The draft minutes of the 1 December meeting ot the Parish Council can be downloaded here MN_2020_December BPC Draft Minutes
or read below.
DRAFT Minutes of the monthly meeting of Blackawton Parish Council held on Tuesday 1 December 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in using public videoconferencing for the purpose of transacting the following business
- Open Forum
- The Conservative candidate in the Devon County Council elections in May 2021 introduced themselves and observed the meeting.
- Present: Cllrs Rake (Chair), Mewes (Vice-Chair), Coe, Mallyon, Perry, and Thomas and were present, as were, Devon County Cllr Brazil, South Hams District Cllr Reeve, A Thom (Clerk), and three members of the public.
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Wilson.
180/20 Declarations of Interest
Cllr Rake declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 7.2 Woodford Farm planning application.
Cllr Coe declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 7.2 Oakleigh Cottage planning application.
181/20 Minutes of Previous Meetings
It was resolved to approve the minutes of the Meeting held on 3 November 2020.
182/20 COVID-19 Response
The project to ensure that residents and visitors have access to support and information was considered.
183/20 Report from South Hams District Council Councillor
South Hams District Cllr Reeve said that COVID-19 grants Officers have been busy, and she hopes that those eligible have applied. There is a new ‘additional restrictions’ grant. Cllr Reeve encourages people to apply.
There is a current problem with waste collections because drivers have needed to self-isolate. Please be patient and if your collection is missed, put it out again in two weeks. Reporting missed collections is currently not possible because no action can be taken to respond.
184/20 Report from Devon County Council Councillor
Deferred pending the arrival of Cllr Brazil after another Parish Council meeting.
185/20 Planning Issues
185/20.1 SHDC Planning Decisions
The following decisions were noted:
- 3243/20/ARC Blacksmiths Cottage Woodford Blackawton Devon. Application for approval of details reserved by condition 9 of Planning Application 0263/19/FUL. Discharge of condition Approved.
- 2713/20/CLP The Old Farmhouse Blackawton TQ9 7AE. Certificate of lawfulness for proposed siting of caravan ancillary to existing dwelling. Cert of Lawfulness (Proposed) Certified.
- 2929/20/PDM The Linney Woodford Farm Blackawton Totnes TQ9 7AA. Application to determine if prior approval is required for proposed change of use of agricultural building to dwellinghouse (Class C3) and for associated building operations (Class Q(a+b)). Prior Approval Given.
- 3036/20/CLP Middle Wadstray Farm Blackawton TQ9 7DD. Certificate of lawfulness for proposed construction of agricultural equipment shed. Cert of Lawfulness (Proposed) Certified.
- 3131/20/HHO 55 French Furze Road Blackawton TQ9 7FN. Householder application for erection of single storey conservatory and single storey garden shed (resubmission of 0142/20/HHO). Conditional Approval.
185/20.2 Review of New Applications
- 3620/20/HHO Oakleigh Cottage Main Street Blackawton TQ9 7BG. Householder application for extensions and alterations to property including roof extension and new external porch.
Cllr Coe’s verbal request for a dispensation to explain the application before leaving the meeting was granted (proposed Cllr Rake, seconded Cllr Mewes).
Cllr Coe was removed from the meeting.
Support (resolution proposed Cllr Thomas, seconded Cllr Mallyon, unanimous).
- 3520/20/FUL Woodford Farm Blackawton TQ9 7AA. Installation of solar array consisting of 72 panels (resubmission of 1708/20/FUL).
Cllr Rake’s request for a dispensation to explain the application before leaving the meeting was granted.
Cllr Rake was removed from the meeting.
Support (resolution proposed Cllr Mallyon, seconded Cllr Thomas, unanimous).
Verbal requests for dispensations were accepted to improve information available to Councillors for decision making.
186/20 Report from Devon County Council Councillor
Devon County Councillor Brazil reported on DCC, the lead council to manage a COVID-19 outbreak in Devon. Rural Devon has some of lowest rates of COVID in the country. The decision to allocate Devon to Tier 2 is partly because of the capacity of hospitals. A review will take place on 16 December 2020.
DCC has a full Council meeting on Thursday via Zoom. Cllr Brazil has a motion regarding the high turnover of children’s social workers. Issues include terms and conditions and lack of career progression. He expects the motion to go through.
The Chancellor’s Statement has allocated more money for road repairs. Cllr Brazil already has a list from BPC of local priority areas. Safety defect potholes are considered separately. Please keep reporting those. Cllr Brazil expects a one-way junction to be created on the A381, to the Kingsbridge side of Totnes Cross. There will be no entry apart from access, and the route will be taken out of satnavs, which will help.
o Playing Pitch Strategy for South Hams and West Devon. Closes 11/12/20
- SHDC Alcohol Public Space Protection Orders. Closes 18/12/20
188/20 Management of Parish Drains and Buddle Holes
The Parish Lengthsman Mike Pearey reported that a new cattle track over a buddle hole outlet has blocked a drain and the road, which can be quite busy, will flood. The soakaway is working but is quite slow. Back ditches need to be dug out. Two back ditches would absorb water from above Cotterbury. Cllr Thomas will distribute a standard letter by Devon County Council about landowner responsibilities to the three relevant landowners. Cllr Rake commented that BPC wants to find the most reasonable way forward and the simplest solution.
It was agreed that a good result has been achieved by the Parish Lengthsman at Bow Bridge.
Mike Pearey is investigating what initially appeared to be a blocked drain between Collaford Bridge and Cotterbury. It appears it might be a spring.
The Clerk will reapply to DCC’s Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund. Applications received between 1 December and 28 February will be reviewed in March.
