Meeting of Holmer and Shelwick Parish Council at 7:00PM on Monday 9th September 2019 at Holmer Park Spa, Cleeve Orchard, Hereford, HR1 1LL
Present: Marc Mohan (Chair), Mark Millmore (Parish Councillor and Ward Councillor), Neil Duggan, Andy Coultas, David Cooper, John Phipps
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk); members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Neil Flanagan and Gitta Ferguson.
2. Declarations of Interest
Andy Coultas declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in item 10.8 (Land at Bull Orchard, Shelwick).
4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
4.1. Ward Councillor
The following report was received:
The Hereford By-pass
I submitted a question to David Hitchiner, the leader of Herefordshire Council, for the full council meeting which took place at Shire Hall on 12th July.
The procedures are that you submit your question by email in good time in order to give the council’s leader time to consider an answer.
“If the council is not going to de-trunk the A49 through the city how does it plan to reroute the HGV traffic that currently has no other option but to travel through the city.”
However, when he delivered his report he neglected to answer my question. I believe this is an important issue because a significant amount of HGV traffic travels through Hereford and Herefordshire council’s own figures clearly state that Nitrogen Dioxide levels along city section of the A49 are a hazard to health.
This concern is not being taken seriously by the new council. Fortunately, I am allowed a follow-up question after councillor Hitchiner finished delivering his report.
My Follow-up question
“Councillor Hitchiner you did not answer my question in your report. The reason I asked this question is that at 8:30 am each day I take my kids to Holmer Academy, on the Holmer Road, and have been carrying out my own survey. In a ten-minute time frame, I count between 20 and 30 HGV vehicles pumping out deasil fumes just outside the school and as you may be aware this type of pollution is a known contributor to childhood asthma. Therefore, does the council have a plan to solve this problem?”
At this point councillor, Hitchiner was lost for words; he cast-about looking for an answer from the officers, ummed and ared with uncertainty for about 45 seconds and was clearly unsettled. He eventually mumbled something about a review and I thought I hear the word trains being mentioned.
I and many other councillors from all parties were not impressed by this performance and a number of following questions were asked on the same theme without a satisfactory response.
On my way out of Shire Hall, I was importuned by a group of Greens who were clearly angry that I had discomforted the Leader. One of them vociferously told me that HGV lorries are ok because they have to pass their emissions test to get an MOT. I informed him and his friends that they were hypocrites and invited them to join me on Monday at Holmer Academy at 8:30 so that they might breathe deeply of the Nitrogen Dioxide fumes. However, they all claimed that they were busy on that day. When I invited them on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday they were regrettably also busy.
Bypass Call-in the decision to delay the Hereford By-pass. 9th September 2019
A call-in is a procedure to scrutinise a decision of Cabinet after it is made but before it is implemented. It’s used to inspect if the decision was handled in accordance with the decision-making principles, for example:
Has there been inadequate consultation with stakeholders?
Is it based on poor evidence?
Does the decision materially depart from the budget and policy framework?
Has the decision-maker failed to consult with and take professional advice?
The new council’s cabinet made a decision “to delay and consider the options available regarding the major transport packages and schemes that have been developed by the council in recent years.”
However, there are many years of material research and studies available to make a decision now and it’s my view that this is a deliberate delaying tactic. The result would be that Hereford loses the £180 million investment from the central government because we failed to commit ourselves to build the bypass by November of this year. If we don’t ask for that money it will go to another project elsewhere and without that investment, we get no by-pass.
The proposals for Hereford Bypass have been developed to enable the city centre to be decarbonised and improve air quality. To this end, the traffic that does not need to be in the city centre must be removed so that the city centre space can be enabled for active travel and public transport. This means preventing car use in defined areas. How does pausing or cancelling improve the air quality within the city?
My supplementary question
Herefordshire council’s own figures clearly state that Nitrogen Dioxide levels along the city section of the A49 are a hazard to health.
The new council is actively encouraging cyclists within the city and I’m a keen bike rider.
I often cycle with my kids along Holmer Road and have noticed, as we ride, the smell of diesel fumes mainly from HGV vehicles.
How does the council reconcile its promotion of healthy activities within an environment which is a hazard to health?
Councillor Harington dismissed any questions concerning HGVs and pollution and not relevant and did not attempt to address any of the questions from the business community.
The final recommendations of the scrutiny committee were:
The pause should be suspended and the work should continue at the same time as the review.
The public, parish councils and the business community should be consulted.
The southern link road and the bypass projects should be considered separately.
All Data of relevant stockholders should be kept up to date
Planning application: 191770 – Land East of Canon Pyon.
I made a conditional referral on this application to the Planning Committee because of the number of objections and thought it would fail because of the increase in traffic onto the Canon Pyon Road. However, Highways England has no objections.
The planning application in its current form is not ready to go to the September Planning Committee meeting. Therefore, the earliest it could go to the committee would be October. This will give a bit more time for the NDP to gain more weight. If this is the case there would be a material objection because it is outside the NDP’s settlement boundary.
There will be a redirection meeting on 18th September and I will attend.
