Present: Councillors J Eaton (Chair), Gooch, R Glozier, P Hammond, M Hannibal,
S Jones, M Oliver and A Purkiss
44. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllrs Cushing, Hayday and Padfield
45. The Minutes of the meeting held on 29th September, 2005 were confirmed as a correct record.
46. Declarations of Interest
46.1 Cllr Glozier declared a personal interest in item 6.2 on the Agenda by virtue of his being the Portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development at EFDC. He determined that his interest was not prejudicial and he would remain in the meeting for the discussion thereon.
47. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-
47.1 A reply sent by the Parish Council in response to a letter from Blunts Farm Estates Ltd, who were seeking to discuss various leisure schemes and any other schemes that might be of benefit to Theydon Bois and the local community. The Parish Council sought clarification on their proposed Agenda before proceeding with such a meeting.
47.2 A letter from Eleanor Laing MP, having met with representatives of Blunts Farm Estates Ltd, requesting a meeting with the Parish Council to discuss the issues of lorry movements and plans for the future for the Parsonage Golf Development.
47.3 A letter received from Joy Wainwright, Chairman of Playground at Theydon, thanking the Parish Council for their pledge of a donation of £5,000 towards the replacement flooring project. The fundraising project is nearing its target and the next event will be Santa's Grotto on 10th December at the Playground.
47.4 An e-mail from Essex County Councillor John Spencer confirming the sale of Wansfell College to a property developer and that the proceeds of sale will not be 'ringfenced', either for the Village or for educational purposes. Coopersale Lane is to be closed for five days from 29th November for mains installation works and Essex Highways have carried out remedial works on kerbstone in the Village.
47.5 A letter of thanks from the Royal British Legion for the Parish Council donation of £80. A total of £3,328.98 was raised in total throughout the Village.
47.6 A letter of thanks from Epping Citizens Advice Bureau for the Parish Council donation of £235.00.
47.7 A letter of thanks from Theydon Bois Senior Club for the Parish Council donation of £130 towards their Christmas party.
47.8 Notification from the Corporation of London of a consultation regarding the future management of grazing in Epping Forest.
48.1 The accounts up to 21st November 2005, having been previously circulated, were approved.
49.1 Cllr Jones reported that there had been fourteen applications since the last Public Meeting of which the Parish Council had objected to seven. Two of these had been applications to turn bungalows into houses in Avenue Road and Blackacre Road. An objection had also been lodged against the proposed demolition of the farmhouse at Blunts Farm and replacement with a substantially larger house. This application has since been refused by EFDC.
49.2 Cllr Jones also reported that an application has been received to convert Wansfell College into flats. Cllr Eaton stated that English Heritage had been approached with a view to listing both the college building and the pagoda in the grounds.
49.3 Cllr Eaton then invited a guest speaker, Carolyn Barnes of the Environment Agency, to give an update on checks being carried out at the Parsonage Golf Development. This was followed by a question and answer session from the floor.
49.4 There was speculation that sewage from water treatment works was being brought on to the site for use as 'fertiliser' and that South Herts Waste Management lorries were involved, an allegation which they have denied. Concerns were expressed regarding contamination leading to water pollution of the brook following the rupture of a sewerage pipe. There was an unpleasant smell emanating from the site which was attracting flocks of birds.
49.5 Ms Barnes stated that to date there was no evidence of illegal dumping or hazard to human health risks. No application for a special licence to import such waste material had been received, but if the Environment Agency found hard evidence that illegal dumping was taking place enforcement action would be taken. They have no remit regarding the amount of soil being imported but would continue to monitor the site for pollution.
49.6 Cllr Glozier stated that surveyors and legal teams were working on behalf of EFDC to stop the importation on the basis that the heights for the contours have been reached but for the time being the advice they have received is to carry on negotiating with the developers.
50. Youth Centre - Planning Appeal by Essex County Council
50.1 Cllr Hammond thanked all those who had attended the Public Inquiry in October and supported the campaign. Due to the number of speakers against the closure, the Inquiry has been adjourned until 31st January and 1st February 2006. Anyone who wishes to question the Essex County Council representatives when the Inquiry reopens are encouraged to attend.
50.2 It is imperative that permission should not be granted for housing and that it is retained for community use. Roy Newland is pursuing the registration for Village Green status. The success of 'The Box' in Epping is an indication of the type of facility which could be viable in Theydon Bois if the Youth Centre building can be retained.
50.3 Essex County Council's decision to close our purpose built Youth Centre and transfer provision to Loughton would mean a hazardous journey for teenagers from the Village travelling on the Tube to Debden Station, where there is currently an ASBO. There is also the possibility of territorial antagonism against youngsters coming from outside Loughton to use the new facility.
51. Highways & Environment
51.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that Essex Highways had successfully completed work around the crossroads by the zebra crossing. The next targets will be to identify and repair poor road surfaces and pavements and consider installation of 30 mph flashing gateway signs.
52.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that regeneration is continuing with more metal and debris being removed and the area behind the cricket club has been tidied up.
52.2 Cllr Hannibal reported that part of the fencing bordering the cricket club and allotments needed replacing and it would be on the Agenda at the next Buxton Trust meeting to share the cost with the Parish Council.
Resolved: That the Parish Council meets the cost of £1,300 plus VAT for fencing at the boundary of the allotments and Buxton Trust Cricket Field, with the intension that the Buxton Trust makes a donation to the Parish Council for 50% of the cost, excluding VAT.
Proposed: Cllr Hannibal Seconded: Cllr Hammond
53. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
53.1 Cllr Jones reported that the preparations for the Ceremony on Friday 2nd December were running smoothly and would be returning to the original format with singing taking place outside. This year's charity chosen by the Chairman is Home Start Epping Forest.
