Mere Town Council

Town Clerk - Mrs. L. C. Wood

Minutes of a meeting of the Town Council held on Monday, 2nd July 2018 at 7.30 p.m. in The Andy Young Pavilion, Springfield Road, Mere, BA12 6EW

Present: Councillors J. Jordan (Chairman), Mrs. K. Symonds (Vice-Chairman), C. Hazzard, R. Hill, G. Ings, G. Jeans, E. Mitchell, B. Norris, Mrs. L. Traves
Also:  7 members of the public & 1 press

Public Session
The Chairman will convene the Town Council meeting after the public session (please note that members of the public are no longer permitted to speak unless invited to do so by the Chairman).
Jenny Seward, the applicant of planning application 18/04804/FUL, explained that she had submitted an application to divide Forge Cottage into two units rather than one. She said that the cottage currently has a tenant who is a single gentleman and because it is a large house, the rent has been quite high and therefore it would make more sense to divide into two and the rent would be more manageable for single people or young people on lower incomes
Mr. Philip Sheldon spoke regarding the planning application for a garage at 2 Duchy Cottages (Application 18/04913/FUL) and said that although the applicants were now proposing to move the face back & reduce the height by 40cm, he still felt that it was too large and would still be overbearing. He said that the proposed garage is double the height of the existing garage and will cause him an amount of overshadowing at certain times of the day which will result in a lack of amenity.
Laura Rich applicant for the planning application for a single story extension at Holt, Water Street (18/05166/FUL) explained that the purpose of the extension is to add a new kitchen and put a bedroom in the old kitchen as with three children there were insufficient bedrooms.  Mrs. Rich also explained that they had arranged for builders to be available to carry out the work during school holidays so that it won't impact too much on traffic gaining access to Ivymead/Springfield Road.
Mr. Dick Morris said he wanted to let the Town Council know that a couple of barrow loads of bark chippings had been stolen from the bridle path leading from Downside Close to Shreenwater.
The Chairman said that in the Wessex Water news magazine there is an article about communities providing a water refill point so that people can refill their water bottles.  Wessex Water will award up to £1500 to help communities provide this facility. Freshford successfully applied for this and now have a little machine in their community shop which people can come in and use to fill up their water bottles. The Chairman wondered whether the Town Council might like to pursue this idea or feel that it is worth making further investigations. It was agreed to raise this for further discussion at a future meeting.
Cllr. Hill wanted to thank the Council for nominating him to attend the Royal Garden Party.  He said that his name had been picked out of the hat by Wiltshire Association of Local Councils and that he and his wife had attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in June and they had both thoroughly enjoyed it.

Apologies for absence received from Cllrs. A. Colman, P Coward, R Coward, Mrs. J. Hurd & R Sims

169.  To receive declarations of interest from members and to consider requests for new DPI dispensations.
Members are invited to declare disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests in items on the agenda as required by the Mere Town Council Code of Conduct for Members and by the Localism Act 2011.




  • Cllr. Mrs. Traves declared personal interest in planning application 18/04804/FUL
  • Cllr. G. Ings declared personal interest in planning applications 18/03558/LBC and 18/05166/FUL
  • Cllr. G Jeans declared personal interest in planning application 18/05166/FUL
  • Mrs. Lindsey Wood, Town Clerk, declared a personal interest in planning application 18/04913/FUL (as an officer of the Town Council and not an elected member the town clerk is not required to declare an interest but wished to do so as a matter of good practice as this planning application had been submitted by a neighbour)
  • Cllr. G. Jeans declared a personal interest in Minute No. 174b) (Leases for car parks & public toilets)

170. Minutes – RESOLVED to approve Minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 4th June 2018 on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr Norris and carried with a unanimous vote of those present at the meeting on 4.6.18

171. Matters arising
a) General Data Protection Regulations – update on actions - The clerk reported that the privacy policy was now on the council's website.  Some councillors had completed and submitted their consent forms and others were still pending.  Other actions identified at the last meeting were being progressed with Cllr Colman
b) Anniversary of Mere Clock Tower – report & update on event organisation – The Chairman reported that organisation was going well and invitations had now been sent out.  He had been asked if partners were included but explained that as the space was so restricted on the Clock Tower Island, the decision had been taken to exclude partners on grounds of safety (otherwise it would be necessary to apply for a temporary road closure).  He also urged those coming to use the car parks rather than park in the town centre.  The Chairman said that thanks to the generosity of private individuals and local businesses it had been possible to self-finance this event.

