Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 25th November 2003.


PRESENT:     Chairman          - Town Mayor – Cllr A Barnes,

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

   E J Davies, A Eastman, A Eastwood OBE,

   Dr P Tamplin, P Waters,

together with Inspector Pepper and WPC Wilson, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and 6 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs R D Bradford MBE, K A Lane, P Sturges, T J Williams


1.         Minutes


The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 28th October 2003 were approved and signed. 


2.         Matters of report to/from Community Police Officers


WPC Wilson reported on the crime statistics for the past month and advised on a number of successes the Police have had.  Generally crime figures were reducing.  They were about to embark on a Neighbourhood Watch review with the object of updating their records and pursuing new Neighbourhood Watch schemes. 


Cllr Barnes and others reported complaints with regard to mud on the road at Benson Drive, Churchill Way and JH Taylor Drive. 


Cllr Eastman referred to the Neighbourhood Watch database and it was agreed to let WPC Wilson have the addresses of the Secretaries of the Residents’ Associations.


Cllr Eastwood OBE requested details of the number of accidents that have occurred on Heywood Road in the vicinity of the Orchard Hill speed camera.


3.         Town Clerk’s Report


(a) Budget and Precept for 2004/2005  - The Town Clerk reported on the budget for the next financial year and Members were aware that the District Council may well be looking to the parishes for financial assistance towards various public services.  In view of this it was considered important to keep a healthy balance.  It was proposed to precept £24,000 and an amendment to precept £27,000 was lost (3 votes in favour, 6 against).  On being put to the meeting the proposition to precept £24,000 was RESOLVED.


(Vote: 6 For, 3 Against)


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


(Vote: 8 For)


4.         Notice of Motion – Northam Burrows


Members considered a Notice of Motion from Cllr Bell - That this Council enters into negotiations with Torridge District Council with the object of transferring the freehold of Northam Burrows to the Town Council thereby bringing the Burrows under local control.

Members discussed this item and considered that the acquisition of the freehold was not the essential matter but that it was important that the management be carried out locally.  Cllr Eastwood OBE proposed the following amendment:-


That this Council enters into discussions with Torridge District Council with the object of transferring the management of Northam Burrows to the Town Council thereby bring the Burrows under local control.  It was so RESOLVED.


            (Vote: 8 For)


It was agreed that in the first instance a letter to the Chief Executive would be sent outlining the Town Council’s views and making it clear that the Town Council was aware of the financial difficulties being faced by the District Council.  Subject to the response it was RESOLVED that a discussion committee comprising the Town Mayor, Cllr Waters and Cllr Bell would meet with the District Council and report back at the earliest opportunity.


(Vote: 8 For)


5.         Streetworks and related matters


Members’ items


(a) Cllr Eastman wanted to know what had happened to the proposals for bollards in Bude Street and on the corner of Broad Lane/Torridge Road.  It was RESOLVED to request the County Council to respond to this matter when they meet with the Council in January.


(Vote: 8 For)


(b) Cllr Davies reported that the bench seat at Bloody Corner was in need of repair/replacement, that the remains of a lamppost outside the Scout Hut should be removed and that weeds around Northam Square entrance to the old school needed attention.  It was RESOLVED to contact the appropriate authorities.


(Vote: 8 For)


(c) Cllr Eastwood OBE reported his concern with regard to vehicles speeding in Golf Links Road and was of the view that a pedestrian crossing was required in the vicinity of the junction with Sandymere Road.  There were many young children walking unattended to school and speed notices and additional school signs were required. It was RESOLVED to write to the Divisional Surveyor at Torrington and request him to respond to this matter when he attends the Council meeting in January.


(Vote: 8 For)


(d) Cllr Bell repeated his previous concerns regarding speeding traffic around Bloody Corner and the lack of visibility because of parked vehicles.  It was RESOLVED to write to the Divisional Surveyor at Torrington and request him to respond to this matter when he attends the Council meeting in January.