54. Reports from Representatives
54.1 Buxton Trust
Cllr Hannibal reported that the Buxton Trust has won several awards from the Essex Playing Fields Association. Firstly, the Ralph Dreschfield Memorial Trophy and certificate for Winners of Class 7 for exceptional work carried out during the year. This is for the new roof on the Cricket Club pavilion. Also awarded were a Certificate of Merit for Class 4 for cricket grounds on which a winter game may or may not be played, and Runner Up in Class 1 for Playing Fields serving a population of 1,500 or more. All categories were judged as being maintained to the highest standards to the satisfaction of the Association. Cllr Hannibal expressed thanks to all those involved in running the Buxton Trust fields.
The proposal to plant two memorial trees next to the car park at the Cricket Club has been abandoned as an objection had been received from a neighbour in Avenue Road. Improvements have been made behind the pavilion and the boundary hedge with the allotments has been tidied up, largely due to the efforts of Anthony Purkiss and Paul Argent.
The cricket club has won their league this year and there are now two junior football teams together with the adult team based at the grounds. The tennis club has lost its appeal for installing court lighting and are in discussion with Davenant School to use their facilities on winter evenings.
54.2 Forest Forum
Cllr Hannibal reported on his attendance at the recent Forum Forum meeting. A consultation is currently under way by the Corporation of London seeking views on Cattle Grazing in the Forest. Other issues discussed were the control of ragwort and holly in the forest and the renovation of Warren House. It is planned to repeat the Forest Festival which this year was held at Wanstead Flats.
54.3 Epping Forest District Museum and The Royal Gunpowder Mills
Cllr Eaton had visited the Epping Forest District Museum and reported that it was well worth a visit. Cllr Glozier encouraged people to visit The Royal Gunpowder Mills as it was currently under used. Both museums are in Waltham Abbey.
55. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.
The following topics were raised by the Public:
1. Jane Turner expressed disappointment that Memorial Trees could not be planted on the Cricket Club grounds.
2. A query regarding the yellow lines in the
road outside Philips the butchers.
3. A number of further comments regarding the Parsonage Golf development.
Present: Councillors J Eaton (Chair),
Gooch, P Hammond, M Hannibal, M Hayday,
S Jones, J Padfield and A Purkiss
30. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllrs Cushing, Glozier and Oliver
31. The Minutes of the meeting held on 28th July, 2005 were confirmed as a correct record.
32. Declarations of Interest
32.1 There were no declarations of interest for any of the items on the Agenda.
33. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-
33.1 A letter from Blunts Farm Estates Ltd seeking to discuss with the Parish Council various leisure schemes proposed by EFDC, and any other schemes that might be of benefit to Theydon Bois and the local community.
33.2 A letter from John Scott, Joint Chief Executive at EFDC, regarding the problems at Parsonage Golf giving an assurance that the site is regularly monitored and control is being exercised. An invitation has been extended for John Eaton to join Chris Neilan, Landscaping Officer, on his regular inspections of the site.
33.3 A letter from Paul Argent regarding the Youth Centre Appeal for young people from the Village to get involved with the Public Inquiry on 5th and 6th October, either by attending or producing posters to support the campaign.
33.4 A letter received from Playground at Theydon thanking the Parish Council for their pledge of a donation of £5,000 towards the replacement flooring project.
33.5 Notification from Go East that the starting date for the public consultation for the East of England Public Examination has been deferred until 1st November 2005.
33.6 Notification of an NSPCC Sponsored Walk taking place on Sunday 2nd October 2005 starting at 10.30 a.m. from Bury Road car park, Chingford.
34.1 The accounts up to 22nd September 2005, having been previously circulated, were approved.
35.1 Cllr Jones reported that there had been twelve applications since the last Public Meeting of which the Parish Council had objected to four. These had been applications to turn bungalows into houses or to detrimentally alter the character of historic buildings. An application by Blunts Farm Estates to widen the area of the golf course currently under construction had been strongly opposed by the Planning Committee. The plans which had been submitted for the application had contained a lack of detailed information.
35.2 At the request of the Parish Council a meeting took place on 26th September between Members of the Parish Council Planning Committee and John Preston and Chris Embling from EFDC to discuss various issues relating to the Blunts Farm site. Parish Councillors present at the meeting were Sue Jones, John Eaton, Peter Gooch, Peter Hammond and Anthony Purkiss.
35.3 Cllr Gooch stated that lessons had not been learned from the mistakes regarding the lack of conditions at the Ongar Park Development and there was a general lack of confidence in EFDC regarding planning matters.
35.4 Cllr Hammond stated that EFDC planners should have been aware that a survey of site levels should have been carried out prior to tipping in order to get a comparison against the height of the contours on completion. Ordnance Survey maps were not sufficiently accurate to provide a true reading of levels prior to commencement of the development.
35.5 He also stated that he had attended an on site visit and could see no evidence of illegal waste being dumped. It was not in the interests of the developer to flout the law and the Environment Agency was monitoring the site. Extremely deep holes had been dug for clay extraction and it was estimated that 70,000 cubic metres of spoil would be needed to fill them.
35.6 Any individuals who were not satisfied with EFDC's handling of the situation at Parsonage Golf were at liberty to contact the Local Government Ombudsman.
36. Youth Centre - Planning Appeal by Essex County Council
36.1 Cllr Hammond stated that both the Police and British Transport Police were supporting the case for retaining a Youth Facility in Theydon Bois.
36.2 He had visited 'The Box' in Epping which was open seven days a week and run very successfully by volunteers. The Co-op had written to the organisers supporting the venture as they had experienced fewer problems outside their premises since it had been open. Cllr Hammond pointed out that up to 250 local youngsters could benefit from a similar facility in Theydon Bois.
