8th February 2016 Minutes


ATTENDEES:  P/Cllrs Stephenson (Chair), Santry (Deputy Chair), Harries, Hofert, King, Read; B/Cllrs Cloke, Hones, Sleep (arr. 8.45pm); C/Cllr Mrs Naylor (arr. 8.00pm); Mrs Rowland (Locum Clerk).  There were two members of the public present.

  1. APOLOGIES: Apologies were received from P/Cllr Broughton.
  2. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME: A member of the public, a governor on behalf on the Mountnessing C. Of E. School, delivered a letter of objection relating to item 10 – planning application for 277 Roman Road. Comments included the over-large size of the proposal, proximity to an existing school building, resultant loss of light to the nearby classroom and potential for disruption to the schoolchildren’s education.

To accommodate the attendees, the Chairman brought forward the Parish Council’s discussion and vote on the application.

Councillors observed that the outlook of the planned extension would be onto the school and that the proposal would be constructed to within one metre of the school’s boundary.  It was noted that natural light to the nearby classroom was already limited and would be further reduced by the development.

Councillors considered that the design was out-of-keeping with the Georgian-styled dwelling and would be to the detriment of the character of the property. The council wish to encourage development designs which are sympathetic and in keeping with the character of properties.

For these reasons, the Parish Council RESOLVED to recommend refusal.

Two members of the public left the meeting.

  1. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 11TH JANUARY 2016: The minutes were agreed and signed by the Chairman and Locum Clerk.
  2. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES: B/Cllr Cloke stated that the request to call in the application for 7 Hope Close had failed due to administrative issues.  Forms to request a ‘calling-in’ by the Planning Committee will be circulated to Members.  Action: JC
  3. CODE OF CONDUCT AND DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: There were no declarations of interest.
  4. FINANCE: Cllr Harries presented the proposed budget and planned reserves for 2016-17 and gave a summary of the one-off item expenditures.  It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council would adopt the proposals.

The monthly finance report was accepted and the payments noted.

  1. COUNCILLOR VACANCIES AND CLERK RECRUITMENT: There are currently no candidates for co-option to the two vacant councillor roles.

The Chairman noted the interest in the Clerk role promoted through Facebook, resulting in several interested parties and two interviews planned for the 9th February.  Both candidates are local residents.  Action: AS / IH

  1. STANDING ORDERS AND FINANCIAL REGULATIONS: The draft documents, based on NALC model documents and those used in Doddinghurst, were circulated during the month by Cllr Harries. Some refinements to expenditure limits were discussed and the final versions will be circulated for approval at the March 14th  Action: IH
    a) Junction of Old Church Road and Old Church Lane
    . P/Cllrs Harries and King and C/Cllr Mrs Naylor jointly visited the site during the previous month.  C/Cllr Naylor reported that the junction does not meet Local Highways Panel criteria for re-modelling, however the visit had been helpful in understanding the sight line and speeding issues and in presenting them to the County Council as road safety issues.  C/Cllr Naylor has negotiated a free-of-charge bullet-point response on each area of concern, which will be reviewed with P/Cllrs Harries and King. Action: AN
  3. b) Flooding at Thoby Lane: Cllr Stephenson reported that site work is due to begin within the next two months by ECC Highways, to fix the immediate drainage problem. A strategy to prevent on-going silting up of the pond will be required.  Action:  AS

New Applications
a) 341 Roman Road.
  The Parish Council’s response to the Borough Council was noted as follows: ‘MPC is strongly opposed to any development in the Green Belt other than in very exceptional and legally permissible circumstances. However, there may be exceptional circumstances in this instance as it is clear from the Planning Statement there are quite complex national and local guidelines, frameworks etc. to be considered. As MPC do not have the expertise the only logical course is to rely on the assessment of the planning officer to determine whether or not the circumstances are applicable. In the event that the GB exceptions apply then MPC consider the proposed building design acceptable.’

  1. b) 277 Roman Road. For the reasons summarised under item 2, the Parish Council recommended refusal. The Chairman will draft the response to Brentwood Borough Council and circulate it to Members for review before submission.  Action: AS


B/Cllr Cloke reported that an appeal against refusal of an extension at Derna, Church Road had been received by the Planning Inspectorate.

