Category Archives: Agenda & Minutes of meetingss

Minutes of Parish Council meeting – 25th September 2017

held in Stert House on 25th September 2017

Clive Boyes (CB), Chairman
Sam Deacon (SD), Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB),  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk

1. Apologies for absence 
Alick Edwards and Chris Lawrence sent their apologies.

2.  Declaration of Interest 
SD informed that she had recently applied to WC for permission to fell several trees on her property including the leylandii that were obscuring the view from the churchyard.

3.  Minutes of previous meetings
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting and the previous PC meeting held on 17th July were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by SD) and signed by CB.

4.  Treasurer’s Report
LB reported that since the last meeting, there had been a single expenditure of £54 for a gift to Mr. Neville Burrell in lieu of fee for the internal audit. A donation of £30 had been received for use of the village chairs for a wedding. The balance now stands at £2790.53, as confirmed in the passbook by WH.

Our income for the current year is £1036.21 compared to £1018.03 this time last year. Our expenditure this year totals £269.25 compared to £570.92 for this time last year.

LB was pleased to report that the 2016/17 accounts had been approved by the external auditor. She requested approval to pay Alick Edwards £300 for the past year’s verge maintenance and this was unanimously approved.

5.  Neighbourhood Watch
WH had circulated a report to residents from Wiltshire Police about thefts from parked cars especially at out-of-the-way sight-seeing spots, giving advice on how to take precautions. Apart from this, there was nothing specific to report.

6.  Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
CB reported that WC’s decision on the revised planning application had recently been postponed until 20th October to allow Grist Environmental to clarify further aspects of their application following the receipt of comprehensive comments from North Wessex Downs ANOB and Etchilhampton Parish. These mostly concerned the construction of the proposed bund along the eastern boundary to mitigate the negative visual impact of the site and the timing of these works. Concerns were also raised about congestion on A342 due to site traffic and the mud it brought onto the road. The application should clarify where the material for the construction of the bund would be sourced and give a definite time scale for its completion.

SD suggested that the problem of the mud on the road should be directed to the Environment Agency.

7.  A342 verge maintenance
It was noted that work had started on clearing and resurfacing the footpath beside A342, starting opposite the Fox and Hounds pub and working towards the Tinkfield Recycling site. When this section was finished, work would start on the section between Stert Lane and Clock Inn.

8.  Sale of Land at Stert.
CB said he understood that the contract for the sale of the land opposite Fullaway Farm was signed last week. The new owner intends to use it as a nature conservation area.

9.  Claironailes
The new owner of Claironailes has said he intends to put the property up for auction in the near future. The PC will carefully monitor any future planning applications for the development of this property.

10.  AOB
10.1 Discharge into Stert Brook. Last month, Rachel Lawrence reported a bright orange discharge which she noticed in the stream at the ford by Mill Cottage. LB and SD traced this upstream to the discharge point from below the old WC landfill site (now beneath Grist Environmental waste transfer station). LB took a sample of the water from the stream (although this was not analysed) and reported the incident to the Environment Agency. The EA did not consider the incident to require emergency response and instead referred the matter to WC. Neither the EA or WC have taken any action, nor WC responded to the PC’s detailed questions regarding the incident. It appears that the sudden discharge may have been caused by work done by a WC’s field maintenance contractor while replacing the old pipework at the discharge point.

After much discussion, it was concluded that this was probably an isolated incident and whilst the PC sought action, the regulators considered no further action was required. Residents are asked to report any reoccurrence of water pollution incidents immediately to the EA Pollution Incident Hotline 0800 80 70 60 and then to the PC so that the matter can be pursued further.

10.2 Motocross. CB reported that a Motocross (dirt biking) event had been held in Potterne Wick on two occasions, the latest on 26th August from 9 am till 6pm. Because of the noise disturbance, Potterne PC had tried to prevent these meets, but WC had issued a licence some years ago. Stert PC had also received complaints from residents about the noise. Potterne PC was presently discussing the future of the event with WC with a view to have the licence revoked.

10.3 The Christmas Party will be held on 22nd December at Stert House. The PC thanked CB and Georgie Boyes for again offering their house for the occasion. CB added that the carol singing around the village would be on 18th December and the carol service in the church would be on 20th December.

