Minutes of the Meeting of Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council held on Wednesday, 17th September 2008, in Blakedown Parish Rooms.


PRESENT      Cllr R J Whiston (Chairman)

                        Cllr Mrs S Cartwright

                        Cllr S D Charman

Cllr P A Dearden

Cllr T A Gardiner

                        Cllr Mrs P V Hayward

                        Cllr J W Long

                        Cllr B A Pitt

                        Cllr Mrs V J Swindells


In attendance:            Nigel Potter, Rural Housing Enabler

                        R D Gurney, Clerk to the Parish Council


161/08            CHAIRMANS REMARKS

The Chairman welcomed Nigel Potter and Members of the Council to the meeting. He reported that he had attended the Area Meeting of CALC.


162/08            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were none.



Cllr Long declared a personal interest (as the freeholder of the Post Office premises) in Item 14, minute no. 174/08).

            Cllr Mrs Swindells declared a personal interest in Item 10, minute no. 170/08).


164/08            COMMUNITY POLICING

PC Sarah Brooks had sent an apology. It was reported that the PACT box is now in The Old House At Home.



The Chairman introduced Nigel Potter, Rural Housing Enabler for Worcestershire and informed him of sites in the parish which are considered suitable for affordable housing, namely the former Nursery site and the rear of the Vicarage, off Mill Close, for which a planning application is for comment at this meeting. Mr Potter commented that he works for Community First (CF), which specializes in rural matters, parish plans, village halls, etc; it is funded by 4 district councils, WCC and housing associations. He reminded the meeting that social housing issues can be confrontational within communities and often there can be a lengthy timescale.

The current problem arises because house prices have risen at a considerably higher rate than wages; there is difficulty in getting on to the housing ladder unless subsidized by parents. The age profile in rural areas is rising and a need to cater for downsizing, both in size of property and the provision of suitable property, eg bungalows.

Before social housing can be developed on an exception site it is necessary for a housing need survey to be done. The letter, form and criteria are arranged by CF and the PC is asked to arrange delivery to each household in the Parish. The replies, in pre paid, envelopes are sent to CF, who analyses the responses. If a need is shown then suitable land requires to be found, its purchase sought from the landowner, and a housing association found before plans are drawn up. The least costly land is likely to be in Green Belt, on the edge of the village, where planning permission for housing is unlikely to be given, an Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 will normally need to be entered into, to ensure that the housing remains as social housing. After Members put questions to Mr Potter the Chairman thanked Mr Potter for his informative talk. Mr Potter left the meeting.

It was felt that a housing needs survey should be done as soon as possible and it was agreed that the Clerk informs Mr Potter to proceed with the preparation of this survey



(One member of the public (Mr Lorton) was in attendance. He commented that one paling  is missing from the seat on the Green; a stile on the footpath behind the barn conversions in Churchill is blocked off; and a broken bridge on the footpath just outside the parish boundary in Chaddesley Corbett PC has been reported and taped off).



Neither County Cllr Clee nor Cllr Williams were in attendance and there were no reports.



            20th AUGUST 2008

Subject to the deletion of the word “height” from Minute no. 144/08(9), line 2, it was proposed by Cllr Charman, seconded by Cllr Mrs Cartwright, and RESOLVED that the Minutes, being a true and accurate record of the proceedings of the meeting, be signed by the Chairman.



(1)  Parish Web site. Gordon Stevens was unable to attend and there was no report. It was agreed that the cost of advertising on the web site should be considered at a subsequent meeting.

(2) Lengthsman/Handyman report. Mark Jones was not in attendance, but he had reported the recent fly tipping in Rocky Lane and this was removed by WFDC. The bracken at Churchill Pound has been treated and the Clerk is to ask Mark Jones to strim this when it has died back.

(3) Land to the rear of 5 Mill Lane, Blakedown. It was felt that the response to the request that this land being used as allotment land had been given by the submission of the current planning application for 3 houses.

