Draft minutes of the Combe Martin Parish Council meeting,
held on 10th July 2023 at 7pm at Combe Martin Community Centre.
Present: Cllrs. Corner, Everett, Galloway, Masters, Optix, Richards, Seldon, Smallridge, Watkins, and Worth.
Also in attendance: County Cllr. Davis, Andrew Wyer (Clerk), and 3 members of the public.
051/23 Apologies – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllrs. Cass, and Lethaby.
051/23 Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.
052/23 Public Participation – There were no questions asked by members of the public.
053/23 Minutes – The draft minutes of the meeting held on 12th June 2023 were approved and signed by Cllr Seldon as an accurate record. The meetings of the Community Centre Committee on 26th June 2023 and of the Personnel Committee held on 3rd July 2023, were both NOTED.
054/23 Clerk’s Report –The report had been shared with the agenda and as there was no update to it, it was then NOTED.
055/23 County & District Cllr reports – County Cllr Davis had distributed her report ahead of the meeting. She highlighted the Recycled Bikes scheme – where bikes are available to buy from recycling centres and that on the Link Road, the new roundabout junction for North Molton is now 30 mph with active speed cameras operating in both directions. The Council confirmed that it was happy for County Cllr Davis and the Clerk to continue their work over the summer break to get the speed activated signs ordered and installed as soon as possible.
056/23 Police Newsletter – This had been circulated ahead of the meeting and reported 5 crimes in Combe Martin, 7 in Berrynarbor, and 40 in Ilfracombe. The newsletter was NOTED.
056/23 Planning (NDC Applications) – The Council RESOLVED to decline to comment on the following applications (which are the Councils own applications):
77156 – Listed building consent for the creation of new vehicular access at Combe Martin Community Centre, Church Street, Combe Martin, EX34 0LQ
77293 – Creation of new vehicular access at Combe Martin Community Centre, Church Street, Combe Martin, EX34 0LQ
057/23 Planning (Exmoor NP Applications) – The Council RESOLVED to support the following application:
62/19/23/002LB – Verwill Farm, Combe Martin, EX34 0PE.
Listed building consent for the proposal replacement of 5no. Timber sash windows.
058/23 Planning (NDC Decisions) – The following decisions were NOTED:
77001 – Approved – The Bungalow, Combe Martin, EX34 0NZ. Conversion of
agricultural barn to dwelling together with creation of vehicular site access and associated landscaping.
77085 – Approved – Land adjacent Nutcombe Hill, Combe Martin, EX34 OPQ.
Erection of agricultural shed and associated works.
059/23 Planning (Exmoor NP Decisions) – There were no decisions to note.
060/23 Planning Correspondence : The following decision was NOTED:
Planning Appeal: Appeal Ref: APP/X1118/D/22/3312645 – Morsha, King Street, Combe Martin, EX34 0DA – Appeal is dismissed.
061/23 Finance – It was RESOLVED to approve the lists of payments to be made, together with a late invoice (value £420), totalling £19833.81.
062/23 Finance – It was RESOLVED to note the list of payments made, receipts received and the June Dashboard report.
063/23 Beach Cleaning – Rather than review all of the points at this meeting, the Council considered the priority points and RESOLVED to erect additional signage, emphasising a positive message and to review the bin locations, size and emptying frequency.
064/23 Street Lighting – The final quote was significantly higher than the original estimate but Councillors felt that this was too important a project to let slip. The Clerk felt that the additional funds could be found within the current budget if the hardcore costs for Hollands Park Car Park came from the resurfacing Ear-Marked Reserve. Councillors RESOLVED to go ahead with the streetlight replacements.
065/23 Empty Shops – The Council acknowledged that it has virtually no power or authority in this matter but felt that for the good of the village it should at least try to encourage landlords to help bring their empty shops back into use. The Clerk was instructed to write to relevant landlords.
066/23 Newberry Shelter – The Council will explore the options available for replacing this shelter, with a view to making a decision at the next meeting.
067/23 High Street Car Park – The alternative layout design would only create an extra 3 spaces but require the re-painting of the entire site and be less coach friendly. The Clerk was asked to look at increasing the physical size of the car park area.
068/23 Land Disposal – Cllr Everett left the room during the discussion about Plot 2 – The Clerk was instructed to investigate any covenants or requirements relating to the disposal of these sites, from when the Council took over the ownership of them. The Clerk should then advertise them and make contact with interested parties, or seek to return the sites as appropriate.
069/23 Correspondence – The correspondence was NOTED.
070/23 Exclusion of Press and Public – It was RESOLVED to exclude the Press and Public from the final agenda items as they were likely to involve the disclosure of confidential information.
071/23 Mill Wier Lane – The Council felt it was important to say that regardless of any previous statements or (now superseded) resolutions, the Council’s position on Mill Wier Lane was based upon legal advice and was unlikely to change. The lane is classed as a Public Footpath and as such it is the Highway Authority (DCC) that is responsible for maintaining it. The Council RESOLVED to follow the legal advice they had received about Mill Wier Lane, and the Clerk was instructed to reply to any queries about Mill Wier Lane stating this but as transparently/helpfully as the confidential guidance will allow.
072/23 Council Leases – The Clerk reported that the Council’s lease of the Community Centre from the Trust that owns it would be in jeopardy if the Trust wound itself up as insolvent. This may well be the case if the Council can’t make the savings necessary to justify being in the building – something largely dependent on getting permission for the new vehicle access. The Clerk revealed that he had now heard that this would now have to be subject to archaeological oversight during any works. The Clerk was instructed to advertise for land to buy, should the planning application be unsuccessful. This advert could also relate to land for allotments as the Clerk confirmed that several enquiries had been received about the possibility of allotments.
The Clerk was also asked to push to close the remaining leases, still being finalised.