APPROVED Minutes of the Monthly Meeting of Dittisham Parish Council held in Dittisham Village Hall on Wednesday 4 March 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Cllrs Faulkner (meeting Chair), Bond, and Green, Devon County Cllr Hawkins, six members of the public, and A Thom (Clerk).

43/20          Election of Chair

It was resolved to elect Cllr Faulkner to chair the meeting.

44/20          Apologies

Apologies were received from Cllr Tucker, Anderson, Lloyd, Nightingale, and Quinn.

45/20          Declaration of interests

Cllr Faulkner declared a personal interest in Item 11, Village Hall Building Works.

46/20          Approval of Minutes

It was resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2020.

47/20          Public Issues

47/20.1  Application to DCC for a new Public Right of Way in the Village.

Five members of the public were present to request the Parish Council’s support for an application to register as a new Public Right of Way a former pedestrian access between Riverside Road, just west of the Football Field, to The Level. The application was made by residents to DCC in 2018, eighteen people signed a form describing their historical use of the route. Use of up to 21 years was described to the meeting. The objection was also raised that the current lock is dangerous and should be a fire brigade padlock. One Orchard Park resident noted that Orchard Park has four parking spaces for six houses, with residents including people with children and pushchairs, making the current lack of pedestrian access to Riverside Road impractical.

47/20.2  Householders’ Sensor Activated Lights

A resident raised their concern that many sensor activated lights in the village illuminate the roads. They said that this is not legal and that the lights need to be adjusted so that they illuminate only the private property, and requested DPC take action.

47/20.3  Request from Blackberry Cottage for Key to Lockable Post

The householder had provided a written statement prior to the meeting. They said they were pleased that the lockable post on the access between the beach and The Ham has been reinstated. They said that they believed that the hard between their gate and the beach was put in by a previous owner. They said that they don’t let their Cottage as holiday accommodation, so they would be the only users of the key if one was provided.

48/20          Community Reports

48/20.1  South Hams District Council Councillor

Deferred in the absence of Cllr McKay.

48/20.2  Devon County Council Councillor

Cllr Hawkins explained that he had met with residents in December last year to discuss the request for a new public right of way in the village. He arranged for residents to come to the meeting of DPC, because when the request is considered by DCC it is important whether the Parish Council supports it. Cllr Hawkins suggested presenting the request in a meeting with MP Anthony Mangnall in his Friday surgery in Totnes. The Clerk will send historical minutes of this matter to Cllr Hawkins and will put this matter on the April Agenda for DPC to consider.

DCC’s annual budget increases its Council Tax demand by the maximum of 3.9 recurring percent. Storm Dennis did two to three hundred thousand pounds damage to roads. Cllr Hawkins has had several meetings with a group trying to improve the transport system in the Dartmouth area. The group is hoping to access some of a pot of one million pounds, to spend on a community bus service linking Dartmouth, communities and Totnes, with the Willows. The planning application for the Dartmouth Health and Well Being Centre will be submitted later this month. The bottom level of the Riverview Nursing Home is being rented for use as a small care home. Use of the Dartmouth Food Bank has rocketed and they are seeing 12-15 cases per week. A small police station office will be located next door to the Ambulance station. The Mayflower 400th anniversary commemoration plans are progressing well.

Cllr Green raised his concern about the proposed loss of the red diesel subsidy. Cllr Hawkins advised that this is a matter to raise with Anthony Mangnall MP.

Cllr Faulkner said that the teardrop road marking at the Sportsmans Arms was removed during the recent roadworks and needs to be replaced. The Clerk will advise the DCC Neighbourhood Officer.

49/20          Communications in relation to planning/tree applications.

The following communications were noted:

49/20.1    3857/19/LBC Lilac Cottage The Level Dittisham TQ6 0ES. Listed Building Consent for minor amendments to approved scheme 0277/19/LBC for renovation of existing cottage. Conditional Approval.

49/20.2    4056/19/HHO River Creek Lower Street Dittisham TQ6 0HY. Retrospective householder application for cantilevered balcony with metal balustrading to accommodate outward opening doors on first floor extension (approved 18/1490/09/F). Conditional Approval.

49/20.3    0235/20/NMM Cott Farm Barn Dittisham TQ6 0JQ. Non material amendment to approved application 18/1015/09/F. Conditional Approval.

49/20.4    0618/20/TEX Firebird, The Level, Dittisham, Devon, TQ6 0ES. T1: Elm – fell, succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease. Grant Exemption.

50/20          New planning/tree applications.

50/20.1    0167/20/LBC Darling Cottage Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EX. Listed building consent for replacement windows

No comment will be made by DPC because Councillors don’t understand the application.

50/20.2    0586/20/LBC Ferry Boat Inn, Manor Street Dittisham TQ6 0EX. Listed Building Consent for installation of 2no. replacement oak lintels in first floor prep room.

Support (resolution proposed Cllr Green, seconded Cllr Bond).

50/20.3    0583/20/CLE Barberry Farm Dittisham TQ6 0JA. Lawful development certificate for existing use for breach of the agricultural occupancy condition.

DPC does not have factual evidence to provide.

50/20.4    0319/20/CLE Land at SX 861 514 North of Seymour Drive Dartmouth. Lawful development certificate for use of land in breach of condition 7 and the non-application of conditions 6 and 8 of 15/1790/98/F which required the laying out, landscaping and use as an area of open grassland accessible to the public.

DPC does not have factual evidence to provide.

