Welcome to Acton Bridge

Editor's note : as part of its Freedom of Information initiative, copies of the Parish Council's minutes will be placed on this web site after council approval at the following meeting, but are for information only. The printed edition is the only authoritative version.


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 16th May 2017 at 7-00pm in the Parish Rooms.

  Present R Holt Chairman
S Pardoe Vice Chairman
H Bayley
R Forbes
D Hall
J Oliver
Clr P Williams CW&C

  Apologies C Ballantyne - Roberts
C Fifield
Clr H Tonge CW&C

There were seventeen members of the public present.

1 Public Matters
Mrs Karen Lea-Swain reported on recent events in the operation of the Town Farm Quarry. There had been a meeting of the working group at which information had been given by Mr R Charnley on the application for further working at the site. Updated reviews on site levels and restoration have been forwarded by the applicants. Mr Charnley is examining the figures and the updated plans have been sent to the independent surveyor. It is thought Mr Charnley may be presenting his report to the Planning Committee on the 6th June.

The Chairman said that the Parish Council have sent a letter to CW&C in response to the new application for changes to the operations at the Quarry and the permitted levels of extraction / restoration. Mrs Leigh-Swain said that the support was very much appreciated.

Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the April 2016 meeting
With small editorial corrections, the minutes were agreed and signed.

3 Matters arising
April 2017 Meeting
6 Financial Matters
b) The Chairman mentioned that the Clerk, as an employee of the Parish Council, has to be considered for pension under the Workplace Pension Scheme. The Clerk has established that she does not have to join the scheme as she is over State retirement age and that the annual salary is below the minimum qualifying level. The Clerk has also stated she does not wish to join the scheme. HMRC are to be informed. Further correspondence has been received from HMRC that confirms all issues are currently cleared. Action Clerk - Completed
8 Reports from other meetings
In the report on the Town Farm Quarry, it had been mentioned that the Chairman had been contacted by a resident of Milton Rough concerning the parking-up of the tipper trucks on the land that had been built up and landscaped. Mr Barron has been contacted by the resident.
It was agreed that a letter would be sent to the operators asking them to exercise consideration to all residents / road users and also not to use the land on Milton Rough as a parking point. The letter has been sent and reply received. Action Chairman - Completed
The letter from the operator said that they do not employ all the drivers but that all contractors would be circulated and their drivers would have to sign that they had been informed about the driving and parking issues. It is believed that white marker posts are to be installed at the land at Milton Rough.

10 Village Matters
a) Regulations, etc.
As agreed, the Clerk has circulated copies of the Financial Regulations, Standing Orders, Code of Conduct, Register of Assets and Risk Management for review by the Parish Council later in the meeting. Action Clerk - Completed
Clr Pardoe was thanked for adding the various items, as above, to the web site for Parish Council matters.
b) Bench on Acton Lane
The condition of the bench installed on Acton Lane by Weaver Valley Cycling Club in memory of a former member and resident of Acton Bridge, Mr Alan Littlemore, is deteriorating, and it was agreed to contact the Cycling Club and ask for some maintenance work to be carried out. This has been done and responses received via the Club Secretary and through the web site. Action Clerk - Completed
The Club have examined the bench and found it to be beyond reasonable repair. The bench has been removed and a replacement is to be installed. The Club have asked the PC for a contribution to the cost which could be between £1,000 to £1,500. The PC did not think a contribution should be made.
11 A.O. B
A survey document had been sent to Clr Pardoe from a person seeking details about what motivates people to volunteer to be a Parish Councillor. It was agreed that the survey be circulated to members who can complete as they wish. A number of Councillors did complete the survey.

February 2017 Meeting
a) Swing bridge A49
Work is still scheduled to be completed in July.
Clr Williams reported that there had been some damage to the bridge mechanism when it had been opened to allow a vessel to pass. This could results in considerable repair work.
b) Home Watch
The possibility of starting up 'Home Watch' again was raised. It was agreed that the Chairman would prepare a notice for inclusion on the Village Facebook page. Information has been passed to Clr Pardoe and is on the web site. Action Clr Holt - Completed
To date only one person has expressed an interest in joining in operation of the scheme.

November 2016 Meeting
a) Petal Walks
Clr Pardoe reported that there has been progress and he showed a proposed layout of a leaflet for the walk that includes Acton Bridge. The formal launch of the scheme is still planned for Saturday 17th June. b) Cemetery
See Reports from other meetings.

October 2016 Meeting
a) Speeding issues The Police have now started speed monitoring, both with hand-held gun and the speed van.

It was agreed that as enforcement is now in action a further meeting with Mr Barron should be held. It was also agreed that a short time should be waited for Mr Barron to get back on the issues previously raised with him before the request was sent. The Chairman had contacted CW&C and a further meeting has been offered. Action Clr Holt - Completed
The Chairman had circulated members to find convenient dates but there were problems for most people. CW&C had been informed that the PC would get back as soon as possible. Clr Williams offered to join the group for the meeting. Clr Williams queried the effect on speeding since the signs were installed. Clr Forbes said that there was little effect except when the Police van was present.

The Chairman reported that notification has been received of the award of £1,000 grant from the Safer Communities Fund to assist the purchase of an interactive sign. The Parish Council were very pleased to receive the grant.

4 Planning Applications
a) Strawberry Lane - amendment to build one affordable house.
The plan for three houses has been changed to one house. The amendment was discussed and the objections to the building of the originally proposed three houses as compared with this single house. It was agreed that all were still valid and should be reiterated to CW&C. The fact that Acton Bridge is not in or connected to a designated service area is to be stressed. As arranged for the initial three house application, Clr Tonge will call-in the application if the planning officer is minded to approve the new application.

b) Station Road - Nursery Site
After a long delay since the scheme for development of land and the former nursery had been mooted in November 2016 an application for seventeen houses on the site of the Nursery only has been submitted.

