Minutes for April 2014

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting of Blewbury Parish Council
held on Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 7.30 pm in the Vale Room

Councillors present: Mr R Farrell (Chairman), Ms J Gibson, Mr G Reade, Mr R Cooper, Mr M Shayler, Mr C Lakeland, Mr M Blythe, Mr B Morgan

Also present: E de Ridder (clerk), District Councillor Shelley, no members of the public

Matters resolved:

  1. It was decided that the initial budgeted amount for spending on the Neighbourhood Plan is £7000
  2. It was agreed that up to £500 could be spent on additional security for the store
  3. It was agreed that the fencing could be ordered.
  4. All payments were approved. 
Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.     RF to speak to Sheila Loy about CIC grant. Clerk to write to CIC As soon as possible
2.     Clerk to write to Oxford Pipeworks and Farnrise As soon as possible
3.     Clerk to check level of capital funds for more work at the store room. MS to obtain quote and specifications for the correct outside door for the store By May meeting
4.     Clerk to contact key contacts in the village re emergency plan By May meeting
5.     Clerk to check when last Village Hall risk assessment was received and contact Chris Whatmore By May meeting
6.     Clerk to review insurance value of assets By May meeting
7.     RF to review planning enforcement letter and circulate
8.     Clerk to thank the Vale and Highways for their response to the Ladycroft situation By May meeting
9.     RF to write to the lengthman As soon as possible
10.  RF to see if dead branches from footpaths were left on land owned by the Vale By May meeting
11.  Clerk to investigate possibility of providing seating at bus stops As soon as possible
12.  Action: RF to write to the lengthman As soon as possible
13.  Action: RF to attend BVS AGM 27th April 2014
Actions brought forward
1.     Standing orders to be reviewed and circulated On-going
  1. Apologies for absence: Cllr Lilly, Ms V Fox
  2. Declarations of interest. None made.
  3. Minutes of the meeting held on 12th March 2014 were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. County Councillor’s report. No county councillor present
  5. District Councillor’s report. District councillor Shelley reported that the Vale has served Wyldecrest properties (Ladycroft Park) with notices, mainly to do with boundary issues and site licence conditions. Residents who need help with their council tax should contact the Vale. The Local Plan was also briefly discussed. It was reported that the Parish Council’s response was sent in by email as the online portal crashed on the final day. The PC felt that the way the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) was introduced as a supporting document, was profoundly unsatisfactory. It was also mentioned that following complaints to the enforcement team, windows have been replaced at the Dallas development.
  6. Police liaison. No Police present.
  7. Lengthman’s report. No lengthman present.
  8. Open Forum.

Nothing discussed during Open Forum.

  1. Matters arising.
    • 12/06/13 Neighbourhood Plan (NP). NP steering group usually meets on the second Monday of each month. RF briefly reported on his meeting with the ORCC about a housing needs survey.
    • 12/03/14 Rights of Way consultation. The response was submitted and a reply was reply. Item closed.
    • 09/04/14 Football goal for TFF. As the Tony Loy trust offered to pay for the football goal in the first instance, it was agreed that the order could be placed.
  2. Village hall redevelopment
    • Working party. See below.
    • Appointment of Construction Design Management (CDM) Coordinator. The working party asked that the Parish Council appoint the CDM coordinator. The Parish Council requested that more quotes should be sought. West Waddy has provided a quote to do the work “in-house”. It was also mentioned that a Quantity Surveyor (QS) will be needed fairly soon and companies have been shortlisted to quote.
    • Nothing to report.
  3. Recreation Ground.
    • 14/12/11 BVCIC. Despite further reminders from Sheila Loy, no response has been received from one of the key people of the CIC about a meeting. If no further response, the Clerk should warn the CIC that the grant will not be paid before a meeting about finances has taken place. Action: RF to speak to Sheila Loy about CIC grant. Clerk to write to CIC.
    • 11/12/13 Plant room. Help and information have been sought from Alan Heatherington. It was decided that seeking legal advice would be more expensive than the work required, so not worth pursuing. Action: Clerk to write to Oxford Pipeworks and Farnrise.
    • 09/04/14 Break-in at the store room. Following the recent break-in at the store room and theft of equipment, help was sought from the local crime prevention officer and some suggestions were made. It was agreed that up to £500 could be spent on additional security for the store. It was confirmed that the stolen mower was insured adequately (new for old). The clerk obtained a further quote for providing an outside door as well as the internal wall. The quote will probably double but more information about the specification was needed – probably about £3000. Action: Clerk to check level of capital funds for more work at the store room. MS to obtain quote and specifications for the correct outside door for the store.
  4. Someone removed the cemetery’s bench from the Scout Hut and left it outside the clubhouse. It has been put back again. The PC thanked MS for providing the concrete base for the bench. Quotes have been sought for fencing for the cemetery. It was agreed that the fencing could be ordered.
  5. Ladycroft Park. See item 5, District Councillor’s report. The Parish Council is grateful for the response received from Highways and the District Council following the recent troubles. Action: Clerk to thank the Vale and Highways for their response.
  6. Risk Management.
    • 03/07/13 Review of standing orders. On-going.
    • 12/03/14 Review of emergency plan. The emergency plan was discussed and some key people in the village were identified who could help co-ordinate in an emergency. Action: Clerk to contact key contacts in the village re emergency plan
    • 09/04/14 BVGA risk assessment for allotments. Action: Clerk to contact BGVA for latest risk assessment
    • 09/04/14 Data protection. Has been renewed. Item closed.
    • 09/04/14 Village Hall Risk Assessment. Usually due in April. Action: Clerk to check when last village hall risk assessment was received and contact Chris Whatmore
    • 09/04/14 Review of register of physical assets. Action: Clerk to review insurance value of assets


