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Minutes for December 2009

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on

Monday 14 December 2009 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair), N Bettinson, G Gilmour, I Hill, F Kennedy, A King,

R Mayow, D Millington, C Robson, V Turpin and the Clerk

Also present: 12 members of the public

In attendance: Cllr N Clarkson, Ward Councillor; PCSO Willison


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs P Argyle, J Haile, J Rowlands and G P Smith.


Cllr King declared an interest in the planning application for Abbey Road as the owner of an adjacent property.


The planning application for 11 new dwellings on Abbey Road was the issue of concern to residents present. The Chairman outlined the history of previous planning applications for this site when CBC had supported the principle of development. He also explained the way in which planning decisions were made by CBC and the factors which would be taken into account.

Members of the public expressed great concern about the planning application. The development would result in the loss of a green open space and would fundamentally change the landscape of the area around the Priory, an important grade 1 listed building. The site is within the conservation area and the development would adversely affect the character of the area. Abbey Road is already narrow and the proposal for a pavement would narrow the road still further. The road is not suitable for more traffic and there were concerns that the development could lead to overspill parking along the road. It was noted that the application made reference to a report commissioned by CBC which appeared to be supportive of development on part of the site but the report was not within the papers sent to the Parish Council as part of the consultation process.

Cllr Clarkson explained that he had opposed the earlier planning applications and would continue to object strongly to any development on this site. He would be pressing for the application to be put before the Planning Panel and he encouraged those present to ensure that local opposition to the proposals was well publicised.


It was RESOLVED to bring forward this item on the agenda.

The Chairman welcomed PCSO Willison who was attending on behalf of the local officers. PCSO Willison provided a breakdown of logs since January 2009. It was noted that the figures were relatively low and showed no significant areas of concern. The figures for Rottington were not included in the breakdown but to date there had only been four reports for Rottington. PCSO Willison explained that the practice of having dedicated officers had increased the police presence in the area.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2009 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman subject to the deletion of the word ‘locum’ from minute 185(d)


(a) Fairladies car park & footpath – The council’s solicitor had reported that the transfer documents were being prepared for signature. A quotation had been received from Mayson Bros for routine maintenance of lights etc as well as annual inspections of the lighting columns.

It was RESOLVED that a grit bin be purchased as soon as the transfer of ownership was confirmed.

(b) Priory Paddock tree work – As the paddock is within the conservation area, permission was being sought from CBC before the work was carried out.


(c) Other items from the action list

  • Old Mill Race – Cllr Robson had contacted English Heritage but as the site is not of national importance it was not appropriate to list it.
  • Implications of Boundary Changes – CALC had indicated that CBC believed the ratio of councillors to electors in St Bees was appropriate without the need to create an additional seat. However, CBC was to consult before making a firm decision. CBC was also continuing discussions with Sandwith residents about their wish to establish a new parish council to determine whether they are seeking to include Rottington in any new parish.

It was RESOLVED to continue to press for an additional seat to be created for St Bees


  • Allotment fence – the fence had been installed but it was felt that it was not sufficient to prevent someone falling into the ditch. The Clerk would ask the contractor to strengthen the fence.


Correspondence had been received from CBC about the extension of locality working which was being piloted in three areas of Copeland. It was likely that work would begin shortly to establish a locality group centred on Egremont and parish councillors from St Bees would be invited to take part in the discussions.


A meeting had taken place recently between CBC and representatives of the council to discuss the application for a quality coast award for St Bees. CBC was keen to press ahead with the application and was hoping that funds would be available to improve signage and facilities.


It was RESOLVED to defer this item to the next meeting.


It was noted that there had been no progress with repairs to the lights at the Beach car park.

It was RESOLVED to ask Cllr Clarkson to take up the matter with appropriate officers at CBC.


It was noted that additional lighting had now been provided in the area of 52/53 Main Street.


(a)New Applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on the following new applications received for comment since the last meeting:-

(i) Ref 4/09/2522/0L1 Listed building consent for new opening in garden wall for access gate and insert new window to kitchen – Mayfield, Finkle Street

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application, although it was noted that the gate would open onto private land.

