Minutes 14th July 2021


Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 14th July 2021 at 7.30pm the Village Hall

Present; Cllr Jonathan Baker, Cllr Balavant Barber, Cllr Gill Denny

In Attendance: Jane Thicknesse, Clerk, and 6 members of the public.

Item No.


  Public discussion of items on agenda

a. Declassification of A356 from an A to a B Road
A resident reported that this issue had been raised before but the conclusion had been that the disadvantages of doing so would be greater than the advantages. Downgrading from an A to a B road would not significantly reduce the traffic volume (as there is no other realistic alternative) but would mean no gritting, not a priority for road repairs and the cutting back of hedging would probably be reduced. Other members of the public agreed.
b. Field along Bailey’s Lane
Concern was expressed about the work which included the erection of a wooden construction in the field, lack of sanitation, a new entrance to the field and also the attempt by a private construction company to improve access to the site by using a small digger on parts of the bridleway.
c. A3066/Lecher Lane Junction
The Council was informed of another near miss at this junction and asked whether it would take a fatality before anything was done.

2021/037 Apologies/ Declarations of interest / grant of dispensations –

Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Rebecca Knox (Dorset Councillor), Alex Bishop (PCSO) and Cllr Yvonne Harris.
2021/038 Approval of Minutes of meeting held on 5th May 2021 The minutes of the last meeting were approved, and were signed by the Chairman. Proposed by Cllr Barber and seconded by Cllr Denny.  
2021/039 Matters arising from Minutes of meeting held on 5th May 2021
a. Pipplepen Solar Farm Project
The Clerk reported that Elgin Energy were still waiting for verification of the planning application and a reference number.

b. Noticeboard
The Chairman reported that the noticeboard had been installed and was already receiving positive comment. Thanks were expressed to Mark Denny and Neil Deinhardt for their help.

c. Village Meeting
After discussion it was decided that it would be preferable to hold this meeting on a separate date to a full Parish Council Meeting and it was agreed that it would be held on Wednesday 1 September at 7.00pm. Various village groups will be invited to give a short report on their activities and as many residents as possible encouraged to attend. The meeting will provide the opportunity for people to raise village issues which will then be passed to the Parish Council for further discussion, particularly if there is a financial requirement. The meeting will be run by the Chairman of SPPC and will be publicised nearer to the event.

d. Village Volunteers
John and Sheila Ward were thanked for their work strimming the verge at the bottom of Manor Close. A discussion took place about other areas in the village that need smartening up including The Pound and the gateways to the village along the A356. Cllr Denny agreed to contact volunteers and also to look for other people who might be prepared to get involved.

e. A356/Picket Lane Junction
The Clerk reported that the work to install extra road markings at this junction and also at the gateways to the village had again been delayed due to Dorset Council having a backlog of work and absenteeism of employees due to COVID. The new proposed date is autumn 2021. Cllr Knox has been informed about this delay and has agreed to chase the matter.

f. SID
The Chairman reported that the SID had been installed and already moved once as required. Thanks were expressed to Cllr Barber and Neil Deinhardt for their involvement in the project. Data had been extracted which showed that the SID seemed to be having an effect in the top location and that most vehicles were slowing down as they approached the village. Readings from the lower position would be available in due course. The data is available from the Clerk on request.



Cllr Denny



Co-option of New Councillor

The Chairman reported that, disappointingly, nobody had volunteered to join the Council. He requested that all present should continue to ask other residents if they might be interested, stressing the importance of having sufficient Councillors to ensure the Council could function effectively.

2021/041 Reports

a. River Warden

The River Warden updated the meeting, highlighting the torrential rain on 28 June and the consequences to the village. The full report is available at the end of these minutes.

b. Footpaths Officer Sue Coutanche’s report is available at the end of these minutes.

c. PCSO Report PCSO Bishop’s report is available at the end of these minutes.

d. Dorset Councillor Cllr Knox had sent an email prior to the meeting requesting updates on the Coach and Horses and the A3066/Lecher Lane Junction which the Clerk has provided. She also mentioned that Dorset Council are continuing to lobby government to make hybrid meetings (ie a mix between in person and zoom) for Parish Councils as a legal way forward.



