Minutes of the virtual Meeting held online on Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 7pm

Present: Mark Fussell (Chairman), Rachel Rowe (Vice Chair) and Councillors Paul Turner, David Gray, David Ancell, and Gray Hutson

Others present: Andy Pratt (Copeland Borough Council), Andrew Wilkinson (Architect, Castles and Coasts Housing Association) and four members of the public.

301/20 Apologies for Absence

RESOLVED that apologies from Councillors Norman, Pennington and McKinley be received and the reasons noted.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, including members of the public and Andrew Wilkinson who were attending to discuss the planning application for a residential development on land adjacent to Ellerslie.

RESOLVED that the proposal by the Chairman to bring Agenda Item 4 – Public Participation forward, be accepted.

302/20  Public Participation

Cllr. Turner declared an interest as a member of the LDNPA planning committee.

The Chairman explained that the planning application was not included on the Agenda as it had only been received the day prior to the meeting. The Parish Council therefore will listen but will not be able to respond until the next meeting. This will allow time for members of the public to comment. The Clerk confirmed that an extension to the response date had been requested to October 10.

A member of the public had three concerns:

  • Flooding/surface water on the road – Water runs down Ellerslie Terrace and there has been flooding in the past.
  • Sewage capacity – A development of bungalows behind Bradbury House had been refused as there was insufficient capacity to deal with sewage.
  • Access and visibility – Is there sufficient visibility at the access to the development?

Mr. Wilkinson said these were all valid concerns. As regards the surface water run-off, the drainage strategy includes a large culvert underground drainage pipe which runs through the road for the scheme so that houses drain into a combination of the culvert and the two detention basins at the front of the site. This will achieve the same level of run-off that occurs presently, mitigating the surface water run-off in a much more controlled way than in its current green-field status. Mr Wilkinson urged people to read the flood risk assessment and drainage report.

Mr. Wilkinson stated that sewage had been raised with United Utilities and he should be able to forward a line from engineers from the environment agency before the next meeting.

Cumbria Highways have been consulted on the visibility splays and Mr. Wilkinson said, as far as he was aware, the design is appropriate.

Mr. Wilkinson explained that another design element that had changed from the original scheme, was an increase in the number of houses. This was to maximise the site to deliver as much affordable housing as possible, with five open market units for local occupancy, ten affordable rented homes and the remainder, shared ownership or rent-to-buy homes.

Questions from the public included confirmation that the sewage and surface water drainage would be separate, that the retention basins would be open rather than enclosed tanks and that they would be maintained by Castles & Coasts Housing Association.

Another member of the public expressed disappointment that the scheme did not include any small bungalows for older people. In his response, Mr. Wilkinson sympathised but said that the scheme could not address all the housing needs of the village and the development had been designed around the Housing Needs survey of 2019 and local intelligence.

The Chairman thanked Mr. Wilkinson and members of the public who left the meeting.

303/20 Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12th August 2020

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12th August 2020, pages 80 to 82, be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

304/20 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports

Cllr. Turner – nothing to report at present.

Cllr. Pratt said that Copeland Local Plan consultation would start next week, otherwise nothing to report.

The Chairman asked for an update on weed treatment. Cllr. Hutson reported that the left side of the road in Denton Park was particularly bad and with potential damage to the tarmac. Cllr. Turner responded that he was meeting Kevin Cosgrove next week and would contact him beforehand. In the meantime, this could be reported using the highways online reporting system.

Cllr. Pratt said that, whilst the drains near Bradbury House had been cleared the pipes between the gulleys were choked up which could also be reported online.

305/20 Planning Applications


4/20/2310/0F1 – Hallsenna Barn, Hallsenna, Holmrook – create new access to Hallsenna Barn

No comments were received from Councillors present. The Chairman asked the Clerk to contact Cllr. Norman for his comments.


RESOLVED that the decision of the Planning Authority for the applications listed below be noted.

