Minutes of the FULL COUNCIL meeting held on Wednesday 1st November at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT Cllr M Caton (Chair), Cllrs A Barnes, J Hogg, P Jones, J Kavanagh, A Khan, A Love, J O’Brien, G Sell and T van de Bilt
ATTENDING Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk
Mrs Emma Philbrick – Deputy Clerk
District Councillor Nick Church
Cllrs G Braeckman and A Guney (via Zoom)
1 member of the press (via Zoom)
2 members of the public (1 via Zoom)
235 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Braeckman – University, Cllr Ghosh – Family Emergency, Cllr Guney – Work Commitments and Cllr Prior – Work Commitments. It was unanimously
RESOLVED To accept the apologies for absence from Cllrs Braeckman, Ghosh, Guney and Prior.
One parishioner informed members that he was attending to observe the meeting as he may be interested in the councillor vacancy.
236 DECLARATION OF INTEREST – None
237 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 4TH OCTOBER 2023
RESOLVED To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4th October 2023 as a true and accurate account.
238 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS FROM THE LAST MEETING
197 – Ask Planning for a meeting to discuss May Walk – Done and meeting has already taken place.
239 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE CHAIR, CLLR MAUREEN CATON
- We have a very enthusiastic group of young people now fully participating in our Youth Council – 6 in total. They are meeting with their Citizenship tutor at Forest Hall School this week to finalise their ideas for issues/projects they wish to promote at our next meeting later this month – ultimately, we hope to see them presenting to Full Council.
- We are looking forward to travelling to London, along with our French students from Rungis, for our tour around the Palace of Westminster this coming Friday. The French students will have already spent the day at the school and met our Youth Councillors who will have supported their experience of an English education.
I am pleased the partnership working with the school and the Academy has progressed significantly.
- We are awaiting final submission of expressions of interest in delivery of our Youth Club provision -as a review of the previous contract awarded to Essex Youth Services is now due. We expect at least 2 submissions- from what is an ever- decreasing pool of providers. A formal review process will consider all applications against our specification for the service delivery and outcomes and will be undertaken by the Chair of the Council/ Chair and Vice Chair of Finance and the Clerk. The service will be expected to deliver within our set budget and within the tripartite arrangements agreed with UDC and ECC.
- The Economic Development Working Group is now established and its Terms of Reference agreed. The group currently consists of representatives of the Business Forum, and local businesses, UDC and ourselves. We plan to ensure we communicate widely all the issues raised and the agreed strategies/actions to address them, to ensure and promote the maximum benefit within the community.
The issue of debris in drains adding to flooding issues and impacting businesses has been raised for discussion at the next meeting.
- Sometime ago UDC, via Dean Hermitage, proposed to hold regular meetings with Parish Councils and Planning Officers to attempt to address issues arising in relation to planning and development applications (including pre-apps). The objective being to enable better communication to address and resolve issues at an early stage of the planning process. The first such meeting was held this week with myself, Jo Kavanagh with her planning hat on, Peter Jones as the lead on the NDP, the Clerk and Deputy Clerk. The issue of May Walk/Eastfield Stables being a focus of discussion in an attempt to stem the flow of piecemeal development and the lack of any community benefits from this controversial site. It was suggested that we should consider what we would accept on the site and UDC will try to set up a discussion with themselves, ourselves and the agent with a view to getting some wording included in the draft Local Plan.
- The Orchard at Walpole and the issue of future maintenance was agreed to be discussed with Ben Smeeden. S106 – open space issues along with issues relating to the installation of play equipment are to be discussed at a future meeting.
- I have spoken to the Practice Manager at the Stansted surgery and can confirm there is a desire to apply for planning permission for a 24hr easy to use collection point for medication on the Crafton Green site. This will be a costly installation with funding support being sought from UDC and MAG. A delivery service for medication is active from today. A home visit service is also available. We also discussed the use of the Crafton Green / Parish Council buildings being used as supplementary posts by the surgery for flu and major vaccination programmes to reduce the impact of Chapel Hill for some residents when Boots is no longer available. The surgery is very willing to consider how they can support the North of Stansted.
- It has also been suggested that we should as a Council write to Boots staff and express our gratitude for their service – are councillors in support of this action?
- The draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) was discussed and approved for public consultation by an Extraordinary District Council meeting on 30/10/23. We are to be allocated 445 homes within the plan but with 55 of those already in place or with consent (leaving 390 additional). Cllr Sell’s report has been circulated and he will answer any questions raised in relation to the discussion. However, my concern is the impact on the B1383, especially the impact on Silver Street/Pines Hill, in the south, which is forecast to exceed its design capacity by 2040 without making allowance for Local Plan allocations. The mitigation measures proposed are insufficient to address this issue at peak times.
- Please note our usual Office Christmas closure times are as follows:
Close 4pm Tuesday 19th December 2023
Reopen 9am Wednesday 3rd January 2024
- A reminder that all Councillors should be in attendance on Remembrance Sunday where possible, and to meet at Crafton Green for 10. 20am. Volunteers to help with specific duties should let the Deputy Clerk know if they haven’t already done so.
240 TO RECEIVE WRITTEN DISTRICT COUNCILLOR REPORTS
A report submitted by District Councillor Sell:
At last night’s extraordinary council meeting the draft local plan (regulation 18) was approved by 22 votes to 11 with two abstentions.
All the political parties were split. Two Resident for Uttlesford councillors voted against with one abstention.
Unlike other district councillors representing Stansted I vote for the local plan. It is now over 18 years since the last local plan was adopted. Uttlesford needs a local plan. In the interim we have seen a huge amount of speculative development. Without a local plan we will not get the badly needed infrastructure.
In the debate I made several points
- The draft local plan is far from perfect.
