Minutes March 2016

Of the Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 9th March 2016 at 7.30 p.m


Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chairman)(CL), Ms J Gibson (JG), Mr M Penington (MP), Mr M Shayler (MS), Ms M Jacobs (MJ), Ms V Fox (VF), Mrs L Inglis (LI), Mrs C Cameron (CC). Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), David Hollick (Lengthman), County Councillor Lilly, District Councillor Waite, 4 members of the public.

Matters resolved:

  1. The PC resolved to carry over to the next financial year as earmarked reserves the amounts budgeted but unspent on projects that are in hand but not complete
  2. It was agreed that a grant under the “new Homes Bonus grant scheme” be accepted.
  3. All payments were approved.


Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.      Clerk to write to Alex Musson and John Ogden to thank them for the hedge laying. By April meeting
2.      Clerk to ask Stewart Lilly for contact details for the resilience fund grant As soon as possible
3.      Clerk to pass on details of possible cycle route via Coffin Way to Cllr Lilly As soon as possible
4.      Cllr Waite to find out who owns the land adjacent to Coffin Way at the Upton end By April meeting
5.      Clerk to contact Highways again re the Recreation Ground sign As soon as possible
6.      Clerk to respond to Mr Blackford As soon as possible
7.      CL and clerk to consider quotes and appoint internal auditor. By April meeting
8.      LI to draft a letter to farmers for consideration As soon as possible
9.      Clerk to make the DMMO form and map available to download from the website By Bulletin deadline
10.  Lengthman to inspect the barriers and make safe. Lengthman, CL and clerk to decide on a plan of action re barriers

As soon as possible


11.  Clerk to contact Upton PC re contact details for landowners adjacent to Coffin Way By April meeting
12.  Clerk to request BVGA risk assessment By April meeting
13.  Clerk to request Public & Employers liability certificates from grass cutting contractor By April meeting


  1. To receive apologies for absence. Apologies from District Councillors Waite and Shelley, Mr M Blythe. Mrs Cameron sent apologies for late arrival.
  2. To record declarations of interest. CL declared an interest in the payments. LI declared an interest in planning and payments.
  3. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 10th February 2016. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. To receive the County Councillor’s report. The county councillor reported on the Bridus Way closure which the PC objected to. Various emails were circulated about devolution. Cllr Lilly also reported on the Didcot power station tragedy and the resilience fund to enhance flood/emergency resilience. Action: Clerk to ask Stewart Lilly for contact details for the resilience fund grant. The possibility of using Coffin Way as a cycle way was mentioned again. Action: Clerk to pass on details of possible cycle route via Coffin Way.
  5. To receive the District Councillor’s report. The District Councillor’s written report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex A. The Alden Farm application was discussed as well as the possibility of a cycle route. Action: Cllr Waite to find out who owns the land adjacent to Coffin Way at the Upton end. Cllr Waite reported that Parish Council will be invited along to the Didcot Garden Town meeting on April 6th.
  6. To receive the Lengthman’s report. See Annex B. The hedge laying at the cemetery was mentioned and the PC expressed their thanks. Action: Clerk to write to Alex Musson and John Ogden to thank them for the hedge laying.
  7. Open Forum.

Members of the public thanked the Parish Council for setting up the public meeting with Beeswax but expressed some concern about their practices and use of glyphosates. They stressed that a wealth of scientific expertise exists in the village and could assist with their practices.

Concerns were expressed by them regarding farming practices, such as hedge cutting, pesticide drift and application of pesticides, nitrates and phosphates on chalk downland soil.

It was noted that levels of nitrates in the Cleve were not high but  that concerns were expressed 20 years ago about nitrate levels in the ground which clearly new landowners cannot be held responsible for.

Some debate followed if a letter should be sent to all adjacent landowners. It was reported that some residents have agreed to set up a second meeting with Beeswax and that the PC would be approaching them in some way in the future. They asked that the PC write to Beeswax with their concerns.

Council encouraged members of the public to raise their concerns directly.

  1. Blewbury Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP). To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan if available. It was that consultation meetings were held and although not particularly well attended feedback has been positive.
  2. Matters arising
    • 13/01/15  To receive designs and quotes for Clubhouse and Melland Room signs. The clerk has spoken to Highways asking about ownership and if permission was needed to add to the sign. No response has yet been received. Action: Clerk to contact Highways again re the Recreation Ground sign.
    • 10/02/16 To decide on a course of action about recreation ground car park lighting. CL investigated different options and the biggest challenge would be to make it vandal proof. A higher specification spot light seems to be the way forward and the cost would be about £250. Investigations continue.
  3. Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising. A final design has been agreed and the architects will proceed with detailed drawings. A grant under the “new Homes Bonus grant scheme” was successfully applied for and £7,500 was awarded. It was agreed that the clerk and chairman sign the acceptance form.
  4. Recreation Ground
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update from the PC representative on the BVCIC. Nothing to report.
  5. Planning & Housing
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update on speculative approaches. Nothing to report.
    • 2/02/06 To receive the planning committee report. See Annex C.
    • 08/11/12 To approve responses to current applications:

P16/V0339/HH           Dornie Lodge, Bessels Lea Road       Demolition of existing boundary fence and erection of proposed boundary wall. Blewbury PC has no objection.