36.3 He requested that as many people as possible attend at the Appeal at the EFDC Civic Offices on 5th and 6th October at 10.00 a.m.
37. Highways & Environment
37.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that Essex Highways were shortly to begin work around the zebra crossing area and straight the barrier. More pressure needed to be applied to Essex County Council in order to provide better value for money in the Village.
37.2 Cllr Eaton reported that he had received two letters from the Essex Police regarding speeding controls in the village, which seemed to contradict each other. This indicated that the police were out of touch with their locals communities. A joint approach with surrounding Town and Parish Councils might bring more pressure to bear on the Police regarding local matters.
38. Report on Meetings held with Loughton Town Council, Epping Town Council, Lambourne Parish Council and Stapleford Abbotts Parish Council
38.1 Cllr Purkiss reported on joint meetings held with the surrounding Town and Parish Councils. It was generally felt that Essex County Council and EFDC were under performing in a number of areas. A joint approach with other Local Councils to the County and District Authorities might make more of an impact in dealing with common problems. The Local Council Liaison Committee needed revamping to inject more participation. There is to be a quarterly meeting of the Clerks from Theydon Bois, Loughton, Epping, Lambourne and Stapleford Abbotts.
39. Sustainable Communities Bill
39.1 Parish Councils have been contacted by the Campaign for the Sustainable Communities Bill seeking their support by passing a Resolution. The Bill supports the idea that communities and local councils (not civil servants) are the experts on their own problems and the solutions to them. Hence the way in which government helps reverse Ghost Town Britain and promote the opposite (sustainable communities) should not be according to Whitehall-dictated polices - but according to the wishes of those local councils and communities.
39.2 All councillors, having read the Bill and accompanying proposed Local Authority Resolution, considered the contents and voted thereon.
RESOLVED: To approve the Local Authority Resolution as submitted by the Campaign for the Sustainable Communities Bill (copy of the wording of the Resolution is attached to these Minutes).
Proposed: Cllr Gooch Seconded: Cllr Hayday
For: 7 Against: 0
Cllr Hannibal abstained as he had not seen the documentation provided on the Sustainable Communities Bill.
40. Trafalgar Weekend Celebrations
40.1 Cllr Eaton reported that preparations were being finalised for Trafalgar Weekend. Peter Simmance had requested volunteers for the Hornpipe dance. Also any help setting up before and on the day would be most welcome.
41. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
41.1 Cllr Jones reported that the Ceremony would be taking place on Friday 2nd December and it was likely that its would return to the original format with singing taking place outside.
42. Reports from Representatives
Cllr Jones read out a letter which had been sent by EFDC to all Parish and Town Councils requesting that they refrain from sending in spurious objections to planning applications as it wasted time at Committee Meetings.
Cllr Gooch reiterated his comments made at 35.3 above that confidence in EFDC planning department was at rock bottom.
Cllr Jones to send a response to the letter to EFDC Planning Department.
42.2 Funding for Communities Projects
Cllr Hayday reported that he and Cllr Padfield had attended a meeting at EFDC outlining that money had been made available by Essex County Council for capital community projects. This would amount to £130,000 over three years and would be administered by EFDC. Cllr Hayday had subsequently been appointed Chairman of the Group which would receive applications and allocate funds.
43. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.
The following topics were raised by the Public:
1. The Rural Community Council of Essex had requested, via the Parish Council, that Theydon Bois submit an entry into a Calor Gas sponsored ICT competition, Jim Watts had kindly put together and submitted the entry.
2. Vigilance should be exercised when dealing
with any current and future applications by Blunts Farm Estates. An accident
had recently occurred involving a lorry exiting the site onto the Abridge
3. Piercing Hill was seen as an accident blackspot following a further accident the previous evening. The speed camera in Coppice Row was not thought to be operational and a further speed camera was needed in Loughton Lane.
4. The infra red cameras at Craft Lines and the Bull were reported as not working.
5. Recycling figures should be measured before and after the introduction of wheelie bins.
6. Concern over the recent frequency of power cuts in certain areas of the Village.
Prior to commencement of the Agenda, a presentation was given by Peter Riding from Stop Stansted Expansion
Present: Councillors J Eaton (Chair),
K Cushing, P Hammond, M Hannibal, S Jones,
J Padfield and A Purkiss
18. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllrs Gooch, Glozier, Oliver and Hayday.
19. The Minutes of the meeting held on 26th May, 2005 were confirmed as a correct record.
20. Declarations of Interest
20.1 There were no declarations of interest for any of the items on the Agenda.
21. Correspondence The Clerk reported
on the following:-
21.1 A letter received from The Royal British Legion thanking the Parish Council for their donation of £100 towards the Victory celebrations held on 5th June.
22.1 The accounts up to 21st July 2005, having been previously circulated, were approved.
22.2 Cllr Cushing has taken over the role as Finance Officer from Cllr Hannibal.
22.3 A final draft of the Annual Accounts for
the year ended 31st March 2005, having previously been circulated to Members,
were submitted to the Council for approval and adoption after a further amendment
to the Notes.
Resolved: To approve and adopt the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March, 2005.
Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Hannibal
22.4 Cllr Cushing reported that whilst the Council had all the necessary financial procedures in place, for the sake of clarity it would be preferable to have a document detailing protocol. A draft based on the EALC model for Financial Standing Orders had therefore been produced by Cllr Cushing, Cllr Hannibal and the Clerk.
Resolved: To approve and adopt Financial Standing
Orders (Issue 1).
Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Hannibal
23.1 Cllr Jones reported that there had been fifteen applications since the last Public Meeting, the most contentious of which was the application by Blunts Farm Estates for a Tennis Academy and leisure centre and a commuter car park on the site of the Old Foresters. The Parish Council objected to the proposals, which are in the Green Belt, in the strongest possible terms. The application has since been withdrawn. Cllr Jones thanked members of the public who were present at the Parish Council Planning Meeting which heard the application, which was attended by approximately 150 people. Cllr Jones stated that the way the community had pulled together to fight the proposals could have been instrumental in influencing the developer in withdrawing the application. However, it was considered that the developer was likely to submit a new application in the future.
23.2 An application had also been received for the erection of a detached bungalow on the land adjacent to 2 Blackacre Road, on the corner of Theydon Park Road. The Parish Council has objected strongly to the application as the area provides an essential open aspect on this corner site.
23.3 Cllr Jones reported that she had been in contact with David Walmsley, Enforcement Officer at EFDC, who had recently held a site visit with EFDC councillors Kay Rush and Janet Whitehouse, together with a representative of the developer and the golf course architect. Cllr Jones read out a report on that meeting sent from Kay Rush:
23.4 It had been agreed that some areas were too high and this would be rectified. However, other areas regarding height levels were disputed and those areas are to be surveyed. Checks on the type of spoil entering the site were discussed, as were the holes from which the clay for capping is being extracted. It was anticipated lorry movements will continue for another year with the course being ready in 2008. EFDC has contacted Essex County Council regarding Highway issues on the Abridge Road.
24. Highways & Environment
24.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that he had had a meeting with Paul Hardy, the Area Manager for Highways at Essex County Council, who had agreed to a refurbishment around the zebra crossing, road repairs in Theydon Park Road and resetting of kerb stones on roads adjoining the school.
24.2 The hedge around the Balti House near the station has been trimmed and the bottle banks at the station are to be refurbished.
24.3 Following the recent terrorist incidents on the tube and buses in London, London Underground has shelved plans to reduce staffing levels, which would have impacted on Theydon Bois Station.
25. Wheelie Bins
25.1 Cllr Cushing reported that at the EFDC meeting on 25th July it had been reaffirmed that wheelie bins, together with fortnightly collection of residuals, would be introduced in the District. Cllr Eaton then invited Dr John Warren, who had attended the meeting, to report on the proceedings.
25.2 Cllr Hammond questioned why it was not possible for EFDC to monitor Theydon Bois separately for recycling figures.
25.3 Cllr Gooch stated that EFDC had not adequately argued the case for introduction of the new scheme and there had been a lack of consultation.
25.4 The Parish Council will closely monitor the scheme when it is introduced in the Village and particularly whether fortnightly collection of residuals in the summer months will be adequate.
25.5 In future green garden waste sacks will be free of charge.
26. Playground at Theydon
26.1 Cllr Eaton reported that Playground at Theydon had approached the Parish Council to assist with funding for their project to replace the flooring at the Playground. The current bark flooring has to be replaced regularly and is expensive. The replacement flooring would meet health and safety requirements and would be low maintenance. However, the initial cost will be very expensive, in excess of £35,000, and grants were being sought from various organisations. Outside funding sources had been reluctant to commit without an initial commitment from a local body.
Resolved: The Parish Council will make a grant in the sum of £5,000 to Playground at Theydon to assist with the costs associated with the replacement of the flooring with wet-pour rubberised solution at the playground. Payment will be made after the Council has received confirmation of full funding and that the order has been placed.
Proposed: Cllr Hannibal Seconded: Cllr Padfield
27. Best Kept Village Competition 2005
27.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that Theydon Bois has won a merit award for this year's competition. Although we won the competition last year, our marks this year were also high. Of particular note were the Playground at Theydon, the Village Hall, the Cemetery, the Bus Shelter opposite Tesco and the Pond on the Green. This year's winner in our category was Earl's Colne.
28. Reports from Representatives
28.1 Trafalgar Day
Cllr Eaton reported that unfortunately the Village Hall had a prior booking and it had therefore been decided that the Queen Victoria would be used as the Venue base on Saturday 22nd October. The day would start at 11.30 a.m. with a sponsored walk/quiz to include the shops and pubs. Food will be served from midday which will include a BBQ and hog roast. Other suggestions for activities are tug-of-war and horn pipe dancing. The evening events will include the lighting of a beacon on the Village Green. Peter Simmance is the chief organiser and all details are yet to be finalised.
29. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.
The following topics were raised by the Public:
1. Continuing problems with the activity at Parsonage Golf. It was felt that there was inadequate monitoring of the site or of lorry movements. The height of the contours of the Course and amount of spoil being dumped was questioned. EFDC were criticised for the lack of conditions placed on the development at the planning stage.
2. It was suggested that the Parsonage Golf development could increase the flood risk to the area.
3. A petition was handed in requesting parking restrictions in Morgan Crescent.
4. Thanks to the Parish Council for supporting Playground at Theydon with a donation of £5,000 towards the new flooring.
Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), K Cushing,
R. Glozier, P Hammond,
M Hannibal, M Hayday, S Jones, M Oliver, J Padfield and A Purkiss.
Prior to commencement of the Agenda the Chairman made the annual presentation of the Chairman's Rose Bowl. This year the award went to Theydon Bois & District Rural Preservation Society and Peter Newton as their Chairman.
