PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
Held on Thursday 1st October 2020, commencing 7.30 pm.
Download a PDF of these minutes
In response to Government measures prohibiting gatherings, announced on 23rd March 2020, this meeting was conducted remotely.
Present Mr C Reeve, Chairman. Mr J O’Mahony, Vice-Chairman.
Mrs D Twitchett, Mrs M Morrey, Mr T Sheppard, Mr B Panton, Mr I Lamont, Mr R Macro, Mrs A Norman, Mrs I Mitchell.
Mr R Lindsay, Suffolk County Councillor, Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey, Babergh District Councillors for Lavenham Ward.
No members of the public joined the meeting.
Police Matters – Go to
The August 2020 copy of the County newsletter, Constable’s County. is the latest issue.
The summary of crimes reported within the parish of Lavenham, listed on Police.UK website has been updated recently to show crimes reported in August, there had been 4 crimes: Anti-Social Behaviour x 1; Violence & Sexual Offences x 2; Vehicle Crime x 1.
County Councillor’s Report, Mr R Lindsay (Robert Lindsay's Report)
All Councillors confirmed that they had read the report.
Mr Lindsay mentioned that our MP supports the building of Sizewell C but with reservations in respect of access and the use of road transport to deliver materials etc. The County Council is not against the proposal in principle but also has concerns in respect of road transport.
Mrs Twitchett asked about the claimed Restricted Byway at Brent Eleigh/Preston which joined with Clay Lane. Mr Lindsey confirmed that this had been approved by the Development and Regulation Committee.
There was concern over the cost quoted by SCC for the design of a scheme for Water Street ie. signs and street furniture more acceptable to the historic surroundings. This was quoted at £8,600, just for the design, no work or materials. This was thought excessive and Mr Reeve said that alternative prices would be sought. Mr Macro declared his interest as a resident of Water Street and hoped that those house owners whose frontages would be affected by these works could be brought into the conversation.
District Councillor’s Reports, Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey
Mrs Maybury had forwarded a report which was circulated to the Parish Councillors and follows these minutes.
Mrs Maybury added to her notes that she had attended Sudbury’s Market Hill discussions and had concerns about pedestrianised areas beside an A road. Also she felt that there should be some provision for disabled parking. Mr Reeve felt that there are too many planters and would like to see more seating.
Mr Reeve understood that there are big issues around the development of Chilton Woods, highways design and infrastructure, with no investment in the local network. Taylor Wimpey have agreed to meet with Chilton Parish Council.
Mr Arthey had also sent through brief notes. The District Council has approved its consultation response to the Govt proposed ‘Changes to the current planning system’, Mr Arthey will forward the response to the Parish Council. The response to consultation on the Government’s White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ is being formulated. Mr Arthey will keep the Parish Council up to date on this.
The new way of calculating housing need will have an effect on housing land supply in the District, this will drop to less than 3 years opening the door to speculative developments. The bringing of public realm services in-house will include playgrounds, parks and toilets owned by the District Council.
In conclusion Mr Arthey and Mrs Maybury pledged their full support to helping the Parish Council deliver its programme of projects.
The Minutes – Prop. by Mr Macro, sec. by Mrs Twitchett, the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd September 2020 were approved. Carried.
Declarations of Interest – none
Apologies for absence - none. The members were reminded that there is still a vacancy to be filled.
Matters arising and update of outstanding issues – nothing further had been heard yet regarding the letter of representation to Long Melford Practice. Also the Guildhall shop.
Lavenham Guided Tours poster request – the Guidelines had been circulated to all Councillors and the request was discussed. It was agreed that the guidelines should be adhered to and no commercial advertising should be allowed, except at the discretion of the Parish Council where an event with a commercial aspect has a beneficial outcome for the community. It was therefore agreed that the Parish Council was not able to give permission either for the temporary or permanent display of the guided tours poster. There are other methods by which businesses can advertise, such as through the Forum, notice boards in shops and No 2 Lady Street. It was noted that only drawing pins should be used to attach notices to the boards as staples are damaging the soft surfaces and are very difficult to remove.
The purchase of the red phone box in Church Street would be pursued as one use put forward had been to provide more tourist information
Finance and Strategy
Cheques paid between meetings:
Lavenham Pre-school, 2020/21 subvention payment 1 £1,000.00.
Cheques for payment:
Lavenham Woodland Project, annual grant £300.00:
idverde Ltd., public toilets works for September £1,800.00:
JPB Landscapes, (September grass cutting £928.75, street cleaning £1,253.33) + VAT £2,618.50:
Kinex, phone account Sept £37.82:
Zoom, monthly fee for remote meeting £14.39:
The Lavenham Press Ltd, NDP revision booklet £244.00: :
Fox Cars, hire of Covid19 compliant taxis for GNS appointments £240.24:
Cartridge Discount, printer inks £75.93:
Xmas Direct, 2 x 100 m lighting strings £462.98:
Lavenham Exhibition Endowment, annual grant £350.00:
Suffolk Tree Services, tree watering at Cemetery up to 21st September, 14 visits £168.00.
