Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber,

Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 21st December 2004


PRESENT:     Chairman         - Town Mayor – Cllr L Ford

 Members        - Cllrs Mrs M M Cox, Mrs S A Mounce, A Barnes,

  R D Bradford MBE, E J Davies A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE,   

  R W A Miller, P Sturges, Dr P Tamplin, P B Waters

                        together with  5 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf Cllr J Bell


The Town Mayor welcomed Cllr Miller, the newly elected Member for Northam.


1.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 30th November 2004 were approved and signed. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


2.         Town Clerk’s Report           


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


(Vote: Unanimous)


With regard to the expenditure on the fence at Appledore Bridge Cllr Waters reported that this had been undertaken satisfactorily but to finish the job off two more rails were required at the lower end where the fence crosses the muddy foreshore.  It was RESOLVED to undertake this work in the spring.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Delivery of survey forms


The Town Clerk reported that he had found it necessary to re-arrange the delivery of the survey forms and that a local resident of Windmill Lane was to undertake the work for the cost previously reported i.e. £250.00.


            It was RESOLVED to approve the Town Clerk’s actions.


(Vote: Unanimous)


3.         Notice of Motion from Cllr Eastman – That this Council supports the Appledore Skateboard Park and signs the lease at the earliest opportunity with the Torridge District Council and this Council allocates £100 to cover the costs of inspections.


            It was reported that the documentation from the District Council’s solicitor was not yet available and it was RESOLVED to defer consideration of this item to the next Council meeting.


(Vote: Unanimous)


4.         Transfer of land at Appledore (Blackies) and Northam Burrough Farm from TDC to the Town Council


            The Town Clerk reported that the District Council’s Policy Committee had deferred consideration of the transfer of these parcels of land pending the establishment of a districtwide policy.  Concern was expressed as the Appledore project, being promoted by the Residents’ Association, was well advanced and with grant applications having been made.  In view of this it was RESOLVED to write to the District Council explaining the problem with regard to Appledore and requesting that the policy be expedited.


(Vote: Unanimous)


5.         MCTI


            Members considered a letter from Sue Gear, the General Manager of the North Devon and Exmoor Regeneration Company with regard to the Market and Coastal Town Community Plan for Northam, Westward Ho! and Appledore.  As previously minuted, (Minute 14 of Council meeting 30 November 2004), the Town Council has agreed to become the lead agency and this will now be progressed with the Regeneration Company.


6.         Northam Burrows


Councillors Tamplin and Waters expressed concern with the drainage on the Burrows and the lack of maintenance to the ditches.  Cllr Mrs Mounce reported that the District Council’s Standards Committee would be examining Northam Burrows early in the new year and she was hopeful that all the contentious issues would be addressed.


7.         Streetworks and related matters

Members’ items


(a) Cllr Waters reported that he had undertaken further research with regard to the Hubbastone Road slipway.   It appeared on the Ordnance Survey sheet of 1888 and he had received further representations from members of the public who currently use the facility.  It was RESOLVED to send this information to Devon County Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Cllr Eastman reported that he had received complaints regarding the state of the concrete surface in Tomouth Road, Appledore.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council asking when this would be re-surfaced.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(c) Cllr Barnes referred to the planned improvement works to Bay View Road for which there had been public consultation earlier in the year.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council requesting a start date for the works. 


(Vote: Unanimous)


(d) Cllr Miller reported that many of the streets in Northam are in poor condition and in particular Cross Street needed urgent attention.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council.  He also advised that the dog fouling of pavements was becoming even more of a problem and it was RESOLVED to write to the District Council requesting appropriate action.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(e) Cllr Mrs Mounce reported that Morwenna Park Road is in a very poor condition and whilst the County Council have patched it on numerous occasions she was of the view that re-construction is required.  It was RESOLVED to write to the County Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


8.         Mr Andy Seaman, Head of Development Services, Torridge District Council


Mr Seaman advised the Council on the changes that were taking place both in the District Council and nationally with regard to the planning process.  A Development Control charter had been established and a new scheme of delegation.  He advised that responses from Town and Parish Councils are important and that these are not ignored but that does not mean that they are necessarily agreed with.  The decisions are founded in planning law and are plan led.  Under the new scheme of delegation, the majority of decisions are made by the Officers with unresolved issues going to the Plans Committee.  The new system is designed to speed up the process of dealing with applications but not to circumvent. 


