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MINUTES OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON WEDNESDAY 8th JANUARY, 2003 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Chairman: Cllr. Mrs M. Curtis
Vice Chairman: Cllr. Mrs E. Downes
Councillors: W. Prior, P. Roberts (Town Mayor) and Mrs S. Riesebeck
In Attendance: Cllr. T. Shrimpton, Cllr. S. Savage (Maldon in Bloom Working Party),
Mr. S. McPherson and Mrs G. Coppen (Maldon & Heybridge Horticultural Society - MHHS), the Town Clerk and the Administrative Assistant
 63. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs. Mrs. V. Foster, T. Kelly, P. Rew and K. Smith.
 64. MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 18Th NOVEMBER, 2002

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 18th November, 2002 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 65.

 65.1
ALLOTMENTS

Financial Statement of Account

Members received and considered a report indicating that £7,583.02 remained in the allotment account for this financial year. It was noted that the invoice in respect of the installation of four additional water tanks at the Maldon Hall site had been settled.

In response to a question, the Town Clerk stated that whilst filming during the Autumn the BBC had broken a valve on a water tank at the Maldon Hall allotment site and they had refunded the cost of the repair. She also advised that the BBC had compensated the Town Council for the use of the allotment site.

RESOLVED: that the financial report be noted.
 65.2 Maldon Hall Allotments - Water Butts

Further to minute 55.1 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 18th November, 2002 members received and considered a response from the Plume Housing Association regarding the proposed installation of additional water butts to the rear of the garages at the Maldon Hall allotment site. The Association had indicated that they would be unable to agree to the installation of water butts due to potential health and safety problems which might arise from children falling from the garage roofs.

RESOLVED: that the response be noted.
 65.3 Horticultural Society Comments

Arising from a request from the Chairman for any comments from the representatives of the MHHS, Mrs Coppen said that she had noted that there had not been an allotment inspection this month. In response the Chairman advised that it had been agreed at the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th February, 2002 that allotment inspections should not be undertaken during the months of January and February (minute 83.1 refers).

Mr McPherson asked members to note that he would be away for 6 weeks in February/March and that this be taken into consideration when undertaking the site inspection in March.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 66.

 66.1
MALDON IN BLOOM

Notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party Meeting held on 30th October, 2002

Members received and considered the Notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party Meeting held on 30th October, 2002.

Cllr. Savage reiterated that the remaining sum in the Maldon in Bloom account would be used to fund the production of leaflets and stickers for the 2003 campaign.

In response to a question regarding flyposting by Firemen during their recent strike, the Town Clerk informed members that she had contacted the Maldon Fire Station and had been advised that only two of their officers were Union members and they had been made aware of the flyposting problem within the town.

Concern was expressed that the Maldon District Council had not acknowledged that the Town Council were the organisers of the Maldon in Bloom campaign when the town's success in the 2002 Anglia in Bloom competition had been announced at a meeting of the Maldon District Council. It was suggested that a letter should be forwarded to the Maldon District Council detailing the Town Council's role in organising the campaign and that this was undertaken on the Town Council's behalf by Mrs Janice Grant.

RESOLVED: that (a) a letter be forwarded to the Maldon District Council stating that the Town Council were disappointed that it had not been acknowledged that the Town Council were the organisers of the Maldon in Bloom 2002 campaign;

(b) in all other respects the Notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party Meeting be noted.
 66.2 Notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party Meeting held on 18th December, 2002

Members received and considered the Notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party meeting held on 18th December, 2002.

Cllr. Savage informed members that he had recently attended an Anglia in Bloom Seminar where it had been announced that "Anglia in Bloom" and "Britain in Bloom" were now being organised by the Royal Horticultural Society. This would cause some aspects of the "Anglia In Bloom" competition to be revised in line with the criteria for the Britain in Bloom competition. It was reported that a letter had been forwarded to Anglia in Bloom voicing the Maldon in Bloom Working Party's concerns regarding some proposed changes.

Members noted that there would be an additional competition to be held in the Spring to spread the "In Bloom" theme throughout the entire year as had been recommended in the judges comments for the 2002 competition.

