Agenda and minutes

Venue: Swanmead Community School, Ilminster

Contact: Jo Morris 01935 462055  Email:

No. Item


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 19th April 2017


The minutes of the meeting held on 19th April 2017, copies of which had been circulated, were taken as read, and having been approved were signed as a correct record of the proceedings.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Garry Shortland and Andrew Turpin.


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the agenda for this meeting.

Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest.  Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council. 

Planning Applications Referred to the Regulation Committee

The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council's Regulation Committee:

Councillors Mike Best, Sue Osborne and Angie Singleton

Where planning applications are referred by this Committee to the Regulation Committee for determination, Members of the Regulation Committee can participate and vote on these items at the Area Committee and at Regulation Committee.  In these cases the Council's decision-making process is not complete until the application is determined by the Regulation Committee.  Members of the Regulation Committee retain an open mind and will not finalise their position until the Regulation Committee.  They will also consider the matter at Regulation Committee as Members of that Committee and not as representatives of the Area Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Date and Venue for Next Meeting

Councillors are requested to note that the next Area West Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on 21st June 2017 at 5.30pm at the Henhayes Centre, Crewkerne.


Members noted that the next meeting of the Area West Committee would be held on Wednesday 21st June 2017 at 5.30pm at the Henhayes Centre, Crewkerne.


Public Question Time

This is a chance to ask questions, make comments and raise matters of concern.

Parish/Town Councils may also wish to use this opportunity to ask for the District Council’s support on any matter of particular concern to their Parish/Town.

Anyone wishing to raise matters in relation to items on the agenda may do so at the time the item is considered.


There were no questions from members of the public.


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman made no announcements.


Area West Development Plan Progress and Budget Report pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Additional documents:


The Area West Team Lead informed Members that the Area West Development Team had supported 37 community based projects during 2016-17.  Some of the work undertaken was based around the community grants programme and had included support for the following projects:


·         Dowlish Wake Playing Field Trust Provision of temporary facilities

·         Haselbury Plucknett Village Defibrillator

·         Chard Carnival Committee Road Closure Marshall Training

·         Buckland St Mary Parish Plan

·         Ashill Outdoor Gym

·         The Henhayes Centre. Crewkerne

·         Crewkerne Rugby Pitch Flood Lights

·         Crewkerne Skate Park

·         Improvements to Hinton St George Village Hall


The Area West Team Lead reported on other work undertaken by the Area West Team including the following:


·         Service Level Agreements to the Local Information Centres;

·         Supported 3 community groups to access funding including Ilminster Football Pavilion and Merriott Village Hall;

·         Chard Hub – although the project has been put on hold, a programme of events was continuing to be held;

·         Working with A Better Crewkerne and Somerset and Ilminster Forum to produce Community Action Plans;

·         Attendance at Blackdown Hills AONB meetings and involved with Making It Local by supporting two successful applicants;

·         Provided support to West & Middle Chinnock on their Parish Plan;

·         Provided support to Creative Crewkerne.  Events organised have included Pom Poms, singing event and Dinosaur Park;

·         A lot of time has been spent on the Market Town Investment Group Digital Audit.


The Area West Team Lead advised members that the results of the member survey and workshop would be used to devise the Area Development West Service Plan for 2017-18.  The Service Plan would dove tale with the work on the Chard Regeneration Scheme and would be presented to the Committee in July.


Members expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Area West Team Lead and her team for their exceptional work.



That the work of the Area West Development Team be noted.



Arts & Entertainment Service Update pdf icon PDF 235 KB


The Arts and Entertainment Manager presented his report to members which provided an update on the work of the Arts & Entertainment Service in Area West.


The Arts Development Officer advised that the Arts Development Service worked in partnership with different arts companies to bring a range of arts and activities to the district.  She explained about some of the projects undertaken by Take Art, Actiontrack, Somerset Art Works and Somerset Film.  The service also funded some activities and provided advice and support.


She further explained that the Arts Development Service continued to support and advise Ilminster Arts Centre including the Ilminster Literacy Festival which was a very well attended and successful event.  The Arts Service also supported “Creative Crewkerne; funding for the Poetry in Shops project and Dinosaur Park performance which has helped in promoting creative activity in the town.  Support has also been given to Wassail Theatre Company who will be performing Rex the King in local pubs including the Royal Oak in Crewkerne.  The Service has also helped to develop “CineChard”, the community cinema held at the Guildhall.