1. Election of Chairman
1.1 There being no other nominations Cllr Eaton was duly elected as Chairman for the coming year.
Proposed: Cllr Padfield Seconded: Cllr Hannibal
2. Declaration of Acceptance of Office
2.1 Cllr Eaton duly signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Chairman for
3. Appointment of Vice-Chairman
3.1 There being no other nominations Cllr Gooch was appointed as Vice-Chairman for the coming year.
Proposed: Cllr Glozier Seconded: Cllr Padfield
4. Formation of Committees and appointment of representatives
4.1 The revised draft list for 2005-06, having previously been circulated, was agreed. A copy is appended hereto.
5. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr P Gooch.
6. The Minutes of the meeting held on 31st March, 2005 were confirmed as a correct record.
7. Declarations of Interest
7.1 There were no declarations of interest for any of the items on the Agenda.
8. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-
8.1 A letter of thanks from Playground at Theydon for the donation of £1,000 received from the Parish Council.
8.2 Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign are to give a presentation at the next Public Meeting on 28 July.
9.1 The accounts up to 17th May 2005, having previously been circulated, were approved.
10. Standing Orders
10.1 In accordance with Standing Orders Issue 5 (Clause 29), the Standing Orders are a formal Agenda item at the Annual Meeting of the Council for the purposes of review and amendment as required. However, after discussion it was agreed that no changes were necessary.
11. Complaints Procedure
11.1 After discussing the draft Complaints Procedure which had been previously circulated, further amendments were made to Clause 10 and Clause 12 (N.B.3).
Resolved: To approve and adopt the draft Complaints Procedure, as amended.
Proposed: Cllr Hammond Seconded: Cllr Cushing
12.1 Cllr Jones reported that there had been thirteen applications since the last Public Meeting in March. Objections had been made in cases where an extension was intrusive on the street scene, approval was sought to turn a bungalow into a house and an application was made for an extension to a listed building.
12.2 Cllr Eaton reported that since the last Public Meeting he had written again to Cllr Knapman at EFDC asking for action to be taken regarding the problems with the Parsonage Golf development. A reply had been received indicating that attempts were being made to allow lorries to enter and leave the M11 using Coopersale Lane. However, to date little progress had been made. The development was expected to be completed in summer 2006. The Ongar Park development undertaken by the same developers had been completed and had resulted in a fully operational golf course facility.
13. Highways & Environment
13.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that a letter had been sent to Essex Highways following an initial meeting on 20th April, when after a tour of the Village David Forkin of Essex Highways had agreed with many of the defects in highways, pavement and street furniture brought to his attention. In preparation for a meeting to take place between Paul Hardy, Head of Essex Highways, and Cllr Purkiss a list of defects was drawn up and a meeting with Mr Hardy was held on 10th May. A reply is awaited and is expected by 3rd June at the latest.
13.2 Following a letter sent by the Parish Council to EFDC Highways in December a number of new street name signs have been erected in the Village. However, responsibilities have changed under Essex County Council and a link has been made with Lynne Lynton of Vinci Park, Debden (now responsible for street name signs), who has agreed to replace ten other street name signs and poles in the Village, as well as reviewing the state of repair of the bus shelter on the viaduct.
13.3 In addition, Essex County Council has agreed to the replacement of the gateway signs in Piercing Hill and Loughton Lane, as well as funding the renovation of the Fingerpost at Great Gregories Lane.
14. Youth Initiatives
14.1 Cllr Padfield reported that it was disappointing that no progress had been made with the provision for youth following the withdrawal of the planning application for a hard play area on the Green. However, the Youth Committee would remain operational and focus on tackling anti-social behaviour and await the outcome of the Public Enquiry regarding the Youth Centre site.
14.2 Cllr Glozier stated that the Public Enquiry
was due to be held on 5th and 6th October. The Parish Council and Theydon
Bois Rural Preservation Society were compiling documentation in support of
retaining the Youth Centre for the community and requested that any villagers
with information regarding past usage of the site should contact the Parish
14.3 Cllr Hammond stated that members of the public could attend the Public Enquiry.
15.1 To consider approval of a donation of £100 to The Royal British Legion (Ongar Division) in support if their 60th Anniversary of VE and VJ Day celebrations.
Resolved: That the Parish Council makes a donation to The Royal British Legion (Ongar Division) for £100 in support of their 60th Anniversary VE Day and VJ Day celebrations.
Proposed: Cllr Oliver Seconded: Cllr Purkiss
16. Reports from Representatives
16.1 Cllr Hannibal reported on a meeting that he had attended regarding the implications and functionality of the Green Arc within the Epping Forest District. The focus of the session was discussion relating to the use and enhancement of the countryside, with particular reference to the needs of residents relating to the provision of publicly accessible open space and improvement of the countryside.
16.2 Cllr Hannibal reported that it had come
to his attention that London Underground were proposing new working rotas
which would result in the closure of the ticket office during peak periods
at Theydon Bois Station. The rota only allows for one person on duty and they
will be at the barriers assisting travellers with using the ticket machines
only. The implications are that there would be reduced staff visibility and
security, together with less accessibility for general services such as obtaining
concessionary fares. It was proposed that Cllr Hannibal write to the Area
Manager at London Underground and British Transport Police voicing the Council's
17. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.
The following topics were raised by the Public:
1. Concerns were again raised regarding the impending introduction of wheelie bins and fortnightly collection of residual waste.
2. The displacement of commuter parking to Morgan Crescent following the introduction of parking restriction in surrounding roads.
3. The withdrawal of the planning application by Loughton Town Council for land next to Davenant Foundation School in Loughton Lane to be used as a cemetery. A meeting is being arranged between Theydon Bois Parish Council and Loughton Town Council to discuss matters of mutual interest, including this issue.
4. The newly elected Councillor at Essex County Council representing Epping and Theydon Bois, John Spencer, introduced himself and gave a summary of his first weeks at County Hall.