(Vote: 8 For)




6.         Planning applications


2019/03           Proposed conservatory - 5 Lever Close, Northam – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


                        (Vote: 8 For)


2032/03           Proposed alterations to windows - Edgehill, Bay View Road – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


                                    (Vote: 8 For)


2036/03           Proposed extension to dwelling to provide dining room, sun lounge,

new larger kitchen and additional bedrooms - Castlemead, Kenwith – RESOLVED - Recommend approval


(Vote 6 For, 1 Against, 1 Abstention)


            2057/03           Proposed outline application for 4 dwellings. Tors View, Cornborough Road

                                    – RESOLVED - Recommend approval


                                    (Vote: 8 For)


2063/03           Proposed demolition of existing 5 flats and re-development with 20 x 2 bed flats, 30 car parking spaces and access improvements - Inglebrook, Atlantic Way, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED - Recommend Refusal – The current access is totally inadequate at present and joins Atlantic Way at a point where that road also narrows.  A substantially improved access would be necessary if the other objections could be overcome.  Other objections are: –

(1) The proposal is too high.

(2) The provision of 30 parking spaces into the steeply sloping backland raises questions of practicality and concern over the loss of many trees.  

(3) The Council is not impressed with the overall design of the buildings.

(4) Council would question whether there is, or should be, a preservation order on the trees on this site.


                        (Vote: 8 For)


2112/03           Proposed application for conservation area consent – removal of corrugated iron garage at rear of property to leave hard-standing - 33 New Street, Appledore – RESOLVED - Recommend Approval.


                        (Vote: 8 For)


7.         Sewage discharges


Members considered letters from the Environment Agency and South West Water regarding sewage discharges not connected to the main system and also frequency of discharges from storm overflows.  With regard to discharges from Rocks Nose it was unclear as to the situation and it was RESOLVED to write to the Environment Agency and South West Water to obtain more details.


(Vote: 8 For)


8.         Establishment of Planning Policies by the Town Council


The Town Mayor presented his discussion paper which set out a way of establishing simple planning policies for the 3 villages of Appledore, Northam and Westward Ho!  He proposed holding a public meeting for each village.  It was RESOLVED to support this initiative and to send the discussion paper to the Residents’ Associations. The Town Mayor would organise the meetings as soon as possible.


(Vote: 8 For)


9.         North Devon AONB


In view of the deadline for replies being 12th December it was left to Members to respond on an individual basis as they saw fit in respect of the Draft Strategy and Action Plan.  Mention was made of Mr Bell’s new appointment as the Biosphere Co-ordinator and Countryside Service Manager and it was thought important that he should be a consultee in respect of any planning application falling within the Biosphere or AONB area.  It was RESOLVED to write to Mr Bell ascertaining whether in fact he was being consulted by Torridge District Council.  


(Vote: 8 For)


10.       Northam Town Twinning


Members considered a letter from the Secretary to the Twinning Association and the Town Clerk advised that Cllr Bradford MBE would be willing to be this Council’s representative.  It was RESOLVED to appoint Cllr Bradford as this Council’s representative for the Northam Twinning Association.


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


Renewal of Licence – Waterfront Inn, [Bar and Restaurant] Westward Ho! – RESOLVED – No objection.


(Vote: 8 For)   


12.       Matters brought forward at Chairman’s discretion


(a) The Town Clerk reported that the Mayor’s reception would be at the Elizabethan on 26th March 2004.


(b) The Town Mayor, Cllr Barnes, reported that Christie Estates had donated two Christmas trees, one was to be placed at Westward Ho! by the Residents’ Association and the Northam Residents’ Association wished to place the other one at Bone Hill.  The Town Mayor requested that the Council make a contribution towards the cost of the lights.  He advised that the District Council were to make arrangements for the necessary hole and electricity supply and St Margaret’s Church were making a financial contribution.  It was RESOLVED to make a contribution of £100.


(Vote (7 For, 1 Abstention)


(c) Cllr Eastman proposed that the annual Christmas Dinner be held following the Council meeting on 16th December .  It was RESOLVED to commence the meeting at 6 pm.