Minutes of a Meeting held in Cassington on
Thursday 8th October 2020 @ 7.30pm via Zoom
Cllr H Thomas, Cllr B King, Cllr C Metcalf, Cllr D Levy, Cllr C Mathew & Clerk Mrs T Cameron
Cllr D Butlin, Cllr J Perrin & Cllr C Rylett
|DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
The Parish Council has also made the public aware that the meeting is recorded for the clerk to type up the minutes at a later date at home.
|MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 16th July 2020 were approved
a) Thames Valley Police Report – notifications of incidents in Cassington – No report from Thames Valley Police
b) Report from the Clerk on actions from the last meeting
i) Neighbourhood Plan – Due to COVID-19 this was put on hold. Tracey will be putting a notice in CAWN to invite people to volunteer for the committee. We need roughly need 6-8 people. There will be a member of the Parish Council on the Committee. Once we have enough people, I will arrange a Zoom meeting. In this meeting a Chair & Vice Chair will be appointed as well as someone who would be able to take minutes.
ii) Traffic Calming – Speed Reduction – Tracey has been speaking to OCC with regards to the issue of speeding in the village. They have advised that they would not look at reducing the speed by the school unless there was also traffic calming in place and that they have carried out speed tests in the village. These tests are currently charged at £300+VAT per survey. If they decide after the surveys that it does need to be changed, they will need to start a consultation period and after that a decision is made. The administrative costs on top would be roughly £3190+VAT. Any signage that is needed would be an extra cost on top of that.
Yellow Lines – The cost of this is also £3190+VAT which cover all the administration and legal costs. If it is agreed that it is needed, then lining and signage would be at an extra cost. There would also need to be a consultation period for this which could take between 6 months to a year.
iii) Play Area Equipment – Tracey is still consulting with various play equipment companies for new play equipment. To replace all the equipment and the flooring the cost is between £25k – £30k. Tracey is looking into grants.
iv Lease for Playing Field – Whilst we were hoping that this would be done the Solicitor has come back with a few queries. I have answered these and am hoping that it will be sorted by the next meeting.
v) Precept – This is still ongoing, and the clerk is looking at what we need to concentrate on spending for the next year.
c) Previous Planning Application – No previous Planning Applications
APPLICATION NO: 20/01734/OUT
LOCATION: Land North of A40 Section from Barnard Gate To Eynsham Roundabout Eynsham
APPLICANT: Grosvenor Developments Ltd
DECISION: Under Consideration
APPLICATION NO: 20/02197/HHD-PP-08997528
LOCATION: 2 Cassington Road, Eynsham, Witney Oxfordshire OX29 4LF – Alterations and erection of two storey front extension and first floor front extension above existing entrance.
APPLICANT: Mr Matt Freeman
DECISION: Under Consideration
|REPORTS FROM COUNTY, DISTRICT & PARISH COUNCILLORS:
County Councillor – Charles Mathew – Cllr Mathew has nothing to report from OCC. Cllr Thomas has mentioned that he has been to the farm in Worton. They have had issues with flooding at the entrance from the runoff from the fields. Cllr Thomas has suggested that possibly and engineer needs to go and have a look at it. Cllr Thomas was also made aware that the road is an adopted road and has no ditches for drainage. Cllr Mathew has asked for an email explaining the issue and photos of the issue and he will forward it on. Cllr Matthew had a Locality Meeting on Tuesday 6th October. They now have a gentleman who has taken over co-ordinating all the different schemes on the A40 e.g. the park and ride, bus lanes, HIF2 and the Growth Board. However, Cllr Mathew advises that there were three aspects where he doesn’t know where they stand which were Horsemere Lane, the roundabout in South Leigh and the toll bridge in Eynsham. Cllr Mathew has asked him if he can find out what is going on with Horsemere Lane. Cllr Thomas has said that he will email Cllr Yvonne Constance to see if he can get an update.
District Councillors – The Area Action Plan for the new garden village is out. The engineers that are looking at the A40 bus lane are looking at slightly changing their plans to making the bike lane on the southern side of the A40. WODC have been very busy with COVID-19 recovery plans making sure that the grants are given out and that the care homes are all up and running.
Parish Councillors – No Parish Councillors had anything to report
a) Neighbourhood Watch – There was no report from Neighbourhood Watch
|CLIMATE CHANGE UPDATE
No recent update
|QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC:
A member of the village asked what the plans of the Parish Council how with regards to the issue with speeding in the village. – Tracey advised that this is one of the reasons that the Parish Council are looking at increasing the Precept because of the amount of money that it will cost and also how many surveys that OCC think that the village will need. Also, once they have done the surveys they then decide if they think that we will need the speed reduction. It was mentioned that perhaps when the Parish Council reply to the consultation for the garden village that they could mention that there is a possibility that Cassington could become a rat run from people wanting to circumnavigate the roundabout so that they can come onto the A40 further down and that maybe that will help to have the speed limit changed.
|DITCHES DRAINAGE AND FLOODING:
We have had a lot of rain lately and have already mentioned the flooding by the Worton entrance. The village seems to have managed reasonably well. We do have an problem down Mill Lane. When the water comes down Eynsham Road it goes into Mill Lane and the water has been close to a few of the properties. There seems to be an issue with the drain down there and we have asked for it to be looked at.
