Minutes March 2021
Minutes of the meeting held on
Monday 29 March 2021, 7:00pm remotely via Zoom, due to Covid 19 Pandemic
1. Attendance and Apologies
Present: Cllr Sardeson -Chairman, Cllr Watson -Vice Chairman, Cllr Burns, Cllr Foster, Cllr Ott, Cllr Clarke, Cllr Battle, Mrs Riggall -Clerk, Mr Spence -RFO
Also in attendance: Cllr Lundgren -NKDC, Cllr Cucksey -NKDC, 3 members of the public
2. Declarations of Pecuniary Interest
Cllr Battle declared an interest in planning application 21/0258/FUL, land between Station Road and Cross Street. Cllr Battle also declared an interest in any planning applications relating to Hanworth Country Park.
Cllr Sardeson declared an interest in application 21/0370/TCA, T1 Cherry tree, The Green.
3. Reports received from representatives on outside bodies
Cllr Oxby: Please see attached Appendix 1.
Cllr Cucksey: Please see attached Appendix 2.
Cllr Lundgren: Contact has been made with the Solar farm and it has been confirmed that the payment will still be honoured. NKDC will be supporting the litter pick due to take place on Saturday 10th April. Remote meetings may no longer be allowed from mid-May. Central Lincolnshire Joint strategic plan is reviewing our local plan, which currently governs planning in our communities. There is an agreement to include wind turbines in the local plan to meet zero carbon needs. The work on the social housing near Fosters Gardens has begun with 8 houses being built to passive house standard. Concern has been raised about the plot as this is social housing for the whole of NKDC and Potterhanworth may not have all the facilities needed.
Police Crime Report
The police report for January 2021. 2 reports of violent or sexual offences 1 on or near Fosters Gardens and 1 on or near Rectory Close.
The police report for February 2021. 1 report of anti-social behaviour on Woodlands Close.
Pavilion Committee update
The second part of the grant has now been awarded. Cllr Clarke has discussed the community orchard with the committee. A barrier is now being used to prevent misuse of the Pavilion carpark. The elections will take place at the Pavilion this year instead of the Memorial hall.
4. Public Open Forum
A member of the public read out a statement on behalf of Hanworth Country Park. Please see attached Appendix 3.
A member of the public spoke of their objection to planning application 17/1818/FUL relating to Hanworth Country Park. Please see attached Appendix 4.
Cllr Ott spoke of potentially addressing ongoing applications from Hanworth Country Park. Cllr Sardeson highlighted that the Parish Council consider each application individually, some applications have been objected to, but the majority have not. Cllr Watson explained that the minutes of previous Parish Council meetings, where applications have been discussed, can be viewed online. It was also highlighted that the Parish Council would be happy to discuss any planning applications and the Council wish to give balanced and fair responses which represents the Parish.
5. To resolve, notes of the meeting held on 22 February 2021 are approved as the Minutes
It was then resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2021 be approved as a correct record and will be signed by the Chairman.
6. Clerk and Councillor’s report on matters outstanding
The School Safety Zone work has now been completed.
Hanworth Country Park have received a letter of support for their brown Tourist sign proposal.
Parish noticeboards have now been updated with new backing boards.
The Parish litter pick will take place at 10am on Saturday 10th April.
New 40mph speed signs have been placed in Potterhanworth Booths. Cllr Clarke spoke of the results of the traffic survey on Moor Lane and Potterhanworth Booths. Potential options for monitoring speeds and additional signs were discussed.
The Wicksteed playpark inspection has taken place and there are a few areas where work needs to be done. Waldemar from Lincs Garden Services has been contacted and a meeting will be arranged to discuss work needed. The cradle swings will need replacing and quotes have been received. The RFO has obtained prices from other companies, but £430 from Wicksteed appears to be the most appropriate quote. All Councillors agreed to this purchase. Cllr Burns has trimmed the brambles around the area.
Cllr Foster explained that the Verti drain work has now been completed on the football pitch.
Cllr Foster requested new bulbs for the War Memorial and will shortly be adjusting the timing of the lights.
Cllr Clarke spoke of the drain collapsing at the end of Moor Lane, in front of the last 2 houses on the left. Work will be done to this at a future date.
7. Correspondence received
LALC have advised that virtual meetings may no longer take place from mid-May. It is hoped that the Annual Parish meeting may take place on Monday 26 April via Zoom. The Annual meeting of the Parish Council will take place in person on Monday 24 May.