The comments and objections made by residents and the Parish Council at the meeting in November are still relevant and will form the basis of the objections to be sent to CW&C. The Chairman asked the residents present for further comments. The density of housing and the speeding issues on Station Road were raised. It was also pointed out that the proposed layout of houses allows an easy extension on to the adjacent land that has not, as yet, had any development proposed.

The correct route of the PRoW that runs across the site was also discussed. It is believed that the course of the PRoW, from the foot-bridge over the railway, is parallel to the railway and then diagonally towards Hazel Pear Wood but this hasn't been used, or accessible, for a long time.

It was stated in response to a query that Clr C Fifield has informed the Parish Council that he has an interest in the submitted application and consequently would not take part in any discussions on the matter. He has also requested not to be included in any correspondence on the matter.

The residents were thanked for their comments. The Parish Council will send a letter to CW&C objecting to the development.

c) Land at Hill Top Farm
The amended proposals for discharge of reserve matters were examined. In particular the Construction Management Plan and the proposed diversion of the PRoW. The route has already been laid out by a previous owner of the land when an application had been submitted to divert the PRoW. That application had been refused.

The proposed route was now worse as it gives exit on to the road at a very dangerous position. It was agreed that strong objection be made against the proposals. It is understood that if a diversion of the PRoW is to be applied for it will have to go through legal proceedings. The Construction Management Plan and changed route of the PRoW in the planning application are to be objected to by the Parish Council.

d) Single dwelling at Wall Hill Farm
The plans were examined and the extent of demolition questioned. It was thought that the demolition is very small compared to the size of the development. The scheme itself was not considered an exception to building in the Green Belt and that the development should be objected to, with many of the objections stated against the previous application, which was refused by CW&C, still being valid. The Parish Council would request refusal again.

e) Rear conservatory - Holly Tree Cottage, Acton Lane
There was no objection to the building of the conservatory. The plans submitted with the application were checked and the area bounded by Holly Tree Cottage curtilage was questioned. It was agreed that the plans for Location and Site Layout were marked up to show the curtilage of Holly Tree Cottage and that common land was included in the marked area for the curtilage. It was agreed that the inclusion of the common land should be pointed out to CW&C.

f) Stables, White House, Cliff Lane.
The new proposals for stables were examined and compared with the previous application submitted for this site. There were now reductions in size but checks showed that the area and height are still in excess of the guideline figures. There would be an extensive concrete raft and footings. Clarification of previous points about drainage and waste management have not been covered.

It was agreed that objections should be raised to the application and refusal requested.

5 Planning Decisions
a) Milton Heys - application for enlargement of stables, extension of menage and associated lighting. The Parish Council were very disappointed that the Planning Department had granted the application in spite of the layout, numbers of stables and the proposals for enlarging the menage. The numbers and total size being far outside those allowed for in the CW&C Local Plan and related Vale Royal Local Plan.

6 Financial Matters
a) Approval of cheques;
Two cheques were approved; Zurich Insurance £57.60 Cheshire Community Action £20.00

b) Review and Approval of Accounts (2016 - 2017)
The Clerk had circulated the accounts for examination by the Members. The statement now shows a Summary of Opening balance, income, expenditure, and final balance, as had been suggested by the Internal Auditor. There were no questions or comments and the accounts were signed by the Chairman and Clerk.
It was mentioned by the Clerk that the precept for 2017 - 2018 of £4,000 has been received.

7 CWAC Ward Councillors
Clr Williams said that application forms for grants from the 'Councillors' Budgets' could be obtained from Fiona Dunning at CW&C.
Clr Williams will report the planning matters to Clr Tonge. He will also report the speeding issues to Weaverham PC.

8 Reports from other meetings
a) Joint Cemetery Committee
Clrs Oliver and Bayley had attended the Joint Cemetery Committee meeting. The subject of the CCTV was raised and is to be taken further with costs to be established. The arbour feature has been repaired.
There is to be an examination of new land by CEMEX. A site visit is arranged for 18th July.
The number of representatives from the Villages had been discussed. Acton Bridge are allowed three members. Clrs Oliver and Bayley are happy to continue for Acton Bridge.

b) Town Farm Quarry
Reported under Public Matters and Matters Arising.

c) Saltscape
Clr Pardoe reported on the work being done for the Petal Walks and additionally the paperwork that is required to be put in place. Clr Pardoe mentioned the work of a Mr Cliff Mallows for the scheme and that he (Clr Pardoe) would look after the Acton Bridge area.

d) Best Kept Village
Clr Bayley reported on a meeting that has taken place to reinstate the 'Best Kept Village' competition She said it is intended to recommence the competition, under the old name of Best Kept Village next year. She also said that her husband, Mr Gordon Bayley, has been appointed to the panel of judges.

9 Correspondence
CPRE - Countryside Voice
CPRE - Fieldwork
CPRE - Cheshire Viewpoint
Casey Pro-Environment - letter in response to Town Farm Quarry.
Police and Crime Commissioner - letter and paperwork re grant of £1,000 from Safer Communities Fund.
Wicksteed Play equipment - brochure.

10 Village Matters
a) CPRE meeting on 17th May - Clr Bayley will try and attend.
b)Police Road Safety meeting 13th June - Clr Forbes will try to attend.
c) Clr Oliver raised that topic of spraying weeds along the gutters in the Village. Some have been done but the lengths beyond Chapel Lane appear to have been omitted again. The Clerk will chase. Action Clerk

11 A.O.B.

Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday 5th June 2017, starting at 7-30pm.

Minutes of the May 2017 Parish Council AGM are here
Back to main Parish Council page

Web version edited by Steve Pardoe. E&OE.
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