Draft Minutes

Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held in Llangrove Village Hall on

Tuesday 31st May 2022


Present: Councillors:  Nigel Moore, Simon Wainewright, Barbara Fisher, Wendy Price, Nick Saunders and John Norman.


Ward Councillor Swinglehurst, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and eight members of the public were also present.


1.      To receive apologies for absence – Councillors Sylvia Matthews, Paul Bailey, Neil Wheeler and John Joseph.


  1. To receive declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation – Councillor Price and Councillor Wainewright declared a non-DPI interest in Agenda items 13.3 and 13.4 respectively.


  1. Election of Chairman – Councillor Moore was nominated by Councillor Fisher and seconded by Councillor Wainewright. No further nominations were received so Councillor Moore was elected as Chairman and duly signed the acceptance of office form. The Chairman acknowledged and thanked Councillor Matthews for her contribution as the previous Chairman and a fuller appreciation will be made at the next meeting.


  1. Election of Vice Chairman – Councillor Saunders was nominated by Councillor Moore and seconded by Councillor Price. No further nominations were received so Councillor Saunders was elected as Vice Chairman.


  1. Appointment of Councillors to Working Groups/Roles – It was RESOLVED to make the following appointments:

5.1       Finance Working Group – Councillors Moore, Wainewright and Joseph.

5.2       Lead for Lengthsman – Councillor Norman

5.3       Lead for Highways – Councillor Wheeler

5.4       Lead for Footpaths – Councillor Price

5.5       Lead for Environment – Councillor Moore

5.6       Planning Working Group – It was further RESOLVED to establish a working group to consider future planning issues/applications. Councillor Matthews will lead the working group supported by Councillors Fisher, Saunders and Norman.


  1. To consider the minutes of the meeting held on the 26th April 2022 – It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record, and these were signed by the Chairman.


  1. Resolutions Log – The Clerk referred to a resolutions log which captured all decisions reached at previous meetings highlighting where further action is required. It was RESOLVED that a copy of the log should be published on the website alongside the minutes. The outstanding issue remains the maintenance of the hedge in Llangrove, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the landowner/residents whose properties abut the hedge and the names will be provided by Councillor Fisher. The Chairman alluded to the response received from the Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change in answer to the concerns raised by the Parish Council on the proposed transition away from oil boilers to heat pumps. It was RESOLVED to publish the Minister’s response on the website.


  1. Open Session
    • To receive views from residents on parish matters.
      • The applicant for Planning Consultation 221395 (Treduchan Farm) briefed the Parish Council on his plans for the site. He explained that the current application is designed to address some of the concerns raised by the Parish Council in response to the original submission. The current application consists of plans to convert the original traditional buildings to four new dwellings and demolish the existing modern buildings and replace them with new dwellings built with traditional materials.
      • The applicant for Planning Re-Consultation 220570 (Breamore) updated the Parish Council on his plans for his bungalow in Llangrove which includes a sympathetic restoration of the property. The applicant added that the plans for the bungalow could have been explained to the Parish Council at the previous meeting which may have avoided the objections submitted to the Planning Department. Councillors agreed that with the establishment of the Planning Working Group there is much greater scope for a dialogue between applicants and the Parish Council to ensure Councillors are fully familiar with proposals before they are formally considered at a Parish Council meeting. Ward Councillor Swinglehurst explained that it is not the Parish Council who determines planning applications as this is the responsibility of the Local Planning Authority at Herefordshire Council.
    • Ward Councillor report – Ward Councillor Swinglehurst covered the following issues in her report.
      • Referred to the recent Panorama programme which focused on the performance of Herefordshire Council’s Children’s Services. Herefordshire Council has made a substantial financial investment in Children’s Services since 2019 which is designed to address the deficiencies in the system.
      • Residents can expect to hear news by mid-June 2022 from the new provider of broadband services.
      • A tour of the Herefordshire Hoard across the county.
      • Herefordshire Council are adopting a new approach to Mental Health.


  1. Footpaths
    • Councillor Price reported that two interpretative boards are in place in Llangarron and Llangrove respectively. The interpretative board in Llancloudy needs to be sited on a grass verge and the preferred location is being assessed by Herefordshire Council and, if agreed, the Parish Council will need to apply for a licence. The boards link by a QR code to a website localwalks.org.uk which will give details of some walks in the parish. Councillor Price extended her thanks to Chris Robertson in Llangrove for his ongoing assistance. Work on the booklets detailing the walks is nearing completion. An order has been made for several gates and the Footpath Contractor is on standby to begin to install them as soon as they arrive. Discussions with landowners are ongoing. The list of jobs agreed at the January 2022 meeting of the Parish Council has now been completed by the Lengthsman and Councillor Price thanked Terry Griffiths for his work in this regard. A notice giving notification of the ford has been put at the start of the relevant footpath on the Llangarron- Llangrove road.


