Minutes 7 December 2021

A meeting of the above-named Parish Council held on Tuesday 7th December 2021 at 7.30pm in the village hall.

Present: – Cllrs. D Austin, S Cheetham, D Harding and J Holtom (Chairman).
Also, in attendance, was County Councillor A Davis together with the Clerk and three members of the public

01/12/21 Welcome by the Chairman and Introduction

02/12/21 Open Public Participation Session


The Chairman brought forward item

16/12/21 Local occupancy criteria for the proposed affordable housing as members of the public wished to address this topic.

The Chairman outlined the criteria given from Exmoor National Park Authority:

This requires occupants of local affordable housing to meet three ‘tests’:

  1. They are in housing need.
  2. Unable to afford to access housing on the open market and
  3. They meet one of the criteria below:
  • a 10-year local connection to the parish or parishes adjoining the parish where the dwelling is located.
  • for those who have moved away, a continuous 10-year period of living locally during the last 30 years.
  • a 10-year connection anywhere in the National Park where a person has a strong connection to the parish where the dwelling is located.
  • a need to provide care and assistance because of age or medical reasons, where those who need the care or those providing the care can demonstrate that they are in housing need and have a 10-year local connection; or
  • a need to live in the parish or adjoining parish to carry out paid work, which is of value to the National Park and its communities.

If there is no one in housing need with a 10-year local connection, the local connection can reduce to 5 years for the parish and adjoining parish to ensure occupancy of affordable homes by local people. Where no one meeting the above criteria can be found, the policy also allows for people living in wider areas to be considered.

After intensive discussion it was felt that the ENPA should align its policy with other National Parks that stipulate 5 years occupancy. Exmoor is one of the smallest National Parks in the whole of the UK, and although this policy would fit the other larger Parks, such as the Norfolk Broads, these criteria would be hard to adhere to in small Exmoor. Also request different wording with regard to parishes partly within a National Park.

It was agreed that the Parish Council should write to ENPA asking for The Policy to be reviewed and revised and any planning application would seek to gain consent on the basis of 5 years occupancy not 10 as in current adopted policy. – Action Clerk

03/12/21 Police Report

This had been circulated

04/12/21 County Council Report

  • County Councillor A Davis reported about the present situation with the Coronavirus: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/coronavirus-data/
  • Devon County Council budget
  • Waste and Recycling
  • Families on Free School Meals – Christmas arrangements
  • Bus Service Improvement Plan
  • Highway Items
  • Improvements to the Pothole Repair Process
  • Capital Budget Settlement
  • Vegetation Management Trials
  • Road Closures

For more information, please visit the village website or Devon County Council website where the full report is shown

05/12/21 District Council Report


06/12/21 Exmoor National Park Authority Update
Cllr. Holtom reported back from a long meeting he had attended that day that covered topics including the cost of membership of National Parks and the Code of Conduct for the ENPA.

Closed Council session
07/12/21 To receive apologies for absence.

Cllrs. H Bloore, S Bastock and J Patrinos.

08/12/21 Declarations of Members’ Interests

09/12/21 To approve and to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd November 2021.

Signed as a correct record.

10/12/21 Matters arising

The Clerk reported that the tree inspection should be undertaken the following week.

11/12/21 Casual vacancy for Parish Councillor

The Chairman reported that he was hopeful of filling the post soon.

12/12/21 Parracombe Community Trust

/1 Progress on the village shop

Cllr. Austin reported that the building was progressing well and was now watertight. He reported that they are seeking to employ a shop manager and that they are within budget and hope to open in the spring.

/2 Affordable housing project

Cllr. Holtom reported that they await the traffic and landscape report.

/3 Village Hall

Cllr. Austin reported that a plan is in place to spend £3,000 to refit the kitchen. The roof has been repaired and they are looking to find an architect to progress the work.