Other village events in the near future are:
Sat 14th October Concert in St James’: Music for Awhile, Bach and Sons
Fri 3rd November Stert Talk by W. Howkins: “My world adventure as a civil engineer”
Sun 19th November Recital in St James’, 2 violins and organ, Daphne Moody et al.
Fri 8th December Stert Talk by David Stephenson, “Hip replacement, technology in motion”
For further details, see Parish Website “”.

11.  Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Monday 11th December at 7.30 pm in Stert House.


Minutes of Parish Council Meeting – 17th July 2017

held in Stert House on 17th July 2017

Clive Boyes (CB), Chairman
Alick Edwards (AE), Dty Chairman
Chris Lawrence (CL), Councillor
Sam Deacon (SD), Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB),  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk

1  Apologies for absence
There were no apologies for absence.
2.  Declaration of Interest  
There were no declarations of interest.
3.  Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
Having expressed their willingness to continue to serve, CB and AE were unanimously elected Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively (both proposed by CL and seconded by SD).
4.  Minutes of previous meetings
The Minutes of the Annual PC meeting held on 22nd May were approved (proposed by CL and seconded by AE) and signed by CB. The minutes of the Special PC meeting held on 7th June were approved (proposed by LB and seconded by CL) and signed by CB.
5.  Treasurer’s Report
LB reported that since the Annual Meeting on 22nd May, a single payment of £212.25 had been made for the parish insurance, as approved at that meeting. £90 had been received from the Scotts and Herrod-Taylors as donations for the use of the PC’s marquees and £1.16 was received as interest of the parish account. The balance now stands at £2814.53, as confirmed in the passbook by WH.

LB reported she had checked what benefits there were from the PC’s membership of the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils. She could see none and therefore proposed that our membership should not be renewed for 2017/18. This was agreed.
6.  Neighbourhood Watch
AE had no incidents to report and WH reported that, apart from some routine warnings from Wiltshire Police, which he had passed on to residents, there was nothing particular to report.
7.  Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
Planning application documents had been received from WC for the retroactive approval of the revised plans submitted by Grist Environmental for the lean-to extension of the new sorting shed, extension of the existing baler shed and the relocation of the eastern bund some 40 metres from its original position into the adjacent field. This relocation is to allow for a 20 m emergency/fire protection lane behind the extended sorting shed as stated in the Design and Access Statement. The PC had been shown these plans at the Special Meeting with Grist Environmental on 7th June, previously minuted.

Following further discussion of the new application, the PC had no objection to the extensions of sorting and baler sheds, but were concerned about the screening of the site when viewed from A342 near the Lion Monument. The plans do not show the extent to which the site would be hidden by the proposed bund and planting, as commented by Charles Routh of Somerset, Avon and Wiltshire Area Team, Natural England. However, the PC felt that provided the bund was constructed as shown on the drawings, the view of the site would be greatly improved compared with the present situation.

It was therefore agreed that the PC should support the application subject to the following conditions:

  • The bund to the east of the site should be constructed to the lines and levels shown on drawing GE/TINK/NBE/05 within 12 months of approval by WC of this application.
  • Planting of trees on the bund should be done within 6 months of completion of the bund earthworks.
  • The planting should be a mix of native deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.
  • The 20 m gap between the bund and the new sorting shed should be kept clear as the intended emergency/fire protection lane and not used for recycling/waste operations as it is outside the permitted operational boundary.

WH was instructed to submit these comments to WC before the deadline on 27th July 2017.

8.  A342 verge maintenance
CB reported that in response to the PC’s service request under the Parish Steward scheme in February and repeated emails from Mr. John Ericson of Clock Inn Park to WC’s Highways department about the restricted access along the footpath between Clock Inn Park and the village, Highways Councillor Bridget Wayman, had ordered the hedge around the dangerous blind bend to be cut back to allow safe pedestrian access along the footpath. She has also requested cutting back the encroaching bank and resurfacing the path to be undertaken as part of WC’s major works contract to be carried out in the coming months. The hedge cutting has been carried out at the bend, but further cutting needs to be carried out along the remaining sections of the footpath. This will be monitored by Mr. John Ericson who will keep the PC informed.
9.  AOB.
9.1 Last month, while walking with her dog along the road towards Byde Farm, LB was badly bitten by the black Labrador belonging to Fiona Squire and had to go to hospital to have the wound treated.
She has not reported the incident to the police as Fiona Squire was understandably shocked and apologetic that her dog caused this injury and has assured LB her dog will not ever be allowed onto the footpath or road unless on a lead. The PC has since heard that other village residents have felt threatened by her dog and no longer dare to use the footpath near Byde farm. To prevent any future incident, Fiona Squire has now installed an electric gate and dog-proof fencing around her property.

