MINUTES of a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 29th September 2021 in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted, Essex
Cllr M Caton (Chairman), Cllrs A Barnes, G Braeckman, P Davies, A Guney, J Hogg,
J Hudson, M Jessup, J Kavanagh, A Khan, J O’Brien, F Richards and G Sell
ATTENDING Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk
Mr Dan Schlanker – Communications Officer
Dist Cllr Melvin Caton
1 member of the press
5 members of the public
Representatives from Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Kanda Consulting
Representatives from Luxus Homes
173 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Thomas Smith who had an unexpected family matter to deal with. Having been proposed by Cllr Richards and seconded by Cllr Sell it was unanimously
RESOLVED to accept apologies for absence from Cllr Smith.
Apologies from Dist Cllr A Dean were also received.
Four members of the public address the Council with the following issues:
- a) the planning application re land at Pines Hill, flooding, additional waiting restrictions and Grove Hill.
- b) the visit by Cty Cllr Lee Scott (Essex Highways) and the planning application re land at Pines Hill.
- c) the planning application re land at Pines Hill
- d) Appeal for SpeedWatch volunteers and the flower bed at Blythwood Gardens
Public Participation Ends
174 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
- a) The Chairman declared a non-pecuniary interest as she lives not far from the proposed development site at Pines Hill.
- b) Cllr O’Brien stated that he knows a relative of the owners of the proposed development site at Pines Hill.
175 LAND NORTH OF STANSTED AIRPORT
The Chairman welcomed Alex Bright of Kanda Consulting who in turn introduced Samantha Hadland of Columbia Threadneedle Investments(CTI). Sam has presented to the Council previously and was now in a position to share the latest proposals for re-development of the brownfield site commonly known as “The Old Airport”. It is likely that a planning application will be submitted towards the end of 2021.
Samantha said the intention is for the site to provide accommodation for e-commerce, life sciences and logistics, the 3 fastest-growing sectors in the UK. If the proposals are approved, then up to 2,000 jobs would be provided during the construction period and circa 3,500 employees based on the site post-completion. CTI are in discussion with Stansted Airport with regard to discounted travel for people working on the site and also with Harlow College regarding the Stansted Airport College (SAC) and transport links.
Cllr Sell commented that he was aware that CTI had engaged proactively with officers and members at UDC. He would like to see pupils from SAC feeding into employment on the site, if approved. He hoped that there would be sports provision for the village. Samantha stated that there would be health/exercise provision for employees on-site. CTI are in discussions with UDC regarding possible sports provision for the village on another site closer in where there may be land available but not the cash. The Chairman stated that she was not aware of any discussions with UDC regarding Stansted’s sports provision and asked Samantha to ensure that the Parish Council was included in any further talks.
Cty Cllr Gooding referred to the pressure on early years provision in Stansted and stated that he hoped the proposals would give on-site childcare and nursery provision for the children of employees. Samantha stated that they were in discussions with Essex and were aware of the situation. Cllr Davies thanked Samantha for her presentation; he believed it would be good to see a brownfield site developed o add value in the south of the district. Cllr Barnes referred to the ration of split between the three business types and Samantha said the lean would more likely be towards e-commerce and life sciences. In answer to Cllr Kavanagh’s question, there were no discussions with Wren Kitchens for a distribution centre but they would welcome them on site!
Samantha concluded by saying that there would be further public engagement during October and she would send further details across to the Parish Council within the next week or so. The Chairman thanked Samantha and Alex for attending and they left the meeting.
176 LAND EAST OF PINES HILL
The Chairman welcomed Joel Fayers of MPC and Peter Biggs and Greg Thabit for Luxus Homes, proposed developers of a site to be discussed under agenda item 13(1) and on which the Council had received a previous presentation in June 2021. Joel outlined the public consultation process that had been undertaken. Peter Biggs stated the case that UDC’s Local Plan is nowhere near completion and there is no 5-year housing land supply. The subject land is in the Metropolitan Green Belt but is only scores a “moderate” rating.
The Chairman commented that she believe the village was a victim of hostage to developers because of the lack of a Local Plan. Mr Biggs disagreed. The Chairman questioned the community benefits to be delivered under the scheme and these were listed as an increase in the percentage of Affordable Housing (15 units instead of 12) and 4 starter homes.
Cllr Sell stated his view that the site was not “sustainable” – it is on the outskirts of the village, has no community benefits and is a great distance for people to walk to a shop or play area for children – any development here would be car dependent. Mr Biggs stated that things have changed since the last presentation – UDC’s out of date Local Plan, the pressing need for housing in the area, the increased level of Affordable Homes and the lower density proposed by this developer when compared with the refused applications.
