Annual Report

Rainton Parish Council

ANNUAL REPORT TO THE YEAR ENDED

TUESDAY 8th MAY 2018

MEMBERS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL

2017/2018

 

Councillors

Malcolm Harwood - Chairman (retired)

Christine Anne Egerton – Vice- Chairman

Michael Roy Cecil Pallott

Joanne Williams

Oliver Jones

David McCabe (retired)

Mark Jones

 

PARISH CLERK & RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER:

Ms Alexandra Little
Wagtail Barn
Otterington Hall Farm
South Otterington
Northallerton
DL7 9HW

e-mail: raintonclerk@gmail.com Mobile 07977 417428

 

Foreword

This is my second and final Annual Report as Chairman and member of the Parish Council as I shall be standing down following the local Parish Council elections having completed 4 years as a Parish Councillor.

 The Year’s Work

 Town or Village Green

The long running action to restore the Village Green and Verges to their rightful state by prohibiting the parking and unauthorised crossings of motor vehicles upon them was finally resolved in 2017. The Parish Council would like to thank all parishioners in their support by taking care not to park on the grass verges.

We currently await notification from The Land Registry on updating the original certification that the Greens and Verges are properly designated and that they are held in trust by the Parish Council acting on behalf of the Parish.

 Waste water disposal in Carr Close

For some years heavy rainstorms have resulted in the discharge of waste water (effluent) in Carr Close and other areas of the village. Heavy storms in July 2016 and May 2017 have caused discharge of foul water in Carr Close. A further blockage, on around August 28th, caused by a combination of fat and "wet wipes", was cleared by Yorkshire Water (YW) contractors.

It was self evident that the current maps of Rainton's waste water system had not kept up withe pace of development over the last years.  Following repeated visits by YW Technicians the mapping of the southern end of the village has been updated and reveals that not only waste water but surface water from most (but not all) of Sunny Bank and Carr Lane goes via a pipe line that runs along the back of Carr Close. This pipe crosses the road close to the second green, by the Village Hall, and meets the other "leg" of the waste water line outside Dovecote Cottage on the corner of Church Lane.

At this point there is what is known as a "swilly”, or depression, in the pipeline which attracts sediment , including foreign bodies, interrupting the flow causing "backing up" along the Carr Close portion.

Off the record the YW technicians have admitted that the Carr Close pipeline was overloaded at times. However after much lobbying of the YW Chief Executive, plus The Environment Agency, The Swale and Ure Drainage Board and our local MP the request for a new pipeline was refused on terms of cost. YW will however carry out a monthly programme of flushing out the swilly at Church Lane corner.

 Removal of Electricity Power supply pole and support.

This again has been an on going story with yet another public utility. Plans were submitted by Northern Powergrid to move the power supply pole and strut from outside Aspley House and replace it with an underground line running under the road as well as renewing service connections to several dwellings. After a long delay they have declined to continue for fear of action if they damage the village green despite written assurances from the Parish Council that all we required was for them to return it the condition they found it in. This is Council’s normal request to all utilities that require to disturb the village greens/verges. The Parish Council has written a formal letter of complaint to Northern Powergrid and awaits a response after many months of reminders.

 Finance

It is a legal requirement of the Parish Council to determine the local precept – the money required to meet parish expenditure and maintain a reserve. This levy is included in the annual council tax bill. It will remain at £6000 for 2017/2018.

The major items of expenditure continue to be the cost of grass cutting, for which we receive no assistance from NYCC, and the Clerk’s salary.

The Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer is a part-time paid employee of the Council, working 20 hours per month, and is subject to a legal contract and national pay and conditions.

A copy of the accounts for the year 2017/2018 (un-audited) is attached.

 Harrogate District Local Plan and Rainton future development sites

 For a number of years, Harrogate District Council has been working on producing its District Local Plan.

The first attempt was withdrawn in 2014 following criticisms by the Government Planning Inspectorate who identified a lack of sufficient housing provision for future years.

In 2016 a call was made for sites in Rainton with potential for house building and in 2017 they were confirmed as:

 

RN1 Grange Farm: Potential for 11 houses. 9 granted detailed planning approval

RN2 Brakehill Farm (yard): Potential for 16 houses. Currently not being marketed.

RN4 Brakehill Farm (field): Potential for 34 houses. Currently not being marketed.

RN5 Church Lane: Potential for 10 houses. 3 houses granted detailed planning approval.

RN6 The Old Piggery: Potential for 8 houses. Currently not being marketed.

 

A new Harrogate District Local Plan, in draft form, was published on 26th January 2018.

It highlighted that:

 

"4,397 affordable homes are needed over the 2014-2035 period.

 

The stock of affordable housing (social rented) represents about 9% of the total number of

households, which is below the figure for the region and England (18%)"

 

Currently only one development site has been drawn into this latest version of the plan.

RN3 Village Farm Garth. Potential for 15 houses. Outline planning approval already granted. (see attached plan)

 

It should also be noted that Newlands will be demolished and up to 6 houses built, potentially joining the Village Farm Garth site.

 In my previous Annual Report I highlighted the work done by the Rainton Parish Plan Working Group on a new Parish Plan.

This report was presented to Harrogate Council as "evidence" during the consultation process.

The overwhelming concern of Parishioners was that of large scale housing development:

" A redrawn building development line taking into account the wishes of 49% and 45% of parishioners (94% in total) that development should only be “small” (1-3 houses) or “medium” (3-15 houses) respectively".

 The Chairman attended various briefings throughout the year, including speaking on behalf of the village to the full planning committee over the development of Village Farm Garth, at which the Parish Council was heavily defeated, despite the written objections of 28 parishioners.

The Rainton Parish Plan, we were told, had "no legal weight".

It is for the Parishioners of Rainton as to how they feel about the potential of a minimum of 30 houses, possibly double that, being constructed over the next few years as well as the potential need and uptake of affordable housing.

 Conclusion

All in all, another busy year for the Parish Council in dealing with on going issues affecting Rainton and its parishioners.

I would also like to express my personal thanks for the support given by my fellow councillors and Clerk to the Council.

Malcolm Harwood

Chairman 2016-2018

May 2nd 2018