The PC acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that our village footpaths may be safely enjoyed by the community but feels that now the measures that Fiona has taken to prevent any future incident are in place, no further action need be taken by the PC at this time. The PC has sent an email to residents advising that if any walker sees the dog outside on the loose, or is threatened in the future, they should report it to one of the council members.

9.2 CB reported that he had met the new owner of the land adjacent to Fullaway Farm, Mr. Clyde Wynn Williams. He told CB that he has purchased the land to make a nature reserve for his daughter.

9.3 LB advised the PC that the footpath from Crookwood Mill Farm to Bridge Farm has been cleared by the Urchfont volunteer rights of way team who have also installed 3 new stiles with materials supplied by WC.

9.4 LB passed on a copy of the New Verge Guide to AE setting out the times of the year for cutting verges and hedges.
10.  Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Monday 25th September at 7.30 pm in Stert House.



Signed    ………………. Dated  …………….

Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting – 17th July 2017

held at Stert House on 17th July 2017

Clive Boyes (CB) Chairman
Alick Edwards (AE) Dty Chairman
Chris Lawrence (CL) Councillor
Sam Deacon (SD) Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB)  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH) Councillor/Clerk

1. Apologies for absence  
There were no apologies for absence.
2. Chairman’s report
CB read his Chairman’s report as follows:
Elections were held in May 2017 resulting in all existing Stert councillors being returned unopposed. This would imply that Stert residents have confidence in the present Council who will continue to carry out their wishes to the best of their ability.

Several changes have occurred during the past year. Walter Fairbank of the Willows and Julie Godfrey of Crookwood Mill sadly passed away. Peter and Helen Crook of Barn Cottage have moved to Urchfont. Both Peter and Helen provided enormous support for our village in recent years: Helen recently served as Treasurer of the PC and Peter as Treasurer of the PCC. Again Stert was extremely grateful for their fundraising efforts – they were active in promoting the Stert Produce Day at the Brittox in Devizes which helped considerably in raising funds for the Church.

The PC held a Summer party at Stert House in July 2016 utilising the PC’s marquee at which the Stertian Singers performed and refreshments provided.The Annual Christmas party, hosted by the PC, was attended by approximately 60 residents with entertainment again provided by the Stertian singers. Stert PCC has introduced an innovative series of talks given by residents which have been well received. In particular our Emmy award winning composer, David Mitcham, gave a talk on his very interesting career which was moved at the last minute to Stert House in February as the Church had to be closed for repairs over a 2 month period.

The main planning issue of the past year has involved the Tinkfield Recycling Facility in which Stert PC have been closely involved with both Grist Environmental and Wiltshire Council. Negotiations are still ongoing, as minuted in the previous meeting. The other has been the future of Claironailes – Stert PC and Wiltshire both objected to plans submitted that did not conform to WC’s core strategy 2015 – 2026 and policy HC25 , adopted by Kennet Council and incorporated into WC’s planning policy in 2004.

The residents of Clock Inn Park have had access to the Stert village lane severely curtailed by the poor maintenance of the verge and hedgerows on the A342. This came to a head when John Ericson, representing the Clock Inn Residents Association, had a letter published in the Gazette complaining that WC were not acting on their urgent request. Eventually Councillor Bridget Wayman, the newly appointed WC cabinet member responsible for Highways, intervened and the verges etc have been cleared. Councillor Wayman has also indicated that she intends to have the pathway between the Clock Inn and Stert upgraded within the next 3 months. This will be monitored by John Ericson and reported upon to the PC.

Although the footbridge near Byde Farm, used by many walkers, was repaired temporarily, it finally collapsed due to heavy winter rains and had to be closed to walkers . It was rebuilt satisfactorily in the Summer of 2016. Footpaths in the vicinity of Crookwood Mill Farm have also been surveyed and cleared.

