Minutes of a meeting of foxton parish council

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HELD ON MONDAY, 1st DECEMBER 2014 AT 7.45 p.m.

PRESENT Dr Oakley, Dr Grindley, Mr Bore, Mr Barnes, Mr Elliott, Mr McCreery, Mrs Macintyre, Mrs McFadzean and Mr Sutton

County Councillor Susan van de Ven

District Councillor Deborah Roberts

IN ATTENDANCE 4 members of the public

Dr Oakley welcomed all to the meeting.

declarations of interest

Mrs Macintyre declared an interest in respect of the large-scale development proposed for land off Shepreth Road.

minutes of the previous meeting

As no amendments were needed, Dr Oakley proposed that the Minutes of the previous Meeting, held on Monday, 3rd November be signed as a true record. All were agreed.

MAtters arIsing from the minutes

All actions arising from the previous meeting had been completed, although the documentation needed for the project to extend Foxton’s conservation area was not yet ready.

Telephone Kiosk

Dr Oakley said that Foxton Parish Council (FPC) would pay half the costs entailed in resiting the kiosk; he had received a donation of £100 plus promises of further donations. A donation was being considered by Foxton Gardens Association.


Dr Oakley reported as follows:

1. Public Meeting

A public meeting was held on November the 17th in the Village Hall meeting room. The meeting was attended by seven parish councillors, Foxton’s district and county councillors and upwards of 150 members of the public. The feeling of the public was overwhelmingly against the proposed development with the main concerns being, in general terms, insufficient infrastructure within the village and beyond to cope, the destruction of the village character and access to the A10.

2. Referendum

Dr Oakley said that the results from the referendum had been posted on the council’s website and the notice board as well as the shop door so that, hopefully, all would have seen that around 50% of households responded to the questionnaire with 92% against the proposal and 8% for. Most responders (79%) had included comments. As at the public meeting, those against gave as their main reason the adverse effect of the development on infrastructure/lack of sustainability (78%) and loss of village character (13%). Interestingly, of those in favour most (84%) responded Yes, BUT, with the "buts" being exactly the same concerns i.e. infrastructure, A10 access etc, as those who voted against the proposal!

The results from the Referendum and the comments from the public meeting gave the parish council a clear mandate to oppose the proposed development.

3. Meeting with Planners

Representatives of the parish council, and the council’s planning consultant, Philip Kratz, had met with John Koch of South Cambridgeshire Planning Department the day after the public meeting. As this was before an official planning application had been received no specifics were mentioned, but it did allow the opportunity to express the resident’s concerns, get clearer views on the current status of the district council’s Local Plan and the time-frames involved in the process. Dr Oakley said that, as the meeting had already been reported via postings on the notice board and website, he would only give a brief summary at the present meeting. SCDC’s Local Plan was presently being examined, with this process due to finish next Spring. At this time it would be established if, indeed, South Cambridgeshire could show a sufficient supply of housing going forwards or not. This could be in combination with Cambridge City Council if allowed. He said the outcome of this examination would have a direct effect on whether or not Gladman’s proposal has any prospects of success.

Mrs Roberts said that, two days after the meeting, Gladman had sent three representatives to a meeting at the district council (SCDC). They had been very determined and had covered everything that SCDC would require. The representatives said that Gladman would be reducing the number of houses proposed from 140 to 95 and would provide a cycle path to the station.

Mrs Roberts had since asked officers to let her know when the number of houses proposed had been confirmed at 95. Paul Sexton (SCDC Planning) had informed her that day that the application had been submitted, although he had not yet had sight of it, and said he would confirm the number the next day.

Mrs Roberts warned that, now the application was in, the “13-week clock” during which SCDC officers would formulate their recommendations had started ticking. There would be a 28-day consultation (rather than the usual 21 days).

Mrs Roberts said that SCDC had asked for an earlier decision on its Local Plan from the Inspectorate.

