Minutes of a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 26th July 2023 in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.
PRESENT Cllr M Caton (Chair), Cllrs A Barnes, G Braeckman, S Ghosh, A Guney, P Jones, J Kavanagh, A Khan, L Prior and G Sell
ATTENDING Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk, 1 member of the public – via Zoom, items 1-5
137 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Hogg, Love and O’Brien – all on holiday. Apologies for absence were also received from County Cllr Gooding.
RESOLVED to accept the apologies for absence from Cllrs Hogg, Love and O’Brien
This was unanimously agreed. No apologies received from Cllr van de Bilt.
The Chair read a statement from a member of the public relating to the recently granted second dispensing pharmaceutical licence.
138 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
139 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 5TH JULY 2023
RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5th July 2023 as a true and accurate account.
140 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS FROM THE LAST MEETING
101 To chase Cllr Gooding again on all outstanding District and County issues
103 Clerk to inform District and County Councillors of the decision to proceed with written reports before the meeting.
The Clerk confirmed that both actions have been completed.
141 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE CHAIR, CLLR MAUREEN CATON
In response to a query from Cllr Barnes, the Clerk confirmed that there were routes the Council could go down if Gigaclear fail to relocate their equipment from the public open space at Five Acres, but they must be given a reasonable amount of time to come up with an alternative proposal.
Cllr Khan proposed a vote of thanks to the Practice Manager at Stansted Surgery for her hard work on the pharmacy licence – Cllr Braeckman stated that this should be extended to include all at Mountfitchet Partners Ltd.
Discussion took place around the provision of the youth club service and the challenges facing staff. It was accepted that the Parish Council’s financial contribution is substantial, and the Chair confirmed that a report would be made to the next F&GP committee, following which the providers may be invited to attend a Council meeting.
142 TO RECEIVE WRITTEN DISTRICT COUNCILLOR REPORTS
Cllr Sell’s report (attached) had been circulated ahead of the meeting. He referred to the Local Plan Leadership Group which Cllr Gooding is attending this evening – the first public meeting since March. Cllr Sell has no idea what the “vision” for the district is in terms of the draft Local Plan. In response to Cllr Braeckman, he confirmed that this is an unprecedented situation as, with previous versions of the Plan, members have been aware of the areas being considered for future development and able to discuss and share these with their parish and town council partners. He has limited confidence in the process this time. Cllr Jones expressed his opinion that the draft Plan is likely to promise much for communities but lack the teeth to ensure delivery.
143 TO RECEIVE A WRITTEN COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORT
Cllr Gooding’s report (attached) had been circulated ahead of the meeting.
TO APPROVE THE LIST OF PAYMENTS
The Clerk advised that the invoices were checked against the payment schedule before the start of the meeting by Cllr Jones.
The payments were approved.
145 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
1 UTT/23/1643/FUL – MARLENSDALE, BURTON END
S73 application to vary condition 2 (approved plans) of UTT/22/1638/FUL (2 no. detached dwellings)
2 UTT/23/1644/FUL – MARLENSDALE, BURTON END
S73 application to vary condition 2 (approved plans) of UTT/22/2094/DFO (details following outline application UTT/19/2666/OP for the demolition of existing agricultural buildings and erection of 5 no. dwellings – details of access, appearance, layout and scale)
3 UTT/23/1645/FUL – MARLENSDALE, BURTON END
S73 application to vary condition 2 (approved plans) of UTT/21/2152/FUL (Erection of 1 no. dwelling and cart lodge (on site of previously approved outbuilding under UTT/20/3420/CLP)
Items 1-3 were considered together, and no comments made.
4 UTT/23/1720/CLE – MANOR HOUSE COTTAGE, CHURCH ROAD
Certificate of lawfulness for existing garage outbuildings within the grounds of the dwelling.
5 UTT/23/0065/HHF – BENTFIELD MILL BARN, WATERMILL LANE
Proposed new pool house
Object – agree with Place Services at Essex County Council – the proposal is not considered to result in a positive addition to local character and distinctiveness and is therefore contrary to NPPF Para 197c.
146 RECREATION GROUND – TO RATIFY THE DECISION TAKEN AT FULL COUNCIL, 5TH JULY, MINUTE NUMBER 110
The Clerk confirmed that she had requested a more detailed narrative from the surveyors but this had not been received – she would try one more time but she pointed out again that this had not been included in the price quoted. It was unanimously
RESOLVED to ratify the decision taken to reopen the Recreation Ground.
