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Wolsingham Parish Council

March 2016 Minutes



TUESDAY  8th MARCH  2016  


6.45 PM



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

S. Calvert, G. Dixon, M/s L Richardson, M. Bell



POLICE:        None


Guest Speaker : Angelina Maddison WAAP Co-ordinator :

            Angelina opened the meeting by thanking the Parish Council for the opportunity to meet with members of the  Parish Council. The area action partnerships had now been in existence 6 years and assurances had been given that they will be around for the foreseeable future. and outlined the current  four priorities of the Weardale Area Action Partnership being:

 1, Activities for young children/young people

2.  Health & Well Being

3. Support for small groups and small grant funding available from £500 - £1500

4. Jobs Employment & Tourism.


The forum meetings were particularly well supported and the most recent event had attracted 75 people at St. Johns Chapel, over 343 children in Wolsingham had been canvassed for ideas for one of the priorities pertaining to children. For the Health & Well Being priority 33 3% of monies expended was given by Durham Dales clinical commissioning group. Jobs, Employment & Tourism, two youth workers had been employed and they had been very successful at Youth Clubs in and around the Dale and had gained numerous qualification and were both now in full time employment, hence a further two youth workers were now being recruited. This model was being rolled out County wide as being a beacon of successful training leading to full time employment.

A recent chair exercise class and keep fit classes had been disbanded , clerk to contact with group leaders and ascertain if they wished to continue as funding could be made available from the WAAP.




  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: J.Wilson, D.C. Pattison
  3. POLICE REPORT: None attended. Crime report presented by the Clerk

There had been 17 recorded incidents and 10 crimes committed, 1 vehicle crime, undetected, 4 theft undetected, 1 domestic , ongoing, 2 public order undetected, 2 harassment 1resolved.

Mention was made on the car parking issue at South Bridge and the Police could do nothing as no crime was being committed and no traffic regulations were in force in that area. As to the Facebook comments the person has been spoken to and warned about his conduct.

The Renault Clio parked in the Market Place was due to be towed away, by Durham C.C.

The Parish Council members expressed their frustration at the continued non attendance at the monthly meeting and asked the clerk to write asking that a responsible officer attend the next meeting. Questions were raised about the response time of the police when called and also the medical attendance of ambulance , paramedics. These issues had been ongoing for some time and were not acceptable and the service was rapidly declining.

It was suggested that Wolsingham, Witton Le Wear & Stanhope Parish Councils should get together and share their views on these matters and have a joint approach.

  1. MINUTES OF  MEETING HELD 9th FEBRUARY 2016 , agreed as a true record and signed as such.
  2. MATTERS ARISING : Minutes of Emergency Planning Meeting held 17th February

E mail re parking East End Wolsingham Cllr Sugden agreed to reply to the letter from Mrs. Kellett

  2. RECREATION GROUND:  Tree thinning Planning Application Approved

6, Mill Race , request from Mr. R. Dow to have tree , crown lifted, application for planning approval submitted  Mr. Dow was willing to pay for the work done , if approved.

  1. ST. ANNE’S CENTRE: The pedestrian entrance to be marked up “keep clear disabled access”.
  4. TOWN HALL: Planning Application prepared by R.Roddam Architecture submitted , now a live application for renewing the windows.

The Town Hall clock had suffered water damage following the winter storms and was under repair.

  2. ANGATE STREET TOILETS : Urinal bowls now installed , black mould still present! Doors to be left open to allow as much air as possible to ascertain if that will solve the problem of mould. When the mould is dead, to apply a coat of gloss paint to the ceiling, in a months time.

The incidence of “soiling” in the toilets was continuing, the police had been informed and should it happen again to leave the “crime scene” as found together with the Vodka  bottles so that any DNA can be identified and the culprit will be apprehended, and taken to the cleaners.

  1. DEMESNE MILL: Felling Licence Thin Trees & Planning application approved, work had started.

It had been requested that  the blackthorn hedge be cut back to enable litter to be picked more easily and to prevent people throwing dog bags in.