(4) Blakedown Signal box listing. The Clerk has obtained some photos from the website, but is currently having difficulty finding details to support listing.

(5) Local listing in rural areas. The list of listed buildings, etc, was circulated with the agenda. This was noted and it was agreed that it be included on the web site. As there had been a negative response from WFDC regarding a survey for local listing in the Parish the Clerk was asked to send a copy of the letter dated 01.08.08 from Mr Parker to County Cllr Clee.

(6) Management of the Shoppers Car Park. Cllr Mrs Hayward agreed to follow the non reply to the Clerk with WFDC.



(7) Street nameplates and signs. Cllr Gardiner is still working through the roads in

Blakedown. Cllr Whiston reported a number of signs in Churchill which need to be attended to. It was agreed that signs be requested for Rocky Lane (both ends); Stakenbridge Lane (by the crossroads); Stoney Lane (at Stakenbridge Lane end); and Perriford Lane (both ends). Before a similar request is made for Beech Tree Lane the Clerk was asked to write to the residents living in Beech Tree Lane and Sugar Loaf Lane.   

(8) Litter Picking agreement. The Clerk reported that this has been agreed and he has received the annual payment of £150 from WFDC.

(9) Millennium Green grant. The Clerk has received a letter of thanks from the trustees.



(1) It was resolved that the comments on the following applications, as detailed, be sent to Wyre Forest DC.       

Applications Received

WF/08/0800            Two storey and single storey extension with lean-to roof, new single storey roof to rear, 20 Belbroughton Road, Blakedown

No objection


WF/08/0814/TREE            Fell one pine tree at front of property, 11 Wannerton Road, Blakedown


Objection. The PC considers that the removal of the ivy could improve the health of the

tree, but it would support the view of the Arboricultual Officer


WF/08/0839     Erection of three detached dwellings, access and turning area, land at

rear of 5 Mill Lane, Blakedown


Strongly Recommend Refusal. As this land was conveyed on 25th November 1957 to the Church “as a site for a Parsonage House” the PC considers that the development of the land as proposed is in conflict with the covenant. Being specifically for one property therefore restricts what can be done with the site. Because of this covenant the PC has identified this land as suitable for development within the “exceptions” policy, which would contribute towards the social and affordable housing need in the village.
Notwithstanding the above the PC considers that this proposal is for the wrong type of housing, as there is a need for smaller, affordable units. Also the proposed dwellings would lead to overlooking of existing properties and cause a loss of privacy.


Planning Decisions - for information

WF/08/0625            Extensions, Larchwood, Stakenbridge, Churchill – GRANTED

WF/07/1201            Glazed link between house and garage, 1 Yarnold Cottages, Stakenbridge, Churchill – APPEAL ALLOWED

Appeal notifications

WF/07/1260            Erection of 2 five bedroom houses with vehicular accesses; demolition of Little Champson, 1 Roxall Close, Blakedown (representations by 29.09.08)

WF/08/0451            Erection of 2 four bedroom detached houses (demolition of Little Champson), Little Champson, 1 Roxall Close, Blakedown (representations by 13.10.08)


Cllr Mrs Swindells had prepared a statement for submission on behalf of the Parish

Council for both appeals and, subject to some minor amendments, this was agreed.


170/08            GRANT APPLICATION – WRVS

A copy of the letter from WRVS was circulated with the agenda. It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Hayward, seconded by Cllr Mrs Swindells, and agreed that a grant of £100 be made.



            It was agreed to defer this item to a subsequent meeting.


172/08            FINANCE

            (1)            The Clerk reported that the current account today stands at £320.62p and the Instant Access account stands at £7,547.10p, giving a total credit balance of                                 £7,867.72p.

            (2)            The Receipts and Payments Account for 04.07.08-06.08.08 was received.