Dr Grindley said he had attended a meeting at South Cambridgeshire Hall and asked questions about general issues relating to the Local Plan. His understanding was that, until the new plan was adopted, any planning decisions should be made in compliance with the old plan. He expressed the view that problems with land supply were a poor justification for the flood of applications presently being experienced. However, SCDC officers were reluctant to adhere to the old policies whilst the problem with land supply remained unresolved. Dr Grindley said he would urge SCDC to seek counsel’s opinion on this matter.

Mrs Roberts said that counsel’s opinion had been sought regarding Waterbeach and this had been negative.

Dr van de Ven commented on the pressures for development at Melbourn.

4. Parish Council Actions

Dr Oakley said that when the planning application came in it would be known exactly what the village was up against. The main thrust would be that the village infrastructure could not possibly cope with a development of this size and the council would gather its own evidence to back this up. This process was underway and photographic evidence of the traffic problems that already exist in the village was being collected now and enquiries were being made of local services (doctors, dentists, schools etc) as to how they could cope with the proposed increase in population this development would cause, especially on top of those proposed in Barrington and Melbourn.

Dr Oakley said that now that Gladman Developments had recently received some adverse press publicity, the council had thought it expedient to let our local MP, Andrew Lansley, know that a village in his constituency has become a victim of their opportunism and ask for any help he can give us. His reply was awaited.

Finally, Dr Oakley said that, as sometimes happens in these cases, when it comes to the actual planning application, the number of houses proposed by the developer is reduced. This is meant to make residents feel more well disposed to what would still be an unacceptable level of development and there was some indication that Gladman might indeed do this. However, he said the Parish Council would still hold the view that any development on this Greenfield site outside the village envelope would be totally unacceptable.

infrastructure report

Dr Oakley reported as follows:

1. Roads

Mud on Fowlmere Road caused by Thriplow Farms transporting sugar beet had caused problems for all users of the eastern exit and entrance to the village. Not only had the amount of mud been excessive, as the farmer did not clean the wheels before accessing the road, but also, by going onto the verge they had destroyed the drainage points. This was totally unacceptable and County Council officers had been made aware via an email sent to Dr van de Ven.

Even though some potholes had been earmarked for repair there were still roads in the village that were very poor, especially Caxton Lane. Cambridgeshire County Council would be informed.

Dr Oakley said that he had received correspondence from the residents of Hoffers Brook Farm complaining that it is extremely dangerous exiting their property onto the A10. He had shared this information with Dr van de Ven and they both thought that a reduction in speed limit from 60 to 50mph might help in this situation.

Many people were complaining about the development at Church View, which was causing serious traffic problems in the High Street due to contractors' parked vehicles. It had been suggested that those who don’t need ready access to their vehicles could park in the council’s gravel car park. It was agreed to write to the site manager about this problem.

Mr Barnes complained about the state of the footway on both sides of the road by Hill Farm

2. Rail

There was nothing to report on this topic at the present meeting.

Dr van de Ven said she was waiting to be contacted by Network Rail. The next meeting of the Rail Users Group would be held on 10th December.

3. Street lighting

Dr Oakley said that most streetlights, especially those on the through routes were now up and running. One complaint about the removal of a streetlight in Illingworth Way had been received and Balfour Beatty had looked into this and supported the decision to remove it. He said that, if anyone did have problems with excessive light shining into bedrooms etc, they should contact Balfour Beatty who would be able to use fitments to reduce this light and added that the lights might well be turned off or dimmed at night soon in any case.

The question of making good after the groundworks associated with the new lighting had been completed was raised. Mr Sutton said he would contact Balfour Beatty and the clerk said she would supply him with the name and e-mail address of he contact with the firm

reports from the working parties


Mr McCreery reported as follows:

Recreation Ground

Mr Salmons had now carried out the minor work required in the Play Area following the recent inspection.

