We invite our residents to attend our next parish council meeting on Monday 23rd October at 7.30pm in Farnham Common Village Hall. Parish Councils are the ‘grass roots’ level of local government where your opinion really matters. Please come along and have your say during the first fifteen minutes of our meetings on any issue that you wish to raise or comment on and of course stay to hear the debate on the local issues on the agenda. Please take a look at the agenda which has been put up on the relevant page of this website. This month local planning issues are some of the more pressing concerns – the most recent attempt by Slough to land grab some of South Bucks, debate on an approach from a local developer to develop Green Belt land in our parish, and commenting on the development of a new brownfield register for the area. We are happy to represent our residents but would find it easier if more residents engaged to have their say. If you cannot attend a meeting then please let our Clerk have your views.
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Grove Court Properties have developed revised proposals for the former Haymill garage and car dealership on Beaconsfield Road for a reduced scheme.
As you may recall, proposals for a care home for the elderly on the site was refused planning permission earlier this year and is currently going through the appeal process. Grove Court Properties is preparing to submit a revised smaller application which addresses the previous reasons for refusal. They are therefore inviting local residents to meet with them and discuss the plans on Monday 9 October. They say they will be in the area between 4pm and 8pm and will meet with residents if they are contacted to do so.
Should you have any queries on the scheme or wish to meet with them, please do not hesitate to contact Lauren Whipp on 01296 678320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At our meeting on 25th September progress was made in agreeing further expenditure required to repair Footpath 4 between the A355 and Egypt Lane near Barn Close. Subject only to the final consent of City of London to take down vegetation on the diversionary route this work should take place week commencing 16th October.
The Parish Council has been working hard to improve our environment. The spotlight is currently on St Mary’s churchyard where steps are being taken to remove saplings growing through graves and put up new signs. We have commissioned a report on trees of value to our parish and what can be done to protect them.
We are pleased to say the Carols on the Green event will take place again this year on Kingsway Green on Saturday 9th December with a slightly increased budget.
Please take the time to read our minutes and consider whether you might want to become a councillor. It is a way to make a real difference to your local community and to improve our open spaces and quality of life. If you are interested in this position in local democratic government please contact the Clerk. We currently have a vacancy for a councillor which can be filled by co-option ( that is a simple majority vote of councillors present) at a future meeting.
Hedgerley Parish Council (HPC) seeks support in its campaign to limit the impact locally should Slade Farm become a gravel extraction site. This is looking likely as the site is under consultation to become a preferred site under the Draft Bucks Minerals & Waste Local Plan/2016-2036 Preferred Options Consultation. The consultation ends 27th September and Farnham Royal Parish Council supports their position and would urge residents to respond directly to the consultation. You may wish to note some of the points below which have been recommended by HPC’s Planning Consultants .
Visit http://public access.buckscc.gov.uk/online-applications/
- both Slade Farm allocations lie within green belt, and therefore the nature of development at Slade Farm should focus on mineral extraction only at these sites;
- because the allocations are in the green belt, development ancillary to mineral extraction (e.g. concrete batching, processing, workshops etc.) should be discouraged unless “very special circumstances” can be demonstrated;
- the scale of development at Slade Farm should be designed to ensure that proposals do not detract from the openness or character of the green belt i.e. small scale development only;
- there are a number of cultural heritage assets within the vicinity of Slade Farm including a number of listed buildings (the nearest being Slade Farm house, a Grade II listed building) and Hedgerley Village which is a conservation area, potential development at Slade Farm should aim to conserve and enhance these assets and their setting and demonstrate that there is no adverse impact as a result, the draft MWLP fails to provide evidence that mineral extraction at Slade Farm would not result in an adverse impact on the setting of cultural heritage assets, and therefore is contrary to national planning policy (NPPF paragraph 134);
- mitigation, restoration and aftercare associated with potential development at Slade Farm should be appropriate and enhance the historic environment setting.
- the restoration of Slade Farm should be achieved without landfill or recycling as national planning policy suggests in the green belt;
- restoration of Slade Farm should achieve a net gain in biodiversity;
- restoration and aftercare should enhance the existing assets within the vicinity of the site (including environmental assets, landscape character, historic environment setting etc.) with a comprehensive restoration and aftercare scheme;
- Slade Farm is located in an attractive rural area and development at these sites should conserve and if possible enhance the existing landscape character i.e. small scale development only with a comprehensive restoration and aftercare scheme;
- proposals at the Slade Farm allocations should be of a proportionate scale so as not to result in visual intrusion in the surrounding area;
Your response should be returned no later than 27th September.
