MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE RECREATION AND OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE held on Monday, 20th December 2016 in the Parish Room, South Darenth at 7.30 pm.
PRESENT: Cllrs James Stewart (Chairman)
I Blackamore, C Page, M Stead
T May, M Burroughs (SD Football Club)
Steve Kitcher; Resident of Millen Court
IN ATTENDANCE: H Rohard, Parish Clerk
135 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Received from Cllr C Page and Mr M Mason
136 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr Blackamore declared a pecuniary interest in Heathside and Play Areas Agenda items
137 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting held on 31st October 2016 be approved and signed as a correct record.
138 MATTERS ARISING
List of assets and maintenance schedule to be drawn up: this is in progress
Garden of remembrance letters to relatives: ref items being left at the wall; to be completed.
Franks Lane River bank new plans: new drawings have been ordered and awaited
Avenue House Invoice: still outstanding despite 2 reminders being sent by email and post. Members requested that a letter before action be sent. Outstanding.
Allotment Inspection: Letters to plot holders regarding trees to be sent out.
Heathside lighting: Certificate of Lawful Development to be applied for. This will now be included in the playground proposal.
Barbed wire on Court Lodge fence and River trap: Clerk has emailed to owner but no response has been received as yet.
Signs for Picnic area: wording to be sent to Lothlorien to have made up and installed.
Picnic area gates: these have been fixed
Car park hatching: quotes to be obtained
Westminster Field parking issues: Millen Court residents management company will be going ahead with parking restrictions and have appointed a parking contractor. A request from the management company for bollards to be installed on the verges in The Street has been forwarded to Cllr Roger Gough as this is KCC land.
Car Park Business Rates: SDC have advised that rates are payable regardless of whether the car park is free to use or charged. The Clerk will contact the Valuation Office for a re-valuation to be carried out in order that Business Rates are accurate.
Picnic bench at Saxon Place: SPCA have said that they will pay for another inspection if the installation is not made in time for the Annual Play Inspection due in March.
Burial ground letters: to be sent out following Health and Safety inspection in September
All other action points had been completed.
138 TREE WORKS
Quote had been received for the various areas that need attention. Some of the tree work was suggested by the tree surgeon as needing hedge cutting; Cllr Blackmore proposed the following were approved as part of this years’ expenditure with the rest being held over to next year. Cllr Stewart seconded; unanimous vote
RESOLVED that £960 be spent: to remove stumps in 100 Year Wood £300, Heathside group of tree at bottom of field, fell and grind below ground level and level ground £480 Lower Paddock Sycamore and Ash lift low branches and sever Ivy £180
ACTION: Clerk to liaise with contractors ref hedgecutting Westminster Field and Heathside.
139 WESTMINSTER FIELD
Boardwalk on PROW SD93/DR93: the boardwalk was installed some years ago and needs attention and improved accessibility. Costs to be brought to next meeting.
Litter being left after football was raised and Mick Borroughs will try using temporary bins by pitches to encourage players and spectators to make use of them.
Mick reported that heaters in the pavilion are not working properly and that the toilet does not always flush. ACTION: Clerk to add to maintenance list.
Quote was received to repair Heathside 5 bar gate (£240) to compare against cost to replace (£175 + delivery + fitting). Unanimous vote to have the gate fixed by Artisan Engineering.
Quote was received to repair items for the Trim Trail manufacturers Fawns. The Guarantee has now expired. £525.60+ VAT remedial work to bring all items back into use or £1893.80 + VAT to renew some items that would soon need replacing. 3rd option would be to remove rotten items and make safe existing equipment £192 + VAT. The lifespan of the equipment at the last inspection was given as 3 years. As there is no budget left this year for Playground Maintenance the Clerk advised that the decision would have to be made by the Parish Council to spend from Reserves on whichever option they voted for.
Cllr House recommended that the long term ideas for Heathside were discussed in more detail for the Parish Council to consider and would need a Heathside Focus Group.
A meeting to walk around Heathside and put ideas together was proposed for the 8th January with an indoor meeting 9th January in the Parish Room at 7.30pm for any interested Parish Councillors to attend.
The discussion should include the Play area, football club and club house discussions, trim trail and lighting.
The resin picnic bench which had been deliberately set alight would cost between £578 and £717 to replace. The concrete pad would also need to be replaced/repaired as it had been cracked by the heat. General agreement was to wait until the plans for the future playground became more solid before deciding on where to put new picnic benches.
141 TOP and LOWER PADDOCKS
There were no maintenance issues to consider.
142 PLAY AREAS
Cllr Blackamore left the meeting. 3 quotes were considered for the removal of the play equipment and surfaces from Horton Kirby School Play Area. MDH Horticultural Contractors £960 inc VAT Valley Provincial £1875 +VAT Lothlorien £1290+ VAT
Cllr Willson proposed that MDH quote be accepted on condition that a valid waste carriers licence is produced (the Clerk had requested this but had not had sight of it at time of the meeting) Cllr House seconded; vote unanimous. RESOLVED that MDH Horticultural Contractors be instructed to carry out the work for £960 inc VAT
Cllr Blackamore returned to the meeting.
Cllr Blackamore asked where the bin and 2 benches in the School Playground could be used; the focus group could keep these in mind for being used in Heathside or elsewhere.
Cllr Stewart had the results of the online survey regarding play equipment; 114 respondents 100% said they would like to see more play equipment in the Parish. 50/50 split between where a new playground should be between Westminster Field and Heathside. 22% said Shrubbery Road should have extra equipment and 5 said the school play area should be kept open.
The priorities for equipment according to the survey was:
Slides, Climbing equipment, swings, toddler swings, cradle swing, assault course, trim trail, adult fitness equipment. Suggestions were made for a skate park, bike jump, zip wire, inclusive roundabout.
Discussion about the Westminster Field option; as this is a in a Conservation area any play equipment would have to be low level in height and low impact visually, for example, play boulders or small wooden equipment. The field regularly floods which would damage equipment. The advantage is having the Public Toilets on site.
35% of the respondents lived in Horton Kirby and 57% lived in South Darenth. 8% lived in Sutton at Hone, Hawley and Wilmington.
All the findings to be considered by the focus group and Committee when planning play area expenditure together with the St Georges Day survey results.
143 BURIAL GROUND
Cllr Blackamore reported that an inspection pit had been dug to try to locate the water pipe with the intention of seeing whether it would be feasible to redirect it around the edge of the Burial Ground thereby freeing up potential burial plots. So far the location of the pipe has not been indentified. ACTION Clerk to contact Court Lodge Farm to see if they have any information that may help and ownership of the pipe.
Franks Hall, Franks Lane
Minor Material amendment to SE/15/03560/FUL (proposed restoration and conversion of The Gallery to create a new dwelling) to amend the location of the access road.
145 DATE OF NEXT COMMITTEE
27th February 2017
Meeting ended at 9.02pm Chairman