Minutes of the LVRA monthly meeting Monday 10th July 2017

David Rhodes

Minutes of the LVRA Meeting: 20.00 hrs. on Monday 10 July 2017 at the Top Club

Present: Karen Hawden (Chair), David Hempsall (Secretary), Bob Nicholas (Footpaths Officer); Barbara Ashworth, Julian Ashworth, Cllr Alyson Barnes, Mark Booth, David Cairns, Ian Cardy, Ann Corkin, David Corkin, Michael Dop, Cllr Dorothy Farrington, Steve Forsythe, Cllr David Foxcroft, Steve Glenholmes, Michael Howard, P Holt, Rosalyn Lord, John Mansergh, Sheila Newton, Sue Ogden, Lewis Pearson, David Pilling, Jean Pilling, Neil Prestwich, Margaret Rae, Paul Spurr, Barbara Walton, Eric Walton, Bett Watson, Ann White.

Apologies: Darryl Nugent (Treasurer), David Rhodes (Liaison and Social Media Officer); Ian Booth, Roger Fulton, Barbara Gerken, Marie Hargreaves, Richard Green, Ken Iveson, Frank Pilkington, Jim Riley.

1.        Opening Remarks – Apologies – Thanks

1.1 Karen welcomed all those attending.

1.2 Apologies were taken.

2.        Minutes of Last Meeting, 12 June 2017

2.1 Lewis proposed and Eric seconded acceptance of the Minutes.

2.2 The Minutes were taken as a true record, nem. con..

3.        Matters Arising

37.10.1 The Glory, update: there was nothing further to report.

33.5 3 dwellings west of the Bowling Green Commercial Street [Planning Application No.2016/0636]:

there was nothing further to report.

3.10.1 Proposal for HGV business, update: there was nothing further to report.

7.4 Commercial Street bridge: Michael D advised that an independent report into the state of the bridge had been commissioned; whilst the written report had yet to be received, the consultant had advised that the bridge – contrary to some previous advice – could never support loads of 26 tonnes; whilst it could presently support 7.5 tonnes, reinforcement would be required to take a load of up to 15 tonnes; anything above that would require the installation of a wholly new bridge.

[5.3.2 Caravans on the public highway: David Corkin had undertaken research and tabled to the Secretary his findings: in principle, any caravan parked overnight on the public highway overnight must be lit with the nearside facing the pavement with rear lights facing oncoming traffic.]

4.        Reports:

4.1      Chair

4.1.1 Karen said that almost all communications received revolved around Colebrand, already on the Agenda as Item 5.

4.1.2 She said that an issue raised by Steve Forsythe should be taken under Any Other Business.

4.2      Secretary

4.2.1 David H reported on three items and commented on a fourth,

4.2.2 On the SHLAA, he said that some comments surrounding its publication amounted to “fake news”; the document sought only to identify potential sites for housing and did not represent a specific plan; he reminded the meeting of the previous SHLAA of 2010 and its relationship to RBC Strategic Plan adopted in 2013 which had subsequently been declared non-compliant with Westminster government’s Framework document; the new SHLAA was intended to feed into a new Strategic Plan and he urged residents to engage with RBC over the SHLAA document (referenced here as an attachment to the Minutes); he recommended to the meeting that an offer received from Anne Storah (one of RBC’s Principal Planning Officers) to present to a forthcoming meeting of the LVRA be taken up; this was AGREED; ACTION by David H who would contact Ann to arrange for her to attend.

4.2.3 On Colebrand, he commended the action of residents which had alerted the authorities to what was going on, the background research undertaken and the cooperation shown by Cllrs Barnes and Foxcroft in moving things along in countering the contractor’s despoliation of the land.

4.2.4 On the Limey Leader, he had sufficient material for the next issue but made a further request for help in securing advertising.

4.2.5 Finally, he set out rules of engagement for the contentious matters shown on the Agenda as items 5, 6 and 7.

4.3      Treasurer/Chairman LVAA

4.3.1 The meeting noted the reason for Darryl’s absence and unanimously AGREED to send Darryl and his wife its best wishes.

4.3.2 Darryl had advised that the finances remained in exactly the same state as reported to the previous meeting: i.e. £3337.29 plus £165.00 in cash plus advertising income of £40.00 to come.

4.3.3 There was nothing of great significance to report from the allotments.

4.4 Footpaths Officer

4.4.1 Bob’s report is shown in full as Annex 1.

4.4.2 In response to Sue who pointed out that FP 102 had now been obliterated, David F said that there was little merit in re-visiting the construction of the Colebrand building on the footpath and that, that being so, a deviation via Stoneholme Rod would address such safety issues as arose.

4.5      Social Media & Liaison Officer

4.5.1 David R was absent due to his commitments to theatre.

4.5.2 No report had been received.

4.6 LVEG

4.6.1 Steve G provided a summary of work done to date, including progress on specific aspects of the project.

4.6.2 He expected the contactors to complete the work on time.

4.6.3 The meeting congratulated those involved in bringing the project to a thoroughly satisfactory completion.

4.6.4 Steve invited those who wished to congregate at 10.00 hrs on Sunday, 16 July 2017 when a work party would set about further clearances of rhododendrons.

5. Colebrand: update

5.1 Karen and David H read aloud a report received from Roger, compiled on 3 July and 5 July 2017, summarising the state of affairs.

