Full Council, 16th Jan 2012







Present:  Cllr Hodson (Chairman), Leslie, Nightingale, Roundhill, Southworth, Sebastian, Thompson, Wade, Ward, White.

Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (clerk), 3 members of the public


The meeting started with the Public Forum

A planning application was received for the Falconhurst Estate to develop a campsite.  Many parishioners objected to this proposal and meetings were held as to what action could be taken.

Subsequently, the Clerk has received confirmation from Sevenoaks District Council that the application has been withdrawn.  Residents queried whether they should still object to the proposal.  Councillor Thompson advised members of the public present that any objection received by Sevenoaks District Council would be kept on file for any future applications.


1.         To receive apologies and reasons for absence

Apologies were received from County Councillor Lake and District Councillor Ryan.  Joanna Wade sent apologies that she will arrive late.


2.         To receive declarations of interest in respect of items on the Agenda

John Southworth declared a prejudicial interest in item 13.


3.         Public Forum

As above.

Duncan Leslie arrived 7:45pm


4.         To receive reports from County and District Councillors

County Councillor Lake sent his apologies to the meeting but sent the following report:

  • KCC agrees the 2012/13 Budget early next month.  Key points are a freeze in Council Tax, savings of £97m, protecting frontline services and more funding for Schools
  • 2  There has been ongoing correspondence about the School Keep Clear markings and signs.  Steven Noad , our traffic engineer , has this afternoon confirmed that KCC Highways have  no plans to remove the markings as to do so would cause irrevocable damage to the road surface, but should  the road be resurfaced in future the markings would NOT be replaced. Sevenoaks District Council and KCC were involved in progressing a District wide order to place markings and signage outside all schools in West Kent . Following our representation it has been agreed that NO more signage will be erected in Hever at the bend
  • 3   I confirm that I have , subject to our Budget being passed, £10,000 in my members fund for small grants across my parishes (sadly this cannot be used to fund the parish plan). I will also have £  25,000 in my Highways Fund   to spend on items such as illuminated signs , salt bins and minor projects, but again this is thinly spread . I will be allowed to apply from early April so happy to support Hever as and when if there are ideas in the pipeline
  • 4   No dates have been agreed with Highways as far as meeting the parishes are concerned. We are in a queue with 86 Council Members and nearly 360 parishes across Kent.  We will be given a time and a place at some stage
  • 5   As far as Broad band is concerned I am forwarding a note under separate cover for you to study and then come back to me if necessary. It looks as though you should be liaising with Joe Middleton at SDC in connection with the DEFRA application .Things are moving very fast  driven by new technology.From another source I hear that all the Exchanges  in our area are going to enjoy an upgrade which will certainly help the situation
  • 6   We have submitted our response to the Gatwick Airport Master Plan consultation Question 8   – ” It is of concern that by 2020, parts of rural Kent to the South of Edenbridge will be within the 57-54 db noise contour (fig A 10) If Gatwick were to develop into a two runway airport by 2030, the 57-54db noise contour would extend almost to Hever Castle (FigA14) This is a site of historical significance and an important tourist attraction that is already adversely affected by constant noise from  continuous overflying  even though it is technically outside of the noise contours. This potential future level of noise disrupting the tranquillity of this area of natural beauty and heritage is unacceptable and growth of the airport must not result in an easterly (or westerly)expansion of the areas currently affected by aircraft noise. The Master Plan needs to more  adequately address the issue of noise affecting Areas of Outstanding  Natural Beauty (AONB) “


The owner of Four Elms Stores delivered a letter to the Council 7:50pm

5.         To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 14th November 2011

The minutes of the meeting held 14 November 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.


