Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 8th September 2020 via Zoom Conferencing


Members Present

Mrs Julia Borland (Chairman)

Mrs Caroline Broom

Mr D Yeomans

Mr Frank Freeman

Mr Mike Best (Somerset County Councillor)

Also present

2 Members of the Public

Miss Jackie Parsons (Parish Clerk)



1.         Apologies for Absence.

            Apologies were received from Roger Franklin, Barrie Carter and Sue Osborne (South Somerset District Councillor).  Sue Osborne was absent from the meeting due to a technical error on the part of the Clerk. One member of the public Mr Henry Ploszek was also absence from the meeting due to a technical error on the part of the Clerk.


2.         Public Open Forum

            No member of the public had anything to bring up at this stage.


3.         Declarations of Interest in items on the agenda (Pecuniary or non-statutory interests).

            Mrs Caroline Broom declared an interest in all the planning applications.  Mrs C Broom was asked to withdraw from the meeting after declaring an interest in all of  the planning items on the agenda.  The Chairman later apologised as this was not necessary for a non-pecuniary interest.


4.         To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 14th July 2020.

            The minutes were approved by the meeting and proposed for approval by Mr D Yeoman and seconded by Mr F Freeman.


5.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere on the Agenda.

            No matters were brought up for discussion.


6.          Planning Matters.

             West Crewkerne Parish Council is a Statutory Consultee for Planning Applications

and as such does not make the final decision on any application.  Any decisions        and comments made by the Parish Council will be fed into the planning process and added to the report by the Planning Officer.  South Somerset District Council is the Planning Authority and will issue the final decision notice (Planning Determination) once their investigations into the application, consultation period and decision making process has been completed.

A). Fuzzy Ground and concerns raised.  Update from Councillor Best regarding his discussions with the planning enforcement department at SSDC.

Mr Mike Best stated that he had reported the matter to the planning department but could get no information from them regarding the matter and on file the matter has been marked as closed.  Mr M Best asked the Parish Councillors if they had seen any further activity at the property but they all stated that the hedge was in full leaf and you were unable to see into the property.  Mr F Freeman stated that there was a gateway nearby from which the property could be viewed; Mr M Best stated he would follow up the matter.

B): 20/02394/PAMB Agricultural Building at Henley Manor Henley Crewkerne Somerset TA18 8PQ.  Notification for prior approval for the change of use of agricultural building to 5 no. dwelling houses.

Awaiting Decision

The Chairman asked for any comments from the Parish Councillors on the above planning application.  Mr D Yeomans had looked at the plans and stated that he felt the design was poor; two of the properties had only 100 square metres of area.  However, he had looked at the guidelines for a two bedroom property and the square meterage is 100 square metres.   Therefore this was a personal opinion of his and he had no objection to the application.  Mr F Freeman had looked at the plans and felt that if the design was poor then it was up to the planning department of South Somerset District Council to recommend revision of the plans.  No other Councillors had any comments.  The Chairman would make a note on the planning application that the West Crewkerne Parish Council had no objections to the planning application. 

C): 20/02291/FUL Little Shabby Farm,  Axe Road Drimpton, Beaminster, Dorset DT8 3RJ.   The erection of two agricultural buildings for hay/feed/straw and machinery store.

Awaiting decision.

The Chairman stated that this planning applicant was just down the road from where the Chairman lived and where they are proposing to erect these agricultural buildings is a considerable distance from the road and will not be seen from the road.  No other Parish Councillor had any comments to make, so the Chairman will reply to the application stating that the Parish Council has no objection to the application.

D): 20/02195/FUL 9 Lily Court Clapton Road West Crewkerne Somerset TA18 8RA.  Proposed change of use of agricultural land to residential and proposed first floor balcony with associated French doors.

The applicant Mr Alcock and Mr Shaun Travers from the Boon Brown partnership who had drawn up the plans for the above planning application both attended the meeting.  Mr S Travers explained the reasons for the planning application and the proposals they had put forward in the application.  Mr F Freeman asked about the site line when coming out on to the road the new proposals would not affect the curtilage  already agreed under the original plans for 9 Lily Court.  There were no further comments from Parish Councillors.  The Chairman stated that the Parish Council would support the Planning application from Mr Alcock.

Because both Mr S Travers from Boon Brown Architects and Mr Alcock had both attended the Parish Council meeting specifically for this planning application this item was dealt with after item 1.  The Clerk asked at this stage whether any of the Parish Councillors had any declarations of interest in this planning application and you can see from item 3 that Mrs C Broom declared an interest.

Axe Farm Axe Road Drimpton

This planning application had been received after the Agenda for this meeting had been sent out.  There are some minor alterations to the rear of the building that need to be made to accommodate a new boiler being installed.  The property is listed which is why planning permission has to be sought.  The Parish Councillors had no objection to the planning application.


7.         Highway Matters.

Progress report on Small Improvements made to Roundham

Mr D Yeomans stated he had spoken to the Police Officer with whom he had been corresponding over the Roundham scheme and he had passed it on to the Community Support officer who stated that they would be putting in a more covert speed check system but he could give no indication of when.  It would be determined on the availability of the equipment.  Mr D Yeomans asked if he could attend when they install the equipment but the answer was no.  Mr D Yeomans also stated that according to Mr Barrie Carter (Parish Councillor) two of the old signs were taken down but do not appear to have been replaced as was proposed in the small improvement scheme.  Mr D Yeomans asked the Clerk to follow this up with the Small improvement Scheme team at Somerset County Council and also to follow up whether all the work that was proposed and agreed under this scheme has been carried out and if not when is it going to be completed.  According to Mr Mike Best there has been a change of staffing on the Small Improvement Scheme and the person leading this scheme has left.