2021/042 Reservoir Update

Martyn Gillingham reported that work had started on 24 May 2021 with the closure of the public bridleway along Bailey’s Lane and through the reservoir site. The public footpath along Bailey’s Lane and up to the Millennium Green has remained open, and will be diverted along the northern boundary of the green to reconnect with the footpath up to Chedington.
Since the start, preparatory work to create the site compound and a bridge over the River Parrett for access to the spillway, has been underway. Temporary “Heras” security fencing has been erected around the whole site to prevent unauthorised access.
The most visible sign of construction work has been the excavation of a V-Notch Weir Chamber at the bottom of the spillway, as part of the carrier drain and filter drain, leading to the new headwall outfall in the river bank.
The construction of the filter drain inside the Millennium Green is due to start on 15th July, and the working area will be protected with temporary security fencing for the duration of the work, and the maintenance period. This will mean that access will not be permitted to the southern half of the green.
2021/043 Queen’s Green Canopy

The Chairman reported that this was a UK-wide tree planting initiative to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Everyone from individuals to groups, villages, counties, schools and corporates will be encouraged to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee. The Council agreed that this was a great idea but after the recent tree planting scheme throughout the village could not think of a public space where it might be possible. Councillors and attendees at the meeting were asked to give it some thought and to ask other members of the village if they had any suggestions. The topic would be re-visited at the next meeting.

2021/044 De-classification of the A356

Following on from the public discussion at the start of the meeting the Council unanimously decided that they would not support this proposal which had been put forward by Crewkerne Town Council. The Clerk was asked to inform Crewkerne Town Council.

2021/045 Planning Matters
a. Applications handled since last meeting
WD/D/20/001708 Coach and Horses
The Clerk informed the meeting that she had recently contacted Katrina Trevett, Team Leader South Western Team, who had reported that the applicant has paid for and agreed the undertaking of a viability assessment of the Coach and Horses. Details of what this assessment should contain had been explained to the agent and viability professional. Progress on the noise assessment had also been requested. Katrina Trevett has agreed one final extension of time until the 17th August for these reports to be provided and has said that a decision on whether to approve the retrospective planning application is likely to made either at the end of August or at the very latest, the first two weeks of September.

b. Decisions notified by DC since last meeting

c. New application to be considered
P/HOU/2021/01325 – Bellamy House
Cllr Barber declared an interest in this item and left the meeting.
The Clerk reported that she had received an email from a resident expressing concern about the proposed garage planning application. The concerns included location on the plot, size of the building but at the same time lack of space for cars, the requirement for an undesignated upper storey with a balcony and vehicular access along Bailey’s Lane which is a bridleway and should be for agricultural vehicles only (apart from Bridge Farmhouse which has legal access).
The Clerk also reported that Dorset Council had made an error displaying the site notice (for which an apology to the applicant and Parish Council had been received) and that as a result the date for comments on the application had been extended to 27th July 2021. The Chairman encouraged all to study the plans on the Dorset Council Planning site and to make any comments before that date.

d. Tree applications since last meeting
P/TRC/2021/01594 – Hillbrook House – Approved

e. Other Planning Matters
i. Field at western end of the village – the Clerk reported that she had spoken to Paul Bignell, Dorset Council Planning Enforcement Officer, who said that the owner had been informed that he was required to remove all non-agricultural items from the site and put in a planning application should he wish to proceed with building a store for old tractors.
ii. Hunters Hatch – following a visit to the site Paul Bignell informed the owners that they were required to stop work and wait for the advice from a Conservation Officer as to what was permitted in the grade 2 listed building. This report is due imminently.
iii. Field along Bailey’s Lane – the Clerk reported that Paul Bignell was due to visit the site on Monday 19th July 2021. She would be accompanying him and would report back.




