2008-09-15


15th September, 2008

MINUTES OF ESCRICK PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 15th SEPTEMBER 2008 AT ESCRICK & DEIGHTON SOCIAL CLUB

Present:
Mr Steve Smowton (chair)
Mr Brian Forster (vice-chair)
Mr Bill Reader
Mr Mike Russell
Mrs Lillian Coulson
Mrs Carole Wainwright
Mrs Gina Mannix
Mr Ian Reynolds

APOLOGIES:
Mr Charles Forbes Adam
Mr John Reader
Mr Peter Skilbeck
Mrs Liz Casling (North Yorkshire County Councillor and Selby District Councillor)

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING WERE READ AND MR REYNOLDS PROPOSED THESE BE APPROVED AND THIS WAS SECONDED BY MR RUSSELL.

MATTERS ARISING:
DUCK SIGN

The sign has been installed on Carr Lane by North Yorkshire Highways.

ESCRICK PLAYING FIELD
The 10k run on 31st August 2008 had a total of 214 runners. Income generated from the entrants was £2170 together with a donation of £68 towards the water. Outgoings for prizes, hardware, first aiders, internet set up, time clock, marshalls' food totalled £557 and this event had raised a total of £1741.00 profit. The Village Green Committee also had a successful day with the refreshments. Comments and results are available on the website
The usage of the playing field during this summer had been low due to the poor weather. The nettles had been cut down. Mr Smowton has requested the school to attend to the nettles along their section.
The paddock will require ongoing attention and at the next Escrick Playing Field Association committee meeting this will be raised. While the committee have sufficient funds they will maintain this area. There are at present eight people on the committee but requests for more members have had a negative response.
Mrs Coulson will make enquiries about getting funding from the Escrick Park Gardens development.
Action LC

PROPOSAL FOR A BY-PASS AT ESCRICK
The response to the questionnaires was very good and 360 questionnaires were completed. The results were:

In favour of the relief road: 36 (10%)
Against the relief road: 324 (90%)

Most parishioners felt that the considerable increase in village size would alter the character of the village, and that there would be an increase in traffic from the associated development. The result means that the Parish Council will oppose this project and will use the questionnaire as evidence of the views of the village. Many thanks to all who took part and to the group in the Council that put together and counted the results.
The questionnaire also asked about improved access to the A19 for the village; the two choices we have been presented with by the study group are for vehicle actuated signs on the A19 or for traffic lights at the Skipwith Road junction. The results of these questions were:

In favour of improved access: 262 (83%)
Not in favour: 55 (17%)
In favour of traffic lights: 220 (73%)
In favour of signs: 83 (27%)

These results have been sent to the County Council group that is currently conducting the public consultation.

VICTORIA JUBILEE FOUNTAIN
Complaints from parishioners had been received that the new posts around this fountain obstructed the line of sight for vehicles turning north onto the A19 from Main Street. The chair together with Mr Forster and the clerk went on site and it was agreed that the posts caused an obstruction. Mr Hales was given the contract to reposition the posts at a cost of £280 + VAT. Mr Smowton obtained verification from the Yorkshire Local Councils Association that if this work had to be corrected, the clerk has the authority to pay for any bills if the clerk deemed it was necessary without first having to consult with the whole council. As this had been a cause of public safety the work was authorised and took place within a few days of the issue being raised. Mrs Mannix suggested an emergency meeting should be called in future to discuss any issues between meetings. The chair advised that this would normally be the case, but in this instance it was felt that the work should be done without delay. Mr Russell proposed the meeting proceed onto the next item on the agenda and stated the fountain area looked very nice and tidy.

PLAQUE TO COMMEMORATE MR BILL READER'S TREE
Mr Reader left the Meeting.
The clerk obtained a quotation from Cameo Engraving Company in York £122 + VAT in brass or satin stainless steel. The clerk confirmed this quote is only for the plaque and the mounting was to be provided by the village green committee. It was unanimously agreed to have the plaque finished in satin stainless steel. Mr Forster proposed this quote be accepted and this was seconded Mrs Mannix.
Action VC
Mr Reader rejoined the Meeting

NPOWER BILLS
In December last year, Yorkshire Local Councils Association had a meeting with two NPower representatives, Derek Westeney and John Clark. They informed them that councils would be charged £5.50 per month (£66) per year administration costs from 1 April 2008 and that past invoices would be reissued to provide a rebated invoice. It was agreed unanimously that we should in future pay NPower bills with administration charges not exceeding £66.00 per year.

HOUSING SURVEY
The Rural Housing Enabler, Carolyn Vaughan-Downes, had asked whether the Parish Council would support the preparations of plans for a small affordable housing scheme of ten dwellings. This was unanimously agreed, the clerk to inform Ms Vaughan-Downes of the outcome.
Action VC

MEMORIAL
Neal Hales has been instructed to trim the trees at the memorial and despite many requests during the past weeks this work is still not done. Mr Hales had reported that the weather had prevented him from doing this work. The painting of the posts around the fountain also has not been completed.