Councillors Present: J Eaton (Chair),
K Cushing, R Glozier, P Gooch, P Hammond,
M Hannibal, M Hayday, S Jones, M Oliver, J Padfield and A Purkiss
65. Apologies for absence. There were no apologies for absence.
66. The Minutes of the meeting held on 27th January, 2005 were confirmed as a correct record.
67. Matters Arising
67.1 There were no matters arising.
68. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-
68.1 Several letters had been received about traffic and parking problems in Orchard Drive.
68.2 A number of letters of complaint had been received regarding the introduction of wheelie bins and once a fortnight collection of residual waste by EFDC.
68.3 Programmes for forthcoming Exhibitions & Events for Epping Forest District Museum were available from the Pamphlet rack in the Village Hall foyer.
68.4 A letter from the Clerk had been published in the March edition of Essex Life correcting inaccuracies about the history of the Village Hall which had appeared in the article on Theydon Bois published in the February edition.
68.5 A letter received from Trevor Roberts, the Local History Recorder, thanking the Parish Council for their support in preserving local history and covering the cost of producing the annual Local History Report.
69.1 The accounts up to 22nd March 2005, having been previously circulated, were approved.
70.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been twenty seven applications since the Public Meeting in January. Those of particular concern were at 57 Morgan Crescent for demolition of the existing detached house and building one pair of semi-detached and one detached house; 64 Morgan Crescent to demolish the garage fronting onto Woodland Way and erecting a detached dwelling; and an application from Darlingtons Garage to erect three 8m high flag poles fronting on to the Village Green.
70.2 Cllr Gooch stated that the Parish Council and the Rural Preservation Society had liaised in preparing their responses to the East of England Plan. Cllr Gooch thanked Jim Watts and Peter Newton for their help in compiling a detailed response. A copy of the Parish Council submission is available for inspection at the Parish Office.
70.3 Cllr Gooch reported that Parsonage Golf had submitted a planning application for the construction of a large Clubhouse. As there has been some scepticism about the motives for tipping on the site this could be construed as an indication that the developer does intended to operate a fully functional golf course.
70.4 Cllr Eaton raised concerns about the type of material being tipped at the site. Cllr Glozier stated that the site was being checked regularly by enforcement officers and an Inspector from the Department of Environment had not found evidence of anything illegal being dumped. The developers were cooperating in removing soil from areas where the levels were higher than the approved scheme.
70.5 Cllr Eaton stated that the debris left on the Abridge Road by the lorries entering Parsonage Golf was unacceptable. In some places the white line road markings could not be seen. There had been a fatal accident on the previous evening under the motorway bridge and it raised the question as to whether the mud left on the road by these lorries could have been a contributory factor. The Parish Council has brought the problem to the attention of the District Council, but without results. A further letter to be sent worded in the strongest terms that the situation is unacceptable.
71. Essex County Council Realisation of Assets
71.1 Cllr Gooch reported that the a recent court case by another Parish Council to claim Village Green status had been unsuccessful and this had been a considerable blow to the campaign for the Youth Centre site in Theydon Bois.
71.2 In the meantime Essex County Council had installed signs on and around the Youth Centre Building warning the public to keep away. Cllr Gooch questioned whether this was appropriate as there is a gate which connects to the scout hut area which would indicate a right of way.
71.3 An unnamed buyer has been found for Wansfell
72. Youth Initiatives
72.1 Following the Corporation of London rejecting the proposals for a hard play area facility on the Green, an appeal had been made in the March edition of Village News for residents to come forward with any suggestions for provision for youngsters in the Village. The Youth Committee are looking for ideas to cater for the 11 to 16 year old age group. It was hoped that by the next Public Meeting to give a definitive answer as to whether anything could be provided or not.
73. Highways & Environment
73.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that new railings were being installed outside Tesco and the area around the Bull Public House was about to be resurfaced.
73.2 EFDC was being pressed to carry out maintenance work on blocked drains, pot holes and signs in the Village.
73.3 District Council had agreed in principle to the installation of a new fingerpost sign at the junction of Piercing Hill/Coppice Row.
73.4 Members of the Parish Council and other volunteers had undertaken rubbish clearance behind the westbound platform at the Station. In addition, the daffodils which were planted by a Parish council working party last autumn were now in full bloom on the station platforms.
73.5 Cllr Padfield reported that the Green was about to be cut for the first time this season and the Corporation of London is to carry out remedial work on the oaks in the Avenue of Trees. The Avenue will need to be closed to traffic during this period.
73.6 There had been recent incidents of cars or other motorised vehicles leaving tyre marks across the Village Green. Cllr Eaton urged the public to be vigilant and report details of any vehicles seen driving over the Green to the Parish Clerk.
73.7 Cllr Glozier reported that the District Council had received a large amount of correspondence opposing the new scheme to introduce wheelie bins and fortnightly collection of residuals. He stated that EFDC would be heavily fined by the government if they did not meet targets for recycling waste and after seeking expert advice this was the only viable proposal. On the positive side it would stop vermin attacking rubbish bags which were left out overnight. It would also encourage the public to more vigilant in recycling.
74.1 Cllr Cushing expressed his thanks to George Gardner for his assistance at the Cemetery over the past year.
74.2 A working party was scheduled for Monday 4th April to carry out general maintenance tasks.
74.3 The Cemetery Committee submitted the proposed burial fees for 2005-2006 for approval by full Council.
Resolved: This Council endorses the rise in burial fees recommended by the Cemetery Committee for the year 2005-2006.
Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Hammond
75.1 Cllr Purkiss reported there was continued regeneration at the allotments and there was increased interest in renting out plots.
75.2 Quotations had been sought for tree work and removal of asbestos at the site, which were submitted for approval by full Council.
