Parish Council Minutes - March 2015

  • Minutes of meeting held 11th March 2015 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm

     Present : Messrs. Ancell, Gray, Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Parker, Walton, Wright;

    4 members of the public were also in attendance.


    1. Apologies: Dr Hutson; Mr Rae.


    2. Declarations of interest . None


    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that as the members of the public wished to comment on planning applications he would take Item 9 first.

    a) 7/2015/4014 Land at rear of Walkmill – 3 dwellings (outline re-submission). The council has studied the Flood Risk Assessment and associated papers and discussed the contents with Mr A Lane from the County Council Flood Control Team. It has seen his response, which directly conflicts with the opinions of the developer’s agent regarding the root cause of the flooding and the mitigating proposals put forward and notes his objection to the development.

    The Parish Council continues to object to this application for all of the previously documented reasons. It fully supports the objections of residents of the Walkmill Estate who have first hand experience of the consequences of present arisings of floodwater during relatively normal levels of rainfall. It considers that if the advice given by Mr Lane is not followed and proper mitigating measures put in place to attenuate the amount of catchment water the consequences from subsequent flooding for a number of the Walkmill Estate and Ellerslie Park residents will be severe. It strongly recommends that this area of land which has always been in effect a flood plain should remain so and no development should be permitted.

    b) 7/2014/4102 Wheatsheaf – Conversion to 3 dwellings. This item was not discussed as LDNPA had put the application on hold.

    c) 7/2011/4038 Roundstones – development of 3 dwellings. This planning application was discussed following information received from LDNPA which included a copy of a letter from Mr & Mrs Sherry to LDNPA dated 10 th March 2015. There had been no formal notification to the Parish Council that this application was being reconsidered. The purpose of the letter appears to suggest that the conditions advised by the Environment Agency in 2011 and to some extent those of United Utilities have been met and that these conditions should not now be a barrier to approval of the application. The Parish Council strongly disagreed.

    The Parish Council responded to the original application on 15 th July 2011 and again on re-submission on 15 th September 2014. The critical issues raised were the potential for site flooding and its effect on neighbouring properties, and the overloading of the sewage system which in that area is a combined system in which ample evidence exists of overloading in heavy rainfall, although the consequential effects become evident in the Ellerslie Park area, not in the vicinity of Roundstone. Furthermore, investigation of the flooding problems on the Walkmill site, which is but a short distance away, suggests that a prime source of floodwater to the area is from the high ground to the north of the Roundstone property, and while the above-mentioned letter concentrates on reducing the effect of any flooding on the proposed development it ignores the wider picture.

    In its response of 15 th September 2014 the Parish Council specifically suggested (Point 4) that the County Council Flood Control Team advice should be sought as this area of the village was not included in the post August 2012 flood investigations and subsequent report, as it concentrated on those properties which actually flooded internally. It has since extended its remit not least due to proposals to further develop the Walkmill site.

    The position of the Parish Council is that it objects to this application for the reasons stated in the responses of 15 th July 2011 and 15 th September 2014 and strongly suggests that the County Council Flood Control Team be formally requested to survey the area with the objective of including any mitigating measures to reduce flooding generally.

    d) 7/2015/4019 76 Meadowfield – New application . The Parish Councilhas read the statements submitted by the applicant’s agent, some of the contents being contested. This is the 3 rd application for a development on this site and the Parish Council has objected to both previous applications. It again wishes to register its objection. Specifically:

    1. The Parish Council would contest several of the statements made in the Design Statement eg. consultation by Parish Council members with neighbours is at complete variance with claims made that construction of the property would improve the appearance of the area and would have negligible impact on neighbouring dwellings. The Parish Council does not consider the proposal as ‘infill’.
    1. The Parish Council could find no evidence of a S106 Local Occupancy agreement being applied.
    1. Any additional building will add to the already existing parking problems in this area.
    1. Due to the narrowness of the new plot only single line parking is an option if more than one vehicle is owned; this inevitably will lead to on-street parking.
    1. The additional dwelling although smaller than the previous submission will still cause a substantial reduction in light, privacy and loss of amenity for several residents, but in particular those of Nos. 77 and 75 Meadowfield.
    1. It is considered that the site is too small to accommodate any development of this magnitude and as such the Parish Council considers this as overdevelopment of a garden site.
    1. The design and positioning of the proposed building (end-on; small front garden - none at the back; and considerably forward of the existing building line) is out of keeping with the character of the adjacent properties and the estate in general. Evidence was given that when the estate was originally laid out the planners insisted on setting the houses further back from the road than originally intended in order to create a spacious outlook. Any development of this space will inevitably conflict with and destroy the spacious outlook of the estate in this area.


