Notes from a Parish Councillor

The Parish Council met on Wednesday 9th August.

The only planning application the Council was asked to comment upon related to an amendment of a previous consent relating to the barn and stables at Sandhill Park. The Council saw no reason why the amendments should not be supported.

The meeting held a post-mortem on the public consultation held by David Wilson Homes (DWH) at the Village Hall on 18th July in relation to the intended development at Taunton Road/Hither Mead. Present at the meeting was Conor Flanagan, who has recently assumed responsibility for this project at Origin 3 - DWH's planning consultant. Flanagan reported that there was a high attendance from members of the public and a very good response in the feedback forms. Whilst it was accepted that the consultation date was arranged with the best of motives, namely before the summer holidays got under way, it was nevertheless felt that the consultation was premature in that no decision has yet been taken on the number of dwellings to be constructed. This quite apart from seeing any designs. Our recently appointed traffic consultant was also critical of the road layout shown on the one drawing available at the consultation. In short, there is still much work to be done to ensure compliance with our Neighbourhood Plan. We have hardly scratched the surface. I have little doubt that the Parish Council will wish to ensure that there is a further public consultation before any planning application is submitted.

I made reference to our traffic consultant above. The Council has now received a preliminary assessment Transport Planning Associates based in Bristol. The consultant from that firm, Phil Parker, has spent a day touring the village and he will be making a presentation to the Parish Council's planning committee on 23rd August next with a view to the submitting a full report to the Council which, all being well, we shall have the opportunity of debating at the next Parish Council meeting on the 13th September.

I am very pleased to report that planning of the resurrection of the garden area near to the entrance of the underpass is now well underway very largely due to the untiring work of Joanna Lewin-Harris and Jane Durrant. The eagle-eyed reader may have spotted that an area has been staked out near to the old location. The area is a little larger than before and I am happy to confirm that the bench will be reinstated. Landscaping Proposals and a drawing showing the proposed location were presented to the Council and I am delighted to report that the Council unanimously resolved to adopt the Option 2/B. Copies of the Landscaping Proposals and the drawing follow these Notes [see pp. 42-3 Ed.]. All this means that the Council has agreed to accept responsibility for the future maintenance and upkeep of this garden area will clearly involve expense and the seeking of volunteers to assist with initial work leading to the planting out which is likely to take place in late autumn. May I, therefore, make a plea firstly, for financial contributions towards the cost soil improver, fertiliser, bulbs, plants and hedging., for volunteers please to assist, not only with the initial work required, but also on a regular ongoing basis to cover the need for future maintenance, which would include grass cutting. May I please ask all those wishing to contribute in any way to contact Joanna at: jlh@conquest.org.uk or Jane at: durrants@hotmail.com

The BMX track at Hither Mead came up for discussion arising from the annual report received from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) which indicated that the track presents a high risk of accident in its present state. The land on which the track has been created is the subject of a licence granted by the King Estate for a term of 10 years from June 2009. It is a fact that the track is rarely used as it is so small. The land is now owned by DWH and we will now need to discuss its future with them. The Parish Council is very conscious of the many requests from the younger generation for a full-scale skate park and this will a topic for discussion with DWH when we come to discuss leisure facilities associated with the new development.

Finally, it is with very much regret that I have to report the resignation of our Lengthsman, Jon Manning due to personal and health reasons. He will be sadly missed. His work during his tenure has made a huge difference to the overall look of the parish and I thank him for all that he has done. I know that all will wish to join me in wishing Jon restored to good health as soon as possible. We are, of course, already taking steps to seek his successor and I hope that I may have something to report on our search in the next issue of Fiveways.

The next meeting is on Wednesday 13th September at the Village Hall at 7.00 pm.

Henry Davenport (Tel: 01823 433342)
Chairman, Bishops Lydeard & Cothelstone Parish Council

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Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard
Cothelstone