Hartington Town Quarter Parish Council
A meeting of Hartington Town Quarter Parish Council was held on Wednesday, 6th December 2023 at 7.30pm in the Bakehouse.
Present: D Annat, S Bruce, E Broomhead MBE, S Wager, A Grindey, R Sherratt and the clerk,
S Hampson and District Councillor, Mr D Chapman. There were no members of the public in attendance.
Part 1 Non-confidential information
23.12.1 Apologies and attendance register
There were no apologies. The members present completed the attendance register. There was no need, by any member present, to declare an interest in the agenda items.
23.12.2 Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting had been forwarded to members in advance of the meeting and posted on the parish council’s website and noticeboard.
Resolved: to accept the minutes as a true record of proceedings. The minutes were signed by Mr Annat
23.12.3 Public speaking
There were no members of the public in attendance; however, Mr Annat had been approached regarding recent communications between the Diocese regarding Hartington Charities, the primary school and The School House. The parish council has been made aware of some of the discussions involved. Mrs Bruce is now a school governor once more.
Resolved: to place the matter on the next agenda.
23.12.4 Update from District Councillor and Local Projects Fund
The District Councillor had kindly authorised the sum of £300 from his Local Projects’ Fund towards the achievement of the information plaque and limestone base at the War Memorial. This had been received into the parish council’s bank account. The District Councillor provided information about traveller site investigations. The parish council had previously submitted their strong views on rural locations/car parks being inappropriate for traveller locations. Parish Councils can now take firm action for eviction.
23.12.5 Former cheese factory site
The Chairman reported on the latest discussions and recent communication from the Head of Planning and Principal Planner.
This confirmed that The Head of Planning had finally authorised the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) legal team to agree a Deed of Variation to the Section 106 allowing the Owner to sell or rent the 4 units as Affordable homes. This variation is because no RSL is prepared to take on the units as the transfer price demanded makes them commercially unviable.
The PDNPA has given assurances that they would still be marketed as affordable homes under the tenancy terms agreed in the 106 and that they would monitor the situation closely to ensure compliance. The houses are currently being marketed for rental at rents of £680 and £760 per month.
The PDNPA accepted the developer is already in breach of the 106 by failing to deliver the homes prior to completion of 50% of the total development. They will not however, serve enforcement if the houses are disposed in accordance with the revised agreement. Councillors were concerned that these rents are not truly affordable.
In respect of a letter from a member of the community regarding the delay in the completion and marketing of the Affordable Homes, Councillors believed that despite their regular efforts to press the authority on compliance with the Section 106 legal agreement, the Authority had failed to deliver the fundamental benefits promised at the Public Hearing.
Firstly, the homes are not integrated within the development but in a separate block. When the parish council opposed this in July 2020, the reason given was that a Housing Association prefers a small number of homes to be in close proximity – ironic that no housing association has taken them.
Secondly, they were not built before 50% of the houses on the development were completed, something we have chased and written about throughout the last 3 years. In fact, with every other house sold, they are still not finished.
Thirdly, they are not being let (or sold) by an established Affordable Housing Provider, but by the owner and developer of the homes. The parish council has been told they were judged to be commercially uneconomic for an RSL due to the high transfer cost involved. This despite our efforts to get DDDC housing team involved.
Finally, they are not truly affordable as admitted by the Head of Planning in 2022. Real offers were made by local RSL’s but the price was ultimately too much and the developer did not accept their bids. It is here that the policy aim and the appeal decision have not been able to work in favour of true affordable homes to those on low to moderate incomes.
The Parish Council has communicated and met with the Authority on numerous occasions but ultimately, we believe the weakness in their legal approach and the failure to serve enforcement notices, has allowed the developer to dictate terms and miss deadlines, meaning we still have not seen any affordable homes delivered.
As the Head of Planning replied to us in 2020, “My understanding is that this came out of a lengthy process of negotiation whereby former colleagues were trying to achieve the aims of the permission but without holding all the cards.” Clearly, they were held by the Developer! The District Councillor requested a summary of the events discussed and this will be forwarded.
Site compound to the North
The PDNPA have told the developer that this site which is to be returned to greenfield land does not have permission, as it does not accord with the details as discharged to date in relation to condition 25. The compound therefore, either needs moving back to its approved location within the site, or a further application to discharge condition 25 and seeking to regularise the current location needs to be submitted. The area has been logged by the enforcement team so we can continue to monitor this as the development progresses.
The developer has been informed It was, therefore, agreed that you would prepare another revised scheme and send this to us on an informal basis for comment before submitting a further formal application to discharge condition 32. Given that condition 32 is currently being breached, we would be grateful if you could send us a revised scheme as soon as possible, so that, subject to formal agreement, the flood attenuation measures can be implemented without any further delay.
Councillors noted that the developer disputed the restrictions caused by the crushing of the original stone culvert along Stonewell Lane and agreed to continue pressing the Derbyshire County Council (DCC) Flood Team for a camera survey which will provide indisputable evidence of what has occurred.
