Draft minutes of the Assets and Land Management Committee meeting held
on 27th February 2023 at 6:00pm at Combe Martin Community Centre.
Present: Cllrs. C Galloway (Vice-Chairman of the Committee and Chairing this meeting),
T Seldon, M Worth and D Richards.
Also in attendance: Cllr D Woodbury, Andrew Wyer (Clerk) and 7 members of the public.
It was RESOLVED accept apologies from Cllrs. Coomber and Lethaby.
11/22. Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
12/22. Public Participation Period
Questions were asked about the Health and Safety measures in place for the works at Holland’s Park, what work was actually being done there, and around the potential works on the beach steps. In all cases, the queries were either covered within the relevant agenda item or the responses would be sent in writing, after the meeting.
It was RESOLVED to approve, as an accurate record, the minutes of the last ALM Committee meeting, held 28/02/2022, and these were then signed as such.
14/22. Hollands Park Development Plan
In response to the public questions, Cllr Worth gave a quick recap of the works that had been undertaken (reclaiming a row of car parking spaces from the bank by the pitch, and replacing the gabion basket wall with a new fence) and the works still underway (tree and vegetation management). Numerous areas of brambles have been cleared and the perimeter hedge had been cut back. There was a discussion about the banks on the eastern side of the park (which because they haven’t been actively managed, have been washing down from the hedge onto the parkland,) and how to protect the wild flowers in the banks.
The Council has committed to replacing with an equal or greater number, the trees that it cuts down. Given that many of the “trees” were actually multiple stem reshoots from previously felled stumps, the new trees should provide a significant increase in the “amenity” value of the trees in the park and alongside this, greater ecological benefits.
The purpose of this Development Plan is to identify and map the locations of the various schemes and projects likely to utilise areas within Hollands Park. By doing so, the Council then has a map of the areas which will be unaffected by these schemes, into which the replacement trees can be safely planted.
The schemes and projects may never come to fruition, or get shelved due to financial or regulatory issues, but at this point, these schemes are the ones we know about and have positions in the park “pencilled” in : MUGA pitch, pump track, play area and car park improvements. The positions for these are shown on the attached map and will be included in the Development Plan which will go to full Council for approval and formal adoption.
15/22. Beach Steps
The Clerk reported that replacing these steps falls under “permitted development” and therefore doesn’t need planning permission. There was a discussion about the actual ownership of the steps, with the wall belonging to the Inn but the beach belonging to the Council. The Committee RESOLVED to recommend accepting the shared cost offer from the Focscle Inn as the benefit to the community outweighed any concern about the actual ownership.
16/22. Asset Register
The Clerk reported that there were various issues with the spreadsheet version of the register that the Council had been using for a number of years. He had hoped to sort these out as part of the move to the new map-based register. This work is progressing well, but the complexity and research required to sort out some of the issues is time consuming and the new map based register will not be ready for the upcoming end of year. He proposed using the current spreadsheet version with the current year purchases/disposals included. While parts of it might not be accurate, the overall value does appear to be in line with the likely end result of the mapped version so the Council finances will be unaffected by the identified errors.
17/22. Parish Paths Partnership
It was concluded that unless anyone at the next full Council meeting was prepared to take on the monitoring of the paths in the Parish, we would have to withdraw from the scheme.
18/22. Part 2
It was resolved to exclude the public and press from the following item as it would likely include the disclosure of confidential information.
19/22. Property Leases
The Council leases were reviewed in turn, some of which required Council decisions which will be taken to the next Council meeting.