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Newton St Cyres Parish Council

Minutes of Newton St Cyres Parish Council Meeting held in the Parish Hall Club Room on Thursday 2 September 2021 

The meeting commenced at 7.00pm 

Members present

Cllr J Enright (Chair)                              Cllr G Quicke

Cllr R Cashmore                                     Cllr G Scopes

Cllr L Ouldridge                                      Cllr C Southcott

Cllr S Parker                                            Cllr P Taylor


In attendance:  Cllr M Squires, DCC (left 7.30pm), Cllr G Barnell (left 8.30pm), 4 members of public, J Hole, Parish Clerk

Public Participation

There was none

Formal Business

01/09/21      Apologies

There was none

 02/09/21      Declaration of Interest   

Cllr G Quicke – Planning item 21/01429/FULL - PI


03/09/21      Minutes of the last meeting held on Thursday 1 July 2021  

Agreed and signed as a true record


04/09/21      Mid Devon District Council

4.1                 Planning Applications:

21/01388/LBC - Listed Building Consent for the installation of 14 photovoltaic panels to stable roof at East Holme Farm, Newton St Cyres – no comment

21/01429/FULL - Erection of a roof over existing silage clamp at Five Elms Laneno comment

21/01491/HOUSE - Demolition and replacement of existing extensions and alterations to internal layout at Bidwell Barton Farm, Newton St Cyres – no comment

21/01495/LBC - Listed Building Consent for demolition and replacement of existing extensions and alterations to internal layout at Bidwell Barton Farm, Newton St Cyres – no comment

21/01501/FULL - Demolition of existing school buildings, including adjacent detached classroom buildings and erection of 8 dwellings with garages at Former Primary School Site Newton St Cyres

A Planning check list together with comments from the Climate Officer had been circulated.  After discussion it was agreed to comment as follows:  

  • The amount of work proposed to T4 which is protected with a TPO – could MDDC Tree Protection Officer meet on site with the developers arboriculturist to agree how much work is actually required?
  • The hedge in Sand Down Lane, which has been removed without permission, must be reinstated. This has been promised by the developer but has yet to happen.
  • Clarification on what the old Millennium School Garden strip will be used for?
  • Why is there a need for a gate between the Millennium School Garden strip and Sand Down Lane? Any entrance must be pedestrian only.

Comments from the Climate Officer would also be submitted

Cllr G Barnell would seek clarification from the Planning Officer before deciding whether to call the application in.  This clarification would include the S016 process.  Work to the old school path and a crossing from the old school/Sand Down Lane to Tytheing via the A377 were a S106 priority. 

It was noted that the Parish Council could not object to any planning application on the basis that there were no affordable houses included and MDDC could not reject planning on this basis either.  As the scheme was small it was not required to provide affordable homes although Cllr G Barnell noted that a contribution from the developer would be required for an affordable housing pot held by MDDC

21/01405/FULL - Erection of dwelling following demolition of agricultural building utilising the Class Q fallback position at (Barn) Hill Farm Newton St Cyres – no comment

20/01554/FULL - Erection of 4 dwellings and associated works following demolition and removal of agricultural buildings at Bidwell Barton Farm, Newton St Cyres – revised drawings – no comment

4.2                 Planning Decisions:

21/01009/LBC and21/01007/HOUSE  -  Listed Building Consent for the erection of a boundary wall at Rose Cottage, Newton St Cyres, EX5 5AA  and alterations to existing driveway – grant permission

21/00392/FULL -Alterations to existing access and creation of additional parking for the Church – application withdrawn

20/00317/CLU at Winscott Barton - appeal upheld

4.3                 To consider invitation to National Model Design Code testing pilot workshops

Details had been circulated.  The Climate Officer would attend and any other Councillors who wished to attend should let the Clerk know

4.4                 District Councillor, Cllr G Barnell, to report on MDDC business relevant to the Parish

A report had been circulated and was noted.  Cllr G Barnell reported that the first meeting of the A377 Action Group had taken place and the next meeting would be attended by two representatives from DCC who would provide an update on a cycle/walking Trail and the planned extension of railway services.

