At the Meeting of Firsby Group Parish Council held at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 19 January 2022 in the Bratoft Church Room.

Present: Mr R. Kidd, who took the Chair;

Mr R. Heane; Mr G. Holmes; Mrs S. Wilford; Mr C. Moore; Miss H. Smithson-Whitehead; Mr P. Gilbert; LCC Cllr Mrs W. Bowkett; PCSO Jayne Richardson and PC Matt Neal.

Apologies were received from Mrs L. Mitchell and Mr R. Harman.

Ms Woolhouse provided the Council with a draft of the proposed 5 Parish Newsletter and a discussion took place regarding its contents and any future contents.  Ms Woolhouse stated that she had sourced a company who could produce the newsletter for the sum of £60.  Ms Smithson Whitehead proposed, Mrs Wilford seconded and all agreed that Ms Woolhouse should proceed to use the printers to produce the newsletter at the cost of £60.  Ms Smithson Whitehead suggested that a draft of each subsequent newsletter should be approved by the Parish Council before it is sent to print.

1.  Minutes of the last Meeting

It was agreed that these be signed as a correct record of the proceedings.

2.  Matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting

Miss Smithson Whitehead stated that the joint noticeboard for the Village Hall and Parish Council has been received but is still to be erected.  The resident is awaiting a mechanical auger drill to dig the post holes.   Mr Holmes asked when the speed sign is going to be removed from its present position and placed in another village.  Miss Smithson Whitehead stated that assistance would be required to lift the sign down so that it can be recharged and moved to a different location.  The chairman agreed to do this.  The use of the speed gun was also discussed and it was stated that it would used when the weather is better.

3.   Police Matters

PCSO Jayne Richardson introduced her colleague PC Matt Neal who is the Beat Manager.  Various posters were left for placing on noticeboards.  The Officer stated that it is illegal to use eScooters; if hare coursing is witnessed on land, the people should not be approached, call the police and report the incident.  PCSO gave the reported incidents figures in our areas for November 2021, there were 3 as opposed to 8 for the previous November 2020.  In response to a comment from Mr Heane, PCSO Jayne Richardson stated that police only attend house burglaries, if property is stolen from sheds etc., an incident number will be given, but there will be no attendance by the Police.  The officer recommended that all items of value should be marked and if there is a serial number it should be registered on the Immobilse Site -  Checks can then be made to see if an item has been reported as stolen.

4.   County Councillor's Report

Cllr W Bowkett had submitted her report and added that the desilting boat was now working and is near Thorpe Railway for 1 month of dredging.  Cllr Bowkett also stated that a funding bid has been submitted for work to be carried out on the Lady Wath Beck to help stop the flooding of the properties on Sandy Lane.  Mr Heane stated that so much money has been wasted on the Lady Wath Beck because of lack of communication.  A sewage pipe was broken and had to be repaired again.  Cllr Bowkett agreed to pass these comments on to Mr Robertson.  Cllr Bowkett also stated that the long reach dredger would be used to take excess silt out of the Steeping River behind Little Steeping Church.

5.   Correspondence

a)  Letter received from Lives requesting a funding donation.  It was proposed by Mr Heane and Seconded by Mr Holmes that the sum of £100 be paid.

b)  Email received from LCC Town and Parish News regarding the Council's budget proposals for 2022/23.  No action taken.

c)  Email received from Toby Dennis, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, regarding suggestions for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

6.   Parish Noticeboards/Salt bags

The matter of the use of notice boards has been discussed at length.  It was agreed that Councillors should use their judgment as to which notices should/should not be placed or removed from noticeboards.

Notification has been received that the one tonne salt bags will be delivered by the end of the month.  Recipients of the salt bags will be notified by telephone on the day of delivery.

7.   Plans

Application no S/051/02648/21 by S. J. Turnbull & Roberts for Planning Permission - Conversion of first floor of existing outbuilding to provide an annexe at Berrington, Wainfleet Road, Firsby.  It was agreed that this will make good use of the building preserving it for the future and keeping the original character.

Application no S/020/02570/21 by Mr F Mellon for Planning Permission - Erection of a detached house.  Removal of existing vehicle access and construction of a new vehicle access.  Demolition of the existing house and annexe on site at Southfield House, Wainfleet Road, Bratoft Corner, Bratoft.  it was agreed to request information on the following matters:

1)What are the plans for foul sewage; this needs to be clarified. 

2) A contemporary design i.e. metal roof for the double storey and highly visible areas and cream render is not in keeping with the architecture in this rural location. A tiled/slate roof and red brick is more appropriate. 

3)The single storey green roofs will blend with the landscape, be less visible and are acceptable in this location.

When this application was announced at the meeting, Councillors argued that in times when we are supposed to be saving the planet, a perfectly good house should not be demolished.

Application no S/104/02641/21 By Mr A Edwards for a Section 191 application to determine the lawful use of the application site as tourism - which includes the siiting of static caravans, caravan pitches, change of use of buildings for tourist facilities including self-catering apartments, all of which associated with the Naturist Holiday Park at Lakeside Farm, Station Road, Little Steeping.  It was agreed to submit the following comments:

This application is somewhat convoluted given the site’s planning history and exemptions for static and touring caravans sited on agricultural land.

We understand that the rule for temporary camping ‘pop up sites’ was extended from 28 continuous days to 56 days from 20th Dec. 2020 and that this ended on 31st Dec. 2021.

We feel that insufficient evidence has been provided, particularly for the 2011-2019 period, in relation to point 10 of the declaration which states that all the facilities listed have been in the locations and areas shown on the 2021 aerial photograph for a period of ten years.

Concerns have been raised by some local residents in relation to the density of the recent developments and the associated noise levels etc.

A Google earth aerial photograph dated 2019 only shows small scale activities to the western (roadside) area of the site. Image 1 submitted.

In addition a photograph taken in 2018 by a visitor to the site and posted on social media appears to support this. Image 2 submitted.

The parish council supports local, regulated tourism and feel that in this case a full planning application for a change of use of the agricultural land and an application to lift the agricultural condition on the dwelling house would have been more appropriate.

Point 8 states that the Holiday Park was registered with ELDC for business rates from 2010. We understand that the business rates at that time related only to the Pottery Studio  and that a ‘camping site’ was not assessed and registered until as late as April 2017 when both sets of rates were merged by ELDC.

Full Planning Permission has been granted on conditions - Erection of front boundary fencing to a maximum height of 1.8 metres at The Old School House, Wainfleet Road, Irby in the Marsh. 

8.   Highways

Notification has been received of a temporary Traffic Restriction at the Little Steeping Level Crossing from 22.00 on 29/1/2022 to 06.00 on 30/1/2022.

It was agreed to report the following matters:

Airfield Road, Great Steeping is full of potholes which need repairing.

Middle Lane with junction of North Road, Bratoft, potholes need repairing.

Cork Lane, the badger set is collapsing..

The Firsby Village Sign which is currently located in Paul Gilbert's yard needs erecting by the telephone exchange box.

The post holding the postbox in Firsby is rotting and needs replacing.

9.   Accounts

It was agreed to pass the following accounts for payment: 

Bratoft PCC for use of room £14

Lives donation £100.