Parish Council Minutes - June 2015

  • Minutes of meeting held 10th June 2015 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm


    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Gray, Norman (Chairman), Rae, Walton,

    Also present were ~ 10 members of the public


    1. Apologies: Mr Jacob, Mr McKinley

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that as the members of the public were present specifically for Item 9 he would take that item first. He then intended to deal with Item 7 a).

    Item 9.

    7/2014/4033, The Beeches. At the request of the Chairman, The Clerk explained that this application had been discussed in May 2014. Neighbours had been informed at the time and, using the council’s planning checklist as a guide and taking into account any feedback from neighbours, no objections were raised with LDNPA. Construction had recently started and it had become obvious that the western extension adjacent to Aldenstone was considerably larger than the plans appeared to indicate. LDNPA planners had been contacted and investigation showed that the plans had been misinterpreted due to a difference in scale between sections of the plans. The situation had been aggravated by the fact that the planning officer who dealt with the plans and subsequently recommended approval, had left the National Park Authority. The outcome was that as approval had been given this must stand and accordingly Mr Haggin (from LDNPA) had apologised to Mr Nelson (Aldenstone). After some discussion it was agreed that a suitable letter outlining the Parish Council’s concerns should be sent to LDNPA. A copy is attached to these minutes.

    7/2015/4048, 1 Ellerslie Terrace, New build. At the request of the Chairman, Mr Cowley (owner of No 1 Ellerslie Terrace), gave the reasoning behind the proposed development. The background revolved around the need to refurbish the existing store/garage which was in dire need of repair. The opportunity had been taken to provide a starter type dwelling which it was considered was in short supply locally. In response several residents of Ellerlie Terrace voiced their concerns about the development. The council supported the objections of the residents which included:

    1. The restricted width of the access lane which posed a real risk for pedestrians, and people exiting the existing No 1 property. (The lane width appeared to be incorrectly described on the plans as 3.8 m instead of 3.1 m. This discrepancy should be resolved).

    2. The loss of privacy and amenity by the other residents of the terrace due to the close proximity of the development to their properties. This was further aggravated by the ‘upside down’ design of the building with the main living accommodation being on the first floor.

    3. The restricted size of the plot available which meant the building footprint becoming in part the plot boundary. This would make both construction and any subsequent maintenance difficult.

    4. It was considered that development on this plot would result in a dwelling with little amenity value and which was out of character with its surroundings.

    5. Alteration of the lane entrance as described would restrict the existing available parking space for residents and create potential problems by forcing parking nearer to the Ellerslie Park entrance.

    6. An increased load on the local sewerage system which is already overwhelmed at times of heavy or prolonged rainfall. The last event was on June 1st. (Photographic evidence was shown).

    7. Consideration does not appear to have been given to Local Occupancy Occupation.

    8. The Parish Council request that a site visit should be arranged to ensure the planners are aware of the space restrictions and concerns.


    7/2014/4102, The Wheatsheaf, Conversion to 3 dwellings. The council wished to object to the development as it is currently presented. Concerns were raised about:

    1. The loss of another business within the village as the Parish Council policy is to retain as many businesses as possible.

    2. That with a total of 6 bedrooms being provided the carparking space allocated (3) was inadequate. Furthermore the assertion in the design statement that there were 2 free public carparks locally which could provide additional parking is wrong. It is assumed that the developer was referring to carparks at the Village Hall and the Playing Fields, neither of which is public, being provided for the respective facilities users. The ‘public’ carpark opposite the Village Shop, is funded by the residents via the Parish Council precept primarily to serve the needs of the residents (and visitors) wishing to use the various businesses within the village. This carpark already suffers from misuse, and is often overloaded, by contractors and other staff from the Sellafield site; it does not exist to provide a resolution to developers’ self-inflicted problems in trying to extract maximum use from a very confined site. The Parish Council believes that the on-site parking issues should be re-addressed.

    3. The Parish Council would also wish that, should this development go ahead all the properties should be subject to Local Occupancy Clause restrictions.

    4. In addition the council would wish the developer to recognise that there are no rights of personal access via gates or hedges adjacent to the field from bordering properties, though the Parish Council would not wish to prevent the use of any present access.


    Item 7 a). The Chairman called for volunteers from the floor for co-option. Mr Ancell and Mr Parker offered to serve (Both had been councillors previously), and they were duly co-opted and signed Declarations of Acceptance of Office.


    4. Minutes of the previous meetings held on 8th April and 13 th May 2015. These were approved (Proposed Mr Rae, seconded Mr Walton)

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Arrange meeting with council solicitor ref Carpark transfer. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – arranged for 11 th June.

    2. Assess financial risks to PC should management involvement with the Pavilion become necessary.

    Action ongoing – Next Finance Committee meeting. Action – The Finance Committee.

    3. Inform CALC of nomination of Mr McKinley to LDNPA. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    4. Provide article for newsletter. Action – Mr Walton

    Action complete.

    5. Respond to solicitor ref Public Hall land lease. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    6. Advertise for members for co-option. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    7. Circulate Dr Hutson LDNPA visit report. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    8. Respond to LDNPA ref planning applications. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    9. Raise election issues with the Returning Officer. Action – Mr Jacob

    Action onging.


    6. Financial Matters.

    Monthly Financial Report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Ancell, seconded Mr Gray).

