Minutes 21st February 2018

Minutes of the Longtown Group Parish Council meeting held on  Wednesday 21st February 2018 at 7.30pm in Longtown Village Hall.

PRESENT – Mrs J Cecil (Chair), Mr J Hardy, Mrs P Tribe, Mrs G Watkins, Mr N Powell and Mr P Hope.

IN ATTENDANCE – Mrs L Cowles (Clerk), Ward Councillor Peter Jinman, PCSO Fiona Witcher and one member of the public.

  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – Mrs J Cecil and Mrs P Tribe declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in agenda item 7.4 and Mr N Powell declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in agenda item 7.6; the declarations book was signed accordingly. There were no written requests for dispensation.
  3. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 17th January 2018 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.

As the member of the public present was a family member of the Chair and wished to discuss agenda item 7.4, it was agreed that Mr J Hardy (Vice – Chairman) would temporarily chair the meeting.

  1. OPEN DISCUSSION – The member of the public present would like to object to agenda item 7.4; planning application 180192 at Ty R Olchon Holiday Cottage on environmental issues. The site is very visible, not screened and is not in keeping with this area of ‘ancient border farmlands’. The development seems to be more extensive than just the yurt with terracing and large car park. He also stated he would be willing to attend a full council planning meeting to discuss if required. Councillor Cecil and Councillor Tribe were concerned that there seemed to be provision for further development on the site, the suggested screening of hornbeam is not native to the area and will take several years to grow, the visual effect on the environment along with concerns over lighting and noise were also expressed. The yurt seems to be a permanent structure with a base and underfloor heating. It was noted that the Parish Council are not against diversification but it needs to be in keeping with the area.

Mrs J Cecil resumed the Chair.

    • Ward Councillor – The Chair welcomed Peter Jinman to his first meeting as Ward Councillor.

Mr Jinman thanked the Parish Council for the opportunity to come along to the meeting and reaffirmed the importance of keeping in contact with the Parish Council through the Clerk. He reported that he raised the issue of potholes at the recent Scrutiny Committee meeting and this seems to be gaining support from other council members although there seems to be a North/South divide within the county. Herefordshire has 4000kms of roads, the second highest in the country. 76% of the current budget goes on statutory requirements with 24% being left to do everything else. There is simply not enough in reserve to maintain the road network. Potholes are reappearing in the same places and the quality of the repairs are not good enough.  The need for repair is graded on their size, depth and position on the road. Apparently Balfour Beatty will be adopting a slightly different method of repairing potholes. It is hoped that some of the £6million claimed back from Amey will go into the Lengthsman Scheme. Mr Jinman suggested that the Parish Council talked to the Landowners who are responsible for keeping the ditches on their property clear.

Planning applications are currently 30%-40% above the usual rate and Parish Councils must continue to comment whilst letting him know your thoughts. 90% of applications are decided by a Planning Officer but he can request for them to go to planning committee if there are strong feelings about the application. It is important to complete your Neighbourhood Plan as soon as possible.

  • Local Police _ PCSO Fiona Witcher had nothing specific to report. There have been reports of vans around the area asking for scrap, please remember to report vehicle registration numbers if concerned.
  • Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. Correspondence has been received from a local resident raising concerns on the C1203 Craswall road to Hay on Wye as it crosses over the border to Wales. There is no safety barrier on this side with a big drop down the cliff edge. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the Locality Steward for him to take a look. The Clerk will also respond to the concerned resident. Numerous potholes have opened up again on the C1203 at the top of Craswall and on the Mountain Road and Olchon Valley. The Clerk confirmed that Councillors and members of the public should report any potholes via the Herefordshire Council website.
  1. CLERKS UPDATE – Planning application 174433, Longtown Outdoor Education Centre has been granted and planning application 174820, Lodge Farm Walterstone has been refused as the application has expired. Mrs L Watkins has now been added as a cheque signatory. The Clerk reminded Councillors that the Hereford Transport Package consultation runs until 20th March and can be viewed at Hereford Library. The Black Mountains Bike Orienteering planning team have been in touch to advise there will be a cycle orienteering event based in Longtown on Sunday 8th They normally make a donation for PROW maintenance or Mountain Rescue. The Parish Council were happy for them to continuing donating to these causes. Richard Baker has asked whether the Parish Council would like any gloves, shears or razors for the Defibrillator cabinets. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact him to say yes please.

Site:                               Land at Craswall, Adj. Forest House, Craswall, Herefordshire. HR2 0PN

Description:                 Proposed agricultural building

Application No:          173596                                    Grid Ref: 328925:235040



Site:                               Trelandon, Walterstone, Herefordshire. HR2 0DZ

Description:                 Proposed hay and straw storage building.

Application No:           180122                                  Grid Ref: 334755:226719



Site:                               Bramley House, Cwmbologne Barn, Dulas, Herefordshire. HR2 0HW

Description:                 Proposed conversion of stone barn to provide holiday accommodation.

Application No:           180066/180067                    Grid Ref: 335066:229687



Site:                              Ty R Olchon Holiday Cottage, Ty R Olchon, Llanveynoe, Herefordshire. HR2 0NE

Description:                Retrospective erection of 5.5-metre diameter Yurt. Change of use from part of garden.

