Minutes of the Sarratt Parish Annual Statutory Council meeting held in
Sarratt Village Hall on Wednesday 19 May 2021
Present: Councillor Sarah Dobson
Councillor Peter Thorp
Councillor John Rugg
Councillor Nick Mortimer
Councillor Simon Diggins (joined the meeting at 8.35pm)
In attendance: District Councillor Alex Hayward
3 members of the public
Start time 7.35pm
108/21 APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR
Cllr Dobson was appointed as Chair, proposed by Cllr Rugg and seconded by Cllr Thorp.
109/21 DECLARATION OF OFFICE OF ACCEPTANCE
The formal declaration of office will be provided to the Clerk on her return.
110/21 APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR
Cllr Rugg was appointed as Vice Chair, proposed Cllr Thorp and seconded by Cllr Mortimer.
111/21 APOLOGIES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cllr John Gell and Caroline Owen, Parish Clerk.
112/22 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
113/21 TO APPOVE DEFERRAL OF THE FOLLOWING TO THE SPC MEETING IN JUNE 2021
• Appointment of Lead and Deputy Members of Working Groups
• Appointment of Representatives to Other Bodies
Proposed by Cllr Mortimer and seconded by Cllr Thorpe.
114/21 TO APPROVAL DEFERRAL OF THE FOLLOWING TO THE SPC MEETING IN JUNE 2021
• Review of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations
• Review of other SPC Policies as required for the Annual Statutory Meeting.
Proposed by Cllr Rugg and seconded by Cllr Thorp.
115/21 CO-OPTION OF NEW COUNCILLORS.
Between 8pm and 9pm four candidates individually and separately provided a ten-minute presentation on their reasons for wishing to join Sarratt Parish Council and outlined the benefits they felt they could bring to the role of Parish Councillor.
The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 13 April 2021 were approved by Cllr Thorp and seconded by Cllr Mortimer.
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 27 April 2021 were approved by Cllr Rugg and seconded by Cllr Mortimer.
117/21 TO RECEIVE REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES WHO HAVE ATTENDED MEETINGS ON BEHALF OF THE COUNCIL.
Cllr Rugg had attended a virtual presentation where Julie Grieves Head of Sustainability for Herts County Council (HCC) provided an introduction and overview of the County Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy and as previously agreed had circulated to all SPC Councillors and the Clerk a copy the key areas she addressed and a synopsis of the subsequent Q&A session. Julie Grieves has been invited to attend a Public meeting in Sarratt to outline the strategy to a wider public audience including the Sarratt Sustainability Group.
Cllr Dobson & Cllr Rugg attended a site meeting in Bragmans Lane with Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety for the British Horse Society who undertook a risk assessment of the suggested site for a 20-metre telecommunication mast and associated equipment. Local concerns had been raised that this would remove a verge extensively used by riders and horses as a refuge to avoid fast moving traffic. His report will be emailed to the Parish Council for forwarding to the Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) Planning Officer dealing with the application.
118/21 LEAD COUNCILLORS REPORT
Cllr Mortimer reported the following to Council:
• Responded to the report of a tree by Sarratt School dropping branches into the playground. After an inspection an email about the findings of the tree being safe was sent to the School.
• Fence by the rear of the duck pond falling down – email sent to Sarratt School as it’s their fence
• Loose bolt on new play equipment – tightened by Andrew Whitewood. The installation will be monitored for any future problems and if required contact will be made with the installation fitters.
• Netting on new play equipment upside down – equipment installation fitters attended and rectified. No new incidents since that SPC is aware of.
• The gates of KGV had to be locked for three days due to a local issue – now open again.
• Fallen branches on footpath in Dawes Lane – removed
• Road sign in Dimmocks Lane facing the wrong way – turned back and secured.
• Chased outstanding invoices from Contractors for tree works.
• Issue with Plot 18 on Allotments – issue resolved.
• Litter picking group went out for the first time since the last lockdown - approx 2 bags picked up.
• Camping in Commonwood Dell continues, signs of drinking but no damage. SPC is not sure who is responsible but is monitoring the situation.
