Present: Mrs EA James (Chairman); Mr D Purnell; Mrs A Hale; Mrs. P Kelly; Mr D Palmer; & Mr R Smith.

District Councillors: Mrs J Cordwell; Mr. A O’Connor; & Mr P Smith.

County Councillor Dr. J Cordwell

The Clerk: Mr R Symons.

Mrs King (Cemetery Clerk) and Mr M Hutchings (GRCC).

  1. To Receive and Accept Apologies for absence.

The Council passed a resolution to accept the following apology: Mr K Brown.

  1. Declaration of Interests. The Chairman invited members to declare any interests.

There were none.

  1. To Approve and Sign the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 July 2010, as a true and accurate record.

The Minutes had previously been distributed to all members and displayed on public notice boards and the website. All members agreed that the Minutes should be signed as a true and accurate record. The Minutes were duly signed.

  1. The Council noted Matters arising from the Minutes that were not covered by agenda items. The Clerk’s Update Notes, which had been issued prior to the Meeting, informed the Council that he:

The Chairman on behalf of the Council recorded their thanks to Peter Wilson for the work he had done in helping to maintain the Quarry; and for the support he had given to a resident in Tyndall Close.

Mr Ray Smith reported the contractor had visited Breakheart Hill but had been prevented from erecting the fence by Mr Owen, who was disputing the boundaries. Following discussion it was agreed that the work should be delayed until the land had been registered with the Land Registry.

  1. The Parish Council considered and commented upon the following Planning Application received from Stroud District Council:

Following discussion and full consideration of the application the Council decided to Support the Application on the following grounds:

  1. The provision of Office Accommodation will provide additional opportunities for employment in the Parish. (In the opinion of the Council the three criteria of Policy EM7 will be met).

  2. The provision of a dwelling will enable an existing long established business, which attracts visitors to the Parish, to continue. The Parish Council believe that this meets the spirit of Policy HN10, in so far as it supports an existing horticultural business.

  3. The provision of a dwelling satisfies the criteria set out in Policy BE17 and in turn Policy BE16.

  4. The proposals for a dwelling also satisfy the criteria set out in Policy BE7.

  5. The proposal for a Tea Barn will support the existing business and regulate the current position.

Following discussion and full consideration of the application the Council decided to make “No Observations” on this application.

  1. The Parish Council noted the following decision by Gloucestershire County Council Planning Authority:

10/0003/STMAJW. Windmill Fruit Farm, Southend, Wotton under Edge. Planning Application to “reinstate works following closure of horticultural business operations”.

The Clerk informed the Council that the Application had been Approved subject to 20 Conditions. He read out the Conditions, as set out in the “Permission for Development”.

One Councillor expressed his disappointment that the application had been approved in spite of a lot of public objections; and the application had been dealt with under Delegated Authority. County Councillor Dr. Cordwell commented that none of the Statutory Consultees, including the Parish Council, had objected to the proposal and that in such circumstances the Committee would have no option other than to approve the application.

  1. The Meeting was opened for Public Discussion and Questions.

Mr Palmer:

Mr Purnell commented upon the recent letter in On The Edge and after discussion the Clerk agreed to respond to the Editors of OTE clarifying the matters raised by the writer and suggesting that the writer might like to join the Parish Plan Group and contribute his ideas.

  1. The Chairman invited Mr Martin Hutchings from Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) to report back to the Parish Council on the future of Affordable Housing (AH) for the Parish.

Mr Hutchings reminded the Council of the steps which have been taken to date. That the work started in 2003 when GRCC conducted a Survey on behalf of the Parish. That over time a number of possible sites have been identified and that in the last 2 years GRCC, the Parish Council and Two Rivers Housing Association had looked at four potential sites. None of these sites had become available for Affordable Housing. Mr Hutchings reminded the Council that compulsory purchase does not apply in the case of Affordable Housing and that it was important that they worked with the landowners. He commented that the new government were discussing bringing about changes to planning laws and that it would be interesting to see the impact this might have on Affordable Housing.

Mr Hutchings reported that he had written an article for the August/September Edition of “On The Edge”, in an attempt to get landowners to come forward.

Mr Purnell commented upon the current application of planning rules limited the availability of land for AH in the Parish. Mr Hutchings reminded the Council that although AH can be built outside the village envelope, it must be adjoining the envelope. It was pointed out that this excluded the hamlets in the Parish and as such was very limiting.

Mrs Kelly commented upon the public’s limited understanding of who would be eligible for AH. After some discussion it was agreed that it was important that should AH progress in the Parish, there would be a need to inform parishioners of the eligibility rules and that applicants need to be on the Housing List, before they can be considered. Mr Hutchings said that GRCC would assist in this process.

Finally it was agreed to review the position later in the year, particularly should the government free up the planning laws.

The Chairman thanked Mr Hutchings for his time and input to the Meeting.

  1. District Councillor Mr A O’Connor submitted his District Council Report. (See attached). In response to questions Mr O’Connor informed the Council that the District Council was currently making budget cuts, but that the full extent of those cuts was not yet clear.

  1. County Councillor Dr J Cordwell provided a written report. (See attached).

During discussion the Clerk informed the Council that he had received a Survey Questionnaire from Highways for completion by the Parish Council. It was agreed that the Clerk would send a copy (electronically) to Councillors who could then comment. The Clerk will draft a response on behalf of the Council for sign off prior to the 14 October deadline.

  1. The Council received and discussed Reports of Committees and Meetings attended by Parish Councillors.

Mrs Hale reported that she had attended a School Governors’ Meeting, the last meeting attended by Mrs Freeman, the head teacher, prior to her retirement.

  1. The Council received their copies of the new Standing Orders for North Nibley Parish Council and passed a Resolution to accept them.

  1. Finances.

  1. The Council received details of the following Invoices for payment:

Following careful consideration of each item the Council agreed to approve payments for the following items; and cheques were drawn up:

  1. The Clerk read out the letter received from HMRC in respect of a question regarding the Council’s eligibility to reclaim VAT on payments made by the Council for the Sports Pavilion.

Following careful consideration of each item the Council agreed to approve payments for the following items; and cheques were drawn up:

Following discussion by the Council the invoice from Kevin Morgan Plumbing & Heating Services for £4,784.58 was not approved for payment because the Invoice was incorrectly addressed; and VAT was not separately identified. The Clerk was instructed to return the Invoice for resubmission.

  1. The Council received a verbal Cemetery Report from the Cemetery Clerk. It was agreed that a parishioner could place a seat in the Cemetery in remembrance of her mother. The Cemetery Clerk was asked to speak to the parishioner and arrange for a Councillor to meet with her to agree a location for the seat.

  1. The Council received a written update on Correspondence received since the last Meeting. (See attached).

There being no further business the Meeting closed at 9.30 pm.

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held at the Village Hall on Monday 6 September 2010 at 7.30 pm.