Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 14th September 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 14th September 2020 in the Pavilion ‘D’ at Somerford Park Farm @ 7.30 pm.



Councillor G Bell (Chairman), (GB)

Councillor P Crompton (Vice Chairman) (PC)

Councillor G Derbyshire (GD)

Councillor J Hardman (JH) not present on Zoom virtually  

Councillor A Power, (AP) not present on Zoom virtually  

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)


Declaration of Interest.

Cllr G Bell – 20/3887C and 20/3870C


Public Forum

Three members of the public present.

One member of the public was concerned about the speed of the traffic on Blackfirs Lane, there were many more children due to the number of houses being built plus no pavement and the traffic was speeding down the lane in excess of the speed limit.  The dogs being off the lead on Rhead’s Meadows was also raised and she felt there should be rules to ‘put dogs on a lead ‘as she had witnessed some owners not collecting the dog waste.

Two residents had attended to raise their concerns about the speed of traffic along the A54 Holmes Chapel Road, the lorries were causing the house to vibrate and in some resident house’s cracks had appeared. They wanted the speed limit reducing from 40mph.

The Chairman felt the most appropriate way forward would be to raise a petition on the estate and take to the Ward Cllr.  


106/20 Apologies

Cllr S Hughes due to the piling effects from Chelford Road on his property, Cllr R Crookes due to work commitments, Cllr J Wray Cheshire East Ward Cllr- no reason.


107/20 Minutes

Cllr PC requested the following amendment: 93/20 Rhead’s Meadows.

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 3rd August 2020 having been circulated be approved and accepted as a true and accurate record.


108/20 Budget 2020/21

The Clerk had circulated the budget to date. The members reviewed the spend to date and the future potential cost of the RSPB land changes to Rhead’s Meadows.  

Resolved the budget to date was accepted by members.


109/20 Rhead’s Meadows

It was agreed that the tarmac track alongside Rhead’s Meadows would be known as Rhead’s Lane.

Benches and noticeboards

The Clerk had obtained two quotes which had been circulated to members and one company who had been unable to quote.

Quote A – £835.00 plus VAT no fitting included.

Quote B – £1,400.00 including VAT and fitting costs

Quote C – unable to quote due to the scale of the furniture.

Resolved Quote A would be accepted.

It was agreed the noticeboards would be deferred until three quotes had been obtained and a firm decision had been made on the information to be included.

Letter to residents on Blackfirs Lane

A letter had been sent to the residents on the north of Blackfirs Lane to ask if they had any preferences for planting type and height for the boundary line by their houses on Rhead’s Meadows.

Two people had responded. It was noted the letter had also been placed on the website.

Wildflower Meadow

CWT had arranged for a deep plough of the area marked by Ms A Frogatt. It was noted the area was larger than anticipated. The area was due to seeded in the next two weeks.

Connectivity to Back Lane Playing Fields

The Chairman & Cllr PC had met with Cllr S A Smith, Cheshire East Ward Cllr and Congleton Town Councillor to discuss improving the access to the Back Lane playing fields from Rhead’s Lane . It was a productive meeting and one which would be progressed.

Inclosure Trust

The Trust had kindly agreed to donate £5,000 to the scheme and would appreciate a report of how the monies are spent.


110/20 Communications and Social Media Policy

A draft policy had been circulated to members.

Resolved the Policy would be adopted by the Parish Council subject to including the proposed amendments by Cllr AP.

Resolved the Parish Council would launch a Facebook page.

It was agreed Cllr JH would launch the FB page and it would be viewed by members on FB before going live.


111/20 Blackfirs Nature Reserve

There had been a site meeting arranged at 9am on 16th September on site with Mr J Pimblett. The Chairman, Cllr RC, Cllr GD, and the Clerk would attend. The Clerk had also invited Mr J Baguley – Section 106 manger from CE to attend to discuss the possibility of utilising some of the S106 monies from the DWH site.

Resolved Bowcock and Pursaill would be appointed at a cost of £400 plus VAT to complete the transfer on behalf of the Parish Council.


112/20 Loachbrook – ‘Bovis’ Estate

There had been no further update from Bovis / Vistry after meeting in July. It was agreed if no actions were made from Mr R Bebbington (Director) within seven days the RAG group would go to Fiona Bruce MP for a further meeting.


113/20 Highways

Roundabouts on the Congleton Link Road

There had been a meeting with Congleton Town Council of which the Chairman and the Clerk

attended as there were three roundabouts on the CLR which were in within the Parish. CTC wanted to enquire whether the Parish Council would like to input to their design and future maintenance. The initial set up cost would be up to £1,000 depending on which planting method was adopted then the future maintenance costs would fall with the Parish Council.

CTC received sponsorship monies from local businesses which in most cases covered the costs.