A Key Issues paper relating to the Local Plan was due to be submitted to cabinet next month for agreement to send out for consultation.  Cllr G Barnell recommended that the Parish Council contact Tristian Peat and request to be involved in the consultation. 

05/09/21      Finance

5.1                 Parish Council Receipts Current Account:  Allotment rent: £90.00

5.2                 Parish Council Payments Current Account:

The payment made in August for grass cutting at the Churchyard for £80.00 and grass cutting in parish for £160.00 was ratified.

The Clerk advised that the amount to be returned to DCC was £279.85 and not as stated on the agenda. 

Since the agenda had been sent an invoice for grass cutting in the parish for £260.00 and for grass cutting in the churchyard for £80.00 had been received and it was resolved to pay both these in addition to the payments below which were agreed as:




Amount £



Return of unused covid 19 grant




Training course for Clerk



Devon Communities Together




J Hole

Salary and expenses (July and August)







Unity Trust Bank




Hydo-Logic Services

Timeview/maintenance for rain gauge



5.3                 To approve signatures for this month’s cheques 

Cllr G Quicke and Cllr S Parker

5.4                 Balances (after above transactions)

5.4.1   Parish Council Current Account balance: £12,236.15

5.4.2   Footpath Account: £268.02 

5.4.3   Car Park resurfacing fund balance: £7,514.46 

Minited here but taken after item 5.2

5.5                 Update on changing to Unity Trust banking – application form to be signed by signatories and £500 deposit required to ensure that we can use the new account straightaway as the switch can sometimes be rejected by the other bank which means we would be without funds to use in the new account. 

It was resolved to switch the current account to Unity and the application form was duly signed by all Councillors.  Three Councillors and the Clerk were required to complete identity checks and the Clerk would email details

5.6                 Financial Statement and Budget Monitor


06/09/21      Matters raised by the Chair

6.1                 To note Clerks appraisal and consider request for an additional two hours per month

The Clerks appraisal had taken place and the Staff and Personnel Committee proposed that the Clerk`s request for an additional two hours per month to cover additional work taken on since the last review of hours in 2016 should be agreed.  This was duly resolved and would take effect from September 2021.  The Clerk was commended upon her dedication and professionalism.

6.2                 To consider a Neighbourhood Plan

Cllr J Enright outlined the process for a Neighbourhood plan and it was resolved to invite a Neighbourhood Planning consultant to make a presentation to Councillors to explain the process in greater detail. 

07/09/21      Councillor’s Reports            

7.1                 Areas of Responsibility reports

7.1.1              Allotments update following site visit; to agree quote for removal of asbestos from shed (see below); review of tenant`s agreement

A visit by Councillors had been made in July.  Since then, the four very overgrown plots had been let and the new tenant was clearing the plots.  No rent was being charged until next year.  Another enquiry had been received and a grassed plot would be offered, again with no rent being charged until next year.

A second quote had been received to remove the asbestos from the shed and it was resolved to accept this quote.  Cllr L Ouldridge reported that she had emailed allotment holders to request that allotments were tidied up and asking if anyone was interested in an Allotment Association.  To date only one positive reply had been received.  Cllr D Hodge offered to speak to an allotment holder to request tidying up of their plots.  A quote had been received for cutting the hedge and removing various trees and it was resolved to accept this quote.

7.1.2              Surgery -  Report from July surgery

Cllr J Enright had attended and no issues had been raised 

Minited here but taken after item 5.2

7.1.3              Rain Gauge –  to consider new maintenance agreement

The Clerk was waiting to hear if DCC would fund 50% of the cost.  After discussion, it was resolved that the rain gauge was necessary and payment would be made

7.1.4              To note risk assessment of assets

A copy of the risk assessment had been circulated and was noted. 

7.1.5              Recreation Ground – Cllr J Enright asked if the recent report in the Newton Wonder could be corrected.


08/09/21      Clerk’s Report - none          


09/09/21      Parish Council

9.1                 To agree if we need a new bench for School Hill as the old one is broken beyond repair. 

The risk assessment had identified that the bench was broken and Cllr S Parker had subsequently removed the bench.  It was agreed to defer a decision on whether or not to replace the bench as more parishioners may now use the old school path so a bench may no longer be required. 