189/20 French Furze Project & Business Units
The MUGA Community Use Scheme discussed in a meeting between Cllrs Rake and Wilson and Education South West was broadly supported by BPC. In principle, management of out of hours use of the MUGA will be the responsibility of the community. Positive guidance (via MUGA noticeboard, parish website, Blackawton Beacon, and School) will be used to encourage and enable respectful use. Guidance will cover times of community use, acceptable behaviour, who to contact if there is a problem, and when payment is required (in cases of income generating use of the MUGA). Guidance on how to book might be required, and bookings could be done by the Blackawton Playing Fields Committee (BPFC) alongside tennis court bookings. However informal agreements might also work and could be tried first.
BPC’s preferred School (Community) Land title boundaries are for the land outside the MUGA and Toddler Play Area boundaries to be transferred to BPC. This includes a narrow strip of land to the west of the TPA. This proposal was also agreed in the meeting with Education South West.
BPC deferred approval of legal expenses for Blackawton Business Units CIC to receive the property and land in accordance with section five of the S106, pending possible support from SHDC.
It was unanimously resolved to approve the use of the Clerk’s time as required to provide administrative support for the early operation Blackawton Business Units CIC. The time will be itemised.
Cllr Rake reported he had asked for support from SHDC legal to get the Business Units project over the line. He has emailed Andy Bates, SHDC’s CEO, because he thinks this is the sort of project SHDC should be supporting.
190/20.1 Update on Current Financial Position
The report, which showed a balance of £59,380.30 and unearmarked reserves of £19,861.22, and bank reconciliation were approved.
190/20.2 Payments and Receipts
The following payment was approved:
- TJD Construction, Churchyard wall repairs, £864.00
190/20.3 Draft Budget
The draft 2021/22 budget and precept demand were considered. The BPFC may need more funds to support maintenance.
The Clerk was asked to calculate a precept demand which maintains the current Band D equivalent rate, taking into account the new residences at French Furze.
190/20.4 Clerk’s overtime claim
It was resolved to approve the claim for £140.03.
190/20.5 Purchase of a new Union Flag
Expenditure of approximately £110.00 was approved because the current flag is no longer in serviceable condition for use on national ceremonial occasions.
190/20.6 Devon County Council and South Hams District Council Locality Grants
190/20.7 Grant Application – To support the initial operations of the Blackawton Business Units
190/20.8 Grant Application – Blackawton Playing Fields Committee for tree removal
Consideration of the above three applications was deferred. The Clerk will obtain quotes for legal advice for the transfer of ownership of the Toddler Play Area to the Blackawton Playing Fields Committee, the Car Parking area to the Blackawton Parish Council, and the transfer of ownership of the Business Units to the Blackawton Business Units CIC. It is expected that using the same solicitor for each of these transfers will reduce the total legal fees paid by the community of Blackawton.
190/20.9 Loan of BPC’s surplus laptop
It was agreed that the laptop may be loaned to DPC’s Chair for use to Chair Zoom meetings during COVID pandemic. It is surplus because the Clerk uses a laptop supplied by DPC.
191/20 Churchyard Trees
Two small dead trees have been removed. The Tree Warden has reviewed and all seems well although a bit of minor tree surgery would improve the appearance of some trees. The Clerk will also review with Cllr Mallyon.
- 9/11/20 Residents’ feedback on excellent work to stonework of the bridges over the Wood Brook and the Gara Brook by DCC. Passed on to DCC which did the work and Parish Lengthsman who initiated it.
- 19/11 and 2/11 Resident regarding litter collection from the roads by them and SHDC on request, and suggestion for Keep Britain Tidy signs
This correspondence was discussed. BPC adds its thanks for the great work done. An article will be placed in the Beacon – if possible with a photo conveying the large quantity of litter removed from the roads. BPC welcomes suggestions to address the litter problem. It did not think that signage would be effective. Residents are asked to be attentive and to pick up litter if you can.
- 17/11/20 Invitation to South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership Forum on 9 December, 9:15-13:00
- 19/11/20 Census 2021 on 21 March, Census Engagement Manager for the South Ham
- 23/11/20 Cllr Rake to CEO, SHDC, re SHDC’s approach to Blackawton Business Units
- 24/11/20 Chair of Staverton Parish Council, re proposed Climate Fair 18 September 2021
Cllr Mewes reported that Sustainable Blackawton is broadly supportive but had no specific ideas. Local businesses are encouraged to respond e.g., a business with a climate agenda such as PV panels or heat pumps.
- 25/11/20 Clerk to resident regarding pavement parking in The Grove
193/20 Reports from Parish Councillors and Wardens
It was unanimously resolved that Westdown Farm, which BPC knows Cllr Perry is a Director of, would cut the Cemetery hedge, because it is a small job and the arrangement is to the benefit of the community. Cllr Perry also supports the Playing Field Committee by cutting its hedges free of charge at the same time.
Cllr Perry reported that a Campervan has been parked for some time in a layby between Wallaton Cross and Newton Cross. The Clerk will send to Cllr Perry the link to the abandoned vehicle page on SHDC’s website.
Cllr Perry reported that Cornish Copse’s landowner will clear the inside of a buddle hole, but is not sure when.
Cllr Mewes will contact BPC’s Tree Warden about the possibility of planning companion planting around the single conifer growing on a grave in the Cemetery.
Cllr Mallyon asked about the review of street lighting in Blackawton, and it was agreed that this will take place post COVID restrictions. It had been planned to carry the review out in the first part of 2020, which was prevented by the COVID pandemic.
194/20 Next Meeting
It was confirmed that the next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 12 January 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
The meeting closed at 21:36