  1. The piling on Chelford Road was well underway and although in most cases they were keeping to the time constraints these had been extended due to adhering to completion times. The impact on the area was quite disruptive. The Chairman had email exchange with Mr P Griffiths, and it seemed Chelford Road would eventually be reduced to 40mph.
  2. On the approach to the bridge from the south the pavement comes to an abrupt end but there was still a grass verge up to the junction with the new access road the verge has now been lost and the tarmac carriageway meets the foot of the wall. The concern is that this is an unacceptably unsafe situation for pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians. – Note that the works have not been completed in the area and another section of the wall is to be demolished and the verge re-instated and extended to the access track.
  3. Traffic leaving this access track and joining Chelford Road have been given a reasonably good visibility splay to the left, over the bridge, but the visibility to the right, toward the Blackfirs Lane junction and beyond, is blocked by the high wall and the Scottish Power overhead supply pole. Note The council intends to mitigate this issue by pursuing the introduction of a 40mph speed on Chelford Road. This will require a Traffic Regulation Order which will be subject to consultation, this will be taken forward alongside other planned changes to the local road network to accommodate the new Road. With the pole relocated the visibility to the right is c40m – which is adequate about the use of the track in combination with the proposed reduced speed limit.
  4. It is now understood that the junction of Chelford Road with Blackfirs Lane is to be re-instated as it was prior to the commencement of CLR works. It had been the impression of the residents and the parish council that this junction was to be re-formed as a T-junction – this may well have been as a misreading of plans published from the inception of the scheme some years ago. In any event, it is clear that to re-instate the junction as a sweeping, and very fast,  left-hand bend from the bridge into Blackfirs Lane creates an unacceptable safety hazard given that the new junction with Back Lane is but a short distance from that bend. The “new” Back Lane will undoubtedly be used by many pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians and they will emerge from Back Lane intending either to turn left along Blackfirs Lane, which itself has no footpath, or cross Blackfirs to gain the verge on the opposite side of the road. It is further understood that cyclists using the CLR and travelling west, will have to leave the road at the Radnor roundabout to join the national cycleway route at Blackfirs Lane/Chelford Road. Note – an alternative layout for the junction will be investigated.
  5. The intention is to make the visibility splay to the north of the bridge far greater than necessary whilst the visibility to the south of the bridge is wholly inadequate and unsafe. Note – The tie in point is determined by the finished road level over the bridge. The road ties into the existing level smoothly in accordance with the design standards. (ii) The levels of the ‘new’ Chelford Road are higher which requires earthworks. As a result, the wall must be moved back from the road such that it is at the base of the earthworks.

Footpath along A54 into Chelford Road

There had been a resident complaint in relation to the hedge and the footpath adjacent to the A54. The Clerk had contacted the Fisheries and they had cut back the hedge. CE would not at this time due to budget restrictions side out the footpath.

It was agreed that the PC would await the completion of the link road before they would consider paying for the improvements themselves.

Flooding on A54 outside Lyndale 3403824

The Clerk had reported this after contact from a resident saying the carriageway was often flooded by fifty percent. The Chairman requested the Clerk to ask for photographs.

Speed of traffic on A54

The Chairman had suggested the residents contacted the Ward Councillor and draw up a petition. It was agreed the PC had no powers to reduce the speed less than 40mph.

Damaged manhole cover on Chelford Road – still no actions taken.

Triangle of land by notice boards by Blackfirs Lane/Holmes Chapel Road  Noticeboard

A resident had enquired about improving the area as due to recent housing development it had been left unkempt and the bulbs had been destroyed.

Resolved the PC would arrange for some bulb planting and some shrubs planted suitable for shaded areas.


114/20 Cheshire East  

No report due to nobody present.


115/20 Planning Applications

  • 20/3734C The Old Farmhouse, 4 Chelford Road, Somerford CW12 4QD -proposed first floor extension over existing porch.

Resolved No Objection

Councillor A Powers chaired the next two items and the Chairman withdrew from the discussion.

  • 20/3870C 9A and 9B Chelford Road, Somerford CW12 4QD – Removal of condition 5 on approval 17/0509C for proposed dwelling and change of use of existing outbuilding to bungalow with small extension.

Resolved No Objection

  • 20/3887C 21 Chelford Road, Somerford Cw12 4QD – variation of condition 2 on approved application 19/0774C – variation of conditions 2,3,4,6,8,10,11,15,16 & 17 on approval 15/4244C – demolition of existing house and construction of new residential development

Resolved Objection


116/20 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £27,850.11


  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364 Aug
  • Online payment – £14.39 Zoom July
  • Online payment – £25.00 CHALC Training for Cllr JH
  • Online payment – £560.00 Ms S Amies (website maintenance)
  • Online payment – £250.00 Ms S Amies (website accessibility compliance Sept 2020)
  • Online payment – £336.00 Somerford Park Farm (room hire)

Resolved the above payments are approved and signed for as a true and accurate record.



  • £20,000.00 Precept Cheshire East
  • £5,000.00 Inclosure Trust

It was noted that the PC were not eligible for the Covid-19 Community Recovery fund for Rhead’s Meadows

Bank Reconciliation

Cllr PC approved the bank reconciliation report.


117/20 Clerks Report

Website Compliance

The website was now compliant with the new rulings, advised to be implemented by September 2020.

Local Council Award

The Clerk gave an update on the progress to date.


118/20 Chairman and Members Report

Cllr JH attended CHALC training on Zoom

Feedback was given.


119/20 It was noted the next meeting was on the 5th October 2020 in Pavilion D Somerford Park Farm at 7.30 pm.  

The meeting concluded business at 10.35 pm

Download September Minutes

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