  1. Lengthsman
    • Councillor Norman reported that the Lengthsman’s activities during the last month was focused on routine maintenance issues including the strimming of all grit bins, verges and splays. Councillor Norman reported that all verges in the parish will be subject to two cuts during the growing season.
    • Councillor Norman confirmed that Herefordshire Council has offered the Parish Council £4339 as a drainage grant for 2022/23 and it was RESOLVED to accept the Lengthsman’s recommendation that the money should be spent on drainage work at Treesey Farm.
    • Councillor Saunders provided an update on the issue involving the seepage of raw sewage into the Garron. Welsh Water have reported that an extensive below ground survey has been completed with the next stage being a feasibility study. This will be followed by the proposed on-site meeting which is provisionally earmarked for the end of June 2022. Once a date has been set an invitation will be extended to all interested stakeholders/landowners, but Councillor Saunders will ask Welsh Water for details of the discussion points to be covered at the meeting.


  1. Highways
    • Councillor Wheeler was not present at the meeting but had submitted a written report which was read out by the Clerk. Pothole repairs proceed according to precedent. Currently, the roads in the parish are in a reasonable condition. The verge cutting has been confirmed as twice in this season. All suggested areas for a single cut have been assessed as unsafe by Balfour Beaty. The cuts will be May and late August. The possibility of grant funding for improvements for village safety were discussed at the previous meeting and it was agreed to identify road junctions that might benefit from improved white lines and signage. Two difficult junctions were identified, and details were forwarded to the Clerk. The recent issues regarding closure of the road through Llangrove are being explored by Councillor Fisher. Finally, Councillor Wheeler recommended the Pothole Portal for reporting potholes. https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/roads-1/report-problems-road.
    • Councillor Fisher picked up the point about the recent road closure in Llangrove explaining that the road was closed for a full week, but no work was undertaken during that time except for half a day. Despite numerous telephone calls which began on the 20th May 2022 asking for the “road closed” signage to be removed no action was taken until the 27th May 2022. Councillor Fisher added that the work is unfinished, so Balfour Beatty are expected to return at some point in the future. Ward Councillor Swinglehurst recommended that the issue is brought to the attention of the Locality Steward.
    • Councillors noted that the consultation on the proposed 20 mph speed limit in Llangrove was due to end on the 27th May 2022.


  1. Clerk Correspondence – The only piece of clerk correspondence was received from a member of the public who expressed some concerns over the proposed 20 mph speed limit in Llangrove. Councillors suggested that the correspondent should forward her comments to ADL who are managing the consultation.


  1. Planning Consultations
    • Planning Re-Consultation 220570 – Breamore, Llangrove. New single storey extension to dwelling. Conversion of existing two storey out building and a small two storey extension for use as a holiday let: erection of a single storey timber framed garage/workshop. Councillors carefully considered the proposed amendments to the application and were content that these changes address their previous safety concerns over the access from the site. On this basis, the Parish Council unanimously supported the application despite some reservations over the proposed cladding on the dwelling. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk informs the LPA accordingly.
    • Planning Consultation 221395 – Treduchan Farm, Llangrove. Residential development of the site and associated works comprising the conversion of traditional agricultural building to four dwellings, and the replacement of modern agricultural buildings with four new build dwellings. In discussion, Councillors acknowledged that the application includes two key proposals. The first being the planned conversion of the old barns to dwellings. The second proposing the removal of the more recently constructed agricultural buildings and replacing them, outside of the existing footprint, with four new dwellings. Councillors commented that the conversion of the old barns would be an attractive and positive development provided there is no future application to replace them but raised the following issues.
  • The site is outside the settlement boundary of the village of Llangrove.
  • There is no suitable access from the site to the village for pedestrians on a narrow and busy road which is a serious Health & Safety concern. Councillors suggested that the inclusion of a footpath to facilitate a safe pedestrian route would be a necessity and encourage less use of the car.
  • Llangrove has already been subject to significant development and there is concern over the potential for a further eight dwellings in the village and the consequent increase in traffic.
  • Llangarron Parish has significantly over exceeded their 2031 housing target. It is noted that it is intended to join the houses to the Welsh Water sewage system. Councillors would now wish to see a full report from Welsh Water as to the capacity of the system as well as a detailed plan of the work necessary to connect a further nine properties with the potential disruption to the road network this may cause.
  • Councillors were concerned over the potential use of the newly created orchard as a site for further development in the future and would strenuously object to future applications to increase the footprints of any of the buildings.
  • Councillors were disappointed with the applicant’s decision against the use of local building materials in the construction of the proposed dwellings which is contrary to the aspirations set out in the NDP.
  • The potential impact on the River Wye SAC and SSSI with the increased levels of pollution that will flow from the development. The proposed holding tank will be insufficient in the event of the extreme rainfall events which the parish has experienced in recent winters. Councillors would wish to consider a hydrological plan for such events.
  • The Class Q approval for the later agricultural buildings is now assumed to be no longer applicable as the footprint is not being followed. Therefore, this new application to build on open countryside we expect to be subject to a new full application.

