MINUTES of a meeting of the Full Council held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 24th February 2021. This was a virtual meeting using the Zoom platform.
PRESENT Cllr M Caton (Chairman), Cllrs A Barnes, D Brett, J Harding, J Hogg, J Hudson,
M Jessup, J Kavanagh, A Khan, J O’Brien, F Richards, G Sell, D Wallace-Jarvis and T van de Bilt
Mrs R Clifford – Clerk to the Council
Mrs E Philbrick – Trainee Deputy Clerk
Mrs L Azure-Marxen – Committee and Project Support Assistant
Mr D Schlanker – Communications Assistant
District Cllrs M Caton and A Dean
Samantha Hadland – Columbia Threadneedle
Mark Harrison – K&A Consulting
Bob Goldsmith – UDC
3 members of the public
1 member of the press.
497 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from County Councillor Ray Gooding
One member of the public advised that there were two items on the agenda which were of interest to him, the presentation regarding the Land to the North of Stansted Airport and the UDC Officer regarding the Covid-19 updates.
A member of the public advised that they had seen the article in the Bishop’s Stortford Independent regarding the repair work to be carried out on the Knight Sign and would like to contribute £100 towards this as recognition of the excellent work carried out by Ruth Clifford, Trevor Lloyd and Liz Lake. The Chairman and Clerk thanked them and will make contact outside of the meeting. Cllr Sell also thanked them and commented again that he had also put £300 towards this.
Another member of the public spoke to thank Lucy, Lee and Levi for their hard work gritting the village and keeping footpaths salted during the recent bad weather. They did an excellent job and were out early in the morning to ensure this was done. They should be recognised publicly. He also advised that the Neighbourhood Plan is currently being worked on and every aspect will be going out for consultation regularly through all of the Parish Council Social Media channels. He urged all members to actively spread the word and encourage residents to read and comment as feedback is vital.
498 TO RECEIVE A PRESENTATION FROM SAMANTHA HADLAND OF COLUMBIA THREADNEEDLE REGARDING LAND TO THE NORTH OF STANSTED AIRPORT
Samantha started by giving a brief insight to her company’s position at this site. In August 2020, Columbia Threadneedle Investments (CTI) acquired a portfolio of assets from Manchester Airport Group (MAG). This comprises of 3 x non-core property estates and a as part of this is a 99-acre site North of Stansted Airport. CTI are an experienced discretionary Manager of UK Real Estate and she talked through some of their recent track record.
She explained that the area was currently restricted in use for the Airport only but that they planned on separating this from the current boundary and that the Airport were prohibited from using this for any future Airport expansion plans.
They are shortly hoping to submit a Perimeter Outline Application and have chosen this route as it is a good way of testing various aspects like Highways, Noise etc with the relevant authorities. It would also give the chance to fix parameters before being too far down the line. They have already undertaken some engagement with Uttlesford District Council and Essex County Council. They will shortly be releasing flyers to local homes and businesses and will be running a public consultation website where online feedback can be given.
She advised that they would like residents to help them understand what is needed and wanted in the Parish and how they could support this.
Cllr Sell thanked them for their presentation, but he thought that the proposals seemed vague. He asked if it was intended that activities were employment related and would these mostly be factories? He also asked what time scale was being looked at. Another concern was the pressure this would put on an already problematic road infrastructure in the village.
Samantha advised that it may look vague but that’s because it was in the very early stages of the journey. With regards to the road infrastructure, they have traffic consultants working on this and they have learnt a lot – they will be doing all of their own testing around this. The plans will be for a range of business uses from B1 offices to B8 logistics. It would look at supplying leisure facilities to staff on site and also things like a creche and restaurants etc as well as supplying for the surrounding villages. Essex County Council are keen to put them in touch with the Innovation and Growth team. With regards to timing, they would be keen to put in an application by the 2nd quarter of this year. She doesn’t envisage that they would start on site much before the 3rd quarter of 2022 with the first stage of opening happening around 2023. All this would depend on demand and discussion. Employment would be in its thousands with a range of jobs and salaries. They would like to employ within Uttlesford but also bring in some outside talent. This would be a zero carbon development and there would be a big push on public transport with potentially money being invested in it.
Cllr Brett commented that he welcomed the prospect of diversification but would echo the comments made by Cllr Sell regarding the impact on the road infrastructure. He also noticed from the presentation that the map covered the 3 football pitches leased by Elsenham Football Club. The loss of 3 pitches would be a concern and how would they look to develop sports if the pitches are going?
Samantha confirmed that the pitches would eventually be going but that their solicitors had today agreed a lease term for the club for 3 years and they will work with Elsenham Football Club to find a solution and suitable facilities.
Cllr O’Brien and District Councillor Alan Dean also voiced their concerns about the traffic impact on the village.