- The process leading up to consultation has been poor. Councillor/public engagement with the plan was insufficient.
Although supporting going to public consultation I made the following comments
- Concern that the amount of affordable housing is being reduced from 40% to 35%
- Need to be convinced that the changing of the boundaries of the countryside protection zone is justified.
- A challenge to the leader Cllr Petrina Lees that the default position of the local plan management group that all meetings be held in public.
I raised issues about the capacity of the B1383. If adopted the draft local plan would allow for another 4500 houses potentially accessing this road. The Council thinks that the B1383 will be at capacity by 2040.
A further issue raised was the allocation for housing east of High Lane. I consider this site to be important in terms of landscape.
What does the draft local plan mean for Stansted.
445 homes allocated in local plan
55 already built or consented since 2021.
390 net additional homes in plan period.
The local plan will go out for public consultation. The Chief Executive and the portfolio holder for Planning Cllr Evans have promised this will not be a tick box exercise but they are in listening mode. The Chief Executive has stated that he expects regulation 19 the local plan that is submitted to the government for examination to be substantially but not fundamentally different to that of the draft local plan.
If you wish to watch the debate the link is below:
He explained his reasons for voting in favour of the plan even though he was the only Stansted District Councillor to do so. Cllr Khan commented that he understood the reasons and it’s important to get the plan out for consultation so that the public can give their views in order to improve it. Cllr Hogg thanked Cllr Sell for voting for the plan and asked for the other three District Councillors to explain why they would not vote for a plan which is broadly in line with what the Parish Council have put in their draft Neighbourhood Plan. Cllr Church explained his reasons for voting against it and explained that in their opinion, the plan is unviable and they believe the Inspector will fail it. They had hoped it would be revisited in January and housing numbers reduced. They also did not support the changes to the Countryside Protection Zone.
He also said that they were given a very short period of time to read such a large document and digest the information it contained.
Cllr Braeckman joined the meeting via Zoom during this agenda item.
241 TO RECEIVE A WRITTEN COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORT
242 FINANCE – TO APPROVE THE LIST OF PAYMENTS
Cllr O’Brien confirmed he had checked the invoices against the schedule before the start of the meeting. With no questions asked, the payment schedule was approved.
243 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
1 UTT/23/2346/HHF – 61 BLYTHWOOD GARDENS
First floor rear extension
2 UTT/23/2529/HFF – WHITEFRIARS, HIGH LANE
Proposed single storey rear extension, new single garage to the side, roof replacement to enable first floor accommodation within new roof and internal alterations.
3 S62A/2023/0023 – EASTFIELD STABLES, MAY WALK, ELSENHAM ROAD
Erection of 5 residential dwellings and associated infrastructure
The Parish Council objects to this application on the following grounds:
- Outside development limits
- UDC and SMPC have never supported development on this site and continue this stance through the emerging plans. The piecemeal development has provided no benefit to the community of Stansted and there has been no community engagement by the applicant.
- Since 2016, there have been 7 appeals lodged (3 dismissed, 2 allowed, 1 in progress and 1 lodge but not yet progressing)
- The site qualifies for affordable housing – which is not being supplied on the development, but as a contribution, thus not benefiting the community.
- If further development is allowed, then the access should be off Elsenham Road only so traffic does not use an unsuitable access (the bridleway) as stated by Essex Highways.
4 UTT/23/2595/FUL – THE LARCHES, GROVE HILL
S73 Application to vary condition 20 (visibility splays) of UTT/22/2400/DFO (details following outline application UTT/20/0882/OP, details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for the erection of 1 no. detached dwelling and garage)
Cllr Guney joined the meeting via Zoom during this agenda item.
244 TO CONSIDER RE-ADOPTING THE FOLLOWING POLICIES WITH THE CHANGES HIGHLIGHTED IN RED
- a) FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
This was circulated to members with the agenda. Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Sell, it was unanimously
RESOLVED to re-adopt Financial Regulations with the highlighted change.
- b) STANDING ORDERS
This was circulated to members with the agenda. Having been proposed by Cllr Jones and seconded by Cllr O’Brien, it was unanimously
RESOLVED To re-adopt Standing Orders with the highlighted change.
245 TO CONSIDER DRAFT COMMENTS FOR UTTLESFORD’S CONSULTATION ON THEIR SPENDING PRIORITIES
This is being drafted by the Chair and Vice Chair of F&GP and is still being worked on. The deadline for comments is 5th November so it was unanimously agreed to defer the decision on the final comments to the Chair of the Council, Chair and Vice-Chair of F&GP and the Clerk. Cllr Sell asked that the final comments also be circulated to the 4 district members.
246 OPEN SPACES – TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11TH OCTOBER 2023
The minutes of the meeting were received.
247 HIGHWAYS SUB-COMMITTEE – TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18TH OCTOBER 2023
The minutes of the meeting were received.
248 F&GP COMMITTEE – TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 25TH OCTOBER 2023
The minutes of the meeting were received.
Meeting closed at 8.15pm
245 Office to send final comments on UDC draft budget to the 4 district members.
Members of the Council you are hereby summoned, and members of the public and press are hereby invited, to attend a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL which will be held on Wednesday 1st November at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted, Essex where the following business will be transacted:
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 4th October 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
8 Finance – To approve the list of payments – To be tabled
9 To consider the list of planning applications received– see attached
10 To consider re-adopting the following policies with the changes highlighted in red (attached)
- a) Financial Regulations
- b) Standing Orders
11 To consider draft comments for Uttlesford’s consultation on their spending priorities 2024/25
12 Open Spaces Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 11th October 2023
13 Highways Sub-Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 18th October 2023
14 F&GP Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 25th October 2023
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk 26th October 2023
Any intention to record, film or take photographs during a meeting must be notified to the Clerk prior to the start of the meeting.