Minutes of the Meeting of Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council held on Wednesday, 20th August 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


In attendance:            PC Sarah Brooks

Malcolm Hall and Gordon Stevens, webmasters

                        R D Gurney, Clerk to the Parish Council


138/08            CHAIRMANS REMARKS

The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting.


139/08            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

These were received and accepted from Cllr Pitt and Cllr Mrs Swindells.



Cllr Long declared a personal interest (as the freeholder of the Post Office premises) in Item 14, minute no. 151/08).


141/08            COMMUNITY POLICING

PC Sarah Brooks was invited to speak. She reported that, in the last month, there has been the theft of a catalytic converter from a car and a handbag from an unlocked house. She reported that the PACT postcards will now be with prepaid envelopes and the “post box” is being relocated from the Post Office to “The Old House At Home”.



(One member of the public (Mr Lorton) was in attendance. He commented on the encroachment into The Avenue (on the agenda); that, following the resurfacing of Sculthorpe Road, there are no road markings; and that the “Mill Lane” road sign outside nos. 13/15 Mill Lane is missing).



Neither County Cllr Clee nor Cllr Williams were in attendance and there were no reports. The Clerk reported that he had written to the Highways Agency, asking for a 20 mph speed limit to be imposed outside Blakedown School on the A.456 Trunk Road. The Highways Agency had responded that the A.456 was detrunked on 28th April 2008; the Clerk has forwarded this information to County Cllr Clee, asking if WCC will introduce this speed limit in Blakedown.



187                    CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 20.08.08



            16th JULY 2008

It was proposed by Cllr Gardiner, seconded by Cllr Mrs Hayward, 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. Malcolm Hall was invited to speak. He introduced Gordon Stevens, who is taking over as web master of the village web site. Malcolm Hall is remaining in Blakedown and will be able to ensure a smooth changeover. Mr Stevens gave details of his background. The Chairman thanked Malcolm Hall for all the work he had done to establish the web site and thanked Gordon Stevens for taking over as web master.

(2) Lengthsman/Handyman report. Mark Jones was not in attendance, but he has expressed concern with the unsuitability of the waste bin on the Sports Field. The Clerk will speak to WFDC on the concern.

The Clerk reported that WFDC require a further agreement for the litter picking duties to be continued. Members resolved that this agreement be renewed.

(3) Land to the rear of 5 Mill Lane, Blakedown. The Clerk is still awaiting a reply from the Diocesan Surveyor.

(4) Blakedown Station maintenance/ Signal box listing. It was noted that part of the fence by the signal box has been painted. No progress has been made regarding the application for the listing of the signal box.

(5) Local listing in rural areas. Mr Parker, WFDC, has informed the Clerk that his department has already programmed Wolverley and Cookley Parish as the first phase for local listing; this is to be completed in Spring 2009. Members felt that this list needs to be compiled and the Clerk was asked to provide details of the current statutory list at the next meeting.

(6) Management of the Shoppers Car Park. The Clerk reported that he has still not received a reply from WFDC. Cllr Mrs Hayward agreed to follow this up at WFDC.

(7) Street nameplates and signs. Cllr Whiston circulated a report on the signage in Churchill and the rural area, for detailed discussion at a subsequent meeting. Cllr Gardiner hoped to produce a similar report for Blakedown at the next meeting.

(8) Street lighting supplier. The Clerk has not made progress on this matter.

(9) Weight restrictions in Churchill and Blakedown. WCC report that additional warning signs have been erected at both ends of Stakenbridge Lane. The existing signs in Mill Lane will be relocated closer to Churchill Lane within 3 months and missing “except for access” signs at both ends of Mill Lane will be replaced. HGV counts will be taken to establish the level of usage of HGVs in the area between A.456 and A.451.

(10) Police attendance at PC meeting. Inspector Crowley has stated that either he or Chief Inspector Baker will be able to attend the next meeting. However it was felt that with Nigel Potter already speaking, that the senior police officer be invited to a future meeting.



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





Applications Received.

WF/08/0659            Change of use of existing outbuildings to form 5 residential dwellings with associated garaging and parking, Hodge Hill Farm Barns, Birmingham Road, Kidderminster


No objection to the proposal in principle, BUT as this site falls within the catchment of the Blakedown C of E Primary School, which is already at its capacity, and the application is for family sized homes, it is considered that a contribution towards new classroom spaces be obtained via a Section 106 Agreement.


