Minutes of a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17th January 2024 in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
Cllr M Caton (Chair), Cllrs A Barnes, A Guney, J Hogg, P Jones, A Khan, A Love, J O’Brien, L Prior and T van de Bilt
ATTENDING Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk, Mrs Emma Philbrick – Deputy Clerk, Cllr J Kavanagh – via Zoom, 1 member of the press – via Zoom, 4 members of the public – via Zoom
324 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence received from Cllr Braeckman – University, Cllr Ghosh – Work, Cllr Kavanagh – unwell and Cllr Sell – UDC meeting.
RESOLVED To accept apologies of absence from Cllrs Braeckman, Ghosh, Kavanagh and Sell
Apologies for absence also received from District and County Cllr Gooding as he is also attending the UDC meeting.
One member of the public spoke regarding his objections to planning application UTT/23/3198/HHF.
325 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
326 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13TH DECEMBER 2023
RESOLVED To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13th December 2023 as a true and accurate account.
327 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS FROM THE LAST MEETING
305 – Clerk to contact UDC urgently regarding the review of the car parking tariffs – Done. Meeting held and this item is on the agenda for consideration.
328 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE CHAIR, CLLR MAUREEN CATON
Gigaclear are meeting the residents of Five Acres and ourselves to discuss the siting of the “the box” and the proposed mitigation measures –They are very clear the re-siting of the box is not possible. It was also resolved at the last F&GP committee meeting that the Council should accept legal advice and informally negotiate with Gigaclear to reach an acceptable resolution for all parties.
Members of the Planning Working Group met with a representative of Bloor Homes to discuss potential community gains from the site North of Walpole Farm and the site to the east of High Lane. We repeated the list of community benefits which we would like to see delivered, primarily:
- From the Walpole site – improvements and lighting from Five Acres to the junction with High Lane and reduction in speed limit to 30mph all the way. It was acknowledged that a community centre might require additional funding
- From the High Lane site – the design must maintain the current views, include a natural flood management scheme, footpaths, cycleways and traffic calming.
There has been a significant development in relation to Alms House reprovision. As Councillors are aware the proceeds from the sale of The Fuller-Maitland site have been in the possession of LEAP – Legacy East Alms House Partnership, for reprovision within Stansted. We learnt last week that LEAP have purchased a house in Stansted that will be used to accommodate Stansted elders who meet the criteria set. This follows the inability to source available land close to village amenities, on which to build suitable accommodation. We are not aware of the siting of this purchase or the cost- in fact no details have been shared at this stage of the negotiation. The Council has made it known to LEAP- that this change in direction – if nothing else – out of respect for the work put in trying to secure land – even last week – could and should have been communicated earlier; as we are the key advocate and stakeholder for our community. However, we can at least be assured the monies are not being spent to benefit another a community – as was threatened at one point. We shall continue to seek further information in relation to this action.
The Clerk and myself have met with the Youth Club provider to agree the strategy to take the club forward and to gradually build take up by young people – through a variety of activities and projects/ good communication and a boost to funding opportunities through grant applications – the provider is already in discussion with MAG and applying for various grants. The provider has access to transport which will also allow exchanges and activities with other youth groups. Regular monitoring meetings have also been agreed for the year.
The lead for the Youth Club is also involved with Touchpoint and is looking to strengthen links with them and progress some intergenerational projects. We have asked him to speak at the Annual Parish meeting, and will also be asking the members of the Youth Council to introduce themselves and present an outline of ideas for their future
Touchpoint have communicated their thanks for this Council’s support in raising well over their target of £15k for the kids Christmas Appeal, which benefitted over 700 young people in Uttlesford. Congratulations are also in order following a successful bid to the Stansted Airport Community Fund by Touchpoint resulting in a grant of £50,000 towards the refurbishment of the Crafton Green buildings.
Our Neighbourhood Development Plan is at the final hurdle before UDC submit it to the Inspectorate -polices are being firmed up to ensure cohesion with the Local Plan and the objectives of our overall strategy.
The Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities wrote to UDC Leader, Petrina Lees, stating that the district was 1/ 12 Local authorities who had failed to adopt a Local Plan and 1/7 not taking their plan through the examination process. He wrote that the Council’s persistent failure to adopt a plan has left its community vulnerable to speculative development and risked not delivering the economic growth and infra structure needed. UDC have been directed to revise their Local Development Scheme within 12 weeks of the publishing of the revised NPPF.
UDC are currently consulting on car park provision/ charging -which ends on February 2nd. This subject is to be debated this evening – but, the position of the Stansted Business Forum and supported by the Economic Development Working Group does not support an increase in charges. The Chairs of the Business Forum and Economic Development Working group question the overall financial management of the District Council and the need to replenish the coffers through the sale of failing assets and failed external challenges e.g. The airport appeal. The two groups are in the process of formally objecting to the charging proposals and will include ourselves, local district councillors and our MP in their communications.
Finally, The Local Government Boundary Commission have published and are consulting on proposals from Essex County Council, in respect of changes to the current County Council Divisions. The proposal is to remove Elsenham and Henham from the Stansted Division and replace with the rural wards along the western boundary of the district- to include, Langley, Elmdon, Wendens Loft and Chrishall a. These wards are within the sphere of Saffron Walden influence and have no connection with the wards on the A120 corridor – and essentially our neighbours in Elsenham ad Henham. This information was initially released in November 23 – the Parish has not been officially made aware if this consultation and the reasons for this proposal – I therefore hope our County Councillor can explain the thinking behind this proposal and why we were not informed earlier. I understand that this topic is being discussed at UDC this evening so much for consultation with us lesser mortals! REPORT ENDS
Cllr Khan asked what Cty Cllr Gooding could do about the boundary changes as he feels that nothing will change their minds and he won’t be able to get any changes made. Cllr Caton pointed out that as our representative, he can take forward our comments and objections to this.
Cllr van de Bilt advised that he had spoken to someone at Elsenham Parish Council regarding this and they too object to it. It was agreed that the office would contact Elsenham Parish Council with a view to working together on an objection.
329 TO RECEIVE WRITTEN DISTRICT COUNCILLOR REPORTS
District reports received from Cllr Gooding and Cllr Sell and both were read out at the meeting and are attached to the minutes.
District Councillor Ray Gooding’s Report:
“It will be necessary for me to give my apologies of for the Stansted Parish Council Meeting tomorrow evening because I have to attend a Full Council Meeting at Uttlesford District Council. I will deal with the reason for that within my District Council Report.
An exceptional Council Meeting has been called at UDC for the purpose of Challenging the Administration in relation to the Local Plan proposals, Consultation and general program for implementation. Stansted Members will be aware that the Secretary of State has written to UDC giving notice of intervention unless the District Council keep to a very short time scale to implement the plan. There is concern that the reply that has been sent to the Secretary of State by UDC does not sufficiently address the seriousness of the situation and does not take into account the various parameters that will delay the process and potentially lead to the rejection of the plan with all of the unwanted consequences that will contain.
Some of the reasons that pertain to this are as follows:
- The poor quality and lack of information within the Reg 18 Consultation documents that will lead to assumptions being made by Officers when the details are analysed.
- The indication from the above as voiced by the Chief Executive, that the Reg 19 Details will bear little resemblance to the Reg 18 Package.
- The subsequent response from ECC that details the lack of provision for Early Years Facilities within the proposals.
- The inadequacy of Educational Provision within the package relation to the spacial planning to accord with new or expanded schools.
- Infrastructure development inconsistencies that do not accord with the growth in developments.
It has been suggested that the calling of the additional meeting is a political decision. That is as may be but given the importance of developing a Local Plan that is fit for purpose and sustainable all necessary challenge is to be imposed to ensure that the opportunities are not wasted.
Cllr Jones stressed that any doubts regarding the Local Plan makes it even more important to get the Neighbourhood Development Plan through. The Clerk advised that we have been taking advice from a Planning Consultant who UDC are paying to assist us. She has vast experience in this field and has helped get other plans through. The Clerk will be spending the next couple of weeks working through the suggestions. The hard work now will hopefully stop any further hold ups along the process.