The sign for the Bowls Club fence behind the football goals saying “No ball games against the fence” had been ordered and should be delivered next week. The cost would be £44.50 excluding VAT.
Baron’s Lane

There had been two work parties on 16th and 30th November to clear the weeds and ivy from the area adjoining St. Laurence Road. Cambridgeshire County Council had agreed to replanting with some low shrubs and grass seed. The cost of shrubs and seed was estimated to be between £150 and £200. It was agreed to authorise expenditure up to £200.


Mr McCreery said that the defibrillator should be received this month. The cost of the unit had decreased with a further subsidy from the Football Association. However, the estimated cost for installation had increased with the overall cost now estimated to be approximately £960. The Parish Council’s share would now be £480. Mr McCreery said that he would order the cabinet in the next two weeks.


The second stage of the tree work recommended by Kask had now been carried out by Eastern Tree Surgery. The cost was less than the firm’s original estimate as it had been decided to leave two trees for now although some additional work in the area bordering the Recreation Ground had been added.


A donation of £50 has been received. Bag packing at Morrison’s for fund raising was scheduled for 29th November but had unfortunately had to be cancelled due to clashes with football etc. Further fund raising was however planned for early 2015.


Mr Sutton gave details of the Barclays Bank Accounts as follows:

Deposit Account £25,795.48

Current Account £1,565.99

(This included two VAT refunds of £1,265.99 and £247.70)

10-day Notice Account £23,553.64

(This included interest applied 1st December of £19.29)

Mr Sutton proposed the following cheques for payment:

Eastern Tree Surgery (felling trees on Recreation Ground) £1,314.00

D Salmons (Village Warden duties, November plus extra work £221.00

CGM Cambridge Ltd (grass cutting in September and October) £504.00

Foxton Village Hall (hire of Meeting Room 6/10) £15.50

N Oakley (2nd ½ Chairman’s Honorarium) £80.00

Cambridgeshire County Council (Annual rent for Dovecote field)


J E Burns (salary, December plus extra hours for archiving) £369.14

Dr Oakley seconded the proposal and all were agreed that these payments, totalling £2,553.64 should be made and that £1,040 be transferred from the Deposit Account to the Current Account

Payment of the invoice from CCC for street lighting charges had not yet been made, as the amount was still in question.

Mr Sutton said the precept for 2015/16 would need to be approved at the next council meeting on 5th January 2015. He would be seeking councillors’ requests for items for inclusion in the budget for the next financial year in the interim.

Mrs Roberts warned that the figure allowed for the retention of Mr Kratz (in connection with the proposed large scale development off Shepreth Road) might need to be revised.

planning committee report

Dr Grindley said the committee had not met in the past month. Two notifications had been received in respect of 67 Station Road (application S/0234/14/FL, Mr Gary Cannon):

  • A non material amendment (for information only) to change face brick to block and render

  • A letter accepting the amendments

Planning permission granted:

Ms P Chamberlain Application No. S/1904/14/FL for erection of bungalow with dormer windows, porch and garage at 24 Fowlmere Road

Six conditions including ones relating to visibility splays, driveway construction and parking of construction vehicles.

An application for the development of 15 dwellings at Hill Farm had been received and would be considered at the next planning meeting.

Dr Grindley had attended two meetings at South Cambridgeshire Hall, the first on the proposed extension of Foxton’s Conservation Area and the second on the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for Foxton that had been agreed at the previous FPC meeting in November. SCDC has a duty to support such work and Dr Grindley said he had had some useful conversations with SCDC officers.

Funding for a Neighbourhood Plan could cost anything up to £10,000 with a ceiling of £13,000 in grant aid. The usual government grant was £6,000.

Dr Grindley had sought clarification about Foxton’s position in planning matters once the village had a Neighbourhood Plan. The village would be in a much stronger position in consultations about new developments, but the Plan would not be ready in time to have any influence on the present proposal for a large-scale housing development off Shepreth Road.

Dr Grindley had been given a Model Template for Service Agreement between South Cambridgeshire District Council for the purposes of producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

A Neighbourhood Plan would eventually become a statutory document and Dr Grindley said this was a good way to go.

