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Langham Parish Council




Minutes of the meeting held on 31st March 2009


1          Attendance and Apologies for Absence


Cllr. E. Schofield         Chairman

Cllr. C. Garnett            Borough Councillor

Cllr. W. Durlacher

Cllr. A. Stacey

Cllr. R. Watson

Cllr. A. Ellis


Also present were Mrs Sophie Beech and Mr. D. Winter, Clerk to the Council


Apologies were received from Cllr. M. Bottwood who was on holiday.


2          Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


3          Minutes of the Meeting held on 24th February 2009


Cllr. Durlacher proposed and Cllr. Watson seconded that the minutes be agreed as accurate. This was accepted unanimously and Cllr. Schofield signed the minutes.


4          Residents Questions.


4.1       Pre-school shed request


The Clerk was asked to contact the planning department to ensure that there would be no planning problems.                                                     Action – David Winter


Provided there are no problems with this, and provided it was insured and we had contact numbers to report any problems, Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Durlacher seconded that the pre-school should be allowed to install a shed for toy storage. This was agreed unanimously.


At this point, Mrs Beech had to leave the meeting.


5          Matters Arising from the Meeting of 24th February 2009


Any items where action is carried forward are shown in the minutes.




Action By



Draft Minutes

The Clerk was asked to make the word DRAFT on the minutes left in the shop more obvious.    


David Winter




Overhanging Vegetation

The Clerk was to check EC law as to when hedges could be trimmed. The Clerk was asked to contact the owner of Chaplin’s Farm on Moor Road to ask them to cut back overhanging hedges.








Mr Corr was to be asked to cut back his hedges on Park Lane.


David Winter











Cllr. Bottwood


It is acceptable to cut hedges from 1 September until the end of February and at any other time if road safety is involved. Chaplin’s Farm hedges have been cut back.




Footway on school Road

The footway on the north side of School Road was completed a week ahead of schedule. The Clerk was asked to contact Geoff Harris to compliment him on this achievement and to ask that he pass this information to the contractors, who we thought were exceptionally good.                               


Cllr. Stacey proposed and Cllr. Durlacher seconded the motion that there should be a lollipop person employed to assist with crossing the road. Cllr. Watson was to check the school’s view on this subject prior to the Clerk writing to the “Safer journeys to school” section of the Education Committee to ask for their consideration of this request, and to state that we would investigate the possibilities of local candidates.


David Winter







Cllr. Watson


Done 3/3/9 and e-mail circulated.






Thought to be unrealistic because there is no single place to cross the road.


Parish Plan

The next stage is the preparation of the questionnaire, to include questions on allotments and affordable housing. The Committee room at the Community Centre is booked for 10th March and it has to be agreed whether this is required.


Cllrs. Watson and Bottwood


Meeting held 26th March


(b) Clare Jeffs Correspondence from Essex County Standard

The Clerk was asked to contact her to say we would be delighted to speak to her and that we have possibly an interesting story in how we are preparing for the Calor National Village of the Year competition. If she would like to arrange a meeting, please let the Clerk know.                 

(c) School Farm Buildings  

The Clerk was to scan and circulate the details of the planning approvals applicable to this site.

(e) Road Signs

Mr. Smith of Essex County Council Highways is due to visit Dedham to discuss related problems. Cllr. Garnett will ask him if he will visit Langham on the same day. He will inform the Chairman so that other councillors may be present.


David Winter







David Winter



Cllr. Garnett


Done and arranged for her to contact Cllr. Watson. An article was reported for the Essex County Standard.







When Mr. Smith arranges the visit, the Councillors will be informed of the date of the visit.



The Clerk was asked to investigate purchasing two copies of the definitive footpath map at a scale of 1:1250.


David Winter


In hand



Parish Expenditure Requirements

The precept request for 2009/10.has been received and has to be sent to CBC.


David Winter




Local Development Framework

The Councillors broadly speaking support the document and its principles, as per the previous meetings with the planning department. The Clerk was asked to forward this information..


David Winter


Reported on-line on 27/2/09


RCCE – 2009 Essex Village of the Year

The Clerk was asked to check to see if Langham was eligible to re-enter. If so, the entry form would have to be completed by 31st March 2009.



David Winter


Langham would not be eligible to re-enter the National competition so it was decided not to compete this year.



Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Bottwood seconded the motion that the Council continued to belong to this organization at a cost of £29 per annum.


David Winter


Cheque raised.