An email was received regarding both the school safety zone and concerns around the verges and paths along Barff Road. Cllr Watson expressed concern about the state of the road where the school safety zone has been painted. Cllr Foster has been monitoring the area to check whether people are adhering to the new parking restrictions. The clerk explained that parents have been contacted by the school with advice on parking and a PCSO was been present at the end of the school day. The issue of the pavements on Barff Road and Queensway has been raised again with LCC.
An email was received requesting baptism records for St Andrews church; this has now been forwarded on to Rev. Lorna Brabin-Smith.
8. Trees in Potterhanworth Woods
Tree felling has been taking place in Potterhanworth woods, this has been driven by ash dieback disease. Some large Douglas Fir trees have started to fall over in Burnt wood. It is planned that a large area of fir trees will be felled, the area will then be replanted. It is hoped that the footpath will remain open throughout.
9. Parish orchard project
It is hoped that the trees will be ordered and planted in the autumn. Posters have been created to promote this.
10. History project update
Cllr Ott explained that around 5 information boards may be sufficient and specific topics will be covered. These boards should not be too intrusive and should be spread throughout the village. Quotes have been received from several companies; it would be more cost effective to buy all boards together rather than separately. It was agreed that it would be best to wait and ensure all funding is in place. Regarding location of the signs the Clerk has been in contact with LCC who have confirmed that signs will be acceptable so long as they do not obstruct highways or footpaths.
11. Future of planning applications
The clerk spoke of the discussion at the last Parish meeting around whether planning applications to be discussed by the Parish Council should be highlighted to the public. At the Chairman’s request the planning application 21/0258/FUL was added to the Parish meeting information on Facebook. Parish meetings are now promoted on Potter Spotted on Facebook and it was discussed whether all applications should also be included in future. The agenda is included in the Facebook post, as the planning applications are listed within this it was agreed that this should suffice, unless an application with large potential impact was received. Cllr Lundgren raised the point that individuals can add their own comments to all planning applications.
13. Planning Applications received since last meeting
17/1818/FUL. Hanworth Park. Variation to conditions 3. To be occupied without reference to maximum stay of no more than 28 days with no return for 28 days but retain restriction for holiday purposes only.
Councillors discussed this application and the given reason for declining the application previously was due to the lack of a business case to justify it. A business case has now been made, but concern was raised again around the 28-day clause for static caravans. Cllr Foster supported this application and the potential benefits. It is unclear if the 28-day rule also applies to camping pods, touring caravans and tents. Concern remains around the static caravans and reference was made to the original application being for a campsite to support the fishing lake. It was agreed that Hanworth Country Park is a positive addition to the village, but this specific clause is cause for concern. The majority of Parish Councillors voted to send the same objection response to this application.
21/0258/FUL. Land between Station Road and Cross Street -Erection of 9 dwellings -5 detached, 2 link-detached, alterations and extensions to barns to form 2 dwelling, demolition of farm building and removal of hardstanding
Councillors discussed this application and it was clarified that this replaces application 19/0150/RESM from 2019. It was noted that no affordable houses or a shop are included in this application. Questions were raised around the growth level of the village and the number of houses being built in relation to the neighbourhood plan. Concern was raised around the lack of affordable housing but agreed that it does appear to conform to the neighbourhood plan. It is currently unclear whether the Community Infrastructure levy would be applicable. It was suggested that an agreement with the Parish Council to support the community in some way may be an alternative. The Parish Councillors had some concerns around the lack of affordable housing but agreed to this application.
21/0370/TCA. T1 Cherry tree, The Green - fell and plant replacement
Councillors expressed concern about this application and hoped that the affected footpath could instead be ramped. The majority of Parish Councillors voted to object to this application.
21/0342/HOUS. 42 Queensway -Removal of existing front porch and erection of new larger porch. The Parish Council support this application.
21/0331/HOUS. Mere Oaks Cottage Plough Hill -Erection of a carport and first floor extension. It was noted that the building materials for the extension appear to differ from the original building, but the Parish Council do not object to this application.
21/0293/HOUS. School House Nocton Road -erection of new rear extension and porch and replacement of all windows and roof. The Parish Council support this application.
13. Monthly Risk Assessment
Cllr Clarke explained that a curb stone near the entrance to Queensway is loose, this will be reported.
