MINUTES OF BRANKSOME PARK, CANFORD CLIFFS & DISTRICT
RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 20 MAY 2014
AT 7.30PM IN ST. ALDHELM’S CHURCH
Terry Stewart (TS) President
John Sprackling (JS) Chairman
Wayne Hancock (WH) Vice-Chairman
Carol Parkin (CP) Hon Secretary
John Gunton (JG) Magazine Editor
Approx. 50 Members/Wardens
1. APOLOGIES AND ACCURACY OF MINUTES
JS welcomed those present.
Apologies: Apologies received from Cllrs Mrs May Haines & Neil Sorton, Paul
Fearnley, Keith Alcroft, Roger Allen, Ian Cross & Chris Stracey.
Accuracy: JS said would sign the Minutes as a true and accurate record of the
meeting held on 12 MARCH 2014.
2. MATTERS ARISING
Poole Pottery/Old Orchard/Quay Thistle Hotel sites update: JS reported..
1. Quayside (former Dolphin Quays) development – No new developments
2. Former Poole Pottery & Swan Inn site – ditto
3. Quay Thistle Hotel site – ditto
4. Old Orchard House – ditto
5. Land at West Quay Road – ditto
Planning Enforcement, TPOs/Tree replacements – update:
Victoria Education Centre ( Landscaping to the new entrance ) – No new
31 Western Avenue (Overhanging vegetation) – ditto
Community Working Group
The next meeting takes place on 28 May 2014 – deadline for questions was 19 May. Next meeting to be held on 3 September 2014.
Council Budget Monitoring report: (2013/14): WM said that he is concerned that the Council is now producing its Budget Monitoring Report quarterly instead of monthly and so he will report on the Budget Monitoring report (1 January to 31 March 2014) at the Association’s next meeting on 11 June, as this is due to be presented to the Cabinet the previous day. WM expressed concern over this and feels that residents are not being kept informed as to how the budget is performing, now that the report is quarterly. As the last Budget Monitoring Report was in February, quite a time has elapsed before residents receive the next report. The Council’s reserves are at their minimum, there has to be many cuts made and, therefore, many changes.
In reply to a query from the members at the meeting, WM says that he thinks that the Budget Monitoring Report should revert to being monthly. TS said that he supports this view.
Public Rights of Way
Westminster Road end of Dalkeith Road – No new developments.
Buccleuch Road to Lakeside Road – ditto
Bessborough Road – ditto
Footpath 85 (Adjacent to 2A Shore Road) – ditto
Footpaths 82/128 (at the rear of 48 Panorama Road to the small beach) – the objectors have withdrawn, so the order for Footpath 82 is now unopposed, with the Sealed Orders returned to the Council.
Pinecliff Gardens (Sunken garden): JS reported that the PLI renewal letter, policy and receipt for payment had been received from TCV. WH reported that the RHS will visit the garden in July and offer suggestions as to how best to proceed with the garden.
Poole Council’s Efficiency Review Programme (ERP): An update should be included in the Council Budget Monitoring report (1 January to 31 March 2014)
due to be presented to the next Cabinet on 10 June.
Localism Act/Community Engagement: JS reported that a cross-party Working Group has been established to review the Council’s decision making process. The Council currently operates with a Leader & Cabinet but some Members would prefer a Committee system to give ‘backbench’ Members a greater say in the decision making process. A second round of recruitment interviews for a new Chief Executive concluded on 16 May but failed to select a suitable candidate. It is expected that the Council will now have to employ an expensive Head-hunter. It is felt that Poole’s reputation has been damaged.
Chairman’s note: It was reported in the Daily Echo dated 24 May that “Senior councillors will reconvene in the near future to review the recruitment process and consider available options, including a possible option to postpone the appointment of a new chief executive until after the local elections in Poole in May 2015.”
Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Farm Roy Pointer reported on the problems of getting an audience with Poole Council to speak against Navitus. Bournemouth Council seems to be much more pro-active in respect of the Offshore Windfarm and its residents’ representations, whereas Poole Council ignore approaches. TS added that Navitus have had two meetings with Poole Councillors, one of which was in private, and it seems that the Council is determined not to let Poole residents have a similar public meeting.
