Scotton News

Scotton and Lingerfield

Nigel Harper

01423 866199

Christingle Collection: members of the Methodist Church would like to thank all those from the villages who supported the Christingle Service on Christmas Eve. The collection raised £53 which was donated to Martin House Hospice.

Save the Guy Fawkes: there was a massive turn-out for the meeting of the parish council on January 23 to discuss the planning application by Punch Taverns to sell the Guy Fawkes for residential accommodation. Michael Moory made reference to a petition of objection which the chairman Coun Richardson said should be forwarded to HBC. Sarah Bond asked for the support of Andrew Jones MP for the petition and to write to Punch Taverns. His representative, who was at the meeting, said that the MP would be at a meeting at the Guy Fawkes on Friday and encouraged people to object and make representations to HBC. Pete Roberts expressed concern that the decision would be made by the planning officer rather than the planning committee. Coun Alton responded that villagers could request that the application goes before the committee which he would support. He also said that planning policy was robust in respect of a pub which was still open with a tenant, though doubts were expressed that the current tenants are only “tenants at will”. Coun Alton stated that the council would expect Punch Taverns to market the pub for 12 months before a change of use would be considered. Lewis Denton raised concerns about being unable to log objections on HBC’s website which Coun Alton said he would take up with HBC. Objections can also be sent to him or to Andrew Jones who will forward these to the planning department. Printed sheets would also be available for the meeting on Sunday with advice about using the website. Howard Cooper made reference to the Community Right to Bid under the Localism Act which enables the Guy Fawkes to be registered as a community asset giving six months grace either for the village to bid to buy the pub or to find another buyer. Erica Ashmore said it was believed there were bats in the loft above the pub which would require a bat survey before any alterations were carried out. In response to a question about the parish council only being notified 10 days ago Coun Alton said that the application submitted in November was incomplete, and that the proper application only dated from December 28. Dave Smith asked how long de-licensing would take to which Coun Alton replied that the pub would need to be empty and advertised for sale as a pub for 12 months before change of use would be considered. Erica Ashmore said Andrew Jones MP would be attending a fact-finding meeting on Friday, January 25 at the Guy Fawkes at 4pm as he could not be at the open action-planning meeting on Sunday, January 27 though his representative would be present.

Following the public session the parish council agreed to object to the application on planning grounds. Coun Wood pointed out that Punch Taverns had not attached any evidence of marketing to their application and the parish council is to request this. Also that it was stated that the pub was closed, which the parish council will challenge. Objections have to be submitted by February 2 and councillors are to meet again to formulate their detailed grounds for objecting.

Other Planning Applications: the parish council has on objections to the applications for single storey extensions at 26 and 32 Havikil Park.

Accounts: a meeting is to be requested by the parish council with HBC to resolve issues about recent disputed invoices. The council agreed to make no change in the 2013/14 Parish Precept which has been kept at the same level for several years.

Percy Fields/ Former GDR: Coun Clark reported that the Archery Club are due to report back to him this month.

Church Services: for Sunday, February 3, second Sunday before Lent, 9.30am Eucharist at St Thomas Church and 10am at the Methodist Church.