All Payments total = £1,518.03
Balance total = £8,539.33
NS & I balance = £13,161.13
Next meetings: 2021 – 26th April, 24th May, 28th June, 26th July
Annual Parish Meeting Date TBD due to Covid 19
Appendix 1. Cllr Oxby. LCC report March 2021
At Februarys' full County Council the main topic was this years' Budget proposals. Most were voted for, but with a few surprizes. The general rate increase of 1.99% was expected and the proposed 3% extra for adult care was withdrawn. A £12m saving on the previous year had resulted in this proposed increase being now not being required. A proposed £10m increase on road funding was increased on the day to £12.5m and was gratefully received. The winter has taken a toll on our road system resulting in our usual supply of pot holes! Currently we have a back log of around 5000 pot holes to address, although seemingly a large number, back in 2018 we had 20,000 to contend with but extra teams were brought in to deal with these and are still being used today.
The Business Support Grant announced in February was also given the go ahead. This £12m fund invites between 1000 and 2000 business to apply for grants up to £10.000. This allows those businesses which couldn't apply for the governments grants announced during the two phases of lockdown, to apply directly to the County Council. Already the first phase was completed at the end of February and further businesses can apply for the second and subsequent phases.
The latest Green Master Plan was also given the go ahead. The council is aiming to be carbon free by 2050 and has already being implementing some of these policies for some time.
Small property flooding incidents will benefit from a new fund now being set up. In the past only larger flooding issues affecting multiple properties have been the priority but now even single issues can hopefully now be addressed.
A review in the Minerals and Waste local plan is being undertaken and most of the current policies will be reviewed and updated where necessary.
A pre-application planning charge is being introduced by the county council. Currently no council is obliged to do this, but most do and it is recognised that officer time is taken up during this process and a charging policy is being drawn up. The county mainly deals with large applications which will not normally affect householder applications, which normally is dealt with by the districts.
We are now reaching the end of the council four year term and elections will take place in May. With the Covid situation appearing last year, it has changed the way that parishes, district and county councils have had to operate. Technology has come to the rescue with 'Teams' meetings and 'Zoom' meetings being now the temporary normal, although I am prevented from using Zoom by the council, I hope my monthly updates have been useful keeping the parishes and county connected during these unusual times.
Next month we will be in 'Purdah' this is the six week period before the election takes place so information from councillors is restricted, so this is my final 'normal' report to you, next months' may be 'short and sweet'.
Appendix 2. Cllr Cucksey. NKDC report February 2021
Up to the end of January 2021, in-year collection for Lincoln and North Kesteven are down by 2.83% and 1.47% respectively, compared to the same point in 2019/20. Due to the financial impacts of Covid-19 on residents’ incomes, officers have been allowing deferrals of payments in relevant circumstances, although this means that these deferred monies will still need to be collected in the coming months. Therefore, in the current climate, these reduced levels of collection are not unexpected.
NK Plan 2021-24 was recommended for approval by the Executive Board at their meeting held on 18th February. In the NK Plan 2021-24, the Council retains its five core priorities – Communities, Council, Economy, Environment, and Homes. The response to and future recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is reflected within the NK Plan structure, with the inclusion of a specific extension to the Council’s purpose statement and amendment to the Our Economy priority. The NK’s recent annual refreshes have been supported by significant resident survey responses alongside consultations with a range of stakeholder groups. A total of 828 residents and stakeholders responded to the single consultation survey, with this, from an NK Plan perspective, focused on what residents and stakeholders view as “most important” and “most in need of improvement”.
Delivery of the Test and Trace Support Payments project from September 2020 to January 2021 was a key project to help people cope with changes in financial circumstances due to needing to self-isolate. Working under the Head of Shared Revenues and Benefits, a cross-Councils project team came together with members from a range of service areas, to proactively develop processes, an online application form as well as a policy for discretionary scheme cases. This was a great example of a holistic approach to service delivery, taking on board a range of expertise and ideas.
The Executive Board on 17th February approved the revision of the Safeguarding Policy. The council is to support the dissemination of the revised Policy and roll out of refresher training to complement that defined by the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Boards. Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership is a statutory multi-agency board made up of representatives from the Local Authority, Police, Health Authority, Probation Trust, Youth Offending Service, the Voluntary Sector, and others. Whilst the overarching responsibility for investigation into abuse and appropriate action sits with Lincolnshire County Council and the Police, the District Council has a statutory duty to safeguard children and adults, and to cooperate with other agencies.
Following the practice in recent years, a Tenant Liaison Panel discussion on the Housing Revenue Account Budgets has been undertaken where the Tenant Liaison Panel voted in favour of the proposed 1.5% rent increase for 2021/22. Furthermore, the rent increase was also supported by the Performance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Panel at its meeting on 18th January 2021. Rent levels for 2021/22 had been calculated in accordance with Government requirements for Councils to set ‘Formula Rent’ per the Rent Standard 2020 Guidance. Social Landlords has now returned to formula rent for 2020/21 to 2024/25 after 4 years of 1% reductions (2016/17 - 2019/20).