  1. THORNLEY WOOD Clear Felling approved and Felling Licence, approved , contract signed, the contractor  would commence the following week and it would probably take three to four weeks.
  2. FOOTPATHS Family Walk , Lovers Lane , swept & re tarmacadam where tree roots exposed!
  3. CLOSED CHURCHYARD: Planning application submitted for works to 3 trees in a conservation area  Trees inspected by Hamsterley Tree Surgeons quotations awaited.
  4. NEWSLETTER Cllr. Sugden to pass  articles  to the editor of the Town Crier
  5. CLERKS BUSINESS: Durham C.C.  works at Willows Playground, scrub removed and overhanging branches pollarded.

Complaint received regarding Clerk. The clerk asked to leave the meeting , which was declined. Cllr Sugden would draft a reply to Mr. Ward and hopefully the matter could be resolved amicably.

  1. MEMBERS REQUEST: G. Dixon tendered his resignation as he was not enjoying the role any more. Regrettably the resignation was accepted and Cllr Dixon was thanked for his contribution to Parish Council affairs over the last four years.
  2. WRECASS Parent & Toddler Group awarded £520 from Weardale Area Action  Partnership, to enable the classes to continue. An Annual General Meeting of WRECASS  to be held soonest.
  3. PLANNING :  

Persimmon Homes have withdrawn  development plans to build at the former Steelworks Site.

It had been rumoured that part of the reason for the withdrawal had been difficulty in the sewage system not being able to cope with the extra demand, until the system is improved. Clerk to invite representatives from Northumbrian Water to help explain why there are problems with the system, and should that be the case what steps are being taken to resolve the problem, as Wolsingham needed new houses.

Concern was raised at the Lydgate Lane housing development and the amount of water and debris on the road, together with the amount of contractors vehicles, was making access problems particularly for the residents. Cllr Savory interjected and the concerns had been passed to Durham C.C. building control, who had already visited the site to help sort out the problems.

22.1  The following applications have been approved:

DM/16/00251/TCA      Demesne Mill Picnic area , fell 24 trees in a conservation area

DM/16/00243/TCA      Recreation Ground ,West End, Fell 27 trees in a conservation area

DM/15/03917/LB        The Barn Scotch Isle Farm, dry lining,floor strengthening replacement window & door

DM/15/02996/FPA      Twelve Oaks, erection of  agricultural building & associated access & hardstanding,

                                    Amended plan 28/10/15 & 08/12/15  Amended plan with drainage.( 20/01/15)

DM/16/00019/FPA      8, Meadhope Street, detached timber garden room


                         22.2      The following applications have been notified

 DRC/16/00580/lb |New window opening to north and replacement windows 

1 Redgate House Redgate Bank Wolsingham Bishop Auckland County Durham DL13 3HH


DRC/16/00055 Low Harperley Farm Durham Road Wolsingham Bishop Auckland County Durham DL15 8DY

Submission of details pursuant to Conditions 3a (noise monitoring scheme); 3b (dust action plan); 3c (planting details); 3d (drainage arrangements during site preparation); 3e (fencing details); 3f (new site access details); 3g (details of surfacing of internal haul roads); 3h (temporary car parking details); 3i (wheel cleaning details); 3j (details of site compound, processing area, buildings, fixed plant and machinery including drainage arrangements); 3k (details of crossing of new bridleway in relation to new access); 3l (details of Harperley Station Bridleway crossing); 3m (illumination details); 3n (signage details); 3o (emergency flood evacuation plan); 3p (scheme for the provision and management of a standoff alongside existing watercourses, proposed ponds and wetlands); 3q (plan for the protection and/or mitigation of damage to pale bristle moss sites, and otter populations); 3r (scheme to secure an acceptable means of dewatering the site); 3s (scheme for monitoring water levels in the wet woodlands) of Planning Permission No. CMA/3/31

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

DM/16/00493/FPA      17, Holywood, extension to existing garage

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

  1. 1.  Finance Reports to End February 2016 read and accepted.