23.12.6 Neighbourhood Plan
Mr Annat reported how difficult it was to submit applications for grant funding. The plan is now finished.
Professional fees need to be paid for.
23.12.7 Precept for 2024-2025
Following earlier budget discussions and required professional fees for the Neighbourhood Plan, members discussed raising the precept for the next financial year to ensure adequate reserve funds are maintained.
Resolved: to Precept for £15,000 plus £500 to be reclaimed under the reimbursable expenditure scheme.
23.12.8 Uses of former telephone box
Mrs Broomhead MBE reported that the matter will receive attention in the New Year and that some costings can be shared with Hartington Community Group.
23.12.9 Drainage and flood team
Please see items referred to under the item Former Cheese Factory Site. A camera survey needs to be undertaken.
23.12.10 Snow warden scheme and grit bin monitoring
The grit bin on Station Hill will now fall under the jurisdiction of DCC and become part of their assets. The bin on Bankside will be refilled. The clerk had liaised with the Oddfellows and a resident who had completed the documentation to become the Snow Warden for the village. The clerk had also completed paperwork and requested that a tonne of grit be delivered to Mr A Grindey’s farm for dispersal amongst volunteers. Members discussed obtaining 10 high visibility vests for use by the volunteers. Hopefully, a contribution towards the costs maybe negotiated with the Oddfellows team.
23.12.11 War Memorial Plaque and Stone
Also see agenda item 23.12.4. Mr Annat reported he could obtain a suitable piece of stone once the plaque has been received for comparison of size.
23.12.12 Items of account, salaries, HMRC, administration, mowing contractor, Remembrance Day wreath, coronation memorial, War Memorial kerbing
Cq 1725 S Hampson December clerk’s salary and back pay £597.57
Cq 1726 S Hampson January clerk’s salary £429.57
Cq 1727 S Hampson Dec and Jan internet provision £34.00
Cq 1728 S Hampson Reimbursement of expenses £7.30
Cq 1729 HMRC Quarter 3 income tax £353.80
Cq 1730 Hartington Village Hall Meeting hire £27.50
Cq 1731 Shelter Maintenance Ltd Bus shelter cleaning service £11.80 VAT £1.97
Cq 1732 Anglia Sign Castings Ltd War Memorial information plaque £559.49 VAT £93.25
Cq 1733 D Annat Reimbursement cable protector and lights £407.89 VAT £49.00
23.12.13 Christmas tree event and modifications for next year
At this stage, it was thought that additional lights would be required for 2024. Members thought the light switch on event had gone very well, despite the snowy weather and was enjoyed by all in attendance.
Thanks were expressed to the resident for the electricity supply; the supply of the Christmas tree and the support in erecting it; The Oddfellows for the refreshments; Hartington Community Group and all other village groups for their support.
23.12 14 Planning applications, planning sub-committee and appeals
There were no new planning applications to consider.
23.12.15 Highway issues, yellow lines, pot holes, street lighting
Also see item 12.12.10. A car had been parked, for some time, on Hall Bank. The owner had been contacted and by the time of the meeting, the car had been moved. Despite the clerk previously reporting the road surface of Hall Bank, beyond Hall Farm, it remains very rough. In addition, the second grid on Hall Bank, on the left-hand side, near the Old Chapel has a hole by the side of it. The pothole near leisure lane had been reported with reference number 561811480.
Resolved: The clerk to report the hazardous grid
23.12.16 Correspondence and communication
Correspondence had been forwarded to members in advance of the meeting and included: Peak Park news
Biodiversity compliance, DALC newsletter, training and AGM, Hamps & Manifold felling licence consultation, Rural bulletins, DCC Community News, green business news, speed limit orders, snow mailbox, Peaks Tour, RSN digest, DCC Adult community Education.
Resolved: to not proceed with an order for a print of the King’s portrait as one of the Queen had never been placed in the village hall/Bakehouse.
23.12.17 Items for the next agenda
Precept for 2024-2025, War Memorial plaque, Neighbourhood Plan, uses of telephone box, former cheese factory site, drainage and flood team, mowing and spraying contract requirements for 2024-25, banking*, coronation plinth progress, snow warden scheme. Additional items to be compiled by the clerk.
*Resolved: the clerk and the chairman to meet to progress internet banking.
23.12.18 Date of next meeting: Wednesday,7th February 2024. The parish council does not meet in January.
23.12.19 Mowing contract 2024-2025
Resolved: to forward the mowing contract details, as discussed at the November meeting without amendment, to 3 suitable contractors and to discuss at the February meeting.
The meeting was declared closed at 8.40 pm.
Mrs S Hampson
Hartington Town Quarter Parish Council
10th December 2023
©Hartington Town Quarter Parish Council minutes remain draft until approved by the parish council at the next meeting