Please note that the minutes below are not the official minutes. They are taken from the official minutes, re-formatted for website use, and published on the website in order to keep the citizens of Hankelow informed.

Hankelow Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on the 2nd March 2009

THOSE PRESENT:- The Chairman, Borough Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cllrs. Cope, Foster, Hulme and Williams. Also present at the meeting were Mr. David Thelwell, Landowner, accompanied by Mr. Robert Netherwood, Architect, Mr Ghassan El Kobrosli his assistant and 43 parishioners.

  1. Minutes of the meeting held on the 19th January 2009

    The Minutes of the meeting held on 19th January 2009 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

  2. Presentation - Mr. David Thelwell, Affordable Housing Feasibility Study on land off Longhill Lane

    The Chairman introduced Mr. David Thelwell who had arranged with the Council to give a presentation, together with his Architect, Mr. Robert Netherwood, concerning an Affordable Housing Feasibility Study, Land off Longhill Lane Hankelow

    In his introduction Mr Thelwell spoke of the Prince of Wales Affordable Housing Initiative which was launched in 2003 to ensure that 'our rural communities remain vibrant and sustainable'. Mr. Thelwell reported that the Homes and Communities Agency has a budget of £8.4bn. earmarked for Affordable Housing between 2009-2011. Mr. Thelwell also reported that there were historic connections with the proposed site as a Tithe Map of 1839 showed medieval settlements along Audlem Road, Hankelow. Mr. Thelwell then asked the audience 'How did you start your first home and get onto the property ladder?'

    The challenges for Hankelow according to Mr Thelwell are as follows:- Hankelow has an ageing population and has lost several services over the years, including the post office and now the White Lion Public House is under threat. The high price of property in the Hankelow area excludes young people who may wish to get on to the property ladder, see VEBRA/Rightmove websites. The cheapest house for sale currently in Hankelow is on the market for £339,950.00. Mr Thelwell referred to the lack of affordable housing in the area and the Audlem Ward Rural Housing Needs Survey.

    Mr. Thelwell continued to put his proposals to address the problems. He stated that there needed to be local support and he confirmed that in the survey referred to, all parishes in the Audlem Ward, including Hankelow had more responses showing in favour of a small development of Affordable Houses than against. From the Survey, the key concerns were: what is sustainable for a small village such as Hankelow.? Definitions of 'local needs' and what is 'affordable'; design and quality of build, selection criteria for occupants and transport. Suitable land is available with a bus stop and transport links to schools etc. There needs to be clearly defined Planning Conditions and Government Subsidy through a Housing Association = Affordable Houses with options of tenure. Selection criteria to benefit local families. This encourages young families to stay or return to the village, which in turn supports local businesses, encourages services and gives a balance to the Community. the Schools Allocation Criteria means that local children can benefit from local, good quality schools. These schools then attract more resources.

    Allocation of Houses and Community Involvement. The Local Authority set out criteria and require allocations to be carried out by an Independent body whose objectivity can be guaranteed. e.g. Housing Association or District Council. The Parish Council may wish to retain some nomination rights (depending on terms of the Section 106 Agreement). The proposal is sympathetic to the local character of the village and opens up the prospect for more access to countryside and natural local features. High quality build requirements are set out by the Government and it is important to use specialist architects and a Housing Association that is sympathetic to the character of the village. In conclusion Mr Thelwell said that this was a well designed scheme which will add to the uniqueness of Hankelow and re-enforce the social and environmental well being of the district. He went on to say that by supporting this scheme residents will be supporting the present community and adding lifeblood to the village for future generations.

    Mr. Robert Netherwood, Architect, then gave a presentation for the erection of 8 Affordable Homes in Hankelow. Using the village's newly acquired computer, projector and screen Mr. Netherwood showed photographs of the site from various compass points and an animation of the proposed development. Mr Netherwood said that access from the main Audlem Road would be fully Council approved. There would be four blocks of semi-detached houses and dormer bungalows. The whole site would be improved and retained with a water feature and landscaping. This would include trees and footpaths and access from the village green. The houses would be placed a good distance apart and this would be a low density development as there was no reason to put the houses closer together. The houses would be character dormer bungalows, compulsory level 4 sustainable houses which would be inexpensive to heat. The houses total area would be 80 sq. metres, decent sized houses, big enough. Mr. Netherwood confirmed that this development would be an exception site, outside the envelope of the village.

    The Chairman, Mr David Mounteney, then stated that there was only a 38% clear majority in favour of Affordable Housing in Hankelow, which was the lowest of all the wards covered by the Survey. He also confirmed that the development at Ivy House Farm, Hankelow is likely to be passed shortly and this development is to include two rentable affordable houses. Cllr. Foster declared an interest and stated that she lives on Longhill Lane, Hankelow. Cllr. Cope said that he did not wish to comment. Borough Councillor Rachel Bailey then reported on the local plan to be adopted in 2011. Cheshire East will unite Macclesfield, Congleton,Crewe and Nantwich and will be responsible for half of Cheshire County Council's services. Once the new unitary Authority is in place the process will begin to develop Cheshire East which will pre-empt the local plan.

