Present: Cllrs. T Seldon (Chair), A Corner, L Lethaby, D Richards, M Richards, D Woodbury and M Worth.
Also in attendance: County Cllr Davis, District Cllr Gubb, 2 representatives of N.D. Biosphere project, Andrew Wyer (Clerk) and 7 members of the public.
Prior to the meeting there was supposed to be a presentation about the Biosphere project. To allow set up time, this presentation was given after the Council Representative reports (Minute number 343/22)
338/22 Apologies – Apologies were received from Cllrs Coomber, Galloway, Walker, and Watkins.
339/22 Declarations of Interest – Cllr Lethaby declared an interest in two of the planning applications (76742 and 76788).
340/22 Public Participation – Questions were raised about consultation and compliance regarding current and future works in Holland’s Park and the accuracy of a minute from a recent Asset Management Committee meeting – written responses were requested and will be given in due course. Additional questions were raised about the pricing structure and lack of prices between 4hrs and 10 hrs. The Clerk explained that there limitations with what we could do this year as the prices are covered by the Parking Order but he would look at adding additional information on the pricing boards.
341/22 Minutes – It was RESOLVED that the draft minutes from the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 13th February 2023 were correct and they were then signed.
342/22 Clerks Report – The report was NOTED.
343/22 Council representatives – Cllr Corner had been involved with the Playground group who had held 6 events so far and raised just under £5000 towards improving Arnolds Plot playground.
The meeting was suspended to allow the presentation by the North Devon Biosphere project.
The project has funding to allow it to assess various approaches to reducing flooding in the village and improving water quality. These will primarily involve environmental management projects in the valleys and on the tributaries leading into the River Umber. The goal will be to reduce the speed that rainfall gets into the river to even out the flow rate so that we don’t get sudden surges which overwhelm the capacity of the culverts and bridges the river flows through. These projects should also reduce the number of pollutants being washed into the river and in most cases increase biodiversity.
The staff from the Biosphere project were thanked and the meeting resumed.
344/22 County & District Cllr reports – County Cllr Davis had distributed her report ahead of the meeting.
District Cllr Gubb reported that the NDC Monitoring Officer had sent an email for all Councillors, explaining the limitations that are in place during the Pre-Election period.
345/22 Police Report – This was NOTED. Report
346/22 Planning (NDC Applications) – It was RESOLVED to support the following applications:
76656 – Conversion of outbuilding to residential unit at Pack of Cards, High Street, Combe Martin, EX34 0ET
76742 – Application for planning in principle for erection of up to 9 houses at Land at Park Hills, Combe Martin, EX34 0LP
76788 – Application for outline planning permission for 6 dwellings at Land North of Park Hills Industrial Estate, Combe Martin, EX34 0LP
76762 – Retrospective application for small outbuilding ancillary to main house at Scaena, Shackhayes, Combe Martin EX34 0BZ
347/22 Planning (Exmoor NP Applications) – None
348/22 Planning (NDC Decisions) – It was RESOLVED to note the following decision:
76481 – Approved – Installation of electric vehicle charging stations at Glen Lyn Car Park, Borough Road, Combe Martin
349/22 Planning (Exmoor NP Decisions) – There were no decisions to note.
350/22 Finance – It was RESOLVED to approve the list of payments to be made plus 2 additional invoices (CES Engineering and South West Ecology), totalling £9741.19. It was further RESOLVED to note the list of payments made, receipts received and the February Dashboard report. The Clerk was asked to be conscious of ordering from Amazon at the expense of local businesses.
351/22 Minutes – It was RESOLVED to note the draft minutes of the Assets and Land Management Committee.
352/22 Assets and Land Management Committee
– It was RESOLVED to accept and adopt the Hollands Park Development Plan.
– It was RESOLVED to proceed with the replacement of the Beach Steps on the basis of a 50-50 cost sharing agreement. Cllr. Woodbury voted against, Cllrs M.Richards and Corner both abstained. The rest of the Cllrs were in favour.
– Cllr Corner volunteered to lead on monitoring the public footpaths as part of the Parish Paths Partnership. A member of the public also offered their assistance.
353/22 Hollands Park playing field
– Cllr Worth reported that poor weather was hampering attempts to get the root balls removed. Once the heavy machinery had left the site for the last time, it will be seeded.
– The wall around the southern boundary of Hollands Park needs to be made safe and replaced. The best option may be to knock down the wall and bank the earth behind it and to erect a fence along the top of the bank.
– The entrance to the car park is very uneven with significant potholes. These are not easily patched as the surface is not properly tarmacked but one of the worst high spots had been levelled out.
– It was RESOLVED to approve the building of a temporary Pump Track on the site of the old play area. The labour and materials are all being donated free of charge.
354/22 Community Food Pantry – It was RESOLVED to approve the proposal to site a community food pantry at the Community centre.
355/22 Beach Entrance Sign – It was RESOLVED to look at positioning a double-sided sign alongside the wall at the top of the slipway and to remove the one on the beach at the bottom of the slipway.
356/22 Correspondence – The correspondence was NOTED.
357/22 Date of next Council meetings
a. It was NOTED that the date for the next Parish Council meeting – 17th April 2023 will be a week later than usual due to Easter.
b. The Clerk will email Cllrs to possible dates for a Finance and Policies Committee meeting.
c. It was NOTED that the date for the Annual Parish Council meeting – 22nd May 2023 will be a week later than usual due to the local elections.
d. It was NOTED that the date for the Annual Parish meeting – 22nd May 2023 will be a week later than usual due to the local elections.
The Annual Parish meeting will be held in the Village Hall at 6pm and the Annual Parish Council meeting will be held after it but not before 7pm, also at the Village Hall.
358/22 Exclusion of Press and Public – It was RESOLVED to exclude the press and public from the following agenda item as it was likely to reveal confidential information.
359/22 Assets and Land Management Committee meeting
– It was RESOLVED to grant the Village Hall a new 25-year lease, pending confirmation of the inclusion of a clause (Clerk to check).
– It was RESOLVED to adopt Property Rent proposals in the attached confidential report.
– It was RESOLVED to complete the separation of utilities between the Seacott (old offices) premises and the Seacott Flat.
360/22 Staffing – The Clerk confirmed that the Grounds Manager position was being advertised.