FEN DITTON PARISH COUNCIL


Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 6th Febuary 2007

at the Recreation Ground Pavilion



Present:


Chairman: B. Felstead 

Councillors: I. Ritchie, M. Cullen, C. Jones, A. Alderson, E. Daniel and R. Slack.

Parish Clerk: L. Marshall


District & County Councillor R. Turner was in attendance.


400. Apologies were received from I. Jupp.


401. The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of the 9th January 2007 were agreed.


402. Matters Arising


i Land by the Barn

B. Felstead reported that Hewitsons had reviewed the draft deed between the Parish Council and Mr. Shaun Williams and made some minor changes that Mr. Williams has agreed to. A plan of the area is yet to be finalised. C. Jones proposed that B. Felstead and I. Ritchie liaise to draw up a definitive plan and consult with Mr. Williams before forwarding to Hewitsons. The motion was seconded by M. Cullen. The vote was unanimous. B. Felstead informed the Parish Council that due to legal obligations the deed and map would be forwarded to Mr. Gough Goodman’s solicitors.


ii Postwatch – Post office network consultation 


It was agreed that in an effort to voice concerns over the closure of rural post offices E. Daniel would complete the questionnaire on behalf of the Parish Council and return to the Parish Clerk.


403. County and District Reports 


Proposal to relocate the Milton Sewage Works to a green field site at Honey Hill near Quy


District & County Councillor R. Turner reported that he had received an email from Mark Vigor regarding the promises that Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) made to look into other options with the same attention to detail as they have done for Honey Hill. The response was as follows:


‘We have received a large number of representations on the Minerals and Waste Plan, about half of them related to the Honey Hill proposal. We are now engaged in the process of assessing and analysing the representations which will take some time. They may include other site options. We will be making the representations available as soon as possible, starting with the on-line reps which are technically the easiest to deal with.

I can confirm however that we do intend to ensure that no options have been overlooked and to provide additional information including analysis of retention on the existing site.  I can't at this stage give you a timetable for this as we need to assess whether timescales are affected by the nature of the consultation response.’


District & County Councillor R. Turner reported that of all the responses received on the whole of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Plan, over half concern Honey Hill.  This shows the extent of public reaction to the proposal to relocate the Milton sewage works.

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A ‘Save Honey Hill’ action group is in the process of being formed. The purpose of this group is to raise money in case there is a need to challenge the County Council.  The first meeting is on the 13th February.


Milton Country Park


District & County Councillor R. Turner reported that he is a member of the Milton Country Park Advisory Group on SCDC and is keen to keep the park open. However, this is a great strain on SCDC's resources (since SCDC was not able to raise the tax above government guidelines). A partner is necessary to help maintain the facilities at the park as this was what the money was being spent on. One or more partners have recently come forward so there is every possibility that the park will remain open. It was necessary to specify a date to ensure these joint parties recognised the urgency and to prompt a response from them. 


Regional Spatial Strategy


District & County Councillor R. Turner reported that he attended a planning policy meeting on 18th January, when SCDC’s response to the proposed changes to the draft revision of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the East of England was discussed.  


One important point of note is that the report recommends an increase in the number of dwellings to be built in Cambridge. Earlier drafts of the RSS had stated that 14,700 new dwellings needed to be built in Cambridge in the period covering 2001-2021.  The panel report has increased this figure to 19,000 over the same period, whilst also rejecting the notion that a further strategic review of the Green Belt should be carried out.


Other proposed changes include:

Reference to Cambridge as a compact City is deleted – Councillor R. Turner is concerned that this will encourage urban sprawl rather than prevent it, the need is more to keep a compact city and look for sustainable development in the sub-region and prevent more development on the edge of Cambridge.

Regional target for affordable housing to be reduced from 40% to 35% - Councillor R. Turner is concerned as this is against the ideals of sustainability.

Requirement for employment to contribute to affordable housing to be removed from plan. Councillor R. Turner feels this is unhelpful.

Housing figures quoted are now to be seen as minimum figures not maximum. Councillor R. Turner is concerned that this will make controlling development in the area much harder as there will be less control.

Policy opposing 2nd runway at Stansted is to be removed

Policy on Travellers and gypsies is to be included.

New chapters to consider climate change, co2 emissions, renewable energy and water, which Councillor R. Turner supports.


Other SCDC comments and concerns included:

Need to have infrastructure in place before developments start and to catch up on what has been lacking so far.

Cambridge is full, suggestion to expand in Fenlands and Haverhill area.


The consultation runs until 9th March 2007 with final a version being published mid 2007.