Letter from Sue Thorpe

The Clerk was asked to contact Sue Thorpe as to its view that as most of this rubbish came from passing cars, a bin was unlikely to be useful. However, when the condition of the area was particularly bad, either she could inform Cllr. Watson or report this to Essex County Council Highways to clear it up.                     

Cllr. Garnett was to try to arrange for this area to be cleared in the week prior to the Village of the Year’s judges’ visit on 3rd April.


David Winter







Cllr. Garnett











Essex County Council

Cllr. Schofield was to decide by 28th February if she and her husband would like to attend the Annual Civic Service on 26th March 2009.     


Cllr. Schofield


Not able to attend.

11 (a)

Cllr. Watson proposed and Cllr. Garnett seconded the motion that the Council deferred any discussion on allotments until the results of the Parish Plan questionnaire have been received. The Clerk will inform en-form.


David Winter



11 (b)

Community Centre Changes

The cost of Mr Cherry drawing up plans to the stage of obtaining building quotations would be £700. According to the financial regulations applicable to this Council, this amount (as it is below £1,000) may be sanctioned without further quotations if required. The Clerk confirmed the Council could afford this level of expenditure. However, before we can proceed, the requirements of the potential cyber café and tennis club additional room need to be considered.                                                         


David Winter


Stuart Rudge confirmed the Tennis Club are happy with the current facilities. The requirements of the potential cyber café can be catered for.


Receipts and Payments

Once the financial turmoil has died down, the Council should consider putting more money into higher interest bearing accounts.

It was agreed that the Clerk would move excess funds from the current account to the deposit account.



Cllr. Watson and David Winter

David Winter









Cllr. Schofield reported that the Environment

Agency (EA) had had been asked to investigate

whether or not a mound of manure alongside

Greyhound Hill could cause an environmental







Blocked culverts on the

same ditch were to be investigated.











Cllr. Garnett

The EA investigated and found the manure was not an environmental hazard. The owner has arranged for the mound to be taken for use on a local farm.



6       Reports to the Council.


6.1       Planning                      


Cllr. Ellis provided a written planning report for March 2009.




Application no. 082138 – Wick Lea, Wick Road- Extension/conversion APPROVE




Application no. 082037 – Old Mill Road


There are a range of planning policy matters and material considerations relating to this unique application for the erection of a new dwelling house.


Firstly, the proposed location is outside the Village Envelope and in the Black Brook Valley, a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) as set out in the Borough’s Supplementary Planning Guidance, April 1994. The site also abuts Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is within an Area of Vernacular Character, being part of a network of natural and wildlife habitats. Furthermore, as set out in the Langham Village Design Statement (VDS), adopted by the Borough in 2008, “the Black Brook Valley itself is within the Colchester Conservation Area and forms a very picturesque area, well known and loved by local residents”.


The proposed vehicular access is just below the brow of a hill and would present a hazard for traffic. The proposed dwelling would also constitute “development in the countryside” and would present an unacceptable bulk when viewed from the public highway. In terms of the ground conditions, the land has been used for sand and gravel extraction and there is a risk of contamination affecting the site. Whilst the design of the proposed dwelling is innovative, it is out of keeping within an Area of Vernacular Character.


We also have some concerns regarding the application for heating the proposed dwelling from natural sources, which provides limited data on power output or thermal efficiency of materials to be used. The site is on a north-facing slope overshadowed by tall trees. Other statements in the application, relating for example to public transport and support from local parish councils, are open to question. We also understand that the appropriate tree reports are not contained in the present application. Overall, we would question the viability of achieving the design objectives as currently set out.


In view of the above considerations, we do not support this application and register our strong objection. We also note that, as the application is in many ways unique, it is contrary to DC1, UEA11 & CO4, and our Ward Councillor Christopher Garnett has requested that this item be considered by the Planning Committee in the event of the Officers’ recommendation being one of permission.


An e-mail concerning this application commenting on the Parish Council’s response has been received from Mr. Kelly. The Clerk was asked to acknowledge receipt of this and to state that it is up to the CBC Planning Officers to approve or refuse the application. If the application is approved, it will be called in for consideration by the full planning committee.                                                              

                                                                                                                                Action – David Winter


Application no. 090238 - Docuras Farm


The property is set within a Conservation Zone, some distance from other properties in a rural area. From the plan it appears that the design of extension is in keeping with the main building and should enhance the property, whilst not being visually intrusive. We have no objections.


