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Minutes of the Rock Parish Council AGM Meeting held in Heightington Village Hall on Monday 28th October 2019 commencing at 7.00pm.

Present: Councillors Richard Williams (Chairman); Jim Lawson; David Nott; Colin Thornton; Sandra Woodhouse; Pat Pain; Sally Watkins; Ms Sue Morris; Douglas Godwin; Christopher Price

In attendance: Mr S Clee Clerk, District Councillor Roger Coleman, County Councillor Rebecca Vale, Lengthsman Colin Link, CSO Jenny Bray, Special Constable Martin Bromley & 4 members of the public.

Apologies: Councillor’s Andrew Croot, Nick Stones, Christine Sankey & District Councillor Anna Coleman.

2023 Confirmation of the Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting held on 30th September 2019 as previously circulated with a minor amendment were approved and signed by the Chairman.

2024 Declaration of Interest for a) The Meeting and b) Any Changes to be notified to the Registers of Interests and Gifts & Hospitality;

A) There were none. B) Councillor Jim Lawson in agenda item 13c being Chairman of the Bliss Gate Field Committee, Councillor Sally Watkins Planning Application 19/0581/Full knowing the applicant personally & Mr Richard Williams Planning Application No 19/0611 having sent a personal objection to the Planning Department.

2025 Public Participation:

Mr & Mrs Glen Mason addressed council regarding the noise disturbance at Lucy Farm Callow Hill. They had contacted various agencies and been directed to the Parish Council. The Chairman explained that the Licence to allow Caravans had been granted by the UK Caravan & Camping Club Site not the local planning authority. The Council were aware of a recent “rave” and directed the objectors to contact the Noise Abatement Officers at Wyre Forest District Council.

PCSO Jenny Bray confirmed the police had been aware of the issues at Lucy Farm and they would work with WFDC in future on similar matters if reported. Various members thanked the police for their high visible presence around Far Forest with the speed enforcement team. There efforts had seen a marked improvement on reducing speed through the village.

2026 County & District Councillor’s Report:

County Councillor Rebecca Vale stated flooding and drainage was a major issue at the moment. The bottom of Pound Bank where it adjoins the A4117 was flooding across the road in heavy rain fall. The lengthsman confirmed this location was flooding and needed engineering works to the drainage system which is beyond his capabilities. Councillor Vale encouraged all parish councillors to report flooding on the Worcestershire Hub website.

District Councillor Roger Coleman informed council the Wyre Forest Hub had now moved to Green Street in Kidderminster from the Town Hall. This was done to save £50,000 per year of District revenue. Councillor Coleman confirmed he had recently written to District Council Officer Kate Bailey regarding the Housing Needs Survey that had been carried out and released without the knowledge of District Councillors.

2027 Planning Matters: 

19/0576/S73 Variation of condition 3 of WF/0801/93 to allow revised scheme of approved units 2 and 3 to create smaller units at BEWDLEY BUSINESS PARK, LONGBANK, BEWDLEY, DY122TZ.

Its was RESOLVED to support this application.

19/0581/FULL New raised driveway at 2 RECTORY LANE, ROCK, KIDDERMINSTER, DY14 9RS.

Its was RESOLVED to support this application.

19/0584/FULL Construction of detached dwelling (resubmission of application 19/0351/FULL) at LAND OFF A4117, FAR FOREST

RESOLVED to recommend refusal for this application for the following reasons;

Firstly, the site is outside the settlement boundary. WFDC have a clear policy relating to no development outside the settlement boundary except in exceptional circumstances. This application has given no justification for breaking that rule. If this policy is ignored in this case, applications for similar cases in future will be able to drive a coach and horses through the council’s regulations.

The proposed development is also out of keeping both in size and scale to adjoining properties and from a highway point of view the site was within the 40 MPH speed limit and in the vicinity of the site the carriageway is narrow with no overtaking. The Parish Council believe this environment is not conducive to the undulating nature of the road. They also referred to the lack of facilities for shopping as we have a one stop shop that can only support day to day local needs. Sustainable travel options were a key reason for objecting as education facilities, health services, leisure venues, retail outlets and employment sites are limited, and reliance would be placed on a motor vehicle.

The PC believes that the lack of accessibility by sustainable modes of transport is contrary to Paragraph 108 and 110 NPPF and the resulting highway safety hazard is also contrary to Paragraph 109 NPPF.

19/0594/FULL Erection of stable building, together with change of use of agricultural land to equestrian use at BROCKSTONE HOUSE, NETHERTON LANE, DUNLEY, STOURPORT-ON-SEVERN, DY130UW.

Its was RESOLVED to support this application. Even though it was pointed out the site was outside the settlement boundary and contrary to policy.