    Borough Councillor Rachel Bailey continued to say that she cannot see that in the future there would be as much pressure for Affordable Homes on the Agenda. Cllr. Hulme asked whether the figure of 8 Affordable Homes needed for Hankelow mentioned by Mr. Thelwell was correct. Cllr. Hulme understood that this figure was for the Audlem area and stated that he thought Mr. Thelwell should have quoted the figures required for each Ward. It was confirmed that the Survey was conducted on a Ward basis rather than a village basis. The Chairman then closed the Parish Council Meeting and asked for questions from the floor after which he re-convened the Parish Meeting.

  3. Matters arising

    1. Laptop computer, projector and screen

      The Chairman thanked Mr. Charlie Foster for his help in setting up the new computer, projector and screen.

    2. Town and Parish Grant Scheme

      The Chairman reported that John Williams had started work at the Chapel and currently he was taking away the lean-to. Mr. Shepherd will pay for the new fence. Mr. Reeves of Richard Reeves Fencing of Beeston is to contact the Chairman concerning the price.

      The Chairman confirmed that the fence for the pond had been ordered for the sum of £2,500. plus V.A.T. Any savings made on the fencing project could be used for additional planters for the village.

      Ian Jones reported that he had a number of names of local residents who would like to 'Adopt a Planter'.

      The Chairman also reported that the curtains for the Chapel Schoolroom had also been ordered and he was waiting for them to arrive.

    3. Nantwich Neighbourhood Policing Unit - Cluster Meetings

      The Chairman reported that he had attended a N.P.U. Cluster Meeting at Hankelow, when Inspector Ian Hassall handed over the Chairmanship to Mr. John Batho. It was agreed that there were three priorities at the meeting and the Police agreed to address the issues.

      The Chairman reported that there were no policing problems in Hankelow but that it had been agreed that the Police should look at speed enforcement outside the White Lion Pubic House.

      The next N.P.U. meeting was set for 9th April, 2009.

    4. Road condition - Hall Lane

      The Clerk reported that she had written to the Chief Road Maintenance Engineer, Cheshire County Council to invite him to address the Parish Council Meeting, but he had failed to reply.

      The Chairman reported that there were bad pot holes in Hall Lane and that the Borough Council are responsible if there is an accident.

  4. Reports

    1. Cheshire East

      The Clerk reported that there were five items which had been logged with Cheshire County Council which were services particular to Hankelow. These were logged to ensure continuity on the change over to the new Authority on 1st April next. She requested that Councillors report any further items for inclusion on the log. Councillors did not wish to log any further items.

      Cllr. Foster reported that she had attended a workshop on Local Councils in Cheshire East. The proposal is that Cheshire East is divided into 'clusters' - 6 to 8 clusters in the whole area. Each cluster will have its own 'Local Area Partnership' Group who will oversee the local area, produce an annual Area Delivery Plan, receive local representation etc.

      A 'Local Area Partnership' group will consist of:-

      • A Cheshire East Councillor.
      • A Representative of the Police.
      • A representative of the Fire and Rescue Service.
      • A Representative of the Primary Care Trust/G.P.
      • Others co-opted according to local circumstances.

      The L.A.P. will replace the current locality board, area forums and highways and transportation joint committees.

      Hankelow is likely to be in the cluster which includes Audlem, Buerton, Hatherton, up to and including Nantwich and over to Bickerton and Beeston, Alpraham and Church Minshull.

  5. Accounts

    The Clerk reported a balance of £3,120.00

    Cheques issued since the last meeting
    Details Amount
    Total £1956.55
    Clerk's salary and expenses £317.11
    Projectorpoint - Projector, screen, projector lamp and cable £1159.20
    The Feed Store - duck food £25.00
    Chairman's Allowance £100.00
    Stirling Management Systems - laptop computer £270.24
    Brookfield Golf Club - hire of the Acorn Suite for P.C. meeting of 19th January 2009 £35.00
    Donation - Audlem First Responders £50.00
  6. A.O.B.

    1. Affordable Housing

      Cllr. Elliot Hulme stated that he was against the proposed Affordable Homes in Longhill Lane. He said that there was great demand for the three affordable homes available opposite Bennions in Audlem. He said that before consideration was given to Mr Thelwell's proposals other sites should be considered, such as the White Lion public house.

      It had been confirmed that there was a requirement for two affordable homes to be included in the development at Ivy House Farm. Cllr. Hulme stated that Hankelow would be accommodating Audlem's Affordable Homes residents.

    2. Additional software for the Parish Council's laptop computer

      It was agreed that Mr. Charlie Foster should look in to the Council acquiring Powerpoint facility for the village laptop computer.

    3. Appearance of the entry to the village on the Nantwich side

      Cllr. Cope reported that he would like the Borough Council to deal with problem nettles which grow on the verge opposite the Golf Course.

      It was agreed that the Clerk should contact the Depot at Pyms Lane, Crewe to report the problem and enquire about the Borough Council treating the area.

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting with the date of the A.G.M. set for 11th May 2009.