NK Financial Plan 2021/22 – Council – 2 March 2021
Over many years now this Council has successfully looked to balance the difficult financial position that it has faced as a result of the economic recession of 2008 and the subsequent impact on Local Government funding, along with its desire to see growth and continued investment in the district.
Whilst this last year and the Covid 19 pandemic has been a challenge for the Council, experiencing, like many businesses within the district, significant financial stress as a consequence, the Financial Plan, once again allows us to take a long term view to help guide the Council with its spending and investments plans.
It is very pleasing to see that the considerable effort that we have put in over the last 12 months has once again led to a balanced and strong financial position moving forward. While we may not be quite out of the woods yet with Covid 19, we have once again been able to maintain a robust financial position with prudent estimates and provisions in place that not only allow the Council to financially chart a way through what is a period of unparalleled uncertainty but that continues to allow for the development of its ambitious and achievable capital investment plans that are aimed at seeing significant economic growth and the development of housing within the district over the next 10 years.
On top of this we are also looking to invest some of the windfall that the Council will receive next year as a result of the Government’s decision to again delay the reviews of Local Government Finance by both supporting its long term plans and by allocating specific amounts to help deliver against key priorities; the delivery of the Environment Strategy; targeted initiatives focused on Public Health, Health and Wellbeing and Mental Health and by looking to pump prime projects, building on the agile and remote working initiatives that have been deployed over the past year.
I am pleased to say that the Council has established comprehensive, long term budget plans that drive forward the achievement of its priorities outlined by the NK Plan.
Appendix 3. Hanworth Country Park statement
They wanted to take this opportunity to explain a little about how Hanworth came to be a reality and what the plans are for the future.
As most of you know Stephen is a Farmer and Cannon is a builder by trade. They have both dreamt of building a holiday park for years. After months of discussion’s, they finally decided to join forces in 2016 and Hanworth Country Park was no longer just a dream, it became a reality. With the lakes already established many years ago, it made sense to utilise them and transform them into the beautiful surroundings that they are today. This has by no means been an easy task, they have both put their hearts and souls into making it happen and have built it with love.
They genuinely could not have expected the support that they have received so far, and they are extremely grateful to everyone that has played a part in that. Unfortunately, every step Stephen and Cannon makes is met with hostility and objection by a handful which causes unnecessary and unfounded harm and expense.
When they built the park, they built it with an aim to bring the community together, being able to offer work to people of all ages from Potterhanworth and surrounding villages. For groups and families of all ages to enjoy. So far, they believe they have achieved that, and although they are far from perfect, they can honestly say that they have tried their best.
Mistakes have been made with the design and layout in some areas (hindsight is a wonderful thing). For example, the reception location on site and the number of toilets in Brewers. They have recently submitted planning permission for a new reception to be built nearer to the entrance of the site to rectify this early error. As explained in the application, this is for the purpose of being able to better monitor people coming on and off site for security and safety reasons, also, a more practical location for responding to emergency situations and allow vehicles that may need access. This will also allow them to make the existing reception into more toilets as they feel that Brewers would benefit from an increase in facilities. Not having experience in this specific area, a lot of what they have achieved so far is based on trial and error. Hence the reason for the variations to the original planning. They have tried to take on board customer feedback and make a better working environment for their staff. Surely this is a good thing?
In terms of the aim for the future, past representation has said that they want to turn Hanworth Country Park into a residential park. They would like to take this opportunity to let you know categorically, that is not the case. They are looking to have the 28-day rule changed to allow owners of static caravan’s flexibility to visit as they wish and to come more than once within 28 days if they desire. The current conditions only allow 1 visit every 28 days regardless of the length of time they stay. They may want to spend both May bank holidays here, but at present the conditions stop any visitor from being able to do this, whether they are touring, glamping or using the holiday homes or lodges.
Looking forward to the future, they have an aim to provide a purpose made unit to work with the charity Help the Heroes with a view to help combat stress and support rehabilitation. There will be fund raising for this and there has been discussions and support from a resident of Potterhanworth, with regards to this matter. For this, the aim is to provide a sanctuary for our troops to give something back to them for fighting for our Country. Surely, when that time comes you will support such a cause.
The site will also cater for events including, weddings, parties, fun days etc. We have a vintage car show and fayre booked for the 31 July. This will include live music and be a really good way to get people back out there after the awful year that everyone has just had. It will give people something to look forward to. Although this is an independent event and they have just hired the site, it will be a ticket event, and at the parks request they have made provisions for village residents to be able to purchase tickets. Again, this will be done on a trial-and-error basis, they are aware that it may cause some disruption and they want to work with you to be able to iron out the creases and ensure that it does not impact on the lives of the villagers. Music will be stopped at 12am and they would welcome constructive criticism on how it did or didn’t affect people in the village. They also want to support the pub, and they have often told residents about it, several of which they know have visited.