The Chairman would like to take this opportunity to thank all councillors for their support and hard work during the year. In particular, the PC would like to thank Councillor Philip Whitehead, our Wiltshire Councillor, for his help and advice on matters pertaining to Stert.
3.  Financial Report.
The PC accounts for the year ending 31st March 2017 have been audited and approved by the internal auditor, Mr. Neville Burrell. As reported at the Annual Meeting of the PC held on 22nd May, the annual income for the year was £1020.30 and the expenditure was £1073.42, giving a shortfall of £53.12. The balance in the account on 31st March 2017 stood at 2023.57.

Details of the income and expenditure are given in the minutes of the Annual Meeting and posted on the PC’s website,

4.  Questions from the Public.
There were no members of the public present at the meeting.


Minutes of Special PC Meeting, 7th June 2017

held in Grist Environmental’s offices, Nursteed Road, Devizes on 7th June 2017

Clive Boyes (CB), Chairman
Alick Edwards (AE), Dty Chairman
Chris Lawrence (CL), Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB)  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk
Nigel Grist (NG),  Owner, Grist Environmental
Jonathan Taylor (JT),  Grist Environmental

1.   Apologies for absence  
Sam Deacon sent her apologies.
2.  Planning Application for new building  
CB had asked for the meeting with Grist Environmental so that the PC could be briefed on the revised plans for the new sorting shed and bund wall. The PC had raised their concerns to WC’s planning officer that the new sorting shed had been extended beyond the limits shown on the approved plans and the existing bund was being moved some 30 metres into the field to the east of the site. WC had instructed Grist Environmental to submit revised plans for the works to seek retroactive planning approval. The application would be handled by WC’s building planning department.
CB opened the meeting by thanking NG and JT for seeing the PC and stressed that the PC was there to seek clarification on the revised plans and assurance that they would meet the concerns about the visual and environmental impact of the new building and bund construction which had been raised in the previous planning application.
3.  Revised Drawings.
JT presented a new set of drawings which he said had been submitted 2 weeks ago electronically through the National Planning Portal. These would then be forwarded to WC and published in due course on its planning website. The new layout showed the lean-to extension of the new sorting shed which had already been constructed and the location of the new bund, with its crest centreline 40 m east of the back of the lean-to extension. This would allow a 20 m clear fire break behind the shed, a recommendation of best practice made by the Environmental Agency.

The new bund would extend the entire length of the eastern boundary of the site and extend around the southern boundary. The height of the bund is shown as 9.6 m high (the ridge height of the new shed being 11.5 m). The bund would be planted with woodland trees with shrub underplanting. NG confirmed that the new bund would be constructed this summer when weather conditions permitted. It would be done using their own equipment and personnel. The bund would be compacted in small lifts using inert material from the site.

JT explained that the lean-to shed extension would have a concrete floor and rear wall extending part way to the eve of the shed to retain the material being handled but allowing adequate ventilation within the shed.

The new plans also included an extension to the existing green baling shed to the west of the site adjacent to the present open waste mound so that they could increase the efficiency of their disposal of material being shipped to power stations and reduce the size of the mound. JT said there was no restriction on the permitted height of the mound.

NG stressed that the revised plans did not increase the operational area for which he had a licence since the original eastern bund had been within the operational area of the site and the 20 m fire break would be kept clear.

JT handed over a set of the revised drawings to the PC.
4.  Environmental considerations.
CB mentioned that he had received a number of complaints about the mud on the road. NG said they were doing their best to keep the road clean and still planned to concrete the internal access roads when the second weigh bridge was installed. He promised that this would be done sometime this year.

JT explained that Grist Environmental plan to recycle all the material handle through the site. They had a licence to handle 150,000 tons per year, but currently only handling 50,000 tons. He said that increasing the throughput would not necessarily increase the number of truck movements as by bailing the material the tongue per truck could be increased substantially.

JT confirmed that they had an Environmental Management System, an EA licence and an assigned EA officer but didn’t have his name to hand. He said that all surface water from open waste areas was collected and exported by tanker to a disposal facility.
5.  Conclusion.
CB thanked NG and JT on behalf of the PC for their time and said the PC would give careful consideration to their plans. He said we should maintain a direct dialogue on any future planning issues.


