Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 29th April 2003.


PRESENT:     Chairman          - Town Mayor – Cllr Mrs S A Mounce

Members      - Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs S Bloomfield, Mrs I Rowe, Mrs M Tucker, Mrs J Whittaker, T E A Barclay, A Barnes, R D Bradford MBE,

A Eastman, P Hames, D Rowe, P Tamplin, P Waters

together with PC M Tricker and Inspector S Pepper, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary and 5 Parishioners


1.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 25th March 2003 were approved and signed. 


2.         Matters arising

(a) Min 2(b) Odun Road Development

Cllr Waters reported that Midas were not honouring their agreement and were using too large a vehicle for the road. 

(b) Min 2(c) Public amenities for Northam

Cllr Barclay reported that the District Council would not provide the automated public conveniences but were looking to provide facilities within a refurbished community centre.

(c) Min 9(c)

Cllr Barnes reported that the case for some free parking at Bone Hill car park was well received by the District Council’s Scrutiny Committee and he was hopeful that there would be a sensible resolution of this issue.


3.         Minutes


The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held 16th April 2003 were adopted subject to the following amendment: -


Min 8(a) (i)  – The pitching on the Churchfields car park embankment, adjacent to the pumping station was breaking up and she would ask the District Council to ensure that South West Water carried out the necessary works of repair as it was their operations that resulted in the damage. 


It was RESOLVED to accept all the recommendations and action them as necessary.


4.         Matters of report to/from Community Constable


PC M Tricker introduced Inspector S Pepper.  PC Tricker reported that there had been 31 reported crimes in the parish for which he gave details.  He went on to advise that he was hoping to pre-empt the ball game problem at Morwenna Park Road before the next school holidays.  Discussion with regard to a fire walk on the green at Morwenna Park Road was cause for concern by Councillors and alternative sites of the playground or car park seemed more appropriate.  Cllr Bradford MBE thought there should be a poster inviting people to take part.


Cllr Barclay reported break-ins at the old skate rink, Westward Ho! and his concerns over speeding.


Cllr Mrs Whittaker enquired as to whether the North Street/Daneshay parking  problem had been resolved.


Cllr Eastman referred to the unauthorised use of a garage in New Street, Appledore.


The Town Mayor requested that the Police show a presence in the Hanson Park area, preferably between. 6.00 and 7.00 pm.


Inspector Pepper advised the Council on the new management arrangements that the Police were implementing.  Since December 2001 he had been Bideford’s Sector Inspector which covers Bideford, Northam and the coastal belt including Hartland.  This is broken down into neighbourhoods with appropriate Beat Managers being local officers accountable for specific geographical areas.  The Northam neighbourhood included Northam, Appledore and Westward Ho! and the intention was to ensure that the local officers spend as much time as possible on the beat.  It had been identified that Northam was now large enough to be split into two and have another officer.  However, it could be some time before this could actually be achieved as budgets were tight.  A continuing concern of residents was speeding and Inspector Pepper advised that the had been reliably informed that it was intended to devolve down to local officer level the responsibility to carry out speed checks.  This was all subject to the necessary training and equipment being provided.  He was concerned that many crimes were avoidable if people only took a little more care when leaving their cars and valuables unattended. 


There was a general discussion on the expansion of the CCTV system and the employment of Special Constables/Wardens.  In certain parts of the country pilot schemes had been introduced where Wardens were funded locally. 


As this was the last of the current Council the Town Mayor and Members extended their thanks to PC Mike Tricker for his dedicated work. 


5.         Town Clerk’s Report


Monthly Financial Report – The Town Clerk presented the monthly financial report that included payments for this month and it was RESOLVED to accept. 


6.         Northam Burrows


            (a) Letter from Burrows Committee


Members considered a letter from the Burrows Committee regarding the District Council’s actions whereby they had erected a fence and removed a small area of sward in order to accommodate the new toll booth on the Appledore Gate road.  There was concern that Members had not been informed that the erection of the fence and removal of the sward was to be undertaken and it was thought that the fence could well need the consent of the Secretary of State as it would form an obstruction on common land.  It was RESOLVED to write to the Chief Executive of Torridge District Council with a copy to the Chairman of the Burrows Committee making it clear that the Council were concerned that proper procedures had not been followed.


