Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the

Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 29th March 2005.


PRESENT:     Chairman         - Deputy Town Mayor – Cllr E J Davies

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

   R D Bradford MBE, A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE,

   K A Lane, R W A Miller and P B Waters

   together with PC M Tricker, Devon & Cornwall  

   Constabulary and 13 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf of The Town Mayor, Cllr L Ford and Cllr P Sturges


1.         Fairtrade Status


            Ann Davis gave a presentation to Council on what Fairtrade is and the difference it can make.  She outlined what it has to do with local people, the history of the scheme and how gaining Fairtrade status can be achieved.  She advised that Bideford had agreed to commit the local Council to promoting Fairtrade and she was hopeful that Northam would follow together with Holsworthy and Torrington.


2.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 23rd February 2005 were approved and signed subject to amendment to minute 15 with regard to the land at Burrough Farm.


(Vote: Unanimous)       


3.         Matters of report to/from Police Beat Manager


PC Tricker reported the latest situation with regard to the murder of Mr Colin Brown and advised that three persons had been charged with the murder and were in custody. 


He reported the crime figures for the past month which were down from 45 to 30 compared to this time last year. 


4.         Parish Survey Interim Report


Members considered the interim report of the Working Group, which intends to meet again following the Parish Meeting on 13th April.  In order to move things on it was RESOLVED to seek a meeting with the Bridge Trust to see whether or not they would be willing to sell the Bridge Hall to the Council.  Cllr Miller and the Town Clerk to meet with the Steward of the Bridge Trust.  It was also RESOLVED to write to the District Council to see if they would be willing to either sell or lease the Bone Hill car park to the Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)





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. 


(Vote: Unanimous)       


6.         Northam Burrows


            (a) Manor Passes


Members considered a letter from Mrs Hodder regarding the allocation and the charge for  Burrows passes.  It was RESOLVED to write to Mrs Hodder to correct her understanding of the situation.  It was also RESOLVED to maintain the status quo with regard to the £10 charge.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Agricultural management of Common Land


The Town Clerk reported a consultation document he had received with regard to the future management of common land.  Cllr Waters undertook to study the document and report back to a future meeting.


(c) Members’ Items


Cllr Mrs Mounce reported on a problem with the fencing against the burrows at the Dormy House site and the Town Clerk advised on the action that had been taken to ensure that the fence was replaced.  He also reported that he had written to the Open Spaces Society seeking advice on the responsibility for fencing against the common.


Cllr Barnes raised the continuing problem of pollution at Goosey Pool. It was RESOLVED to request South West Water to send a representative to the Council to explain the situation.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Bell reported that there was no disabled access onto Westward Ho! beach and that a permanent structure was required.  He was also concerned about the railway sleeper arrangement over the Burrows at Sandymere.  It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council seeking details of how much it was costing to maintain the railway sleeper walkway.


(Vote: 6 For, 3 Against, 1 abst)


Cllr Waters reported that there is erosion taking place on the sea side of Appledore bridge underneath the bank at the right hand side as one looks out to sea.  It was RESOLVED to report this to the District Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)

7.         Streetworks and related matters


            (a) Traffic calming works Sandymere Road/Golf Links Road


Members considered a letter from the Local Service Officer, DCC.  It was reported that there were many near misses and it was thought that a serious accident was pending.  It was RESOLVED to write again setting out the Council’s concern.


(Vote: Unanimous)


(b) Members’ items


Cllr Bradford MBE advised that the Appledore Road/Long Lane access to Appledore is becoming used more and more and he thought the wall at the junction with the road from Diddywell should be removed to improve visibility.  It was RESOLVED to write to DCC and the Police to ascertain the number of accidents at this junction.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Eastwood OBE enquired as to whether the fountain in The Square had yet been dealt with by Torridge.  It was RESOLVED to write a letter again to Torridge District Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


8.         Planning applications


Cllr Davies declared an interest as a District Councillor and took no part in considering planning applications and did not vote but he continued to chair the meeting.