Application no. 090239 – Glebe House


The key issues relating to this listed building application relate to its design, structure and support, as the proposed changes extend to the existing beams in the room above. Aesthetically, the proposed flat roof extension may be open to question. However, the overall design and fenestration complement the rest of the property. We consider that this application should be closely investigated by CBC listed building experts prior to a planning decision being made.


Application no. 090242 - Jeveck


This is the latest in a sequence of planning applications for this property, which relate to individual, discrete elements of the overall intentions of the applicant. The property boundary shown on the plan is the original boundary and there is no indication that the present property is now almost twice the size. An earlier application was for changing rooms for a proposed swimming pool, which was approved. The present application is for a swimming pool, basically a request for a sizeable hole in the ground. It is planned across a very long plot and the paving is curtailed by the swing of the driveway. The proposed pool and its surrounds have a footprint equal to that of the main house and almost the width of the garden. There is no proposed provision for a pump house, including a filtration system, and, if it is a heated pool, for a boiler. Similarly, there is no proposal, as yet, for external safety lighting around the pool, for any form of screening, or indeed for housing of the proposed pool.


In the past few months the applicant has extended the garage without permission and this required considerable modification for retrospective permission to be granted. In addition agricultural land has been fenced in without change of use permission. In order to prevent future misunderstandings we would ask the Council to consider removing future Permitted Development Rights.


We consider that this application is clearly a case of over development and does not contain the necessary information required for its approval. We therefore register our strong objection. We also consider that any future planning decisions regarding this property be deferred pending the outcome of the current appeal concerning Change of Use.


Powerplus School Farm Buildings


A retrospective planning application has been received. The work it has been asked to approve is contrary to all the core planning strategies, and the planers should be reminded that the proposed footpath diversion is a different procedure to the planning application. If the application was not refused, it was felt that it should called in for the approval of the full planning committee. The planning committee was asked to formulate and circulate a draft response for the Parish Council.

                                                                                                                                Action – Cllr. Ellis


6.2       Roads and Transport


Cllr. Watson was to contact Brian Hindley in Dedham to see how they obtained their Speed Activated Warning Signs.                                                                                                             Action – Cllr. Watson


6.3       Recreation Ground

The waste from the bonfire had been cleared into bags prior to the arrival of the rubbish freighters at the Community Centre on 25th April. Cllr Durlacher will be on holiday so asked if help could be given to move the bags. The Clerk and Mr. Schofield will help. Cllr Durlacher will also be on holiday for the Annual Parish Meeting on 30th April, so he was asked to leave a report for this meeting.                                                        Action – Cllr. Durlacher


6.4       General Purposes       


The inaugural general meeting of the Parish Plan Association has been arranged for Wednesday 22nd April at which the officers will be elected.


6.5       Housing


The Borough Councillor continues to push for repairs and enhancements to those properties where needed.


6.6       Community Council    


The Community Council are to request that the organizations using the Community Centre leave the facilities in the same state of cleanliness as they find them, in the hope this will cut down on the cleaning load of the manager.


6.7       Ward Councillor          


Nothing to report.

6.8       Footpaths                    


The proposed diversion of footpath 35 behind School Farm Buildings had been discussed under planning.

The Clerk was still to arrange the purchase two copies of the definitive footpath map at a scale of 1:1250.                                                                                                                                   Action – David Winter

7       Community Centre Extension Plans


Cllr. Durlacher proposed and Cllr. Watson seconded the motion that the Council approve costs of up to £1,000 for the production of plans suitable for obtaining builders’ quotations and associated expenditure, as discussed  at the February 2009 Parish Council meeting. This was agreed unanimously and the Clerk was asked to contact Mr. Cherry.                                                                                                            Action – David Winter


8       Contribution towards the cost of the Langham and Boxted Directory


Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Stacey seconded the motion that the Council should contribute up to a maximum of £50 towards the cost of this publication as it has done in previous years. This was agreed unanimously.


9          Correspondence Received


1          Making the Links

February and March editions.

2       Pre-school storage shed in the play area

See 4.1 above.

3       RCCE – Oyster

The spring issue.

4          Highways Act – Diversion of Footpath 29

A copy of the confirmed order of the diversion of the footpath around Keepers Cottage.

5          Essex Playing Fields

An invitation to enter our recreation ground and play area at a cost of £10 which was agreed..

6          CPRE.

Fieldwork and Countryside Voice magazines and a directory of open houses & gardens 2009.