            (b) Suspected pollution of Burn


Members considered a letter from the Principal Planning Officer (Local Plans) in respect of the proposal to remove the invert of the concrete pipe supporting Bassetts Bridge.  It was RESOLVED to respond to the Principal Planning Officer advising him that the suggestion for this work had arisen at a meeting with the Environment Agency where they considered the free flow of water through the burn an essential requirement to minimise the risk of flooding following over topping of the pebbleridge.  There was some reservation by English Nature as to the need for this work but it was left to the two bodies to resolve the matter between them.  It was not intended to lower the bed of the burn as such, the removal of part of the pipe would ensure that the natural flow of water would not be impeded. 


            (c) Flying of Model Aeroplanes


Members considered a letter from Mrs Sims regarding a dangerous arising from the flying of model aeroplanes.  As the letter was a copy of that sent to the District Council it was at this stage RESOLVED to write to the District Council asking them to ensure that the letter was on the agenda of the next Burrows Management Committee and asking for a copy of the interim reply the District Council would have sent to Mrs Sims.


            (d) Members items


Cllr Barclay was concerned about the standard of workmanship of the contractor undertaking road repairs to the Pimpley Road.  It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council expressing concern. 


7.         New Street Appledore


Cllr Eastman reported that the unauthorised use of a garage in New Street, Appledore had gone on for far too long.  He advised that it had taken eighteen months from the first letter to the District Council for enforcement action to be taken. 


8.         Streetworks and related matters


            Members’ items


Cllr Eastman drew attention to the continuing problem of cars parking outside the Royal Hotel, Bude Street resulting in a dangerous situation for pedestrians.  Mention was made of the County Council’s commitment to undertake works in Appledore.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council stressing that works in this area were urgent and that if the general proposals for the streets and pavement in Appledore were not imminent then this particular situation needed to be dealt with as a one off job.


9.         Planning applications


0104/03           Proposed Use of 10 car park spaces for site office, toilet, canteen

and parking – amended plan. – Odun Road car park, Appledore  - RESOLVED - to maintain strong opposition to the use of Odun Road car park for site office etc.  However, the Council is prepared to accept the proposal for a Marshall’s hut at the end of Odun Road for the purpose of controlling heavy traffic along the road.


0599/03           Proposed Change of use of Gift Shop to tea rooms, café and crafts - 2 Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! -  RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


0617/03           Proposed single storey rear extension to house - 4 The Maltings, Odun Road, Appledore – RESOLVED - Recommend approval if sufficient room and no privacy problems created.


0623/03           Proposed Erection of 3 no houses and extension of domestic curtilage

Land to east of Lower Daddon, Daddon Hill, Northam  – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal – proposal is too dense and takes in land outside the development boundary which has only just recently been established.  The site used to be part of a refuse tip for Northam and the adjoining property Lower Daddon had to be rebuilt because of foundation problems.


0637/03           Proposed loft conversion and extension to existing owners’ accommodation - Potwallopers, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal – The Council is satisfied with the rear elevation but does not wish to see windows to the front in the roof.


0639/03           Proposed alterations including 4 new windows - Missioners Cottage, The Quay, Appledore – RESOLVED - Council are concerned about the style of the proposed windows and are of the view that they should match the existing and can they be in wood please.


0662/03           Proposed conversion of existing redundant barns to 8 dwellings

for rent - Burrough Farm, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


0675/03           Proposed first floor extension to provide two bedrooms and bathroom.  Anchorage, 37 Windmill Lane, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend refusal.


0678/03           Proposed two storey extension to dwelling for lounge and bedroom at rear of property - 21 Riverside Close – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


10.       Matters brought forward at Chairman’s discretion


(a) Cllr Eastman reported that he was concerned about the amount of fly tipping taking place since the closure of the Northam Burrows facility. 


(b) Cllr Mrs Whittaker advised that there was a small amount of work outstanding for the Parish Transport Grant but she was hopeful that when this was sent back the money would be released.  She undertook to see this grant through.


(c) The Town Mayor and Members extended their thanks and best wishes for the future to Cllr Mrs Biggs who, having served the Council since 1975,  was  standing down.


(d) The Town Mayor and Members extended their thanks and best wishes for the future to Cllr D Rowe who, having served the Council for many years, was standing down.