172. Reports and Consultations
a) Neighbourhood Policing Report – Cllr. Sims reported on the number of thefts from commercial vans in the town and said that the local police were appealing for witnesses.
b) County Councillor’s report – Cllr. Jeans said that he had written a comprehensive report for Mere Matters this month but pointed out that he had attended the shortest southern planning meeting last Thursday which lasted only 25 minutes: the planning application for Lloyds bank was withdrawn due to technical problems

173.  Planning
a) Applications: (All applications can be viewed on Wiltshire Council’s website http://planning.wiltshire.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/ApplicationSearch.aspx   – and type in the relevant application number)

Application Ref:                      18/03558/LBC
Application for:                       Listed Building Consent
Proposal:                                 To replace existing single glazed lead lighting in the school
room to the rear of the church with slimline, heritage double
glazed units. 
At:                                            Mere Methodist Church, North Street, Mere.  BA12 6HH

RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on condition that the conservation officer is happy with the replacement windows on proposal made by Cllr. K. Symonds, seconded by Cllr. R Hill, and carried with a majority vote (Cllr Ings having declared a personal interest abstained from discussion or voting on this item and in order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)


Application Ref:                      18/04804/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 Conversion of Forge Cottage into two residential units
At:                                            Forge Cottage, North Street, Mere.  BA12 6HH
Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she felt parking was the issue with this planning application.  Cllr. Norris said that he had concerns regarding overdevelopment back in 2013 when one of these properties was split into two and to split another one of them into two would be more worrying as on-street parking in North Street was congested.  RESOLVED to recommend refusal of the above application for the following reasons: ‘The Town Council considers that the conversion of Forge Cottage into two residential units would constitute overdevelopment, resulting in a lack of amenity and contributing to the problem of on-street parking and movement along North Street which is already severely congested and on occasions, incapable of allowing access for emergency vehicles.  NB – it would appear that the parking spaces shown in the plan were already allocated as parking spaces for the conversation of another part of the property on this site under planning application S/2013/0078’.  Proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Symonds and carried with a vote of 4 for, 1 against and 4 abstentions. (Cllr Mrs. Traves having declared a personal interest abstained from discussion or voting on this item and in order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)


Application Ref:                      18/05138/OUT
Application for:                       Outline Planning
Proposal:                                 Outline Planning Application for a mix of B1 & B8 uses
comprising approximately 10,000m2 of floorspace, associated
works and provision of access from the A303 Interchange site
and Hill Brush Factory (all other matters reserved).
At:                                            Land adjacent to Dead Maid Quarry Industrial Estate, Mere. 
BA12 6LA
Please note that this planning application is within the parish of Zeals
The Chairman confirmed that this is largely a renewal for outline planning permission with the inclusion of reserved matters for the access which has now been built.  Cllr. Mitchell said that the proposal offered much needed employment in the area. 
RESOLVED to recommend approval of this application on proposal made by Cllr. Mitchell, seconded by Council Ings and carried with a vote of 8 for.  (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting)


Application Ref:                      18/05166/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 Single storey rear extension
At:                                            Holt, Water Street, Mere.  BA12 6DY
The Chairman summarised this by informing members that there were no windows facing west, the windows on the south elevation were above head height and there have been no objections raised by neighbours.  There was room around the proposed building line for future maintenance work.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of this application on proposal made by Cllr. Mrs. Traves, seconded by Cllr Mrs Symonds and carried with a vote of 7 for, 0 against and 2 abstentions (Both Cllrs. Ings & Jeans, having declared a personal interest in this planning application, abstained from discussion or voting on this item.)


