SOUTH LEIGH AND HIGH COGGES PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
Minutes of the Meeting 21st March at 19:30 in the Village Hall
Lysette Nicholls (Deputy)(LN)
Rita Sawrey-Woodwards (R. S-W)
David Auger (DA)
Dick Pears (DP)
Additionally present – Andy Goodwin – District Councillor and Dan Levy – District and County Councillor
Parishioners present – Liz and John Ashwell, Caroline Auger, Martin Spurrier – all of whom spoke on different items
- Apologies – Nicky Brooks (Chair) was unable to attend due to family illness and therefore LP acted as chair. The PC sent good wishes
- Declarations of interest – there was a declaration of interest re Church Farm by LN as she was also a member of the Lowlands Area Planning Sub-Committee of WODC who was considering an application relating to Church Farm on 28th March 2022 although she would not be present
- To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as being a true record of the proceedings – The Minutes from the last meeting were approved.
- Opportunity for any parishioner to raise a matter of concern – Two parishioners had raised issues about flooding at High Cogges and LN and DP had had a meeting immediately prior to the Parish Council Meeting with the two residents who had different explanations as to the root cause and explained their position. As a first step LN and DP agreed to arrange a meeting with a local landowner as soon as reasonably practicable.
Another parishioner had raised the issue of a survey being carried out in the area of a possible Anaerobic Digester near the junction with the Cogges Road and wanted to alert the Parish Council – DP indicated he was already aware of the survey and had spoken to the surveyors. Other members of the village had observed what appeared to be going on and were concerned. It would be raised at the meeting with the landowner.
- Opportunity for any County Councillor and / or District Councillor to update the Parish Council on any matter of relevance or concern. Dan Levy as he felt it was important repeated the issue about parking that had been discussed at the last PC meeting saying OCC is taking back on-street parking enforcement but will have to serve a 12 month notice on WODC which is pending and OCC are also responsible for resident parking schemes but WODC is responsible for parking within car parks and that responsibility will remain with WODC and there are no current plans to introduce charges within WODC car parks. Cllr Goodwin mentioned the West Eynsham plan for circa 1000 houses – master plan went to committee. In the plan there is a proposal for a boulevard with will link the A40 to the Stanton Harcourt Road. Dan Levy indicated that he had put in an objection to the A40 scheme.
- Report on the liaison between the Parish and the Parishes of Stanton Harcourt, Sutton and Standlake. There is a proposed liaison with Eynsham PC over A40 issues. Prior to the PC meeting there had been a meeting about Ukrainian refugees and a resident of Sutton had attended at the invitation of LN and there would be liaison with the other parishes on this issue. The VC at Stanton Harcourt & Sutton Parish Council has also offered assistance and we record our thanks.
- Payments to approve. Dog poo bins – the only one in the village had not been emptied but the contract to renew its emptying was approved. If a second bin was installed and these days they were dual litter /poo bins, a second bin would cost £421.85 and then £3.24 per week to empty. The possibility of having 3 bins distributed around the village was discussed. It was deferred to the next meeting as costs may be prohibitive.
In relation to hard copies of the newsletter – three quotes had been obtained and the lowest for full colour was £176 for 160 copies – John Ashwell thought that was good value and about the price of a quote three years ago. DP proposed and R S-W seconded and it was carried unanimously that that quote should be accepted. The costings for the link and wiring for the emergency generator for the village hall would be put be presented when three quotes had been obtained.
- Website – the South Leigh footpath wardens had expressed concern via RES-W about some of the village footpaths not appearing on the new website. LN explained that the new website had been a soft launch completed in a limited time-frame and that because of the coding on the current website, one could not just copy and paste the material from the old website on to the new website – each footpath entry had to be retyped but that that process was continuing and that it would be completed in due course. In offers of assistance with producing copy would be helpful.
- Conservation area – an update had been drafted by the Conservation Area group and would be sent out to the village
- A40 dual carriageway planning application – DP summarized a meeting by Zoom that had taken place between NB, LP and DP of the PC and OCC on 7th March 2020 with the agenda covering (1) Noise mitigation update (2) Visual mitigation update (3) Landscaping / Planting plan: new roundabout (Barnard’s Gate). OCC had in advance of the meeting provided large scale plans and schedules of tree planting and these had been distributed to others outside the PC.OCC were committed to meeting every two months and all three issues on the agenda were matters that could be consulted on and developed during the process subsequent to the grant of planning permission but matters such as the line of the A40, how far south it would extend and the roundabout at Barnard Gate were integral to the grant of planning permission and could not be altered; they would be material changes. The PC were not happy about this particularly if the piece of work commissioned in October 2021 had not been received by the time of the grant of planning permission. Particularly if it were for instance, to recommend that the Barnard Gate Road should be closed and that would not be implemented as OCC regarded it as a material change in the grant of planning permission. It had been agreed that the date for the completion of that report would be ascertained and subsequent to the Zoom meeting it was confirmed would be ready by early April 2022. There had been some clarification that it was not proposed that there would be a cycle path south of the new dual carriageway however there would be one on the north of the new dual carriageway and that there would be electronic crossing for pedestrians/cyclists at the Barnard Gate roundabout and OCC agreed to send a link to the report that has been put on the OCC website relating to lighting at the proposed roundabout. There was discussion about when the application would go to committee but it was unclear when it would be discussed but there was agreement that OCC would inform SLHCPC as soon as possible as the date when it would be considered and SLHCPC indicated that they might want a further meeting with OCC prior to the planning application being considered if it was coming to committee on about 11th April 2021.