FOOTPATH SKIPWITH ROAD TO MAIN STREET
This footpath had been reported as being in disrepair. Mr Bill Reader has requested the estate to repair this area.

ACCOUNTS are in credit as follows:
A/c No 1: £2006.00
A/c No 2: £1382.34
A/c No 3: £34.50

It was agreed to pay:
Escrick & Deighton Social Club: £10.00
Mrs V Cumberland - broadband Aug / Sep & postage: £36.88
Mrs V Cumberland - toner: £47.27
Dean Landscapes: £603.70
NPOWER: £1588.41
NPOWER: £131.37
NPOWER: £49.27
NPOWER: £62.27
NPOWER: £0.07
Dean Landscapes: £402.60
Stone Cleaning Restoration: £1078.65
Escrick Park Estate - rent of village green: £10.00
Mazars: £158.62

PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Chair had received phone call from chair of Deighton Parish Council who was under the impression that Glebe Cottage was in our parish and they had not approved the plans for this cottage and agricultural building on the premises. The chair informed him this property came within the boundary of Deighton Parish and the City of York.

8/10/31E/PA
Outline application for the erection of an agricultural workers dwelling Approach Farm Riccall Road Escrick - no objections - permission granted by SDC

8/10/221/PA
Erection of a single storey attached garage with a two storey dormer extension to the rear following demolition of existing detached garage Hawthorn Cottage Hollicarrs Close Escrick - no objections

8/10/98C/PA
Erection of a first floor extension over garage with dormer windows to the front and rear 4 Skipwith Road Escrick - permission granted by SDC

8/10/57D/PA
Proposed erection of a conservatory and ground floor extension to provide kitchen toilets store and cellar Rectory Cottage 6 Main Street Escrick - rejected by SDC

8/10/40AL/PA
erection of a leisure suite in the grounds of The Parsonage Country House Hotel Escrick -
Site located with both York Green Belt and Escrick Conservation Area.
Adjoining St Helen's Church - Grade II* Listed Building
Within the curtilage of Grade II Listed Parsonage Hotel.

The proposals within both applications are contrary to policy. The detailed boundaries of Escrick as a settlement inset within the York Green Belt were specifically examined as part of preparation of the Selby District Local Plan, where the York Green Belt's outer boundaries were defined and set for the first time by the adoption of the Selby District Local Plan in February 2005. PPG2 advises that detailed Green Belt boundaries defined in adopted Local Plans should be altered only exceptionally (Para 2.6). The applications therefore need to be considered as to whether they are appropriate development within the Green Belt.
The proposed developments do not fulfil any of the permitted uses within Green Belt (para 1.6), whilst their scale and massing do impinge on both the openness of the Green Belt in this location and the setting and special character of the Conservation Area and the adjoining Listed Buildings. Furthermore, advice in PPG2 (para 2.11) has been followed by the Council in preparation of the Local Plan in that limited infilling is permitted in that part of Escrick 'inset' from the Green Belt, with full protection and no new building (except in exceptional circumstances) allowed within the Green Belt designated area within which the application site is located. It is clear that the construction of the proposed developments within the Green Belt is inappropriate as it does not meet any of the tests required in para 3.4 of PPG2.
The applicant appears to contest that the site should be treated as a Major Developed Site in the Green Belt. Para C1 of PPG2 clearly specifies the previous site usages that may be considered, and a country hotel within extensive grounds is not listed. Furthermore, any such site should be specifically identified within an adopted Local Plan - again, Selby Council has followed this advice and has listed those appropriate sites within the recently adopted Local Plan but this site is not so designated. Again, the proposals are clearly contrary to Green Belt policy at this time and will continue to be so unless the site were to be re-designated through the proper Plan preparation process in the future (i.e. LDF review).
Escrick Parish Council considers the Parsonage Hotel an important part of the village as a prestige venue and local employer. It is therefore sympathetic to its need to invest in its facilities, but is concerned that this should be undertaken in a sensitive and appropriate way. However, PPG2 advises that inappropriate development is that which results in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building. The Parsonage's Grade II listing includes its setting and the Parish Council notes that, notwithstanding its concerns re Green Belt designation, the applicant's Planning Statement advises that the amount of floorspace on the site has incrementally increased by 170%, with a corresponding increase in the built footprint of 290%. It should be noted that all of these new developments obtained planning consent (as did the permission for the adjoining Doctor's Surgery) prior to the adoption of the Selby District Local Plan in 2005. Therefore, in accordance with Government advice and good planning practice, increased weight should now be placed on the adopted Local Plan and its statutory Green Belt designation, as well as the designations and policies appropriate to the Conservation Area and adjoining Listed Buildings.
Even if the (substantial) policy objections were put to one side, Escrick Parish Council considers that the following planning matters have not been satisfactorily addressed in the applications:
Both proposals are gross over development and detrimentally affect the setting of the original Parsonage / Queen Margaret's Lodge.
Whilst views have been considered from the A19, no assessment is made of views from the Green Belt / open countryside or from the Doctor's Surgery and lane which is a well used local facility. Both the proposed Conservatory to Rectory Cottage and the Leisure Club are extensive buildings which would substantially change the amenity and openness of this area.
Neither has any proper highways assessment been undertaken of the proper parking requirements of the extensive Parsonage conference / hotel facilities, let alone of the leisure club.
It is surprising that a leisure facility of the scale and mass proposed is intended to service only existing guests of the hotel - no appraisal has been submitted to substantiate the scale required and to 'prove' its viability without external membership. And how would this be controlled / enforced?
Neither has a Traffic Impact Assessment been submitted to assess the extent of parking required, nor a Safety Audit prepared to assess the ability of the private lane to accommodate the additional proposed traffic - which is already used extensively to access both the Doctor's Surgery and private residences / farms. Not only could there potentially be conflict of usage with a new access to the leisure club from the lane, but the current junction arrangement with the busy A19 is already considered problematic and may not be able to accommodate additional traffic usage.
As previously stated, the Parish Council considers the Parsonage Hotel an integral part of the village. It is not opposed to the development of leisure facilities in principle, but considers the proposals gross over-development and insensitive both to its designation as Green Belt and the important setting of the adjoining Listed Buildings. The incremental extensions are of poor quality and inappropriate within the curtilage of a Listed Building, adjoining another, within the Conservation Area and the Green Belt. Demolition within such sensitive areas and replacement of buildings - of an appropriate scale and quality - is permitted and perhaps should be considered if further development of the Parsonage Hotel is desired. Further consultation with the Local Planning Authority and local community would be welcomed.
In the interim, Escrick Parish Council objects to both of these applications and considers that they should be refused in their current form for the reasons set out above.