Please can people remember to things on fix my street on the WODC website.
Speedwatch – They are planning to start this again due to the increase in speeding traffic through the village.
|PLAY AREA/PLAY FIELD:
The wooden structures are getting tired and worn. They are ok for now, but they will need replacing. The Parish Council are looking at replacing the whole play area. To something that is more resilient to the weather. We are looking at getting feedback from the school children as to what they would like to see up there.
Payments to be approved:
Blenheim Allotment Development Consultation – Public Discussion
Before we have the public discussion, Cllr Thomas has a statement written on behalf of the Parish Council
The Parish Council will not be consulting on the allotments. Council members will be free to make their own personal comments. The time frame given by Blenheim does not allow proper consideration. The Parish Council will wait for the Planning application and will comment as a Council at this time.
In the meantime, the Parish Council will be looking at comments from residents and will take that time before the Planning application to prepare and investigate information that will be relevant to the application.
Objections do have to have planning significance and we cannot just say we do not like it, especially for personal reasons.
When an application is made there is usually a month to make a response. In an application of this significance the Parish Council may ask for more time.
There are items which we need to investigate now. Sewerage being one. We need to understand that the current system can handle the proposal This we will need to check with WODC and Thames water.
Flooding will have to be investigated. It is usually a requirement that any water that lands on the site must be dealt with on the site. There are elements within the site that facilitate run of from the fields above which will have to be carefully considered.
Conservation area. Although the site itself is not within the designated Conservation area there are properties on the Green that enjoy views across this land that are shown on the Conservation plan.
There are many other elements that must be covered which are laid down by planning procedures which I am sure Blenheim are fully aware of and will form part of the Planning application I am aware that various ecological and other impact studies have been carried out.
– Number of houses proposed, 45 represents a nearly 15% increase in the size of the village.
– Number of parking spaces.
– Access and impact on Elms road both during construction and overspill parking after.
– Impact on Cassington lights and increase in local traffic.
– Current planning policy makes no regard to infrastructure. This development will add to the problem of the A40. The Eynsham Garden Village and other major developments along the A40 shows this.
– Planning policy is pushing ahead everywhere, and housing schemes are coming forward in most villages.
– Land designated for housing. I believe land is Green belt. The houses are offered as affordable and for rent.
– I am not sure this is a good route as rental property tends to have a high turnover which does not benefit the social cohesion we could get from houses sold to young families who will stay in the village for 20 years or more and provide a better social environment.
Finally, it is important that as many as possible consult with Blenheim and you copy the clerk to the Parish Council to enable a full picture to develop.
In conclusion all I can say we are on it and will be carefully looking at all concerns
Comments from the Village
Person 1 – Advised that one of the biggest impacts on the community is that two thirds of the allotment will be taken away for the development. They made points from the WODC District Plan – The Eynsham Woodstock Area has an allocation of 5596 houses. It is by far the largest density of housing of any subarea in West Oxfordshire. There is also a plan for Yarnton and Begbroke for another 4400 houses. This development will obviously impact of congestion on the A4095, A44 and A40 in terms of rat run traffic through the village. This development will only add to these problems and further impact on the wellbeing of the village, but also particularly residents on Elms Road. Points. Paragraph 5.37 of the district plan – windfall housing should meet housing needs in sustainable locations recognising trainsick and beauty of the countryside and where appropriate reuse of previously developed land. Paragraph 5.38 – Windfall development on undeveloped land adjoining built up areas will require robust justification. Paragraph 5.38 – Sites outside the Cotswold Area of outstanding natural beauty will only be supported where convincing evidence is presented to demonstrate it is necessary to meet identified housing needs which could be district wide but need to be identified though a neighbourhood plan or affordable housing needs specific to a particular settlement.
Person 2 – There is the potential closing of Pigeon House Lane in Church Hanborough and the impact that it would also have on the village. So, it should really be tied in with the Cassington traffic lights because of the extra traffic also with Horsemere Lane.
Person 3 – Although not a resident in the village they have held an allotment in Cassington for over 10 years. Wanted to tell people that the impression that Blenheim have given of the allotments and the usage maybe misleading. The allotments is fully occupied and that there is now a waiting list. It is a popular and growing site. And that Blenheim have not consulted with the Allotment Association with regards to the development at all.
Person 4 – A resident of Cassington and also an Allotment holder for 12 years. Even though we look at it as an ecological site we should also be looking at it as a heritage site, as the allotment has been in use for at lease 100 years. There are stories of it being used in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and Blenheim is simply ignoring this too build this development. The Campaign Group are currently polling the village to get opinion and to gather other information which will be fed back to the Parish Council.