Resolved: This Council agrees the quotation in the sum of £255.00 for tree work along the boundary with the Cricket Club and deer sanctuary.
Proposed: Cllr Purkiss Seconded: Cllr Glozier
Resolved: This Council agrees the price in the sum of £210.00 for professional removal of asbestos from the Allotments.
Proposed: Cllr Purkiss Seconded: Cllr Glozier
76. Community Transport Scheme
76.1 Cllr Glozier reported that the scheme was up and running was to be more widely publicised. There had been little interest from residents in Theydon Bois, which in part may be due to the availability of the bus and tube service. The Community Transport Scheme is flexible and with advance booking users could be collected from the homes.
77. Parish Flag
77.1 It was agreed that the Parish Flag would be flown during the summer months and the St. George's flag would be flown in the winter. The change over will coincide with the changing of the clocks to and from British Summer Time.
78. Reports from Representatives
Cllr Eaton reported that there was to be Police Community Consultative Group meeting on 20th April in Epping which was open to all. Cllr Eaton will be attending to raise a number of issues.
Cllr Padfield reported that the police were now actively looking at footage from the CCTV cameras situated in the Village.
79. Trafalgar Weekend Celebrations
79.1 Cllr Eaton reported that Peter Simmance was co-ordinating interested parties in seeking ideas for the celebrations in October.
80. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.
The following topics were raised by the Public:
1. Concerns regarding hygiene and practicality issues were raised by a number of people regarding the imposition of wheelie bins and fortnightly collections of residual waste.
2. Anger was expressed at the continued activity at Parsonage Golf. It was felt that there was inadequate monitoring of the site or of lorry movements.
3. Jim Watts expressed thanks to all those who had responded to the East of England Plan proposals.
4. A request was made to provide public conveniences in the village.
A talk was given by Representatives from British Transport Police
The Chairman announced the deaths of Jean McGuire who started Frank Foster Home in 1961, Dora Prince who was a Parish Councillor during the 1970s, and Mrs Berry
Present: Councillors J Eaton (Chair), R Glozier,
P Gooch, P Hammond, M Hannibal,
M Hayday, S Jones, M Oliver and J Padfield
54. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Councillors Cushing and Purkiss
55. The Minutes of the meeting held on 25th November, 2004 were confirmed as a correct record.
56. Matters Arising
56.1 There were no matters arising.
57. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-
57.1 A letter from the Epping Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society thanking the Parish Council for raising £400 on behalf of the Society at the Christmas collection.
57.2 Several letters from residents concerning the activity at Parsonage Golf.
57.3 Notification from the Highways Agency regarding the Public Consultation on the M11 Route Management Strategy, which runs from 24th January until 17th April 2005.
57.4 A letter from Essex County Council replying to a question asked by Janet Whitehouse as to the possible conflict of interest of the application being dealt with by the legal section of the county council and the county having a financial interest in the outcome. Also the costs involved regarding the public enquiry.
57.5 A letter from a resident congratulating those who are involved in producing Theydon Bois Village News for the quality of the December issue.
58.1 The accounts up to 20th January 2005, having been previously circulated, were approved.
58.2 Cllr Eaton announced that the normal Precept, excluding payments on the Village Hall, would increase by £2,330 or approximately £1.40 per household. This is an increase of 10.8% on the previous year. The rise is necessary due to increased running costs of CCTV, insurance and general environmental maintenance. Additional funds have been allocated to the Community Transport Scheme, Trafalgar Day celebrations, improvements at the Allotments, donations to local charities and additional planting at the shops and the station.
Resolved: That the Parish Precept for 2005-2006
be set at £58,902.
Proposed: Cllr Hannibal Seconded: Cllr Padfield
59.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been thirteen applications since the Public Meeting in November. Those of particular interest were for the demolition of two existing dwellings and the erection of a new detached dwelling at Lark Cottage, Abridge Road, and the conversion of a listed barn to residential use and the demolition of outbuildings and silos to be replaced by two semi- detached cottages at Piggots Farm, Abridge Road.
59.2 Cllr Glozier reported that District Council had been against the application to build a golf course at Parsonage Golf and permission had been given by the Government Inspectorate. Regular checks were being carried out and action was being taken to stop lorry movements in Coopersale Lane, including the installation of CCTV cameras. EFDC has neither control over the volume of material coming onto the site nor the number of lorry movements. The developers were allowed as much volume as would create the agreed levels of the course. The site is being surveyed and inspected weekly by the Department of the Environment and the District Council. The developers had voluntarily provided extra road sweepers.
59.3 Cllr Gooch asked whether the type of material being deposited was legally acceptable. Cllr Glozier replied that it was a question of what was not allowed rather than what is. e.g. hospital or biological waste.
59.4 Cllr Eaton asked Jim Watts of the Rural Preservation Society to speak on the RSS14 East of England Regional Plan Consultation. The Rural Preservation Society has prepared a handout outlining the proposals together with a response form which was considerably more user friendly that the EERA form on their web site. Mr Watts urged as many individuals to reply as possible by the deadline of 16th March 2005. EERA is a non elected body which proposes 123,000 new homes in Essex with 11,000 of them being built in the Epping Forest District. Mr Watts questioned the need for such large scale development and the proposal to build 80% of them on Green Field sites. In this area Thornwood could merge with North Weald, where an additional 6,000 homes are proposed, without the necessary infrastructure. This would impact on Theydon Bois in terms of increased traffic and commuters using Theydon Bois station. Details of how to respond to the Consultation were available at the rear of the Hall.
59.5 Cllr Eaton proposed that the Parish Council and the Rural Preservation Society liaised in preparing their responses to the Plan.