Councillor Douglas Godwin arrived at 20.03pm.

19/0611/FULL Change of use of agricultural land to tourism comprising 6 No. Semi-permanent tents, creation of access road, paths, car park and erection of storage building at HEDGEWICK BUNGALOW, CHURCH LANE, ROCK, KIDDERMINSTER, DY149TP.

RESOLVED to recommend refusal for this application for the following reasons;

Firstly, the site is located down a very narrow country lane on agricultural land. Highway safety problems in Church Lane occur daily as the lane serves the Parish Rural School and primary children walk this lane which is partly without a footpath on route to school.

The site borders a SSSI site which is rich with wildlife. Development of this type so close to the SSSI site would be harmful to the wildlife and character to the area. The area is sat on solid clay land and the PC have concerns with Sewerage and drainage should a development proceed.

Noise and light pollution are also a major concern as the site is sandwiched very closely to existing dwellings. The WFDC Tourism Policy Section 23 states “applications for further mobile homes, caravan and chalet developments within the Wyre Forest District rural areas will be resisted due to the collective impact which the existing sites have on the landscape” Section 23.25 concludes “ it is important that any tourism accommodation does not compromise the amenity of surrounding local residents and is suitable in its surroundings” The PC believes this development is against that policy for reasons set out above.

19/0612/FULL Demolition of existing bungalow and construction of two dwelling at HIGH CLOWS BUNGALOW, WORCESTER ROAD, CLOWS TOP, KIDDERMINSTER, DY149PB.

RESOLVED to recommend refusal for this application for the following reasons;

The Site is located on a very busy road that is one of the worst black spots in the County. For Highway reasons the Parish Council believes replacing one dwelling with two at this junction is not justified and over-development.

The recently installed fencing has encroached onto highway visibility land and needs removing and repositioning 1 metre back from its current location.

19/0613/OUTL Outline application for 7 bungalows (Access and layout to be determined) at DUKE WILLIAM INN, CALLOW HILL, ROCK, KIDDERMINSTER, DY14 9XH.

Its was RESOLVED to support this application.

2028 Correspondence & Update Sheet:

There was no update sheet.

2029 Parish Magazine:

Councillor Jim Lawson is writing tonight’s report for the Parish Magazine and Councillor Douglas Godwin to write the November report.

2030 Wyre Forest District Council – Settlement Boundaries:

Council noted the emerging settlement boundaries being slightly tweaked in the emerging Local Plan.

2031 Wyre Forest District Council – Housing Needs Survey 2019:

Council considered the recently produced Housing Needs Survey by Wyre Forest District Council. It was very disappointing to note only 139 responses had been received from an alleged delivery of 1075 letters to all dwellings within the parish.

The Clerk asked for a show of hands from everyone present if they have received the WFDC Letter and it was telling that not one Councillor had any knowledge of the letter or survey. It was agreed to refer the Survey to the Planning Committee who were currently looking at carrying out a meaningful door to door survey in early 2020 to every household in the parish. It was agreed to send a letter of complaint to the CEO at Wyre Forest DC.

2032 Malvern Hills District Council – SWDP Consultation:

Council noted the Consultation on Malvern Hills recently released South Worcestershire Development Plan which had identified sites to develop another 14,000 houses needed to be built on top of the 28,400 new homes being built by 2030. The emerging plan identified over 900 building sites of which one adjoins the Rock Parish at Clows Top.

The site known as Land adjacent to Highbrae has been identified as able to support 17 dwellings. The Council RESOLVED to write to Malvern Hills DC giving their support in principal to the consultation and pointing out the problems that currently arise from poor infrastructure, namely water, sewerage and electricity services, all of which need major improvements.

2033 Accounts for Payment:

  1. Accounts amounting to £1,840.69 as detailed on the expenditure spreadsheet were approved for payment.
  2. The Council noted the Income & Expenditure Spreadsheets circulated to date for the 2019- 2020 Municipal Year.
  3. It was noted the Finance Committee would meet on Wednesday 30th October 2019.
  4. Council noted 10 applications for small grants had been received on time. The Council RESOLVED to give £500.00 each to the following groups; Millennium Green Play Area Rock, Little Acorns, Wyre Forest Community Transport, Clows Top Amateur Productions, Far Forest Friendship Club, Bliss Gate Village Field, Rock & Far Forest Nursing Charity, Far Forest Scouts Group, Far Forest Village Hall, Heightington Village Hall.
  5. Council approved the Churchyard Grants for Rock & Heightington Churches at £500.00 and Forest Church at £250.00 for 2019-2020.

2034 Date of the next Meeting

There being no other business the meeting ended at 20.41pm. The next meeting will be held on Monday 25th November 2019 at Heightington Village Hall.

25th November 2019

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