Minutes of Annual Meeting of Stert PC, 22nd May 2017

held in Stert House on 22nd May 2017

Clive Boyes (CB), Chairman
Chris Lawrence (CL), Councillor
Sam Deacon (SD), Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB),  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk

1.  Apologies for absence 
Alick Edwards sent his apologies.
2.  Declaration of Interest  
There were no declarations of interest.
3.  Election of Councillors.
The six members pf the outgoing Parish Council, having been nominated to serve for the coming 4 year term and being unopposed, took up office on 8th May 2017.
4.  Minutes of previous meeting
The Minutes of the previous PC meeting held on 26th April were approved (proposed by SD and seconded by LB) and signed by CB.
5.  Treasurer’s Report
5.1 Annual Governance Statement. LB tabled the Annual Governance Statement. Section 1, the Annual Return. This was unanimously approved and signed by CB and WH.

5.2 Section 2 of the Statement, the Annual Accounts. LB reported that the annual expenditure for 2016/17 was £1073 compared to an income of £1020, the overspend being due to the cost of holding two village parties during the year. The reserve stood at £2023.57. The accounts which have been submitted to our internal auditor, Neville Burrell, were approved and signed by CB.

LB submitted the Notice of Date of Commencement of Period for the Exercise of Public Rights to examine the 2016/17 accounts and the Declaration of Status of Published Accounts to be posted on the Parish Notice Boards.

5.3 Current year. Since the last meeting, the annual precept of £915.05 had been paid in to our account and the balance of the account on 22/5/17 stood at £2938.62 (confirmed in the pass book by WH).

The PC approved payment of £215.25 for renewal of the parish insurance. LB pointed out that of the items listed on the parish asset register only the salt spreader is insured for ‘all risks’. It was agreed that the other items listed are of relatively low value and therefore not worth insuring.

It was agreed that, in the interests of economy, to discontinue our membership of the mapping service, Parish Online, and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, CPRE. LB would also check whether we needed to continue membership of the Wiltshire Association of Local Councils, WALC. She requested approval to spend £50 on a gift to our internal auditor in lieu of his fee. This was agreed.
6.  Neighbourhood Watch
WH reported that, apart from some routine warnings from Wiltshire Police, which he had passed on to residents, there was nothing particular to report.
7.  Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
CB and LB reported that they had noticed that considerable earthmoving activities had recently taken place at the Tinkfield site where a new bund had been built in the neighbouring field about 30 metres east of the new sorting shed, outside the boundary of the site. As this work and the eastward lean-to extension of the new sorting shed were outside the limits of the plans for which planning approval had been granted by WC on 4th July 2014, Mr. Dean Thomas, WC’s responsible planning officer, had requested Mr. Nigel Grist to submit a revised planning application for retroactive approval of the works not covered by the original application. So far, the PC has not received any notification that this has been done.

The PC is concerned that the development of the Tinkfield site is being extended towards the village into agricultural land without due planning consent. It was therefore decided that, the PC would seek a meeting with Mr. Grist to review the scope of the intended extension of the site, what measures he intends to take to reduce the mud on the main road and the status of the revised planning application.
8.  A342 verge maintenance
CB tabled a letter he had received on 11th May from Mr. John Ericson, Chairman of the Clock Inn Residents Association, complaining about the state of the footpath along A342 between the railway bridge and the entrance to the village. Mr. Ericson complained that the hedge and bank encroached into the footpath making it dangerous for pedestrians. Although WH had notified WC’s roads maintenance department on the My Wiltshire website, no action had been taken by WC to improve the footpath. CB said he would forward Mr. Ericson’s letter to Cllr. Whitehead to ask his help in getting the work scheduled.
9.  AOB.
9.1 Potholes in Stert Lane. WH noted ravelling of the macadam surface in the lane down to Barn Cottage and said he would request repairs to be carried out under the Parish Steward scheme.

9.2 Footpaths. LB reported she had contacted Linda Jennings from Urchfont about the overgrown footpath between Crookwood Mill Farm and Bridge Farm. She was informed that WC had said it would install stiles and clear the footpath this summer with the help of the Urchfont ROW group.
10.  Next Meeting
The next meeting will be the Annual General Meeting of Stert PC, and held on Monday 17th July at 7.30 pm in Stert House.