District Councillor Geoffrey Sell’s Report:
Over 1000 people responded to regulation 18. Their responses are being analysed. Cllr Bagnall has been replaced as Chair of the local plan working group by Cllr Richard Freeman
The contract with Norse Uttlesford re maintenance of the 2800 properties that UDC own is not to be renewed wef June 2025. This is the correct decision. However, an alternative provider will have to be found. Report Ends.
330 TO RECEIVE A WRITTEN COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORT
Report from Cty Cllr Gooding read out at the meeting and is attached to the minutes:
Essex County Councillor Ray Gooding’s Report:
The major issue over the last week has been the works carried out by Affinity Water and the closure of the B1383 and the inconvenience this has caused to residents. Much of the details regarding this are known to the Parish Council but for the purpose of record I would reiterate the following information.
I will therefore confirm that these works were commissioned by the Secretary of State to carry out repairs and replacements to the water infrastructure in the Stansted area because of concerns regarding the frequency of leaks and the presence of high levels of nitrates within the water supply. Excessive levels of Nitrates can be injurious to health and it is therefore necessary that these works are carried out to address that problem. I can therefore confirm that the works are being carried out by Affinity Water as a Statutory provider and whilst Essex Highways are the overarching Highways Authority they do not have power to refuse applications for either emergency or planned maintenance works.
Many comments have been raised in regard to the closure of both carriageways of Pines Hill for this stage of the works and, it is evident that this, unlike the previous works to Silver Street, is necessary because the carriageway is just 5.7 metres wide and, for the safety of the workforce, the legislation precludes single carriageways remaining open even with traffic management.
In relation to the times of the work I have discussed the opportunity for 24/7 working to shorten the program and although Highway Officers are making that request to Affinity and that is a matter of current negotiation.
This section of works and the associated diversionary routes have not been assisted by the presence of other works being completed by UKPN within Forest Hall Road. I am advised by Officers at ECC that the licences did include a duty to cooperate between the respective Contractors to avoid the problems we have encountered. However, it is apparent that this has not been fulfilled. As a result all of the works be other Contractors has now been suspended.
Unfortunately there would never be a good time for it to be completed but it is to be hoped that this stage of the work can now be completed as soon as possible and the disruption finally cleared. However, it is evident that there will be further stages of the work within Stansted and I have asked that in future better information is provided by Affinity in advance of that work being implemented. REPORT ENDS.
a) TO APPROVE THE LIST OF PAYMENTS
The invoices were checked against the list of payments before the start of the meeting by Cllr Hogg.
With no questions, the payments were approved
b) TO NOTE THE VAT RETURN TO 31ST DECEMBER 2023
The VAT Return to 31st December 2023 was noted.
332 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
1 UTT/23/3198/HHF – LONG VIEW, HIGH LANE
Erection of a detached outbuilding incorporating solar panels to the south facing roof
The Council previously objected to a similar application at this address in 2019 due to it being out of keeping with the street scene as it is a tall, raised structure close to the front boundary. Buildings along this stretch of High Lane tend to be set back further away from the road. It appears to be out of scale to the footprint of the original host dwelling.
We reiterate those objections and believe that this is even worse than the previous application. We also share the same concerns as the neighbours about loss of light and privacy to their property.
2 UTT/23/3164/HHF – 25 ST JOHN’S ROAD
Proposed ground floor wrap around extension, floor plan alteration, loft conversion with dormer.
3 UTT/3162/HHF – 3 SANDERS CLOSE
Single storey rear extension & garage conversion with fenestration changes within a conservation area.
4 UTT23/3161/HHF – 51 CHAPEL HILL
Conversion of loft for habitable accommodation, single storey rear extension, and the enlargement of existing lightwells to basement to facilitate the use as a home office.
No comment provided the conditions laid out by Place Services are adhered to.
5 UTT/23/3236/DFO – LAND TO THE EAST OF HIGH LANE
Details following outline application UTT/22/0457/OP for the erection of 30 no. dwellings, parking, landscaping, access and all associated development – details of layout, scale, landscaping and appearance.
