Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, Chard

Contact: Jo Morris 01935 462055  Email:

No. Item


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 18th October 2017


The minutes of the meeting held on 18th October 2017, copies of which had been circulated, were taken as read, and having been approved were signed as a correct record of the meeting.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jason Baker, Marcus Barrett, Carol Goodall 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, Angie Singleton and Martin Wale.

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 Wednesday 6th December 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 6th December 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.


County Highway Report to Area West Committee pdf icon PDF 91 KB


The Assistant Highway Service Manager presented the report which informed members of the highway works carried out by the County Highway Authority at the halfway stage through the financial year and what schemes are remaining on the work programme for the rest of the year.


During the ensuing discussion, the Assistant Highway Service Manager responded to questions regarding issues within Area West which included the following:


·         Additional gully cleansing had been completed in Ilminster;

·         Concerns were expressed over the increasing size of farm vehicles travelling down narrow lanes causing verges and banks to collapse and the use of public money in carrying out the repairs. It was questioned at what point would the user become liable?  The Assistant Highway Service Manager agreed to forward the Committee’s concerns to Somerset County Council;

·         A member raised concerns with regard to overgrown road signs at Roundham;

·         A member commented on the length of time taken to cut hedges along the Convent Link Road, Chard and the covering of signs;

·         A member reported an issue with regard to visibility due to poor layout and the need for road markings at the junction of the roundabout by the Industrial Estate in Chard; 

·         A member queried whether weight restrictions could be monitored along Bay Hill in Ilminster as bigger lorries were ignoring the restriction sign;

·         A member commented on the excellent repair works carried out in Combe St Nicolas.


The Chairman and members thanked the Assistant Highway Service Manager for attending the meeting.



That the report be noted.



Warmer Chard and Surrounding Villages - Post Project Report pdf icon PDF 440 KB


The Neighbourhood Development Officer (Economy) gave a presentation on the results and outcomes of the “Warmer Chard and Surrounding Villages” project as requested by members when the project funding was approved.                                                       


In the absence of John Lewis of Home Energy Centres (HEC) Chard who was unable to attend the meeting due to illness, the Neighbourhood Development Officer read his statement about the project.


During the presentation, the Neighbourhood Development Officer informed members of the following:


·         The project was about home energy advice for residents and building the skills and capacity of HEC Chard to continue providing energy advice services;

·         The project ran from October 2016 to February 2017 with reduced delivery. The actual cost was £3,385. The remaining allocation of £3,875 had been returned to the AW Community grants budget;

·         The energy advice given involved advice and support to 27 households, 5 energy advice events, 4 open days, 4 “Energy Essentials” courses, weekly drop-ins and a telephone help line;

·         4,500 leaflets were distributed to homes in Chard and villages and around 45 households received advice;

·         A lot of progress had been made with establishing HEC Chard including the training of and attracting new volunteers;

·         14 households had been advised since the project end;

·         SSDC officers can help HEC Chard by referring SSDC residents when they need support, provide support for accessing additional funding and help promote the work they do.


The Neighbourhood Development Officer responded to members’ questions on points of detail.


Members unanimously supported the recommendations of the report.




That the contents of the report be noted.



That Officers continue to work with Home Energy Centres Chard to develop and provide energy advice services.



Environmental Health Service Update Report pdf icon PDF 176 KB


The Environmental Health Manager summarised the agenda report, which provided members with an update on the work of the Environmental Health Service over the last twelve months.  He highlighted a number of examples of work which included the following:


·         Food and Safety Team – work of the team included the inspection of food premises and businesses across the district.  The team also helped new businesses to meet the required regulations.  Achievements included maintaining a multi-agency Safety Advisory Group for events being held in South Somerset.

·         Environmental Protection Team – the team dealt with environmental pollution, dog fouling and fly tipping.  A significant  amount of staff time had been spent dealing with the private water supply at Allowenshay.

·         Housing Standards Team – the team dealt with the inspection of substandard housing and issues of overcrowding including the inspection of houses in multiple occupation.  The team also provided grants for energy efficiency and worked with the Wessex Reinvestment Trust.  Work of the team also included bringing empty properties back into use.

The Environmental Health Manager responded to members questions with regard to the current position at Allowenshay and legislation for Airbnb’s.

The Chairman thanked the Environmental Health Manager and his team for all their work.


That the report be noted.