Enforcement Actions

B/Cllr Cloke stated that a Borough Council Enforcement Officer will be taking action against the Bushcade site’s unauthorised rock-crushing operations and breach of its licensed hours of operation.  The Chairman will also be writing to the Enforcement team and to Gordon Glenday, BBC’s Head of Planning & Environmental Health.  Action: JC / AS

  2. Proposed Footpath Across Coronation Playing Field: There was no significant progress to report.  Action: AS / IH
  3. b) Playground Upgrades: Due to an unexpected increase in the likely cost to resurface the roundabout area, there is a possibility that a CIF funding request will be necessary.   The new CIF funding programme will commence in April and Wicksteed will be asked to review their quotation.  Action: SK
  4. c) Pavilion Fascias: The Chairman reported that Cllr Broughton had received quotes from Alpine and SEAH for maintaining the pavilion’s fascias.  Alpine has provided the lower quote of the two, at £3.5k, which would re-face and paint the existing wooden fascias.  Re-painting every three to five years would be required.  SEAH’s £6.5k quote would replace the fascias with uPVC, needing little recurring maintenance.  Action: KB
  5. d) New Playing Field Benches: P/Cllr King reported that the 20% deposit has been paid and delivery is due on the 21st of March. The balance will be payable in 2016-17 financial year to suit budget plans, with installation in the first weeks of April.  Action: SK
  7. Borough Council: B/Cllr Cloke reported that a resident of Mountney Close has complained about excessive visitor parking and requested a permit scheme and improvements to footways and street lighting. The issues are not thought to meet the criteria required for these enhancements.  Action: JC

Formal consultation on the Borough Council’s draft Local Development Plan will run from February 10th to March 23rd.  Two printed copies will be supplied to Mountnessing to be made available to the public; one copy will be held by the Parish Council and the second held in the Prince of Wales pub.

Interested parties can review the plans by contacting the Parish Council or visiting:

Responses can be submitted by:

It was suggested that the recently-closed Ingatestone Garden Centre, which lies on the edge of Mountnessing parish, would be a possible candidate site for a future planning application.

With two existing outline-approved housing developments already on the outskirts of Mountnessing, Cllr Sleep expressed concern that the sustainability of Mountnessing centre could be eroded and urged all attendees and parishioners to participate in the LDP consultation.  Action: All

  1. County Council: C/Cllr Naylor reported that the parking problems along Roman Road have been notified to the LHP for consideration.

P/Cllr Read advised that the layby opposite the school is being used by commuters for all-day parking.

  2. Play Area and Bus Shelters: During a routine inspection of the play area the Borough Council observed that a bolt had sheared off the play equipment.  Whilst the integrity of the structure in not thought to be affected, BBC has requested its prompt rectification.  A quote will be obtained from Kompan and the report was passed to Cllr Stephenson.  Action: SK

The bus shelters’ inspections highlighted no concerns.

  1. b) Tennis Courts: Inspections highlighted no concerns.
  2. c) Recreation Ground: Inspection highlighted no concerns.
  3. d) Village Hall Car Park, Millennium Gardens and Old Recycling Area: Cllr Broughton had fixed the broken fence rail.  There was no update available on the anti-social behaviour in the carpark or on the CCTV installation.  Action: KB

Cllr Santry advised that the potholes in the car park would be addressed when the risk of frost had passed and Cllr King reported that the path near the train needs attention to prevent it becoming a trip hazard.  Action: KB

  1. e) Water Meadows: Nothing to report.
  2. EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS: The Chairman expressed his confidence in the power of social media to raise the presence of the parish and increase social coherence, highlighting the success of the Clerk vacancy advertisement.  Cllr Santry reported that the Facebook group was now live and will circulate the link to all Councillors.  Action: SS

Cllr Santry has continued to compile the next Village News edition; a draft will be supplied for proof-reading to Cllr Harries in two weeks, in time for delivery by Easter.  The Chairman’s report will be sent to Cllr Santry for inclusion.  Action: SS / AS


  1. ALLOTMENTS: Pricing is under review, to fund improvements.  The annual invoices will be issued in March with support from Cllr Harries.  Action: AH / KB / IH
  2. JOHN’S HALL AND VILLAGE HALL:  The Annual General Meeting of the Village Hall Committee will take place on March 7th.  The pest problem has been resolved in the Village Hall car park.

There is a vacancy for a part-time caretaker.




  • Adoption of amended Standing Orders and Financial Regulations
  • Facebook group and Village News review


Clerk                                                               Chairman

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