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Halling Parish Council


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Meeting of Halling Parish Council held on 14 April 2005 at the Jubilee Hall

Present: Chairman, Councillors L Hitchcock, B Smith, R Swain, and R Underdown.
15 members of the public.

5. Co-option of New Members
Members agreed to take this item out of order to enable the new Parish Councillors to participate in the whole meeting. An informal meeting of the Parish Council had recently interviewed three candidates for the two vacancies, and recommended that Mr F Howard and Mr T Reynolds be co-opted on to the Parish Council at the next full meeting. It was noted that a further vacancy had arisen following the resignation of Councillor A Goodger and that it was anticipated that another new Councillor would be co-opted at the next meeting.
It was unanimously agreed that Messrs Howard and Reynolds be co-opted on to Halling Parish Council with immediate effect. They signed the appropriate declarations and the Chairman thanked them for their interest and welcomed them to the Parish Council.

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from the Vice-Chairman (family illness) and from Councillor Mrs Weaver (prior engagement)

2. Minutes of last meeting
It was proposed by Councillor Underdown, seconded by Councillor Hitchcock that the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th March 2005 were a true record, subject to:- (a) the third line of Item 6 being amended to read “The Parish Council will push for FP319 to be reopened across the railway line”, and (b) the first line of Item 22 being amended to read “Councillor B Smith asked if the Bishops Palace was owned by the Parish Council”. This was agreed unanimously and the minutes were signed by the Chairman

3. Matters arising
In respect of Item 6, “Footpaths Committee”, the Chairman advised that FP320, routed across the marsh, would need to be re-registered as a public right of way before it could be made available for public use.

4. Notification of Any Other Business
Councillor Swain – 1 item and the Chairman – 2 items

5. Estates Committee
Councillor Hitchcock gave a brief resume of estates issues within the parish which had arisen since the last meeting, including action taken to secure the removal of a caravan from the Jubilee Hall car park, action proposed to be taken following an inspection with the handyman and contact to be made with Medway Council concerning the question of cutting back foliage and, in particular, brambles from land abutting the highway.

6. Footpaths Committee
The Chairman referred to the discussion earlier in the meeting concerning footpaths across the marsh and stressed the Parish Council’s determination to bring about a satisfactory and early resolution to the issue.

7. Planning & Development Committee
Councillor Underdown gave details of the Parish Council’s response to Medway Council’s consultation on the recent planning application in respect of proposed development at Trechmann’s Wharf. Despite the fact that only 3 days, instead of the usual 28 had been allowed for reply, this Council had registered its strong objections to the proposals on grounds of increased traffic pressure on the A228, encroachment into the Green Belt, adverse effect within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and increased light and noise pollution.
The Chairman indicated that a meeting would be held shortly with interested parties to discuss the various issues involved with proposals to develop Trechmann’s Wharf.
Councillor Underdown reported briefly on other planning applications upon which the Parish Council had been invited to comment, including an extension to 15 Vicarage Road to enlarge it from a 3 to a 5 bedroomed property. No objection had been raised to the original application, subject to the retention of the garage space, but objections had been raised to the latest application, which proposed the erection of an additional 5 bedroomed property and the loss of the aforementioned garage space.
An objection had also been made in respect of an application at Chalgrove Mews, on the grounds of overdevelopment and highway issues concerning access on to Vicarage Road.

8. Harris House
Following on from the report to the last meeting, the Chairman confirmed that Medway Council had now approved a second planning application, this time, in respect of a mixed development comprising two blocks of flats with a family homes element. The Parish Council would be meeting shortly with the developer to discuss their proposals for the future of the site.

9. Halling Association
The Chairman reported that a full and frank discussion had been held between representatives of the Association, the Parish Council, Medway Council and Mr Patel, the owner of the newsagents adjacent to Forge Green, concerning his objections to the Association’s proposed environmental improvements to Forge Green.. Mr Patel had felt, in particular, that a general improvement to the area might encourage even more anti-social behaviour by local youths. The Association would report back more fully on the meeting at a later date. It was noted that the Association’s other projects were in hand and its next meeting would be held on 4th May 2005.