Progress on the Lang Road Development

The Chairman stated that the diversion of the footpath alluded to in the Inspector’s report which falls in West Crewkerne Parish has never been put forward for diversion and was not on the plans originally submitted by the developers.  So West Crewkerne Parish Council has no input into these plans at present.  Mr M Best( Somerset County Councillor) but in his role as Crewkerne town Councillor stated that the Crewkerne town Council had lodged an objection to the findings on several grounds, but the Town Council have heard nothing back.  The date by which the Council could ask for a judicial review has also passed.  The Chairman asked Mr M Best about the Cathole Bridge Road cross-roads small improvement scheme.  This was on hold until Crewkerne Town Council had received a decision on the Lang Road development.   


New gullies had been put in along by Coppersfield Bungalow by Somerset Highways so hopefully the water will drain away and not flood at this particular spot.  Mr D Yeomans stated that if they did not clear the drains then the gullies would silt up again and cause flooding.  Mrs C Broom stated that the water that flows into these gullies and drains in this road is run off from the fields above which carries a lot of debris.  Mrs C Broom also stated that these fields are now owned by Clapton Court owners and not by her brother-in-law Mr F Broom.

Mrs J Borland (Chairman) stated that if you report anything on Somerset Highways website such as potholes etc., you can now track the progress of your complaint and on the whole the complaints are dealt with quickly.


8.         Reports from Councillors, including District and County Councillors.

No reports from Mrs C Broom, Mr D Yeomans or Mr F Freeman.  Mrs J Borland (Chairman) stated that during lockdown the local bus service went round into the village of Drimpton and picked up passengers and then on into Crewkerne.  Now that the lockdown restrictions have eased it no longer comes into the village of Drimpton to pick up any passengers, thereby losing revenue.  Mrs J Borland will be following this up.

Mr M Best (Somerset County Councillor) stated that Somerset County Council had submitted their plan for one unitary authority for Somerset to the Government minister concerned and the four District Councils who were proposing two unitary authorities were submitting theirs to the Government minister this week.  The Government minister will then look at the two proposals and a consultation period will take place with the residents of Somerset County and then the Government Minister will decide which plan will become the new plan for Somerset County.


9. Finance           

  A) To pay:-

                        1. Clerk Salary of £117.65 Cheque No.336    

2. HMRC - £29.60  Cheque No.335

3. SALC Affiliation Fee of £153.69 Cheque No.337

4. Grant to the village hall of £800.00 as agreed in the precept (already paid) Cheque No.334

5. Invoice of £30.00 to SALC for planning applications training which Mrs J Borland attended. (already paid).  Cheque No.333


       B)  The Clerk has received notification from the external auditor that they have   

             accepted the “exempt status” for West Crewkerne Parish Council.

The Clerk explained that the external auditor P K J Littlejohn had accepted the “exempt status” that she had submitted on behalf of the West Crewkerne Parish Council and that the Parish Council would hear no further from the external auditor for the year 2019/20 unless they wished to query the accounts.  The Clerk did not think that this was likely in view of the external auditor tight time frame.

11. Correspondence;

A): Various e-mails. Coronavirus updates from various sources, Avon and Somerset  Constabulary, Somerset Waste Partnership and Rural Bulletin.  An e-mail from Somerset Wildlife Trust asking for the support of Parish and Town councils with regard to the monies available from the environment fund of South Somerset District Council.  As the Parish Council understands the monies are only available for environmental projects within the Parish.  Mr D Yeomans had looked at the list of projects that the Somerset Wildlife Trust wish to pursue and none of them would be beneficial to this Parish.  The Parish of West Crewkerne at this time would not be applying for any monies from the fund.

The Badger Cull in Somerset memo, the Parish Councillors looked objectively at both side of the argument and those present at the meeting neither agreed or disagreed with the cull.




B): Broadband coverage in West Crewkerne- what plans for completion of coverage in this area. (This question raised by a parishioner)

The Clerk had sent an e-mail to Connecting Devon and Somerset and had received a reply but referring to West Coker and asking for my postcode.  A follow up e-mail will be sent to Connecting Devon and Somerset explaining that as a Parish Council and not an individual we could be told the name of the private contractor who is going to take on the work from Gigaclear and also pointing out that I am e-mailing on behalf of West Crewkerne Parish Council not West Coker Parish Council.


C): A query has been made regarding the siting of a mobile home and the erection of a sign within the parish.

The Clerk wrote to the gentleman on 11th August 2020 on whose land the mobile home is sited enclosing a copy of the document that Don Yeomans had researched.

To date the Clerk has not received a reply to her letter or seen an application for planning permission to site the mobile home on the land.  Mr D Yeomans asked the Clerk to follow up the letter asking for a reply to the original letter and whether planning permission has been sought.  If no reply then consideration will have to be given to the enforcement route.


12.   To confirm that the next meeting of the West Crewkerne Parish Council will be 

held on Tuesday 10th November 2020 at Clapton & Wayford Village Hall at    7.00pm

The village hall opens on the 19th October 2020 and the meeting will possibly be in the big hall so that social distancing measures can be ensured.