and Colin Turner.

Audrey Steel (District Councillor) and Anthony Hopkins (County Councillor) also sent apologies.

2. Declarations of interest
Nil declared.

3. Dispensations
Nil received.

4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.

4.1. District Councillors
David Wilkinson provided a report. The South Worcestershire Development Plan ‘preferred options’ consultation had been approved and was due to be circulated shortly. It was noted that the settlement boundary for Abbots Morton had been removed from the plan as it was essentially considered ‘open countryside’ in planning terms.

4.2. County Councillor
No report available.

4.3. Police
The Police confirmed that there had been no reported incidents since the last meeting.

4.4. Village Hall Committee
No report available.

4.5. Public participation
Members of the public raised objections and concerns regarding item 8.1 (19/02229/FUL):
• It was thought that many of the original planning obligations associated with the original application had never been fulfilled; including provision of wildflowers, hedges/trees, bat/bird boxes, landscaping etc.
• It was suggested that the original application had received strong objection from the public and in light of this the 25 year stipulation was put on the original application so as not to cause long-term harm to the visual amenity of the area.
• It was thought that the solar panels would need replacing due to deterioration, or because the technology would be obsolete, well within the current 25 year timeframe.
• It was thought that some affected residents had not been sent a notification (county boundary issues).

The meeting resumed following the open session.

5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 26th September 2019
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

6.1. Defibrillator maintenance
It was noted that parts had been ordered to replace the defibrillators pads and recharge the battery (agenda item 10.4.3) and these would be fitted shortly.

6.2. Village green and telephone box maintenance
It was noted that the Lengthsman had undertaken some tidying of the village green and that BT had put the telephone box on their repainting schedule for 2020.

6.3. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there were currently 2 vacancies on the Parish Council.

7. Correspondence

7.1. South Lenches Parish Council: Request to consider supporting a bid to Wychavon District Council for a Community Legacy Grant to develop an open air theatre on the LSRC sports field in Church Lench.
It was resolved to write in support of the proposals and to confirm that residents from Abbots Morton would most likely make use of the facilities. It was suggested that, if constructed, the theatre could be advertised in the village.

7.2. Wychavon District Council: To note invite to the ‘Protect Your Business, Protect Your Staff’ event at 4-7PM on Thursday 28 November 2019 at Sixways Stadium, Worcester.
The above invite was noted.

7.3. Wychavon District Council: To consider nominations for the Diamond Jubilee Community Recognition Awards 2019.
The above awards were noted and members would consider possible nominations.

7.4. Worcestershire CALC: To note invite to the CALC AGM at 6:30PM on Wednesday 20th November 2019 in the Council Chamber, County Hall, Worcester.
The above invite was noted.

8. Planning

8.1. 19/02229/FUL: Morton Wood Farm, Morton Wood Lane, Abbots Morton, Evesham, WR7 4LU. 4.85MW solar farm with ancillary buildings, deer fencing, CCTV, access tracks and landscaping not in accordance with condition 9 of permission Ref. 14/01549 with regards to the date in which the use of the land as a solar farm ceases.
It was resolved to object to the application.

At the time of the original application it was cited that the solar farm would be decommissioned after 25 years so as to reduce the long-term harm to the amenity of the area and until that time a number of landscaping and ecological improvements were to be implemented to lessen its immediate visual impact.  It was felt that a number of these planning obligations had not yet been fully fulfilled (including the provision of wildflowers, hedges/trees, bat/bird boxes and landscaping) and until such time as this work is completed, consideration should not be given to extending the planning permission.

It is also suggested that it is too early to decide if it is appropriate to extend the life of the solar farm as in 25 years’ time the solar panels might need wholesale replacement or the technology may be obsolete; it is felt that such an application should be made nearer to the date at which permission expires, so that such issues can be taken into account.

It is also believed that not all of the households affected by the proposals have received the proper notification of this application, in some cases because of the proximity of the county boundary.  This should be reviewed to ensure that the consultation is valid.

8.2. 19/01838/HP: The Old Shop, Abbots Morton Road, Abbots Morton, Worcester, WR7 4NA. Replacement doors and windows.
It was resolved to write in support of the proposals in principle, provided that the recommendations of the Conservation Officer were observed.

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

9.1. Public Rights of Way
It was resolved to defer discussion on this until the next meeting.

9.2. Neighbourhood Watch
It was resolved to defer discussion on this until the next meeting.

10. Finance

10.1. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.

10.2. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.

10.3. Budget
The 2020/21 budget was considered and approved and it was resolved to request a precept of £4,500.00.

10.4. Invoices

10.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £412.99
10.4.2. HMRC (PAYE): £91.20
10.4.3. David Hunter-Miller (defibrillator service parts): £92.99
10.4.4. Luke Farnsworth (Lengthsman): £210.00
10.4.5. Eyelid Productions (website): £160.00
10.4.6. Worcestershire CALC (councillor training): £60.00
10.4.7. Abbots Morton Village Hall (room hire): £132.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

10.5. Clerk’s Delegation

10.5.1. Graham Hobbs (planters) 26-09-19: £12.00
The above payment made between scheduled meetings was noted.

10.6. Direct Debit

10.6.1. Information Commissioner (registration) 01/10/19: £35.00
The above payment made between scheduled meetings was noted.

11. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Public Rights of Way
• Neighbourhood Watch

12. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 8:00PM on Thursday 23rd January 2020.

If an additional meeting is required it will be held at 8:00PM on Thursday 28th November 2019.

The meeting closed at 9:10PM.