In response to a question regarding the redevelopment of West Square, the Town Clerk advised that the suggested hanging basket tree had not been accepted by the District Council; a final plan was available for public inspection in the office.

RESOLVED: that the Notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party Meeting held on 18th December, 2002 be noted.
 67. PARISH TREES AND BULBS

Further to minute 44 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st October, 2002 members considered where the parish trees and bulbs could be planted within the town. In this respect members received and considered a response from the Poets' Estate Residents' Association detailing where they would recommend they be planted on the Poets' Estate.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that the free parish trees and bulbs should be offered to the Poet's Estate Residents' Association. It was also felt that it would be beneficial to publicise the planting of the trees and bulbs as an example of how the local community have become involved to improve the local environment. It was suggested that this could then be included as part of this year's "In Bloom" campaign and that a member of the District Council and Town Council be invited to be in attendance at the planting ceremony.

In response to a question regarding the possibility of replacing a missing tree in Plume Avenue, members felt that this matter should be considered next year should further free parish trees and bulbs be offered to the Town Council.

RESOLVED: that (a) the Poets' Estate Residents' Association be offered the Town Council allocation of Parish Trees and Bulbs and it be requested that representatives of the Town and District Council's be present during their planting;

(b) a tree be planted in Plume Avenue should Parish trees and bulbs be offered to the Town Council in 2004.
 68. GROUND MAINTENANCE CONTRACT

Further to minute 55.2 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 18th November, 2002 members received and considered a copy of the current Ground Maintenance Contract and a table showing the additional work undertaken or to be undertaken by the Ground Maintenance Contractor since April 2002.

Concern was expressed that some of the additional tasks undertaken by the Contractor appeared to be included in the Ground Maintenance Contract. The items of particular concern included the removal of an elder tree from All Saints' Churchyard and work to a willow tree at Ware Pond. The Town Clerk advised that the elder was not in the churchyard but growing through the wall from the Vicarage garden; it was necessary for this to be removed to enable repairs to the wall to be undertaken. The willow on the island at the Ware Pond was not included in the contract; she would however raise this matter with the Contractor.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that the Ground Maintenance Contract should be thoroughly reviewed at the conclusion of the contract period; furthermore when St. Peter's Churchyard was re-developed the Ground Maintenance Contract should be reviewed as some of the maintenance work will be included in the developer's maintenance contract.

With regard to minute 55.4 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 18th November, 2002 members reconsidered a quotation from the Parks Supervisor in the sum of £100.00 plus VAT to trim back the Lift Approach hedge, Warwick Crescent allotment site.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that the quotation to trim the Lift Approach hedge should be accepted and at a future date the Ground Maintenance Contract be extended to include bi-annual trimming of this and the rear boundary hedge.

Reference was also made to the area at the top of the Downs footpath and it was suggested that the Maldon in Bloom Working Party could look at improving this area.

RESOLVED: that (a) the Town Clerk discuss with the Ground Maintenance Contractor the removal the willow tree at the Ware Pond;

(b) the Ground Maintenance Contract be thoroughly reviewed at the conclusion of the contract period;

(c) the work detailed in the Ground Maintenance Contract be reviewed should the re-development of St. Peter's Churchyard be undertaken;

(d) the quotation from the Parks Supervisor in the sum of £100.00 plus VAT to trim the boundary hedge between the Lift Approach and the Warwick Crescent allotment site be approved and at a future date this and the rear boundary hedge be included in the Ground Maintenance Contract;

(e) the Maldon in Bloom Working Party consider improvements to the area at the top of the Downs footpath.
 69.

 69.1
ST. PETER'S CHURCHYARD IMPROVEMENTS

Lighting

Due to adverse weather conditions the demonstration of external lighting scheduled to take place at 6.30 p.m. at St. Peter's Churchyard had been cancelled.

RESOLVED: that the demonstration of lighting at St. Peter's Churchyard be rearranged prior to the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 10th February, 2003.
 69.2 Site Monitoring

Further to minute 59 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 18th November, 2002 members received a letter from the Senior Landscape Architect, Essex County Council which stated that their fee to undertake site monitoring during the redevelopment of St. Peter's Churchyard would be £580.00. This would cover attendance at the pre-start meeting, all key stages of the works plus six site visits during the maintenance period until completion of the contract. Members noted that Ms Greene had previously advised that the fee would be under £1000.

