MINUTES OF THE FORTY NINTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE BRANKSOME PARK, CANFORD CLIFFS AND DISTRICT RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION,
HELD AT 10.30am ON SATURDAY, 3RD MAY 2008
IN ALL SAINTS CHURCH HALL
Mr Terry Stewart President
Mr John Sprackling Chairman
Mr John Defty Hon Treasurer
Mr Keith Alcroft Planning Officer
Mr John Gunton Magazine Editor
Mr Stan Alfert Data Protection Officer
GUESTS: Cllr Mrs Carole Deas
Cllr Mrs May Haines
Cllr Neil Sorton
And approx 120 Members/Wardens of the Association
The Chairman thanked everyone for coming along. In particular he welcomed the guests mentioned above. The Chairman also welcomed Cllr Ron Parker, the guest speaker, Cabinet Member for the Local Economy with responsibility for planning.
Apologies were received from Robert Syms, MP, Rev’d John Byrne, Vicar, Michael Bond (Membership Secretary), Bob Young (Magazine Advertising Officer) & Phyllis, Jamie Pride (Chairman, Canford Cliffs Land Society), Madeleine Murphy (Chairman, Branksome Dene Residents’ Assn), Leon Ellis, Philip Gamble, Kim Head, Ben Hurley, & Chris Stracey. Ken Sansom, Chairman of the Sandbanks’ Assn sent a late apology.
JS also reported the sad death of Cllr Adrian Greenwood, former Mayor and Poole Councillor whose funeral takes place on Tuesday at 2.00pm at St Aldhelms Church.
3. AGM 2007 MINUTES: Accuracy & Matters Arising
The Chairman reminded members that the Minutes of the AGM held on 19th May 2007 had been included in the Autumn 2007 magazine. The Chairman said that any issues arising had been covered during the year and, as there were no items of accuracy or matters arising, the Minutes were approved, having been proposed and seconded and the Chairman said that he would sign these as a correct record of the proceedings.
4. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
The Chairman proposed to limit his report to the up-dating of items included in the Spring magazine as follows:
Planning Enforcement, Tree Preservation Orders/Tree replacements
JS said that he was still waiting to hear the outcome of Kingsbury Homes 2nd prosecution in March re 118 Panorama Road.
Barrington Homes were also due in Court in March on summonses relating to four sites. Those relating to 15 Westminster Road, 55 Canford Cliffs Road, and 6a Bingham Avenue had been withdrawn and the summons re 19 Mornish Road is due to be heard at Wimborne Magistrates Court in the afternoon of 09/06/08.
Ravine Road car park
JS said that Gerard Gray, the Chairman of Martello House Management Committee had contacted him as he was originally concerned about the safety of the dead trees fronting Western Rd from the car park i.e. the dead branches falling on to footpath/road.
This subsequently developed into a hedgerow matter and it was agreed that the Council contractors reduce this to six ft. I gather that the resultant work ranges from virtually zero to untouched and, to add insult to injury, the contractors have dumped most of the debris into the middle of hedge. The dead branches on the trees remain..
JS said that he knows that Cllr Sorton has strong views about this and has asked him to look into this.
Cllr Sorton commented that he had requested that the hedge be cut no lower than 6ft. Unfortunately, the measurement was taken from inside the car park where the ground level is somewhat lower than on the road side of the hedge. This was a terrible mistake for which Cllr Sorton is truly sorry, but which nature will eventually put right.
Mr Gray commented that when he contacted the council about the debris which had been left in the middle of the hedge he was informed nothing could be done as there was no money available. Mr Gray suggested the contractor should be made to return and clear it up without any further charge.
JS reported that consideration of the use of the Ravine Road car park for the Canford Cliffs Farmers Market has been delegated to the Canford Cliffs & Penn Hill Area Committee meeting to be held on 28/05/08.
Poole’s beaches and coastal defences
JS reported that the Council has agreed that their preferred option is for up to six groynes at the eastern end of the Bay (between Branksome Chine and Branksome Dene Chine. This is subject to design and an application for Grant Aid has been made to DEFRA (Dept for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
Bus Service to serve Lindsay Road & Penn Hill Ave
JS reported on the re-routing of the 150 (to be re-numbered 50) service from 25th May and said that leaflets giving details of the new services were available. The new timetables have yet to be issued.
