Minutes 10th September 2020


Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Thursday 10 th September 2020 at 7.30pm. Virtual Meeting held by Zoom.

Present; Cllr. Jonathan Baker, Cllr Chris Kennett, Cllr David Lines, Cllr Balavant Barber

In Attendance: Jane Thicknesse, Clerk, and 10 members of the public.

Item No.


  Public discussion of items on agenda

An objection to the retrospective planning application (WD/D/20/001708 Coach and Horses Inn) was expressed. The resident said that yet again the applicant was asking for retrospective planning and the accuracy of the submitted plans were doubtful. Concern was expressed about the main entrance from the bar which would be directly onto the A356 and the new fence which exceeded the 1m height limitations making visibility an issue. The resident said that she had forwarded her objections to Dorset Council Planning Department.
The Chairman thanked the resident and reminded the meeting that the closing date for comments on this application was 21 September 2020.


Apologies/ Declarations of interest / grant of dispensations –

Apologies were received and accepted from Yvonne Harris (Councillor), Alex Bishop (PCSO) and Martyn Gillingham (River Warden).



Approval of Minutes of meeting held on 9th July 2020

The minutes of the last meeting were approved, and signed by the Chairman, proposed by Cllr Kennett and seconded by Cllr Baker.



Matters arising from Minutes of meeting held on 9th July 2020

a. Pipplepen Solar Farm Project
The Clerk reported that since the last meeting she had kept in touch with Michelle Howley (Elgin Energy) and had received the following information today:
‘Following feedback from the local residents we revisited the construction access element of the project and after some helpful discussions with the landowner, technical surveys and legal and planning checks we can confirm that an alternative access option via the A356 is a viable solution. I have attached a picture showing the access point off the A356 just to the east of Holt Farm. The access track that leads to the proposed solar farm at Pipplepen Farm is currently used for agricultural machinery and although it is in good condition some stretches will require upgrading and in places will require widening. The construction access upgrades will be crushed stone and will be permeable in nature. We will update the project website in the next week or so with the new plans and further details on the construction access. In regards to the community benefit fund it is still our intention to split this between North Perrott and South Perrott Parish Council.’
This new plan was met with overall approval by the Council but concerns were expressed about the access point onto the A356 being dangerous (sharp bend and adverse camber) and the location of previous accidents. There was also concern about construction traffic coming through the village particularly at the pinch point. The Clerk was asked to inform Elgin Energy of these points as well as thanking them for taking note of the issues raised at the previous meeting and suggesting a new access route to the site during construction. (Once operational the site will be accessed via Pipplepen Lane for maintenance visits which will be intermittent and carried out using a small van.)

b. Finger Arm Post
The Clerk reported that despite repeated attempts she had failed to get any response from Mike Charles ref the progress with the repair to finger post which had been located on the corner of Lecher Lane and the A356. She has contacted Dorset Council Highways Department to seek advice on replacing, either with a like for like or a modern equivalent, and is awaiting a reply.

c. Langmoor Lane
The Footpaths Officer reported that she had recently heard from Russell Gough, Senior Ranger (West and Coast) for Dorset Council who said that he was waiting for a couple more quotes and that work should commence as soon as one was accepted and agreed with the contractor.

d. Speed Watch Scheme
The Clerk reported that she’d sought advice about Speed Watch schemes and Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs). Various steps have to be taken and Dorset Council have the final decision on whether it is allowed. Approximate costs would include Speed Survey (£250), SID (£2495 +VAT), installation costs (£300-500) and ongoing costs of maintenance and batteries. After discussion about positioning of a SID and reducing the speed limit to 20mph it was decided to request a visit by Dorset Road Safety Team to discuss possibilities to enable further informed discussion.

e. Parish Council Noticeboard
The Chairman reported that he had done some research into possible replacements but had been surprised by the expense. He estimated that the final bill for a good quality noticeboard could be around £2000. Various suggestions were put forward to try and reduce the cost including asking local retired craftsmen and apprentice joiners who may only require the cost of the materials. All Councillors were requested to make enquiries into possibilities.











PCSO Bishop sent his apologies and a report which is available at the end of these minutes.



River Warden.
The River Warden sent his apologies and a report which is available at the end of these minutes.


Footpaths Officer.
Full report available at the end of these minutes.


Dorset Councillor.
Councillor Knox reassured the meeting that Dorset Council had a very good Local Outbreak Management Plan in place and felt confident that this, along with national governance, meant that local outbreaks of COVID 19 would be dealt with effectively. She stressed the need for people to continue to follow the social distancing rules.
Cllr Knox also said that the extra expenditure for the pandemic meant that Dorset Council would be financially stretched for the foreseeable future. Plans have been made but good financial management will be required, along with the sale of some assets to ensure that funding is still available in the areas that need it most e.g. children being taken into care being placed in homes within the county, rather than elsewhere in the country.
On more local matters, Councillor Knox advised the Council to contact Broadwindsor and Mosterton PCs about Speedwatch and SIDs as both have successfully implemented programmes. She reminded the Council about the need to involve the community and to make sure residents were on board with any plans to avoid wasting time and effort.
On planning matters, Councillor Knox reminded the Council that she has the ability to request final planning decisions are made by Committee rather than an individual Planning Officer. If a decision is made by the Parish Council which is contrary to the Planning Officer’s, the case has to go forward to the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Cllr Knox who can then request for it to be decided by Committee.