Application No:         180192                                      Grid Ref: 330687:230773

The Clerk has received correspondence from five parishioners objecting to this application

COMMENT –  Longtown Group Parish Council are against this application unless the following conditions are met:

  1. A comprehensive native landscaping scheme is submitted and implemented in the next planting season.
  2. No external floodlighting and details of any external lighting are to be submitted.
  3. The yurt is removed between the 1st October and 31st March.
  4. Change the colour of the yurt to something that blends into the landscape.

5.There will be no further development.


Site:                              Court Farm, Craswall, Hereforshire. HR2 0PX

Description:                Proposed installation of 33 sq. metres of solar panels on the 330 sq. metre roof of the

modern barn (10% covering)

Application No:         180017                                     Grid Ref. 328239:236684



Site:                               Llandraw Barn, Craswall, Herefordshire. HR2 0PW

Description:                 Conversion of redundant agricultural buildings to form ancillary domestic


Application No:          180387                                    Grid Ref: 330062:234218

NO OBJECTIONS BUT WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT – Should the proposed plant room be part of this application?


Site:                             Yew Tree, Walterstone, Herefordshire. HR2 0DT

Description:               Proposed 2 storey extension to existing dwelling and installation of sewage treatment


Application No:         173466                                     Grid Ref: 335013:225889


Site:                              Court Farm, Craswall, Herefordshire. HR2 0PX

Description:                Proposed improvements to the existing farmhouse including reinstatement and

re-roofing of the derelict wing. Conversion and re-roofing of the eastern end of

the stone barns.

Application No:          170400                                    Grid Ref: 328239:236684

Please view planning applications at http://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/searchplanningapplications  

    • Confirmation of updated bank balance – £7841.72 statement issued 12th February 2018. Confirmation of updated Business Premium Account – £3049.95 after £1020 agreed transfer to current account.
    • Receipts – None
    • Payment to Mr T Griffiths, invoice no. TGC0271 – Roads Account December 2017 (2) of £382.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC0272 – Roads Account January 2018 (1) of £382.00 plus VAT and invoice no. TGC0291 – Roads Account February 2018 (1) of £382.00 plus VAT – It was agreed to pay invoice no. TGC0271 but not TGC0272 or TGC0291 as the Parish Council are not happy with the work.

It was agreed that Mr J Hardy would monitor the Lengthsman’s next scheduled visit to Walterstone on Friday 23rd February and that Councillors would meet at Longtown Village Hall on Friday 2nd March 2018 at 1pm to visit roads covered on invoices TGC0272 and TGC0291.

  • Payment to Mrs L Cowles for February Clerks’ hours and £7.80 stamps – Payment Agreed.
  • Payment to Data Orchard of £1495.00 plus VAT for Neighbourhood Plan – Payment Agreed.
  • Payment to K Pritchard of £268.00 for installation of defibrillator at Craswall Church – Payment Agreed.
  1. LENGTHSMAN PROVISION OF EXPECTED EXPENDITURE 2017-18 – It was agreed to report that the Parish Council would be claiming the full grant allowance.
  2. LENGTHSMAN CONTRACT AND ANNUAL MAINTENANCE PLAN 2018-19 – The Chair proposed send a job description to Tommy Wood Cole and Terry Griffiths and invite them to tender for a three-month contract to cover April, May and June 2018. The preferred contractor to be agreed at the March meeting. It was agreed not to complete the Balfour Beatty Annual Maintenance plan at present until the Lengthsman contract for 2018-2019 has been agreed.
  3. CLERK POSITION – As this was the Clerks last official meeting the Parish Council thanked Linda for her work over the years. Two to three people have shown an interest in the position although none have officially applied for the role. In the interim Mrs Cecil has agreed to monitor emails and Linda has agreed to do the agenda and minutes for the March meeting along with the accounts until year end of 31st March 2018.
  4. PARISH MEETING – Karen Usher has agreed to speak about the new university in Hereford at a meeting on 23rd The village hall committee are happy to provide a ploughman’s supper. It was suggested to charge £5 per head. The Clerk advised that the Parish Council could not charge members of the public to attend a Parish meeting. The Chair would think about alternatives.
  5. LONGTOWN SCHOOL – The Chair had attended another positive meeting with the school along with the Locality Steward and PCSO Fiona Witcher. The school has extended the time that the school is open in the morning to enable parents to arrive at staggered times. Mr Norris suggested that one solution would be to change the school warning signs to a bright yellow background. The Parish Council would need to apply and it was agreed that the Chair can complete the paperwork. The school PTFA has agreed to pay the £200 charge for these.
  6. COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW – Herefordshire Council have made changes to the questionnaire as suggested by the Parish Council. They are now consulting with local residents and all comments must be received by Friday 23rd March 2018.
  7. RIVER LUGG IDB: BYELAWS – It was agreed that the Parish Council would make no comments regarding this consultation.
  8. MARCH NEWSLETTER – Clerks vacancy and Community Governance Review.
  9. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
  10. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT SCHEDULED ORDINARY MEETING & CRASWALL & LLANVEYNOE PARISH MEETING – 21st March 2018 at 7.30pm in Craswall Village Hall – Roads, Defibrillator training, appointment of Clerk, Lengthsman contract 2018-19.