The September meeting of Sarratt Parish Council (SPC) was held via Zoom on Tuesday 8th September. Key matters arising were as follows:
Policy & Resources
Councillor Thorp reported a new monthly budget tracker had been designed. This will be distributed before the next meeting with ‘live’ figures and will be used through to the end of the financial year in March when it will be reviewed.
In response to a question from the public, Councillor Thorp acknowledged the state of the current SPC webpage on the Village website was not up to date. This has been caused by difficulties in uploading the information SPC would like to publish onto the site. A new website will be in place in the next few weeks.
Councillor Bloom has taken on the role of Lead Councillor for Sustainability and will be representing SPC at the meeting in the Village Hall on 5 October about pollution in the River Chess.
Councillor Rugg is continuing to progress development of a Woodland Management Plan for the Parish.
Councillor Mortimer reported a very positive start for the new Village Warden, Joe Brownsell, with good feedback from both Councillors and parishioners. As Village Warden, Joe’s responsibilities including helping SPC maintain and develop the environment within the Parish, including the monitoring of Common Land, footpaths, bridleways and the allotments. Also, keeping an eye out for rubbish, fly-tipping, graffiti, defects in highways and rights of way, incidents of vandalism and the condition of play spaces.
Thanks were given to Councillors Mortimer and Rugg for completing a number of repairs to the KGV play area in the last month so making it much safer for youngsters.
Councillor Mortimer noted a grave at Commonwood had been found, but has been confirmed by police as an animal grave. Also in Commonwood, logs have now been placed on the edge of the grass verges, in response to residents’ complaints about visiting cars parking on the common.
Gordon Harrold who attended the meeting advised one third of the bulrushes have now been removed from Morton’s Pond and the rest could be cleared manually, negating the need for a digger, and taking away the immediate urgency to identify the position of the high-voltage electrical cable passing under the pond. However, SPC will continue their efforts to locate where the cable is for future reference. Gordon also advised he will be arranging for a drone survey to be conducted on the common around Morton’s Pond to assist with cataloguing the species of flora and fauna present in the area.
Councillor Diggins advised Council that a site meeting had been held to assess the poor state of the access road to the properties by the old Wheatsheaf pub on The Green. Options to address how repairs might be implemented are being investigated.
SPC has received a letter from a visiting member of the public objecting to someone in Dawes Lane using traffic cones to reserve ‘their’ parking space. Whilst SPC has some sympathy with residents being unable to park outside their own homes due to additional visitors to Sarratt, anyone is entitled to park anywhere on a public highway. Should anyone wish to make a complaint about parking then this is a police matter.
Councillor Diggins has made a formal request to Herts County Council for information relating to assigning ‘quiet lanes’ status in the Parish. This relates to Dawes Lane, Moor Lane and Sarratt Bottom. Further discussion will take place once the information is received.
Following a number of complaints from a resident about flooding on the road outside Callipers Hall in Buck’s Hill, Councillor Diggins advised Three Rivers District Council are committed to remedial action to resolve the issue.
Upcoming roadworks include:
- Bucks Hill: 21-25 Sep, 0800-1800, delays possible; 23-27 Nov, 0800-1800, delays likely;
- Bottom Lane: 21-25 Sep, 0800-1800, delays possible; 23 Nov, 0800-1800, delays likely;
- Quickmoor Lane: 21-25 Sep, 0800-1800, delays possible; 23-27 Nov, 0800-1800, delays likely;
- Old House Lane: 21-25 Sep, 0800-1800, delays possible;
- Redhall Lane (BT works): 30 Sep, 0800-1800, delays likely;
- Church Lane: 4 Nov, 0930 to 5 Nov 1600, road closed, diversion in place.
In addition, Highways England, have notified us of repairs on the M25 in our area:
- 10-11 Sep, 2200-0500, near J18;
- 12-21 Oct, 2200-0500, between J18-20, clockwise carriageway closures;
- 21 Sep-3 Oct, J19 repairs.
Councillor Soothill discussed a letter from Chorleywood PC asking other Parishes to support them in challenging TRDC over their lack of communication about the recent central government ‘presumption of development’ designation on Three Rivers and their failure to publish a new Local Plan. It was felt an initial conversation with Chorleywood was appropriate and the Chair asked Councillor Soothill to draft a suitable communication with the Clerk.
The following planning applications were discussed and SPC had no objections:
- High Rising, The Green, Sarratt - Demolition of an existing conservatory and construction of a new single storey side extension.
- York House School - New electric substation to serve the school site.
- York House School - Demolition of existing sheds and proposed extension to an existing barn, part conversion of a barn into a plant room, and replacement of an existing fence with new close boarded timber fence.
- Crestyl, Dimmocks Lane, Sarratt - First floor front and rear extensions, loft conversion including increase in ridge height, dormer windows and rooflights, construction of a front porch, alterations to external materials and alterations to fenestration.
- Great Wheelers, The Green, Sarratt - Replacement outbuilding - no objection on condition that the outbuilding remains ancillary to the main dwelling.
SPC objected to the following application:
- Ramillies, The Green, Sarratt - Removal of porch and construction of front bay window, part single, part two story rear extension - Objection, due to over development in a conservation area. If the officer is minded to approve the application, it is respectfully requested that this is called into Committee.
It was noted that TRDC endorsed SPC’s recommendations for all of the previous month’s planning applications, with the exception of the application made by Trevellas which SPC objected to on the grounds of over development of the site, which TRDC has approved.
Enforcements were noted. Particular reference was made to Fir Trees in Dawes Lane where the new entrance is deemed to need planning permission and the soil embankment and hedgerow is to be reinstated by 14 November.
Councillor Soothill reported the first public consultation is being arranged. Two meetings will be held on 16 & 17 September in the Village Hall.
TRDC’s “preferred options consultation” on the new draft Local Plan is now expected to be published in November/December 2020 and will include the proposed new housing allocation targets for Sarratt. It is also anticipated it will include where any new settlement(s) will be located in the district.
Councillor Soothill also brought to Council’s attention the Government White Paper which proposes dividing housing development areas into three categories, namely Growth, Renewal and Protected, which would include Green Belt and AONB.
SPC has received a letter from BT who wish to remove the public phone box from Belsize. Although it is used infrequently, around five time in the past year, it still provides an essential communication facility in an area where mobile signal is poor to non-existent. The Parish Clerk will therefore respond to BT objecting to their plan for removal of the box.
SPC has also received a request from Affinity Water to erect a data transmission mast on the Green at Belsize which they are discussing with Affinity Water.
The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on Tuesday 13th October at 7:30pm, again by Zoom. Members of the Parish are welcome to join the meeting. The agenda and details of how to join the meeting will be posted on the Parish noticeboard outside the Village Hall a few days ahead of the meeting, or alternatively can be obtained from Caroline Owen, the Parish Clerk by emailing her at email@example.com