7          CBC Forward Plan of Key decisions.


8          Letter from Mrs Elmer

A copy of her letter has been distributed. Mrs. Elmer is concerned about the increased risk of accidents along School Road following the construction of the new footway. It has been reported that a car was forced into the ditch last week and was very kindly retrieved by one of Mr Whitnell’s cranes. The Clerk is to reply to Mrs Elmer agreeing with her and is to collaborate with Cllr. Watson prior to contacting the Essex County Council Education department to see if improved parking in the section of land at the end of School Lane could be combined with approved drop off points.                                                                                                             Action – David Winter


9          e-mail from Rob Clark

Rob Clark wished to inform the Parish Council of the dog attack at Grove Farm. The Clerk was asked to obtain the incident number so that the dog warden and local police could be contacted by Cllr. Garnett.                                            Action – David Winter


10        e-mail from Langham and Boxted PCC

See item 8 above.


11        Powerplus Letter

An explanation of their action regarding land behind School Farm Buildings. This has been circulated and was discussed in item 6.1 above.


12        e-mail from Langham and Boxted Newsletter

Ron Smith had enquired about litter picking in the village. He asked for a note to be put in the newsletter. The Clerk was asked to contact Ron Smith to let him know of our excellent team of litter pickers, and any additional helpers would be provided with the necessary equipment by Cllr. Schofield and would be very welcome.

                                                                                                                      Action – David Winter


13        Verbal Request for the PC to consider the loan of its laptop to the church youth worker

Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Durlacher seconded the motion that the Council should lend the unused laptop if it was considered suitable by the Rev Tim Bull, had any confidential data removed from the hard disk, and was insured for loss and damage. This was agreed unanimously.                                               Action – David Winter


14        Letter from Tim Flack

Letter circulated and has been attended to by Cllr. Durlacher with help from the youngsters concerned.


15        BT’s Review of Pay Phone Provision

All pay phones where objections were raised to their closure are to remain open (until the next review).


16        Letter from Mr Elmer

Mr Elmer was concerned about the prospect of our two charities being merged. The Clerk  was able to alleviate his concern over this.


17        CBC’s magazine Common Ground

Copies are available for distribution.


18        EALC County Update

Cllr. Schofield and the Clerk are to attend a course on “Parish and Town Councils Alive and Well in Essex” on 22nd April. If other Councillors wish to attend they are to contact the Clerk..


19        Town and Parish Standard

Newsletter from the Standards Board.


20        Notice of the annual audit for 2008/2009

To be approved by the Council by the end of June


21        Clerks & Councils Direct Magazine


22        Bus Passenger News

No local alterations


23`       East Essex Forum – Presentations on 18 March 2009

As mentioned in the administration report below.


24        Parking Standards Design and Good Practice Consultation Draft

Already distributed to interested Councillors.


25        Essex on Tour

Live entertainment at local venues such as Community Centres.


10     Administrative Matters


In the last 5 weeks the major one-off or special activities have been


  1. Meetings with the Environmental Agency

  2. Discussions with Cllrs Stacey and Bottwood concerning the Cyber Café, including a planned meeting with BT where they did not arrive.

  3. East Essex Forum meeting on 18/3/09. Talks on the Harwich Hospital, and Geoff Harris on roads, which was very interesting.

  4. A steering committee meeting on possible changes to the Community Centre on 23/3/09. The Community Shop and the Community Council are to meet to consider the proposals and report back. In the meantime, Cllr. Bottwood and I will be looking at the grant and planning application procedures.

  5. The Rural Regeneration meeting with Cllrs Garnett, Ellis and Bottwood on 25/3/09. This I felt was disappointing.

  6. Parish Plan inaugural meeting on 26th March.


11        Receipts and Payments


A list of receipts (£463) and payments (£752) was circulated as part of the financial report. The Clerk reported that actual expenditure is likely to be £5,650 more than budgeted. Income is only likely to be £1,750 more than budgeted.


It was agreed that once the financial turmoil had died down, the Council should consider putting more money into higher interest bearing accounts.

                                       Action - Cllr. Watson and David Winter


t was agreed that the Clerk would move excess funds from the current account to the deposit account.                                                                                                                                                          Action - David Winter


12     Next Meeting


The next meeting will be the Annual Parish meeting on Thursday 30th April 2009 at Langham Community Centre at 7.30pm.


14        Any other urgent business


The Bunting plan for Horkesley Park was mentioned but no action was proposed.


There being no other urgent business, the open meeting closed at 9.50 pm.