404. Conservation


i Village Trees


High Street

It was reported that as complaints had been received from residents about an Elder tree blocking the bin lorry at the bottom of the High Street, two quotations were sought for both the removal of this tree and also the removal of the basal suckers on the line of Lime trees on the High Street. Herald quoted £900. Acacia Tree Surgery quoted £765. The suggestion was put to the Highways department that the Parish Council organise for this work to be carried out and forward the bill to the Highways department. Highways agreed to organise the work themselves. Parish Clerk to chase.


Wadloes Footpath

It was reported that the high winds had caused some damage to trees on Wadloes footpath and this had been reported to Highways, who had promised to clear them up. In the meantime, A. Alderson reported that he had found some paperwork indicating that both the City and the County Council had been involved with a company called Sustrans on the project of planting trees and bushes along Wadloes footpath. Planning documents seem to indicate that the upkeep of Wadloes footpath is not the responsibility of the Parish Council. A. Alderson to liaise with Parish Clerk to draft letters of enquiry.


Recreation Ground

It was reported that the three Chestnut trees on the Recreation Ground are in a very bad state and need to be removed. Quotations from Herald and Acacia have been obtained. Herald quoted £1200. Acacia quoted £690. It was decided to accept Acacia’s quotation. Parish Clerk to organise. A. Alderson reported that tree grants are available from South Cambs District Council. Recreation Ground Trust to apply for both the tree and the hedge planting grant.


ii Tree Works – Honeysuckle Cottage, 6 High Ditch Road, Fen Ditton


I. Ritchie declared an interest in this matter and withdrew from the discussion. The proposal is to remove two trees that block light. It was reported that the Tree Officer from South Cambs District Council had seen the trees in question and is happy for them to be removed. It was decided to grant permission to remove the trees.


iii Milton Country Park Closure


The Parish Council agreed to support the petition to keep Milton Country Park open. The advice for those interested in protesting against the closure is to lobby their local District Councillor. District and County Councillor R. Turner fully supports the petition.

405. Recreation Ground


i General Report

It was reported that the Village Green Space grant has been finalised.





406. Highways


i Pot-holes


It was reported that the Highways department have carried out some temporary repairs on the pot-holes in the village.


407. Cemetery


i Request to erect wooden crosses


The request to erect three wooden crosses was granted. Parish Clerk to organise.


It was reported that a tree has fallen down in the cemetery and some general clearing up needs to be done. R. Slack to organise.


408. Planning 


i Appeal: S/1609/06/F & S/1610/06/LB – Alteration to boundary wall, attachment of new 4 bedroom dwelling and carport. Removal of lean-to outbuilding from dovecote, convert to games-room/home-office, clean and repair damaged brickwork and install glazed door. Attach new section of boundary wall with garden gate. Land adj. Home Farm, 25 High Ditch Road. C. Brown.


It was decided to reiterate the original objections to this planning application.


ii Applications to be considered:


i S/0078/07/F – Erection of Garage/Workshop – 41a Green End, Fen Ditton – Mr. and Mrs. S. Austin. Recommended: ‘Refusal’ as the roofline is very high and not in keeping with the village streetscape.


409. Accounts


i The following invoices were agreed:

i Laura Marshall – Salary and expenses for January: £233.88

ii Cambridgeshire ACRE – Membership renewal: £25

iii Herald – Cut Hawthorn hedge in Car-park and flail cut Wadloes footpath: £509.72

iv SCDC – Euro Container: £15.28

v CCC – Street Lighting Maintenance: £130.44

vi OCS – Bus Shelter cleaning: £77.41

vii Robert Smiley – Fireworks: £422.82


410. Correspondence


i CPRE – Letter re: Planning Workshop

ii CCC – Letter re: Minerals and Waste Plan – Public Meeting 27th November 2006

iii Mr. Williams – Letter and draft Deed

iv Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority (via email)

v Letter re: trees and pot-holes

vi CCC – Documents re: Consultation on Draft Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document

vii Postwatch – Letter re: post-office closures

viii Letter re: CCC grass cutting grant 

ix Letter re: Variable message sign 

x CCC – Letter re: Changes to East of England Plan

xi Letter re: A14


411. Any Other Business


i It was reported that a new give way sign has been erected at the High Ditch Road/Horningsea Road crossroads. The old, derelict sign is still there although Highways promised to remove it some years ago. Parish Clerk to negotiate with Chris Sproston.


ii It was reported that the blue cycle and pedestrian sign on Filly Lane has fallen down. Parish Clerk to report.


iii It was reported that B. Felstead has organised a meeting with Professor Michael Carley from the School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, on 15th February to discuss the implications of the Northworks development on Fen Ditton. Other Councillors were invited to join the meeting.


412. Date of Next Meeting


The date of the next meeting will be Tuesday 6th March 2007.


The public are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council


Laura Marshall

Parish Clerk

Tel:  01223 295568

E-mail: parish-clerk@fenditton.org