Highways Updates
i) A3066/Lecher Lane – after an incident at this junction beginning of June which involved several rescue services and the air ambulance, the Clerk wrote to Michael Potter, Head of Road Safety for Dorset Council asking for the junction to be reviewed and for consideration to be given to putting double white lines along this stretch of the A3066. His reply said that he would be asking Dorset Police for their findings on the latest accident and that the lining suggested would be considered. He stressed that there were strict regulations surrounding the use of solid white centre lines; such lining can only be used if forward visibility is restricted and are only used where there is a history of overtaking related collisions.
Since the meeting Michael Potter has sent a further email stating
“I have had the report from police colleagues summarising the circumstances of the collision from 7 June. Whilst I am not able to share the specific details of the collision, I am able to state that double white lines would not likely have prevented the incident.
Furthermore, with the section of the A3066 being relatively straight with good forward visibility the strict criteria for a system of double white lines would not be met.
I am aware that there are junction warning signs on the A3066 on either side of the junction, in light of the concerns raised following this recent incident I have requested that the condition and visibility of these signs are reviewed.
This recent incident is the only injury collision that has occurred on this section of the A3066 in recent years. Collision cluster sites are identified/monitored using the latest available five year period, currently May 2016 to April 2021, during this time there have been zero injury collisions reported during this figure. The incident in June resulted in a minor injury and will be added to our database in due course.”


Emails have been received/sent reference Highways (various), Coach and Horses, Annual Governance and Accountability Return, Queen’s Green Canopy, Hard copies of correspondence: Lloyds Bank Statement, Clerk and Councils Direct.



Financial Status for South Perrott Parish Council as at 14th July 2021

Income since last meeting

Final Transfer from Parrett & Axe PC


Payments made since last meeting

Clerking Work (May, Jun)
Payroll Admin
DAPTC Subscription
Rubbish Bin Emptying (Apr-Jun 21)

New payments for consideration – none at the current time.

SID Set Up Costs


Matters of report and items for the next meeting

a) Chairman

b) Clerk

c) Members
No items of report



Dates of Future Meetings
Wednesday 8th September 2021 at 7.30pm.
The meeting closed at 9.15pm


Public Session to raise items for future agendas

a. Sue Coutanche reminded the meeting that the next edition of the Pump and Pound (No60) would be published at the end of July. Any items for inclusion should be sent to the editors by 20th July 2021.
b. The subject of insurance for volunteers working in the village was raised. The Clerk agreed to investigate and report back.
c. A resident enquired if it might be possible for one of the new litter bins to be moved to a different location which was close by as they thought it might mean more people would use it as opposed to leaving dog waste in other locations. Councillors agreed that moving the bin would make very little difference and agreed no further action was to be taken