WF/08/0665            New vehicular access and driveway, new front wall and entrance gates, 30 Mill Lane, Blakedown


    Objection to the proposal. The proposed boundary wall is considered to be over imposing

            and too prominent on the narrow roadside. PC suggests that the wall be built one metre

            back from the highway boundary; this would make it less prominent and safer for users

            of the highway.


WF/08/0698            Removal of agricultural occupancy condition on existing bungalow (Condition 2, Plan no. WF/285/80), Sunset Nursery, Waggon Lane,

existing garage, Ismere Grange, Ismere

No objection


WF/08/0737            Retain existing pheasant building and alter to form rearing pens and store, Park Hall, Birmingham Road, Blakedown

No objection


WF/08/0738            Demolish pole barn, chicken sheds, workshop and garage/machine store and build workshop and associated works to existing open barn, Park Hall, Birmingham Road, Blakedown

No objection


WF/08/0739            Demolish and build new stable block on site of former coachman’s cottage, Park Hall, Birmingham Road, Blakedown

No objection


WF/08/0740            Extend former squash courts with fire escape porch and carry out alterations to existing building to form office suite and cinema room, Park Hall, Birmingham Road, Blakedown

No objection


WF/08/0741            as above (listed building consent)


No objection


WF/08/0742            Retain and alter dairy cottage to form staff and visitors accommodation, Park Hall, Birmingham Road, Blakedown

No objection

189                     CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 20.08.08


WF/08/0743            as above (listed building consent)


No objection



WF/08/0744            Retain and alter Gardeners Cottage to form staff and visitor accommodation, Park Hall, Birmingham Road, Blakedown

No objection


WF/08/0745            as above (listed building consent)


No objection


WF/08/0747            Extensions and alterations, 7 New Wood Lane, Blakedown


No objection


WF/08/0771            Change of use to enable Blakedown Sports cars to use the tack room & vice versa, New House Farm, Belbroughton Road, Blakedown

No objection


WF/08/0784            Demolition of existing property and double garage, erection of one detached replacement house and one twin replacement garage, Duckpen Cottages, 211A & B and 212 A&B, Birmingham Road, Kidderminster


Objection to the proposal.

This is another proposal to demolish a landmark building which is part of the character and history of the Parish, being part of the original estate of the Earl of Dudley, and replace it with a larger, modern building in the Green Belt. Duckpen Cottages are of characteristic local design and no evidence has been submitted to indicate that the building is structurally unsound; therefore, there seems no reason why the building cannot be refurbished, either as one dwelling or as smaller, affordable units.

Because of their intrinsic local design should these cottages be considered for listing?  

Notwithstanding the applicant’s claim that the scheme would comply with Policy GB1(iv) – which is not stated in full in the Statement – the first part of Policy H9 (iii) is also relevant, as the building is of local historic and architectural interest. Duckpen Cottages are referred to in the “Pictorial History of Churchill and Blakedown” (Mr Roper-Pressdee has a copy) and there is local concern about the proposed demolition – see attached Press report.


It was agreed that the Parish Council takes the opportunity to speak at the Planning (Development Control) Committee in connection with the application.


Planning Decisions - for information


WF/08/0432            Two storey extension and garage extension, 13 Wheatmill Close, Blakedown - GRANTED

CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 20.08.08                  190


WF/08/0451            2 four bedroom detached houses (demolition of Little Champson), Little Champson, 1 Roxall Close, Blakedown – REFUSED

WF/08/0484            Replacement of flat roof with pitched roof, 59 Belbroughton Road, Blakedown – GRANTED

WF/08/0502            Side extension, 106 Belbroughton Road, Blakedown – GRANTED


WF/08/0542            Erection of fencing, land at 1-4 Fiveways Cottages, Sugar Loaf Lane, Ismere – GRANTED

WF/08/0591            Extensions, 7 New Wood Lane, Blakedown - WITHDRAWN


Appeal notification

WF/08/0254            Erection of hay and implements barn, Field 2, Glebeland, Churchill


It was agreed that the objections raised at the application stage be confirmed.



