Parish Council Minutes: 12 November 2020

Minutes of the Babraham Parish Counci Meeting held 12 November 2020

For approval 14 January 2021

PDF version of Minutes (to be signed if approved)

Topic: Babraham Parish Council Meeting 12 November 2020

Meeting ID: 870 2580 1125

The meeting started at 19:30.

Present remotely

Chair: Stuart Laurie

Councillors: Robert Attwood, Jane Goody, Charlotte Rogers, Gareth Walker

Cllr Peter McDonald (left at 20:34), Mr Chris Chapman

One member of the public.

                           Part I: Non-confidential information

2011/01         To receive and approve apologies for absence

No apologies were received.

2011/02         To receive members’ declaration of interest for items on this agenda

None was made.

2011/03         To sign and approve minutes of meeting dated 8 October 2020

The Minutes of 8 October 2020 were reviewed by Cllrs and approved unanimously.

2011/04         Exclusion of the public

None was required.

2011/05         Public participation time: 15 minutes are allocated

Cllr Laurie proposed deferring for discussion under 2011/11; Cllrs agreed unanimously.

2011/06           Report from South Cambridgeshire District Councillor P McDonald

Cllr McDonald had sent his report. He noted that pre-application Planning charges could be a cost-effective choice. He also noted purchase of the first electric bin lorry. He encouraged all to apply for small COVID grants and for the Council to share the information. Business grants of up to £3000 are available. He noted a second fund in development for business as well as the Self-employed Support Scheme with funding of 80% of trading profits.

He highlighted the Call for Sites evidence to be published on which decisions will be based.

2011/07           Report from Cambridgeshire County Councillor K Cuffley and R Hickford

Cllr Cuffley had sent a written report.

2011/08           Report from Babraham Research Campus (BRC) representative

Mr Chapman commented on the Local Plan and plans for the Campus (available on SCDC interactive map). Campus ambitions include development of R&D and associated activities and, especially, housing and infrastructure. Campus uses its own facilities management and so need to increase, for example, energy and waste provision. Mr Chapman clarified an error by SCDC in classifying all development as residential. Campus is committed to biodiversity and carbon sequestration on lands SW of the river.

In answer to Cllr Laurie, Mr Chapman the Campus has the ambition to develop additional R and D space on campus within the site (replacement of aging buildings) and to the north of the most recent two buildings at the north of the developed area. Mr Chapman, in response to a question from Cllr Laurie, said Campus has in previous development planted trees to limit visual impact including  infill in existing tree bands and extending hedgerows.

Cllr Laurie asked when works might begin: Mr Chapman said the plans were on the same timescale as all the Local Plan proposals.

Cllr Laurie asked if the Campus developments would affect The Close: Mr Chapman explained The Close was Institute (not Campus) property. There is ambition to improve the Close and include supporting amenities, but it is essential to get stakeholders together.

Cllr Attwood asked if the development might include a shop, but Mr Chapman said the discussions were too early. Cllr Attwood said a significant development and retail would fit well with the NP.

Cllr Laurie mentioned the member of the public leading work on zero-carbon application: Mr Chapman said the Campus supported the efforst in the area from the village to the Church.

Mr Chapman said the Campus aimed to offset as much carbon as possible through new woodland and seeks to use the land south of the river to increase the woodland planting across that area.

Mr Chapman updated Council on the new public art: trees were planted in February and March. Fabricated units of the artwork were stored on Campus; lockdown had compounded plans to install and workarounds had to be found because the artist could not oversee all works. Bowie Construction led the foundation work and the artist, Tania Kovats, was able to oversee the installation. In the past weeks, wild flowers, bulbs and shrubs were planted and the orchard extended. Mr Chapman will produce a report in the coming weeks. The formal opening will be after the planting is established, next year. Cllr Rogers on the Steering Group will be involved. will be part of the Steering GP info.

Cllr Laurie asked if the plants grown would obscure the artwork: Mr Chapman said it would, explaining that the intention is that the artwork is insinuated in the landscape and belongs in its environment, sympathetic to its setting.

Mr Chapman expanded on plans for planting and biodiversity, explaining that he was not aware of consultation with the Campus led by Cambridge Great Park members. The Park encapsulates all 180 Ha of the Campus and Mr Chapman was disappointed that one of their early actions had not been to engage. He has tried to contact, but received no response. Mr Chapman said the Campus has a need to redevelop but alongside that is working towards the goal of creating a green zone for people to enjoy.

2011/09           Clerk’s report

Comments from the Clerk are covered in Agenda items.

