Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council to consider planning applications and allied matters held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 9th September 2003.


PRESENT:     Chairman   -     Town Mayor - Cllr A Barnes

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

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

L Ford, K A Lane, Dr P Tamplin, P Waters, T J Williams

                                                together with 5 Parishioners


Apologies were recorded on behalf of Cllrs Mrs M M Cox, A Eastwood OBE and P Sturges


1.         Conservation of Northam – Undergrounding of electricity cables


Mr Keith Ferguson, Distribution Manager, Western Power Distribution, addressed the Council on the possibilities of undergrounding overhead electricity cables.  He advised that in general undergrounding was a practical proposition but involved substantial work and was expensive.  His company receives many requests for undergrounding but he is unable to initiate a scheme unless he can be assured that there is the financial commitment from those requesting the work.  Costs are quite often shared between local authorities and other external funding bodies.  In some circumstances his company may be able to put in a small sum as he has a fund of £25,000 per year for this type of work.  It usually takes two to three years for a scheme to be completed. 


2.         Minutes


The minutes of the meeting of the Town Council to consider planning applications and allied matters held 20th August 2003 were approved and signed.


3.         Matters arising


(a) Min 2 – Public Forum


The Mayor referred to discussions that had taken place between the Chairman of the Residents’ Association and the Director of Planning & Technical Services of Torridge District Council with regard to the transfer of land on Burrough Farm to the Town Council as an Open Space.  It was being suggested that if the Town Council would write a letter to the District Council requesting the transfer of this land for the purposes of establishing an Open Space then this would be considered and there was every likelihood of the request being acceded to.  It was RESOLVED to write to the District Council requesting the transfer of the land at Burrough Farm to the Town Council together with an easement allowing a right of access in perpetuity for vehicles and pedestrians across the District Council’s remaining land. 


(b) Min 6 – Heywood Road Roundabout


Cllr Mrs Mounce reported that Rotary were interested in this project as a possible way of celebrating their 120th Anniversary. 


(c) Min 7 – Planning Application 0757/03


Cllr Waters reported that this application had been considered by the District Council’s committee on Tuesday 26th August whereas the public had until the 2nd September, as stated on the site notice, in which to object.  It is understood that the District Council resolved to approve the application subject to agreed amended drawings being received by the Planning Officer from the applicant.  On hearing this, a number of residents in Appledore, who were preparing their objections, took the view that it was too late as a decision had been made.  It was RESOLVED to write a letter of censure to the District Council advising them that this Council is very concerned about the procedures adopted on this application.  It is the understanding of the Town Council that the Planning Authority may not consider an application until the advertised date for the submission of objections has expired. 


Cllr Williams abstained from voting on this item.


It was further RESOLVED to send a copy of this letter to the local press.


4.         Planning applications


1528/03           Proposed alterations to existing garage and proposed balcony to house

2 Commons Mews, Atlantic Way, Westward Ho!  – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


1532/03           Proposed change of use of dining room and garage, installation of additional parking, 35 The Fairways, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! – RESOLVED – Recommend approval.


            1568/03           Proposed replacement  windows - 27 Bude Street, Appledore –

RESOLVED – Recommend approval.  It is understood that the applicant is an officer of the District Council and that this fact should have been disclosed on the application form.


1571/03           Proposed installation of solar water heating collectors, Doras House.

1671/03           13 Market Street, Appledore – RESOLVED - Recommend approval.


5.         Town & Country Planning Regulations 1992 – Regulation 3


Proposal to upgrade the existing public right of way between Fosketh Terrace and Kipling Terrace, Westward Ho! – Members considered this application and were supportive of the proposal and RESOLVED to recommend approval.


6.         Silvanus Trust – Our Trees Project


Members considered a letter from the Trust and it was RESOLVED to send copies to the Residents’ Associations and the local schools.


7.         Public Entertainment Licences


Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 – The Beaver Inn, Irsha Street, Appledore – RESOLVED – No objection.


8.         Matters brought forward at Chairman’s discretion


(a) Cllr Waters proposed that a letter be sent to South West Water requesting them to confirm that all sewage outlets in Westward Ho! have been picked up by the new sewerage system.  Should there be any not yet connected South West Water to be asked to identify the location.  It was so RESOLVED.


(b) Cllr Waters reported that the stile on footpath No 1, locally known as Lovers Lane, which runs from Staddon Road to Torridge Road via Staddon Hill is in a poor condition and requires replacement.  It was RESOLVED to write to Devon County Council asking them to take the necessary action to have this stile replaced. 


(c) The Town Mayor, Cllr Barnes, reported a letter from Mrs Jane Whittaker of Torridge Voluntary Services regarding Councillors attending Objective 2 meetings in respect of Westward Ho!  It was RESOLVED to allow Councillors to attend at their discretion.  Cllr Barnes and Cllr Lane indicated that they would be attending meetings.


(d) The Town Clerk reported on a letter from The International Tree Foundation, originally Men of the Trees, who were again offering free trees.  It was RESOLVED to send the details to the Residents’ Associations and local schools.