(3)        It was proposed by Cllr Gardiner, seconded by Cllr Pitt, and resolved that the following accounts be approved for payment:

Staples UK Ltd, photocopying, stamps (August)

£19.04 + £2.58 VAT                            £  21.62

                        R D Gurney salary (August/September)                              £589.62

                        Mark Jones              handyman                                                £360.00

                                                       lengthsman                                               £205.00

                        V Rudge (August)                                                 £160.00

                        WRVS                                                              £100.00



173/08            HIGHWAY MATTERS

Mr Hunter (WCC) confirms that WCC has passed over the problems with satnavs to the appropriate bodies, and commented that it may take at least 6 months before changes become operative. In response to the recent letter stating that there is no budget for work in Station Drive, the Clerk was asked to email Mr Hunter’s letter to him, for action.

The Clerk was asked to report blocked drains at Station Drive/The Avenue and outside no. 65 Belbroughton Road.



It was announced that Blakedown Post Office is not included for closure. The PO at Harvington is scheduled to be closed, and customers will be expected to use the PO at Blakedown; there seems to be an acceptance of this in Harvington. Cllr Long reminded the Council that a further review of post offices will be held in 2011. The Chairman thanked Cllr Long and other members who had helped in the campaign and would have continued to help in the event of proposed closure.



Members are still aggregating the survey results. A distribution network for deliveries in the Parish has been set up, able to be used for other organizations. An electronic map is required for the village centre (at first), which would be available for all organizations, and this was agreed. The Group is having meetings with various groups in the Parish and will have a stall at the fete on 20th September. It was reported that Cllr Mrs Hayward has agreed to give £50 from her “District Council fund” to the Parish Plan Group


It is hoped that further letters will be received and it was agreed to defer discussion of this to a later meeting.


The Clerk reported that the solicitor at WCC had not offered much encouragement for The Avenue being successfully registered as a village green. Members, however, felt that this should be pursued. Letters giving details of its use over a number of years will be required.

178/08            STREET LIGHTING

It was agreed that this Item relating to possible changes in the street lighting service be deferred.


It was agreed that discussion of this item be deferred until after the fete on 20th September.


Details of a workshop to be held on 29th September were enclosed with the agenda. Cllr Gardiner agreed to attend.


The Chairman reported that this has resulted from Bill Bryson and is to encourage communities to take part in keeping their area tidy and free from litter. There is need to register, giving a date, so that equipment can be sent. Whilst there is the School Eco Committee and work done by Mark Jones as handyman and lengthsman it was agreed that the Chairman registers, with a date next year. The Chairman produced a list of emergency telephone numbers for various types of litter and it was agreed that this be put on the web site and in the Parish newsletter.

182/08            ITEMS FROM CALC

The Clerk reported that the CALC AGM will be held on Thursday, 9th October 2008, at 7.00 pm at County Hall.

The Chairman reported that, following the recent Ethics and Standards Committee, parish councils were asked to amend their Standing Orders, to take account of changes to the Complaints Procedure. That the Standing Orders of Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council be amended to incorporate the following:

“A complaint of an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct shall be sent to the Head of Legal Services and the Chairman of the Ethics and Standards Committee at Wyre Forest District Council for assessment.”

It was agreed that this addition Standing Order be accepted and presented for approval at the next meeting of the Parish Council.


183/08            CORRESPONDENCE (for noting)

            (1) Community First – AGM, 1st October at Hanley Swan

            (2) RBL – Remembrance Service, Sunday 9th November

(3) WCC – Bus Bulletin, August/Sept

(4) Highways Agency A.456 Detrunking Order

(5) WFDC – Revised Local Development Framework, in effect from 30.08.08

(6) South Staffs DC – Local Development Framework consultation until 26th September

(7) WCC – Wyre Forest Special Schools Review update

(8) CPRE, Bromsgrove District group – notice of AGM

(9) Kinver PC – agendas and minutes

(10) Magazines including Clerks and Councils Direct, Worcestershire Partnership


(1) Autumn newsletter


This is scheduled for Wednesday, 15th October 2008 in Blakedown Parish Room.

The meeting closed at 10.29 pm.

Dated this 15th day of October 2008                             ………………………………............