With regard to the Local Plan, Mr Seaman advised that the recently adopted Local Plan would soon be re-printed.  However, under the Planning Compensation Act of 2004 there is to be a change in the system of plan production which is designed to be more responsive and quicker.  This is to be known as the Local Development Framework.  This is likely to be 9 separate documents using a portfolio approach.  It will break down the Plan into key areas, one of which is a statement of community involvement.  He anticipated that fairly early in 2005 the process, which will produce this statement of community involvement, will begin and initially a letter will come to the Town Council.  The core strategy documents will deal with the fundamental issues such as housing, infrastructure etc.  There will be individual action plans for Bideford/Northam, Torrington, Holsworthy and the rural area. 


Currently the Planning staff has difficulty influencing the design of properties as there is no strong argument put forward.  However, it is hoped to establish a districtwide design guide which, when completed, would give weight to persuading developers to produce designs more in keeping with the local scene. 


The Town Mayor thanked Mr Seaman for his attendance.

9.         Torrington Area Advisory Group Meeting


            It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council requesting that there be a Northam Area Advisory Group.


(Vote: Unanimous)


10.       Planning applications


2251/04           Proposed conversion of roof space to living accommodation and

ground floor extension to lounge.56 Bay View Road, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


(Vote: Unanimous)


            2267/04           Proposed sun lounge -31 Fordlands Crescent – RESOLVED -

                        Recommend approval.


(Vote: Unanimous)


2280/04           Proposed garden shed - 42 Stanwell Drive, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


2281/04           Proposed Erection of a conservatory - 6 Durrant Close, Northam –

                                    RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


(Vote: Unanimous)


2308/04           Proposed conservatory - 6 Appletree Mews, Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


2330/04           Proposed reconstruction of sub-standard single storey rear addition and minor internal alterations - Captains Cottage, 45 Market Street, Appledore – RESOLVED - Recommend approval subject to being the same size.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


2337/04           Proposed extension to provide artist’s studio, store and bathroom. 31 Atlantic Way, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.  Council would like to see the tree replaced.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)



2345/04           Proposed change of use of land to domestic garden including demolition of part of existing boundary wall and erection of wall/fence on new boundary - Land off Odun Road car park, 17 Myrtle Street, Appledore – RESOLVED - Recommend approval subject to the stability of the boundary and the car park not being compromised by the works.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


2360/04           Proposed extension of existing conservatory/utility and provide dining area/sun lounge10 Century Drive, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


            (Vote: Unanimous)


2408/04           Proposed Erection of single detached bungalow - Land adjacent to Glenfield House, 27 Glenfield Road – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 10 For, 1 abst)


            2435/04           Proposed Garage - 76 Bay View Road, Northam – RESOLVED -

                                    Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


2438/04           Proposed provision of dormer window to front elevation - 

23 Highfield, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


11.       Proposed Biomass Power Station


Members considered a letter from the Winkleigh Working Party opposed to the Biomass Power Station.  It was RESOLVED to send a letter of support to the Group


            (Vote: 6 For, 1 Against)


12.       Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Public Entertainment Licences


Lenwood Country Club, [Neptunes Function Room and Bar] Northam – RESOLVED – No objection.


(Vote: Unanimous)



13.       Transfer of Justices’ Licences


Transfer of Licence – The Fairway Buoy, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED – No objection.


Transfer of Licence – The Elizabethan Club, Merley Road - RESOLVED – No objection.


Transfer of Licence – The Seagate Hotel, Appledore - RESOLVED – No objection.


Transfer of Licence – The Durrant House Hotel - RESOLVED – No objection.


Transfer of Licence – The Kingsley Inn, Fore Street, Northam - RESOLVED – No



(Vote: Unanimous)





14.       Implementation of the National Agreement of Salaries and Conditions of Service of Local Council Clerks in England and Wales


            The Town Clerk reported on the new National Agreement for Town Clerks’ salaries.  It was RESOLVED to set up a small working group of Cllrs Mrs Mounce, Eastwood, Waters, and Barnes who would report back to a future meeting of the Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)