The external auditors have completed the annual audit and the Annual Return will shortly be available to download on the webpage dealing with Finance issues. Residents are entitled to inspect and obtain a hard copy of the Annual Return and set out below is the Notice to that effect.
The Police and South Bucks District Council have now issued guidance about what can be done about travellers moving onto land in our parish.
Firstly South Bucks DC say:-
‘We wanted to share these links which will give you guidance and advice if you feel the location of an encampment in Chiltern or South Bucks District Councils is unlawful:
This is now linked to CDC and SBDC’s own information pages and the link to BCC has been added to the ‘report it’ section on the websites.
Report it sections
Thames Valley Police say:-
There have been a number of traveller encampments across the police area over the past few months, which have caused an increase in calls from concerned residents. Many residents have expressed concerns that the police have not moved them on. Hopefully this update will explain the legal powers of the police, and how we work with our partner agencies with these incidents.
The encampment in Farnham Royal a few weeks ago was slightly different to most of the other encampments in the area. In order for Police to legally use our powers to evict trespassers from land, there are a number of points in law we need to adhere to. Police do have powers, under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994.
Firstly, we need to prove that the occupiers are trespassers and that they are two or more in numbers and have a common purpose of residing on the land. In order to do this, we need to evidence the landowner, or an agent acting on their behalf, has asked the occupiers to leave the land, and that the landowner or agent has taken reasonable steps to get them to leave. We also have to evidence that the occupiers have caused damage to the land or property on the land, or that they have used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards the owner, family member, agent or employee. Failing this, we need to show that between the occupiers, there are 6 or more vehicles on the land. There are also other factors to consider, in line with human rights legislation and the community impact factors. If all the relevant criteria is met, police can use their powers.
However, police powers are a last resort and not the default. Primarily, the responsibility sits with the landowner to seek eviction through court proceedings or our partner agencies, ie: the Council.
The Farnham Royal situation was made difficult for any agency as the landowner was happy for the occupiers to stay on the land, which immediately negated any police powers being lawfully used.
Whenever an encampment sets up, police will always visit and engage with the occupiers. A site assessment is completed, and Codes Of Conduct are issued to all the occupiers. Police then monitor the encampment and continually assess the behaviour of the occupants. Any criminal offences or anti-social behaviour (ASB) are dealt with accordingly.
The Act states:
Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 allows the senior police officer attending the scene of an incident involving trespass, in certain circumstances, to direct the trespassers to leave the land and remove their vehicles and property as soon as reasonably practicable.
61(1) If the senior police officer present at the scene reasonably believes that two or more persons are trespassing on land and are present there with the common purpose of residing there for any period, that reasonable steps have been taken by or on behalf of the occupier to ask them to leave and
A: that any of those persons has caused damage to the land or to the property on the land or used threatening abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards the occupier, a member of his family or an employee or agent of his, OR
B: that those persons have between them six or more vehicles on the land, he may direct those persons, or any of them, to leave the land and to remove any vehicles or other property they have with them on the land.
The Parish Office is now closed until 29th August whilst the Clerk is on holiday. Emails will not be read and the answer phone will not be listened to until that time. In an emergency please contact the Chairman Trevor Clapp on 01753 643623 or the Vice Chairman Bob Milne on 01753 642149
The Parish Council has a vacancy for a councillor. Please consider whether you could take on this voluntary role in the community and if you would like to find out more please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk or the Chairman. The Parish Council may co-opt a new councillor at its October meeting or at any meeting after that whilst the position remains unfilled.
Our next meeting is on 31st July at 7.30pm in Farnham Common Village Hall. All residents are welcome and may have their say – through the Chair – during the first 15 minutes of the meeting. Andy Barnard will be there to update us on the outcome of the consultation relating to PSPOs. We expect feedback and debate on the issues relating to the travellers encampment on Blackpond Lane. We will be debating what can be done about dog fouling on FCSC amongst other issues relating to improving life in the parish. Please see the agenda on the relevent page of this website.
We are of course aware that many residents are distressed about issues relating to the travellers who were until recently camping in a private field in Blackpond Lane.
As a Parish Council we have no power to act in this situation. We are however active in trying to pass on information and liaise with those who do have the authority to act. We are liaising with South Bucks District Council about the litter issues and we are talking to the County Councillor about what if anything could be done to prevent them returning to this site.
Following a complaint it seems that one email on the issue from a resident was not received by the Clerk. The Clerk aims to respond to emails within one working day ( the Clerk does not work Fridays) so if you do not get a response to an email you send please try ringing the Clerk and leaving a message.
In response to a request put by us to the police we have received a link to the Thames Valley Police policy on dealing with travellers encampments. This is attached below.