STEEPLE MORDEN PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Planning Meeting held in the Cricket Pavilion on Wednesday 30th August 2017 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors J Brocklehurst (Chairman), A Drew, C Upchurch, S Norton
In attendance: 26 Members of the Public.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATIONS UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT
Apologies were received from Mrs Wheatley, Mr Clayton, Mr Whittington, Dr Belson
The Chairman declared a non Pecuniary interest under Item 3.2 as a neighbour. Mrs Drew declared a non Pecuniary interest under the same item as a customer of the Jester and friend of the landlord.
COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS FROM PARISHIONERS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Members of the public were invited to take part in discussion under agenda items.
TO AGREE A RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING PLANNING APPLICATION
3.1 Ref No. S/2735/17/FL
2 North Brook End –Two storey side extension and alterations to existing roof
3.2 Ref No. S/2909/17/FL
116 Station Road –Demolition of existing hotel buildings. Construction of 6 terraced houses with
associated landscaping and parking
(P Griffiths, Rockwell Homes Ltd)
The Chairman invited members of the public to speak.
All expressed their concerns over this planning application. The Clerk reminded attendees that
the reason for this speculative application was because there was not an adopted Local
Development Plan at the present time. It was advised that in the previous plan, and the emerging
Local Development Plan, there was a policy SF/1 (Village Services and Facilities) which should
protect this proposal happening.
It was stated in the planning application that the Jester was underperforming but the meeting was
advised that the company report, which included figures on two other pubs as well, stated it was
performing well. Everyone agreed that the pub was becoming increasingly popular. It was the
only hotel in the area, capable of hosting events for up to 120 people, and employed local staff. It
was suggested that if the planning application was to succeed there should be a Section 106
requirement to provide an alternative meeting venue for up to 120 people.
The existing sewage arrangement was then discussed. At the present time there was a septic tank
which was emptied on a weekly basis. With six properties there would be more of an issue. The
plans referred to the installation of a cesspool but the details were not clear on what would be
involved. The Chairman advised that the tanker used to empty the septic tank currently parked on
the proposed gardens of plots 5 and 6 to empty the tank.
The planning application stated that the building was unattractive and underutilised. Residents
agreed that it was in keeping with Odsey. It was suggested that the building could be listed
although it was felt that there were too many additions to the original structure for this to be
successful. The Clerk advised that an application could be made to South Cambridgeshire District
Council to list The Jester as a community asset. It was noted that this Hamlet was a separate
entity and did not have the same facilities as Steeple Morden. The Chairman stated that by adding
6 houses to the village would increase the number of houses in Odsey by 25%.
Transport was another issue raised. There was a restricted bus service and only one train an hour
from the station. People would need to have their own vehicles. The proposal also referred to a
reduction in traffic at the Odsey/A505 junction which would not be the case with the additional
Noise of the demolition and construction would be a disturbance to residents.
Councillors were urged to request a site meeting by the Planning Committee if they agreed to
object to the application
The Chairman concluded this part of the meeting by asking all residents to submit their own
individual objection to the Planners. The deadline for representations to be made was the 6th
After further comments by Councillors a vote was taken with all in favour of recommending
Objection. The consultation form would also request that the application is considered by the
Planning Committee who would be requested to carry out a site meeting beforehand. As
suggested in the discussions there would be an agenda item at the next meeting to discuss an
application for the listing of The Jester as a community asset.
-This planning application contradicts the policy SF/1(Village Services and Facilities) in the
emerging Local Development Plan
The existing hotel has not been put up for sale. There are no comparable facilities within walking or cycling distance, and public transport is very restricted. There is no public transport to Steeple Morden.
-The Jester Hotel is an amenity for local people which is increasingly popular. It is also a local
employer. It is the only hotel in the area and capable of hosting events for up to 120 people
which it often does. The Parish Council queries the comment that the Hotel is under
performing and asks that evidence be sought to support this claim
-There is currently a septic tank for the property which is emptied on a weekly basis. An
additional six properties would add to the sewage disposal requirement
The tanker which currently empties the septic tank parks on land which is marked on the plans as the rear gardens of plots 5 & 6.
There is no mains gas in Odsey, but no indication on the plans as to the location of oil or LNG
tanks for the proposed properties nor how tankers would access them for refilling.
-With only a restricted bus service, and one train an hour ,residents of the proposed properties
would need their own transport. There would therefore not be a reduction in the traffic using
the already dangerous Odsey/A505 junction
The indication on the plans of parking spaces between the proposed properties and the road is potentially dangerous. Because of the lack of public transport each property would have at least two cars. Expecting residents to reverse one of those cars into or out of a space at the front on a busy road is unreasonable.
-Odsey is a separate entity to Steeple Morden and does not have the same facilities as Steeple
Odsey is two miles from Steeple Morden with its pub and Village Hall.
-The additional six properties would add an additional 25% of houses to the Hamlet of Odsey
Odsey is two miles from Steeple Morden with its pub and Village Hall.
The water pressure in Odsey is already low, and in the past the electricity supply has been unreliable. Replacing a hotel with 6 large houses would significantly increase the demand for these utilities, so the providers should be consulted to confirm that there will be no impact on existing properties.
The Parish Council requests that this application is determined by the Planning Committee, and that that Committee makes a site visit.
3.3 Ref No. S/2898/17/DC (for information only)
Land at Morden Grange Farm to the north –Discharge if conditions 4 (junction improvement) and
5 (vehicle routing plan) of planning permission S/0462/14/FL
OTHER PLANNING ISSUES
There were no other issues raised.
COUNCILLORS ITEMS FOR INFORMATION AND REQUIRING THE URGENT ATTENTION OF THE CLERK
5.1 Bus Shelter
The Chairman advised that he had been contacted by a resident who had thanked the Parish Council for arranging the rebuilding of the shelter.
5.2 Odsey Junction
There had been another accident at the junction on Bank Holiday Monday following the close of the Ashwell Show when there was a lot of traffic. The Chairman confirmed that County Cllr Kindersley was dealing with this and had heard through a Hertfordshire County Councillor that their officers now acknowledge that there was a problem at the junction.
There was no further business and the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.00pm.