Parish Council News
All 6 of our current complement of Parish Councillors were in attendance – readers don’t be shy, we have vacancies and would welcome 3 more – along with the Clerk and five members of the public at February’s meeting held on Wednesday 8th. Our District and County Councillors were unable to attend but retiring District Councillor Phillip Seccombe wished us well and sent word that he would happily attend future meetings in his role as Police and Crime Commissioner should he be required.
Two planning matters provoked discussion: 1. Spitfire Developments had intended to be represented at the meeting in an effort to persuade the PC to rescind its objection to their request for a variation. (This is to start house construction before putting the proper site access in place.) Instead they conveyed their reasons by email. Councillors were unimpressed and resolved to prepare an oral submission for presentation if and when the application goes before Area Planning Committee. 2. Disbelief and dismay would describe the Councillors’ mood when the subject of the White Horse “boat house” and the fact that despite the owner’s failure to have removed it by the Enforcement Order deadline a month’s extension had been granted. They decided that reference to this latest injustice be added to the complaint being forwarded about shabby treatment on the matter to the Head of Planning.
A parishioner advised the PC that she had applied to the District Council to have “Ancient Hedgerow” status accorded to the Rogers Lane hedge which the PC is seeking to have trimmed by its owners. Pending the outcome the Clerk will refrain from pressing for the trimming to take place as the A.H. status has implications for the job.
The meeting welcomed news that the PC’s of neighbouring villages which are Speedwatch partners had volunteered, as their contribution, to fund for a period the annual maintenance and calibration costs of the speed gun. Ettington PC made the initial purchase. It was also decided, in response to a regular external user’s view that the tennis court has become dangerously slippery owing to a moss build up, that the original installers be commissioned to pressure-wash and treat the surface.
The Neighbourhood Plan update confirmed that good progress has been made and the obligatory 6-week public consultation will be launched in the Community Centre on election day, May 4th. The Youth Project update indicated extremely positive enthusiasm from 7 youngsters who attended an inaugural Youth Council meeting and will arrange a fund-raising event over the May bank holiday weekend as well as a sponsored litter-pick. Councillors leading the project will be exploring grant sources which can help finance the facilities proposed for teenage recreation.
NEXT MEETING – Wednesday 8th March 19.30hrs – Community Centre Lounge
and don’t forget for your diary
The Annual Parish Meeting – Wednesday 12th April
Four Parish Councillors, the District Councillor, the Community Centre Management Committee chair and five members of the public attended the meeting held on 14th December. The Community Centre reported that the inaugural cinema screening for children in the Small Hall had been a resounding success and will be followed up in the Main Hall next time. The Parish Council agreed to finance the remaining refurbishment work in the Ladies’ toilets and the installation of a data projector in the Lounge from the funds set aside annually for the Community Centre.
District Councillor Seccombe reported that Neighbourhood Plans around the district were moving on apace, some are now completed and he urged Ettington to press on as swiftly as possible as the Plans are proving to have a value. He advised that neither Wellesbourne PC nor the District Council is in favour of housing development on the airfield and the DC is taking steps to thwart the owners in their attempts. His role as Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner is proving very demanding and he announced his intention to resign his DC seat in early 2017 in order that election of a successor can coincide with the May elections.
In the Open Forum Ms Tzsar of Beau Homes reported that their application to build 8 house on the land off Roger’s Lane (paddock next to David’s Orchard) had been withdrawn and a new one for 6 dwellings (2 bungalows, 4 houses) had been submitted. The new proposal includes a wild flower area and a wetland feature.
Councillors were incensed by the way in which the PC’s complaint regarding the eyesore of a boat-building shed on the White Horse car park had been dealt by the Enforcement section of the District’s Planning Office. The response gave the impression that if planning consent for four houses on the site were granted then the problem would in due course go away of its own accord. The Clerk had already written demanding an explanation but Councillors resolved that the matter should be brought to the attention of the Head of Planning. Further planning grief had emerged via Spitfire’s request for a variation to permit construction work on the land behind the Chequers prior to installation of the access road and junction works. The PC resolved to object in the strongest terms and ensure that such a request be debated by the Area Planning Committee should Officers approve the variation.
The Youth Project Group reported its intention to convene another assembly of the village’s teenagers on 13th January 2017 in order to canvass further opinions from those who might have missed out on the first meeting and to persuade some volunteers to form a fund-raising committee to take ownership and help out with financing the planned developments. The Neighbourhood Planning group reported that the aim is to hold the first public consultation on the draft plan in the Spring. Cllr Hughes and the Clerk had met with the Chair of Ettington Diggers and it had been agreed that the PC should be represented on an allotment committee when so formed and a meeting of interested villagers will be held early in 2017 to set the ball rolling.
January Meeting (11/01/17)
Five Parish Councillors attended along with the Clerk, County Councillor, District Councillor, Community Centre Chair and 7 members of the public. The meeting herard that budgets are taking centre stage at both County and District levels and County Councillor Seccombe reported that even allowing for 2% council tax rises the County will have to find £67m worth of reductions over the next 4 years. She advised that Warwickshire has decided upon non-constituent membership of the Birmingham Combined Authority. In his role as CPCC district Cllr. Seccombe advised that he is involved in consultations to establish ways of using some of the £29m worth of reserves and he is convening a multi-agency meeting to consider ways of dealing with problems created by gypsies and travellers.
Further complaints regarding vegetation encroaching on Rogers Lane and also the height of a section of the hedgerow on the Shirley’s land side were heard and the Clerk will write to the Land Agent to request the necessary remedial work.
On the Planning front it was noted that an Enforcement Order for the removal of the ‘boatyard’ on the White Horse car park had been issued and the application for the development of 4 dwellings on the site had been approved. The PC chose not to object to the application for a further 10-year permission for the wood-storage yard at the bottom of Old Warwick Rd. with the proviso that the site and surrounding road/footpath be kept tidy. The revised application for the construction of 6 dwellings on the land off Roger’s Lane was considered and the PC resolved not to object to the new plan but to point out to the Planning Office that the village has already surpassed its numerical requirement for houses as a Category 3 local service village and request that the land fronting Rogers Lane remain ‘green’ in perpetuity.
With regard to future use of the telephone kiosk councillors resolved to make this an agenda item for the Parish meeting in April. The Neighbourhood Plan group relayed that it aims for a pre-submission to the District Council in May. The Parish Council agreed to submit an application for £31,900 for the 2017-18 village precept, and resolved to accept the Wellesbourne Lions kind offer of the provision of a bench bearing its logo for the community. It will be located in proximity to whatever recreation equipment is provided by the Youth Project.
Next Meeting : Wednesday 8th February at 19.30hrs in the Community Centre Lounge