Minutes of Meeting of Stert PC on 24th and 26th April 2017


held in Stert House on 24th and 26th April 2017

Clive Boyes (CB), Chairman
Alick Edwards (AE), Dty Chairman
Sam Deacon (SD), Councillor
Lucy Barker (LB),  Councillor/Treasurer
William Howkins (WH), Councillor/Clerk

1.   Apologies for absence 
Chris Lawrence and Cllr Philip Whitehead (WC) sent their apologies.

2.  Declaration of Interest  
There were no declarations of interest.
3.  Claironailes Planning Application 17/02151/FUL.
Prior to the PC meeting, a site meeting took place at 6.30 pm. Present were: Ian James (joint applicant) and his son-in-law, Mike Lloyd, and George Lewis (architect); Clive Boyes, William Howkins, Lucy Barker and Sam Deacon from Stert PC; and John Clements, Steve Depoix and Elaine Meyrick as interested neighbours.

CB began by welcoming Mr James as a potential new resident to Stert and saying how pleased the whole village was to hear a single dwelling was proposed on the site.

Mr James informed that he had not yet purchased the plot; the plot’s vendor has imposed a deadline of the end of June for the deal to be completed, and this depended on planning permission being obtained by then. If the application was not approved, then Mr James would withdraw.

Letters of objection to the plans had been posted directly to WC by residents of adjacent properties, Hill House and Landor House, on the grounds that the new house would unduly impact their privacy. John Clements asked Mr Lewis if there had been any pre-planning consultations with the neighbours and Mr Lewis said no.

45 minutes of discussion ensued during which the PC raised the neighbours’ concerns and tried to explore possible revisions to the plans: moving the house east, making it single storey or a dormer design, or digging down into the slope to reduce the height. All were rejected by the Mr. James or Mr. Lewis due to cost or time constraints. Mr Depoix and Ms Meyrick expressed concern about the height of the garage. The architect said this could be lowered by 2-3 feet, and Mr Depoix and Ms Meyrick said that on this basis they could support the application.

LB said she really regretted the situation the PC had been put in with no room for compromise and how much easier it would have been if the plans had been discussed at an early stage with the owners of Hill House and Landor House. Mr Lewis agreed that in retrospect this would have been useful.

At 7.30 the meeting then adjourned to Stert House, but without Mr James, his son and Mr Lewis.
Also present at Stert House were Alick Edwards (parish councillor) and Stert residents Valerie Fairbank (mother of Mrs Ian James), Brian Phelps and David Stephenson.

CB gave a brief summary of the discussions at the site meeting. SD asked whether tree planting for screening would reduce the impact of the proposed house.

Mr Phelps and Mrs Fairbank both said the village should welcome the proposed house as the occupants would make a very positive contribution to the village and the house itself would enhance the village scape. The alternative would be a developer buying the site and applying to build several houses. Mr Stephenson said he felt the design was out of proportion to the site and the surrounding area. He felt the developer/multi dwelling threat was bringing unreasonable pressure to bear on the PC. WH read out a summary of the responses from Stert residents to the request for comments on the proposed house and garage where the majority welcomed a single dwelling on the site but were concerned about the size and height of the proposed house and it’s not being in keeping with the existing neighbouring houses.

WH also felt the PC had been put under undue pressure to approve the application as a fait accompli to prevent a developer from building a row of houses on the site and he would like time to consider all the views that had been expressed before coming to a decison. AE agreed with this. As it was also felt the PC needed time for further consultation with WC about planning policies, it was agreed to adjourn the meeting until 26th April.

The meeting reconvened on 26th April when Councillors CB, WH, LB, SD and AE were present as well as John Clements, Stert resident.

WH reported he had received a telephone call and email that morning from Mr James to say he was withdrawing the planning application due to the objections to the plans expressed at Monday’s meeting, but thanked the PC for its time spent on discussing it.

CB then reviewed the reasons for adjourning Monday’s meeting and outlined the information he had been given by Mr Morgan Jones, WC’s planning officer. The relevant policy is given in WC’s Core Strategy 2015-2026 and in HC25, adopted by Kennet Council and incorporated into WC’s planning policy in 2004.

CB confirmed that Stert is classified as “open countryside” and therefore, according to HC25, where permission to build a replacement building is sought:
The siting should be closely related to the existing footprint
The scale of the proposed building should not be significantly larger than the existing.
The impact of the proposed building on the wider landscape should be considered.