Application Ref:                      18/05751/TCA
Application for:                       Work to Trees IN a Cons. Area
Proposal:                                 T1 – Copper Beech Tree – reduce side laterals by 2m & remove
all deadwood & light crown end thin.
At:                                            Mere Lecture Hall, Salisbury Street, Mere.  BA12 6HA
RESOLVED to recommend the above application for approval on proposal made by Cllr Hill seconded by Cllr Mrs Symonds and carried with a unanimous vote


Application Ref:                      18/04913/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 Removal of single garage and shed on driveway and
replacement with a double garage.
At:                                            2 Duchy Cottages, North Road,  Mere,  BA12 6HG
The Chairman gave a summary report on the planning history of the site.  Members noted that there is a letter of support from the neighbour on the western side of the application site. Cllr. Hazzard said that it would appear that I am this applicant’s worst nightmare but I am aware that a previous application for a garage on this site has been refused and it was even refused again by a Planning Inspector at Appeal due to it being too big for the street scene. He said he was aware that the Inspector had felt that the garage would not materially harm the living conditions of the occupiers of No 1 with regard to outlook and light but Cllr. Hazzard felt that it would have an adverse effect on the occupiers of No. 1 and although the proposed garage has now been reduced in length by 2.23m, it has only been reduced in height by 40cm and he felt that this was still excessive in scale and mass.  Cllr. Jordan said that a standard single garage would be about 2m tall and that a garage that is 6.77m long is a big garage but to also make it 4.6m high is excessive.  Cllr. Mrs. Symonds said that she feels for the applicants but felt it was a real shame that they could not actually consult with the planning department to see what would be acceptable before submitting plans.  She said that regretfully she could not support this application. Cllr. Mrs. Traves said that the proposed garage was too high considering that it was in an elevated position.  RESOLVED to recommend refusal of the above application for the following reasons: The Town Council considers that this application does not address the previous reasons for refusal.  The proposal site in relation to the garage directly abuts the side garden area serving No. 1 Duchy Cottages, and the site itself is readily visible in the surrounding street scene, being positioned closer to the road than the existing dwellings.  The proposed garage, by reason of its excessive scale and mass and siting would have a detrimental impact on the character and setting of the street scene, and would have an overbearing impact on the amenities of neighbouring property No. 1 Duchy Cottages.  The proposed development is therefore considered contrary to the aims and objectives of CP57 of the Wiltshire Core Strategy and the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework.  Proposal made by Cllr. Hazzard, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a vote of 8 for.  (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting).  The Clerk was asked to Minute that the Town Council recommends that applicants seek advice from Wiltshire Council's planning department prior to submitting an application.

Application Ref:                      18/04855/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 Construction of outdoor all weather menage
At:                                            Longmead, Barrow Street, Mere.  BA12 6AB
Cllr. Mitchell said he had been to see the site which was surrounded by high hedge.  The property had no neighbours and you wouldn’t even know that the menage was there.  Cllr. Jeans mentioned that there had been an issue with lighting and noise levels at a previous application for a menage within the district.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the above application on proposal made by Cllr Mitchell, seconded by Cllr. Ings and carried with a vote of 8 for and one abstention. (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting).


Application Ref:                      18/05483/FUL
Application for:                       Full Planning
Proposal:                                 New livestock building
At:                                            Manor Farm, Manor Road, Mere.  BA12 6HR
Cllr Mitchell explained that this farmer had suffered restrictions due to an outbreak of TB recently and needed a new building in which to keep young livestock.  RESOLVED to recommend approval of the application on proposal made by Cllr Norris seconded by Cllr Ings and carried with a vote of 8 for and one abstention (In order not to compromise his position as Wiltshire councillor, Cllr Jeans abstained from discussion or voting).

b) Ref:  Planning Application 16/12217/OUT – Report on Public Inquiry for Appeal by Richborough Estates for Outline Planning to develop land at Castle Street, Mere – The Chairman reported that there was no news on the outcome of the Public Inquiry as yet.  He was, however, aware that the CPRE had submitted a formal complaint about relationship between officers at Wiltshire Council and staff at Richborough but he was not aware whether or not a response to the complaint had yet been received.
c) Neighbourhood Plan update
Cllr Norris reported that Neighbourhood Planning has been under review by central government and the results of this review will not be known until the autumn and this has slowed progress on the Mere Neighbourhood Plan slightly.  However, the Mere Neighbourhood Plan Group (MNPG) had a meeting last week, the result of which was that they still need to do more work on background papers.  The MNPG is looking for a secretary.

