BELSTONE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes for the meeting of Belstone Parish Council held on 27th September 2022 in the Meeting Room, Belstone Village Hall at 7.30 pm
Michael Ash (Chairman), Peter Cooper, Susan Norrish, Jon Pike, Theresa Weaver, Simon Hill
Sally Fullwood (Clerk), Peter Hammond (representing the Cricket Club). Lorraine Perryman.
The Chairman opened the meeting with a minute’s silence in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
2022/23-82 Disclosures of Interests
Simon Hill disclosed his interest in item 2022/23-95C Storage shed.
Michael Ash disclosed his interest in item 2022/23-88 as he is a Trustee of the Cricket Club
2022/23-83 Apologies for Absence
Cllr Paul Boyce sent his apologies.
Cllr Lynn Daniel of West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) sent her apologies.
Cllr James McInnes of Devon County Council (DCC) sent his apologies.
David Goodwin-Hughes was unable to attend to discuss item 95C.
Peter and Lynne Wood were unable to attend to discuss item 88.
2022/23-84 Public Participation
The Chairman decided that the public participation on the Cricket Club and the planning items would be heard before the respective items. There were no other items.
The minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 12th July 2022 were considered, agreed and signed as a correct record.
2022/23-86 Borough & County Councillor Statements
The reports from Cllr Lynn Daniel (WDBC) and Cllr James McInnes (DCC) were noted.
2022/23-87 Chairman and Vice-Chair’s Announcements
Cllr Ash (Chairman) reported that the Jubilee Tree Plaque is rusting through the lettering after only 3 months. It was agreed that a complaint should be made to the suppliers to ask for a replacement. Action: Clerk to write to the suppliers.
Cllr Weaver (Vice-Chair) proposed that the Book of Condolences for Her late Majesty the Queen should be safely kept by the church, with a copy going in to the local historical records. Revd. Stephen Cook is keen that the book is kept in the locality. This was agreed.
Cllr Weaver (Vice-Chair) reported that a volunteer was needed to liaise with other local councils to campaign for the outreach post offices to continue. Action: Cllr Weaver volunteered to liaise with Derek Moore of Sticklepath Parish Council in this matter.
2022/23-88 Rew Meadow Cricket Club
Peter Hammond spoke to the meeting about the need for fund-raising for a new pavilion at the Cricket Club. He asked the Parish Council for a grant which would also assist the club in gaining other grants.
Cllr Pike pointed out that the Council’s Grant Giving Policy would need to be changed in order to donate because it currently limits grants to charitable organisations. It would also require an addition to the budget, so could be included in the 2023/24 budget to be decided at the end of November. It was agreed that no grant could be awarded at this time, but the Council thanked Peter for his contribution.
Action: Clerk to reply to Peter and Lynne Wood who had written in support of Peter Hammond’s request.
A. Change of Bank Accounts (Resolution 2021/22-45B)
Cllr Pike reported that the new Lloyds bank account has been set up. Lloyds Bank have paid £40 as compensation for mistakes in setting it up, and £29 for the cost of phone calls. Cllr Pike is happy that the phone call costs are retained by the Council. Those who have business banking for Skaigh Wood will see the account on their banking apps.
Action: Cllr Pike will change the correspondence address.
Action: Clerk will change the direct debit over, and transfer the balance, closing the NatWest account, when all cheques have cleared.
B. Recent Transactions
The following transactions were noted:
• Interest July 13p
• Paid – SLCC Membership £56
• Compensation from Lloyds for delays £69
Statement Balance (Current) £1,584 + (Savings) £1,643 + (Lloyds) £69 = £3,296
C. Payments to be Authorised
Proposal to authorise the following payments:
• Clerk’s Gross Salary £488.45
• Reimbursement to Ella Curnow for Phone Box Paint approx. £13.78.
• Donation to Okehampton District Community Transport Group £30
Proposer: Cllr Pike, Seconder: Cllr Norrish, all agreed
2022/23-90 Mid-Year Budget
The Clerk presented the accounts for the half year. The Council is within budget.
2022/23-91 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk had circulated a report detailing actions taken, available on the website or by application to the Clerk. This was noted.
2022/23-92 Electronic Communications
Cllr Hill reported that the new email system has been set up and most councillors are now on the new system. He has yet to visit Cllr Cooper and Cllr Boyce to set them up. The Council thanked Cllr Hill for his time in setting this up.
2022/23-93 Asset Inspection
• Telephone box – Ella Curnow has fixed this.
• Notice on Pound – Cllr Cooper has the wood and has painted it.
• Gate on Pound – Cllr Ash reported that upon inspection it was not the original gate, some screws were put in to secure the hinges, and it will be kept under review.
2022/23-94 Road Problems
The Clerk reported that:
• Although the dip in the road at the bottom of Skaigh Lane had been acknowledged as a problem by both the Neighbourhood Highways Officer and the Highways Department, nothing had yet been done. It has since deteriorated. A different hole down Skaigh Lane had been filled. Action: Clerk to contact Highways to follow it up.
• A large stone lodged in a gully at the top of Skaigh Lane had been removed.
• Action: Councillors should report any other potholes of concern on the Highways website.
A. Planning Applications
• 0304/22 Burl – Part demolition and replacement of roof to create accommodation; erection of side and rear extensions
Lorraine Perryman of Foxes Holt spoke to the meeting expressing her concern about loss of privacy and the disregard of the 30% rule in this application.