    The Clerk reported that the Annual return had been submitted to the District Auditor.

     Note: A reply from the Auditor has since been received which indicated a satisfactory return had been submitted with no issues raised.


    7. Main Business.

      Co-option of new members. See Item 3 above.

    Appointment of representatives to committees and groups. (b/f from last meeting)

    The following were appointed to committees and as members with special responsibilities:

    a)Finance Committee. Messrs Parker, Jacob, Ancell; Mr Walton & Mr Norman (ex-officio).

    b) Mid-Copeland Group. Mr Gray, Mr Walton.

    Dr Hutson would act as a reserve.

    c ) Village Care,Carpark and Toilets. Messrs Gray, Norman, Ancell.

    d) Highways (Liaison and Transport). Dr Hutson, Mr Jacob, Mr Rae, Mr Norman .

    e)Footpaths and Common Land. Messrs Wright, Ancell, Walton.

    f) School Governor (Nominations). No longer necessary.

    g) What’s On/ Website Editor. Mr Gould in liaison with The Clerk.

    h) Fairtrade Group. Discontinued.

    i) Nuclear Matters Group. Dr Hutson, Mr McKinley, Mr Walton, Mr Wright, The Clerk.

    (The group also includes Mr Stewart and Mr Jones from Ponsonby PC)


    The following were appointed as representatives to Management Committees:


    7. To appoint representatives to other Committees:


    Sellafield SSG (WCSSG). Dr Hutson.

    Copeland District Committee of CALC. Mr Norman, The Clerk.

    Neighbourhood Forum. Dr Hutson , Mr Walton

     Broadband. Mr Jacob, Mr Gray.

    Cycleway Group. Mr Gray, Mr Rae, Mr Jacob.


    8.Representative's reports. Mr Gray said that a meeting on the Cycleway had been postponed.


    9. Planning Matters. Dealt with in Item 3 above.


    10. Correspondence.

    Environment Agency – Consultation on changes to LLWR permit. A drop-in session was arranged for 18 th July in Drigg Village Hall when more information could be gathered, and a decision could be taken on whether and how to respond.

    CALC Risk Seminar – training session. Noted.

    NUGEN – First phase consultation. Several members had attended the session held in the Public Hall. It was agreed that the council would provide a response and a meeting to consider the associated questionnaire would be held on 18 th June at 7.15pm.


    11. Police Report. The Clerk reported that he had received a brief report from PCSO Kane which stated that only 2 incidents had been reported in the period. This number was questioned but as the PCSO was now on leave until 9th July it would be followed up on his return.


    12. Public Participation. Mr Hosfield asked why the Library copies of the council minutes were out of date. The Clerk said that this was his error as he had relied on Mrs Cornall to keep them up to date and she had now left the village. He would investigate the use of the County Council e-mail system for future updates but if this proved ineffective Mr Ancell offered to maintain the file. He also asked what was happening with the proposal to provide a footpath from the village to the Red Admiral. The Chairman replied that this still remained a Parish Council desire but following a site survey several isues were highlighted including the fencing of the route, which was insisted on by the landowners, and safety concerns where the footpath joined the highway. The nett result was that the project was substantially larger than first conceived and the council had been unable to find anyone to take the lead in developing the project.


    13. Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Ancell 1. Said that the lights in the toilet block appeared to be mal-functioning. The Chairman subsequently checked them and confirmed the mal-function. The Clerk would contact a local electrician.

    2. Commented on the ‘ No Parking’ notices which had appeared at the Public Hall. The Chairman said that this action had been taken by the new Hall Committee as the existing arrangement was causing problems when the Hall was used for some functions.


    14. In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.40 pm.







    Combe End



    Cumbria CA19 1XG

    019467 24327

    Mr Paul Haggin

    Development Management Team Leader



    Dear Mr Haggin – Further to your e-mail of 21 st May it was discussed by the Parish Council at its meeting on 10 th June. Several members of the public were also present and at the invitation of the Chairman, passed comment. The following points are relevant:

    1. It is accepted that a mistake was made by the relevant case officer in not identifying the differences in scale of the separate parts of the plans which in turn led to the misinterpretation by the Parish Council (and those interested members of the public) when the plans were considered in May 2014.
    1. It also recognises that efforts have been made to discuss any issues with the immediate neighbour who is most affected. Nevertheless the Parish Council does feel that it and the neighbours have been somewhat let down by the planning department.
    1. It is not suggested that in this case there was a deliberate attempt by the architects who drew up the plans to mislead but the fact is that a similar future submission could be used as a loophole to be exploited where for instance space was at a premium.
    1. The Parish Council notes the request for the LDNPA planners to be more vigilant in future. The Parish Council uses a checklist to assist it in considering any planning application and this will be amended to try and ensure there is no future repetition.
    1. It is customary on many plans for a sketch to be included which shows the site with the development included, which gives a reasonable illustration of the way the development sits within the site, and how much space is available. In the case of The Beeches the sketch was provided for the existing dwelling but was not included for the proposal. Since the vast majority of planning applications are for extension of or addition to properties, it would seem more appropriate and more useful if the sketch applied to the site after completion.



    Yours sincerely




    D A Polhill


    Clerk - on behalf of Gosforth Parish Council


    Date: 15th June 2015

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