A letter to the Bank requests the transfer of £6,000.00 between accounts.
Remittance Advice from Babergh D C, 2nd Precept payment of £40,000.00 made.
Acknowledgement and thanks for the subvention payment received from Lavenham Pre-school.
Mr Sheppard proposed, Mrs Norman seconded, that the financial transactions are approved. Carried.
Planning Applications Received:
DC/20/03974 First Meadow Playing Field The Common Lavenham
Notification of work on trees in a Conservation Area - 1 No. Willow - reduce crown by 30 - 35 % ( reduce risk of shedding branches)
No issues Recommend Approval
DC/20/03963 Blaize House Church Street Lavenham
Notification of work to tree(s) in a Conservation Area- T1 (Oak) - reduce overhang and one branch by 4 - 5m and remove other branch 5 - 6m. T2 (Snake Bark Maple) - fell to ground.
No reason or condition report for felling tree T2. Recommend Refusal
DC/20/04030 Old Grammar School 11 Barn Street Lavenham
Notification of work on tree in a Conservation Area - T1 (Oriential Plane) - Fell.
Tree apparently in good condition, no evidence of damage to drive or wall. Recommend Refusal
DC/20/03996 24 Bolton Street, Lavenham
Notification of work to tree in a Conservation Area - T1 (Cherry) - reduce by 1 - 1.5m., T2 Cherry reduce by 1m.
No issues. Recommend Approval
DC/20/0410 The Grove Lady Street Lavenham
Notification of work on tree(s) in a Conservation Area - T1 Red Oak - fell, T2 Field Maple - fell, T3 Ash - fell
No issues. Recommend Approval
DC/20/03972 1 White Gates Lavenham
Application to carry out work to tree(s) protected by a Tree Preservation Order :- 1No. Larch reduce height by 12 - 15 ft.and shape ( close to house), 1 No. Horse Chestnut - reduce overhang by 15ft. and shape (improve light) - 1 No. Yew tree fell (dying).
No issues. Recommend Approval
DC/20/03842 & DC/20/03851 14 Shilling Street Lavenham
Householder Application & Application for Listed Building Consent - Conversion of loft to provide additional bedroom and insertion of Gable Window. Demolish Loggia and other works as per Heritage Statement.
No issues. Recommend Approval
DC/20/03918 4 Butfield Lavenham
Householder Planning Application - Conversion of Garage to additional accommodation, conversion of loft and insertion of Roof Window, erection of two storey front extension.
No issues. Recommend Approval
DC/20/03906 Graylings 5 Prentice Street Lavenham
Application for Listed Building Consent - Installation of Through Floor Lift.
Graylings is Listed Grade 2*. There was no independent Heritage Statement only report from Lift provider. It was felt that cutting through original Oak beams would cause irreversible damage to the original structure.
Following consideration of the recommendations made by the Planning working group it was proposed by Mr O’Mahony, seconded by Mrs Morrey, that the recommendations be endorsed by the meeting. Carried.
Strutt and Parker in conjunction with Marden Homes have issued a brochure to the immediate neighbours of the proposed development site off Brent Eleigh Road, inviting comments. It was agreed that the Parish Council’s imminent newsletter should offer some clarification in respect of the talks which have taken place between the developers and the Parish and District Councils. These talks are simply for the purpose of making developers aware of any local requirements or constraints regarding their proposals. They are for information sharing and no indication of support or agreement is given to the proposals.
Planning Decisions Received:
DC/20/03500 Monkshood, 31 High Street, Lavenham – no objections to Works to Trees in a Conservation Area - Reduce extended limbs of 1No Ash by up to 1m and re-pollard 1No Willow by approx 3m. Reduce height of 1No Holly tree by approx 2m as all overgrown for the size of the garden and reduce 1No Crab Apple and 1No hybrid Willow to fence height in rear garden
DC/20/03159 Drovers Cottage, 42 The Common, Lavenham – planning permission granted for erection of two storey rear extension and infill single storey rear extension (following demolition of existing single storey rear extension)
DC/20/02835 Tenter Piece Common Room, Tenter Piece, Church Street, Lavenham – planning permission granted for erection of single storey front extension and external alterations
B/16/00437 Land North West And South West Of, Norman Way, Lavenham - DISCHARGE OF CONDITION(S) TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 Discharge of conditions - Condition 11 - Approval of Energy Strategy (partial discharge), Condition 15 - Hard Landscaping, Condition 19 - Provision of Roads and Footpaths, Condition 21 - Provision of Parking and Turning, Condition 22 - Refuse Bins and Collection Areas
Former Gas Works Site – Mr O’Mahony had only one matter to report, National Grid’s proposals are due before Committee on 22nd October.
