Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 29th April 2008.


PRESENT: Chairman - Town Mayor – Cllr A Eastman

Members - Cllrs Mrs P Biggs, Mrs A J Boyle, Mrs S Collins, Mrs M M Cox, J Braund, B M Edwards, P Hames, R J Johnson, C K Langton, R W A Miller, R H Osborne, S R Robinson R M M Tisdale together with parishioners.

1. Mr Paul Winter of Torridge District Council

Mr Winter had been asked to address the Council on the practicalities of establishing wildlife corridors within the parish. At the present time it was only the coastal zone that was protected. Mr Winter explained the wider planning context relating to development plans. The current system now relied on a regional plan for the South West supported by Local Development Frameworks with even more local plans being fed into the LDF system. Currently the Regional Plan is at draft stage and there is a recommendation that introduces the green infrastructure concept of wildlife corridors, the object being to identify and protect spaces used by wildlife and spaces used by people with appropriate corridors connecting them. There is a whole mapping exercise to be done and there will be a role for communities to be involved in the establishment of areas and routes. The system needed also to encompass existing regulations i.e. Tree Preservation Orders and hedgerow regulations.

Cllr Mrs Cox advised that lack of staff resources meant that voluntary Tree Officers were being sought as Tree Preservation Orders can be implemented fairly quickly. There was no magic solution however to the establishment of wildlife corridors, it would need the input of local communities and some staff expertise and the approach was likely to be gradual.

Mr Winter also mentioned that the level of development that may take place in the parish could be considerably more than was thought. He made available some statistics which showed that the Torridge Housing requirement for the period 2006 to 2026 could increase from a draft proposal of 4800 to a new proposal of 10,700. September would be the time for responses to be considered to the Regional Plan and all Parish Councillors would be written to.

The Town Mayor, Cllr Eastman, thanked Mr Winter for his attendance.

2. Mr David Avery – Appledore Community Trust

Mr David Avery advised the Members on the situation with regard to the Royal British Legion and the Appledore Hall. He advised that there is no dividing line between the Hall and the Royal British Legion Club, the whole site being owned by the Appledore Hall Trust. The Trust stipulates that the Trustees and the six elected members who control the management of the Building are required to be members of the Appledore branch of the British Legion. With the decline of the British Legion Mr Avery advised that his committee were seeking a way of bringing the building into use by the wider community and a preliminary survey of the building indicates that the best option would be to rebuild. Mr Avery circulated a paper giving details of the Trust's stipulations and indicating a way forward. For the moment the matter was with the Royal British Legion Head Office.

3. Minutes

The minutes of the Town Council meeting held 25 th March 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Minutes of the Finance Advisory Committee held 8 th April 2008

It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendations of the Finance Advisory Committee held 8 th April 2008.

(Vote; Unanimous)

5. Minutes of the Special Council Meeting

The minutes of the Special Council meeting held on 26 th April 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

6. Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held 16 th April 2008

The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held 16 th April 2008 were approved as a correct record.

Cllr Tisdale left the meeting at this juncture.

7. Notice of Motion from Cllr Osborne – “that this Council takes the necessary action to propose double yellow line parking restrictions “at any time” along Pitt Hill from Tomouth Road to Pitt Avenue”.

Members considered the above Notice of Motion and it was RESOLVED to write to Devon County Council and to the local County Councillor requesting that double yellow lines be considered from Tomouth Road to Pitt Avenue and Longfield.

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. 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)

9. Northam Burrows

(a) Grass Management Agreement

Members considered a request from the Golf Club to agree a further one year extension of the agreement. It was RESOLVED to extend the existing grass management agreement for a further year

(Vote: 12 For, 1 abst)

(b) Grazing Report

Members considered a letter from Natural England who were advising that the vegetation survey indicated that Northam Burrows continued to be over-grazed. Members noted the report and agreed that a representative of Natural England should be invited to the next Burrows meeting.

(c) Application to graze 7 horses

The Town Clerk advised that Mrs Griffey had applied to graze 7 horses on the Burrows. Mrs Griffey is a long-standing grazier and meets the necessary qualifications. Currently the allocation is under-utilised. It was therefore RESOLVED to allocate grazing for 7 horses to Mrs Griffey.

(Vote: Unanimous)

10. Response from TDC Chief Executive regarding Knapp House

Members considered the Chief Executive's letter and were generally disappointed that more detail on current thinking with regard to Knapp House could not be made available at this time.

Cllr Mrs Boyle left the meeting at this juncture.

It was RESOLVED to write to the Chief Executive expressing this Council's disquiet at the way this matter is being handled and disappointment that the Town Council are not included when concepts and strategies are being considered.

(Vote: Unanimous)

11. Appledore Fish Dock

Members considered an e-mail from consultants acting on behalf of Torridge District Council who were considering alternative uses for Nos 4 and 5 Hubbastone Cottages. The Council were supportive of the ideas of offices for fishermen, fish cookery school and offices for rent and it was RESOLVED to so advise the consultants.

(Vote: Unanimous)

12. Removal of BT Phone Boxes

The Town Clerk reported that in a long list of phone boxes identified for removal there was one in Richmond Road, Appledore. Members expressed concern that there was little evidence provided to justify removal and were concerned that the loss of this particular phone box would be a retrograde step as it could be required in an emergency. It was RESOLVED to resist the removal of this telephone box.

(Vote: Unanimous)