Mr Barnes reported that he had received a visit from Paul Sexton (SCDC Planning Department) with regard to the development at Moores Farm.

county councillor’s report

Dr van de Ven reported as follows:

1. Possible funding for MAYD from train operator

Dr van de Ven said that, following her earlier report to the council about graffiti in the Foxton Station waiting room, she had suggested to Great Northern (GTR), the train operating company, that they might consider providing a grant to the Melbourn Area Youth Development (MAYD) Youth Club. GTR and Groundwork (the Youth Club provider), attended the Community Rail Partnership meeting to discuss ideas. A draft proposal by Groundwork was brought to the table and GTR were very interested in supporting it – GTR would respond to the proposal at the next meeting, in January. The proposal was for a special ten-week filmmaking project on the problem of disabled access at Meldreth Station. This would entail a range of skills and would involve raising awareness of the issue of disability in the community. If the project were to be funded, it would take place in spring 2015, and would supplement MAYD Youth Club evenings.

2. Mud on Fowlmere Road

Dr van de Ven said she had contacted the police who had been to visit the landowner; she had also forwarded Malcolm Bore’s photo and suggestions to County Highways.

3. Community Transport for vulnerable people

Dr van de Ven said that she was proposing a motion about the need for a more joined-up approach to community transport commissioning, given the danger of falling budgets and the viability of community transport schemes

4. Fireworks

Dr van de Ven said she had received complaints of fireworks from a Foxton resident and promised she would bring this to the parish council’s attention.

district councillors’ report

Mrs Roberts said there was not much for her to report besides her input in the earlier agenda item on the update regarding the proposed large-scale development off Shepreth Road.

Mrs Roberts said that SCDC’s own application for affordable houses at Hill Farm had been submitted.

A member of the public had looked at the plans and said there was no mention of a footway or cycle path linking that part of the estate to the village and there seemed to be no internal lighting for the development

The FPC’s Planning Committee would look into these matters at its next meeting.

Dr van de Ven warned that new developments could be missing out on BT’s Broadband upgrade.

police liAison report

Mr Barnes said he had nothing to report.

recreation ground trust report

Mr Bore was assessing problems with the showers in the Sports Pavilion.

Mr Sutton said that the Trust’s accounts to 31st March 2014 had been signed off that day.


The clerk summarised the correspondence received since the last meeting:

1) Letter from npower dated 5th November re changes to auto renewal contracts.

2) Letter dated December 2014 from SCDC re Christmas waste and recycling collections: enclosing posters.

3) Various e-mails from CAPALC and others.

4) Cambridgeshire Community Services magazine “Keeping in Touch” for Autumn 2014.

5) Publicity material from Norse (landscaping and fencing services.

visitors’ questions

Mr Howard said that there was still a lot of rubbish in the wooded area of the Play Area to the rear of Illingworth Way houses and the pile of logs was still there.

The logs had been left so that residents could help themselves.

Mr Howard also complained of the number of cars parking on pavements in the village.

It was agreed that this was a problem and that cars parked on pavements should always leave enough room for wheelchairs and buggies to get past.

Mrs Ilott asked about the time-scale for a second referendum on the proposal for a large-scale housing development off Shepreth Road.

This would be carried out as soon as practicable.

any other business

Mrs Roberts congratulated the council on the letter that had been sent to Andrew Lansley MP regarding the proposed large-scale development off Shepreth Road

Mrs McFadzean said that MAYD (Melbourn Area Youth Development) had held a meeting last week and members of the group had met Martin Goddard from Groundworks who had been appointed to run the club together with 13 members of the youth club. The club currently had 21 registered members with 9 coming from Melbourn, 7 from nearby villages and a further 5 from Royston and other villages. Mrs McFadzean said that MAYD would probably need to increase the annual contribution from participating parishes that was needed to run the club.

date and time of next meeting

It was confirmed that this would be held on Monday, 5th January 20135 at 7.45pm in the Village Hall Meeting Room.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.25pm.

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