Planning Matters

Applications handled since last meeting None
Decisions notified by DC since last meeting None
New application to be considered  
WD/D/20/001708 Coach and Horses Rejected
The Council unanimously rejected the retrospective planning application on the following grounds:
1. A misrepresentation and therefore misleading description of the existing layout of the hotel
2. Errors contained within the planning application itself
3. A disregard for previous, legally binding planning consents
4. The impact of the proposed changes on the social, economic and environmental well-being of South Perrott and its surroundings
Tree applications  
WD/D/20/002059 Rehoboth
(Interest declared by Cllr Jonathan Baker)


Highways Issues
No work has yet been carried out on the pavements in School Hill. Clerk to follow up.



Village Enhancements
a. Tree and Shrub Planting Scheme
The Clerk reported that since the last meeting, Paul Galpin (Project Co-ordinator) had walked the village with Michael Dower (Beaminster Eco Group) and Jill Turner to look at spaces and discuss species. A suggestion of planting a ceremonial tree and involving schoolchildren was also discussed. A flyer for distribution to every household in South Perrott has been drafted and will be included with the September issue of The Pump and Pound (cost £20 which was approved by the Council). The scheme will also be advertised on the Parish Council Noticeboard, South Perrott Facebook Page and PC website along with an online form. Date for return of forms is 11 October to enable plants to be ordered and planted during the coming months.

b. Britain in Bloom Competition 2021
Cllr Chris Kennett introduced Mike Gardner to speak about entering South Perrott in the 2021 Britain in Bloom Competition. The aim is for community involvement as well as enhancing the village and no experience is required, just enthusiasm and participation. Mike Gardner said he would be happy to run the programme including entering the competition (no cost involved), enlisting volunteers and dealing with publicity and any commercial arrangements. The Parish Council fully supported the plan and requested Mike Gardner attend the next meeting to provide an update.









Financial Status for South Perrott Parish Council as at 9th September 2020

Income since last meeting



Payments made since last meeting

Clerking Work (July, August)






New payments for consideration – none at the current time.

Bank balance as at 9th September 2020: £7707.97


Matters of report and items for the next meeting

a) Chairman

b) Clerk

c) Members
No items of report



Dates of Future Meetings
Wednesday 11th November 2020 at 7.30pm. The meeting closed at 9.20pm


Public Session to raise items for future agendas

Sue Coutanche suggested that a Village Clean Up might be a good idea, particularly with entry in the Britain in Bloom Competition. She also reminded people that the deadline for articles for next edition of the Pump and Pound was 22nd September.


Police Report from PCSO Alex Bishop – September 2020
Fortunately, I have nothing to report crime wise. However, I would like to advise that over the last couple of months there has been a few thefts of quad bikes and power tools south of the patch, in the areas of Burton Bradstock/Puncknowle. I would like to advise that anyone with quad bikes or outbuildings review their security and contact us if you would like further advice.

We also had a report of a suspicious incident in Halstock where a male was seen around some garages in the early hours of Monday morning. He said that he was security and looking over the garages. He was smartly dressed and appeared to have an Irish accent.

I ask that people remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us on 101, or online at www.dorset.police.uk.


River Warden’s Report – September 2020
During the summer we have experienced a heatwave and two unseasonal storms, Ellen and Francis, but no flooding or uprooted trees, so far as I am aware.

Apart from having to remind one new resident of the responsibilities that attach to riparian rights ownership, it has been a very quiet period.

Martyn Gillingham
River/Flood Warden
Tel: 891931
Email: mcvgillingham@btinternet.com


Footpath Officer’s Report – September 2020
Most of the footpaths and bridleways continue to be regularly used by both hikers and dog owners alike. The vegetation continues to grow in abundance and although we have, on a number of occasions, cut back the overgrowth it soon needs doing again. I would like to thank all those who keep secateurs to hand whilst out walking. Cutting back the foliage makes the footpaths more easily accessible and I know is appreciated by all who walk them.
I wrote to Russell Goff, Senior Ranger West & Coast, Dorset Council, on 2 September to ask for an update on the matters I reported in July:

  • Langmoor Lane, repairs to the bank on bridleway. Russell advised that they were waiting for a couple of quotes and that the work will be undertaken as soon as these are received
  • Way Markers for Footpath No.1, which runs from the Old School in Pipplepen Lane and follows the county boundary towards Wood Dairy Farm where it becomes Footpath No.12. A ranger has been assigned to survey this in the next week and to put wooden sleepers across a gully in the field boundary in the first section of this path
  • Footpath No.10, which runs from Tumberlands in Lecher Lane towards Chapel Court Farm, Mosterton. The contractor renting the fields has ploughed over the footpath and there are no way markers. Russell will contact the land owner to discuss reinstatement.

Russell also mentioned that where there are stiles Dorset Council can replace them with gates to improve accessibility. These gates cost £180 each. The Council will erect them free of charge and may be able to meet 50% of the cost if the Parish Council is prepared to meet the other half. I would also like to remind a few (and it is only a few) to bag their dog’s excrement and take it home with them! Sue Coutanche

Sue Coutanche
Footpaths Officer