Ok, I understand
Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. For more information, please see our privacy policy.
Skip to main content

Wolsingham Parish Council

Minutes April 2016




7.00 PM


PRESENT: Chair   D. Sugden, Mrs. M. Epsly, Mrs. J. Henderson, , Mrs. A. Savory, G. Price

 M/s L Richardson, M. Bell , J. Wilson, D.C. Pattison



POLICE:        Sgt. Simon Rogers, P.C. Geoff Moore



  3. POLICE REPORT: Sgt. Simon Rogers, P.C. G. Moore,

Sgt Rogers gave a brief resume of his role as Sergeant for both Teesdale & Weardale which was a huge geographical area to police, with a diminished workforce.

On a more positive note two of the PCSO,s Ross Burnham & George Burton are to be police constables and will be replaced by PCSO,s as the moratorium on recruitment had been lifted, a total of 500 police constables had left the Durham force, which has led to a review on how the force is managed and how many Parish Councils they can attend as well as PACT meetings which are also under review. With this in mind the meeting was informed that the police would only attend meetings once a quarter. However this would not diminish the role of policing as the members and public at large are encouraged to ring  999 in emergency circumstances and 101 for none emergencies ext numbers 742421 / 742420 or e mail geoff.moore@durham.pnn.police.uk

The crime report for March April was given by P.C. Geoff Moore, there had been 31 calls, of which 1 for RTC, 7 ASB, 3 road related, 4 domestic related, 7 suspicious activity, 4 other, 6 crimes had been recorded, 2 criminal damage ( 1 solved), 1 domestic ( closed), 1 public order/assault,( closed) 2 harassment ( closed)

As to the previous complaint to response times, Sgt. Simon Rogers agreed that there was a problem on occasions owing to staffing and shift changeover, especially early morning, call handlers have to assess from the information given to prioritise calls, immediate 10 mins, priority  1 hour scheduled incidents may be a week.

Larger towns have more criminals but there are also more CCTV networks, automatic number plate recognition cameras  (APNR) . As Wolsingham is a low crime area and Weardale, as a whole, there will be less policing as the force has to give more coverage to areas of increased crime. P.C. Moore when asked how many hours he had patrolled Wolsingham in the last month , reckoned he had spent no more than two hours on foot patrol.

A crime in progress ring 999  others ring 101 . The next PACT meeting would be Wednesday 20th April in the Town Hall.

  1. MINUTES OF  MEETING HELD 8th MARCH 2016 , agreed and signed as a true record.
  2. MATTERS ARISING : Northumbrian Water Customer Care Team, outlined the current supply and demand methodology of working within the constraints of the sewerage system.

As part of our capital investment programme for 2015 to 2019, we are undertaking a supply and demand scheme at Wolsingham Sewerage Treatment works (STW).  This investment has already started and we have been working closely with the Planning Policy Officer at Durham County Council to ensure that capacity will be available to meet their development control aspirations within the Wolsingham catchment area.  


We are also working with a number of developers prior to them submitting their planning applications, by agreeing phasing plans, which will allow them to start development as soon as they have received the necessary planning approvals.  An agreed phasing plan based on the number of houses which will be built  annually, allows us to support development before the investment scheme has been delivered.

Angate Toilets , had again been vandalized by miscreants spraying cooking oil in the ladies cubicles, which had taken a good deal of time and effort to clean up., to this end the chairman offerd to have the cleaner paid overtime , which was declined.

On a more positive note the recently installed urinals were much better and the mould was beginning to be eradicated , once completed the ceilings to be repainted.


  1. CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED : e mail tony& barb, re state of Wolsingham and suggestions attached, points noted.
  2. RECREATION GROUND:  The Outdoor Gym facility, pre application  planning advice  had been determined , and having considered the proposal Planning Permission will not be required for the proposed scheme under Part 12 Class A of Schedule 2 to the Town & Country Planning

 ( General Permitted Development) Order 1995. Having now been approved work will commence as soon as possible. Weardale Area Action Partnership would support the scheme to the value of £25000, as being part of their Health & Well Being priority, to cut obesity , diabetes and to make  healthier lifestyle choices, and would be free to use for persons over 14 years of age. The total cost of the project was £30000 and the Parish Council agreed to fund the balance. Having been in the “ pipeline” now for 9 months it was agreed to go ahead and have Proludic as the developer and preferred contractor. Other quotations had been sought and Proludic were deemed to be the best value for the diversity and range of  equipment required and all agreed to Proludic,s quotation.

Planning application submitted to have a tree crown raised opposite 6 Mill Race, if approved the resident of 6, Mill Race had agreed to pay for the cost of the work.

When the tree surgeon was doing this , there were two “ hanging “ branches which needed attention.