Minuted here but taken after item 3.

9.2                 Climate – update from Climate Officer; to note guidance from DEFRA for PC’s (circulated separately) and to agree actions we can take.

Sue Rowell reported that MDDC could provide training regarding climate issues for Councillors on 12 October and 16 November and 7pm was agreed as the best start time.

The Newton Environmental Wellbeing Group were (NEWG) were working on their project to map parts of the community environment parishioners most cared about as reported at the last meeting.

Devon Communities Together would be carrying out a survey of the Parish Hall to identify where green savings may be possible

Electric car charging points were being considered at various village locations and grant funding investigated

Sue would be attending MDDC’s Test Pilot Workshops as detailed in item 4.3

A “Friends of the Churchyard” group had been formed and was looking at how to protect and maintain the biodiversity of the churchyard following the report by DCC ecologist.  It was hoped that the community could become involved with a management plan.

Suggestions for how the Parish Council could maintain the green spaces it is responsible for would be made in due course and this would include suggestions on how much mowing that should take place. 

9.3                 Old School Path – to agree notice for path.  To note work required to path ie new posts

Draft wording had been circulated and was agreed.  The work required to the path would hopefully be covered by S106 from the Old School development

9.4                 Road Warden Scheme – update

The Clerk reported that the volunteers were compiling a list of equipment required and once this had been received a grant application would be submitted to DCC 


9.5                 To agree attendance at DALC AGM/Conference on 5-7 October - £40.00 for first delegate then £10.00

It was resolved that Cllr R Cashmore would attend.  Clerk to send details to Sue Rowell and Jock Campbell who could attend if relevant.

9.6                 To note emails from Langford residents regarding nuisance tractors along Langford Road

Two emails had been circulated and since the agenda had been sent Cllr J Enright had received further complaints stating that tractors were running from 6am until 12.45am.  It was noted that Langford Road residents had made a complaint to the Ombudsman

9.7                 Parish Hall Car Park – to note discussions regarding resealing car park surface

Cllrs J Enright and C Southcote had met with representatives from the Parish Hall and the possibility of resealing the car park was being considered.  Advice had been requested from DCC Highways

9.8                 Update on Affordable Housing

Cllr J Enright reported that discussions with a Housing Association were ongoing and a meeting was scheduled for next week.  Consultation with parishioners would take place as soon as possible.   It was agreed that the Parish Council would meet the cost of hire of the Club Room for meetings. 

Minuted here but taken after item 9.1

10/09/21      Devon County Council

10.1               Outstanding Highways issues

  • Speed restrictions in Station Road – SCARF re test requested – with Cllr M Squires/NHM to action. Cllr M Squires confirmed that our NHM would need to carry out a speed test
  • Request for a School sign in Station Road and possible zig-zag lines outside the school. With NHM to consider a sign and or a SCARF retest
  • Drain cover on A377 – this had been done and could be removed from the list
  • Relocate grit bin from outside old school to Tytheing Close – no update
  • School Hill – This had been cleared and could be removed from the list.  Contractors had suggested that if the bollards at the edge of the pavement towards the bottom of School Hill were removed, then it would be possible for a road sweeper to keep the pavement clear on a regular basis.  Cllr M Squires would ask Highways to consider.
  • Salt bin for Kingfisher Close – Cllr M Squires confirmed the request had been submitted.
  • Gateway to Mid Devon sign – no update
  • Broken street lights on Village Green – with Western Power to fix - road closure required
  • Pedestrian Crossing update – The new date for the installation was 18 October. 

10.2               New Highway issues

Virtual Highways Conference – Clerk to complete survey


10.3               County Councillor, Cllr M Squires, to report on DCC business relevant to the parish

DCC were meeting in County Hall again.                 

11/09/21      Miscellaneous Correspondence  

Various newsletters; Peninsular Transport Vision consultation                                          

12/09/21      Minor Matters and Items for Future Agenda

None noted 

13/09/21      Date of next PC meeting: Thursday 7 October 2021, 7pm in the Parish Hall        

End of Formal Business

Public Participation

Concern was expressed that the hedge at the front of the old school site had been partly removed. 

The meeting closed at 9.30pm