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Delegated Decision Report – 17th August 2020

Mere Town Council

Town Clerk – Mrs. L. C. Wood




  1. Preparation plans for community support in the event of future local lockdown (see notes below) – The Clerk reported that she was aware that central government has issued guidance to Principal Authorities (Wiltshire Council) to prepare plans for Local Lockdowns. She had spoken to Richard Jefferies and it had been agreed that, as the Community Support Group is still active, it will not be difficult to respond to calls for help should a local lockdown occur.  Indeed, Mr. Jefferies had compiled a report for the September edition of Mere Matters to reassure residents that help will be available in the same way as the last few months.
  2. Briefing Note No. 20-27 – Temporary Pavement Licences Please see attached Briefing Note – the Clerk distributed a copy of a Briefing Note that had been sent out by Wiltshire Council regarding the introduction of Temporary Pavement Licences in response to central Government’s proposals to stimulate the UK economy and the introduction of the Business and Planning Bill 2020. Local Authorities were instructed to make it easier for establishments selling food and drink to apply and utilise the highway/paved area outside of their premises for siting tables and chairs. It is hoped the provision of additional seating outside will encourage economic recovery. The clerk said that she had forwarded a copy of the Briefing Note to the Chamber of Trade on the understanding that they may pass it on to their members. However, she has not received any acknowledgement from them and wondered if councillors wanted to contact one or two businesses in the town direct.
  3. Planning Applications:


Planning Applications:

Application Ref:                      20/04741/FUL

Application for:                       Full Planning

Proposal:                                 Install 3 18ft yurts for holiday accommodation and associated works.

At:                                            Barrow Street House, Barrow Street, Mere.  BA12 6AB

DELEGATED DECISION – Support but mention concerns about increased non-local traffic using the Barrow Street junction on the A303 Trunk Road.  This junction has a high accident record and most local people are aware of this and tend to take extra precautions.  However, visitors and tourists would not be aware of this situation.


Application Ref:                      20/04895/FUL

Application for:                       Full Planning

Proposal:                                 Four bedroomed farm manager’s dwelling

At:                                            Whitehill Farm, Swainsford, Mere.  BA12 6JU

DELEGATED DECISION – Object:  We do not feel qualified to comment on the justification for a rural farm manager’s dwelling at Whitehill Lane, Mere.  However, we are unable to support this application on the basis that the proposed location for the dwelling is inappropriate in the open countryside resulting in a long access driveway, large four-bedroom detached dwelling with a large hardstanding, parking and turning area.  This would result in an unacceptably large amount of agricultural land being taken up in residential footprint that would be set apart from the farm buildings.  We have concerns as to the justification for such a substantial detached dwelling given the proposed use/occupancy and feel that a more modest building, located in a proximity that is closer to the road and existing access point and nearer the existing farm buildings would achieve a more sympathetic form of development.  If the planning authority feels that the agricultural need for this new dwelling in this location is justified and the proposal was thus acceptable in principle, we would request that the proposed dwelling is subject to an agricultural occupancy condition.



Application Ref:          20/06377/TCA

Application for:           Work to Trees in a Cons. Area

Proposal:                     Silver Birch Tree – reduce by 35%

At:                                Pearce Cottage, The Fields, Mere.  BA12 6EA



Application Ref:          20/04266/FUL

Application for:           Full Planning

Proposal:                     Removal of damaged boundary walls and replace with hedge

At:                                The Stables, Bramley Hill, Mere.  BA12 6JX

DELEGATED DECISION – Support. We feel that there is no merit in retaining the existing wall and that a hedge boundary would be suitable and appropriate.  We are aware that the applicant has suggested Red Robin and Portuguese Laurel as hedging plants but we would also request that there is a condition forbidding the use of Leylandii as a hedging plant if possible as this can be very unneighbourly.


Application Ref:          20/06774/TCA

Application for:           Work to Trees in a Cons. Area

Proposal:                     T1 – Gleditsia Tree – crown raise 3m

At:                                The Close, Church Street, Mere.  BA12 6DS



Application Ref:          20/06742/TCA

Application for:           Work to Trees in a Cons. Area

Proposal:                     T1 – Liquid Amber tree – crown raise over lake by 3m & reduce back lakeside

canopy by 2m

T2 – Ash tree – reduce all load bearing limbs by 3m & r4educe height by 2m

T3 – Maple tree – fell

T4 – Elm tree – fell

At:                                The Chantry, Church Street, Mere.  BA12 6D0



  1. Payments – Members approved the payments as detailed on the attached payment schedule. The Clerk said that there was nothing unusual to report and the quotation for expenditure on the new website had been previously approved.  The new website is up and running and positive comments had already been received.  However, much of the content needed changing and amending but the Clerk had not had time to contribute at the moment.  The Clerk and assistant were having a tutorial in content management next week.  Delegated decision – authorise payments to be made electronically.
  2. Budget/Expenditure Report – The Clerk reported that she had carried out a Budget/Expenditure report as at 31.7.20.  You  will see that we have a surplus of £8630 which I am very pleased about because I have amended a lot of the income figures on the basis that we will not be getting much in the way of car park sponsorship and sports group income this year.  Also, I calculate that we have spent around £1000 on COVID-19 PPE extras (PPE, barriers, signs, bins etc etc) and that there will probably be more expenditure to come (we have yet to open the changing rooms and the main public toilets)  DELEGATED DECISION – Approve provisionally.  Discuss with Full Council, at September meeting, issue of reducing or cancelling income for the financial year i.e. Car Park sponsorship by businesses and Sports Group income.
  3. September meeting – Advice from NALC & SLCC seems to be ‘No physical meetings’ bit new government guidance would suggest they can take place as a last resort and with social distancing measures/risk assessments.  Agreed to consider any updated guidance nearer the time.