2011/10           Coronavirus

Cllr Laurie noted that completion of self-isolation by the first person in the village to report infection with coronavirus. He reminded Council that he asks those infected with coronavirus to inform the Chair, who acts for South Cambridgeshire District Council. Cllr Laurie continues to liaise with SCDC and reiterated that the Council coordinates a group of volunteers willing to help.

2011/11           Zero Carbon opportunities

Cllr Laurie asked the member of the public for an update on the application for funding for the Forest Garden. No response has yet been received. All applicants should be informed by the end of November and the member of the public will explore other sources, as previously reported.

2011/12                Cambridge Great Park

Cllr Laurie noted that Council must explore the proposal and its objectives and consequences for the Parish: this will be considered at the January meeting.

2011/13           Local Plan and local developments

Cllr Laurie reported that Cheveley Park Farm had offered the entire farm estate for development. Planners and developers had outlined two sites; one east of the A1307 near Chalk Pit and one north of Sawston Road, Babraham contiguous with H/1:b.

Cllr Attwood asked if compulsory purchase could be used to obtain farm property.

Cllr McDonald reiterated that evidence will be published for Council members in the next week and for the public in the next few weeks. This will give an impression of how many sites will be required.

Cllr Laurie had received communication from SCDC Development Officer Louise Lord on the day of the meeting about the boundary review between Sawston and Babraham and consideration by SCDC Civic Affairs Committee. Cllr Laurie noted the Memorandum of Understanding, which reinforced the distribution of S.106 contributions deriving from H/1:b presented by the S.106 officer and sets in place arrangements for S.106 distribution from H/1:c or equivalent development.

Cllr Laurie proposed that he reply to Ms Lord stating the MoU is in place and Babraham Parish Council has agreed the boundary change: Cllr Laurie proposed, Cllr Rogers seconded; carried unanimously.

2011/14                Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP): A1307

Cllrs noted that some cars would make a right turn (southbound) at the A1307-High Street junction, despite kerbing to prevent: suggested Clerk write to GCP to ask if the central island can be extended about 1.5 m northward to inhibit this dangerous manoeuvre.

Cllr Rogers reported dangerous flooding on the southbound A1307 at the dip between the High Street junction and Fourwentways roundabout. Cllr Rogers said it was particularly bad in the car lane and caused drivers to slow dramatically or to use the bus lane. Drainage is inadequate: Clerk to contact GCP.

Cllr Rogers noted the dual carriageway signs had not been removed and the bin-liner coverings were no longer hiding the sign: Clerk to contact GCP.

2011/15           Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP): Transport and Parking Proposals

Cllr Attwood attended the recent consultation: it is essential that the Parish and Cllrs make comment. Would hope the route would follow or lie alongside the former railway route. Noted that the new, unapproved route passes over a water meadow, which forms part of the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). This will affect the route of the busway.

Cllr Laurie met with a Cheveley Park Farms representative who explained that the Farm has never favoured the new, unapproved route over the approved brown route. Without a strong view, the Farm favoured the green route.

Cllr McDonald asked about the water meadow: Cllr Attwood explained that, historically, it extended to Abington and was thought to extend on both sides of the river. Cllr Attwood asked a member of the public to comment: the member reported it appears to be one of the earliest water meadows, but the Parish simply doesn’t know enough about this most likely valuable environment.

It is not known if it might be internationally important (Ramsar site, Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation) of national importance (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) or valued locally for its landscape, history, geology or ecology (Local Site).

The member of the public working on the NP reported a lot of confusion among parishioners and asked if there were a forum for this to be discussed and where that might be. The member also asked if there is a need for a working group.

Cllrs discussed routing to limit damage to environment. Cllr Attwood argued the need for expert analysis of the environment and heritage; from local experience, this might cost around £3000.

Cllrs discussed this action. Cllr Rogers mentioned efforts by Shelford and Stapleford to raise money: perhaps Babraham might join this effort. Cllr Attwood had contacted Stapleford, who favour the old railway line route.

Cllrs discussed obtaining an environmental report on the water meadow. A Parishioner is exploring commissioning a heritage and environment report on the impact on the houses at the west of the village area and the tree avenue west of Babraham Hall. Cllr Attwood suggested an expert assessment of the village environment would be extremely valuable for the NP.

Cllr Attwood suggested Council should examine costs for an ecological survey of the meadows near Mill Hole and the associated areas, with a cost of up to £3000. After discussion, Cllr Laurie proposed Council approves the expenditure, Cllr Rogers seconded; carried unanimously.

Cllrs noted that the deadline for consultation is 8 December and that Council should advertise through the website and other communication channels.

2011/16                Traffic calming

Council had received no information on the Local Highways Initiative application.