Some Councillors had visited the site to get review the proposal, and had spoken to the applicant.
Proposer: Cllr Hill, Seconder: Cllr Cooper. All agreed.
Action: Clerk to record on planning portal.
• 0320/22 The Retreat – Demolition and replacement of existing front porch
It was agreed to record no objection to the proposal.
Proposer: Cllr Weaver, Seconder: Cllr Norrish. All agreed.
Action: Clerk to record on planning portal.
• 0372/22 Land South of Moorland House, 8 metre wooden telegraph pole
It was agreed to record an objection to the proposal, stating that there is uncertainty whether the position of the pole will result in the removal of tree branches resulting in a possible loss of privacy to a Belstone resident.
Proposer: Cllr Pike, Seconder: Cllr Weaver. All agreed.
Action: Clerk to record on planning portal.
B. Outcomes of Planning Applications
The following application results were noted:
• 0218/22 Church Park – Replacement of blocked septic tank (No Objection) Grant Conditionally
• 0220/22 The Retreat – Erection of timber carport and log store (No Objection) Grant Conditionally
• 0260/22 Steeperton – Creation of two bay windows (No Objection) Grant Conditionally
• 0288/22 Equestrian field shelter at Tors Park, Belstone – (No Objection recorded after discussion between councillors) Rejected. It was agreed to note that the Council were surprised and disappointed by this rejection.
• 0299/22 Burl – Erection of single storey rear extension and conversion of existing roof space – (No comment made) Rejected
C. Potential Breach of Planning Regulations
• Storage Shed – The response of Dartmoor National Park Authority to the report of the Storage Shed breach was that the time period to complete the works had not yet expired (due 16th September). Action: Theresa will inspect the wall to check whether the wall had been changed, and the Clerk will notify Dartmoor National Park Authority that it is still incomplete.
• Resugga – It was noted that the Belstone Commoners’ Association had visited the site of the Resugga water diversion. This is a concern between the Duchy of Cornwall and the owners of Resugga.
• Cricket Club – The beech hedge growing at the Cricket Club entrance, inhibits vision so that cars need to pull out in to the road before they can see traffic. It was suggested that the hedge should be re-planted towards the granite gate posts. Two members of the public have complained to Cllr Cooper. This is a matter of Road Safety, not planning regulations.
Action: Clerk will write to the cricket club, expressing the view that the action taken has impacted on road safety, making it less safe than when the entrance to the cricket club was put in. She will invite them to attend with the meeting with the Neighbourhood Highways Officer next month. The Council requested to review the email before sending.
• Tor Down House Barn – There had been some complaints about the size of the ‘shed’ put up near the road at Tor Down House. The Council had received representations by the owners to say that they had applied for retrospective planning application, but DNPA had returned their application fee as it was not necessary. It was agreed that no action should be taken as DNPA did not consider it a problem.
2022/23-96 Great Green Parking
It was noted that the sign on the Great Green had been a great success, and no further action was needed. Action: Clerk to write to the landlord of The Tors Inn to thank him for the sign.
2022/23-97 Muddy Lane Sign
Representations had been made by several members of the public regarding vehicle traffic on the bridleways near Skaigh Farm.
Footpaths and Bridleways are the responsibility of the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA), and problems can be reported at https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/enjoy-dartmoor/outdoor-activities/report-a-path-problem
It was agreed that the members of the public should be invited to the next meeting to speak to the Neighbourhood Highways Officer about the issues, and to contact Dartmoor National Park Ranger Ian Brooker asking if they can be marked as bridlepaths.
Action: Clerk to send to emails.
2022/23-98 Eastern Parish Links Meeting
Action: Cllr Cooper volunteered to attend the meeting on 4th October if he can; Cllr Norrish will attend if Cllr Cooper cannot.
2022/23-99 Devon Association of Local Councils (DALC) Conference
It was decided not to send a representative, or a proxy vote form, to the DALC Conference on 5th October.
2022/23-100 Clerk’s Appraisal
Cllr Weaver had circulated the details of the appraisal, and was concerned about the amount of extra work that the Clerk was doing. She proposed that the Council delegate the reviewing of policies, the noticeboard, and reporting to Devon Highways. This was agreed. Cllr Weaver has already started doing the noticeboard. The Clerk’s next appraisal will be in July 2023.
2022/23-101 Clerk’s Emails
Cllr Hill had received the Clerk’s emails during her holiday period. There was a lot of traffic. He proposed that councillors subscribe directly to Devon Association of Local Councils (DALC) under their own website logins, and the Clerk would not forward them. This was agreed.
It was agreed that the Council trusted the Clerk to delete and unsubscribe from unnecessary emails, and to send any that might be of interest to Cllr Weaver to authorise action.
2022/23-102 Topical Topics
The Clerk receives various information about topics which may be of interest to the villagers, the Council needed to decide which should be promoted in a timely manner.
It was agreed that the Council would not promote anything unless they were directly involved in the topic. Proposed: Cllr Hill, seconded Cllr Norrish. Majority agreed.
2022/23-103 Items for Next Agenda
Josh Scillitoe will be attending to discuss highways topics.
Action: Cllr Hill will review the Data Protection policies for approval.
Action: Cllr Weaver and the Clerk will review the Home Working policy and provide a risk assessment, following the Clerk’s appraisal.
The meeting closed at 9.45pm.
The date of the next meeting will be Tuesday October 18th 2022.