• On Monday, the new duck house was launched with the assistance of the Explorer Scouts. Thanks were given for the donations from local members of the RSPB. The original semi-submerged house was inspected and as there was no sign of occupancy it was removed and taken away by our contractor Andrew Whitewood. An article has been prepared for Spotlight. The opportunity was taken to clear some of the nettles and pond edge growth, and it was agreed the new duck house should be treated with preservative at the end of the nesting season probably at the same time as the Autumn pond maintenance takes place.
119/21 WOODLAND MANAGEMENT
Cllr Rugg provided an update on progress of the draft 10-year management plan. Following successful woodland walks with the Wildlife Volunteers, Sustainable Sarratt members and Councillors, feedback was provided on the initial draft plan. Their suggestions are being assessed by Richard Young of HCC for incorporation into the next draft of the plan that should be available during the first week in June.
Following the very recent announcement to consider tree planting to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee a suggestion was made by Cllrs’ Rugg and Mortimer that it might be worth SPC exploring if a landowner or an existing small wood owner might be willing to donate or provide land to the Parish on a long lease for such tree planting. The project is currently being coordinated across the county by the HCC Countryside Management team with trees to be donated free of charge possibly by the Woodlands Trust.
TRDC are undertaking a survey of all the woodlands on land they own in the District and have responsibility to manage. TRDC do not own or manage any woodlands in Sarratt Parish. At the formation of Three Rivers District in the mid 1970’s, Sarratt Woodlands managed by SPC remained under the ownership of the Parish Council with the exception of Whippendell Woods that were transferred from Watford Rural District Council to Watford Borough Council. TRDC also plan to assess if and how woodlands in private ownership within the District are managed and possibly improved. This may involve privately owned woodlands within Sarratt which is estimated to represent 60% of the 380 hectares of small woodlands cover within the Parish with many designated as Wildlife Sites.
Sarratt Parish & National Strategy for Tree Cover
Sarratt Parish Council has on file an initial draft survey of all the small woodlands showing they represent circa 18.5%. of the total Sarratt Parish land area (excludes non woodland trees). If trees in hedgerows and gardens were to be included this is likely to provide at least 19% of tree cover.
In terms of a national strategy for tree cover the Government's climate change advisers have set a target of 17-19% woodland cover as a key part of the UK's actions to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This was reinforced by the Woodland Trust 2020 Emergency Tree Plan supporting an increase in UK woodland cover from its current 13% of land area to 19% by 2050 to tackle the country’s biodiversity and climate crises.
Cllr Hayward asked if SPC had seen the recent correspondence from TRDC regarding the emptying of litter bins. Cllr Dobson advised she had not seen anything but would look into it.
A proposal had been received by email from a resident at the north end of the Green suggesting renovation of the local pond by installing a clay liner. As this pond is part of a designated wildlife area managed by the Wildlife Volunteers it has been suggested that the resident initially contacts the Wildlife Volunteer leaders to assess the viability of the proposal.
POLICY & RESOURCES
120/21 LEAD COUNCILLORS REPORT
Cllr Thorp confirmed the Clerk continues to work from home and was absent from tonight’s meeting having already booked a family holiday prior to the change in the scheduled date for the SPC May meeting.
121/21 APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS
Approval of payments to the sum of £2,396.18 (all internet banking transactions) was proposed by Cllr Mortimer, seconded by Cllr Rugg.
122/21 TO APPROVE THE SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS FOR 21/22
Approval of the schedule of SPC meetings for 21/22 was proposed by Cllr Thorp and seconded by Cllr Rugg. It was noted that this may change if needed due to COVID guidelines/restrictions. Copies of the schedule will be placed on the SPC notice board and website.
123/21 LEAD COUNCILLORS REPORT
In the absence of a Lead and Deputy Councillor for planning following the resignations of Cllr Soothill and Rees, Cllrs Dobson and Rugg had reviewed the planning applications for the month ahead of the meeting and these were presented to Council for consideration:
124/21 TO COMMENT ON PLANNING APPLICATIONS
30 Church Lane Sarratt WD3 6HL: 21/0996/CLPD
Certificate of Lawfulness Proposed Development: Single storey rear extension
28 Church Lane Sarratt WD3 6HL: 21/0978/CLPD
Certificate of Lawfulness Proposed Development: Single storey rear extension
38 Dawes Lane Sarratt WD3 6BB: 21/0973/FUL
Single storey rear extension
Recommendation: No objection. However, whilst SPC does not have strong grounds for objection given the proposed extension does not exceed 6m in depth nor the width of the existing property, it does have a concern that this is a significant extension to the footprint of the original dwelling and therefore would suggest this is overdevelopment of the site.