174.  Highways, Rivers, Footpaths, Traffic & Transport
a)  Highway & footpath issues for Parish Steward, Wiltshire online reporting & street lighting faults – Cllr. Norris reported holes in the pavement along Angel Lane and also outside Sprout & Flower in The Square (he said that he would inspect and give further information to the Town Clerk)
Cllr Hill reported a pothole on road just pass Gillingham Corner on the road towards Gillingham.  He pointed out that in order to avoid the pothole you have to go onto the other side of the road on a blind bend.  He said it was a very deep pothole and is likely to call a serious accident.
The Chairman said that he had made a request to the Cabinet Member for Highways to renew the white lines at the end of Boar Street.  He said that these are no longer visible and there is no inkling for drivers to give way.
b) Leases for car parks & public toilets – to approve terms of lease & instruct solicitors – the Chairman said that Wiltshire Council had come back with the terms for the new leases for the car parks & public toilets as follows:
1.Demise – As shown on the plan  of the previous lease, which expired on 31st March 2018
2.Term-7 years (less 5 days) from 1 April 2018
3.Rent- Peppercorn( if demanded)
4.Permitted Use- As a car park without charge
5.Security of Tenure- the lease will be excluded from the Security of Tenure provisions  contained in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
6.Repairs- The Tenant will be responsible for all repairs. The condition schedule attached to the previous lease will be attached to a new lease as an indicator of the condition of the car park when the Parish Council took control.
7.Other Terms and Conditions- As contained in the lease dated 25th February 2013.
Wiltshire Council’s Estates Surveyor also said that she had been reminded of the request by Mere Surgery to extend and take dedicated spaces in the car park and wondered if it would be prudent to add a provision regarding the surrender by the Town Council of spaces to be used solely by the surgery in the event of any extension of the surgery.  She also said that with regards to a restriction on more than 72 hour parking, this would require a change in the Traffic Regulation Order affecting the car park and this would entail hours of Council officer time and consultation/advertisement and would need to be carried out at the expense of the Town Council.
The Chairman felt that the terms of the lease were very one-sided and Cllr. Norris said that if he was entering into the lease privately, then he would not agree to these terms, but as a Town Council he feels that we have no choice if we want to keep the car parks free.  Cllr. Hazzard said that the actual doctors should have their own dedicated car parking spaces when the surgery is open.  The Chairman felt that the Town Council should proceed with getting draft leases from Wiltshire Council and in addition, provision should be made for doctor’s parking (not surgery parking).  Members felt that it was not clear what Wiltshire Council was asking for – was it to think now about surrendering land from the lease for the possible expansion of the surgery into the car park or whether they want us to think now about surrendering car parking spaces to be dedicated to the surgery, for their patients or staff.  Cllr. Norris felt that the Town Council was making hard work of this and said that the Town Council could make provision for doctors’ parking at a later date.  Members were not prepared to dedicate car parking spaces to the surgery for patients or staff although may consider, in the future, the issue of dedicating one or two spaces to the doctors for use whilst they are at the surgery.  However, the Town Council is more concerned with getting the leases underway at the present time and felt that detailed discussions on surrendering land for the doctors surgery at the present time, when there are so many other factors involved, may just delay issues even further.  RESOLVED to ask Wiltshire Council to prepare draft leases so that they can be forwarded to the Town Council’s solicitor to help manage the process, on proposal made by the Chairman, seconded by Cllr. Norris and carried with a vote of 7 for and 2 abstentions.  (Cllr. Jeans, having declared a personal interest in this item, refrained from voting).