6.         To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting

  • Invitation from Cllr Lake to attend meeting 6pm 9 December 2011 re Gatwick
  • Cllr Lake invited Chairman and Clerk to Highways meeting. – Still awaiting date
  • Tobtain funding information re grants from Cllr Lake – Cllr Lake advised next deadline is April 2012.  Still awaiting criteria from Cllr Lake.
  • Cllr Lake requested information from Parish Plan re broadband  – The information has been provided to Cllr Lake.
  • To contact drivers following accidents at Four Elms pond – The Clerk is still trying to find information regarding the drivers
  • To request how Highways identify roads in Hever and obtain a copy of their information or how to access it. – Highways use a computerised mapping system.  It is not possible for the Parish Council to obtain a copy.
  • To investigate unlit light in Four Elms – The light outside the village hall is not illuminated. – Light has been repaired
  • To put further information on the Hever.org website re aircraft noise & local groups – underway
  • To investigate ownership of war memorials.  Photos to be taken in case of vandalism – Ownership unknown.  No information from War Memorials Trust.  Sevenoaks District Council advised to look on UK National Inventory of War Memorials.  However, no information is recorded so it is the belief of Sevenoaks District Council that they are the responsibility of the land owner.
  • To alert Highways of dangerous corner at Willerbys. – Advised Highways
  • To alert Highways of accidents at Four Elms crossroads  – Advised Highways
  • To investigate grants for soundproofing homes – Gatwick website advises they are currently seeking feedback on a new scheme
  • To check contract with Proground regarding cutting of Hever field – Proground have advised 10 cuts per annum timed in with optimum growing rates.
  • The Council are looking for additional funding to publish the Parish Plan – Information from Action with Communities in Rural Kent is that there are no specific grants on offer at the moment.
  • To find out from Sevenoaks District Council whether other Parish Councils are assisting commercial ventures for the Diamond Jubilee – Local Parish Councils have advised their plans.  Information circulated to Councillors.  Sevenoaks District Council has some money available to contribute to parish ventures.
  • More information is needed regarding HRA Diamond Jubilee celebrations – A beacon is to be lit in Hever Field.
  • More information is needed regarding Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Mark Beech & Four Elms – covered under agenda item 10.
  • Interest to be gauged from Hever & Four Elms Primary School re providing a Parish Fun Week – Hever School are interested but, due to lack of policies, would only offer their facilities if someone else ran the event.
  • Still to hear from Four Elms.
  • To investigate ownership of car park opposite church in Four Elms – Ownership is unknown.  The Church believe it to be owned by the Parish Council as they recently organised surface maintenance.
  • No documents in filing cabinet
  • Liaise with owner of car parks in Four Elms and Hever castle re bulk refuse freighter, advertise and seek costing. – Initial information regarding costing advised £300 for the freighter.  Email now confirms £180 +VAT.  However, restrictions on what can be picked up.  This is to be covered under agenda item 11.
  • Contact Weald Parish Council for information how they funded the renovation of cricket pavilion – Weald Parish Council confirmed that their work was funded through the precept and a grant of £10,000 from Kent County Council
  • Is Cllr Ryan also District Councillor for Four Elms – Sevenoaks District Council have confirmed that Cllr Ryan is District Councillor for the whole parish of Hever
  • Investigate whether trustee is required for Four Elms playing field – The Clerk reported that the Charity Commission require 1 trustee.  The details have been amended to that of the Clerk as representative for the Council.
  • To review compaid transport and report to Council – John Southworth reported that the compaid transport still stands
  • To update register of assets with new photos – The Clerk has taken the relevant photos but still needs to add them to the document.
  • Four Elms School requesting a Parish Councillor to become Community Governor – Bonnie White has met with the Chair of Governors.  She has declined to become Governor but has offered to help with activities in the future.


Item 10 was brought forward


10.       To discuss celebration for Diamond Jubilee 2012

The general consensus (approximately 85% of responses) from the Parish Plan for an event to be held celebrating the Diamond Jubilee.  Councillors feel it is best to fund ventures already being organised and to advertise to people that funding is available from the Parish Council.

Councillors agreed that a sum of up to £500 is to be allocated to each ward on application.  The Council will also help advertise events, where possible.

Joanna Wade arrived 8:05pm

Councillors agreed to delegate authority to Kenton Ward to advertise funding available and to consider all applications to be received.  A list of successful applicants is to be received at the March meeting.

Duncan Leslie, on behalf of Hever Castle, offered an oak tree to plant in celebration of the Jubilee.


7.         Planning

7.1       to make recommendations about Planning Applications received

Duncan Leslie expressed a prejudicial interest in application SE/11/03242/LDCEX regarding Hever Castle.

  • SE/11/03243/FUL – Broxham House Cottage, Prettymans Lane, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 6LU

Demolition of existing log store, bathroom, and store room.  Erection of two storey side, and two storey front extension.  New entrance porch, along with new vehicular access, gates and hardstanding.

The Council have no objection to this application

  • SE/12/00026/HOUSE – Bellmans Green, Prettymans Lane, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 6LU

Ground floor extension to side/rear

The Council have no objection to this application.

  • SE/11/03352/FUL – Roselands, Ide Hill Road, Four Elms, Kent TN8 6NW

Erection of two storey side extensions with single storey rear element including balcony and roof alterations.

The Council have no objection to this application.

  • SE/11/03242/LDCEX – The Paddock Car Park, Hever Castle, Hever Road, Hever, Kent TN8 7NG

To establish the use of land as a car park for visitors to Hever Castle.

Duncan Leslie explained that The Paddock has been used for more than 10 years as car park so has lawful development.  The land has not been used for any other purpose for 10-20 years.  This application is to re-affirm the right to use the land as a car park.  Lord Astor has signed an affidavit stating that The Paddock was first used as car park in 1963.  The surface is a mixture of gravel, grass and plastic hoof mark.  Future plans are to resurface as the plastic hoof mark dangerous.  The proposed resurfacing will be to make the area more visually pleasing, there are no plans to use tarmac.

Duncan Leslie stepped outside 8:27pm

The Council have no objection to this application, relating to Paddock Field.  It is noted that this application has no bearing on Forge Field. 

