Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 22nd July 2019

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 22nd July 2019 in the Pavilion ‘D’ at Somerford Park Farm @ 7.30 pm.

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Councillor G Bell (Chairman),

Councillor P Crompton (Vice Chairman),

Councillor R Crookes,

Councillor G Derbyshire,

Councillor S Hughes,

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)

Councillor J Wray (Cheshire East Representative) arrived late


Declaration of Interest;

Cllr G Derbyshire – Loachbrook estate, Cllr S Hughes – payments


Public Forum

One member of the public present who had applied for the Cllr vacancy.


89/19 Apologies



90/19 Minutes

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 24th June 2019 having been circulated be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.


91/19 Co-option of Parish Councillor

Two applicants had been received and there were currently two vacancies.

It was agreed the applicant who was currently out of the country would be considered at the next meeting.

Resolved Mr Allan Power would be co-opted as a Parish Councillor.

The Acceptance of Office was signed in the presence of the Clerk.


92/19 Chelford Road/ Blackfirs verge adoption

The request to take over the maintenance of the verge had now been acknowledged by the CE Legal Department and the CE Highways department had requested details of the area concerned and actions wished to be pursued.

Resolved the Parish Council would take over accountability for the grass cutting, tree maintenance and hedge cutting responsibilities from Cheshire East Council along the verges on Chelford Road to the bench on A54 Holme Chapel Road and Blackfirs Lane to the notice board on the Blackfirs Lane / A54 junction.   

It was recognised that the Borough Council Highways Department would wish to retain ultimate control of the verges.


93/19 Somerford Business Plan

The Chairman asked all members to circulate their proposals for the new Business Plan and he would then redraft for the years 2020-2025 and circulate for approval before the next meeting. It was noted Cllr PC and Cllr RC had already completed


94/19 Black firs Nature Reserve – Cheshire Wildlife Trust  

Despite two attempts from the Clerk to contact Mr Joe Pimblett – CWT Living Landscape Manager, for a report after the trustees meeting there had been no contact. The PC were concerned about the standard of the site and the lack of maintenance of the boundary fencing.

It was agreed that the PC would allow another month for a reply and then take the matter further. Cllr PC offered to intervene.


95/19 RSPB Land

There had been a meeting with Mr Colin Pringle on the 19th July (notes circulated). The land sale was in the process of being transferred to the PC.

There had been an option of searches, but these would not be included in the £1,000 allocated from the RSPB. There had been confirmation that if the cost was slightly over the allocated £1,000 threshold than the RSPB would honour the cost but otherwise, they would decline.

Resolved the Parish Council would continue the transfer of the land with no searches if the cost was excessive.

The legal documents had been circulated to members for consideration.

Bellway Homes

The PC had met with Bellway homes to discuss the adjacent site to the gifted RSPB land that they had purchased for development. The connectivity had been discussed and to link the footpaths and a cycleway.  There was car parking on the site to access Rhead’s Meadows.

The plans had now been submitted to CE although not reached the Parish Council to date. It had been a mistake that the discharge of conditions had been seen first. There were 200 houses planned to include 37 affordable houses with ‘The Guinness Partnership’ and one access point on to Black firs Lane next to 44 Black firs Lane. There would be pedestrian and emergency access on to Back Lane. It seemed the electricity supply was being brought in from one mile away.  The access route which Richborough estates wanted to exclude was still in situ.

Consultation Date

It was confirmed the consultation date was 14th September at 10 am in Black firs Primary School. All members were asked to attend. The RSPB would promote the event from their proposed stand in West Heath Shopping Precinct on the 7th September.


95/19 Highways

Wallhill Lane mitigation measures due to the CLR

CE Highways had included Somerford Parish Council in the consultation process. Cllr GB, Cllr PC and the Clerk would attend on the 5th August at 10am. An email had been received from three residents on Wallhill Lane to support the closure of the lane. The PC discussed the implications of closing the lane.

Resolved the PC would not support the closure of the lane but would encourage traffic calming measures.

Grass cutting contract with a contractor

Two Cllrs and the Clerk would walk the verges and agree on the frequency and location of maintenance of the grass cutting/ hedge cutting /tree maintenance.

Resolved the PC would adopt a grass cutting policy.

Congleton Link Road

The Chairman and the Clerk were due to meet with Dan Cawthra on the 26th July. The issues with the new diversion on Chelford Road were discussed and the ragwort. Both Cllr SH and Cllr GB had emailed Graham.

Environmental Weight Restriction on Radnor Bank  

Cllr JW had placed this item on the agenda for the Area Highways meeting in September. The PC would like it noted that the grey stones along the edge of Chelford Road were dislodging due to the large HGV’s using the route.

Boundary Signs on A54

Brereton Parish Council had requested a site meeting on the A54 boundary. Cllr GB and the Clerk had attended, and BPC had requested that the ‘Somerford’ boundary sign was removed as some of their residents living on the A54 did not know which Parish they lived in.

The Chairman had declined. The PC supported his decision.

Footpath clearance by the bench on the A54

Due to the traffic management required the Clerk was still endeavouring to obtain three quotes.

Cllr PC requested sign cleaning was on the agenda next time.


96/19 Laptop and Projector

Resolved the Parish Council would purchase a laptop to utilise at the meetings.


97/19 Loach brook – Bovis Estate.

A letter had been drafted to the Leader of CE but after further thoughts it had been decided to complete a petition from the residents living on the estate to support the complaint. Cllr GD was setting up an action group to complete the petition.

This would then be sent to Bovis and the leader of CE.

The Chairman offered to attend a meeting with the Action Group to explain the lack of completed commitments from Bovis Homes.


98/19 Planning Applications

  • 19/3258C Proposed Congleton Link Road, Congleton – Variation of conditions 2 and 3 of 15/4480C – the proposed Congleton Link Road – a 5.7km single carriageway link road between Sandbach Road and the A536 Macclesfield Road.

            Resolved No Objection

  • 19/3308C Land off Blackfirs Lane, Somerford – Proposed 2 dwellings with detached garages.

Resolved No Objection

Resolved the Clerk would write to’ FOREFRONT’ planning consultants  to enquire what the applicant’s intention was with the north access route outlined in blue excluded from the application .


99/19 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £16,470.03


  • Online payment – £40.00 ICO
  • Online payment – £385.63 Zurich Municipal
  • Online payment – £189.83 Crewe Colour Printers
  • Online payment £1,562.51 Cranage Parish Council ( inc £119.54 HMRC contributions)
  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364


  • Nil


100/19 Cheshire East

Resolved to suspend the Standing Orders to accept a report from the Ward Councillor.

Cllr J Wray had updated members on the Loachbrook site and gave his commitments to actions on Radnor Bank. He also briefly gave an update from Brereton PC on the boundary signs.


101/19 Chairman’s and Members Report

Cllr PC wished it to be considered on the next agenda that a donation was given to the Somerford Chapel of Ease towards the renovation of the railings.


102/19 It was noted the next meeting was on the 16th September 2019 at 7.30 pm at the Pavilion in Somerford Park Farm.

The meeting concluded business at 10.15 pm

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