16/V0511/HH and P16/V0513/LB    Church End, Cottage Church End     Rear single storey extension and associated internal alterations to Grade II Listed Church End Cottage. Blewbury PC has no objection but a comment would be made about pollution of the stream.

P16/V0383/HH and P16/V0384/LB Chapmans, Nottingham Fee   Internal and external alterations and improvements. LI was asked to leave the room for this discussion as she declared an interest. Blewbury PC has no objection.

P16/V0376/FUL        The Nurseries, London Road  1. Alterations and extension to existing retail shop and warehouse to provide additional storage bay, staff rest room and workroom and administration office . 2. Removal of existing covered canopy and construction new covered canopy areas. 3. Erection new security fencing and gates. 4. Alterations and extension existing public car parking area. Blewbury PC fully supports this application.

P16/V0189/FUL       Alden Farm, Aldens Lane, Upton      Re apply for the application which ran out May 2015 Change of use for disused milking parlour to stables; Repaid and maintain the existing flat Change of use for old barn to tow one bed flats. Blewbury PC has no objection.


The matter of the Cleve and the Carrimores application was brought up again. It was pointed out that the PC wrote to the Vale and that we were advised that any further plans would be subject to a new planning application. No further correspondence addressed to the PC was received on this matter. Action: Clerk to respond to Mr Blackford.


  1. Finance & Administration
    • To identify and appoint an internal auditor. The clerk invited quotes for internal auditing services but not all quotes were received on time. The decision was delegated to the clerk and chairman. Action: CL and clerk to consider quotes and appoint internal auditor.
    • The PC resolved to carry over to the next financial year as earmarked reserves the amounts budgeted but unspent on projects that are in hand but not complete.
    • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts


Description Amount
E de Ridder (salary £876.88 and expenses £71.86) £948.74
D Hollick (salary and expenses) £251.99
NEST (pension contribution) £53.45
BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit) £23.98
Biffa Waste Services Ltd £33.31
The Churn Benefice £4.00
Oxfordshire Playing Fields Association £40.00
Payments relating to the Neighbourhood Plan  
BVCIC £100.00
Alex Elderfield £25.00
L. Inglis £14.00
Payments relating to the Village Hall refurbishment  
Howard Enterprises Ltd £621.45
TOTAL £2,115.92

LI and CL declared interests in the payments. All payments were approved.

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces
    • To receive an update re the meeting with Beeswax Farms. Feedback from the meeting with Beeswax was mainly positive but some residents still have some concerns. Prior to the PC meeting councillors with concerns were asked to contact Beeswax in their personal capacity. Following some debate it was decided that LI will draft a letter to approve or not approve. It was also suggested that all farmers should be written to and one farmer should not be singled out. It was pointed out that the Parish Council’s responsibility and duty towards biodiversity lies within its own duties and it does not have a policing role. Action: LI to draft a letter to farmers for consideration.
    • To agree to change the DMMO application to a bridleway and footpath and to approve a draft for  the Bulletin. Previously it was agreed to apply for DMMO for a footpath but following advise the PC would be applying for a bridleway instead. If unsuitable for a bridleway, the covering letter will state that the PC would be equally happy with a footpath. Action: Clerk to make the DMMO form and map available to download from the website.
    • To discuss the Cleve barrier and decide on action needed. Barriers at either end of the Cleve path, as well as by Naylesbridge Cottage have deteriorated and fallen down. When the tree was felled, the adjacent barrier was damaged too. It was also reported that as vegetation has been removed prior to the felling of the tree, a gap has been opened up next to Cleve Cottage, which might need attention. Action: Lengthman to inspect the barriers and make safe. Lengthman, CL and clerk to decide on a plan of action re barriers.