In response to a question from Cty Cllr Gooding relating to the educational provision required under a S.106, Mr Thabit confirmed that the provision of starter homes would not affect this and was not designed to avoid any obligations on the part of the developers.
There being no further questions, the Chairman thanked the various representatives for their attendance.
177 PAUL CHAMBERS – TOUCHPOINT
The Chairman welcomed Mr Chambers to the meeting and he gave a presentation on progress made by the TouchPoint organisation with particular regard to the café which is operational at the Day Centre and being well received by the community. They have been successful in some of their grant applications and more are to follow. Cllr Sell congratulated the group on its achievements to date and Cty Cllr Gooding stated that he also had some funding available for one-off grants.
178 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE FULL COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 8th SEPTEMBER 2021
RESOLVED To accept the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 8TH September 2021 as a true and accurate account subject to the correction of two typing errors.
179 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON PROGRESS SINCE THE LAST MEETING
PP – social media appeal for SpeedWatch is being arranged.
152 – no suggestions received yet.
158 – quote accepted.
180 TO RECEIVE THE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – Attached
The Chairman read her report to the meeting.
181 TO RECEIVE A DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORT – Attached
Dist Cllr Caton’s report had been circulated prior to the meeting. He added a comment about the rating of “moderate” land within the Metropolitan Green Belt. Cllr Sell added:
- a) Roger Harborough will be retiring soon. At the October meeting Cllr Sell will be raising points about the payment of the Highways Panel money and the fact that Parish and Town Councils need to be involved in the discussions about larger sites submitted as part of the Call for Sites (raised by Scrutiny Committee). The Chairman confirmed that the Parish Council will contact officers at UDC about this following the Scrutiny committee’s comments.
182 TO RECEIVE THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORT
Cty Cllr Gooding referred to the site visit by Cllr Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Highways. Following that meeting significant conversations have taken place with senior officers and there would be further meetings held with a view to achieving an overall solution for the village. With regard to the decision on bollards for Grove Hill, Cllr Gooding has represented the case to challenge the officers’ decision on this. There are a number of drains to be jetted in the village and he is seeking funding to address the issue of flooding at the build-outs on Church Road. Similarly, work is required in Coltsfield to prevent the flooding occurring there. The drains in Old Bell Close will also be jetted but on his last visit, in the rain, they were all running clear.
The Chairman reminded members of the time and standing orders which state the meeting should end at 10pm. She asked if members wished to defer any items as they would not get through all of the business on the agenda this evening. Following brief discussion it was
RESOLVED to defer items 14, 15 and 18 to the next meeting and suspend standing orders to enable the remaining items to be considered.
- a) To approve the list of payments
The list of payments was circulated to members ahead of the meeting. It was
RESOLVED To approve the list of payments
- b) To receive the summary income and expenditure statement to 31st August 2021
This was circulated to members ahead of the meeting and noted.
184 TO CONSIDER GRANTING A LICENCE TO OCCUPY CRAFTON GREEN HOUSE TO TOUCHPOINT
The Clerk reported that the Management Agreement was still under discussion with TouchPoint but would be circulated to all members prior to sign-off.
Having been proposed by Cllr Sell and seconded by Cllr Richards, it was unanimously
RESOLVED to agree to grant a Licence to Occupy Crafton Green House to Touchpoint.
185 TO CONSIDER THE LIST OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
1 UTT/21/2730/OP – LAND EAST OF PINES HILL
Outline planning permission with all matters reserved except access, for up to 31 no. dwellings
The Parish Council objects due to the following reasons:
The site lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt. At its last review, UDC made no amendments to this policy. The Parish Council sees no exceptional circumstances to warrant permission being granted. (NPPF 2021 para.140). We do not consider the addition of up to 3 more Affordable Homes to be a “very special circumstance”.
Ecological reasons – Loss of habitat for wildlife and protected species. We note the holding objection submitted by Place Services Senior Consultant and the request for further and more detailed assessments.
Outside Village Development Limits
Access – object to the vehicular access out onto B1383, a road which is at, or very close to, capacity. There is also the blind crest of the hill to the north. There will be loss of trees to provide the necessary sight-lines. The footways alongside this road are completely inadequate and unfit for purpose putting pedestrian safety at risk.
2 UTT/21/2753/HHF – 13 BENTFIELD END CAUSEWAY
Single storey porch, internal alternations and replacement and new windows and doors
3 UTT/21/2760/HHF – 13 BENTFIELD END CAUSEWAY
Demolition of existing garage and proposed home studio
4 UTT/21/2786/FUL – LAND ADJACENT EL GRANERO, BURTON END
Demotion of existing structures and erection of 4 no. detached dwellings with ancillary car parking and private amenity space.