13/12/21 Planning applications (New 4)

/1 62/50/21/012


Proposal: Proposed change of use of land from agricultural to domestic, together with erection of single storey extension to dwelling, creation of associated domestic garden area and alterations to vehicular and field access.

Support this application as it is within the keeping of the village

/2 62/50/21/013

Location: The Mill House, Road from Fox Goose Inn to The Mill House, Parracombe, EX31 4PE

Proposal: Proposed conversion of attached ground floor store to extend dwelling, including refurbishment, repair and other external works.

The Parish Council supports the principle of this application as far as the modernization of the ‘living areas’ of the listed building; but notes the Historical Officer’s report that states “The building is a grade II listed watermill. The listing suggests the building dates from the 17th century with 19th and 20th century alterations. It also has an entry on the National Parks Historic Environment Record (MDE1069). The application lacks a detailed heritage statement.” The Council therefore objects to the changes made to the mill area of the listed building (Creation of new window openings and sub-division of the mill area) as detailed on the submitted plans. The Parish Council hope that a more sympathetic scheme can be submitted.

/3 62/50/21/014LB

Location: The Mill House, Road from Fox Goose Inn To The Mill House, Parracombe, EX31 4PE

Proposal: Listed Building Consent for the proposed conversion of attached ground floor store to extend dwelling, including refurbishment, repair and other external works. Objection as above

/4 62/50/21/015


Proposal: Proposed Loft conversion including dormer windows, roof light and other associated works.

Parracombe Parish Council support the principle of this application but do have grave reservations concerning the dormer windows and the flat roof which is not in keeping within the Conservation area. We support the Historical Officer in his report and hope that an amended application can be considered soon.

Planning applications – pending (1)

/5 62/50/19/013

Rowley Moor Farm, Parracombe, Devon

Proposed conversion of stables to one Local Needs Affordable dwelling. – Under consideration by Officers

/6 Other planning matters


14/12/21 Finance:

/1 Additional payments made since the last notification of the agenda: –

A Cut Above Grass cutting £ 170.00

Royal British Legion Gift £ 75.00

Payments yet to be made: –


/2 Financial report from the Clerk

As circulated to the Council.

/3 Setting of the Precept for 2022/23

Proposed by Cllr. D Austin and seconded by Cllr. S Cheetham that the precept should be raised by 5%, as the Council reserve funds had diminished substantially during the year. Precept now is £10552.23. Agreed unanimously.

15/12/21 Roles and Responsibilities Reports if warranted.

/1 PROWS: Footpaths & Bridleways:

Cllr. S Cheetham reported that a finger post had broken and that it had been reported.

/2 Highways: Signage/Drains/potholes and surfaces:
Cllr. D Harding reported that they need high visibility jackets, tools, and warning road signs to start any work on road verges. The Clerk was instructed to contact the Highways department to obtain these items. – Action Clerk

/3 Trees


/4 Emergency Planning and Snow warden:

Cllr. Harding agreed to contact the Clerk after Christmas to fill in the yellow highlighted parts of the Emergency Plan. – Action Cllr. D Harding

/5 Liaison with school and Church:

It was reported that an excellent memorial service was held in the church.

/6 Website and publicity, communications:


/7 Liaison with PCT:

As stated in item 12/12/21.

/8 Planning noting applications contact for affected parties and applicants & LPA

As stated in item 13/12/21.

/9 Finance:

As stated in item 14/12/21.

/10 Human resources:


16/12/21 Local occupancy criteria for the proposed affordable housing

Please refer to the Public Participation item.

17/12/21 Defibrillators updates

The Chairman reported that these were now in place and working, and that training will be provided as soon as possible. The Clerk said he would check to see that free training was part of the package.  – Action Clerk

18/12/21 Emergency Plan

As stated in item 15/12/21.

19/12/21 Correspondence
This was circulated.

20/12/21 To confirm the date of the next meeting.

Tuesday 1st February 2022 was confirmed as the date for the next meeting.

21/12/21 Items for the next agenda


The meeting finished at 21.22

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