(ii)Ref 4/09/2534/0F1 11 New dwellings – Land at Abbey Road, St Bees

The objections voiced by members of the public in person and by letter were discussed and noted. It was also noted that neither the report by Mr J Brown nor the photomontages mentioned by the applicant in the supporting documentation were contained within the plans received.

It was RESOLVED to request copies of the report and the photomontages and to object to this application on the following grounds:-

  • The development would have an adverse effect on the landscape of the area around the Priory, a Grade 1 Listed building, and would be contrary to CBC’s policy ENV 26 which limits developments in conservation areas to schemes which preserve or enhance the character of the area
  • The development would significantly change the views of the Priory from various parts of the village, contrary to policy ENV 33 which protects the setting of important historic buildings


  • The development would result in the loss of a green open space which is part of the historic landscape of St Bees
  • The scheme would result in narrowing of the carriageway of Abbey Road to create a pavement. The road is already narrow and is not suitable for additional traffic without improvements to the road layout.
  • It is likely that the development could lead to overspill parking on Abbey Road.
  • The site may have archaeological significance – the desk top survey included with the application appears to be out of date.
  • The Copeland Local Plan (table HSG 6) does not include additional housing in St Bees in the period up to 2016

It was further RESOLVED to seek an assurance that the application would be considered by the Planning Panel rather than the decision being delegated to officers in view of the sensitive nature of the site and the strong local feeling against development in this area. It was also RESOLVED to ask CBC to be represented at a public meeting to discuss the application.

(iii)Ref 4/09/2543/0F1 Change of use of part of field to stone surfaced yard –Whin Bank, Rottington

It was not clear whether this application was retrospective.

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection in principle to this development but clarification would be sought on whether the application related to the hard standing area already in place.

(b) Applications approved/refused –

  • New 1st floor extension, changes to internal layout and new balcony – Hedingham House, Seamill Lane – APPROVED
  • Demolition of existing garage & filling station forecourt, remediation of land and erection of 6x 2 bedroom properties, Station Rd – APPROVED with conditions
  • Storage Building for agricultural machinery, Whin Bank, Rottington – APPROVED with revised landscaping requirements
  • Two containers with double doors & service bay (retrospective), Whin Bank, Rottington – APPROVED with revised landscaping requirements.
  • Change of use from former garden to create practice putting green and bunkers, St Bees School – APPROVED with conditions

199/09 FINANCE


It was RESOLVED that the following accounts be approved for payment:

  • Cheque no 001480 Brampton Woodworks LtdFinger post (Gutterfoot) £170.90 + VAT Total £196.54
  • Cheque no 001481 Brown’s Fencing Services fence at allotment field £350 + VAT Total £402.50
  • Cheque no 001482 Your Name Hererenewal of domain name £17.39 + VAT Total £20.00
  • Cheque no 001483 Assured Cumbria Pest Controlquarterly grasscutting payment Total £572.00
  • Cheque no 001484 United Utilities Water plcallotment water supply Total £12.05
  • Cheque no 001485 J Donaldson – salary Dec 09 £433.64 + postage £3.60 Total £437.24


(a) A letter had been received from Mr & Mrs Bowler thanking councillors and the Clerk for their help and support in opposing the recent planning application for Wyndhowe.

(b) Letters had been received from the following groups thanking the council for recent donations:

  • Copeland Rungwe Link
  • St Bees Priory Church
  • Friends of the Priory
  • FLAG
  • Royal British Legion


(c) A letter had been received from the Environment Agency inviting comments on an application to vary the authorisation to dispose of radioactive waste. Cllr Sim agreed to review the documents.


Fieldwork December 2009

CALC Circular Dec/Jan

FLAG Newsletter Dec 2009

Cumbrian Wildlife magazine and information pack


(a) The National Trust project co-ordinator would be meeting council representatives on Tuesday 15 December at 5.00pm to discuss their coastal signage project.

(b) The Clerk reported that from February 2010 monthly council meetings would be held in the upstairs room, although the council would have priority use of the main hall for meetings where a large public attendance was expected.

(c) Cllr Rowlands had informed the Clerk that his plans had changed and he would now be staying in St Bees and was happy to continue to serve as a parish councillor.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 18 January 2010 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.