The Parish Council objects as this is outside development limits and within Countryside Protection Zone.
5 UTT/21/2754/HHF – 31 GILBEY CRESCENT
Front single storey extension
6 UTT/21/2763/HHF – 37 BENTFIELD ROAD
Removal of existing conservatory and garage, erection of part double storey and part single storey side extension.
7 UTT/21/2848/FUL – GOSLING BARN, 51 BENTFIELD END CAUSEWAY
Section 73A Retrospective change of use from paddock land to garden land (since 23/12/2011). New outdoor swimming pool and pool house with plantroom and air source heat pump.
8 UTT/21/2594/FUL – CHIMNEYS, 44 LOWER STREET
Change of use from part Guesthouse/part residential to residential
186 TO CONSIDER A MOTION PROPOSED BY DIST CLLR AYUB KHAN RELATING TO THE 20% UNIVERSAL CREDIT UPLIFT
The motion, also put before Uttlesford District Council, had been circulated ahead of the meeting. Cllr Davies commented that it was very black and white and he would have preferred to see other avenues explored and an adjustment of the taper rate. Cllr Richards commented that many people in receipt of UC are in employment and still require the uplift to make ends meet.
Having been proposed by Cllr Sell and seconded by Cllr Richards, but with 3 abstentions, it was
RESOLVED to support the motion tabled by Cllr Khan.
187 TO REVIEW AND RE-ADOPT THE GENERAL COMMUNICATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Cllr Davies commented that he could not support the revised document. He believed the role of councillors is to help with positive messages and to be able to reply to comments made. He wants to promote the good work that gets done. However, he still believes that the other policy which he had circulated to the group was preferable to this one. Cllr Richards stated that factual information should be posted but it didn’t stop members having their own opinions.
The Chairman considered that the feeling was that the policy should be subject to further review and proposed that its adoption be deferred pending a further meeting of the working group. This was seconded by Cllr Jessup and unanimously agreed.
Meeting Closed 10.17pm
Open Spaces Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 1st September ’21 – deferred until the Full Council meeting on 20th October ‘21
F&GP Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 15th September ’21 – deferred until the Full Council meeting on 20th October ‘21
To consider adopting the Equality and Diversity Policy – deferred until the Full Council meeting on 20th October ‘21
Welcome to George Braeckman, our recently elected Parish Councilor. No one has yet mentioned your previous membership of the Stansted Youth Council and Young Essex Assembly. Welcome and I hope you will join us to promote the working together ethic this Parish Council promotes for our community.
Congratulations to all members of the Rule 6 partnership and everyone who contributed to the dismissal decision by the Inspector of the Bloor appeal in relation to the land west of Pennington Lane. Particular mention must go to Jamie Hogg, Jacqueline Bakker – Guarda Landscape, and Steven Stroud –Paragon Planning, for their input on the landscape and overall submission, which the inspector commented on significantly in relation to the loss of valuable landscape enjoyed by active receptors- acknowledging that Pennington Lane was used predominantly by cyclists and walkers more than motorised traffic.
People power with the support of the Parish and District Councilors, working in partnership for the community has triumphed.
In respect of the Local Plan, the District Council is talking to site promoters where they may be able to be combine / develop sites in tandem; to see if they will sign an in- principle co-operation agreement. There are 16 such sites, including one in the Stansted North, which includes the dismissed Bloor site application to the west of Pennington Lane; and Bollington Hall Farm west of Ugley.
The first draft of the Local Plan is due to be published in early 2022.
Our partnership with Touchpoint is on the agenda tonight, so suffice it to say that we hope, following discussion, to move our relationship forward and lease Crafton Green House to this organization to enable a number of services to be provided to our residents and the community. We are also continuing our discussions with a Community Interest Company regarding provision for the Day Centre
At long last we were able to meet with Councilor Lee Scott, the Cabinet lead for Essex Highways. He went out with us to see Grove Hill and Church Road and discussed issues with residents, including flooding hazards. He has promised to go away and consider all the issues raised and what action can be agreed. In the meantime, he has agreed to undertake a traffic survey in the village over a period of days; discuss how the weight restrictions on Grove Hill can best be enforced over a longer period whilst blitzing periods of enforcement.
Remembrance Sunday – this will be taking place this year with adherence to any Covid 19 procedures which may be in place at the time. There is an expectation that all Councilors will want to attend, where possible, to show their respect.
Firework night however will not take place this year as the school is not allowing the use of the field – due to health and safety and Covid 19 concerns.