Person 5 – The site itself was never put forward as a designated site for housing development in the District Plan.
Person 6 – In the two previous developments Blenheim has stated that they were for residents of Cassington and only one of the properties were given to a local resident. There are now 4-5 residents in Barrow Court however in Williams Court there are no local residents living there.
Cllr Levy – Has requested that the residents copy him on any communication that they have with Blenheim. He made a point that to enable to object to this development the reasons need to be planning reasons. E.g. loss of amenities, not a designated site, flooding, and transport. Also copy Cllr Mathew into the correspondence.
Person 7 – The drains in Cassington can not cope with another 10 houses let alone another 45 houses. The drains that run down the main road are terrible. There have been times when they cannot flush their toilet because the drains are blocked, and as they live in a bungalow, they do not have a lot of water pressure. They are very worried about the drains. There is also a worry with regards to St Peters School that they cannot cope with an influx of more children and if the children on the new estate can’t get into the school then they would need to be driven to another school which would increase the amount of cars that would be used.
Person 8 – They wanted to agree with the pervious person that they have always had sewerage issues along Elms Road. They have an issue with their toilet backing up.
Person 9 – The proposal is going to have a huge impact on Elms Road not only an increase in traffic in Elms Road alone but also throughout the entire village. They have also held an allotment for 8 years. To build rental properties will impact the community cohesion within the village. They have said that the way that Blenheim has gone about this is completely offensive to the village as a whole.
Person 10 – In the Oxford Mail article Domonic Hare has stated that he had talks with the Parish Council a year ago on this development. Is it true? Cllr Thomas advised that Mr Hare normally come about once a year to a Parish Council meeting to talk about what Blenheim are doing as a whole. He was asked by Cllr Butlin asked if there was any truth in the fact they were going to be building on the site as we had heard some rumour that it was going to happen and Mr Hare advised that there were no plans at that time. He came to a meeting in March and there he did advise that they had employed architects, but that was only information that he gave. In the leaflet it was also mentioned that a large area was to be given to the school as an allotment. The Community Group have spoken to the school and have been told by the Head Teacher that they school do not want and do not need an space in the new development as they have space in the school grounds.
Person 11 – They are not a resident but have held a plot on the allotment since 2012. They don’t agree that the allotments are un-wielding. They hold a full plot which is used to support a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle for them and their family by growing their own food. It has been a place of village community with people helping one another. The development will also mean the removal of some of the structure that have been put up by allotment holders to help them grow their own fruit and veg.
Person 12 – Advised that they have been on Woodstock Town Council for many years and that they have successfully stopped Blenheim in building and believes that Cassington can do the same.
|ANY OTHER BUSINESS
i) Update on Website – We are now at the design stage of the website. The Parish Council are hoping to be able to give different groups in the village a separate page each.
ii) Village Logo/Crest – The Parish Council would like to create a village logo/crest to go onto the top of the website, The Clerk will be putting a notice in CAWN to invite anyone in the village to design one. The Parish Council would like to include the Church and possibly the War Memorial.
iii) Anti-Social Behaviour – We have had a note from Eynsham and some of the local village that there seems to be an increase in anti-social behaviour in some areas. Fortunately, there is not a lot of anti-social behaviour in the village. We do have a very good relationship with our local Police Officer Helen Keen so if there are any issues then we phone her and she looks into it.
iv) Christmas on the Green – We won’t be able to have the carol concert like we have had before. We will still have a Christmas tree and the Rotary Club will still be coming to the village with Father Christmas although he will be static in the Village Hall car park. There will also be a post box for children to mail their Christmas list.
v) AGAR – This was due to be dealt with, but the Clerk noticed an issue so will sort it out for the next meeting.
vi) Microsoft & Cloud Storage –The clerks’ version of Microsoft has expired and is in need for renewal. It has been decided that we needed to upgrade to a business package. Microsoft Business 365 standard is £9.40+VAT per month. This also includes 1tb of Cloud Storage.
vii) Salt Cross Garden Village – Tracey was contacted by the Clerk of Long Hanborough with regards to the traffic from the new development. As much as we are worried about the affect on the A40 they advised of the traffic coming along the back of Cassington through to Yarnton to get on to the A40 that way and that in fact could become a rat run.
viii) Parochial Charities Vacancy – The Clerk was emailed by the Chairman of the Parochial Charities to advise that a trustee had retired from the Charity and that they wanted to put forward Mr G Want as a replacement trustee. The Parish Council were happy with suggestion and the clerk is to email to the Chairman to confirm this.
|Date of Next meeting:
Mid Monthly Planning Meeting – 21st October 2020 @ 8pm via Zoom
Date of the next Parish Council Meeting – Thursday 5th November 2020 @ 7.30pm via Zoom