There is to be a two hourly bus service via Lindsay Road & Penn Hill Ave to Poole.
Prime Transport Corridor – Poole to Bournemouth (A35)
JS said that he meant to have reported in the Spring magazine that a Gap Creation Signals on County Gates at the junction with Seamoor Road is included in the 2008/09 Feasibility Programme.
Speeding in Branksome Park and surrounding area
JS said that he had been approached by a member, on behalf of All Saints PCC, about speeding vehicles in Western Road and he had suggested that he should speak to Sgt Jane Newcombe
Quayside (former Dolphin Quays) development, former Poole Pottery & Swan Inn, Old Orchard House, Quay Thistle Hotel & ‘Harbour Sail’
Quayside (former) Dolphin Quays development – The Appeal against LPA’s refusal to grant Application (To use the 1st floor open area in association with use of adjacent unit as a ‘bar/restaurant’) was dismissed on 09/04/08. JS has asked if this area could be be dedicated as an open space for general public use
Poole Pottery factory buildings in Sopers Lane – The Appeal against LPA’s refusal to grant Application (To demolish existing and erect a 116 bed care home, day centre and ancillary facilities) was dismissed on 08/04/08.
Southern Poole Chairman’s Liaison Group (Chairmen of nine local Associations)
JS reported that there is great concern about certain recent planning decisions and Terry Stewart, on behalf of the Southern Poole Chairman’s Liaison Group is seeking a meeting with the Leader of the Council, Cllr Dr Brian Leverett, Poole’s Chief Executive and the Head of Planning Design & Control Services to be chaired by Robert Syms MP and to be attended by representatives of all Poole Residents’ Assn.
Vice Chairman – we continue to look for someone willing to take on this role but I would take this opportunity to pay tribute to the help and support which I receive from our President. Terry Stewart.
5. TREASURER’S REPORT AND APPOINTMENT OF AUDITOR
The Treasurer advised that the audited accounts, which were included in the magazine, showed the accumulated fund for year ended 31st December 2007 at £34,500.
In response to a question from Janet Boaler about where this money came from, the Treasurer explained that it was from subscriptions and advertising revenue. Stan Alfert added that the fund was originally built up to cover the legal costs of fighting planning applications, but that no such costs had been incurred lately. Also membership had grown.
The appointment Peter Schofield as auditor for a further year was approved by a show of hands.
6. ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE
The Chairman advised that the existing Executive Committee members were willing to stand for re-election, namely:
President Terry Stewart
Chairman John Sprackling
Vice Chairman Vacant
Treasurer John Defty
Membership Secretary Michael Bond
Planning Officer Keith Alcroft
Secretary Terry Smith
Data Protection Officer Stan Alfert
Magazine Editor John Gunton
Magazine Advertising Bob Young
Minute Secretary Val Short
The Executive was re-elected by a show of hands.
7. PRESENTATION BY CLLR RON PARKER, CABINET MEMBER FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY
Cllr Parker thanked the Assn for inviting him and presented apologies from Cllr Ann Stribley, who had hoped to attend as the Planning Committee Chairman and also from Robert Syms MP.
RP stated that his role as Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Local Economy involved working closely with businesses to make the town an attractive place for business. Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset, together with local businesses and the Government have created a partnership to develop a Multi-Area Agreement to tackle the key issues of local transport infrastructure, boosting employment skills, the environment, affordable housing and economic prosperity which will hopefully attract development and funding to the area.
RP reported that the Twin Sails Bridge was not making as much progress as hoped due to problems with developers, but, although it may be delayed for a year or two, he was optimistic that we shall achieve a bridge, thus opening up land for development and relieving the congestion currently experienced around the current bridge.
Tourism creates a substantial amount of employment in the town as well as bringing in money.
Planning and Building Control are essential to ensure developments are built according to the plans and also to reduce the carbon footprint. Recent awards received by Building Control include 5 Nairn Road, the Sunseeker expansion on Poole Quay and the RNLI.
