19th APRA Committee Meeting, 14 September 2017

Abbey Precincts Residents Association
Minutes of 19th APRA Committee Meeting, 14 September 2017, 8.00pm, 13 College Street

1. Present: Peter Trevelyan (Chair), Robert Pankhurst, Norman James, Andrew Yaras, Sally Hickman, Justin Douglas. Apologies: Geoff Dyson, John Hedges.

2. Minutes of the last committee meeting and the AGM were approved.

3. There was no news of the final review of the unified Zone B car parking system. Apart from the problem for Abbey Mill Lane and Orchard Street residents (see previous Minutes), no complaints had been referred to us and easier parking during the day was a benefit. Congestion caused by parents’ cars delivering and collecting pupils was a continuing problem in Romeland.

4. The late June APRA drinks evening at Parkside House was rated another major success (it also came within budget). Bishop Banks was again thanked for his generosity but rather than impose on him too often we should also consider alternatives venues [All]. Our next social event could be a home piano recital by Julian Trevelyan in mid October – numbers would necessarily have to be limited; Peter would confirm details for Robert to advertise.

5. (i) The APRA Planning Policy had been posted on our website via a link from ‘What We’re Doing’ on the main menu. Catherine Soave was thanked for her help.
(ii) There had been no recent change in the status of planning applications on which APRA had commented: St Albans School Maths block had been approved and was, ostensibly, still awaiting endorsement by the Secretary of State; 1 Mount Pleasant & College Place garage site were both awaiting HM Inspector’s decision; SADC Enforcement was ‘in negotiation’ with the developer of 10 Pondwicks Close over the unauthorised roof; and the Heritage Close re-development was still at the pre-application stage.
(iii) Serious concern was expressed over the ineffectiveness of enforcement in the Conservation Area, and we should be prepared to take this further [RP/PT].
(iv) A Herts Advertiser report on planned development at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks was noted. Justin and Robert had met with the landlord and an immediate neighbour over concerns of loud music in the garden, and with evident goodwill on both sides it was hoped that this would not be a future problem.

6. Reminders of overdue subscriptions had had some effect and paid-up membership had now reached 99. Andrew reported a bank balance of £1223.

7. Necessary and appropriate changes to the Constitution were discussed using a working draft produced by Peter following our June meeting. This was further simplified, removing some redundant, conflicting, repetitive and overly prescriptive clauses. The inclusion of electronic voting was deleted but could be invoked wherever considered necessary. Robert would produce a clean version for final approval by Committee prior to sending it out with the Notice of the AGM where it would be put to the vote [RP].

8. AGM would again be hosted by Spicer Street Church, on Tuesday 9 November (7.30 tea and biscuits for 8 pm as before). The first Notice would include an invitation to request items for discussion. We should open the meeting with a talk of general interest, and Peter suggested approaching the Project manager for the new town Museum [PT].

9. The possibility of a 2017 Newsletter had passed, but we should plan to produce one in the Spring of 2018.

10 AOB. Peter mentioned the arrival of Travellers caravans in Verulamium Park near Westminster Lodge. It was hoped that SADC would take firm action to remove the camp.

The meeting closed at 10.40 pm