Parish Council

Public forum: PC Hallworth gave a brief summary of incidents within the parish during the past month.

The chairman raised the issue of weight restriction violations where drivers had not been prosecuted.

Website: The mailing list for members is up and running on the website. Work continues on the compilation of photographs for the homepage.

Memorial seat outside the village hall: A quotation was accepted for the construction of the base and installation of the seat.

Planters in Church Road: Topsoil had been delivered and spread to fill the depressions in the verges left by parked lorries, but this was almost instantly damaged by parked lorries.

PC Hallworth agreed to deliver no parking cones for future use.

Highways: Essex County Council said it would be installing a vehicle-activated sign in Rickstones Road, just north of Stoverns Hall Farm, to operate for three months of the year.

Railway bridge: A site meeting was held between Highways and the chairman, at which Essex County Council agreed to provide a scheme to improve pedestrian safety at the railway bridge in Oak Road, Rivenhall End.

The clerk is to ask the county council to cut back the shrubbery on either side of the bridge.

Handyman: The handyman is to progress the outstanding workload and the clerk will contact him to obtain details of his future availability.

Allotments: Nine people have expressed an interest in working an allotment plot within the parish.

Councillor Bills will prepare an “inquiry of interest” leaflet for possible distribution throughout the parish.

Local development framework: Members were appalled to learn that two “preferred growth areas” have been provisionally agreed by Braintree Council; an extension to the industrial area along the A12 and a housing area to the east of Witham, off Forest Road.

The clerk will write to Braintree Council pointing out, as previously stated at a meeting with planning officers, that the parish council, although not opposed to certain development within the parish, is opposed to these recommendations which are against the proposals set out within the village plan and, in the case of the area proposed for housing development, unsustainable.

The clerk will also write to Witham Town Council enlisting its support.

Commercial vehicle sales: The chairman continues his inquiries via Braintree Council planning enforcement.

Rivenhall Airfield: A planning application has been submitted to Essex County Council.

Members agreed their opposition to this application and it was agreed to look into the possibility of setting aside finance to provide specialist, professional advice to oppose the application; contact all other parish councils affected by this application, together with Witham Town Council, to form an alliance and formulate a uniform opposition to this application; to aim for a public inquiry to be held so as to provide an opportunity for local opinion to be heard.

Grass verge: Essex County Council has agreed, next summer, to lower the grass verge in a gentle slope down to the road at a point north of Stoverns Hall Farm, to link up with the footpath opposite.

Next meeting: Tuesday, in the Henry Dixon Hall, at 8pm.

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