10. Community Centre
Councillor Hitchcock gave a resume of the varied activities regularly taking place at the Community Centre and he praised the efforts of the many volunteers who gave their time freely to help out. While the number of volunteers was most encouraging, he reminded those present at the meeting that any offers of additional help would be most welcome.

11. HVRA
No report

12. Annual Parish Meeting
The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Annual Parish Meeting would be held at the Community Centre on Monday 25th April at 7:30pm when parishioners would receive reports on and have the opportunity to ask questions concerning a variety of local issues.

(a) Mr & Mrs R Bain – objections re Trechmanns Wharf
(b) Medway Council – planning application for 22 Meadow Crescent – refused
(c) Medway Council – planning application for 36 Howlesmere Close – approved
(d) Audit Commission – notice of audit for 2004/5 – by 13 June 2005
(e) Alan Goodger – resignation from Parish Council
(f) Land Use Consultants – stakeholder group 25 April 2005 Medway Council
(g) FWAG – workshop on environmental stewardship – various venues/dates
(h) CEMEX – Agenda for liaison committee – 13 April 2005
(i) Craigdene Ltd – report on safety surfaces – possibility of funding
(j) Medway Council – Viv Kent PROW re RS320
(k) DEFRA – quality parishes and parish planning
(l) Malling Holiday Playscheme – request for donation
(m) D W Filmer – copy letter re wall at 2 Howlesmere Close planning application
(n) Royal British Legion – Poppy Appeal roadshows
(o) Medway Council – renewal of Lottery Licence
(p) Kent Downs AONB – Landscape Design Handbook
(q) KAPC –newsletter
(r) Park Leisure Ltd - brochure

(s) Little Uns day nursery £40 advert in Halling View
(t) HALARA £12.12 photocopying

Payments                             ( £       Vat£  Total£)
(a) KAPC – renewal of subs      524.75 85.18 609.93
(b) J Sutherland – padlock         13.95           13.95
(c) Craigdene Ltd – risk survey   80.00 14.00  94.00
(d) P Wilkins Smith – printing      40.00          40.00

It was proposed by Councillor Swain and seconded by Councillor Hitchcock that the above payments be ratified. Unanimously agreed.

17.Any Other Business
(a) Trechmann’s Wharf
Councillor Swain expressed his concern that the present proposals concerning upgrading to the operation at Trechmann’s Wharf, should they, for any reason, not come to fruition, might be substituted in future, by plans for a housing development.
The Chairman shared Councillor Swain’s concern and suggested that the existing proposals for the wharf could increase HGV movements by up to 21,000 per annum.
Councillor Underdown felt that, although future planning applications could not be pre-empted, the possibility of additional housing was also a worry in respect of the extra pressure it would place on an already over burdened A228, a situation soon to be exacerbated by substantial housing developments at Snodland and at Peter’s Pit, Wouldham.

(b) Traffic and Parking Issues in Halling Village
The Chairman referred to his extreme concern in respect of a number of issues in the village centre. Some parking practices, such as parking on the pavement were illegal, anti-social and dangerous. In addition, the condition of many roads in the Village had deteriorated considerably and now needed urgent attention.
The Chairman had contacted Medway Councillor Maisey,who was arranging a meeting with that Council’s Highways portfolio holder, and the Chairman was also proposing to attend that meeting.
In the meantime, the Parish Council would carry out its own parking survey and send the results, including photographic evidence, to Medway Council and Kent Police in order to galvanise some urgent action to improve the situation. A report would be submitted to the next meeting of the Parish Council.

18. Parishioners’ Questions
The issues raised by parishioners included the following:-
Parking of caravan in public car park
The future of the car park in The Street
Cutting back of foliage from the base of trees in “The Circle” at Vicarage Close (Clerk to ask Medway Council to clear)
Proposed development to provide affordable housing on land at Chapel Lane/Pilgrims Way
Footpaths on the marsh
Vandalism and general condition of Halling Station. Item raised during informal questions after the meeting, but it was agreed to ask the Clerk to arrange a meeting with Network South-East, Network Rail and, if appropriate, British Transport Police, as soon as possible, to look at how to improve the situation.
Where questions were unable to be fully answered due to the need for further investigation, a response would be reported to the next appropriate meeting.

Last updated 13 June 2005.

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