Duncan Leslie returned at 8:29pm


Christine Thompson has looked at the proposed plans for Four Elms Primary School.  The application is still to be submitted but proposed changes are negligible.  However, the School is looking into the ownership of the car park opposite St. Paul’s Church.


Applications Granted/Refused/Withdrawn with District Council

  • SE/11/02465/FUL – Terrys Farm, Rectory Lane, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7LH – Proposed new driveway, parking and turning area and two bay garage at Terry’s Farmhouse – Refused
  • SE/11/02466/LBCALT – Terrys Farm, Rectory Lane, Hever, Edenbridge – Proposed new driveway, parking and turning area and two bay garage at Terry’s Farmhouse – Withdrawn
  • SE/11/01350/FUL – Terrys Farm, Rectory Lane, Hever, Kent TN8 7LH – Proposed conversion of barn and change of use of agricultural land to residential together with new access drive and converted outbuilding with new roof (as amended) – Refused
  • SE/11/02331/FUL – Hever Hotel, Hever Road, Hever, Kent TN8 7NP – Extensions and alterations to main reception listed building and extension to detached non listed building to form accommodation for conferencing and seminars.  Reconfiguration of car park and general landscaping – Approved
  • SE/11/02332/LBCALT – Hever Hotel, Hever Road, Hever, Kent TN8 7NP – Extensions and alterations to main reception listed building and extension to detached non listed building to form accommodation for conferencing and seminars.  Reconfiguration of car park and general landscaping – Approved
  • SE/11/02282/FUL – Listtle Postlings Farm, Five Fields Lane, Four Elms, Kent – The erection of a proposed agricultural barn – Withdrawn
  • SE/11/02758/FUL – Little Warren House, Hever Lane, Hever, Kent TN8 7ET – Erection of new 3 bay garage block – Refused
  • SE/11/02672/FUL – Ashwood, Uckfield Lane, Hever, Kent, TN8 7LL – The erection of a first floor side extension, two storey rear extension, and new pitched roof to existing dormers – Refused


8.         To receive an update on the Parish Plan

A good number of completed questionnaires have been received and various people have offered their services to enter data.  However, we do not have enough returns and would like to get over 50% of households.  We currently have 40%.  Hever have returned approximately 57% of questionnaires, Mark Beech have returned 35% and Four Elms 30%.

Unfortunately, cold calling has not been overly successful.  Bonnie White reported that some residences are second homes or the occupants are on holiday during the winter.

Some people have objected to the Parish Plan.  However, residents should be aware that they only need to answer the questions they wish to.

When 50% of returns is achieved then the plan will be written.  Funding is still being sought with a view to publish the plan in late Spring.


9.         Finance

9.1       To approve accounts payable

The accounts were approved as per Appendix A.

Currently, the Parish Council only have 2 signatories for the bank account.  Joanna Wade, Anita Sebastian and John Roundhill were approved as additional signatories.


9.2       To approve budget for 2012/13

The Finance Committee are yet to meet.  The Council wish to put some money into a project from the parish plan.  Also, money needs to be allocated for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  Councillors agreed that the precept would have to go up.

The Council approved that the Finance Committee would meet and make recommendations to the Council via email.  Each Councillor would then, in turn, approve the budget and precept.


9.3       To review quote for war memorial

The war memorial in Four Elms needs some restoration work and cleaning.  There is some question regarding ownership but the Council feel responsible as it is a village asset.

The Clerk is to seek 2 further quotes.


10.       To discuss celebration for Diamond Jubilee 2012

As above


11.       To review change of cost for a bulk refuse freighter and confirm action

The cost has been confirmed as £180 +VAT.  This cost covers 1 hour 20 minutes at the first site, and 1 hour 30 minutes at the second site, starting at 8:00am.  Items that cannot be taken include electrical appliances, metal, hard core, large amounts of garden waste and large panes of glass.

The Council approved to continue booking the freighter for a Saturday in February.


12.       Hever Bus Stop

The noticeboard in the bus stop is in a bad state and the grass needs tending.  The Clerk is to ask Richard Bennett to review the area quarterly.  A new noticeboard is to be erected.


13.       To review Four Elms Stores

The letter delivered during this meeting was read to Councillors.  The Council are to respond.


14.       Correspondence for noting



15.       Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda

John Roundhill asked whether his son could complete unpaid litter picking for 3 hours a week for a month for his Duke of Edinburgh award.  All Councillors agreed.  John Roundhill is to be responsible for all safety matters.

Bonnie White has been contacted as to whether Four Elms crossroads could be converted into a roundabout, incorporating the pond.  The Council do not believe this to be possible.  Historically the Parish Council worked very hard to get a slow down sign installed.  Should more be required then Kent Highways would need to complete a survey.  Councillors also commented that the pond is not owned by the Council but leased for 100 years from Ken Manly.

Anita Sebastian commented on the big community fund email from Sevenoaks District Council.  Councillors agreed that funds should always be applied for relating to items on the budget.

The Clerk remarked that the new noticeboards need some treatment.  This was approved.


There being no further business the meeting closed at 9:45pm

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