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Wolsingham Parish Council

Minutes February 2016





6.30 PM



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

S. Calvert, G. Dixon, , D.C. Pattison, J. Wilson





PUBLIC: Bernard Batson Re: Planned Development of Starter Workshops, Wards End, Tow Law

Mr. Batson was asked to address the meeting and gave the background to the above planned development and had submitted a planning application. A previous application had been submitted but withdrawn , as the likelihood was that the application would not be supported by the planning officers.

Having taken advice and in conjunction with the planning officers and pre application advice , Mr. Batson was looking for support of the application from the Parish Council.

As the planning application was on the agenda for discussion later in the meeting , the decision would be made then. The Chair thanked Mr Batson for the information given.

Cllr Mrs. A Savory joined the meeting after Mr. Batson had left.



  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: M/s L. Richardson, M. Bell


  3. POLICE REPORT: No police were to hand to give the report, albeit the stats. for the period were read by the Clerk.

Since the last meeting there had been 23 incidents reported, 3 road related, 1 RTA, 8 anti social behaviour, 2 thefts, 4 other, 1 suspicious activity and 4 domestic related incidents.

5 crimes reported. Theft of ladders had been closed, burglary under investigation, and a crime of possession of controlled drugs had been solved. The complaint relating to the vehicle parked on the footpath at the bridge , the owner had been spoken to and it was reported that sufficient space had been left for wheel chairs/pushchairs to pass. The parking restrictions in place limit parking between April to September from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. DCC enforcement team have been told to monitor the situation both at this location and Lynndale, adjacent to A.689.

Comments on the parking at the bridge had been posted on Facebook, which were very offensive, item to be referred to police.

As to the legality of parking fully on a footpath , the clerk to speak with Durham C.C. highways ,who were instrumental in amending the parking restrictions. Should members of the public find occasions when they are not able to pass safely at this point then they need to log the dates and times.

  1. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD 12th JANUARY 2016 , moved and seconded as a true record and signed as such.

  2. MATTERS ARISING : From a previous enquiry , it was reported that the Upper school would be secured and demolition would proceed as soon as practicable.

a)Emergency Planning Meeting 17th February 6.30 pm

Civil Contingencies , Peter Bodo DCC will attend

b) Relocation of Projector & screen from Church Hall to Town Hall £1025, agreed to locate.

c) Christmas Tree : Damage to vehicle now resolved

d) Enquiry from Mrs. C. Lockhart, 2, Millstone Place, re condition of un-adopted road rear of Front Street, a reply had been received from the Highways Dept. Durham C.C.:

As for the road between the former Police House and Gardiners, I believe it was in family ownership which may have since been split as a result of property sales. It is likely in this particular case that highway rights will have been established over many years of passage and re-passage. I am certainly aware of members of the public whether on foot or in a vehicle using this road daily and they have done for many years. Highway law in this respect is very complex being linked to burden of proof and evidence of usage. Generally for a road to retain private rights it has to be closed for one day per year without objection. In the case of access rights, to individual properties that take access off the road in question, this, together with maintenance responsibilities would generally be written into property title deeds, the contents would be relayed to Mrs. Lockhart.


e) War Memorial survey by Weardale Signs , letters too worn to make a good job, best left as is, agreed to leave. Mr. D. Bowe to be advised of the decision.

f) Free cycle parking frames applied for.

g) W.A.A.P. request to attend March meeting , looking for schemes on priorities , particularly Health & Well Being. Agreed to request , meeting to commence 6.45 pm.


  2. RECREATION GROUND: Planning Application & felling licence applied for. A mole catcher was needed as moles had entered the children’s play area, Clerk to arrange.




  3. ALLOTMENTS: The last allotment was to be re-let. Cllr. Price had received a copy of the tenancy agreement and would formulate a plan for the judging of the allotments, based on the tenancy agreement.

  4. TOWN HALL: Planning Application prepared by R.Roddam Architecture would be submitted regarding the proposed double glazing and design and heritage statement.,

  5. MARKET PLACE: Land Registry, re 23, Market Place, albeit it was clear that the current occupier had been given title to the parcel of land in question from the previous occupier , it was not clear as to when the title had been transfered. Clerk to speak to Parish Council solicitors on the matter.

