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Minutes - Parish Council Meeting - 17 Jan 2024

Ink pen nib writing



including Sutton Row and Lower Chicksgrove

DRAFT MINUTES of a meeting of the Parish Council held at The Stalls on 17th January 2024 at 6.30pm - subject to later approval by Councillors.

PRESENT: Cllr. H. Collins (Chair), Cllr. Mrs. K. Clutterbuck (Vice-Chair), Cllr. Mrs. J. Green, Cllr. M. Howe,  Mrs. J. Childs, Parish Clerk. 5 residents were present including 3 representatives from the Walter Allotment Trust.

The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting.

1. APOLOGIES: Apologies had been received from Cllr. M. Charlick

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS: Cllr. Mrs J. Green confirmed she should declare an interest in item 3 of the agenda

3. PLANNING: PL/2023/11139: reduction of crown of yew tree at Glasses Lane Cottage, Sutton Mandeville. There were no objections.


Accepting an invitation from the Chair, Cllr. Mrs. Clutterbuck outlined existing practice:

  • Clerk forwarded weekly list, which includes householder applications, to Councillors, highlighting planning applications in Sutton Mandeville.

  • Chairman made contact with owner or agent to arrange a site visit.

  • Those Councillors available, visited site and met with applicant together, not individually.

  • On most occasions a public meeting was then arranged to discuss the proposal, with invitation to applicant or agent to attend.

  • Councillors discussed the proposal and made their recommendations.

Councillors recognised that they were consultees, not the decision makers who were the Planning Officers in the first instance.

Cllr. Mrs. Green asked about consultation with neighbours and emphasised the need to avoid any perception of bias.

A resident felt that the Parish Council process was working well but regretted the short notice of a public meeting. The Clerk asked all to note that the statutory notice required was 3 working days.

The Chairman was listed as the Councillor with responsibility for planning.


A spokesman for the Trust thanked Councillors for the meeting and asked if all had had sight of his recent letter to the Chairman, available at Appendix 1.

The area of woodland and the allotments were managed by the Trust. Whilst the allotments remained viable the management of the woodland was proving a liability. The woodland contained 7 or so ash trees suffering ash dieback which required felling and conifers deliberately planted. The conditions of insurance required that this work be done professionally. Estimates suggested a cost of £2000 with a sale value of £600 for the wood. Raising allotment rentals to cover the costs of felling and sustained management of the area was not feasible. Of the 9 plots currently leased, 4 plot holders were residents of Sutton Mandeville and 5 of neighbouring parishes.

The sale, long term lease and the possibility of the site becoming a public recreation space for the parish had all been discussed. The Chairman and Cllr. Mrs Clutterbuck had met with a trustee in April outside of a parish council meeting. Enquiries had been made to a number of bodies for assistance in the management of the area, but thus far none had been successful.

Trustees hoped that the Parish Council could take over the lease for 15 years and work with the community to turn it into a recreational area, a community asset.

The Chairman stated that the Parish Council had no available funding and that this had not been a budget item in setting the precept for the financial year 2024-2025.

He asked Councillors present to agree that the area, including the allotments, was a community asset. Cllr. Mrs Green asked Councillors to note the presence of a well on the woodland site and difficulty of access to this rising site. The Chairman had met with a trustee, ahead of this Parish Council meeting, to consider the short term and long term future management of the area.

The Chairman concluded by stating that the Parish Council was supportive of the importance of the Walter Allotment Trust land and suggested Trustees and the Council should work on a shared vision for the development of the area for the community.

Cllr. Mrs Clutterbuck suggested a fund raising event in the Church and a resident suggested asking the PCC whether the Church would be interested.

6 . ADDITIONAL BUSINESS FROM THE CLERK: The Clerk notified Councillors that she was seeking confirmation that Parish Councils would be charged for the holding of elections both contested and uncontested and was seeking further clarification of the likely charges.






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