Mere Town Council
Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood
DELEGATED DECISION REPORT _- AUGUST 2021:
As you know, we do not generally meet in August unless there is some compelling reason to do so. However, we continue to receive planning applications, invoices and requests from residents. Therefore, the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and myself have considered the following items and have put forward the following Delegated responses. If councillors feel strongly about any of these responses, please could you let me know a.s.a.p. and we will decide whether or not to call an extra meeting or defer responding.
- a) Applications for consultation response – (All applications can be viewed on Wiltshire Council’s Planning & Building Control Public Register – https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/ – type in the relevant application number)
|Application Type:||Removal or Variation of a Condition|
|Proposal:||Variation of conditions 2 & 3 of planning application 20/04741/FUL (Install 3 18ft yurts for Holiday accommodation and associated works).|
|Site Address:||Breaches Farm, Barrow Street, Mere. BA12 6AB|
Consultation deadline 10.8.21
Mere Town Council is happy with the variation of condition 2 (i.e. replacing Yurt No. 3 with a single-decker converted bus) but is not happy with the variation of condition 3 and feels that the bus should not be occupied for the period 1st Nov to 1st April. Whilst we appreciate that the bus cannot be disassembled or even moved from the site, members are concerned that If the bus were to be occupied 12 months of the year it would be akin to giving planning permission for permanent holiday accommodation which could then lead to permanent residential occupation. This site is in a position where permanent residential occupation would not be permitted.
|Application Type:||Proposed Works to Trees in a Conservation Area|
|Proposal:||T1 Magnolia – reduce back main canopy by 1 m. T2 Ash – remove main limb over garden. T3 Ash – Fell to low stump. T4 – Liquid Amber Reduce back main limbs growing towards Persian ironwood – approx 3m reduction. T5 Yew – Reduce approx 3m from back limbs overhanging pond|
|Site Address:||The Chantry, Church Street, Mere. BA12 6DS|
Consultation deadline 5.8.21
|Application Type:||Full Planning Permission|
|Proposal:||Erection of satellite dish|
|Site Address:||Land at Woodlands Road, Mere. BA12 6BS (C. G. Fry Development on old Hillbrush Company site).|
Consultation deadline 25.8.21Application link: https://development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z000015vLxs
Please see attached payment schedule
Lifting of restrictions
Regarding the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, we have reviewed our Risk Assessments (RA) for all facilities and I am attaching our written RA for the Andy Young Pavilion. I have pointed out to all user groups that whilst we are advising caution whilst prevalence is high, we don’t feel it is appropriate to impose restrictions but would like to suggest that when holding an activity or meeting in the pavilion, that they ensure that all members/participants are happy with their proposals in relation to social distancing and mask wearing.
- Andy Young Pavilion – please find the attached amended Risk Assessment.
- Clock Tower – Decision has been made to re-open the Clock Tower during the daytime.
- Public Toilets – Decision was made by Town Council at July meeting to re-open all public toilets and revert back to once-daily cleaning only. Hand sanitiser is provided in accessible toilets but not in gents or ladies. Gents urinal is not working and has now been blocked off with signage asking gents to use cubicles.
- Changing Rooms – there is no pending use for the changing rooms but the RA & suggestions that we have applied to the Andy Young Pavilion would be appropriate should we receive any requests for use.
- Duchy Manor Foyer (Town Council meetings) – the RA & suggestions that we have applied for the Andy Young Pavilion would apply
- Town Council Offices – offices have reopened for public to call during public opening times i.e. 10 am – 3 pm Tuesdays – Thursdays.
- All Children’s Play Areas – we have re-attached the swings that were removed to allow for social distancing. Signage remains appropriate and will stay in situ.
- Cemetery – social distancing signage was removed by public and there is no intention to replace
- Recreation Ground – Tennis Courts (Mere Tennis Club are adhering to LTA guidelines). Signage on skatepark was removed by public but there is no intention to replace.
- Castle Hill & Long Hill – no restrictions imposed and therefore unaffected.
- Allotments – no restrictions imposed and therefore unaffected.