Planning application: 190342 Green The Hill Land adjacent to Walney Lane Hereford
A proposed four bedroom dwelling Refused
Ecology – Objection
Landscape – Objection
Hereford City Council – Objection
Numerous objections from residents
Traffic Lights Furlongs
Crest has agreed to fund the traffic order to install double yellow lines at the Traffic Lights on Green Wilding Road. I have arranged a meeting on 13th September to agree about what might form a reasonable extent of the proposed restriction.
Ultrafast full-fibre broadband
You may have noticed Gigalclear has been installing the cables as part of Phase 3 in North Herefordshire. This will give you ultrafast full-fibre network directly to to your property. To find out more go to https://www.gigaclear.com enter your postcode and you should get a message inviting you to register for updates.
4.2. Footpath Officer
It was noted that a report would be made available on the Parish Council’s website.
4.3. Public participation
No questions were received.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on Monday 8th July 2019
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were signed by the Chair.
6. Progress reports
6.1. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there was currently one vacancy on the Parish Council and applications were welcomed. It was resolved to undertake a letter drop on the new Bloor Homes site as there was currently no representation on the council from this area.
6.2. Election expenses return
Councillors were reminded of the requirement to complete an election expenses return.
6.3. S106 traffic calming scheme
It was resolved to secure an update for the next meeting.
6.4. Cycleway/footway, Roman Road
No update was available.
6.5. Dog fouling bins
No update was available.
6.6. Pond maintenance
It was felt that this could be undertaken gradually over a number of sessions to minimise disruption. It was resolved to keep this item on future agendas for further consideration.
6.7. Litter pick
It was noted that the recent litter pick had been a great success and the Parish Council thanked the Hereford Community Clean Up Group for their support.
6.8. Projector purchase
It was noted that a projector had been purchased for use during planning items and this would be added to the asset register accordingly (item 8.3).
6.9. Coffin bier valuation
Brightwells Auctioneers had valued the coffin bier at £500.00 and the asset register would be updated accordingly (item 8.3).
It was resolved to advertise the coffin bier for sale.
The latest training schedule was considered.
It was resolved to ask HALC for possible dates for whole council planning training (when the current councillor vacancy had been filled).
Marc Mohan would endeavour to attend the chairmanship training on Thursday 24th October 2019.
7.2. Herefordshire Council: Consultation on the review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations (2019)
It was resolved write in objection to the proposals as it was felt that division of the Holmer polling district was unnecessary.
7.3. Herefordshire Council: To note invitation to attend the Parish Council Summit on 20thSeptember 2019
The invitation was noted; Marc Mohan would endeavour to attend.
7.4. Herefordshire Council To note update on Hereford Transport Package and South Wye Transport Package
The update was noted. Mark Millmore had provided further detail in his Ward Councillor’s Report.
7.5. Resident: Reported unsafe trees, Attwood Lane
The Clerk had received correspondence regarding possible unsafe trees at Holmer Court Nursing Home, the matter had been referred accordingly and it was understood that the trees would be surveyed shortly.
7.6. HALC: To consider nominations to the HALC Executive Committee
No nominations were received.
8. Parish matters for discussion/decision
The Police’s ‘We Don’t Buy Crime’ initiative was considered. It was resolved to invite the Police to a future meeting to look at how to progress this and survey residents etc.
8.2. Tree management
Quotes were considered for maintenance of the trees on the Burial Ground (in accordance with the recommendations of the recent survey). It was resolved to accept a revised quote of £675.00 from Wye Valley Tree Services (including removal and disposal of all cuttings from site).
8.3. Asset Register
It was resolved to adopt an updated register, including the revised coffin bier valuation and new projector.
8.4. Financial Regulations
It was resolved to adopt an updated policy (NALC 2019).
8.5. Care provision
Mark Millmore would make enquiries and the matter would be considered further at a future meeting.
9. Burial Ground
9.1. Working Group
It was noted that a burial had taken place on the 30th August 2019 and £1050.00 had been received in burial ground fees.
9.2. Memorial Safety Survey
It was hoped that the memorial safety survey would be concluded in time for the next meeting (14th October 2019).
10.1. Neighbourhood Development Plan
The following update from the Steering Group was noted:
- The Holmer & Shelwick Neighbourhood plan is complete to Regulation 16 and was submitted to Herefordshire Council on 29th July 2019.
- Herefordshire Council have put forward our plan for public consultation which runs from 30th July 2019 until 24th September 2019. This is a little longer than the normal 6 weeks because of the holiday period.
- When the Regulation 16 Consultation is complete Herefordshire Council will supply the Parish Council with all of the comments received for information. They will then put together a shortlist of examiners for selection. The examiner will then decide how they wish to proceed, in most cases this is by written representations. We will not be asked to comment or make amendments to the Plan unless the examiner asks us to do so.
- After examination we will be advised of the results and any required amendments.
- Once passed, the next step is adoption of the plan by parish wide referendum.
10.2. 191313 Planning Appeal (Land at Lyde Cross Tree Farm, Munstone, Hereford, HR1 3AE)
It was noted that the following comments had been submitted by the Clerk:
Holmer and Shelwick Parish Council considered this application at their meeting 20/05/19 and wish to object to the proposals.
