Join our mailing list:

24/01/2014 OGM Minutes




Present: Councillors:  Brigadier J F Rickett (Chairman), Lt Col J B Henderson (Vice-Chairman),

Mrs L Hayman-Joyce, Mrs G Cathie

Clerk:  Mrs H Seymour-Smith

Mr J Shipton (Internal Auditor)

District Councillor S Gray

Public:  Mr & Mrs J Matthias, Mr & Mrs R Graham, Mr C Maynell, Mr & Mrs D Poulsom,

Mr C Fance, Mr J Coker, Mr & Mrs A Wield, Mr J Hayman-Joyce, Mr & Mrs S Daly, Mr E Hicks

  1. Apologies: County Councillor C Saint, Mr J Castle (Hon. Treasurer)
  2. The Chairman gave a tribute to the late Councillor Denise Pelczynski, who is greatly missed.
  3. The Minutes of the Ordinary General Meeting on the 25th October 2013 were approved, and the Chairman signed them.  No matters arising.
  4. Filling of the casual vacancy on the Parish Council.  The Vice-Chairman explained the process.  If by the 29th January, Stratford on Avon District Council had not received ten letters requesting an election, then the remaining Councillors would have a closed meeting in which they would agree on a candidate to co-opt.  An absolute majority would be needed.  It was noted that the number of Councillors for Barton-on-the-Heath Parish Council was set as five, by Stratford on Avon District Council.The Chairman asked all those who would like to put themselves forward for co-option to stand up, and the following people did so:  Mr J Coker, Mr J Matthias and Mrs L Graham.
  5. Items 5 and 6 on the agenda were omitted by the Chairman, as they had been discussed at previous meetings.
  6. Financial matters.  The Vice Chairman read out the following statement from the Hon. Treasurer:3rd Interim Financial Statement.  There was no “un-budgeted expenditure” but a nice income surprise.  Stratford District Council found that they had a surplus in their grass cutting account so refunded us £177.04 against our invoice for £120. This took into account that we had received less in many previous years but it does not set a precedent for future years.  Funds available to the Parish Council: £211.59 and the Council has £1,346.78 in the Savings (Maintenance) Account.Precept Application for 2014 -15.  This was made on the 10th January 2014, for £980, as was agreed at the OGM on 25 October 2013.The Council noted the Financial Statement and the Precept Application.
  7. Grass cutting.  The Vice Chairman read out the following statement from the Hon. Treasurer:As agreed at the last meeting, I wrote to Mr Parkes – Head of Technical Services at Stratford on Avon District Council on 28 November 2013 asking for Barton to be on the Landscape Group list of villages for “verge cutting” for the financial year 2013 – 14.  I also revised the cutting schedule to include those verges which previously were cut by adjacent property owners where there are new owners (Old Rectory and Rainbow Farm) or by owners who now want to cut back on their voluntary efforts (Hemmings Farm) or where there are new houses (Leys Farm development). The revised schedule should cover all the appropriate verges.  I have not had a reply.The Council noted that the grass verge cutting request had been made.
  8. Village website.  The Hon. Treasurer had agreed with Mr S Johnston not to change the company which hosts the village website.  They felt that the marginal saving in cost was not worth the work involved and the possible loss of our information. The cost will remain about £120/year.The Chairman congratulated Mr S Johnston on the new website.  Mrs L Graham asked that people continue to send articles and announcements for the website.  She also queried whether it was right that the website was entitled “Barton-on-the-Heath Parish Council”.  It was agreed that “Parish Council” should be dropped from the title.Action Hon. Treasurer and Mr Johnston.
  9. Mr & Mrs C Seymour-Smith presented a proposal for a new house to the West of North Lodge, just past the Wields’ paddock.  The proposal would be judged under NPPF paragraph 55, allowing new houses in open countryside only if they are considered to be truly outstanding or innovative, helping to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas; reflect the highest standards in architecture; significantly enhance the immediate setting; and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.  On the recommendation of Stratford District Council, they had presented the scheme to MADE, a Design Review Panel, who had judged that the scheme met these criteria.  They described how the house would draw inspiration from, whilst not seeking to mimic, the agricultural buildings found in the area.  They also demonstrated with photomontages how the new house would be barely visible.The following comments were made:The Vice-Chairman:  Against extending the curtilage of the village, thinks the proposal is not sensitive to the characteristics of village, will not enhance the area, will bring residential paraphernalia, will create precedent, have responsibility to protect the AONB, thinks it misleading that house is disguised as a barn.Mrs L Graham:  Asked about ecology, and had general concern about modern design spoiling the undisturbed countryside.Mr J Matthias:  Questioned whether the proposals met the criteria of paragraph 55.  In response, Mrs Seymour-Smith read out part of the letter from the Design Review Panel, which described the scheme as “well considered”, “sophisticated and distinctive”, and “an outstanding and innovative proposal for the purposes of paragraph 55”.