- S-W having consulted John Everard and Richard Catling and having considered the planting schedules and large scale plans asked a number of questions for OCC to answer and points that needed making (1) Of the trees being felled, are an equivalent number going to be replanted to maintain the current ecological balance? (2) Where possible, a good proportion of the dead trees proposed for felling should be retained as important habitats for wildlife. Where it is necessary to fell some, could the dead trunk remain on the land as a habitat? (3) Has a species survey been conducted on the area designated for construction? (4) Could the construction plans include wildlife corridors under the carriageway to avoid unnecessary road-kill? (5) There is no information about the wild flowers in the seed mix in terms of species. Could this be made available please? (6) In the understorey planting, could spindle and blackthorn be included? (7) There are owls that hunt in the area. Could sympathetic planting be included South Leigh side of the carriageway to encourage the owls to hunt away from the road?
She also suggested that the paper plans be put on public display so that villagers can look at them and there was discussion over whether this could be organised either in the village hall or in the bus shelter
- Thames Water – DP had circulated the emails passing between Thames Water and him to the PC and reported that Thames Water had offered £1000 to be paid to the village charity. He asked whether that sum should be accepted and there was unanimous rejection with the sum being called “derisory” and “insulting”. A 6-point plan to deal with Thames Water was therefore circulated and it was proposed, seconded and carried unanimously.
- Update on solar farm at Tar Farm – There was no further information – new plans to reflect the agreement between the PC and Bluefield Solar had not yet been submitted to WODC and there was no date when the revised application would be considered by WODC at Lowlands Area Planning Subcommittee
- Responses to any planning matters – There were no observations relating to Gill Mill and in relation to Church Farm there was no observations in relation to Church End Farm’s application re the pond – 21/02106/FUL but in relation to the glamping wagons – 21/01628/FUL there was concern that WODC whilst accepting that there was non compliance with one of the SLNP policies nevertheless the WODC planning officer was recommending approval. It was agreed that the PC would make representations on this point
- Fly tipping – this was a particular issue at the moment because of the tipping alongside and crossing the bridle way from Barnard Gate Road. Cllr Rylett and Cllr Levy had both intervened, but the current position was that as it was on private land WODC would not remove. LN observed that whilst a number of people had suggested cameras being positioned that could not be done unless there were both notices warning of cameras and the agreement of the landowner to the cameras being placed.
RES-W commented that there originally had been a CCTV warning sign on the Barnard Gate Road near the site where frequent fly-tipping was observed but that it had ‘disappeared’ from its original position after being damaged. RES-W suggested that the contact numbers of the land agents managing private land should be available to residents so that their fly-tipping reports could go directly to those responsible for clearing them eg Savills for Eynsham Park land, rather than the tip being reported to WODC who have no responsibility for removing fly-tips from private land. As a consequence of this useless reporting, the rubbish bags dumped in the Limb Brook December 2021, that had been reported at least twice to WODC, were still in the Brook, broken open, with loose rubbish including bottles containing toxic chemicals, floating in the Brook. DP said he would contact Savills and would update PC at next meeting.
- The formulated Emergency Plan would be considered at the next meeting
- Date of next meeting – 25th April (Agenda by 15th April) but may be at 19.45 to accommodate a regular letting of the village hall – John Ashwell to advise.
- AOB – Martin Spurrier advised he applied to TOE (Trust for Oxfordshire Environment) – for £1,243.26 for 30 trees which had been granted but he had been declined by National Lottery earlier for the same project and he was applying to National Lottery (National Awards for All England) £1,089 for the Queen’s 70th Jubilee celebrations.
DP advised that whilst potential planning breaches at Lindsey Farm had been reported there had as yet been no acknowledgment from WODC but he had asked Cllr Rylett to help. Subsequent to the meeting WODC indicated they would try their best though they were understaffed to get some report by next PC meeting