This land is a green field site lying outside of the proposed settlement boundary in the Parish Council’s emergent Neighbourhood Development Plan, currently at regulation 16 stage. Herefordshire Council’s Core Strategy Local Plan (adopted in October 2015) sets strategic planning policy for housing and other development in the county’s rural area over the period 2011-2031. Policy RA1 of the Core Strategy identifies seven rural housing market areas for the county. Holmer and Shelwick fall within the Hereford Rural Housing Market Area (HRHMA). Policy RA1 sets an indicative growth target for this whole area of 18%, 2011-2031. Herefordshire Council’s growth target for the two villages has been set as 17 new homes, 2011-2031. This figure has been calculated by basing the growth target on the number of houses in 2011 in the rural area, i.e. outside of the built form on the Roman Road. Existing commitments (houses completed, houses under construction and planning permissions for new homes) totalled 27 in December 2018. The area has already far exceeded Herefordshire Council’s quota for new housing provision and as such any additional development cannot be justified.
10.3. 192563/FH: 20 Turnberry Drive, Holmer, Hereford, Herefordshire HR1 1LP. Proposed first floor extension and alterations.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.
10.4. 192460/O: Hawthorne Farm, Shelwick, Herefordshire. Proposed erection of an agricultural workers dwelling.
It was resolved to write in support of the proposals. It was noted that the application was in line with the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan, currently at Regulation 16, which supports the development of rural enterprise in the parish.
10.5. 192648/F: The Rosie, Management Accommodation, Coldwells Road, Holmer, HR1 1LH. Variation of condition 1 of Planning application P140049/F (Retrospective planning for residential caravan, garden storage shed/garage, conservatory, patio, single storey kitchen extension, single storey staff room extension and resurfacing to existing hardstanding). Amendment to allow for use of any of the staff.
It was resolved to object to the proposals.
It is asserted that the supporting plans are inaccurate and potentially misleading and it is recommended that the planning officer should verify the accuracy of these documents by visiting the site.
Further to the Parish Council’s previous objection to P140049, they maintain that there is no requirement for a residential caravan at this location. Furthermore the proximity to the children’s play area makes the site particularly unsuitable and negatively impacts upon the viability of this community facility by reducing the available outside space.
10.6. 192874/FH: 15 Orchard Close, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR4 9QY. Proposed single storey extension to form sun room / dining area.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.
10.7. 192445/F: Land to the South of Oak Willows, Burcott, Hereford. Erection of two detached dwellings with associated access, parking and amenity provision, including permission for two static caravans to be temporarily inhabited during the construction process.
It was resolved that the Parish Council object to the proposals. It is felt that the loss of a wildlife site and open greenspace would be to the detriment of the local environment and the site should therefore be preserved and maintained.
10.8. 192785: Land at Bull Orchard, Shelwick, Hereford. Proposed Outline application for a residential development of 4 properties with all matters reserved.
Andrew Coultas had declared an interest and left the room for the duration of discussions relating to this item.
It was resolved to object to the application. This land is a green field site lying outside of the proposed settlement boundary in the Parish Council’s emergent Neighbourhood Development Plan, currently at regulation 16 stage. Herefordshire Council’s Core Strategy Local Plan (adopted in October 2015) sets strategic planning policy for housing and other development in the county’s rural area over the period 2011-2031. Policy RA1 of the Core Strategy identifies seven rural housing market areas for the county. Holmer and Shelwick fall within the Hereford Rural Housing Market Area (HRHMA). Policy RA1 sets an indicative growth target for this whole area of 18%, 2011-2031. Herefordshire Council’s growth target for the two villages has been set as 17 new homes, 2011-2031. This figure has been calculated by basing the growth target on the number of houses in 2011 in the rural area, i.e. outside of the built form on the Roman Road. Existing commitments (houses completed, houses under construction and planning permissions for new homes) totalled 27 in December 2018. The area has already far exceeded Herefordshire Council’s quota for new housing provision and as such any additional development cannot be justified.
11.1. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.
11.2. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.
11.3. Bank mandate
It was resolved to approve the bank signatory arrangements and the mandate paperwork was duly signed.
11.4. Schedule of payments
It was resolved to approve the schedule of payments and cheques were duly signed.
11.5. Clerk’s delegation
Payments made between scheduled meetings under the Clerk’s delegated authority were noted.
12. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
Councillors reported that the Bloor Homes site traffic lights were on timers and were not being triggered by vehicles, to the detriment of traffic flow. It was resolved to contact Herefordshire Council to see if this could be remedied.
It was suggested that Bloor Homes might provide benches around the balancing ponds; Mark Millmore would make enquiries.
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
- S106 traffic calming scheme (update)
- Pond maintenance
- Care provision
- Memorial safety survey
- Background information on possible Community Governance Review
- 2020 budget/finance review
13. Date of the next meeting
It was resolved to hold a short meeting to discuss finance and the 2020 budget at 6:30PM on Monday 14th October 2019. This would be immediately followed by the scheduled meeting at 7:00PM on Monday 14th October 2019.