River Warden’s Report – July 2021
On 20 May, I was alerted to reports of a fallen tree at Sockety, which had completely blocked the A356. A local resident had tried to warn traffic, but was subjected to abusive language from a lorry driver. I attended the scene, giving advice to motorists who had to turn round and retrace their steps, until the local Police arrived. As luck would have it, a passing driver who had to stop, had a chain saw in the back of his van, and proceeded to start cutting up the trunk. Then along came a team of tree surgeons, returning from a job, who were towing a chipper, and they too proceeded to clear the tree branches. Within about 30 minutes, the road was re-opened to traffic.
Flooding in South Perrott
Whilst on holiday in Cornwall on 22 June, I received a report from a local resident that oil was seeping into the river from one of the road drainage culverts outside ‘Sarum’. I advised the resident to alert the Environment Agency (EA), using the emergency incident hotline. I understand that the EA attended on site but were unable to identify any oil leakage. On my return from holiday, I checked the culvert and oil was clearly visible in the river at this location. However, despite making enquiries with householders on both sides of the A356 in the Chedington direction, I was unable to ascertain the source of what I believed was a leak of heating oil.
The yellow met office warning for heavy rain affecting South West England on Monday 28 June from 12 noon proved to be surprisingly accurate, with between 75 – 100mm of rain falling over the 24 hour period. Locals who had lived in the village for over 30 years said that they had seen nothing like it before. Picket Lane was a continuous river right down to the junction with the A356, despite a large amount of water spilling over the edge of the bridge into the River Parrett, and the water brought and deposited a large amount of shingle across the lane near the junction with Bailey’s Lane. Pipplepen Lane was awash with water from the field ditch behind the village hall which spilt out over the lane. The A356 adjacent to the Coach & Horses was also awash until it drained into the culverts at the bottom of Church Hill.
Langmoor Lane bridleway flooded over the footpath just before it joined the torrent of the Parrett, to pass under the road. The footpath behind Parrett Mead leading to the church became a lake.
In the midst of all this drama, the A356 outside ‘Sarum’ was flood free!
The volume of water in the river was at record levels, with only about 50mm clearance under the Parrett Mead culverts and Church Hill bridge structure. However, the main problems were created by surface water flooding, with the highway drains unable to cope with the volume of run off from the fields. The Environment Agency has kindly supplied me with the photograph showing the amount of water impounded behind the dam which, I am advised, was close to the crest of the spillway. A clear example of the benefit to the village of the dam working as intended!
Flooding in South Perrott
Flooding in South Perrott

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


PCSO Report – July 2021
On the 16th June, we had a report of damage to crops in South Perrott as a quad bike was seen riding through a field. The farmer confronted the people involved and they denied causing any problems, but left.

We have had a couple of calls recently, relating to a scam. A caller purporting to be a Police Officer advises that the recipients bank card is used in a fraud and attempt to get details. The Police would operate in this manner, this is a scam, please do not pass any details over the phone and just hang up. If you think that the caller is a Police Officer, take their name, collar number, station they are based at and Force they work for, then hang up and call 101, choose the option to speak to the Force they said they were from to confirm the call is genuine. If you think you have given out any details to a cold caller, please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk. PCSO Alex Bishop


Footpath Officer’s Report – July 2021
The work to the Flood Prevention Reservoir is now well underway and the Environment Agency (EA) is now re- routing the footpaths as work is progressing. Pedestrians can still access the Engineers Road and the EA have erected a sign warning their operatives that they may encounter pedestrians. They have also made a new path laid with wood shavings which is very pleasant to walk on and a wooden bridge taking pedestrians to the Millennium Green. The footpath across the Millennium Green (MG) is virtually impassable with overgrown foliage and 6 feet high nettles, cow parsley and brambles. I have been informed that the EA are creating a new footpath on the north side of the MG (by the picnic tables) as they will be fencing off the south side of the Green. Bailey’s Lane Bridleway has now been closed by the (EA) as work progresses on the Reservoir Scheme. All footpaths that continue up to Chedington are open as usual
Langmoor Lane –parts of this Lane are almost impassable with a combination of waist high grass, saplings and cow parsley and stretches of the lane have become a stream with running water as well as patches of deep mud. Another matter of concern is the erosion of the bank by the stone bridge spanning the stream just below the garden gate to Mohun House. I am pleased to report that the mud obstruction on the Mosterton end of Langmoor Lane has now been cleared. All these matters have been reported to Dorset Council’s Senior Ranger, who is responsible for footpaths and also all of West Dorset’s green spaces including grass verges. The verge on the junction of Lecher Lane and A3066 has recently been cut and also Manor Close (John & Sheila Ward had started strimming it), by the Council. The Ranger said it was now Dorset Council’s Policy to regularly cut and collect the cuttings from their verges and green spaces to encourage native flora and wildlife to flourish.
To report a problem the link is: https://mapping.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/rightsofway/reportproblem you can also phone 01305 221000 or report any problem direct to me, Sue (07971 979155) Sue Coutanche, SP Footpaths Officer

Sue Coutanche
Footpaths Officer