York House School Sarratt Road Croxley Green WD3 4LW: 21/0882/LBC
Listed Building Consent: Replacement of sash windows to main building and restoration / implementation of original windows
York House School Sarratt Road Croxley Green Rickmansworth Hertfordshire WD3 4LW: 21/0935/LBC
Variation of Conditions 2 (Plans) and 3 (Renewable Energy) pursuant to Listed Building Consent 18/1070/LBC: (Listed Building Consent: Partial demolition, part redevelopment together with single-storey extension and a two-storey extension to the rear of the Listed Building, parking provision and associated landscaping) to amend roof levels and fenestration details and to allow details to be submitted in relation to each phase.
York House School Sarratt Road Croxley Green WD3 4LW: 21/0726/FUL
Variation of Conditions 2 (Plans), 7 (Archaeology), 11 (Sustainable Drainage), 14 (Parking and Turning) and 16 (Hard and Soft Landscaping) pursuant to planning permission 20/1022/FUL: (Variation of Condition 12 (Energy Statement) of planning permission 18/1069/FUL (Partial demolition, part redevelopment together with single-storey extension and a two-storey extension to the rear of the Listed Building, parking provision and associated landscaping) to vary Energy Statement and include phasing if required), to amend roof levels, fenestration details and hard and soft landscaping and to allow details to be submitted in relation to each phase.
Recommendation: No objection
The Orchard The Green Sarratt WD3 6AT: 21/0983/FUL
Enclosure of existing brick-built columns to form extension and replacement of a glass roof with slate.
Recommendation: Objection. SPC objects to this application to enclose what is effectively an open-air pergola with brick walls and replace the glass roof with a slate roof, and so making an open air terrace an additional room attached to the house. SPC objects on the grounds that this is therefore overdevelopment of a property in the Conservation Area that has already been extended.
Land North Of Callipers Hall Bucks Hill Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 9BP: 21/0894/FUL
Creation of a wildlife lake, associated landscaping and wild planting and the installation of a domestic solar array
Recommendation: No objection
Christmas Tree Farm Deadmans Ash Lane Sarratt Hertfordshire: 21/0850/PIP
Permission in Principle: Change of use to residential and construction of two single storey houses with associated residential curtilages.
Recommendation: Objection. Sarratt Parish Council (SPC) strongly objects to the PIP application for the establishment of 2 new dwelling houses in the green belt which therefore constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt. Furthermore, as planning permission for change of use from agricultural to residential was granted in 2015 (following an appeal) the site does not appear to meet the requirements required for an application using the Permission in Principle approach, which states no prior change of use from agricultural use. SPC respectfully request that this is called into Committee if the planning officers are minded to approve.
The Lodge Bay Tree Farm Bucks Hill Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 9AU: 21/0841/FUL
Demolition of existing residential annexe and associated stables and equestrian buildings and the erection of a two storey detached dwelling.
Recommendation: No Objection to the plans for a single dwelling and associated land as defined by the boundary of the drive on the application as this is in keeping with the density of other local residential properties.
Bucks Hill Farm Bucks Hill Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 9AP: 21/0788/FUL
Erection of 18m high telecommunications pole with new concrete base and associated ancillary works including cabinets and fencing
Recommendation: No objection
Brackenhurst The Common Chipperfield WD4 9BZ: 21/0656/CLPD
Certificate of Lawfulness Proposed Development: Construction of outdoor swimming pool
Note: Already covered in April SPC to which SPC had no objection
The Mulberry Bush Farm Dawes Lane Sarratt WD3 6BQ: 21/1139/FUL
Removal of Conditions 11 (Agricultural Occupation) of planning permission 17/2169/FUL
Recommendation: Objection. Sarratt Parish Council (SPC) strongly objects to this application. Agricultural use and the associated occupation was a key tenet of the original application 17/2169/FUL for the dwelling, and its subsequent approval. SPC is aware from recent correspondence with the owner of The Mulberry Bush, and a recent site visit by the TRDC Case Officer, that the owner contends that the farm is moving towards horticulture and viniculture which he states are both valid forms of agriculture. As such there are no grounds for the removal of Conditions 11 (Agricultural Occupation) and application 21/1139/FUL should be refused. SPC respectfully request that this is called into Committee if the planning officers are minded to approve.