I have received an email from Neil Francis informing me that there is not going to be any adult football next season (September to April) and I have also been told that the Under 18 team will not be playing next year either. This means that there will be no football on the main pitch. (The youth football teams are all still running but they use smaller pitches on the Recreation Ground and on Duchy Manor Sports Field).
I have received an email from someone who wants to start a new Sunday league football team and would like to use the Mere Town Football pitch for their home games. They have no need to use the showers but they would like to use the changing rooms if that complies with FA & our COVID Risk Assessments. This is an informal Sunday league team made up of mostly Wincanton & Mere players (I believe that there are 4 or 5 players that come from Mere) and the team will be registered with the Blackmore Vale Football League and have public liability insurance. Their league season will run from 12th September 2021 until mid-March 2022. There are no objections to this proposal from the other football teams.
We allow them use of the main pitch for their home games at the Delegated fee of £350 for the period 12.9.21 – mid-March 2022
We allow them use of the main pitch & changing rooms at the Delegated fee of £480 for the period 12.9.21 – mid-March 2022
Conditions of use:
- A copy of affiliated membership and proof of public liability insurance to be provided to the Town Clerk
- Teams must comply with government guidance in relation to COVID-19 and set its own risk assessment which will need to be approved by the Town Clerk.
- Teams (home and away) must adhere to Mere Town Council’s conditions of use and COVID-19 guidance and risk assessments.
- Teams (home and away) must adhere to FA guidance, best practice and policies generally but also more specifically FA COVID-19 guidance and keep up-to-date with changes to this guidance.
- No shower facilities
- No storage facilities
- Changing rooms must be kept clean at ALL times
- Football pitch & any other areas used (including car parking areas) must be cleared of all litter after use.
- No vehicular access to football pitches or across grounds other than for emergency vehicles in the event of an accident.
- Club to follow Policy for the clearance of sports grounds and recreation grounds in the event of air ambulance landing
- Mere Town Council will not cut the grass to order. We cut the grass in the Recreation Ground which includes the main football pitch on a regular basis. However, there are occasions when the weather conditions, staff holidays/sickness or machinery breakdowns may preclude cutting the grass as regularly as we would like. If the pitch conditions do not meet the team’s required standards then the team may appoint contractors to cut the pitch providing that the Town Clerk is notified beforehand and provided with the contractors public liability insurance certificate.
Suggestion to disable showers in the Community Changing Rooms
As part of our legionella risk management, at the present time our grounds staff are required to go into the changing rooms on a weekly basis – they then have to fire up the water heater (which is huge) wait for it to get to temperature and then run all the showers and the taps and flush all the toilets in the changing rooms. The water has to be left running for some time and the temperature of the water has to be recorded for each outlet.
There is no Mere Town Football Club at the present time and there is no requirement for the showers to be used for the foreseeable future (certainly not next season). I have had this confirmed by all football teams.
I would therefore like to suggest that we disable the showers by removing the shower heads and putting up tape/signage and that we cease with the shower legionella testing for the time being. This would mean that we would reduce the amount of gas that is used considerably and the amount of water that is used considerably – these resources are currently being wasted when there is no use of the showers. It would mean that when we do want to re-use the showers, that we will have to have the pipes & mixers professionally cleaned out by our legionella contractors but this shouldn’t cost any more than the amount of money we will have saved on gas and water + our grounds staff’s time in doing all the testing. We will still need to go in there and flush the toilets, run the taps on a weekly basis but this will not take as much time or need to waste so much water.
Urgent Tree works:
We have just received our tree survey report back and one tree in the back of Salisbury Street Car Park has been marked as ‘High Priority’ as it has shown rapid physiological decline since the 2017 survey and has abundant deadwood over parked cars. Lewis Wood Tree Surgeon (my son) has offered to come and cut this tree as a priority for £100 and will take the wood away. He has £5m public liability.
Accept this offer for immediate High Priority work.
With regards to the remaining tree report – Clerk to work her way through this, assess work required and categorise it into work that can be done ‘in house’ and work that needs to be done by contractors. Clerk to submit application for any tree works within Conservation Area or any tree works that may require Forestry Commission consent. Clerk to draw up specification for contractors work and go out to tender. Clerk to liaise with grounds staff on work that can be done ‘in house’.