RP then turned to Planning matters. He said that the Regional Spatial Strategy which sets out targets for housing, land use, employment and economic growth for the South West has been the subject to an Examination in Public and the Secretary of State for the Dept for Communities & local Government will make a decision on this later in the year. For Poole, we have been set a target of 10,000 homes by 2026 which Cllr Parker believes is achievable but Bournemouth and Purbeck District Council have been asked for more than they can reasonably be expected to accommodate.
So far, in Poole, we have been able to use brownfield sites but we do need the infrastructure to support growth. Again, there is pressure to use greenbelt but it is essential that we protect this
When planning applications are negotiated developers are expected to make financial contributions under Section 106 agreements towards recreational facilities, new transport infrastructure projects, heathland mitigation and education etc.
RP said that the Local Planning Authority endeavours to see that Residents’ Assns get the level of involvement they desire.
RP gave a brief overview of the staffing and procedures of the Planning Department.
The Planning Committee, comprising 10 members, is a regulatory body and is governed by planning legislation. Approved local and national policies must be applied in determining applications and the applicant has the right of appeal to government. The Committee is increasingly seeking to ensure planning applications to meet eco-policies.
RP provided a number of statistics which he thought would be of interest…
- · The number of planning applications received is in excess of 2200 p.a.
- · 9 out of 10 are delegated – officers make a recommendation and, if elected members are unhappy, it can be called to Committee. RP believes that residents receive excellent support from their Ward Councillors.
- · 150 applications p.a. go to committee
- · 80% of officer recommendations are accepted by committee
- · 70% of applications are granted (60% in Canford Cliffs)
- · 50% of major applications (10 or more dwellings) are refused in Canford Cliffs Ward
- · 20% of applications are for houses, 70+% for flats, and 3% for bungalows
- · 70% of flat buyers are from BH addresses
- · Appeals are now held more quickly, 70% of appeals are dismissed
- · 800 complaints are received per annum relating to planning enforcement issues. New planning regulations will allow minor household developments with application, this will save 300 – 400 applications p.a., but will also mean work can be undertaken without prior notification to neighbours.
There are 21 Conservation Areas in the borough and 200+ listed buildings
- · 700 applications p.a. for treeworks of which 91% are either granted or split decision to grant, with 9% refused.
- · Overall 34% down on major applications, in general down 13%
JS invited questions to Cllr Parker
Q. What effect does South West Regional Assembly (SWRA) have on Poole?
A. Poole is represented on the SWRA by two members who, RP feels, have always acted in Poole’s best interests. The Regional Assembly is due to lose its powers by 2010 and its role will be taken over by the Regional Development Agency (RDA). RP said that it is Important that Local Authorities are able to hold the RDA to account.
Q. Denis Riley expressed the concern of many residents relating to various contentious applications granted in the last month or so and mentioned Durrant Road, Alington Close, Haig Ave and the current applications re Lawrence Drive
A. The Planning Committee has to take into account the best use of land. It is governed by legislation. In the case of Durrant Road, Alington Close and Haig Ave, the Committee had no choice but to accept the officer’s recommendation. It was accepted that the questioner would not find this a satisfactory answer, but the issues are being addressed.
Q. A newcomer to area, previously resident in Edinburgh, commented that he was staggered by the Council’s approach to the replacement of perfectly good acceptable homes which provide areas with their special character, i.e. a low density area with attractive amenities, which is one of the main reasons people move here.
A. Councillors understand the frustration in certain areas, but strict legislation is interpreted by government inspectors. Local MP is taking this up.
Cllr Mrs Carole Deas added that PPS3 states the over-riding consideration should be the character of the area and she also will be taking this up.
Q. Andy Reed said the recent Planning Committee decision relating to 16-18 Durrant Road had been referred to the Local Government Ombudsman. The resident was concerned about the officer’s reference in his report to the “emerging character of area”. He said that Pre-application process causes concern with developers and officers meeting and agreeing schemes in advance, and asked if papers from these meetings will be available for public scrutiny?
A. It saves time to discuss schemes with council (developers are charged for their time), it does not always mean that schemes go ahead. There is no guarantee of success with pre-applications.
Q. Paul Fearnley said many developers are mailing/cold calling asking residents to move out of their houses so that they can be redeveloped.