Pre-Planning Application for KGV Pavilion variation of existing planning restriction on use.
Following an outline of the application, it was resolved that Councillors had no objection to the request to extend the hours of use for the pavilion to 23:00, and it’s use for events/activities other than those linked to the sporting activities at KGV, both for a limited number of times a year. It was recognised by Councillors that the sports clubs would like to be able to have a facility on site to offer alcoholic drinks after a match, or when hosting the viewing of a major event e.g. the World Cup / Wimbledon, and that it would also make the pavilion more attractive to be used for other events. However, concerns were raised by several Councillors that the sale / consumption of alcohol on the premises, could effectively turn the pavilion into another pub in the Village. It was therefore resolved that if a License is applied for to permit the sale and consumption of alcohol on the premises, restrictions should be applied as to when, and the times during which, alcohol can be served in order to mitigate the concern above, whilst still meeting the future vision for the use of the pavilion. It was resolved that the Chair would contact the applicant to outline the comments and views of SPC.
125/21 TO NOTE KEY PLANNING DECISIONS.
The Mulberry Bush Farm Dawes Lane Sarratt Rickmansworth Hertfordshire WD3 6BQ: 21/0507/PDF
Prior Notification: Change of use of agricultural buildings to a flexible commercial use Class C1 hotel / holiday accommodation
SPC decision: Objection
TRDC decision: Withdrawn by applicant
Land Known As The Puffing Field Adjoining Brackenhurst Windmill Hill Chipperfield WD4 9DG: 21/0282/FUL
Demolition of existing structures and construction of two storey detached self-build residential dwelling with associated curtilage
SPC decision: Objection
TRDC decision: Refused
Telecommunications Mast Grass Verge On Bragmans Lane. Application No: 21/0752/PDNT
SPC decision: Objection
TRDC decision: Refused
126/21 KEY ENFORCEMENTS FOR MARCH AND APRIL 2021
20/0171/COMP: Fir Trees, Dawes Lane, Sarratt - New access and erection of gates (David Heighton)
The LPA consider that the soil embankment and hedgerow are reinstated and the gates and fencing removed as the works required planning permission. The TRDC Enforcement Officer has a meeting with the Planning Solicitor to discuss this matter next week.
21/0047/COMP: New Model Farm, Sarratt Road, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth - Barn conversion to offices (David Heighton)
Site visit required.
21/0073/COMP: Watercress Farm, Moor Lane, Sarratt - Material change of use: New takeaway/café
Owner made aware that planning permission is required. Timescale provided for submission.
127/21 LEAD COUNCILLORS REPORT
Cllr Diggins provided an update on the forthcoming planned roadworks, closures and diversions and outlined his reminders to HCC Highways on several issues that SPC had raised with them.
Planned Road Closures: Sarratt Road, near to Croxley Green will be closed for maintenance from 1-5 June inclusive, on a 24-hour basis. Significant disruption is expected. The Chair noted that HCC were now scheduling roadworks on Sarratt Road when York House School was closed for the school holidays.
Road Improvements. Cllr Diggins has contacted HCC Highways, requesting an update on the following identified road improvements, promised for the first half of current year 21/22:
• Church Lane, Sarratt/North Rd, Chorleywood: dangerous and inappropriate use by heavy goods’ vehicles. The proposal also supported by County Councillor Williams, was initially to improve signage (advisory at this stage); then examine what could be done digitally (SatNav advisories) and examine what other options might be possible: Is a ban/formal restriction 'less access', possible? It was resolved that the Clerk should maintain contact with the adjoining Chorleywood Parish Council as concerns had also been raised by their residents on this issue.