    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th February 2015. With the addition of “Mr Ancell would take over the route previously covered by Mr McKinley” to Item 13 a), the minutes were approved (Proposed Mr Ancell, seconded Mr Wright).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

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

    Action ongoing.

    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 Copeland BC of precept. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    4. Copy CCC plan for Petton Place to Mr Rae. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

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

    Action complete.

    6. Copy NDA Woodland management Disk. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    7. Arrange meeting with Mr Clague ref Blengdale. Action – The Clerk.

    Action ongoing – It was suggested that this could be combined with the Annual Parish Meeting (See also Item 13a below).The Clerk would speak to Mr Clague.

    6. Financial Matters. Monthly Financial report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Gray).


    7. Main Business.

     a) Copeland Site Allocations & Policies Plan. Noted. No development was envisaged for the area of Gosforth outside the National Park.

     b) Copeland Sheltered Housing Survey . After some discussion it was agreed that the services of WI, MU, and other village-based organisations would be best placed to organise the survey. The Clerk would copy the survey form to all members.

    c) NDA Woodland management plan. The Chairman, having looked at the plan commented on the poor quality of the maps and the lack of any detail regarding wildlife. The plan was passed to Mr Gray for further comment which would be forwarded to NDA.

    d) Carpark. The Chairman raised the issue as there had been a stream of complaints from residents who were unable to park due to the spaces being taken by Sellafield based vehicles. It was agreed that the Carpark Group should convene to consider the issue and make recommendations to the council.

    e) Election of Parish members to LDNPA The Clerk said that he had received a timetable for the elections from CALC (who were the organisers) and who would be calling initially for nominations for each Distinct Area, and then for votes of support. Mr McKinley, who was the present representative, expressed his willingness to continue and it was agreed following a proposal by Mr Jacob, seconded by Mr Wright, that the council would put forward his name at the appropriate time.


    8. Representative's reports.

     Mr Jacob – said that he had attended the West Cumbria Community Forum at which the main matter discussed was the future of health services in West Cumbria, in particular the provision of services at WC Hospital, where among others Maternity services now appeared to be under threat. Highlighted by the Commissioning Group was the difficulty in recruiting suitably qualified staff.

    Mr Norman – Reported on the meeting with NDA. Mr B Hough gave an outline of and left some documentation regarding:

    New Sellafield Management arrangements

    Publication of Performance Plan 14

    NDA Strategy 111 consultation

    Public Accounts Committee Hearing on 11 th March.


    The PC’s raised :

    The continued and increasing problems caused by Sellafield traffic, in particular the clogging of villages by parked cars attempting to avoid parking/ security issues at Sellafield. The Clerk had forwarded a complaint from a Gosforth resident to Sellafield Ltd who had responded reflecting that previous attempts by site management to alter the behaviour of employees had been disappointingly ineffective. A copy of the associated e-mails was given to Mr Hough who said that he would discuss the matter with Sellafield Ltd.

    The Woodlands Management Plan which gave the Parish Councils some reassurance that this was being addressed but no reference to the unused/ disused properties eg.Newton Manor.

    Disappointment that NDA had not commented on the application to site large wind turbines at Church House Farm within the Emergency Planning Zone and that the Regulator refused to discuss the issue with the Parish Council.


    Mr Parker – Said that a meeting of the Playing Fields Committee had been held which did not highlight any immediate problems.


    9. Planning Matters. See Item 3 above.


    10 Correspondence. Dealt with during the meeting.


    11 Police Report. Noted there had been 9 incidents reported; 2 Criminal damage, and 1 each of Public Order offence, Stolen Vehicle, Burglary, Shoplifting, Anti-social Behaviour, Road related Incident, and Suspicious Incident.


    12 Public Participation. There were no members of the public present at this point.


    13 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    a) The Clerk – Said that normally the Annual Parish Meeting had been held in tandem with the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council in May. As this year was an election year (7 th May) he suggested that the APM be held together with the April meeting at which Mr Browning was due to speak. This was agreed.

    b) Mr Parker – Commented on the deteriorating condition of the road through the village.


    14 In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.25 pm.











    Back to main page