Since these restrictions would also apply to any proposed future development of the site, the PC saw no reason to recommend waiving HC25 for this application. SD mentioned some recent planning cases in Wiltshire where applications for multiple dwellings on a former single dwelling plot had been refused.

The meeting was then adjourned for Mr Clements (JC) to speak:

JC was concerned the PC had been too focused on the lack of prior consultation whereas it should have been focusing on the building plans themselves. In his view the PC should have been more prompt in considering the plans. In reply, he was told the PC had only learnt of the very tight time constraint on Monday night when the architect should have been more proactive in addressing PC’s concerns. WH said he had held site meetings with Mr. Moody and Mr. Lawrence early in April.

JC asked if the PC was confident it would always be able to stop future multi-dwelling developments at the site. CB replied that the research done by the PC in the last 2 days had given it very useful information which would enable the PC to put up very strong arguments against future over-development of the Claironailes site and a precedent for rejection where plans contravened the provisions of HC25.

The PC meeting then reconvened. It was unanimously agreed to object to Planning Application 17/02151/FUL due to non compliance with WC’s core strategy 2015 and the policy given in HC25.
4.  Minutes of previous meeting
There were two sets of Minutes to be approved: PC meeting of 12th December (proposed by AE and seconded by LB) signed by CB, and Special PC Meeting of 11th March 2017 (proposed by WH and seconded by LB) signed by AE.
Treasurer’s Report
Since the last meeting, interest of £2.27 has been received into the PC account. There has been a single item of expenditure, £202.50 to Clive Boyes for the Christmas party. The balance of the account on 31/3/17 stood at £2023.57 (confirmed by WH), which is therefore the reserve.

LB handed out a copy of the 2016/17 accounts which need to be sent to Neville Burrell, the internal auditor, for his approval.

CB confirmed that there has been no change to the village assets register.
5.  Budget
LB raised the subject of the annual budget. The PC’s income for 2017/18 will be £915, being the precept. The total expenditure for the year ending 31/3/17 was £1073 or, deducting the cost of the two village parties, it was £695. Assuming these expenses will be unchanged for the coming year, LB proposed a budget £700 for essential expenses and to cancel the summer party this year. The PC should review the accounts in the autumn before deciding a budget for the Christmas party. In future, the Treasurer’s Report on expenditure will state whether or not it is in line with the budget.

The next PC meeting must be held before June 5th to sign and approve governance and accounts, in order to meet the deadline for them to be submitted to the external auditor.
6.  Neighbourhood Watch
WH reported that apart from some routine warnings from Wiltshire Police, which he had passed on to residents, there was nothing particular to report. AE said there was a caravan parked up by the road above the Monument, but the police had been there.

7.  Tinkfield Recycling Centre.
WH had contacted Mr. Dean Thomas, the responsible planning officer at WC, to ask him to follow up on the retroactive planning application to be submitted by Tinkfield. He had been assured that this was being prepared and he should receive it in 2 to 3 weeks when we would receive due notification. WH promised to follow up on this before the next PC meeting.

SD said she had requested a copy of the operations permit for the site from the Environment Agency. CB noted that the mud on the road was still a problem and there had been no sign of the promised concreting of the internal site roads.
8.  A342 verge maintenance
WH said he had entered an application on 13/2/17 under the Parish Steward Scheme to have the verge and hedge maintained. CB thought this had been done as it was now possible to walk from Stert to Clock in on the footpath.
9.  Loss of View from Churchyard.
SD said she is planning to remove some of the leylandii on her property in the near future subject to planning permission which would help to improve the view from the churchyard. These would be replaced by indigenous tree sorts. An application from Mr. Tregoning would also be needed for removal of the single leylandii tree at Orchard Cottage.
10.  Salt spreader status.
WH and AE had taken the spreader out for a trial of its settings, but had yet to receive formal training by WC.
11.  AOB
LB asked AE what he proposed to do in the way of verge maintenance through the village. He suggested cutting the verges 5 – 6 times at the entrance to the village and 3 – 4 times through the village. The first cut would be done when the cow parsley had flowered. He confirmed he was willing to do this for £300, as in previous years.

12.  Next Meeting
The next meeting will be the Annual Meeting of Stert PC, held on Monday 22nd May at 7.30 pm in Stert House, being 14 days after the new council takes office on 8th May.