Minutes – Parish Council Meeting – 20 September 2017






HELD ON THE 20th September, 2017   


PRESENT:  Mrs R Wood (in the Chair), Mrs L Harris, Mrs C Beddoe, Mr R Brunner, Mr J Blackman and Mr R Trapp


In attendance were approx. 30 members of the public.


  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Mrs K Long and the clerk.


  1. DECLARATION OF INTEREST – there was none.


  1. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26th July, 2017 – the Minutes were accepted as an accurate record and were so acknowledged by the signature of the Chairman.




  • Portfolio Holders’ Reports

Mr Brunner (Play Area):  reported that the work has now been completed and the area has passed the annual safety inspection.  The inspection for next year has already been booked.

Mr Trapp (Village Design Statement and Village Plan): advised that Rebecca Jones has joined the Steering Committee as Chair.  The committee has met several times. They have approached Otford Parish Council as they have recently updated their Village Design Statement and Village Plan.  The committee will be approaching Rural Kent as a possible source of funding.  A leaflet will be produced to gather the views of local residents.  Mr Trapp also reported that he met with Hamilton Wood (village webmaster) to discuss a new website.  The new website could be used to gather villager’s ideas for the Village Design Statement.

Mrs Harris (Traffic Surveys): advised that Councillor Peter Lake has been contacted to see if he can advance our request for the traffic surveys to be repeated.

Mr Blackman (Recreation Ground etc.): reported that discussions have taken place with the landowner, the land needed to create parking for the Recreation Ground will be offered to the Parish Council for a low-cost rent on a long lease.  The cost of providing a suitable surface for cars is likely to be between £20 – 50,000 depending on the method used.  Sport England have rejected the funding bid so they are still looking for funding.

Mr Blackman (White line): Requested permission to purchase the materials to replace the white line at the end of Wickhurst Road (approx. £70 – £80): granted.

Mrs Beddoe (Defibrillator): no progress has been made, Mrs Wood suggested Mrs Beddoe should contact Kent First Responders for advice and possible funding assistance.


Just as the meeting closed Councillor Peter Lake arrived.  He was updated on matters arising from the meeting and added that following comments.  He has agreed to arrange a meeting with a representative of Highways.  He has some funds available for Highways matters to assist with a repeat traffic survey in Weald.  He also knows of a fund that the Parish Council can apply to for a grant towards the cost of providing parking at the Recreation Ground.



  • Update on 402


The Chair invited member of the public, Jackie Mitchell to report on her meeting with Arriva.  Mrs Mitchell had challenged Arriva’s claim that a bus detouring through Weald Village added 6 minutes to the route.  To prove it she drove met with a representative of Arriva and drove him the route of the bus via the village.  The extra journey time is in fact 2.35 minutes.  Arrive then admitted that their timetables are being reviewed all over Kent as some of the timetables do not accurately reflect the time a journey actually takes.  No news yet on the outcome of the timetable reviews.  In the meantime, KCC has approached Go Coach to discuss the possibility of extending the current service to run a bus both earlier and later in the day to assist commuters to get to and from work.  Go Coach are keen to help if they can.


  • The Methodist Chapel Update

The chair reported that she had spoken to South East Water to establish how a water supply can be provided to the Methodist Chapel, it seems a supply would have to be created from the main road and that any water works need a 3-month consultation period, this would seriously delay the renovation project.  The Chair will go back the company to see if we can find a better solution.


  • Weald Community Shop Update

The Chair invited Mr Walker to give the meeting an update on the Community Shop.  He thanked everybody who had helped him and his wife with the Community Shop so far.  So many villagers have given their support and their time.  Mr Walker also confirmed that with permission from Knole Estates, the shop can operate from a converted shipping container behind the Memorial Hall until May 2018. This is a temporary solution until a more permanent home can be established.


  • Memorial Hall Lease Update

The chair reported that Knole Estates have agreed to offer a 20-year lease.  However, Knole haven’t confirmed whether the Trustees have agreed to other requests made, such as naming the Weald Memorial Hall Committee in the lease. The Chair also reported that the legal fees to establish a lease are less than expected.





The Chair received a request from Martin Weston, to ask the Parish Council to lobby the Highways Authority to ensure that low-noise tarmac is used when roadworks & resurfacing takes place on A21 and other roads around the village.  The Chair confirmed the Parish Council would support this request.








The following new applications have been reviewed by the Parish Council:


SE/17/02599/HOUSE 21 Paiges Farm Close – Demolition of existing conservatory and erection of single story extension and loft conversion. Internal alterations and alterations to fenestration. New covered entertainment area, garage conversion to a games room. New retaining wall and proposed hardstanding.