  1. Planning & Housing.
    • 02/02/06 Planning Committee Report: No decisions have been received from the District Council. See Annex B – planning report, attached.
    • 08/11/12 Current applications.

P14/V0454/FUL, 1 London Road Blewbury OX11 9NX. Erection of 2 bed dwelling and first floor rear extension to the same property. BPC has no objection.

P14/V0629/HH, 16 Westbrook Green Blewbury OX11 9QD. Convert existing garage and extend to rear of property, provision of off-street parking on purpose made hard-standing. BPC has no objection.

Appeal relating to P13/V2501/FUL, Land to rear of Westbury Westbrook Street Blewbury OX11 9QB. Demolition of existing industrial buildings. Change of use from B1 to C3. Erection of 2no new houses. Blewbury Parish Council stands by its original objection: unacceptable loss of privacy to Westbury. The Parish Council’s preference would remain for a single storey building for which permission (with conditions) was given in the past.

Application received after agenda was finalised:

P14/V0574/HH Waters Edge Church End Blewbury OX11 9QH. Two storey rear extension . BPC has no objection but asked that the recent Tree Preservation Order for this property will be noted.

  • 11/09/13 Planning policy. A follow up letter about planning enforcement was drafted. Action: RF to review planning enforcement letter and circulate.
  • VWHDC Local Plan. The response was submitted. See Annex B of minutes. Item closed.
  • 09/04/14 Tree preservation order 03/2014, Waters Edge, Church End. It was reported that a TPO has been received. The Vale has been informed that the address on the TPO was incorrect. Item closed.


  1. Finance & Administration
    • Lengthman’s appraisal and review of hours. A letter has been written to the lengthman outlining amongst other things the budget for his duties. The Parish Council expressed concern that he was not on speaking terms with one of the councillors. Action: RF to write to the lengthman.
    • Resolution re payments relating to Neighbourhood Plan. It was decided that the initial budgeted amount for spending on the Neighbourhood Plan is £7000 which is the amount received in grant funding. It is anticipated that more grants would be applied for and the budget will be adjusted accordingly.
    • Payments for approval to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts


Description Amount
E de Ridder £842.90
P Skelton £127.40
E de Ridder (expenses) £110.88
BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit) £21.60
White Horse Horticulture £200.00
PWLB (loan repayment) £5,257.50
     Post Office Ltd (PAYE) £195.76
     ORCC £65.00
     Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils £309.60
Payments relating to Neighbourhood Plan:
·       Dermot Mathias £200.00
·       Vanessa Fox £20.00
·       Lesley Ogden £6.45
·       Gwyn Rees £75.63
·       Martine Musson £42.15
·       Blewbury Village Hall £120.00
·       Blewbury Village Community Interest Company £35.00
·       ORCC (sustainability course) £60.00
TOTAL                   £7,689.87


All payments were approved.