  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport. A survey about bus use in Blewbury is available online. The majority of responses are from people who use their car. The cycle route was briefly mentioned again. Action: Clerk to contact Upton PC re contact details for landowners adjacent to Coffin Way.
  2. Cemetery
    • 02/06/15 To receive an update on the progress with cemetery mapping software. Nothing to report.
  3. Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. The annual meeting would take place in the coming week and CL is hoping to stand down as chairman.
  4. To approve in principle the proposed changes to the Village Hall constitution as outlined in the recently circulated letter from Richard Farrell. A note about proposed changes to the VH constitution was circulated prior to the meeting. It was agreed that these changes can go. It was noted that another change might be needed if there was a merger with the CIC in later years.
  5. Risk Management
    • 09/09/15 To receive an update on the changes needed prior to the annual inspection of play equipment. To receive the report of the annual inspection. Apart from the safety matting, the replacement equipment has been installed. The swing restraints were unsuitable and sent back for a refund. The PC is awaiting the annual inspection which should take place before the end of the month.
    • 09/03/16 To receive the BVGA risk assessment. Action: Clerk to request BVGA risk assessment.
    • 09/03/16 To receive the Village Hall risk assessment. Item closed.
    • 09/03/16 To request Public & Employers liability certificates from grass cutting contractor. Action: Clerk to request Public & Employers liability certificates from grass cutting contractor
  6. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Emails re Beeswax farming. See “Open Forum” and 14.1.
      • Online petition 110489: Council tight to appeal planning decisions.
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • Various emails re devolutions and the formation of 4 unitary councils.
      • T4051 Blewbury, BOAT 135/7 – Road Closure 21 March 2016 for 6 months. The Parish Council has noted this closure and objected to Highways about the necessity and length of the closure.
      • OALC update. Noted
  1. Any other business.

Exceptionally to deal with business received too late for inclusion in agenda.

It was mentioned that a piece should be included in the Bulletin about the increase in precept.

  1. To set the date of the next meeting. 13th April 2016.


Meeting closed 21h25


Annex A

Blewbury Parish Council

Notes for Parish Councillors on Wednesday, 9th March 2016

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite




Cllrs Janet Shelley and Reg Waite tender their apologies for being unable to join Blewbury at 7.30 pm as they are required to attend a Committee Meeting at the Vale’s offices in Milton Park.  This meeting is unlikely to finish before 8.30 pm but one or both will attend Blewbury meeting as soon as practicable.




Speculative Development Planning Applications:


P15/V1944/O – Outline planning permission for up to 35 (revised from 40)

     Refusal 29th January 2016.

                             For your information Planning application no P15/V0969

                             for 50 dwellings on land in Lower Road, Chilton was

                             refused 29 October 2015, but applicant has now

                            submitted an Appeal. Appeal start date – 2nd March 16.


P15/V3038/O – Outline planning permission for the erection of 57 new dwellings

with associated parking and amenity provision s, on land on the

Western side of Bessel’s Way.

Case Officer: Peter Brampton

Received: 22nd December 2015

Registered: 7th January 2016

Consultation: 7th January to 10th February 2016

Target decision date: 7th April 2016

More than 200 objections submitted.

                             Applicant submitted amended application 29 Feb 2016

  • still for 57 dwellings and at present target decision

date remains at 7th April 2016.


New applications – Alden Farm, Alden Lane, Upton:

P16/V0563/PAR Convert and reuse redundant milking parlour to three dwellings

to support horse yard (Case officer to be appointed), and

P16/V0189/FUL Reapply for the application which ran out May 2015 – change of

Use for disused milking parlour to stables; repair and maintain

the existing flat – change of use for old barn to two one bed


Case Officer: to be appointed and Kayleigh Mansfield

Received: 2nd March and 25th January 2016 respectively

Registered: 4th March and 4th February 2016 respectively

Consultation: not quoted yet and 4th Feb to 21st March


Target decision dates: 29th April and 31st March 2016


Further planning applications to be submitted in due course.




Greater Didcot Garden Town:


Invitations to a first meeting to be sent to selected Parish Councils shortly.


Great Western Park:


The Sports Pavilion completion date has been put back from the end of May to the middle of June. This should not cause a delay to the start of use by Boundary Park Sports association, whose first formal rugby games commence in September 2016.


The large glass artwork for the pavilion has been commissioned and will be installed after completion has been approved on the building.


White Horse Contractors inspected the condition of the sports pitches on 26 February 2016 and will forward a report advising the councils on a date for completion – likely to be May 2016.


Completion of many areas of open spaces and play areas are being processed – there are many snagging issues such as missing trees, bulbs, benches and areas of poor finishing to ground levels.  The Councils are co-ordinating responses to Taylor Wimpey and formal decisions to accept the areas when completed.


Great Western Park Resident’s Association has written to David Buckle, CEO, complaining about the lack of facilities being provided on the development.


Furthermore, the planning departments have written to Taylor Wimpey asking for an update on the provision of infrastructure.




Sovereign Housing Association:


Sovereign Housing Association has been negotiating joining forces with Spectrum Housing Association since last year to form a new 56,000 home organisation which would become the largest housing Association in the south and south-west.


They are currently undertaking their due diligence exercise, and if both Boards approve, the merger could go ahead by the end of this year.