RP handed round some postcards and encouraged residents to object to the Offshore Windfarm using the cards as a guide. There is still time to register on the Planning Inspectors’ website if anyone wishes to make any observations, and RP urges as many as possible to do this. Further help is at the PCBA web site www.saveourdorsetseaside.co.uk. Bournemouth Council held a meeting, at which the Poole and Christchurch Bays Association made their case to oppose Navitus Bay, and the developers were able to make their case. 86% of the public who attended the meeting thought that the proposal should not proceed. The PCBA presentation received a standing ovation.
RP read out part of a letter which had been sent to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from UNESCO. The letter talks about the potential impact of the proposed Windfarm on the Jurassic Coast, which is the only natural world heritage site in England. The sense is that the proposal would drastically affect the setting of the coast and views from it. The appearance would change from a natural setting largely free from man made structures to one where the setting is dominated by man made structures. This is seen as a strong indication that the World Heritage status would be removed were the wind farm to proceed.
Road Safety concerns Lindsay Road/St Aldhelm’s Road & Burton Road: JS reported that the pedestrian operated Traffic Lights near junction of Lindsay Road & St Aldhelms Road were due to be operative that afternoon.
JS also reported that Traffic Management Order to extend the existing ‘No Waiting at Any Time’ restrictions by 5m at the junctions with Burton Road and Balcombe Road has been advertised. Closing date for representations is 05 June. JS assumes that this will be confirmed at next Canford Cliffs and Penn Hill Area Committee meeting on 18 June 2014.
JS then handed over the floor to George Crawford who spoke on behalf of a large number of Burton Road & Balcombe Road residents, who had attended the meeting specifically to air their concerns about several traffic issues relating to these roads and the ‘Party House’ at Burton Manor, 2 Burton Road.
GC pointed out that the problem of camper vans and industrial vehicles up to 3.5 tons has been worsening over the last 18 months or so. This is exacerbated bythe Council selling parking permits for only £50 per annum or so. The vehicles mainly arrive on a Friday afternoon and stay until Monday morning.
The residents of Burton and Balcombe Road have requested that the signs limit the vehicles to ‘cars only’ as in other parts of Poole, but to no avail.
GC has been battling this problem with all avenues open to him through the Council, but has been able to get no satisfactory response. Robert Syms, our Conservative MP, visited recently and was very sympathetic, although it was pointed out that he has little leverage as far as the local council is concerned.
There then followed various horror stories resulting from this problem by those attending the meeting.
Stan Alfert suggested that the question of parking close to the entrance of houses and thus creating a risk when leaving the property as the view of the road is obstructed, should be taken up with Transportation Services.
TS said that the only way to make the Council take any action is to embarrass it..
JS pointed out to TS that GC has done everything possible, except contact the media. GC said that he plans to set up a meeting with the new Chief Executive, once he/she is appointed.
JG wished to thank GC with his help in ‘Speedwatch’ and JS asked if any other members were willing to help, one morning a month and, if so, to contact JG who is the co-ordinator.
Sustaining Poole’s Seafront (Formerly Seafront Beaches Master Plan DPD) & Proposal for On-Street Pay & Display on selected roads adjacent to beach areas: The next meeting of the Economy Overview & Scrutiny Committee is fixed for 5 June 2014 and the Agenda is due to include two items of particular interest to the Association, namely…
(a) Sustaining Poole’s Seafront SPD – Working Group
(b) To consider the Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs & Ashington Conservation Area Reviews – and Recommendation for Public Consultation.
JS has asked for an update at the next Canford Cliffs and Penn Hill Area Committee meeting on 18 June 2014.
Chairman’s Note: I am informed that, starting 6th until 30th May, Branksome Chine toilets are being refurbished. The Council has agreed to have portaloos available and also have the Disabled Toilet in use.
The first phase of beach hut construction work due to take place at Flaghead and Branksome Promenade (West) during May and June has been postponed until later in the year. The council did not feel the tenders received offered value for money for Council Tax payers and is, therefore, planning to combine the works with the second phase planned at Branksome Promenade (East) and Sandbanks.
All affected beach hut tenants have been contacted.
Subject to planning, the Council aims to complete all the works during the coming Autumn and Winter.
The Council will, however, be carrying out some initial work at Flaghead over the next couple of weeks to remove any asbestos containing materials and are continuing with plans to construct nine new huts at Canford Cliffs using a different procurement and construction method. The Beach Office can be contacted for further information on 01202 70818.