175.  Buildings, Open Spaces, Play Areas, Sports Grounds, Allotments & Cemeteries
*a) To set policy for the surrender of Deeds of Exclusive Rights of Burial – to approve draft wording to add to Rules & Regulations on Surrender of Exclusive Right of Burial and further information to be provided to those purchasing a Deed of Exclusive Right of Burial.  RESOLVED to approve the following wording: ‘The owner of an Exclusive Right of Burial can surrender the Exclusive Right of Burial if the grave has not been used for burial, on completion of a Surrender Form and return of the original Deed of Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial (if possible).  The surrender value being the original purchase price as specified on the Deed of Grant’.  Proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Mrs. Traves and carried with a unanimous vote.
b) Allotment review – report on review of non-cultivated allotments conducted by Clerk & Chairman in mid-June. The Clerk reported that she and the Chairman had carried out an allotment inspection on 19th June on all three allotment sites.  Seven allotments had been identified as not being cultivated and letters had gone out to those allotment holders.  Two of those allotment have subsequently been attended to and the Clerk said that she would inspect the remaining five during the next week or two.  If no action has been taken, further letters will be sent out with a view to asking our grounds staff to step in and strim the allotments
c)  Walnut Road Play Area – discussion on what to do to refurbish/revitalise the play area, quotations for new equipment vs budget allocation and installation of new equipment.  Also offer from Walnut Tree Public House to purchase play area and remove responsibility from Town Council. – The Clerk reported that there had been some recent damage that had caused safety concerns to the play equipment at Walnut Road and it had been necessary to stop access to the equipment.  The Clerk had received an email from Mark Cassidy pointing out that this has a knock-on effect to the Walnut Tree Inn as most people assume that the play area belongs to the pub and that it is the pub who are not bothered about its upkeep.  Mr. Cassidy said that if reinstating a contribution towards the upkeep of the play area is necessary to get things done then they are prepared to consider it but he also asked if the council would consider selling the play park to the public house.  The Clerk reminded members that the play area had been discussed at the Budget meeting when she had pointed out that some of the equipment was now getting old and needing repair and the Council had agreed to budget £1000 to add to reserves of £1240 in order to build up funds for repairs and replacements in the Walnut Road Play Area.  To this effect, she had received some quotations for adding some new equipment and a new seat but these had come in at nearly £3000 to supply only; the Clerk was also hoping to install some brackets to stabilise the wobbly fencing on top of the wall. & it would be necessary to add another £300 to provide an installation safety certificate to satisfy insurance requirements.  Cllr. Hazzard said that the play area was in a terrible and dire state but said he was against selling the play area to the public house and felt it should remain in Town Council ownership.  He said that he realised that it was in Mark Cassidy’s interest and perhaps the Town Council could include Mark in discussions on replacement equipment and repairs.  He said that Mark may want a say in what equipment goes in there and may even be prepared to make a financial contribution.  Cllr. Norris asked if it would be possible to lease the play area to the public house and then they could manage it.  Cllr. Hill said that the play area was currently open for all children to use at all times and that was how it should stay.  Members unanimously agreed that the Walnut Road Play Area should remain under the Town Council’s ownership.  Cllr. Hazzard proposed that the Town Council should spend £6000 on providing some decent equipment and he would go to Mark Cassidy to ask for his input as to what equipment is provided and whether or not he would be prepared to make a contribution.  This proposal was seconded by Cllr. Mitchell.  Voting was 4 for, 4 against & 1 abstention and so the Chairman used his casting vote to vote against the proposal saying that the figure of £6,000 went way beyond what had been agreed at the budget meeting.  Cllr. Symonds made a counter proposal on the same basis as Clive’s proposal but that an adequate sum be spent to provide some new equipment in consultation with Mark and that the decision on the final amount be delegated to the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Cllr. Hazzard & The Clerk.  Proposal carried with a vote of 8 for and 1 abstention.
d) Refurbishment of War Memorial – The Clerk reported that the conservation refurbishment work had been complete and a report had been received with photographs.  The Clerk pointed out that surface cracking to the Cross head and, in particular, cracking in the ‘collar’ suggested that there may be an internal iron dowel attaching the head to the shaft.  The head was therefore removed, but it was found that there was no metal involved.  Instead, a tenon on the bottom of the cross fitted inside the collar, which was hollowed out and packed with Portland cement.  As the collar was cracked this system was no longer safe, so instead the head was re-attached with two 12mm X 300mm stainless steel internal dowels set in polyester resin.  Broken section of collar were reattached using 3mm dowels, also set in resin.  The conservators, Mr. & Mrs. Kelland of Kelland Conservation said ‘We are pleased that people like the work; we have received more kindness and friendliness in Mere than anywhere in the last 30-odd years, including cups of tea, biscuits and even sandwiches – a great place!’  The Clerk said that the office was preparing a completion report for the War Memorials Trust in order to claim the conservation grant awarded.

176 Finance, Policy & Resources
*a) Payments – RESOLVED to approve payments as shown on the payment schedule for the meeting on proposal made by Cllr. Norris, seconded by Cllr. Jeans and carried with a unanimous vote.

177. Forthcoming meetings/events
South West Wiltshire Area Board Meeting, Wednesday, 18th July 2018 at 6.30 p.m. at The Nadder Centre, Tisbury.

178.  Future agenda items

  • None


Note:  Members are reminded that the Town Council has a general duty to consider the following matters in the exercise of any of its functions: Equal Opportunities (race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and any disability), Crime and Disorder, Health and Safety and Human Rights.


*Further information on these items enclosed/attached


Meeting closed at 9:20 pm

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