of the Ordinary Meeting of the Penrice Community Council held
on Wednesday 17th July 2013 at Oxwich and Penrice Community Hall at 7.30pm
Members Present: Councillor M Barnett
Councillor M Williams
Councillor A Glass
Councillor J Bowen
Councillor J Ellis
Councillor G Roberts
Councillor B Richards
Seven members of the public were present for part of the meeting.
39/13 Apologies for Absence.
Cllr T Methuen- Campbell
The Chairman proposed that Standing Orders were suspended to alter the order of business;
40/13 Presentation from the NRW.
A presentation was given by Nick Edwards from the NRW (Natural Resources Wales) the new name for the CCW which he explained was an amalgamation of the Forestry Commission, the Environment Agency and the CCW. Also Gareth Dougherty from the NRW also attended the meeting,
Oxwich Nature Reserve – Update
Originally owned by the Penrice Estate now has up to 10,000 students who use the dunes for their studies.
It boasts every coastal habitat, 570 flowering plants, including many types of orchids. The reserve is of significant wildlife importance, having butterflies such as the small blue butterflies.
Incredible biodiversity, the bird population is of National importance.
There are now ducks and ducklings on the cleared reed areas.
There are also breeding swans on the Marsh.
Land management –
Bracken bruising has been carried out every year, by rolling the bracken which has been found the most effective method of control.
A bridge has been put over the Marsh to allow the ponies to cross.
Trees are being cut as an ongoing project.
Swansea University use the site for study and ongoing scientific studies.
There is a new Weir to allow more control of the water levels.
Step management and strimming is a constant job. The woodland area is used by 20,000-25,000 people every year.
The Weather Station is continually collecting valuable data.
Corporate volunteers are now being utilized as the large companies such as HSBC are allowing the staff to learn about fencing, tree work, ragwort pulling and many other important roles involved with land management. Both parties have received many benefits from this arrangement, the large companies do not have to pay large amounts to the ‘away day’ companies and at the same time the area is properly managed with the additional help. Staff members of these organizations also learn about the many skills that are needed to ensure the protection of important areas such as this in Oxwich.
40/13 Presentation from the NRW cont….
There has been a lot of work carried out on the reed beds over the past six years to reclaim the pond areas.
A specialist vehicle was hired at a cost of £750 per day. One of these soft track vehicles has now been purchased and is starting to pay for itself. Due to the difficulty of the area only one of these specialist vehicles can access the area due to the difficulty of the terrain.
Some of the areas require grazing and natural methods are preferred and are used where it is possible. Ponies are used and also Highland cattle. Grant aid is available for schools whose children have never been to Gower.
The NRW are involved with the Police and the CCS in patrolling the area to identify any illegal camping on the dunes etc and routinely operate along with these organizations on a rota basis to try an deter this as it can have quite a detrimental effect on the protected area and species that inhabit the Reserve.
The NRW would like to establish more links and work more with the local communities in the future.
A member of the public from the floor suggested;
A weekend telephone number to report illegal camping would be useful. Huw Lloyds telephone number to be put on the PCC Notice Boards.
A Flyer is currently being produced with all details.
If anyone is seen fly tipping then the public are asked to report the number plate to the CCS and Police.
The NRW are very pro active and clean areas that have had illegal campers very quickly.
Dog fouling is still a problem.
The Chairman thanked Nick Edwards and ? for their interesting and informative presentation.
41/13 Declarations of Interest.
Cllr G Roberts declared an interest in the item to be discussed under the RNLI planning due to be a member of the lifeboat crew.
42/13 To confirm the minutes of the Meeting held 19th June 2013.
Thanks to Cllr A Glass for continually assisting with the proof of the minutes.
Cllr A Glass proposed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of events, seconded Cllr G Roberts, carried unanimously.
43/13 Matters arising from the minutes.
Item 29/13 sub item 22/13
Caravan units do not pay council tax. Clerk to check if the chalets mainly at Oxwich Leisure Park have to pay as they are not residential. SC
The Tourism Organization held a meeting in Oxwich Hall - Cllr A Glass attended. Cllr Glass reported that the meeting was interactive between residents and businesses to promote and stimulate tourism. Mr I Williams of the Oxwich Bay Hotel spoke at the meeting. A follow up meeting would be held in September.