The Parish Council objected to this application.

The Planning Statement suggests that there is plenty of off street parking in the vicinity of the property.  This this not the case.  There is a real shortage of parking in Paiges Farm Close and the Parish Council objects to the loss of the off-street parking space in front of the garage.

The Parish Council has concerns over the suggesting of parking in front of the property.   This involves reversing onto a main road which is currently experiencing problems with speeding traffic and where nearby large number of children wait in the morning to catch their buses to school.

The Parish Council also object to the inclusion of large dormer windows both at the front and back of the property as it has an overbearing appearance on the street scene and being high in relation to the adjoining properties will create a loss of privacy to neighbouring properties.  The development will also add considerable bulk to the roof of the property.


SE/17/02859/HOUSE –Ivy Lodge, Wickhurst Road –Single story extension with subterranean basement.

The Parish Council objected to this Application.

The Parish Council considers that attention should be paid to the planning history of this site.

The property was part of the original curtilage of Clover Cottage, now sub divided. Clover Cottage when built was originally 96 sq m.   It is now 242 sq m plus a basement. Ivy Cottage has been developed from the garage of Clover Cottage which has already been developed in excess of the 50% limit and further extensions to the buildings in the original curtilage will cause damage to the openness of the Green Belt contrary to Policy GB1.

The original plot that was once occupied by a single storey wood clad bungalow with garage is now a substantial three storey house, a bedroom cottage and a large stable block Further development should be refused to protect the Green Belt.  The cumulative impact of these developments is causing harm to the openness of the Green Belt.

Planning permission for Ivy Lodge was granted strictly on the condition that no extension or external alterations should be carried out to the approved dwelling, despite the provisions of any Development Order, to safeguard the Green Belt.  It also included a condition that no building or enclosure other than that those shown in the approved plans shall be erected within the curtilage of the approved dwelling to safeguard the rural character of the area.  Both these conditions indicate that the Planning Officer felt that any further development would harm the rural nature of the area. The Formal Notice of Decision (dated 9th September, 2016) gave the applicant six months to appeal against this condition of planning. They have not done so.

It should be noted that the planning permission was for the building to be clad in natural red cedar weatherboarding.  The north and east elevations have in fact, according to photographs supplied, been clad in white render making the property far more dominant in the landscape.   It also appears that the roof height and fenestration shown the current application, as existing elevations, vary considerably from the approved plans   Does the applicant intend to apply for retrospective approval for these changes to the approved plans?  The Parish Council asks that these issues be resolved before this new application is considered.

In order to prevent the overbearing appearance and for reasons pf residential amenity the Residentials SPD advocates that rear extensions on detached houses situated close to neighbouring properties should extend no more than four metres from the rear extension.   The proposed extension is five metres in depth.   Flat roofs should also be avoided on prominent and large single storey extensions.  This proposed extension fails both of these provisions.

Any development in the AONB should conserve and enhance the area of natural beauty.  This proposed development with its large flat roof fails this test.



Hilary Allen asked why she hasn’t heard from Knole Estates with regards to permission for a Peace Garden to be created to the rear of the Memorial Hall.  The Chair advised that Knole Trustees had been approached but the Parish Council hasn’t heard from the trustees yet.  The trustees don’t meet very frequently.  Mrs Allen expressed her disappointment as the delay is impacting on the delivery of project in time for the centenary.

Councillor Thornton pointed out that Sevenoaks District Council is reviewing the Design Statement at a district level, they are seeking the views of local people, encouraging them to express their preferences with regard to future developments.  The council is keen to protect Green Belt but is under pressure from government to provide land for homes to be built.  The council would prefer to reuse land from Brown Field sites.  This may mean that some areas of housing would be denser but it would protect the Green Belt. More information can be found on the Sevenoaks District website and in IN Shape magazine.

Mrs Walker expressed concern that the work hasn’t started on the Methodist Chapel.  She suggested that work could commence even though a water supply hasn’t been established yet.

Sue Gidman mentioned that the Weald History Project book will be launched on 15th December in the Memorial Hall, advance copies are available at a reduced price of £13.50.   163 copies have been sold so far.

Angela Horton reported pavement damage outside the Windmill an asked if it could be repaired.

Keren Hull reported that the Sevenoaks Greensand Common Project has arranged a series of walks for local people to meet with project representatives to express their views on the project.



The Chair requested that the December Parish Council meeting be moved to the 20th December to ensure that more councillors would be able to attend.







The Meeting closed at 8.25 p.m.