7/2020/4045 – 1 Ellerslie Terrace, Gosforth – demolition of garage, greenhouse and lean-to building and replace with garage and sunroom with loft storage – Refused

Other Planning Matters – none

306/20 Financial Reports

RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 31st August 2020 be received, noted and signed by the Chairman.

The Clerk said the schedule of payments for approval includes back-pay following a 3% pay increase.

RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.

307/20 Public Toilets & Car Park

Councillors noted that the Car Park use had increased since the re-opening of the Public Toilets on 17th July, however it was not as busy as pre-pandemic. Cllr. Fussell said that Sellafield have started some home to work transport but no park and ride yet. Cllr. Ancell said that the grey Audi reported to the Police had turned out to be owned by a resident of the Parish and the camper van belonged to a resident who passed away recently. Both vehicles have been removed. The Clerk reported that Cllr. Norman had emptied the honesty box and £116 will be banked soon.

Cllr. Fussell agreed that a meeting be arranged to review the current state of the Public Toilets. Cllr. Fussell said that once we understand what needs to be done, we would have a good case to go back to Copeland regarding the asset transfer. The building is sub-standard and is falling into disrepair however it would be foolish to spend all our money on it before we own it. Cllr. Pratt has been chasing the solicitor but no response so far. Cllr. Norman, via email, has suggested snap frames be purchased for the toilets for covid info and to promote donations to the honesty box.

RESOLVED that the Clerk arrange a meeting between Councillors one evening at the Public Toilets.                                                                                                                                                              

Cllr. Gray has been in touch with the Scouts regarding installing the bench on an existing plinth but is waiting to hear from Cllr. Fussell about the memorial bench request. Cllr. Fussell suggested Cllr. Gray continue progressing the picnic table rather than wait.

308/20  Councillor Administration

The Clerk confirmed that no interest had been received regarding the current vacancies.

309/20 Councillor Matters

Cllr. Gray has received paperwork from the Land Registry confirming the land is not registered. Cllr. Gray is now investigating whether any local land charges (such as planning permissions, conservation area etc.) apply to the land. He has spoken to Copeland and believes this should be sorted quickly.        

Cllr. Pratt said he would check with CALC regarding the Zoom deal and offered to use his Zoom package for the next meeting which was appreciated by all.

Cllr. Ancell reported that he had installed a new CCTV which, by default, covers entrance to car park. The other CCTV can see the square in good detail. Cllr. Ancell also reported that the shop next door is being taken over by a lady who is going to operate a physio and alternative therapy business.

Cllr. Rowe is pursuing the schools argument and will email and update on the situation. Cllrs. Pratt and Turner are progressing this issue whenever they can. Cllr. Pratt said we need to know whether people want to fight for dual catchment or priority to West Lakes and suggested doing a survey. Cllrs. requested the Clerk to include this as a regular item on future Agendas.

Cllr. Turner said he would send a link to the Highways online reporting system

Cllr. Fussell

  • said that, as a responsible employer, an informal review meeting is to be set up between himself, Cllr. Rowe and the Clerk.
  • will circulate a list of meetings we are able to attend to ensure they are all covered as Councillors have come and gone.
  • has received a report that ‘Joan’s alleyway’ up by the of sub-station is overgrown and will have a look to see what can be done.
  • reported that there had been some flooding on Denton park a few weeks ago. The gardens of 3-4 properties had flooded and drains overflowed. United Utilities have been to have a look.
  • has circulated feedback from Sellafield Parish Council Forum and advised that he could be contacted if there are any comments or queries.
  • Noted that the Public Hall will meet tomorrow and the new government guidance may cause closure.
  • reported that FOGS have distributed Air Ambulance bags around the village. Collection will be on Monday 14th September at the entrance to Denton Park.
  • will be submitting an article to Tethera and confirmed the deadline is 24th

310/20 Date of the Next meeting

The date of the next meeting is scheduled as Wednesday 14th October 2020 at 7pm.

The meeting closed at 8:20pm.