  6. ANGATE STREET TOILETS : Mould was again a problem , agreed to install an extractor fan with a humidity stat. Over the winter there had been 3 occasions when the facility had been very badly “soiled” agreed to employ an industrial cleaner , should it happen again. K. Fletcher & Sons.

  7. DEMESNE MILL: Felling Licence Thin Trees & Planning application submitted, those trees for felling to be repainted.

  8. THORNLEY WOOD Update. Durham Wildlife Trust would make use of the brash for “windrows” to help protect the saplings. Should the site be cleared this spring , planting would commence autumn/ winter 2016/17. The Woodland Trust , would supply 460 trees for Autumn planting and 460 trees for Winter planting. A sum of £1200 had been placed in the budget for tree guards and other contingencies.

  9. FOOTPATHS Request Mr. Johnson 45, The Causeway possible disruption to family walk. Should Mr. Johnson choose to do this then the out flow would have to be “ tunnelled “ under the path to maintain the integrity of the path.

Footpath 98 at New Bridge had been closed following storm Desmond in early December, a diversion was in place but the local landowner would not allow access to the path, and it had been closed off with palisade fencing. Clerk to raise with Durham C.C. as the Parish Council were keen to have the footpath reinstated.

Cllr. Price handed out the report from the Wayfareres showing the incredible amount of work that had been done in the last twelve months.

A member of the Wayfarers was willing to help with the further development of the website, Cllr. Sugden to liaise. Several areas around the Family Walk had become littered with broken glass, most of which had been picked up , the Wayfarers asked if the Parish Council could instruct their operative to assist in this mater, agreed.

The annual cost of insurance was now £233 , agreed that the Parish Council re-imburse the Wayfarers this amount. A new program of walks and events had been formulated and was proving very popular, may the “good walk” continue.

  1. CLOSED CHURCHYARD: An overhanging bough was giving concern to a local resident, having inspected the tree in question it was thought unlikely that it would fall in the property , to be monitored. An elder tree had succumbed to the weather and would be removed.

  2. NEWSLETTER To include articles on toilets,


  4. WRECASS Youth Support in Co. Durham A consultation process was being undertaken by Durham C.C. on the future of Youth Services in the county. At present there was no clear rationale as to who gets what , the sums per youth club varied from £475 to £22500. One of the options being considered was to award the monies to the 14 Area Action Partnerships to administer. Another option was to target the funds at areas of social deprivation, together with schools to target “problem families”. As Weardale does not fall within this category, youth clubs in the Dale may miss out. Which ever way the consultation goes £1 million needs to be saved, from the current budget. The allocation of funds will remain the same for 2016/17, when the results of the consultation have been arrived at in the autumn , a final blueprint will be issued.

The three options would be :

1) A Strategy for Youth Support in Co. Durham

2) Deploy Council resources in accordance with need to deliver a Targeted Youth Support Service

3) Ceasing the existing Youth Work Support Grant and the allocation of funding to the Area Action Partnerships to address local priorities linked to youth services

To be part of the consultation process please go online to www.durham.gov.uk/youthsupportconsult. The consultation runs up to 27th April 2016.

  1. PLANNING : 21.1 The following applications have been approved:

21.2 The following application has been refused

DM/15/03499/VOC Greenwell Farm, removal of condition 2 relating to occupation restriction to bring unit into permanent residential use ( resubmitted) 3/94/224

DM/15/03489/VOC Greenwell Hill House ,removal of condition 2 relating to occupation restriction to bring unit into permanent residential use ( resubmitted) 3/88/638

DM/15/03500/VOC Greenwell Hill Farm removal of condition 2 relating to occupation

21.4 The following applications have been notified

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 ( resubmitted) It was agreed to support the application and the application should be encouraged and welcomed. Should the highways section raise no objections and the residents of Ward’s End had no objections.

DM/16/00119/FPA 8, Meadhope St. , detached garden room

DM/16/00002/VOC Chapel Walls , Plot 1 amendments to house design

DM/16/00333/TPO 38, Uppertown, Fell 2 Ash Trees ( Tree Preservation Orders 0784 & 0785)

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

  1. 1. Finance Reports to End January 2016, read and accepted .


2. Internal Audit Review 2016, reviewed and accepted

3. Risk Assessment and Financial Management review 2016, agreed and accepted.

To consider such other items of business which, by reason of special circumstances so specified, the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.