51/20          Consultations

  • Coastal Access – Improvements to public access along the Devon coast between Cremyll and Kingswear – Report to Secretary of State – Ref: CKW2626. Closes 11 March 2020.

This doesn’t affect Dittisham.

  • Draft North East, draft North West, draft South East and draft South West Marine Plans. Closes 6 April 2020.

Cllr Anderson will provide comment to 1 April meeting.

  • Local Green Space Development Plan Document Designation Criteria for the Plymouth Policy Area. Closes 23/3/20.

No comment.

  • SHDC, Request for feedback The Operational Carbon Reduction Plan, The South Hams Climate Change and Biodiversity Action Plan, and any suggested additional actions, by 31 March 2020

Referred to Sustainable Dittisham.

52/20          St Georges Church Maintenance Grant

Consideration of this application for a grant was deferred to the 1 April meeting, where it is expected there will be more councillors present to make a decision.

53/20          Request from Blackberry Cottage for Key to Lockable Post

Cllr Faulkner summarised the matter and said that historically keys were provided to Blackberry Cottage.

It was resolved to issue Blackberry Cottage with a key to the post.

54/20          Village Hall Building Works Project & Risk Register

Cllr Faulkner reported that the Village Hall Management Committee’s concerns about the Risk Register remain. The VHMC will provide a monthly report on the building works to the Parish Council but it won’t keep a Risk Register. The VHMC aims to finish building works by the end of August and a paper will be distributed shortly. The Party Wall Award has been served and agreed.

DPC welcomes the monthly report.

55/20          Reports from Councillors with Specific Responsibilities / External Forums

55/20.1  Use of The Ham Task & Finish Group

The recommendation to defer the Report to the April meeting was confirmed.

55/20.2  Playground Working Group

It was resolved to accept the quote to employ a contractor to remove the post footings for the former cradle seat swing (£140). It was resolved to also accept the quote for works to clear the ditch on north side of car park where it has silted up, scrape edges of the car park and Ham Lane to find existing hard core, and to level the small site for installation of the new bench seat (£290).

55/20.3  Ham Maintenance Working Group

It was resolved to accept the proposal to reinstall The Ham noticeboard on concrete spurs, at a cost of £54 plus one hour of maintenance contractor’s time. Cllr Faulkner will cut off the damaged piece of each of the two legs. Cllr Green will deliver the noticeboard to The Ham car park. Cllr Faulkner will need half an hour to bolt the concrete posts on. There will be lookouts to ensure that there is no risk to the general public.

56/20          Requests for Use of The Ham

56/20.1  South West Gaffers

The request for members to again camp on The Ham / stay in campervans in The Ham car park from Friday 14 August to leave by Monday 17 August, to participate in Dittisham Regatta as detailed in the request letter was approved.

57/20           Drainage Maintenance Responsibilities

This item was moved up the Agenda at the Chair’s discretion. Cllr Hawkins advised that the DCC Highways & Traffic Management Group Manager’s letter regarding drainage maintenance responsibilities does not represent a change in policy. Chapter 8 safety requirements mean that landowners can’t maintain drains on the highway.

58/20          Requests for Use of The Ham

58/20.1  Dittisham and Cornworthy Summer Ball, 8 August 2020

The decision regarding a request to use The Ham for a Summer Ball was deferred, because councillors view was that the number of councillors present to make this decision was insufficient.


59/20          Financial Matters

59/20.1  Financial Report

The report which showed a balance of £82,667.28 and unearmarked reserves of £27,306.69 was read. DPC is aware this is a high level of reserves. The Clerk advised that DPC does not yet know if it will be required to make retrospective VAT payments. The forecast car park 2020 income used in the 2020/21 budget may be reduced by the effects of coronavirus.

59/20.2  Payments

The following payments were approved:

  • Kingsbridge Websites Hosting package, backups, updates 12 months, £120.00
  • Tozer & Co printers, DSC permits, £219.28
  • Maintenance contractor, Invoice for extra work requested, £326.11

59/20.3  Clerk Expenses Reimbursement CE33

The invoice for £74.94 was approved.

59/20.4  Clerk overtime claim DPC18

The overtime claim for ten hours overtime worked in January was approved.

59/20.5  Quote to Program Car Park Machines with a VAT number

Expenditure for Metric to program both machines with DPC’s VAT number as quoted (£220.68 VAT inclusive) was approved.

59/20.6  Level Car Park Extra Loan Repayment

It was resolved to defer the planned extra loan repayment until VAT registration is established. It is not yet known whether DPC will have a VAT debt to pay. In addition coronavirus may reduce the 2020 car park income.

59/20.7  Pay on entry – The Ham Toilets

To proposal to offer SHDC £1,600 annually to remove the pay on entry from The Ham toilets was deferred to the May meeting. The Clerk was asked to source SHDC’s 2019/20 income figures.

60/20          Website Accessibility Requirements

The requirements were noted. DPC confirmed the view that the full check is a disproportionate financial burden given DPC’s income. The expenditure for DPC’s website provider to carry out the basic check of whether the Parish website meets the international WCAG 2.1 AA standard and to provide the information needed for the Accessibility Statement was approved (£160).

61/20          Dates of the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Meeting of the Council

The Annual Parish Meeting will take place on 21 April. The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council will be on 6 May at 6:30 pm, immediately before the ordinary meeting.

62/20          Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 1 April 2020 at 7:00 p.m.


The meeting closed at 21:08.