Ilminster Community Office pdf icon PDF 112 KB


The Community Office Support Manager introduced the report which provided further details on the proposals of providing face to face contact in Ilminster.  She explained that the most suitable venues to hold appointments with customers were the Library and the Summervale Surgery.  Members were informed of the facilities available at each location.  The aim was to provide a flexible service and appointments could be arranged with customers between 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday.  The Community Office Support Manager informed members that she had continued to record customers attending the Ilminster Community Office.  The average of 3.7 visitors to the office each day had now reduced to 2.9.  The reducing trend was due to the rollout of Universal Credit and the reduction in receipt of benefits evidence.


During the discussion, a member raised a concern over there being no scanning facility at the library and felt that one should be provided.  The Communities Lead advised that she was meeting with the Director at Somerset County Council responsible for the overview of libraries and could ask about the possibility of upgrading library resources.  The Community Office Support Manager explained that uploading photos was more secure and provided a better service for the customer.


Members unanimously supported the recommendations of the report.



That the report be noted and the proposal to continue to provide face to face services in an alternative way to best suit customer demand including the withdrawal from Ilminster Community Office with effect from 1 February 2018.


(Voting: unanimous in favour)



Area West - Reports from Members on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:


Crewkerne Leisure Management Ltd (Aqua Centre)

Members noted the report by Cllr. Angie Singleton updating members on Crewkerne Leisure Management.



Area West Committee - Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 151 KB


The Communities Lead advised that there were no updates to the Forward Plan. She invited members to identify priorities for further reports to be added to the Area West Committee Forward Plan.


Cllr. Martin Wale advised that he unable to attend the December meeting and would therefore submit a written report on the AONB.


In response to a member comment, the Communities Lead advised that the One Public Estate (OPE) work was linked with Chard Regeneration Scheme.  Disposal of buildings was part of the OPE remit and was being actively considered by the key partners involved.



That the Area West Committee Forward Plan be noted as attached to the agenda report.



Planning Appeals pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted details of an appeal dismissed at Land of Longstrings Lane, Broadshard Road, Crewkerne.


Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 87 KB


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


Planning Application: 17/02545/FUL - Land Opposite St Georges House, Merriott Road, Hinton St George pdf icon PDF 469 KB


Application Proposal: The erection of 10 No. dwellings with associated car parking, landscaping and drainage details


The Planning Lead (West and North) introduced the report and with the aid of slides and photographs summarised the details of the application.  He advised that there were no updates to the report.  During his presentation he commented on the Council’s lack of a five-year housing supply, Policy SS2 and the Local Plan review.  He referred to Hinton St George being a sustainable location for housing development and that there was a clear need for housing in the district.  He also referred to the Conservation Officer’s assessment and the public benefit of a high quality scheme outweighing the identified harm to the setting of the Conservation Area.  Reference was also made to the Highway Authority being satisfied with the level of parking spaces and the level of traffic being satisfactorily accommodated. The Planning Lead’s recommendation was for approval.


In response to questions from members, the Planning Lead (West and North) confirmed the following:


       There was no requirement for the applicant to provide affordable homes as part of the scheme. The applicant had indicated that he would make 3 homes available as affordable housing and a draft S106 would be prepared on that basis although he could seek to reduce or remove obligations at a later stage;

       St Georges House opposite the site was not listed;

       Clarified the levels of the proposed development;

       There were no protected trees within the site;

       The S106 obligation would run with the application;

       The outline of the Conservation area.


Mr A Cavendish, Chair of Hinton St George Parish Council commented that the view of the Parish Council and the community was that the application should be refused.  The development abutted the conservation area and the site was a very sensitive main approach to the village and its initial setting.  The development was unsympathetic to the views of the south, was closed in and did not adhere to the historic landscape of the village. 


The Committee was addressed by N Bell, F Piper, V McWilliams in objection to the application.  Comments raised during public participation related to the following:


       No proven housing need;

       The Housing Needs survey being flawed;

       Lack of community support for the application;

       The Parish Council did not support the application;

       Harm to the setting and the adjoining Conservation area;

       Harm to an important entrance to the village.


The Applicant, Dr T Percival advised that he had inherited the land and genuinely wanted the best for the area.  He felt that the development would help future proof Hinton St George.  He considered the application to be a high quality heritage development in keeping with the area.


Ward Member, Cllr. Paul Maxwell was unable to support the application.  He felt that the development would cause harm to the Conservation Area and have a detrimental effect on Jubilee Wood which was thriving with wildlife.  He also felt  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.