Gypsy and Travellers’ Sites – TS reported that there have already been three invasions into parks, car parks etc. and the Council’s suggestion that these areas are protected by gates, blocks of stone etc. are having no effect.
Travellers come here early to attend the Dorset Steam Fair, and are quite open in stating that they have come to Poole ‘to have a holiday’.
Stan Alfert reported that Bournemouth handles the situation with travellers there very well and are completely effective in keeping them away.
Chairman’s note: At its meeting on 20 March, the Planning committee refused the applications for the Temporary Stopping Sites at Creekmoor and near B&Q at Fleetsbridge.
Strategic Car Parking review (SCPR) – The proposal for On-Street Pay & Shears
Display on selected roads adjacent to beach areas is now being dealt with by the Sustaining Poole’s Seafront Working Group – see above.
‘Party houses’: JS handed over the floor to Jen & Steve Cameron who are leading the newly formed Party House Action Group.
JC opened her remarks by saying that both she and her husband have found the level of impotence by Poole Council on the matter of ‘Party Houses’ to be unbelievable.
JC says that she would welcome any suggestions as to where they can go now, as they feel they have exhausted every avenue open to them.
The use of the media was being investigated.
JS agreed to contact the agent selling three houses in Burton Road telling them that they must divulge any detriments of these houses to prospective purchasers, as the developers themselves are not obliged to.
Peter Young suggested that a ‘vote of no confidence’ in Poole Council on the subject of Party Houses was passed. This was fully supported by those at the meeting with a few abstentions, as the extent of the ‘vote of no confidence’ was not fully understood.
The meeting gave JS the authority for the Association to make a donation to the Party House Action Group to assist it in obtaining Counsel’s opinion on this matter.
JS will need some indication of how much this will cost.
Chairman’s note: I attended a meeting of the Party House Action Group on 17 May. Robert Syms MP & Cllr Mrs May Haines were present along with approx 20 residents who were impacted by this continuing nuisance
The principle outcomes were…
1. Cllr May Haines met with Planning Services on Monday, with a view to speeding up the Planning Enforcement process. The feeling of the meeting was that there is already ample evidence and the Council’s proposal to produce questionnaire/street survey is unnecessary – the nature of letting is sufficient to establish ‘Change of use’. It seems that there has been a lack of co-ordination between the various Council Departments. Complaints have been lodged with Planning & Regeneration, ECPS (Environmental & Consumer Protection Services) & a Libby Peek of the Anti-social Behaviour Team. Many complaints have not been acknowledged.
2. The previous week, Andy Dearing, Planning Enforcement Team Manager & Casey Derrett had started to conduct interviews/take statements from some residents affected by the Party Houses.
3. Cllr May Haines has sought the advice of the Head of Legal & Democratic Services, Tim Martin, who is supportive but felt more evidence was required before he could recommend the Council to seek Counsel’s opinion.
4. Robert Syms was due to meet Stephen Thorne & Cllr Mike White on Friday (23 May) Chairman’s note: Steve Cameron & I are meeting Robert Syms on Friday (28 May) to “update” us.
3 NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT –
In the absence of KA on holiday, JS reported
146 Canford Cliffs Road (Demolish existing and erect 3 – 5 storey building with rooftop garden; and surface level and basement parking to form 10 self contained flats) – Letter of objection lodged on behalf of Association on 20/05/14. Other current planning issues 17 Avalon (Alterations and extensions to the existing dwelling) – Local concerns.
10 Nairn Road (Demolition of the existing dwelling and the construction of a block of 5 flats) – The site visit for this appeal took place on 20 May 2014. The file is still with the Inspector and it is estimated that the decision should be ready for issue towards the end of June/beginning of July.
4. ACCOUNTS TO DATE – JS reported that the total Association funds as at 30th April 2014 amounted to £37,944.26.
5 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mohan Iyengar – Mr Iyengar is standing as prospective Conservative Councillor for Canford Cliffs Ward to replace Cllr Neil Sorton who is standing down in May 2015. Mr Iyengar will be attending the Association’s next meeting to introduce himself. A suggestion has been made that the Association fields its own candidate.
There was no other AOB and the meeting closed at 9.00pm.
Date of next Meeting: The next meeting will be on Wednesday 11th June 2014 at Committee Room (formerly Lounge), Rear of Branksome St Aldhelms Parish Centre (Access via Lindsay Road)