60. Youth Initiatives
60.1 Cllr Padfield reported on a number of meetings which had been held concerning provision for youth in the Village. Separate meetings had taken place with Mrs Bonds, head teacher at Theydon Bois Primary School, youth leaders such as the churches, scouts, guides and sports organisers, the Village Association and youngsters and their parents from the Village.
60.2 The Parish Council had been criticised for not doing enough to provide for the 11-16 year old age group. A youth audit was carried out but the response had been disappointing. Some of the facilities requested would not be feasible for the Parish Council to provide.
60.3 As a result, it is proposed that a hard play area would be the best compromise and would be for general community use as well as for the teenagers. Cllr Padfield displayed a picture of the proposed scheme to those present. The area will be 20m x 12m with 3m high fencing. Also proposed is a youth shelter and small 10m x 6m area for skateboarding adjacent, together with sympathetic landscaping.
60.4 A number of sites had been discussed and discounted as unsuitable. The Youth Centre had been discussed at length and it was felt that with the pending pubic enquiry the dispute over the site may be lengthy, and in any event the outcome was uncertain. Even if the Youth Club were to be retained for community use it could be expensive to run. It was therefore felt that the only remaining option was on the site of the disused public conveniences on the Green.
60.5 Cllr Padfield emphasised that it would be necessary for the village as a whole to support the idea in order for it to proceed and wider consultation with the community would need to take place. Approval from the Corporation of London would be necessary to utilise the site.
60.6 Cllr Gooch raised concerns that such a facility would change the character of the Green and questioned the need for such a high cost provision, given the number of teenagers being catered for. He also stated that should a grant be received from EFDC for this facility now and the Youth Club became available to the Parish Council at a later date, it would be at a disadvantage having already received funding for a large youth project in the Village.
60.7 Cllrs Gooch, Jones and Oliver felt that to apply for planning permission at this stage was premature and greater consultation should take place before a resolution was passed.
60.8 Cllr Hannibal stated that with the decision on the Youth Centre likely to be a long way off, the absence of any other suitable proposals, and the limited period to receive funding from EFDC it would be appropriate to apply for planning permission now and would provide the opportunity to test public opinion. Even if planning permission was obtained, it would not necessarily mean that the project would go ahead.
60.9 Cllr Hammond stated that there had been a number of objections when the Playground at Theydon was created and after a settling in period it had proved to be a great success.
60.10 Cllr Oliver was concerned that the site may attract youngsters from outside the Village which could cause conflict.
60.11 Cllr Glozier reported that a similar facility at Chigwell Row was well used and considered a village asset by Chigwell Parish Council, despite initial objections.
60.12 Cllr Padfield advised that the Parish Council would have to reassure the Corporation of London that it would accept full responsibility for the facility and that it would be properly managed. It may be necessary to install CCTV equipment. The police had been consulted regarding the location of the site and it had met with their approval.
60.13 As EFDC could provide up to £35,000 towards the project, but only for a limited period, Cllr Padfield stated that it was therefore important that planning permission was sought at this stage to move the project forward. An article would appear in the March edition of the Village News seeking feedback from residents.
Resolved: The Parish Council will apply to EFDC for planning permission for a hard play area and associated facilities on the site of the Public conveniences on the Green. The application will be made on the current draft plan, subject to any amendments made by the Corporation of London.
Proposed: Cllr Padfield Seconded: Cllr Hammond
Those in favour: 8 Those against: 1
61. Highways & Environment
61.1 Cllr Glozier read a report by Cllr Purkiss. Highways department at EFDC is moving to Dunmow. Redundant street furniture has been removed and correction of leaning highway signs undertaken. Several new street name signs have been ordered. A number of outstanding items relating to highways have been addressed.
61.2 Tesco have installed a yellow newspaper returns box on the flank wall and also installed CCTV which is downloadable to DVD.
61.3 A Pylon has been installed at the Cricket field ready for the CCTV equipment, which will also overlook part of the allotments. Clearance of the perimeter of the allotments is still ongoing and a gate between the cricket field and the allotments has been closed off.
62. Community Transport Scheme
62.1 Cllr Glozier reported that since the scheme began in November it had been poorly attended and no-one at all from Theydon Bois had used it. It had been agreed that more publicity was required and it was stressed that the route could be flexible. The Parish Council has joined the Scheme for a trial period of two years.
63. Reports from Representatives
Cllr Glozier reported that the system was now linked up via broadband and could be controlled from the Village Hall. This was a big step in practical terms and it would be easier for the police to obtain footage.
63.2 Village News
Cllr Oliver requested that articles be submitted for the March edition. Deadline for copy is 28th February.
64. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.
The following topics were raised by the Public:
1. Several residents of Green View expressed their anger at the possibility of having a hard play area built on the site of the current toilet block. Concern was also expressed regarding the nuisance it might cause to the residents of Elm Court.
2. Residents who live in Green View nearest the public conveniences complained that gangs were already 'mooning' at them and relieving themselves at the back of the toilets. Cllr Eaton stated that the police would be contacted regarding this particular matter.
3. A number of issues were raised regarding the proposed hard play area. Concerns included security, policing, vandalism and the possibility of drawing in youngsters from outside the Village.
4. A number of those present felt that the site was inappropriate for this type of facility.
5. Jane Turner advised that 20 new verge trees had been planted, 8 of which were memorial trees. Unfortunately, 2 trees which were to have been planted on the Cricket field did not go ahead as planned and she requested a meeting with Cllr Gooch in order to establish if trees could be planted there in the future.
6. Paul Argent raised some highways issues relating to the proposed cemetery in Loughton Lane, next to Davenant Foundation School.