Our Youth Club is currently talking with ECC to plan some activities for young Asylum Seekers. Our Youth Council is recruiting new members to replace 2 members who have moved on to pastures new – we already have one member waiting in the wings.
Lastly, but not at all least we have an election coming up for the South Ward to fill the remaining vacancy. Postal votes need to be in by 5 pm on 14th October – the date of the election.
DISTRICT COUNCILLOR REPORT
Cllr Melvin Caton
Peter Holt has been appointed the new Chief Executive officer at Uttlesford DC. He replaces Dawn French who stepped down as chief executive in August after five years in the role
Peter has extensive local government and leadership experience, as well as a background in organisational transformation. He has been an independent strategic consultant since April having previously been Assistant Chief Executive and Deputy Monitoring Officer for South Northants Council from 2018.
Peter is expected to take up the post in early October.
In August the council published the 299 sites that landowners, promoters and developers had put forward to be considered for development which, if all were approved, would amount to in excess of 70,000 homes. However, many more sites and locations have been put forward than will be required for the district’s development requirements. Over the coming months the council will be gathering evidence and carrying out technical assessments to decide which of these potential locations may be chosen to meet the requirement for up to 17,000 homes over the next 20 years. Any sites which may be included in the local plan will be fully consulted on, with everyone given the opportunity to comment on the first draft of the plan which is due to be published in 2022.
At a meeting of the Uttlesford Cabinet on 2 September, members approved a report that would see the council, and all landowners, promoters and developers who propose a site for larger scale development, jointly sign a commitment to providing well-designed, low carbon developments and to work with local communities to prepare masterplans reflecting this. Other requirements include providing timely infrastructure and hopefully, other community benefits,.
The commitment – called a Memorandum of Understanding – will only take effect if the council in the event selects a site for inclusion in the local plan, which will follow a thorough assessment of the suitability of all the proposed development sites district-wide. Three of the 16 large scale sites identified and if included in final version of the Local Plan, would have substantial impact on Stansted Mountfitchet, These are the proposed new settlement on Bollington Hall Farm, west of Ugley adjacent to the B1383 (estimated capacity 5812 homes) and extensions to Birchanger between Pesterford Bridge and the A120 roundabout (capacity 4337 homes) and an extension of Stansted to the north and east of the village (capacity 1,658 homes). The last scheme includes land west of Pennington Lane which was subject to the recent Appeal by Bloor Homes that was dismissed by the Planning Inspector. .
Residents and Parish Councillors can find out more about the local plan on the council’s website, or sign up to receive regular updates by subscribing to the e-newsletter service.
As part of the evidence base for the Local Plan Uttlesford has commissioned a Retail Capacity Study for the main centres in the district including Stansted.
The key findings of the Health Check of Stansted were
- The centre is split across two distinct locations;
- There are 6 convenience units within Stansted Mountfitchet, which make up 11.8% of all units, exceeding the UK average of 8.3%;
- Overall, services equate to 74.5% of units within Stansted Mountfitchet;
- The centre has a higher proportion of leisure services (39.2%) compared to the UK average (24.7%);
- Stansted Mountfitchet has an extremely low vacancy rate at 2.0%, well below the UK average of 12.0%;
- Few development opportunities were identified in the centre
You are summoned to attend a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL which will be held on Wednesday 29th September 2021 at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted, Essex
1 To approve apologies for absence
Adjourn for public participation
2 To receive declarations of interest
3 To welcome a representative from Kanda Consulting re land north of Stansted Airport
4 To welcome a representative from Luxus Homes (Pines Hill application)
5 To welcome Paul Chambers from TouchPoint for an update on their work
6 To receive the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 8th September 2021
7 To receive an update on progress since the last meeting
8 To receive the Chairman’s Report
9 To receive a District Councillors’ Report – to be received in the office by 27th September for circulation
10 To receive the County Councillor’s Report – to be received in the office by 27th September for circulation
- a) To approve the list of payments – To follow
- b) To receive the summary income and expenditure statement to 31st August 2021 – attached for members
12 To consider granting a Licence to Occupy to TouchPoint in respect of Crafton Green House – draft Management Agreement to follow
13 To consider the list of Planning applications received– attached for members
14 Open Spaces Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 1st September 2021 – already circulated
15 Finance and General Purposes Committee – to receive the minutes of the meeting held on 15th September 2021 – attached for members
16 To consider a motion from Dist Cllr Khan relating to 20% Universal Credit uplift – see attached
17 To review and re-adopt the General Communications and Social Media Policy – attached for members
18 To consider adopting the Equality and Diversity Policy – to follow
Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk, 23rd September 2021