0113/05           Proposed conversion of existing double garage to annexe. Vista, Bay View Road, Northam – RESOLVED - Recommend refusal.  This is not an annexe.


                        (Vote: 7 For, 3 abst)


0120/05           Proposed Listed Building application for loft conversion and internal alterations. The Quay Gallery and Coffee shop, The Quay, Appledore –

                        RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


0172/05           Proposed Demolition of existing bungalow and construction of 5 self contained units. Surf Bay, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED - Recommend refusal.  Over intensive use of the site and is too high.


                        (Vote: 9 For, 1 abst)



0239/05           28 Bay View Road, Northam – Proposal to provide off street parking - RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 9 For, 1 abst)


Cllr Davies left the meeting for consideration of the following item.  Cllr Bradford MBE was elected to take the Chair.


0260/05           Part of Richmond Dock site, Newquay Street, Appledore – Proposed residential development of 9 units – RESOLVED - Recommend refusal.  The reasons for the refusal of the previous application 1393/04 still apply for this current application.  Essentially consideration of the Grade II listed structure i.e. the Richmond Dock, must come first in considering any possible development of the surrounding land.  It is not just the maintenance of the structure to be considered but also its continuing use as a viable dry dock.  It follows therefore that there must be sufficient space about the dock for support activities and sufficient distance from any use that would be in conflict with it. 


The following grounds as set out in 1393/04 are strongly supported by the Town Council: -


(a) The proposed development by means of its density and design is deemed to be detrimental to the setting of the Grade II* listed Richmond Dock, adversely affecting the integrity of the structure.  The proximity of the proposed development would preclude its proper maintenance


(b) The proposed development by reason of its proximity to the listed dock would prejudice any future use of the site.


(c) In the absence of detailed flood risk assessment the local planning authority is unable to determine that the development will be acceptable in the context of flood risks likely to be generated.  It is to be noted here that the Environment Agency are indicating that the flood defences recently constructed at Appledore may not be of sufficient height in view of the latest information regarding global warming. 


(d) In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is not possible to determine that the ground material below the site is suitable for the proposed development.   The bore hole results provided by the applicant as evidence are not on the site and I believe that Richmond Dock was built many years before the site under consideration was filled in so it follows therefore that to rely on the Environment Agency’s bore holes is risky.   Planning policy guidelines issued by the Secretary of State make it clear that authorities are to have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting often an essential part of the building’s character.  The setting of a building may often include land some distance from it.  Also, the economic viability as well as the character of the historic building may suffer if they become isolated from their surroundings.  The planning policy guidance also states that the best way of securing the upkeep of historic buildings is to keep them in active use, very often the use for which the building was originally designed, and that this should certainly be the first option when the future of the building is considered.


In general my Council believes that very little, if any, residential development is possible on this site. 


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


            Cllr Davies returned to the meeting and took the Chair.


0272/05           Proposed alterations - The Hermitage, 24 Fordlands Crescent – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


0299/05           Proposed new dormer window, rear elevation – top bedroom. 16 Vernons Lane, Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


0300/05           Proposed Insertion of PVC window in North wall of restaurant. Seagate

0301/05           Hotel, The Quay, Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: 7 For, 1 Against, 2 abst)


0308/05           Proposed erection of a dwelling. Land adjacent to 1 Kimberley Terrace – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


0321/05           Proposed erection of 3 dwellings, Land off Avon Lane, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote; 8 For, 2 Against)


0326/05           Proposed conversion of redundant building - Building adjacent to the Sail Loft, 5 The Quay, Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


0360/05           Proposed Replacement of flat roof with tiled pitch roof. 4 Fairway, Appledore – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Waters declared a prejudicial interest and left the meeting for consideration of this next item.