• Red Lion Lane, Sarratt: to prevent inappropriate use by HGVs, on a very narrow road. Can signage be improved; what other options exist?
• Coltspring Stables Corner. There was another bad accident on Sarratt Road by Coltspring Stables on 14 May, blocking the road and necessitating the Police be called. This is the third major incident in six months. Cllr Diggins has highlighted to HCC that the owner of the Stables has had to rebuild her front entrance twice in that time. On this occasion, a speeding car came off the road and into a ditch. The bend is dangerous, from both directions, and it is the opinion of the Council that urgent consideration is given to revised speed restrictions in place for the corner (ideally for the entire road). Cllr Diggins supported by the Council is concerned that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed on this corner. He has asked for a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to be considered to permanently reduce the speed and, as an interim measure, additional signage is installed now to warn drivers.
A grant application has now been submitted for funding under the Hertfordshire Police Commissioner’s Cycle Safe Scheme.
128/21 KGV ALIVE
Cllr Thorp reported the community consultation process on the upgrade to the play areas of KGV to include new facilities including a skateboard area was successful with over 230 responses. These are now being analysed by the project team. The next stage in the process is a public meeting provisionally scheduled for Friday 11 June in the Village Hall. Details to be publicised through Spotlight, appropriate websites and a leaflet drop to Sarratt households.
129/21 VE DAY AND VJ DAY COMMEMORATION
Cllr Diggins updated Council on progress:
• VE & VJ Day Commemorative Plantings - To plant two oaks, on the Village Green, in proximity to the War Memorial. Because of Covid-19 uncertainty, and the optimal planting season Cllr Diggins suggested this could be linked to this year’s Remembrance Day.
• Individual Tree Plantings - Linked to the Commonwood improvement plan, trees to be planted (in the most appropriate place) with a tree for each Sarratt casualty in WWI & II. Plan to be developed further but to involve young people from the village at the time of planting to align with the evolving 10-year Woodland Management Plan.
• Remembrance and Reflection Garden - Cllr Diggins will liaise with Sarratt School and bring a more detailed proposal to the next meeting on the proposal to establish a Remembrance and Reflection Garden on the Village Green, adjacent to the School entrance. The garden will celebrate the ‘fruits of peace’ and allow reflection not just on the casualties of war but also more recent tragedies, including those who have lost their lives and/or suffered from Covid-19.
A request had been received from the Tea Shack Company based in Maple Cross to operate a mobile vehicle to provide a similar facility in Sarratt. It was noted the only land managed by the Council in the centre of the village is the Green and that SPC policy only provides for the use of the Green for one off events such as the May Fair and Boxing Day Car show etc as these do not interfere with, or restrict, the general recreational use of the Green. SPC as the landowner is not able to rent out space on the Green on a permanent basis and it was resolve that the Chair would contact the company to outline the SPC policy.
The organiser of the Sarratt Arts Fair taking place Thursday to Sunday between 12 and 27 June has requested permission to erect signs directing people and traffic to the event and for the signs to be removed during the week. It was resolved that permission will be granted.
The organisers of the May Fair have asked SPC to send them the contract for this year’s Fair on the Green. This will cover the period 7-14 June 2021, including both the opening period of 10-13 June and set-up take-down days.
131/21 PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
No public questions
132/21 COUNCILLORS QUESTIONS & COMMENTS
No questions or comments from Councillors
133/21 DATE OF NEXT MEETING AND ITEMS REQUESTED TO BE PUT ON NEXT AGENDA
The date of the next meeting will be Wednesday 9 June 2020 in the main hall of the Village Hall.
134/21 PART II
It was resolved by Cllr Thorp and seconded by Cllr Rugg that the Press and Public shall be excluded to due to the confidential nature of the business under Section 1 Sub Section (2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meeting) Act 1960 from any items on the Agenda which are deemed to relate to exempt information
135/21 ELECTION OF COUNCILLORS
The scores from the assessment process for the 4 candidates who applied for the Councillor vacancies were analysed in order to make objective, evidence based decisions.
The Chair would telephone each candidate before the end of the week to advise them of the outcome of the selection process.
Meeting closed at 10:40pm