2011/17                Independent transport report

Cllr Attwood reported on recent action by Shelford and Stapleford, where the impetus is for a light rail solution. Cllrs Laurie and Attwood will meet with Abington, Shelford and Stapleford Parish Council representatives to explore coordinated work.

2011/18           Traffic and transport

No other communication had been received.

2011/19           Street Lighting

Cllr Laurie will speak to a Parishioner about clearing Parish Street lights.

2011/20           Budget

Clerk reported that an updated draft budget would be circulated before the January meeting: as under item 2011/21, the assessment of Band D equivalent dwellings had changed on 6 November 2020.

2011/21           Precept

Cllrs noted the communication from SCDC informing Council that the tax base of the number of Band D equivalent dwellings had increased to 167.3 from a calculated (November 2019) tax base of 126 and actual base (September 2020) of 135.3. Cllrs noted the current Band D Council tax of £96.50 (yield £12,255.00) and noted that rate would yield £16,144.45 at increased tax base. Cllrs agreed to review at January meeting.

2011/22           Policies

Clerk requested deferral to January meeting; approved.

2011/23           Defibrillator

Cllrs noted Cllr rogers to meet Parishioner to discuss records and to contact Sawston PC.

2011/24           Neighbourhood Plan (NP)

Cllrs Attwood noted strong progress on the NP and the additional measures and discussions from the current meeting.

2011/25           Communications

Cllrs noted the need to improve communications and asked for a note from the Clerk on options to discuss at the January meeting.


2011/26           Receipts

No receipts were received in the period.

2011/27           Payments

Don Powell    Salary Sept, incl. backpay                                   £267.28

Don Powell    Western Digital 1TB backup drive, Amazon         £49.99

Don Powell    Remembrance wreath, British Legion                   £21.98

Don Powell    2 x 500 sht paper, Sainsbury’s                               £7.00

Don Powell    Travel October                                                       £7.47

Don Powell   Costs                                                               £353.72        £353.72

HMRC              Tax                                                                                         £66.80

Information Commissioner’s Office, GDPR registration (DD)                          £35.00

Poppies for street display               British Legion                                           £50.00

Bin emptying                                       Brookfield                                           £135.00

Ionos: 3 DD (3 Sep)                            Mail and web services                           £30.00

Haven Power: 3 DD (15 Sep)         All periods                                                  £40.73

Total                                                                                                               £711.25

Payments were considered and approved.

2011/28                Purchases

None was requested.

2011/29           Balances and Bank Reconciliation at 30 October 22020

Balances held

Unity Current A/C balance                    £ 16530.73

Unity Savings A/C balance                    £ 61242.84

                           Total                          £ 77773.57

2011/30           Unity Bank

There was no progress on Bank signatories.

2011/31           Bookkeeping software

Clerk had obtained quotes for bookkeeping software: Clerk to work with Chair to explore discounts and to prepare report for review by Cllrs.

2011/32           VAT reclaim

Clerk noted preparation of VAT return limited to 20 items pcm using paper Form 126.


2011/33           Planning Applications

Cllrs noted:

For information only, no action required: soft landscaping and boundary works conditions on H/1:b. S/3729/18/COND4, S/3729/18/COND7.

For information only, consultation closed: seeking approval of reserved matters for site adjacent to 6 Blacksmiths Close. 20/01475/REM.

Cllrs noted Applications going to planning committee on 11/11/2020 listed in email from Greater Cambridge Planning, 02 November 2020 09:57.

2011/34           Planning decisions

20/01932/HFUL: Yorke House High Street Babraham CB22 3AG; Two storey side extension and other works; Nick Silk. Approved.

Application withdrawn; erection of fence, Church Farm House Sawston Road. 20/03423/HFUL.

2011/35                Planning Department performance

Cllrs to consider in January.

2011/36           Correspondence

Cllrs noted:

  • Correspondence from Mr Chapman (BRC: email, 20 October)
  • Chief Constable briefing (email, 21 October)
  • COVID updates from Cllr Cuffley (emails)
  • Rough sleeping survey 2020 (email, 4 November)

2011/38           [Note misnumbering of Agenda] Items to report and inclusion in the next meeting

                        Date of next meeting: Thursday 14 January 2021 at 7:30pm

2011/39           Part II: Confidential Information

Exclusion of the Press and the Public:  To resolve that in accordance with Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 and by reason of the confidential nature of the remainder of the business, the Press and the Public be excluded from the meeting.

Signature: Don Powell 1 December 2020

Don Powell, 68 Woodland Road, Sawston, CB22 3DU

Comments are closed.