Minutes of Castor Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday 3rd March, 2022 at 7.30pm in the Cedar Centre
- PRESENT: Neil Boyce (Chairman), Fiona Rowlands (Vice Chairman), Cllr. Richard Anker, Cllr. William Baxter, Cllr. Steve Davies, Cllr. Jane Greene, & Cllr. Dennis Surgeon; Four members of the public were also in attendance.
APOLOGIES – Cllr Shaw had already sent apologies for his absence from this meeting through absence from Peterborough
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS – We unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 6th January, 2022 -. These were duly signed by the chairman.
Proposed Cllr. William Baxter and seconded Cllr. Richard Anker
Matters arising from the previous minutes. – None
Public Forum – The Chairman welcomed Jon Parsons and Steve Barnes who were in attendance to request permission to use metal detectors on parish council land. They gave a short presentation about their approach to metal detecting and some of the finds that they had made at Orton Hall. They are members of the national council for metal detecting; follow the strict code of conduct and carry public liability insurance. The Chairman agreed to move the item up the agenda for councillors to ask questions; following which we were unanimous in our agreement to their request subject to them signing an agreement with the parish council. The agreement to be provided by the clerk and contain a requirement to inform leaseholders prior to detecting on land subject to those tenancies. They agreed to carry the agreement with them at all times, with photo ID, to show they have the parish council permission. They also gave an undertaking to inform Cllr. Baxter when conducting their activities in the parish.
Martin Chillcott indicated an interest in a further three items and the chairman agreed to allow him to speak when each of those items is under discussion later in the meeting
PLANNING and associated matters
Joint Community Action Plan (JCAP) – We unanimously agreed the draft changes supplied by John Hodder as shown as drafted and dated 24th February 2022.
Neighbourhood Planning (NP) – No change from the previously minuted position.
Status report – the Clerk reported no change on the position reported at the previous meeting, except for the addition of the three applications to be considered next on the agenda.
- Planning applications –
- 22/00103/FUL – Land Rear of Ambleside Peterborough Road – erection of detached dwelling including formation of access, integral garaging with annexe over and landscaping. We considered the application and had before us all the material available on the planning portal. We considered that some of the statements in the application were incorrect. The site does not abut the village envelope and is in the open countryside. It is contrary to planning policy LP2, LP24, policy CH2 & LH2 of the adopted Castor Neighbourhood plan. Martin Chillcott added that it was also contrary to Planning policy LP 27. We were therefore unanimous in our opposition to the planning application and asked the clerk to work with Cllr. David Shaw in drafting our letter in opposition. The letter to conclude with a request that it be referred to the Planning & Environmental Protection committee, ONLY in the event that officers were minded to approve the application.
- 22/00196/CTR – 9 Church Hill — A line of purple prunus in very poor condition, including the one at the end which abuts the boundary wall. Only prunus to be removed. Yew to be retained. We again had access to all the material on the planning portal and concluded we had no objection to this application.
- 22/00255/CTR – Castor House, Peterborough Road – Fell Horse Chestnut – We considered the material available with the application and concluded that clearly some action was required and we would support the Tree Officer in whatever decision he makes.
Woodlands – In the absence of Cllr. David Shaw, the chairman reported on a meeting, with Andrew McDermott of Nene Park Trust (NPT) and David Hicks of Country Court Care, at which it was stressed that the parish council had repeatedly requested that a comprehensive master plan of the site be provided. We are aware that planning applications will be made by Nene Park Trust, Country Court Care and the Castor and Ailsworth Tennis Club for their respective plans for the “Woodlands” site. Our view is that each needs to be considered alongside the others for the overall site and that piecemeal consideration could lead to bad planning decisions being reached. We also stressed the need for traffic flow assessments for each of these activities, and for the results to be collated and compared to the estimated traffic flows when the site was first developed for Pearl Assurance.
We therefore asked the clerk to submit a Freedom of Information request to the planning authority for the information regarding those figures related to the planning application by Pearl.
Proposed Cllr Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr Dennis Surgeon
The Clerk had circulated notes of the public meeting held in the village hall on the evening of 22nd February to hear resident’s views on the draft plans published on Nene Park Trust Website, but yet to be submitted to the planning authority. We confirmed that those notes were an accurate reflection of comments made at the meeting and could be forwarded to NPT. Cllr Fiona Rowlands reported that she had since received emails from residents unable to attend the meeting and expressing further views.
- LAND & ALLOTMENTS:
- Local History and Metal Detecting. This matter had been dealt with earlier in the meeting.