147 TO CONSIDER A RECOMMENDATION FROM THE OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE REGARDING PLAY EQUIPMENT AT FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
Members were agreed that, where developers would be looking to the Parish Council to take on the longterm ownership, they should be consulted with regard to play equipment to ensure that the items selected and materials used were acceptable. In response to Cllr Kavanagh, the Clerk confirmed that the Parish Council is legally entitled to refuse to take on play equipment and public open spaces.
Having been proposed by Cllr Barnes and seconded by Cllr Kavanagh, it was unanimously
RESOLVED to write to Uttlesford District Council to request that the Parish Council be included in discussions relating to play equipment prior to planning permission being granted.
It was accepted that there was no guarantee that this action would be adopted by UDC.
148 LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT – DRAFT NOISE ACTION PLAN
It was agreed to re-establish an Airport Working Group to consider this document and any proposals relating to the expansion of the arrivals terminal. Cllr Jones volunteered, and it was agreed to ask Cllr van de Bilt to join as he has previously expressed an interest in being involved in airport-related matters. Along with Cllr Hogg who is our representative on Stansted Airport Watch. Cllr Jones suggested inviting Mr Mike Belcher, a long-serving member of previous Airport Working Groups, to join also and this was agreed.
149 OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE
The minutes of the meeting held on 12th July 2023 were received.
150 HIGHWAYS SUB-COMMITTEE
The minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2023 were received.
Meeting closed at 8.17pm
141 Office to express thanks to Mountfitchet Partners Ltd
147 Office to write to Uttlesford District Council, Director of Planning
148 Office to contact named individuals to re-establish Airport Working Group
Parish Chair Report: Maureen Caton
Welcome to Sanjukta and Tom, who join us as co-opted councillors. We will be sending yourselves and Allan our training timetable and will have a preliminary meeting with you all to clarify procedures, processes and expectations of councillors.
Cllr Gooding, I remind you again that I still have not received a response in respect of the available expenditure on potholes in Stansted. I note the list of highways works planned for Bury Lodge and Water Lane you sent to the Clerk – specifies patching work to be undertaken, and micro hand lay for Water Lane- is this the extent of the work to be undertaken? Also, there has been no response from you as to the status of the funding from the Essex Youth Strategy to UDC and therefore the impact on our Youth Service funding.
I now understand via the Youth Service that all County Councillors have £4K each to pool for their district to fund Youth/Climate Change and Levelling Up provisions – so – what will £16K be spent on in Uttlesford? We have a right to know.
Has there been a response to the resident who queried the safety of the pedestrian crossing at the top of Chapel Hill?
Your lack of responses to us – disempowers us – as we cannot provide accurate information and plan for our services, or respond appropriately to our residents and this is unfair.
Highways The Clerk is combining the input of the Chair of Highways and Essex County Council responses to the issues raised and responses to these to date – on Grove Hill. This will include issues such as the exclusion of HGVs from all roads leading to Lower Street. SMPC will also be seeking a meeting with the other parish stakeholders to consider their positions on the proposals for Grove Hill when finalised. Issues such as the tipper truck movements/ red traffic light jumpers/Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology and camera issues are also being responded to in a FAQs response from the sub-committee.
Election Review A legal review is planned for the district polling scheme from this autumn – it has to take place within a 16 – month period before the next election. We currently have three polling stations – 1 in the south and 2 in the north – the review will consider things such as the accommodation provided for the efficient and effective operation of the election process. We will highlight the consultation on our website and on major local social media channels.
Airport Noise Consultation London Stansted Airport Consultation on Noise – aims to reduce and minimise the impact of noise from aircraft. This consultation closes on August 28th SAW are preparing a response document and our Working Group will await the publication of their views before submitting a Parish Council position.
There is also a proposal to extend to the rear of the existing terminal building and increase the depth of the provision to provide a larger arrivals terminal. STAL had received planning permission to extend the airport by 25% – this was put on hold. SAW has no objection in principle to this development. Again, we will publish the information/ consultation details on our website and on the major local social media channels.
High Lane – Approval has been granted for the provision of 9 apartments on land south of Grange Place. The original application was refused by UDC earlier this year but allowed on Appeal on 17th The revised application was approved by UDC in June.
Youth Services The Clerk and I met with the Youth Service managers co-ordinating our youth club provision yesterday. They continue to report that the dynamics of the group currently attending can be challenging and need time to settle, preferably before any greater number of new admissions are introduced and are suggesting separate project work days to introduce new young people to the service.
There appears to be strict guidance from ECC on how services are advertised – so we will work with them to ensure communication about services from the site are clearly communicated. We were encouraged to hear that in future the young people will be involved in, and consulted on, the presentation and where information is posted.
5 Acres – The Clerk has chased Gigaclear for a response to our decision to refuse permission for the initial siting of the junction box proposed location at 5 Acres – no detailed response has been received at the time of writing this report.