    Mr E Hicks:  Said he thought the Design Review Panel had discussed the merits of the chosen site as well as the design.  Mrs Seymour-Smith confirmed that this was the case, and that the review had included a site visit.  The panel had reported:  “The site chosen for this development is appropriate being on land which is unsuitable for agricultural use, is sufficiently ‘isolated’ for paragraph 55, but close enough to the centre of Barton-on-the-Heath for the occupants to contribute to village life. The building sits well in the hollow and makes good use of the topography and the adjoining pond.”

    Mrs S Daly:  Asked whether there was a buyer for the plot.  Mrs Seymour-Smith responded that it had been designed with a particular buyer in mind – a local family with three young children, who were very keen to move to Barton.

    Mr J Hayman-Joyce:  Considered proposal not to be outstanding or enhancing.  Thought it looked like a chicken house and would detract from the peaceful wooded setting, with domestic paraphernalia.  Also concerned about creating precedent.

    Mr J Coker:  Thinks house interesting, but in the wrong place – thought most para. 55 houses were on bigger sites and more isolated.  Concerned about precedent.  Would wish alternative track, for construction and for permanent access.

    Mr D Poulsom: Worried about creating precedent, about increase in traffic through village (said he thought the new house would have 4 or 5 vehicles), and concerned about small children in the vicinity of a pond.

    Mr C Fance:  Only concern would be if a new alternative access from the Kitebrook Road were put in, and that passing traffic would be visible from his property.

    Mr A Wield:  Said we must not forget that Mr Hicks’ two new houses, also in the AONB, had been recently supported by the Parish Council.  AONB protection should be a guideline, not a doctrine.  Thought the proposal made good use of otherwise dead ground, and that it wouldn’t be visible.  Traffic down the lane would increase, but it wouldn’t concern him, as cars on tarmac don’t make much noise.

    Mr J Matthias:  Added that he was concerned about increased traffic past his house, but that he didn’t want to be accused of nimbyism.

    The Chairman then read out two e-mails:

    Mr T Fenner-Leitão:  Thinks the size of house that is proposed will clearly be aimed, and rightly so, at a family with children.  Feels that road traffic will undoubtedly increase quite substantially and this poses serious security issues for their 3 boys that go backwards and forwards across the road to the stables, gym and play room.  Feels very strongly that an alternative access from the Kitebrook Road should be used.  Does want the project to go ahead and be successful.

    Mr J Castle and Ms M Pettifer:  Proposed building is outside the Conservation Area, indeed almost out of sight from any position in the village.  Think we should continue the development of the village in line with the designs and concepts of the times in which we live.  Provided new buildings such as this are added in a sensitive and aesthetic way to add diversity and interest to the village, rather than having a fixation on preserving the past at whatever cost, we support the proposal.

    The remaining Councillor was then asked to comment.  (Mrs G Cathie, having an interest in the project, was not allowed to comment.)

    Mrs L Hayman-Joyce:  Agreed with points made by Mrs L Graham, Mr J Matthias and Mr D Poulsom.

    The Chairman concluded by saying that he thought the proposal was ingenious and well thought out.  He thought that as long as building in the AONB could be controlled, as this is, then there was no problem with it.  The matter would be discussed again and voted upon when Mr & Mrs Seymour-Smith had made their planning application to Stratford District Council.

  10. Any other business:
    1. The Clerk explained Planning and Listed Building Consent applications that had been sent to the Parish Council for comment – for renovation works at The Old Rectory.  There were no objections.
    2. It was agreed that meeting agendas and minutes should be circulated to the whole village via      e-mail in future.
    3. Councillor Gray reported that the District Council had released its draft budget, and that there would be no rise in the District Council element of Council Tax for this year and next.  He also reported that the District Council was still struggling to finalise the Draft Local Plan, and that consultations were now due to finish at Easter.
    4. The Chairman asked about the progress of the appeal by the gypsies at Kitebrook.  A public enquiry will be held on the 2nd April.

Date of next meeting:
Thursday 29th May 2014, 7pm:  Ordinary General Meeting followed by Annual General Meeting.



Brigadier J F Rickett



Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>