RECOMMENDED: that the Essex County Council monitoring fee in the sum of £580.00 be approved.
 69.3 Tenders

Members were informed that a Public Notice had been placed in the 10th January, 2003 edition of the Essex Chronicle inviting tenders for the landscaping of St. Peter's Churchyard. In this respect members considered the appointment of two members to be in attendance when the tenders were opened on 7th February, 2003 at 2.30 p.m.

RESOLVED: that Cllrs. Roberts and Savage be in attendance on 7th February, 2003 at 2.30 p.m. to witness the opening of the tenders for the proposed re-development of St. Peter's Churchyard.
 70. LONGSHIP WAY - OAK TREE

Further to minute 53 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 18th November, 2002 members received and considered a letter from a resident of Longship Way regarding the oak tree stump situated on the amenity area, Longship Way.

Members agreed with the sentiments expressed in the letter and felt that a response should be forwarded to the resident stating that the Town Council would ensure that the area would remain as a designated amenity area as stated in the Maldon District Local Plan.

Discussion ensued and it noted that that the Oak tree stump was still in situ and it was suggested that enquiries should be made to ascertain when it would be removed.

RESOLVED: that (a) a response to the letter be forwarded stating that the Longship Way amenity area was a designated amenity area as stated in the Maldon District Local Plan;

(b) investigations be undertaken to ascertain when the Oak tree stump would be removed from the Longship Way amenity area.
 71. ANNUAL TREE SURVEY

Further to minute 45 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st October, 2002 members received and considered a response from the Tree Officer, Maldon District Council regarding trees in St. Mary's Churchyard.

The letter stated that it would be impossible to calculate the volume of ground water taken up by trees as this was dependent on the age and condition of a specific tree.

Discussion ensued and it was suggested that quotations be sought from tree surgeons for the work as detailed in the Annual Tree Survey to the sycamore in St. Mary's Churchyard.

RESOLVED: that (a) quotations be sought from tree surgeons for work to the sycamore tree in St. Mary's Churchyard;

(b) the response of the Tree Officer, Maldon District Council be noted.
 72. ST. MARY'S CHURCHYARD - LOPPED AND FELLED TREES

Further to minute 31.2 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 20th August, 2002 members received and considered a letter from the Landscape Officer, Maldon District Council regarding trees which had been lopped and felled on the boundary of St. Mary's Churchyard. The letter indicated that the resident had sought permission from the District Council to undertake work to trees on the boundary of his property and St. Mary's Churchyard. Consequently no legal action would be taken by the District Council regarding this matter however, the resident had accepted that the site now required some reparation work and has agreed in principle to paying at least a contribution to the cost of a replacement hedge.

Members agreed that authority should be granted for the District Council to request that the resident screens the new fence with a holly hedge at no cost to the Town Council.

RECOMMENDED: that a letter be forwarded to the Landscape Officer, Maldon District Council stating the Town Council has no objection to a screening holly hedge being planted between the property adjoining St. Mary's Churchyard.
 73. MARKET HILL GARDEN - ROCKS

Members were advised that it had been reported that a number of the large rocks at the front of Market Hill Garden were being dislodged and thrown on the pavement and permission was sought to obtain quotations to concrete the rocks in place.

Discussion ensued and it was suggested that the advice of the Landscape Officer, Maldon District Council be sought regarding alternative methods to retain the rocks in situ at Market Hill Garden.

RESOLVED: that the advice be sought from the Landscape Officer, Maldon District Council regarding alternative methods to retain the rocks situated at the front of Market Hill Garden.
 74. GLASS RECYCLYING BANKS

Members received and considered a letter from the Senior Waste Management Officer, Maldon District Council regarding various changes to glass and can recycling banks within the District as part of a successful bid to obtain finance for recycling from Central Government.

RESOLVED: that the correspondence be noted.
  . The meeting closed at 8.30 p.m.

Councillor Mary Curtis
Chairman

Signed……………………………………… Date………………………………



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