In conclusion, apart from Councillor Norman, all Councillors present voted to object to the application, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.

  • Planning Consultation 221469 – Hillcrest, Llangrove. Proposed first floor bedroom extension. Councillors were supportive of the proposals set out in the planning application and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
  • Councillors noted the appeal under Section 78 – Town and Country Planning Act 1900 in respect of planning applications 173776, 173777, 173778, 173779 & 173780 (Biddlestone Orchards, Llangarron) and decided against making any further representations. Councillor Wainewright left the meeting for discussion on this matter.
  • Councillors voted to approve the draft statement in response to the decision of the LPA on Planning Consultation 220040 (Land between the Elms and Fairfield in Llangrove. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk arranges for the statement to be published on the local community Facebook pages.


  1. Finance
    • The current bank balance is £38,807.23
    • To approve the following payments.
      • Clerk’s salary in accordance with employment contract (May 2022).
      • Clerk’s travel costs – £16.20
      • Stationery – £15.32 (ex VAT)
      • Zoom Subscription – £29.98 (ex VAT)
      • Postage – £8.16
      • Fastsigns – £20.00 (ex VAT)
      • PAYE – May 2022 – £143.60
      • Lengthsman (TGC1865)- £400.00 (ex VAT)
      • PROW (TGC1874 & TGC1875) – £775.00 (ex VAT)
      • Defibrillator (Llancloudy) – £1383.00
      • Fastsigns (Interpretative Boards) – £3,355.44 (ex VAT)
    • Financial Monitoring 2022/23 – The Clerk reported that based on the expected costs during 2022/23 the likely level of reserves will be in the region of £17k but this may change as the year progresses.
    • Renewal of Insurance – Councillors voted to renew the insurance at an annual cost of £1038.15.


  1. Environment – The Chairman reported that the ACEG launch day in March 2022 was successful and are now planning to revamp the newsletter and initiate a series of monthly talks covering the following topics:
  • Energy
  • Nature
  • Rivers – To be delivered by Ward Councillor Elissa Swinglehurst
  • Waste

The Chairman added that he has received information from the AONB on Himalayan balsam which is present in the Garron and Gamber and its removal will be a major undertaking. Other talks include a presentation from the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust on trees and hedges and Gordon Coppock (Vice Chairman of HGN) has agreed to deliver a wide-ranging presentation on energy issues. There are also plans for a talk on bee keeping. It is also planned to arrange a visit to EnviroSort in Worcester. The ACEG have formed a sub-group which will focus on nature and have received a grant to be used for “trees from seeds” and the construction of bat/bird/hedgehog boxes and will site edible food troughs across the parish. A proposal has been received covering the work required on the Garron and Gamber to prevent flooding which will require funding of £10k which will need to be supported by grant monies.


  1. Interim Business Plan – The Chairman referred to the proposed newsletter which is planned for distribution in July and September 2022. There are plans to hold a public consultation in September 2022. A further objective for 2022/23 is sourcing an alternative website. It is also proposed to relocate the noticeboard in Llangarron.


  1. Parish Council Vacancy – The Chairman reported that the current vacancy will be formally advertised for consideration at the next meeting.


  1. Change the Name of the Parish Council – The Chairman suggested that there could be a case for adopting a name which reflects the whole parish. If this proposal is to be adopted, it will require a public consultation.


  1. To note the date of the next Parish Council Meeting as Tuesday 28th June 2022.