Stephen and Cannon have lots of ideas to develop the park, but they want to achieve this in a tasteful way. Each stage of development will enable them to offer employment for all ages; from teenagers who want a summer job, right the way through to semi-retired people that just want to get out and not be idle. The shop is a convenience store for both occupants of the site and residents of Potterhanworth, negating the need to drive to neighbouring settlements. They also want to look at utilising the natural surrounding areas of the park to be more wildlife friendly and have contacted the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust to get advice and support on how to do this. They have already catered for owls, hedgehogs, and bats by placing natural habitat boxes around the site.
During the first lockdown they were able to provide a safe outdoor haven for everyone that had been staring at the same four walls for 3 months, they opened the park for your daily exercise and after restrictions lifted slightly, as a picnic area and a go to place for that beer on tap that you had all been craving for. During the two other lockdowns they have continued to allow people to use their park for daily exercise and managed to stay open for pleasure fishing. Again, providing sanctuary for anyone that needed it. They have just added a link to their website with a list of walking routes which can be used by everyone.
Their biggest aim is to build a relationship with you, the villagers and whilst most of you are supporting the site in principle, they find the continued and persistent objections to every step of development goes beyond planning and is more personal. They feel that this is a personal attack on them and in fact nothing to do with the development of the park, if this is the case they ask why?
You are proud of your village and they want Hanworth Country Park to be part of that pride. They are always open to and welcome suggestions of any kind, so please talk with Stephen and Cannon.
They hope this has given you some insight into their dream and helped you to understand that for them it genuinely is not just about making money and cramming as many holiday homes as they can onto the site, it is about building something for the future, fulfilling their dreams and building something that you of as a village can be proud of and can enjoy for many years to come.
Appendix 4. Hanworth Country Park objection from member of public
Hanworth Country Park - Planning Application no. 21/0211/VARCON
Contrary to what has just been said, I don’t consider this to be a personal matter - it is simply a planning issue.
I start by saying that I realise that the Country Park has become a popular venue for the village and I am certainly not trying to stop that!
I am so concerned about this application that I have instructed a professional planning consultant to prepare my objection letter. This is a summary:
1. While only one reason was stated in the refusal notice on the previous identical application, this does not preclude further reasons now being applied.
2. Twelve months is an insufficient period to assess the viability of the current business. Three years as a minimum needs to have elapsed.
3. If there is strong demand for people to own caravans here then there is also strong demand for holiday accommodation.
4. The financial information provided should not be withheld from public view, otherwise it relies on scrutiny by the Planning Officer who cannot give an independent view having already supported the application.
5. It would also be wrong to refer it to the Council’s own Economic Development Dept, who have already supported applications at this site. It should be referred for totally independent assessment, if not available in full to the Planning Committee.
6. The applicant quotes other sites without the 28 day rule, but in this particular case, the original consent was only given by the Chairman’s casting vote subject to the imposition of the 28 day rule.
7. Neither the Officers nor the Council’s legal adviser raised any concerns at the time. Why now?
8. To allow permanent use of the mobile homes now flies in the face of the original approval and would effectively countenance a new satellite settlement in open countryside.
9. If the original application had been on the basis of this application, there is no doubt it would have been refused.
10. To allow this application now would weaken the Council’s case if a subsequent application is submitted for a change to permanent occupation.
11. The enforcement of a condition allowing dwellings to be used for holiday accommodation with no other restrictions is fraught with difficulty. If somebody lives here and then has two weeks holiday elsewhere, this condition would be complied with. It is necessary to ensure that owners of caravans are paying Council Tax on a main dwelling elsewhere.
12. If someone lives there for ten years without being detected they can then automatically claim permanent residence. So if this restriction is not properly monitored, consent is effectively being granted for a development in direct contravention with local and national planning policy.
13. The economic benefits of unrestricted use of the caravans will not bring the benefits to the local economy which short term lets will do. The benefits to the local economy from servicing and cleaning of caravans, and significant visitor spend will be lost.
14. For all these reasons this application should be refused. Otherwise there is a real risk that these mobile homes will become permanent dwellings. I fear this could change the nature of the Country Park for the worse and make it less attractive to visitors from the village. Nothing has changed since the last application and I hope the Parish Council will once again object unanimously!