0367/05           Proposed 4 Dwellings - White Lodge, Richmond Road, Appledore – RESOLVED - Recommend refusal.  Proposal is too intensive.  Properties would be devoid of useable garden and the proposal is a much higher density than Scott Avenue.  There is sufficient housing land identified in the local plan and it is not necessary to build at high densities.  There are also other concerns regarding lowering of ground level, building too close to Anchor Park and the loss of White Lodge which is a building of character if not protected by listing. 


                                    (Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Waters rejoined the meeting.


0376/05           Proposed Renewal of planning approval granted in 1999 for the erection of a dwelling. Land adjacent to 21 North Street – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


0393/05           Proposed Ground floor extension to provide additional consulting room and theatre together with internal alterations. Northam Surgery, Bay View Road – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


0396/05           Proposed Existing wall to be made higher - Valley Field, First Raleigh – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: Unanimous)


9.         Letter from Westward Ho! and District Residents’ Association


Members considered a letter from Westward Ho! and District Residents’ Association and it was RESOLVED to send a letter to ex Councillor Tamplin thanking him for his service to the Council.


(Vote: Unanimous)


10.       Councillor Training


Members considered a letter from the Monitoring Officer who was offering to provide training to the Council on the Code of Conduct.  It was RESOLVED to accept the offer and, if possible, to arrange the training for a Monday morning.


(Vote: Unanimous)


11.       New Chairman Training


Members considered the training day for new Chairmen and it was RESOLVED to nominate Cllr Davies to attend this event at a cost of £45.00


(Vote: Unanimous)


12.       Guidance on the Development of a Community Self Help Plan


Members considered advice from the Community Emergency Planning Office.  It was RESOLVED to set up a sub-committee comprising Cllrs Mrs Cox, Mrs Mounce, Barnes, Bradford MBE, and Waters.


(Vote: Unanimous)



13.       Report from Cllr Waters on Jet Skis


Cllr Waters reported on the current situation with regard to jet skis in the estuary and that it was now in the hands of Torridge District Council and North Devon District Council.  He was concerned that at the most recent meeting neither the representative from Torridge nor North Devon attended and it was RESOLVED to write to these Councils expressing concern at their lack of interest.  It was also RESOLVED to write to Ben Totterdell advising him that on Sunday 13th March 5 water skiers arrived at Appledore intending to water ski at an inappropriate time.


(Vote: Unanimous)


14.       Appledore, Westward Ho! and Northam Development Brief


Members considered a letter from the District Council regarding the preparation of a development strategy.  Members were concerned that this was a repeat of the Market and Coastal Towns initiative and before committing any expenditure they wish to have a presentation and it was so RESOLVED.


(Vote: Unanimous)


15.       North Devon Mini Register


The Mini Register Grand Tour will take place on the Bank Holiday Weekend, Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th and Monday 29th August. – Noted.


16.       Westward Ho! Escarpment


Members considered a letter from Mr Birchall regarding felling of trees at the rear of Bay View Road.  Members were concerned that this was happening and RESOLVED to write to the Chief Executive of the District Council requesting urgent enforcement action against those felling trees and that the residents of Bay View Road and Atlantic Way be informed of the extent of the Tree Preservation Orders and what these mean to the owners and residents of the area.


(Vote: Unanimous)


Cllr Bell left the meeting at this juncture.


17.       Raising funds for Snapdragons Pre-School


Members considered a request for funds from the Snapdragons Pre-school and were sympathetic towards providing some grant but before doing so required more information.  It was RESOLVED to write requesting more information and to also seek a reference from the Head teacher of St George’s School.


(Vote: Unanimous)



18.       Westward Ho! Potwalloping Festival


Members reported that they thought this item had been superseded and dealt with and there was no further action.





19.       Minutes of Remuneration Sub-Committee


Members considered the recommendations of the Remuneration Sub-Committee and RESOLVED to approve them.  The Town Clerk to be on the new scale LC2 with a SCP of 28 as of April 2005 and the secretarial assistant be on Scale 1/2 with an SCP

of 9 as of April 1st 2005.


(Vote: Unanimous)