Minutes of PC Meeting 27/11/2023.

Uploaded on January 17, 2024

Public time   –



Held in the Village Hall on Monday 27th November 2023 at 7.30pm


PARISH COUNCILLORS        Mr. Ed Cockburn, Chairman

 Mrs Di Hine, Miss Sue Pargeter, Mrs. Louise Simmons

Dr. Colin Ryall, Messrs. Ian Croucher, John Gilbert, Ian Stonex, Ian Whitehead,

Also      Mrs. A. Hunt – Parish Clerk and 1 member of the public

Apologies – Rev. Deborah Perreau, Mrs. Cressida Govier-Drake. Mrs. Jenny Kenton and Mr. Martin Wale (County Councillors)



69/2023                 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Mr. Ed Cockburn re planning application 23/02732 Personal


70/2023                 COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT


Verbal Tel. report from Martin Wale.  County Finances will be short this year by £100million, mainly due to adult and children’s services/increased costs and they are trying to avoid a 114 notice where the Govt. would take over.


71/2023                MINUTES


The Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 24th October 2023 were approved as a true record and signed


72/2023                 THE LAWNS PLAY AREA/Combe Wood Rec. Field


Following the request for a cricket net, or some other activity for children 11-18, Somerset County to be contacted to see what, if anything, is allowable within the terms of the Lease for Combe Wood Rec. Field, which is currently under-used.  The need and the question if people are interested in this scheme is being investigated.


Two new slightly wider mini football goals for The Lawns have been ordered.


73/2023                 PLANNING


  • App. 23/02732 Cuttifords Door Farm. Removal of existing temporary storage trailers, and erection of a steel framed workshop/store building.     2 Letters of objection received.  New building is approx.

100 sq. feet whereas previous was only 20 sq. feet.  Object This building is too large – (amendment received a few days later but for slightly smaller building.

  • App. 23/02790/PAMB Pole Rue Farm, Pole Rue. Prior approval notification for change of use for an agricultural building to a dwelling-house. Notification only. No observations.


73/2023                Planning      (cont’d)


  • App.23/02945 Amended plans from App 23/01551, Proposed Annex at Grovelands, adjacent Clayhanger Lane junction, Wadeford.

Following site meeting – Object as amendment plans show 500mm wide Sliver of pitched roof which is unconvincing in suggesting a `good neighbour` to the host building.  An amended scheme was suggested but not sent on to Planning Officer – the front half of the roof to be pitched and use the integral garage as loss of accommodation space.  There are 4 parking areas in the driveway area.

  • Notification of Enforcement action, re Land off Whiteway, north of Hengrove Lodge. App.22/00055/ENF




It was resolved to purchase 2 x 2 packs water snakes, as budgeted for in the grant from Somerset Prepared.  A meeting has been arranged with Highways to re-visit the drainage problem at George Barton/buttle overflowing.

The next public meeting re Resilience has been moved to Friday 26th January


75/2023               HIGHWAYS


  1. Footpaths – Bonds Hill lower end – The new steps have now been built and the Footpath volunteers have arranged to put up a new hand-rail. The owner of the land has paid for the steps at no cost to the Parish Council.  Dedication of part of the footpath still being investigated, as with Public liability
  2. A358 – Report Councillor Ian Croucher gave a report re his meeting with representatives from National Highways re the consultation proposals for the A358. Following discussion – to recommend a feeder road to the A303 at the roundabout but a right-of-way exists which could cause a problem in widening the road.  The proposals generally for the A358 scheme does not affect this Parish directly, but we joined the CoP (compilation of parishes along the route from Taunton) to support them as because we were concerned extra traffic would use the roads through our Parish and Eagle junction on the A303 while any roadworks for this large scheme were taking place.
  3. Combe Wood Lane – The road was shut for a few days while a channel was dug for new electric cables for the alterations to Newhouse Farm. The larger vehicles (3) that turned into Combe Wood Lane from Combe Hill has damaged the name sign and gouged out part of the bank.  This point was made to the Planning Officer when the original planning application was discussed, and letter to be sent now re-iterating this fact.
  4. Cuttifords Door road – More large lorries are using the road, causing problems when trying to pass each other, and some are going to Blackdown Heights housing estate nearby. The warning signs for lorries appear to be missing now.  Highways to be informed.
  5. Buttle Cottage, – Proposed Stopping-Up Order received from Solicitors acting for Somerset Council re a small parcel of land in front driveway of Buttle Cottage which has been a dispute for some years.  All agreed to support this, and signed copy of proposal returned to Solictors.


76/2023                 THE LAWNS PLAY AREA/Combe Wood Rec. Field


Following the request for a cricket net, Somerset County to be contacted to see if this is allowable within the terms of the Lease for Combe Wood Rec. Field.  The `need` for the nets is also to be investigated.   It was also mentioned that there is very little provided for 12-18 year olds.


One of the mini football goals on The Lawns has been broken.

2 slightly larger goals have been ordered




77/2023                 CHRISTMAS TREE ON THE GREEN


The annual event of supplying a large Christmas Tree on The Green, switching on the tree lights and singing carols, accompanied by Chard Concert Brass had been arranged by the Gala Committee up until this year.  The Gala Association has now amalgamated with the Combe Community Group.  A request has been made for the Parish Council to arrange insurance for this event with cover under the current public liability policy.  This proposal was agreed by all Councillors.  Clerk to arrange.


78/2023                 FINANCE


The figures were circulated for information for deciding upon the precept to be set for the year

4/2024 – 3/2025.  Final decision to be made at the January meeting.

Half-year rent received from the Allotments Assoc. £220.50

After discussion it was agreed to donate £2000 to the P.C.C. towards the Upkeep of the Churchyard (full cost being £4010) and £200 to Combe St. Nicholas Methodist Church for the Upkeep of their grounds.

A Christmas lunch for the footpath clearance volunteers who meet weekly was also agreed.

It was agreed that if any urgent payments are required before the January meeting can be paid following confirmation from the Chairman.


The following payments were approved and will be paid via Internet Banking/Cheque


Mrs A. Hunt (broadband costs)                                                                      £30.00

Powell & Sons (grass cutting The Lawns, The Green, Combe Wood Field Top of Stoopers Hill and clearing around seats £2805.00+vat + £3366.00

Village Hall (November PC mtg + Resilience meeting held 2nd Oct)£18.00 + £22.50

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal  (S.137)                                                £100.00

Combe St. Nicholas P.C.C. (upkeep of churchyard)                                      £2000.00

Combe St. Nicholas Methodist Church (upkeep of church grounds)            £200.00

Dr. W. Freeston (repay cost of Footpath Volunteers lunch)                         £258.30

Mrs. L. Purcell (Allotments half-year rent)                                                    £220.50



79/2023                 GENERAL MATTERS  


A Happy Christmas message was shared to all

Combe St. Nicholas Parish Council