In the late 1980’s, many councils were struggling to invest in their homes.  In 1989, Newbury District Council (now called West Berkshire Council) decided to take the step of transferring its homes to a housing association, which could then borrow money to invest in their upkeep.


West Berkshire Housing Association was formed and 7,109 homes were transferred.  As more and more properties were acquired across a number of counties, the name became inappropriate, so in 1994 Sovereign Housing Association was born.


In 2005 Twynham Housing Association joined Sovereign, followed by The Vale Housing Association in 2007, and then Kingfisher HVHS Housing Association in 2009.


Today, Sovereign own and manage around 38,000 homes across the south and south-west making them one of the largest housing associations in England.  As indicated above the merger could lead to a larger association with 56,000 homes.


In one of their websites, they comment, “Our size allows us to play an increasing part in influencing the sector, helping us to shape the national policies that affect our residents and our business.”



Salient points from the Vale’s budget agenda at its full Council Meeting on Wednesday, 17th February 2016:

Vale agreed to freeze the amount of council tax people pay for services it provides in 2016/17.

The council tax freeze means that for 2016/17 people living in a band D property in Vale will continue to pay just £116.69 for the services provided by the district council.

The council meeting also saw members agree this year’s budget.  Among the highlights are:

  • £950,000 to improve Charter multi-storey car park in Abingdon, including upgrading the toilets
  • £100,000 a year extra for adaptations to help make homes more suitable for disabled residents
  • £90,000 over the next three years to replace playground equipment that’s reached the end of its life
  • £30,000 to help support community events to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday
  • £60,000 for a one year district-wide deep cleanse trial to help tidy up pavements and public footpaths
  • £100,000 available in grants for community projects
  • £80,000 over the next two years to support town vitality projects in Faringdon and Wantage
  • £10,000 a year to help community flood groups
  • £50,000 to carry out a feasibility study into parking across the district – up to £2million additional funding has been set aside to improve parking from 2017/18, depending on the results of the study
  • No annual increase to residents who have a garden waste bin.

While so many other authorities are cutting services and increasing taxes the Vale is continuing to come up with new ways of working and sharing resources meaning that we can continue to provide first class services for our residents.


JS & RWW 09 Mar 2016

­­­­­­­­­­­Annex B





Nothing to report.


Most of the sunken graves have been filled and now await turf when it is available later this month probably. All Christmas wreaths have been removed.


Car Park still awaiting attention to holes. More surfacing to be purchased and rolled.

TFF has now had all the hedging layered and is looking really good. This has saved us the cost of having it flailed or cut, and will be very manageable now with hand cutting.

The new Basket swing has now been installed and safety chains attached to two of the long swing units.

The matting has still to be installed.


Issues re: Cricket Club using our Wessex topper and tractor have been resolved. I will undertake any grass cutting as necessary and will log the time used separately.


No issues.


No issues


No issues


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Annex C

Planning report for Parish Council  – March 2016

Planning Applications

All Blewbury planning applications, decisions  and Parish Council responses, including items under consideration, can be found in the ‘Parish’ section of the Blewbury website
(http://blewbury.co.uk/parish/planning/), which is updated once a week. Links are also provided to the main Vale Planning site, where full details can be obtained.


Responses from the Parish Council:

P14/V2199/FUL – Hill View, Bessels Lea Road – Erection of a new dwelling, with access to Bessels Way.  Amendments to planning permission.  BPC has no objection.

P26/V0376/FUL – The Nurseries (Savages), London Road – Alterations and extensions, new gates and parking area.  BPC  fully supports this application

The “Savages” Nurseries is a great asset to the village and a service that we all value greatly. It is a prime example of the infrastructure we need to maintain and improve in Blewbury. We need this business and this limited improvement which will prolong the life of the business is welcome.


Decisions from the District Council:

P15/V2707/HH and P15/2706/LB – New Inn Cottage, London Road. Adding double front gates with a side gate to the front of the property.  GRANTED.

P16/V0001/HH – Marathon, Bessels Way – Demolition of existing single storey elements and creation of double and single storey extensions.  GRANTED.

P16/V0002/HH – Haycroft, Bessels Way – Demolition of existing single storey elements and creation of single storey extensions to rear and side.  GRANTED.

P16/V0169/HH – May Cottage, London Road – Conservatory extension.  GRANTED.

P16/V0183/HH – The Load of Mischief, South Street – Single and two storey extensions. GRANTED.

P16/V0125/HH – Cherry Trees, London Road – Proposed ground floor side and rear extensions.  GRANTED.

P15/V2854/FUL – Hill View, Bessels Lea Road – Erection of a detached dwelling with attached garage – GRANTED.


Enquiries regarding planning in the parish may be sent to blewburypc@gmail.com