(1)   Churchill and Blakedown Millennium Green Trust. Copies of the current accounts were circulated with the agenda and a grant towards the insurance was requested. It was proposed by Cllr Dearden, seconded by Cllr Mrs Hayward, and agreed that a grant of £264 be made.

(2)   Churchill and Blakedown Sports and Recreation Centre. Copies of a letter and current estimates for grass cutting were circulated with the agenda. Whilst no specific sum was requested it was proposed by Cllr Gardiner, seconded by Cllr Whiston, and agreed that a grant equivalent to 10 cuts, ie £468 be made at this time.



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


148/08            FINANCE

            (1)            The Clerk reported that the current account today stands at £992.39p and the                                Instant Access account stands at £8,230.53p, giving a total credit balance of                                 £9,222.92p.

(2)        It was proposed by Cllr Charman, seconded by Cllr Mrs Cartwright, and resolved that the following accounts be approved for payment:

Staples UK Ltd, photocopying, stationery (July)

£50.93 + £6.84 VAT (3 invoices)            £  57.77

                        Worcestershire CALC – Clerk’s meeting, 07.05.08                        £  25.00

                        Mark Jones              handyman                                                         £415.00

                                                       lengthsman                                                      £210.00

                        Vernon Rudge (July)                                                                 £160.00

                        Blakedown Parish Room Committee (May/June/July)                        £  42.00

Churchill & Blakedown Millennium Green Trust                            £264.00

Churchill & Blakedown Sport & Recreation Centre              £468.00         



149/08            HIGHWAY MATTERS

Mr Hunter (WCC) confirms that there is no budget for the kerbing work at Station Drive at present. No progress has been made with relining at Churchill crossroads and no reply

191                     CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 20.08.08


has been received regarding the control of satnavs. It has been noted that WCC has undertaken some maintenance work on A.456, now that it is detrunked. The Clerk was asked to find out what work Mark Jones can undertake along A.456, as the hedges from nos. 1,3,5,7 Roxall Close are overhanging.



As the regulations for applying for QPS are to be changed in September, this is the last opportunity to apply. However, it was felt that one weak aspect of an application is the production of newsletters and Members agreed to defer application until 2009.



Several Members attended a meeting at WFDC with representatives of the Post Office, which was found to be useful. Members were reminded that the announcement will be made on Wednesday, 27th August and there will be a 6 week consultation period. The PC and individuals will be able to respond, and several options, including self funding, were discussed in the event of the PO being subject to closure. It was agreed that, if Blakedown PO is listed for closure, the PC will call an Extraordinary Meeting in the School, at which the public would be encouraged to attend. Meanwhile the Clerk was asked to circulate the information he had received from CALC.



There has not been a meeting since the last Council meeting.



The Clerk reported that he had still received only one letter giving details of the usage of the Green. It is hoped that further letters will be received and it was agreed to defer discussion of this to a later meeting.


154/08            ALLOTMENT PROVISION

            As no petition has been received it was agreed that no further consideration be taken.



            It was agreed that this item be deferred to a subsequent meeting.



It was noted that some residents of Lynwood Drive have encroached in to The Avenue, by moving their rear fences out by as much as 6 feet. It was agreed that the Clerk writes to all residents of Lynwood Drive, who back on to The Avenue, pointing out the encroachment. The Clerk will investigate the possibility of The Avenue being registered as a village green. 


157/08            ITEMS FROM CALC

The MAIL was circulated at the meeting and the Clerk reported that the next Area Meeting is on 4th September, at Harvington. The Clerk agreed to attend a conference on rural funding on 19th September.




CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 20.08.08                  192


158/08            CORRESPONDENCE (for noting)

             (1) WCC – training courses for Parish Paths Wardens

(2) WFDC – Red Cross grants (passed to Sports Centre committee)

(3) WFDC – Proposed removal of public payphones (none in the Parish)

(4) WFDC – advance notice of Parish Forum (7th October)

(5) CPRE, Bromsgrove District group – minutes of meeting

(6) Bromsgrove DC – Core Strategy consultation

(7) Police/Community Engagement Group – agenda for meeting, 20.08.08



(1) Speaker – Nigel Potter (Rural Housing Enabler)

(2) Fund raising activities in the Parish



This is scheduled for Wednesday, 17th September 2008 in Blakedown Parish Room.


The meeting closed at 10.34 pm.




Dated this 17th day of September 2008                                    ………………………………............