13th Committee Meeting, 20 May 2016

Abbey Precincts Residents Association
Minutes of thirteenth APRA Committee Meeting, 20 May 2016, 8.30 pm, 13 College St.

1. Present: Peter Trevelyan (Chair), Geoff Dyson, Robert Pankhurst, John Hedges, Norman James. Apologies: Gillian Field, Justin Douglas.

2. Matters arising. Larks in the Parks was set for 26 June; Norman would not be able to go. The shrubs around Tankerfield Gardens had been reduced in height and with the Public Space Protection Order now in place there had been no obvious problems over the winter, apart from a minor incident under the Abbey Gate dealt with by the police.

3. School buses/Car Parking scheme. A slightly amended version of the SADC scheme for zones B, E and Q was open to comment by Councillors only until 27 May (news received today after many unanswered requests for an update). A merged zone operative 8 am to 10 pm seven days a week would go ahead. The main amendment was to leave the double yellow line opposite Welclose St, which would inevitably continue be used as a bus stop. Overnight pavement parking in College St would be lost. We should ask for an urgent meeting with Ward Councillors to express our concerns. [RP]

4. The Brickyard garden had not been used over the winter, and has been closed by 10 pm since opening at the beginning of May, although the signs had not been changed to reflect the new licence condition, which seemed to indicate that this would be contended. We should advise SADC Licensing. [RP]

5. Tracy Harvey (Head of SADC Planning) had spoken to the Civic Society last night (19th) and pointed out the enormous number of planning applications that had to be processed (the highest for any non-metropolitan authority). Council powers to stop infringements were so weak that retrospective negotiation and compromise was accepted as normal process, giving developers the upper hand. A number of cases had been raised by Edgar Hill and APRA, but action had been very limited so far. A new building in Abbey Mill End was not in accordance with the sketchy approved plans, and this should be added to our list of complaints.

6. An e-mail reminder to unpaid members had produced some improvement – paid-up members now numbered 85 for the current year.

7. Progress on the long-overdue Newsletter was slow and Robert needed help on what promised to be a four-sided issue. John agreed to contribute a summary of the School bus/parking issue. [JH]

8. We should aim to have a party for members in September. The feasibility of obtaining permission to use the Bishop of Richborough’s garden in Abbey Mill Lane should be investigated, as well as conditions for the use of the Brickie. It might be feasible to ask for the loan of necessary equipment from the Friends of Victoria Playing Field. The organisation would still need to be fronted by a committee member -perhaps Justin and Gillian would take this on [NJ, RP]

9. Peter, as chairman, had sent a welcoming note to Chris Davies as the new Ward Councillor.

10.Next meeting should be in early July to push forward with party organisation.

The meeting closed at 10.10 pm.