I was pleased to note the councillors support for Cllr Sell’s motion to support to maintain the current staff service provision at our railway station amid the proposed changes and the Clerk has sent a formal response to Transport Focus.org
I was delighted the appeal from Mountfitchet Partners Ltd (a Limited Company formed by the Partners of Stansted Surgery) was upheld and that our efforts to support and promote the need for a second pharmacy were noted in the appeal, and the granting of an additional pharmaceutical dispensing licence to the south of Stansted. The effort and work of the community is also noted by us. Mountfitchet Partners are in the process of procuring premises that are accessible and in the south of the village, close to the surgery. This appeal was the first to be considered since 2018 and it is worth noting that, whilst the PNA could not be reversed or appealed, the application for a dispensing licence could. The application for inclusion in the pharmaceutical list was funded in its entirety by Mountfitchet Partners Ltd.
The current Stansted Pharmacy does not hold a dispensing licence and the current licences held by Mountfitchet Partners and Boots cannot be transferred. Stansted Pharmacy did appeal the decision not to award them a licence in 2016, but this was refused in January 2018. No subsequent application was made by them.
This Council has supported both parties and has maintained that the provision of a second licensed dispensing pharmacy was the overriding goal – this has now been achieved. Parish Chair’s Report Ends
County Councillor Report: Ray Gooding
Having attended the SMPC Highways sub-committee just last week I have nothing to add in relation to Highways Matters and will therefore concentrate on some of the other items that are affecting the County at this time.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is a department that in the past has broadly inspected the quality of care provided by, predominantly the NHS and other providers of acute medical care. However, their remit has recently been extended to cover the care provided by local authorities in relation to the care of the elderly together with people with learning and other disabilities. This is something of a departure from the normal remit of the CQC and has been exacerbated by the fact that Government have given them a deadline of 15 months to inspect all upper tier authorities who provide adult social care and that will include all County Councils together with Unitary Authorities.
It is evident that the framework of these inspections has yet to be developed by CQC and given the program of their work it is indisputable that they will need to develop and evolve the details of the inspections as they move forward. As one of the largest Local Authorities it is probable that ECC will be in the first tranche of authorities inspected.
Given the lack of any framework and the obvious desire to ensure that the parameters of good practice are adequately demonstrated Adult Social Care Officers have been working closely with the People and Families Scrutiny Committee on a basis similar to Parliamentary Select Committees to establish the approach that will be taken when the inspectors come to call!
This is a process that has been of help to the ASC service and an exemplar of how scrutiny can be developed beyond the usual understanding of its practice. County Councillor’s Report Ends
District Councillor’s Report: Geoffrey Sell
Blueprint Uttlesford Cabinet discussed this. It is about driving change which requires significant financial cuts. 2024/25 Est. £3.2 million savings requirement 2025/26 Est. £1.3 million savings requirement 2026/27 Est. £1.3 million savings requirement 2027/28Est. £0.8 million savings requirement. To finance the savings required in the first year one of the commercial investments will be sold. Each service of the Council will be subject to review.
New Homes Bonus This scheme will continue for the next financial year. Each councillor will have £2000 to allocate towards good causes in their ward.
Local Plan There was a workshop on this topic. It is estimated that Uttlesford required to allocate approximately 5000 houses over the next 20 years. Without a local plan the council is susceptible to planning by appeal. The tilted balance under the NPPF applies. The presumption is for development to be approved. The two planning experts argued that the council should allocate smaller sites. Ten sites of 100 units is Key question for an inspector is “are you going to deliver.”
A local plan will make “speculative development less likely as it establishes the councils vision for the area.” Worryingly the shape of Reg 18 which is due late Autumn is still unclear.
Ticket Office motion My motion on opposition to ticket office closures was carried overwhelmingly. Two Conservative councillors felt unable to support the motion. The motion committed UDC to respond to the Greater Anglia consultation. District Councillor’s Report Ends.
Members of the Council are summoned, and members of the public and press are invited to attend this meeting of the FULL COUNCIL on Wednesday 26th July 2023 at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange. At this meeting 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 5th July 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 Recreation Ground – to ratify the emergency decision taken at the Full Council meeting on 5th July 2023 – Minute Number 110
11 To consider a recommendation from the Open Spaces Committee (minute no 120) relating to play equipment installed by developers in the future
12 London Stansted Airport draft Noise Action Plan – to consider establishing a working group to draft the Council’s response – see attached
13 Open Spaces Committee – to receive the minutes of the meeting held on 12th July 2023 – attached
14 Highways Sub-Committee – to receive the minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2023 – to follow
Any intention to record, film or take photographs during a meeting must be notified to the Clerk prior to the start of the meeting.