43/13 Matters arising from the minutes cont…
Item 31/13 sub item no 6
Local Access Forum - Cllr M Williams name forward. SC
The Clerk reported that the verge cutting policy is a balance between the safety of vehicles and the public in the first instance and also consideration is given to wildlife, nesting birds and wild flowers etc.
44/13 Community Councils
1 CC - Town Councils Websites – Noted Cllr J Ellis to look into. JE
Cllr A Glass reported that the Gower Website was suffering from apathy by some of the Community Councils that had signed up to it and some of the more well funded Community Councils had set up their own websites. Pennard is about to set up its own website and pay for a link to the Gower Website. A discussion followed and a query of how much it would cost to set up a website was considered. Cllr J Ellis to have a look at this. JE
Agenda next meeting. SC
2 CCS – Community and Town Councils Forum. Noted.
1 Pennard Community Council – Letter regarding retrospective planning application from Kittle Hill Poultry Farm. Following a discussion Council voted to support the principle due to being retrospective planning. Cllr B Richards abstained from the vote. SC
2 CCS – Planning Design Guidance - Noted.
3 CCS – Planning Application for Bysouth Farm approved.
4 Edwina Hart – Public consultation - Noted.
5 Grow Local Swansea – Grant funding available – Noted
6 Tidal Lagoon information – Noted.
7 The Voice – Noted.
8 Best Kept Village Award – List of villages entered ; Penrice, Oxwich, Oxwich Green and Horton.
1 Clerk salary Information protected under the Data Protection Act July
2 Clerk salary August
3 The Ink Store 33.00
4 The Gower Website 100.00
Cllr J Ellis proposed to pay, seconded Cllr G Roberts carried unanimously.
A Application number 2013/0911 Cliff Cottage, Slade
Mr Newman was present at the meeting and advised the Council that he had to compromise with the Planning Department in the pre-application meeting that he had attended. Council considered the application and decided to support it. Proposed Cllr A Glass, seconded Cllr J Bowen carried unanimously.
B Application no 2013/0491 Ridgeway, Horton
Following a discussion Cllr B Richards proposed to support the application, seconded G Roberts, carried unanimously.
C Application no 2013/0491 Hill Top, Oxwich Green.
H Davies attended the meeting who is the direct neighbour of this property and explained to the Council the following ;
there had been an ongoing boundary dispute between the two parties. The Owner of Hill Top had sold the land next to this property and due to Welsh Water not allowing building within 3 metres clear of the sewer Mr Dale of Hilltop was claiming more of the boundary that H Davies had agreed when the neighbouring parcel of land was purchased. The boundary dispute had been ongoing for 2 years. The amount of land in question was 1.5 metres the other side of the hedge. H Davies showed Councillors on the plan the details. The proposed new dwelling was planned approximately 3metres away from her house and there were no others in Oxwich that close. The proposed new property was higher and overbearing. Mr Dale had come onto her land when she was in work and chopped the trees down. Mr Dale will not meet with Mr and Mrs Davies to resolve this.
Council considered all the points put forward and also the plans submitted.
Following a discussion Council decided to object to the application due to the plot being too narrow, the fact that there is a boundary dispute with the neighbouring property and permission should not be given until this is resolved. Too close to the neighbouring property and too high therefore overbearing. The sewer is under the proposed property and also too high so would block light.
D Application no 2013/0894 Greenways Leisure Park caravan decking. No objection.
48/13 Pot Holes
Cllr A Glass to write back to A Fitzgerald to advise about more problem pot holes. AG
49/13 RNLI Lifeboat House Horton
Cllr G Roberts declared an interest and withdrew from the meeting due to being a member of the lifeboat crew.
Following a discussion Council decided to advise the RNLI that it was the intention to ask a purchase price of £1 for the land, unless the Council’s solicitor advises otherwise.
Council to advertise that this proposed sale of land is to the RNLI.
50/13 Cllrs Reports and Questions
51/13 Public Questions relating to the agenda. (limited to 10 minutes)
Concern was raised by a member of the public from the floor to the fact that a Swansea West MP was supporting the proposed Tidal Barrage.
52/13 Date and venue of next meeting.
18th September Horton Village Hall Agenda next meeting trees Oxwich Green and children’s swing.