The Parish Council were most grateful to Mr. Peter Martin for thinning the  trees in the recreation ground plantation at no charge to the Parish Council

  1. ST. ANNE’S CENTRE: A recent user had asked what crockery & cutlery there was , clerk to organise an inventory, and to make good any shortfall.
  2. BOWLING GREEN : It had been reported that new wooden boards would be needed, clerk to arrange for a quotation for the repair and renewal.
  3. ALLOTMENTS:  P. Roden request to erect shed and greenhouse ,   agreed.
  4. TOWN HALL: Planning approval had just been given to replace the existing windows with double glazed timber windows, ( like for like) . Quotations to be sought for the replacement, a condition as to the thickness and methodology had been placed on the work and would need to be agreed and adhered to with the local planning authority, before work could commence.
  5. MARKET PLACE: A complaint had been received via Cllr. Henderson on the proliferation of advertising banners, signs on lampposts, concerning ducks welfare and slimming world 

A   frames . Clerk to refer to Durham C.C. planning enforcement officer as most of the signs were in a conservation area and needed planning permission.

An offer to supply hanging baskets/ plants had been made by Woodhall,s , Clerk to speak to proprietor to ascertain what indeed was on offer, as it had been previously agreed in September that hanging baskets would once again be hung around the Town Hall.

A request had been made to have a street light re erected at Golden Lion Lane, clerk to investigate and pass to Durham C.C. lighting section.

  1. ANGATE STREET TOILETS : More action was needed to combat the mould problem, before painting the ceiling.
  2. DEMESNE MILL: Black thorn bushes thinned back, a great expanse of land had emerged from under the blackthorn and the area had been tidied up immensely, esapecially regarding the discarded “poo” bags.

Again it is with thanks to Mr. Peter Martin for his work in thinning the trees in the Demesne Mill plantation at no cost to the Parish Council

  1. THORNLEY WOOD The felling was nearing completion and in fact would be complete by the  week end, when the last of the timber would be taken away. The site would now be prepared for autumn / winter re planting with broad leaved deciduous trees, with the assistance of Durham Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust.
  2. FOOTPATHS The Wolsingham Wayfarers had been given a grant of £1500 to reprint the walks leaflets , which had proved to be very popular, and it can be seen that more and more walkers/hikers were coming to Wolsingham , to enjoy the network of paths and bridle ways.

It was mentioned that the bridle path called Hexham Lane , which had been closed to “ of road” vehicles because of erosion to the moor was being contested by the off road fraternity and as Durham C.C. had little spare funding to fight the appeal , in all probability the road would have to be opened again, for another spate of destruction?

  1. CLOSED CHURCHYARD: Planning approval had been given for the tree works . Work on the trees damaged by storm Desmond would commence 21st April, when all branches and debris would be chipped
  2. NEWSLETTER: To include work at Thornley Wood, tree works at Demesne Mill and Recreation ground, Town Hall windows, Police & PACT meetings. Annual Parish Council meeting 10th May ,

 co option of councillor, Wolsingham School, Emergency Planning meeting 4th May 6.30pm at Wolsingham School. The community bus run by WRECASS available for organised outings and trips.

  1. CLERKS BUSINESS: Emergency Planning Meeting  6.30 pm Wednesday 4th May  Wolsingham School agreed to leave time and date as is.
  2. MEMBERS REQUEST: Co-option of Council Member to be held over to May meeting.
  3. WRECASS Agreed to suggestion to hold AGM  prior to council meeting in June.
  4. PLANNING :  22.1  The following applications have been approved:

Durham County Plan formally withdrawn.

DM/15/03797/FPA      To request information on the planning application proposal at Pole Tree Farm , egg production unit.When will it be determined at committee.

Post meeting no date fixed as yet.

DM/16/00462/TCA      Wolsingham School & Community College , Lower Site, T522- T535 Oaks, Crown Lift to 5.5 m above carriageway, 3 m for the remainder of the crowns and remove deadwood

DM/16/00269/FPA      Low Fawnlees Farm, conversion of byre to form annex

DM/16/00269/LB        Low Fawnlees Farm, conversion of byre to form annex

DM/16/00193/OUT     land opposite Cottages Wards End Tow Law, outline application , with all matters reserved for erection of Industrial units

DM/16/00581/FPA      Town Hall, Market Place, replacement windows

DM/16/00718/TCA      St. Mary & St. Stephen Church , T1,T2,T3, crown raise 2.5 m – 3. m

PRE28/16/00939         Outdoor Gym, Recreation Ground


                         22.2      The following applications have been notified

DM/16/00942/ TCA     45, The Causeway, T1 Plum, reduce height and remove deadwood, T2,T3,T4  plum fell,  T6 tidy limb.

DM/16/00829/TCA      16, Lea Green, T2 , Maple fell

DM/16/00718/TCA      St. Mary & St. Stephen Church , T1,T2,T3, crown raise 2.5 m – 3. m

DM/16/00778/FPA      Green Towers, proposed change of use to garage block  to  create living accommodation

DM/16/00727/FPA      Redgate Grange Farm, single storey extensions to side & rear

DM/16/00031/FPA      Land East of Wolsingham Ind. Est. erection of 4 no. dwellings with access road.

To raise concerns on highway matters.

DM/16/01056/TCA      Recreation Ground, West End, T1 sycamore raise by 2.5m – 3 m


  1. FINANCE : Finance report to end March 2016 read and accepted.