The Arts and Entertainment Manager reported on the achievements of the Octagon Theatre.  He highlighted a number of key points which included the following:


·         The theatre welcomes over 200,000 guests a year;

·         Attendance and ticket sales was at a record high;

·         Visitors attend from cities such as Bath and Bristol;

·         The Octagon Theatre had received a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and a Western Gazette Pride Award;

·         A wide range of performances were offered;

·         8 performances of ‘Mousetrap’ were sold out;

·         The annual pantomime performance was breaking records year after year;

·         The Foyer Club volunteers have raised approximately £76,000 through fundraising.


Members were informed about the facilities available at Westlands Entertainment & Conference Centre.  He highlighted that the variety of events on offer would be Westlands strength and commented that the response to the venue had been very good with 10,000 visitors in the first month.  He advised that the official opening for the venue was planned for Tuesday 27th June when Darcey Bussell CBE will perform the opening in a special event for invited guests.


Members congratulated the Arts and Entertainment Manager on the achievements of his service.



That the report be noted.



Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the report which outlined the details of a dismissed appeal in Ilminster.



Area West Committee - Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 98 KB


Reference was made to the agenda report, which informed members of the proposed Area West Committee Forward Plan. 


The Assistant Director (Communities) advised that the report on the One Public Estate Programme would be submitted to the September Area West Committee instead of July.


A request was made for a report on the Somerset Micro Enterprise Project being led by Rhys Davies at Somerset County Council.  It was suggested that this could be brought to the August meeting.



That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted as attached to the agenda subject to the above updates.



Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 86 KB


Members noted the schedule of planning applications to be determined as outlined in the agenda.


Planning Application: 16/05090/FUL - Paddock Adjoining Square And Compass Public House, Windmill Hill, Ashill pdf icon PDF 428 KB


Application Proposal:  The erection of 1 No. detached dwellinghouse and double garage (Revised Application)


The Planning Officer introduced the report and with the aid of slides and photographs summarised the details of the application.  She informed members that an application on the site had been refused in 2016 for a smaller dwelling.  She explained that the proposed site was 1 ½ km from the centre of Ashill with no pavement between the site and the village and was therefore considered to be remote from services and facilities.  She advised that there was insufficient information regarding the visibility at the nearby junction and at the proposed point of access and a significant amount of hedgerow would need to be removed.  The design of the dwelling was considered bland with no particular regard to local distinctiveness and the roof angles were awkward. The Planning Officer recommended that the application be refused.


In response to questions from members, the Planning Officer confirmed the following:


·         The caravan and camping site used the existing access for the public house;

·         Further detail about the properties situated to the north and north west of the site;

·         The site was just under half a hectare;

·         The house could not be redesigned through conditions;

·         No analysis for need had been received;

·         The paddock had no designations.  It was an agricultural field in the open countryside;

·         The red line was around the whole site and would all become residential use;

·         No comments had been received with regard to loss of agricultural land.


The Committee was addressed by Dr Pete Walker in support of the application.  He advised that he was representing the local residents in support of the application.  He commented that the new dwelling would not be isolated and would be firmly in the setting of the village of Windmill Hill with a village pub and church. 


The Applicant, Chris Slow advised that he intended to sell the pub and would not be continuing with the caravan business.  He wished to build one house on the site to live in.  He referred to there being a house on the site previously and advised that the footprint would be the same as for the old house.  He commented that the paddock was not remote and was surrounded on 3 sides by buildings.


The Committee was addressed by the Applicant’s Agent, David Boggon.  He advised that the proposed property would be part of a small self-sustaining community and was not remote.  He believed that the proposed visibility splays would be adequate for a new dwelling as there would be less traffic and the access was used successfully for the current use.


Ward Member, Cllr. Linda Vijeh expressed her support for the application.  She was of the opinion that the site was not situated in open countryside or remote from services and facilities and there would be no negative affect on the highway.  She pointed out that there was a lot of support for the application and felt that it should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 165.