Housing & Social
Good Neighbours Scheme - Report from Mrs Twitchett:
We are still very busy with lifts to Hospital and Doctor’s appointments, over 20 since last month. So with only 4 drivers at the moment the Taxi service is invaluable. So far we have received £120.00 from Taxi user donations, most are very grateful for this service and very generous, without this service we would not have been able to help everyone.
We managed to hold a committee meeting before the restrictions of 6, our main aim was to get our Bank Account re-started. Diane Page resigned as Treasurer as she felt unsuited to on-line Banking and this is the way things are going. Virginia O'Mahoney has taken on the role and is in the process of setting up our new Account.
Everyone was pleased to hear the plans for Tenter Piece had been approved and our hope was that Babergh would move forward with our aims, so that we can improve the comfort and opportunities for those older and vulnerable residents that attend our Teas.
At this time we are not able to organise for any future events.
This also applies to the Dementia Group, when discussing this it was felt that the project may need to be re-evaluated before starting anything again.
Mrs Twitchett had one piece of news to add, a cheque for £250 for the GNS funds had been received from the PCC. Thanks have been passed on to them.
Correspondence had been received from:
a representative of a Rolls Royce and Bentley owners group asking for spaces to be reserved on the Market Place for possible 10 vehicles on a date in mid-October. With reduced parking space on the Market Place at present and the uncertainty of Covid 19 restrictions it was felt that spaces could not be reserved there. Clerk to check if the group still intends travelling to Lavenham, if so suggest they park in Church Street where more space is available.
Cathy Aubertin of Babergh Public Realm, requesting an indication as to whether the Parish Council owned any land where additional tree/hedge planting could be carried out. Babergh could possibly fund the plants with the Parish Council being responsible for future maintenance. This information to be shared with John Knight as the Woodland Group has an ambition to plant more trees in the coming year.
SALC, offering free places on a webinar on the topic of the planning White Paper consultation, circulated.
Luke Mussett, Membership and Engagement Officer, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust inviting interest in standing at their Council of Governor elections, circulated
A new resident of High Street expecting delivery of household goods in early October, delivery might take a day and she was concerned about the large vehicle possibly restricting traffic movements. She had already contacted the police and was advised to also contact SCC Highways as the authority responsible for managing roads and pavements.
The bids are still progressing through the process but there are some sticking points, ie contingency items, transfer of ownership of assets. Mr Reeve will inform of progress.
There have been talks about what the Forum might be able to arrange for the season. There will be late-night opening on 6 Friday evenings leading up to Christmas when the lighting will be on for each evening. The Christmas lighting will be fully on from the end of November. Matt Nichols is putting up and taking down the lights at the same cost as last year. Lighting strings previously erected in High Street and financed by traders have been donated to the Parish Council and will come within the scheme at an additional cost of £390. The total cost of fitting and removing all lights will be £1,890.
Some replacement lights for the Market Place have been purchased at a cost of £462.98. The overall budget could rise from £2,500 to £3,500 but there was finance to cover this from two separate sources. The increase in budget was proposed by Mr Lamont, seconded by Mr Sheppard and agreed.
Covid-19 an update
It has been agreed that another newsletter will be produced, Mr Panton has agreed to put this together but will need copy by Sunday evening in order for it to be printed and ready for distribution on Wednesday/Thursday next week.
Neighbourhood Development Plan revision
Mr Panton acting as interim chairman reported that 2 meetings have now taken place and a group of 12 volunteers have come forward.
Rachel Hogger gave a talk to the group and has prepared a plan of action, they are now moving to Stage 1. The group has been divided into three and each sub-group is preparing questions to be included in three questionnaires which are being prepared for distribution.
The group meets again tomorrow morning.
Matters to be brought to the attention of the Parish Council/future agenda items
Mr Panton raised concerns about the river and the lack of maintenance, particular near the monitoring point behind his house in Preston Road where branches from fallen trees often collected floating debris which then blocked the flow. The general overgrown state of the riverbed and banks could lead to more flooding in extreme weather. Mrs Maybury said she would help with enquiries to establish which agency is responsible for maintenance and see if there are any plans for works to be carried out.
Mrs Twitchett mentioned that the pedestrian gate onto the First Meadow needs some attention as it is not closing properly.
Mr O’Mahony drew the Council’s attention to the climate emergency report, 90+ pages but very interesting reading.
Mr Reeve and Mr Panton had shown some Royal Town Planning Institute apprentices around the Peek Close development.
A hazardous cross-pavement drain beside the Swan Hotel was reported. This appeared to have had some kind of temporary repair applied but was still considered to be a trip-hazard. Clerk to report to Highways for urgent action.
Date of next meeting: The next meeting will be held on Thursday 5th November 2020.
The meeting closed at 9.05 pm.