- HIGHWAYS – There were no observations made by councillors.
- Community MATTERS –
- Joint Parish Liaison Group (JPLG) – No change from the previous meeting.
- Langdyke Trust – Nature Recovery Plan (NRP) – Fiona Rowlands reported that further information has been supplied by Sarah Lambert. Cllr. Rowlands also reported that the cherry trees sourced by Mike Horne had been planted along the bare fence in Splash Lane. The NRP team will start work turning the Paddocks also in Splash Lane into a nature recovery area in October when the leased land becomes available. Sarah Lambert has submitted a full report on the plans for this site.
- Queens Platinum Jubilee –.
- Commemorative tree on the Village Green – Nothing to add at this time
- Castor in Bloom – Cllr. Jane Greene reported that the planters would be in place and planted up on 30th April
- National “Beacon Lighting” event – Cllr Greene reported that the beacon had been ordered and the invoice paid. The only thing that remained was to purchase the gas.
- Insurance for the events for that weekend. The clerk had approached our insurance brokers for confirmation that the parish council insurance would cover all the events and had received a comprehensive reply. We confirmed that the working group comprising councillors and residents would report to the parish council. The parish council would accept financial responsibility and organisational responsibility for all activities except the street parties which would be beyond our control. We require the working group to produce risk assessments for the events and to produce them to the clerk no later than 14 days prior to each event. The Beacon would be on church land and we were informed that the church would accept responsibility for that aspect of the celebrations.
- Standing Stones –
Visibility and security – Cllr Davies reported that quotations had been obtained and that NJ Pacey would undertake the work at a cost of £285 +Vat. We RESOLVED to award the contract to NJ Pacey and asked the clerk to inform the contractor.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce seconded Cllr. William Baxter
- Water Leak – Cllr. Baxter reported the long discussions with Anglian Water and their assurances, and hence the lack of a satisfactory conclusion. We RESOLVED to approve a budget of £100 to enable Cllr Baxter to take water samples and to have them analysed to determine whether the water was clean or foul and to report back to the parish council.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Dennis Surgeon
- Information Boards – Cllr Baxter informed us that given the information supplied by Dr Stephen Upex and the relative costs of different styles of board. He recommended long narrow boards attached to the fence by the site. We agreed to defer this to the next meeting to allow Cllr. Baxter to obtain further information and prices.
- Governance Matters
- S106 Monies – The chairman reported that prices had been obtained for each project to be considered and that a prioritised list totalling £54,703.33 had been submitted to the city council. Council officers had approved the list and confirmed that all the projects submitted met the required criteria. The information would be passed to the legal department for the necessary agreement to be drawn up. Following acceptance of the agreement the monies would be transferred to the parish council.
- Village Hall Repairs – Martin Chillcott reported on behalf of the Trustees that the village hall was held on a lease with 16 years to run and that there were a number of repairs required, some urgent. Some of those repairs would require specialist contractors. The Trustees had limited reserves which would be insufficient to cover all the works required. We agreed to defer further consideration to allow the clerk to be provided with further information from the trustees regarding their reserves, the works required and the nature of specialist contractors required
Annual Parish Meeting – We considered the request from Ailsworth Parish Council to hold a joint event and invite participation by groups within the villages. For our part we favoured keeping to the existing arrangements for the annual meetings and to engage with the various groups at another event such as the fete.
Metro Bank notice Deposit account – Given that we will soon receive the next tranche of income from Council Tax Precept and the Section 106 monies referred to above we concluded that we would not require the funds on deposit at short notice and RESOLVED to upgrade the account from 35days notice to 95 days’ notice to take advantage of the higher rate of interest.
Proposed Cllr. Neil Boyce Seconded Cllr. Fiona Rowlands
- official announcements & CORRESPONDENCE.
- Friends of Castor School sought advice on a proposal to provide a trim trail on the school, field. We doubted that it would be permitted given the experience of securing marquees at the site for the village fete. We directed the group to seek advice from the city council as the education authority.
- Martin Chillcott drew our attention to the 2nd round of consultation by the boundary commission and made us aware that the consultation closes on 4th April if we wished to confirm our earlier response to the 1st round of consultation
Future Agenda Items –
- Standing stones information boards;
- Village Hall repairs and Funding and
- Boundary Commission review
- Date of next meeting – Thursday 7th April, 2022.
There being no further business the chairman closed the meeting at 9.17pm.
Clerk & RFO 4th March, 2022