District Cllr Caton commented that as a net zero development he would be keen to see it link with Stansted Mountfitchet. There is an indicative scheme for extension to the Airport Cycle Path network which goes from the South of the village via Birchanger and links to the Airport. The opportunity might benefit both them and Stansted Mountfitchet.
Cllr Caton asked if they had spoken to Elsenham Parish Council as this would also affect them. Samantha confirmed that they were on their list to contact
Ray Woodcock asked if it was possible to get a copy of the presentation? How much of the red area covers for example East End wood? Is it outside of the Airport Boundary and are any of the developments in the Airport boundary? Samantha replied that she is not yet able to share the presentation documents, but details will be contained in the public consultation documents to be delivered in the next few weeks.
499 TO WELCOME BOB GOLDSMITH – UDC – UPDATE ON COVID-19
Bob explained that his role is an Information Communications Officer. He is based in Environmental Health, but he is not an enforcement officer. He is employed to give support and guidance to local businesses around compliance and improving their way of working during these times. He had already worked with a couple of businesses within the village where concerns were raised. In the whole the shops were being well managed especially Steve Goldings greengrocers and Kings Family Butcher. Takeaways had been more of a concern in the village.
As well as supporting companies to be compliant they were also helping companies who are struggling financially.
With the re-opening of non-essential shops imminent, the next stage is communication so leaflets will be going out to all of those due to open giving details of where they can find the help and support they may require. It is also important to look at what businesses need from customers and for residents and businesses to work together. Need to give people the confidence to start to go back to local shops. He would like any ideas on how the village could be supported. Cllr Caton asked if he had been in touch with the Business Forum? Bob was unaware that the Business Forum existed even though Cllr Caton and the Clerk was sure they told him about them and Linda Howells also has their details. The Clerk will forward on details after the meeting.
One idea he had for the village is for hand sanitizer stations to be installed in Station Road by the train station and takeaways. He wanted feedback on whether this would be a welcome idea.
Cllr Sell advised that he liked the idea of sanitizers and also thought it would be useful to have them on Cambridge Road where Tesco is based and also Churchills Fish & Chip shop. This idea was supported by a number of other Councillors too who felt it was needed in this location.
Cllr Richards also mentioned that Station Road / Lower Street is a dangerous road to try crossing so stations would ideally need to be placed both sides of the road to ensure people are not crossing unnecessarily to only just a station.
500 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
501 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 27TH JANUARY 2021
RESOLVED To accept the minutes of the meeting held on 27th January 2021 as a true and accurate account.
502 MATTERS ARISING AND ACTION POINTS – None
503 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – Attached
504 DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORT
A report by District Councillor Dean is attached
Cllr Brett mentioned two subjects where he would like to see some action/support from DC members:
1 UDC has approved sports grants of £150k per year – when do these have to be used by? How will funds be split between the settlements and is it one lump sum for one organisation? We have a number of clubs where a smaller contribution would make a huge difference to their facilities.
2 The PFI contract in place at the Romeera Leisure Centre. In response to a Freedom of Information request he had sent to Uttlesford, it seems that they have never tried to re-negotiate the terms of the contract with the private funder. This has resulted in a clause which meant that the size of the MUGA had to be reduced so as not to be competitive with the facilities on offer in the Leisure Centre. Similarly, the outdoor netball courts cannot be used as there are indoor facilities. Could District Councillors please raise this at UDC with a view to the contract being renegotiated?
District Councillor Caton commented that the Sports Strategy Group needs to meet quickly as they are looking at groups working together, and he wouldn’t want to encourage people to do it on their own. He will convene a meeting.
District Councillor Khan reported the following:
Concerned about the land at Pennington Lane and would call for action. Would like the Parish Council to meet with UDC about this.
The way in which a Stansted resident was treated at the UDC Council meeting last night was not acceptable and they were treated very unfairly. Members have asked for this to be looked into and investigated.
District Cllr Khan and District Cllr Caton have agreed to contribute £1,000 towards the Mountfitchet Green Play Equipment.
505 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT – None
506 PAYMENTS FOR AUTHORISATION – Approved
You are summoned to attend a virtual meeting of the COUNCIL which will be held on Wednesday 24th February 2021 at 7.30pm, using the Zoom platform.
1 To receive apologies for absence
Adjourn for public participation
2 To receive a presentation from Samantha Hadland of Columbia Threadneedle regarding Land to the North of Stansted Airport
3 To welcome Bob Goldsmith – UDC – Update on Covid-19
4 To receive declarations of interest
5 To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 27th January 2021
6 Matters arising and action points
7 Chairman’s Report
8 District Councillors’ Report (if available)
9 County Councillor’s Report (if available)
10 Finance – Payments for authorisation – To follow
11 Planning applications received for comment – attached
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 19th February 2021