This has already been approved at the Outline Application stage. The Council wishes to seek community benefits in the form of a financial contribution to a community building and, for community safety, the provision of a continuous footway along one side of High Lane to prevent crossing and re-crossing by pedestrians. Clerk to ask Maria Shoesmith to arrange for a meeting to take place between the Parish Council and the developers to discuss this further.
6 UTT/23/2976/FUL – CRAFTON GREEN HOUSE, 72 CHAPEL HILL
Installation of Chiller Unit outside community building
We have no further comments to add to this but the Clerk will speak to Touchpoint and ask them to consider the visual effect and do as much as they can to ensure the chiller blends more into its surroundings.
7 UTT/23/3116/HHF – 8 LOWER STREET
Two storey side extension
No objection but we would like it noted that this is a poorly presented planning application with minimal detail provided. We don’t really understand the drawings. There seems to be two front door accesses shown and two staircases. Potentially going to see this converted into flats?
8 UTT/23/3208/FUL – FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE CANADA SHED, PARSONAGE LANE
Replacement of existing buildings with 2 no. storage units
333 WINDMILL SUB-COMMITTEE – TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 6TH DECEMBER 2023
The minutes of the meeting were received.
334 F&GP COMMITTEE – TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 10TH JANUARY 2024
The minutes of the meeting were received.
335 TO CONSIDER THE APPROVAL OF THE BUDGET FOR 2024/25
A copy of the revised draft budget was circulated to members ahead of the F&GP Committee meeting on 10th January. With no changes, this was circulated to them again with the Full Council agenda.
Cllr O’Brien talked about the big increases and why they were needed. After a brief discussion, during which many members voiced their understanding of these
increases, and having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Khan, it was unanimously
RESOLVED To accept the draft budget for the financial year 2024/25
336 TO SET THE PRECEPT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2024/25
Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Jones, it was unanimously
RESOLVED To set the precept for the financial year 2024/25 at £477,766.
Cllr O’Brien explained that this raises the Band D tax to £139.51 per year, an increase of 9.09% or 22p per week, also at Band D.
Cllr Hogg gave thanks to Cllr O’Brien and the rest of the team involved for all of their hard work on the budget which has taken many hours.
337 TO CONSIDER THE COUNCIL’S RESPONSE TO THE CONSULTATION ON MANAGEMENT OF UDC CAR PARKS AND CHARGES.
Members were asked to set up a Working Group to draft a response to the consultation. Members were not in favour of this and instead will email their comments into the office. Cllr O’Brien volunteered to help the office collate the responses. These need to be in by 24th January 2024 to give enough time for the office to draft a response, send to Cllrs for approval and submit by the deadline on 2nd February 2024. Cllr Caton said she would circulate comments from the Economic Development Working Group and Stansted Business Forum as and when they were available.
Meeting closed at 8.37pm
328 Office to contact Elsenham Parish Council
332 Clerk to ask Maria Shoesmith to set up a meeting between the Parish Council and the developer
332 Clerk to speak to Touchpoint
337 Members to email their comments to the office by 24th January 2024
1 To receive and approve apologies for absence
Adjourn for public participation
2 To receive declarations of interest
3 To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13th December 2023
4 To receive an update on action points from the last meeting
5 To receive a report from the Chair, Cllr Maureen Caton
6 To receive written District Councillor Reports
7 To receive a written County Councillor Report
- a) To approve the list of payments – to be tabled
- b) To note the VAT return to 31st December 2023
9 To consider the list of planning applications received – see attached
10 Windmill Sub-Committee – to receive the minutes of the meeting held on 6th December 2023
11 F&GP Committee – to receive the minutes of the meeting held on 10th January 2024
12 To consider approval of the budget for 2024/2025
13 To set the precept for the financial year 2024/2025
14 To consider the Council’s response to the consultation on management of UDC car parks and charges – attached
Parish Clerk 11th January 2024
Any intention to record, film or take photographs during a meeting must be notified to the Clerk prior to the start of the meeting.