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Parish council update

The Parish Council meeting on 15 August dealt substantially with planning applications. As well as discussing the Planning Enquiry due to be held on 22 and 23 August into the outline planning proposal to build 40 new homes behind Westview Gardens, there was much discussion on the proposal to build five new houses on Mill St opposite Sunnybrook Close. On the Westview Gardens proposal we were informed that the Enquiry would go ahead even though the developer had met the demands of one of MSDC’s objections and the MSDC Planning Department had agreed to a lower number of affordable homes than previously specified. Cllr Wells challenged Cllr Kearsley (MSDC) on the agreement to the lower number of affordable homes and asked for MSDC’s justification. Cllr Kearsley did not know why the stipulation had been reduced from 33% to 20% of the total and agreed to contact the Planning Department. The Parish Council also objected to the five new homes proposed for Mill St on three grounds: there was no allowance for affordable homes; the new access road would meet Mill St at its narrowest point creating a traffic hazard, especially as Mill St has had a 20% increase in traffic over the last 6 years and there is no footway; and there will be issues with maintaining the grass verge identified to maintain a “clear view” of the highway.

There was also discussion on the poor performance of the present contractor for mowing the grass on the Charity Meadow. The contract comes to an end in October and the Council will seriously consider who to ask to tender for the next contract. Finally, the experiment to keep the street lights on all night for a period of six months came to an end and the Council agreed that they should revert to be turned off from midnight to 0530.

The Council has a willing volunteer to fill the currently vacant post of Parish Councillor but nobody from the village has yet applied for the post of Parish Clerk. This is a part time job that could readily be filled by someone working from home so if you are interested please contact the Parish Clerk.

The next Parish Council help desk will be in the Village Hall on Saturday 3 September from 10am to 12 noon. The next Parish Council Meeting will be on Monday 19 September at 7:30pm.

Generally, the first point of contact for any matters to do with the Parish Council is the Parish Clerk, Mr Terry Williams on gislinghamparishcouncil@gmail.com or by phone on 01379 783903. The alternative is Cllr Chris Pitt at chris@thepitts.org or 01379 788795.

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