  1. Allotments. Nothing to report.
  2. Footways, Footpaths and rights of way.
    • It was mentioned that the County Council contractors do some work on footpaths but are not allowed to remove the dead branches. This looks scruffy but can only be cleared away by the owners of the trees. Action: RF to see if dead branches were left on land owned by the Vale.
  3. Roads, Road safety and public transport.

At the recent PTR meeting the issue disabled access of bus stops/services were mentioned and a note was published in the Bulletin. A few responses have been received, all asking for seating to be provided at bus stops. Action: Clerk to investigate possibility of providing seating at bus stops.

  1. Village Hall management committee report. The VHMC has not yet paid the additional insurance premium. The next VHMC meeting is on 23rd
  2. A complaint was received that Canada geese have arrived at the Cleve. The Parish Council does not have any powers to deal with this matter.
    • Public bins were not emptied again and were reported to the Vale.
    • BVS clean-up day. To be held on May 10th.
  3. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Rural Development Grants – North Wessex Downs LEADER Consultation. Noted
      • Garden fence between Bridus Mead and Bridus Way. The clerk has responded.
      • Allotment Summer BBQ July 20th .
      • Invite to join a Rural Sounding Board. Noted
      • HARWELL SITE STAKEHOLDER GROUP meeting 11th Noted
      • BVS AGM. Action: RF to attend BVS AGM
      • Sustainable Blewbury AGM. Has already taken place.
      • Sustainable Communities Act – “More funds for parish and town councils”. This petition has been noted.
    • Items for information
      • SLCC news bulletin. Noted.
      • OALC training courses. Noted.
  1. Any Other Business. There has been a request to place a plaque near where the Quaker cemetery used to be. There has been some uncertainty as to who owns the land in front of Tudor Cottage. The Parish Council was content that they did not and would be happy to supply a note to that effect.
  2. Details of the next meeting.

The next meeting will be on May 14th in the Vale Room. The Annual Parish meeting will be held on May 21st.

Meeting closed 21h27


Annex A – Planning news for Bulletin May 2014

Planning Applications

For full details see the Vale website – http://bit.ly/u2FSqN


Decisions from the District Council: None

Responses from the Parish Council:

P14/V0379/LB – Carramores, Church Road. Repairs to east gable wall of timber framed building, including reduction in size of chimney stack. No objection.

P14/V0414/FUL – Lane to rear of Fieldside House, London Road – Erection of new two bedroom dwelling. No objection.


Annex BResponse to Local Plan 2031 consultation


Blewbury Parish Council has the following comments:


The Council believes that the use of projections of housing need for the Vale based on estimates of economic growth stretching out to 2031 is highly unsatisfactory, as economists struggle to forecast accurately economic outcomes for a year or two ahead, let alone 17 years.


The Council was concerned to see that comments about the suitability of sites in Blewbury were buried deep in supporting papers to the Consultation. We believe that this is an unsatisfactory way to introduce sensitive and controversial information to the public domain.


The Parish Council believes that the two sites mentioned as potentially suitable for development, BLEW 5: land west of Woodway and BLE 9: land at Ashdown House are both highly important in preserving the longer views to the Downs and to Blewburton Hill. The Council acknowledges that this reflected in the cautionary comments in the SCLAA about the necessity for strong evidence to support housing at these sites. Given the importance in landscape terms of both sites the Council believes that they should only be developed when a sequential evaluation of all sites within the wider AONB fails to identify a less damaging option. In any case, Blewbury Parish Council believes that the identification of sites to accommodate any housing directed to Blewbury in Part 2 of the Local Plan should be left to the Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan building which is now being prepared.

In responding to an earlier consultation from the Vale, Blewbury Parish Council drew attention to comments made by Thames Water when the application for the Chailey House development of 30 houses was under consideration. Thames Water said that Blewbury’s inadequate sewerage infrastructure could not support a development of this size and it is the Council’s view that the identification of any possible development sites is premature until this problem has been addressed.

The Council’s anxiety about how the Blewbury infrastructure is inadequate to support increased development applies to the wider plan. Although this consultation is in its early stages there is no indication of how these large scale developments will be phased and managed in terms of infrastructure and community development. Economic and housing needs forecasts may change and the plans should allow for careful, phased development so that communities can develop and expand gradually.