CORRESPONDENCE
'Group Response' had written with a quotation to patrol certain areas of the village. It was agreed unanimously this was not required.

Dean Landscapes had sent their quotation for this season together with an up to date insurance certificate. The quotes for cutting were:
Village green - £910.00 (£60.66 per cut)
Playing Field - £750.00 (£50.00 per cut)
Verges - £910.00 (£60.66 per cut)
It was agreed to accept this quote.

Two emails had been received from Mr & Mrs Bolton about the live music being played at the club at night events. The Parish Council already supports the village green events which are held outside with live music and therefore do not have authority to restrict the club. The music only lasts until the permitted hour of 12 midnight. The club have been informed of this complaint.
Mrs May Price continues to have problems with raw sewerage flowing on her garden during heavy down pours and her letters to Yorkshire Water are having no positive action.
Mrs Casling is pursuing the environmental department about the flooding in the village and the Council agreed she was doing an excellent job.
She phoned Yorkshire Water and North Yorkshire County Council Highways regarding Carr Lane outside the school entrance and Main Street near to the bridge as she had seen the flooding last Friday 12th September in this area.
She logged a clean up order with Yorkshire Water for both sites and requested North Yorkshire County Council to clean the gullies which has been done. As of yet Yorkshire Water have not carried out their work. It seems that when there is a surge the pump is not strong enough so the water firstly comes out through the manhole outside school and then backs up to the Main Street gullies. This pops out the rodding eye and blows the bungs. North Yorkshire County Council needs to replace these every time this happens. Mark Lumby from North Yorkshire County Council Highways reported that there was a similar problem in Riccall and it took four years for Yorkshire Water to change the pump for a stronger one. What it needs is every instance logging with Mark Lumby and Yorkshire Water. So residences in these areas need to phone with their post code and request a clean up. She suggested it might also be worthwhile getting the school involved.
The clerk was requested to write to the local MP, the Minister of the Environment and to the Education Minister.
Action: VC

Next Community Safety Joint Action Group meeting is on Wednesday 22 October at 7.30pm in Hemingbrough Methodist Chapel.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Mr Forster had been asked by a parishioner if the parish council were going to mark Dr Smythson's retirement and it was unanimously agreed that it was the responsibility of the surgery.

Mrs Wainwright reported there were overhanging branches at Oakhurst in Carr Lane
Action: VC / BR

Mrs Lilian Coulson would like the footpath from Skipwith Road to Main Street to be repaired. Mr Bill Reader will request the Estate office to deal with this.
Action: BR

Mr Bill Reader requested a quotation for cleaning all the street lights and replacing the bulbs.
Action: VC

Mr Bill Reader asked if the schedule of parish council meeting dates would be increased. It was agreed that this year's schedule was sufficient, but next year we will consider a seven and an eight meeting calendar.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING Monday 27th October 2008