A. This is part of a free economy.
Q. Jan Robins asked why, when a developer does work without obtaining permission, the LPA can’t issue a Stop Notice? Why does the LPA have to go through the ‘due process’, if developers don’t?
A. It is not simple and straightforward, if a Stop Notice is issued without due process and then the work is allowed, compensation may have to be paid to the developer. Retrospective applications have to be judged on whether the development creates demonstrable harm or is contrary to planning policy.
Q. A resident said that Councillors are elected to represent the residents’ views, if councillors cannot control the officers then what is the point of electing them?
A. Not that simple. The Planning Committee cannot refuse applications just because neighbours’ object. The Committee is a regulatory committee governed by policy and legislation, it is not a question of controlling officers, who give professional advice. The elected members must take all this into account in reaching a decision. If applicants take pre-application advice it is a way of avoiding waste of time and money on refused applications. There have been some very disappointing decisions in this area, but they cannot be challenged in law.
Q. John Gunton said residents have the opportunity to speak to councillors, but one of the things that is really needed is for members to attend appeals, etc.
JG also referred to disturbance to residents from noise, especially reversing alarms, which is a large problem. There is a broadband alarm system available which would help with this problem. Could we press for developers to do more to reduce noise?
A. RP will make sure that Environmental & Consumer Protection Services are aware of broadband alarm system is mentioned. It is possible to impose restrictions on working hours, but complaints are still received and parking on roads also causes problems.
Q. Roland Cunnell a resident of Over Links Drive referred to a recent planning application in his road which he was pleased to say had been refused by the LPA with support from Ward Councillors and the Residents’ Assn. This involved the severance of the plot and would have changed the character of the area. RC felt that in the case of some planning applications it is a long time before local residents are aware. RC asserted that some developers put in fundamentally incorrect applications just to get things underway.
A. JS said that yellow site notices are only put up in Conservation Areas or in the case of major developments. JS invited members to contact him if they would like to added to his circulation list to receive the Weekly Planning Lists distributed by the LPA.
Q. Mrs Rogers asked if a restriction could be made against any more homes in severed plots in back gardens? She has a three-storey house nearby causing overlooking and invasion of privacy to surrounding residents.
A. RP thought that enforcement had been taken on this backland development. He will check.
Q. A resident referred to the 16-18 Durrant Road decision and said that officer’s report didn’t say that this involved the felling of a protected tree. She felt that the ‘due process’ was not being followed.
A. RP said that the Council are very anxious to protect trees, but if arboriculturalist says it is dead, diseased or dying, nothing can be done.
JS thanked Cllr Parker for sparing the time to attend the Association’s AGM.
8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
31 Western Ave: JS said that he had been asked to say that if anyone had had problems submitting comments on the Planning Inspectorate’s website between the 23rd and 29th, they are welcome to either post or email comments to the Inspectorate case officer, Mr Adam Hill, at the following addresses. If those to whom this applies, mentions the problems with the website, their letters will be accepted by the Inspectorate.
Mr Adam Hill, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19a Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN
William Belshaw reported that around 40 letters of objection were lodged with the Planning Inspector and he was grateful for the support of the Assn.
JS said that, whilst on the subject of Appeals, members may care to attend the following Hearings/Inquiry to be held this month to show their support for residents affected by these developments.
Wed. 7 May (H) 8 Nairn Road The Guildhall, Market St. (Outline application to demolish existing and erect a 2 storey block of 7 flats with rooms in roof, basement parking, cycle & bin storage)
Tues 13 May (H) 55 Haven Road The Guildhall, Market St. (Form new access off Haven Road (Revised scheme) and sever land and erect a chalet bungalow with integral garage)
Tues 20 May (I) 1 Moorfields Road Council Chamber (Demolish existing dwelling and erection of 2 1 or 2 storey building incorporating 7 flats and basement parking, as amended by plans)
Increasing volume of traffic and speed on Lindsay Road: Janet Boaler said that there is an urgent need for traffic lights at the St Aldhelms Road / Lindsay Road junction. Cllr Mrs Deas said that she had already raised this as an issue.
There being no further questions, the Chairman closed the meeting at 11.45am and invited members to stay for refreshments.