5.2 Karen invited comment.

5.3 There followed a wide-ranging discussion with major contributions from Alyson, David F, Margaret, Sheila and Rosalyn.

5.4 Issues touched upon included Rochdale’s experience of dealing with the owner and his company PGC, the Health and Safety of operatives, potential damage to the environment (including culverts and land drains), the proper disposal of asbestos, the disruption to footpaths and public rights of way, and the owner’s likely strategic objectives.

5.5 The meeting was unanimously opposed to the unilateral action taken by PGC with the potentially irreversible damage done.

5.6 Alyson advised that RBC’s application for a further injunction would be heard on the morrow; she would ensure that the outcome would be publicised via social media.[NOTE: RBC was successful in securing the injunction].

6. Folly Clough, update

6.1 David H said that some input had been expected from Folly Clough residents but none had been made.

6.2 Alyson said that the site had been subject to the attentions of Richard Elliott (RBC’s Enforcement Officer); the land had indeed been marketed by an estate agent without proper authority; the present owner had now been identified and was in contact with RBC, having cleared the site with a view to seeking planning permission; RBC’s response to any such application could not be foreseen with any certainty.

7. SHLAA, 2017, update

7.1 David H reiterated his urging residents to engage with the SHLAA document so as to assist RBC in re-formulating its strategy; LVRA’s role in any consultation should be as RBC’s “critical friend”.

7.2 Alyson said that whilst RBC would seek to fulfil its undertaking to allow no significant development to the west of the A682 Burnley Road, “managed development” was to be expected in the association’s area of operation.

7.3 In response to Bett’s enquiry about the closing date for any responses, Alyson said that a 9 week period from the publication date had been established; she would check to see that Anne Storah had in her diary attendance at a future meeting of the LVRA (cf. Item 4.2.2, supra).

8. Any Other Business

8.1 Steve Forsythe had submitted an application to build a small bungalow for his personal use; he sought LVRA’s support for the proposal.

8.2 It was AGREED that Steve would submit a copy of the plans to the association and officers were delegated by the meeting to take a view; ACTION by Steve and by officers.

9. Next Meetings and Close

9.1 Karen confirmed that the next meeting would take place at the Top Club at 20.00 hrs. on Monday, 14 August 2017.

9.2 Thereafter meetings – following the now usual pattern of utilising the 2nd Monday of each month – will be as follows: 11 September, 9 October, 13 November, 11 December.

9.3 The meeting closed at 21.00 hrs. precisely.

Annex 1 Footpaths Officer

My report to this month’s meeting concentrates solely on the footpaths that surround Goodshawfold Village, and I will start with what has been over the last month a fast-moving situation namely that of the Colebrand site. The owner of the site, Peter George Cordwell, has visited environmental havoc on the land. This has amounted to the wholesale cutting down of trees (some of which were protected) and the destruction of a wildlife habitat in the middle of the nesting/breeding season.

The site is also crossed by two Definitive Footpaths – paths No 104 and 102 respectively. Footpath No 104 runs virtually due west up what is known locally as Gin Clough. The site owner has placed a fence alongside the path but not obstructed it; this fence however seals off the western end of FP 102 which runs approximately north east/south west across the site. Sealing the path off actually is of no significance at the moment as the ongoing ground works have obliterated the footpath bed which is now just a large hole. However this is just one of the problems with this path. At the eastern end, the MARIO map (i.e. the official map which shows the definitive footpaths) shows the path to take a rather peculiar detour as it turns 62 degrees to the right and its course takes it through a workshop or garage of some description fording the River Limey to join FP 101 which runs along Stoneholme Road in front of the Kenross premises.

The line of the path is not a mistake with the definitive map. It is obvious that the building which the path runs through did not predate the definitive map of circa 1950, and this matter was confirmed by a search of the relevant maps for the area. The act of building on the definitive path is unlawful and on the whys and wherefores of this situation coming into being I will not speculate. This site with its attendant Definitive Paths (and multiple problems) is in the hands of both Lancashire and Rossendale councils and could be a protracted affair and the outcome for FP 102 being at this moment far too uncertain to comment on.

Also on this subject, on behalf of the residents at Stone Holme Terrace who were concerned about the increase in traffic from the above mentioned site using Stoneholme Road, I made enquiries about the status of Stoneholme Road to Lancashire County Council. David Goode informed me that he had visited the site and LCC are consulting on a Traffic Regulation Order to prohibit vehicles along the section from the Colebrand site to Stone Holme Terrace. LCC would then authorise gating the road to stop vehicles but access would be left for pedestrians, riders and cyclists.

During the last month I was mentioned in an email concerning grant funding for Goodshawfold and a favourite topic of mine: signposts! Goodshawfold village sits at the hub of nine Definitive Paths, three of which are unusable for a variety of reasons. Of the six remaining paths only one has a finger sign that being FP 88 which runs to New Barn. Next to this finger sign however another one points obliquely across the River Limey and the fields beyond vaguely in the direction of FP No 99. What the purpose of this sign is I have no idea (perhaps it was a two for one deal!) as the start of FP 99 is some 100 metres or so away. The remaining five paths require six sign posts and one waymarker post. However the fact is you cannot just plant a sign post anywhere: each post comes with its attendant paperwork and if digging is required, then utility checks must be authorised. I have already mentioned the situation to LCC and await a reply. I am quite willing to work with the residents over the placement of the signs when the time comes.

Bob Nicholas