In advance of formal meeting minutes, these are some brief informal notes taken during the meeting;
At the start of the meeting, Council received a presentation from two members of the Cotswold Canals Connected partnership on the Missing Mile planning application. This application will cover the length of the Stroudwater Navigation, between the A38 roundabout, eastwards to the M5 then onwards to Pike Lock at Eastington. The works proposed will include digging the channel, building a lock adjacent to the A38 roundabout, with a “parking marina” for narrowboats and a car park and perhaps a café alongside the A419 just off the roundabout. The M5 canal crossing will use the same underpass as the River Frome, but at a lower level, with another lock to be built in that area, then onwards across towards Eastington via Westfield Bridge. Also included for our Parish are further planning applications to replace Stonepitts Bridge and Whitminster Bridge with Bascule-type bridges, similar to Lodgemoor Lane Bridge in Stroud, and to replace Walk Bridge on Whitminster Lane with a “hump-back” bridge, to allow boats to travel underneath. When Walk Bridge is replaced, although pedestrian and bicycle access will be maintained over the canal, vehicular access will be closed, meaning that the road to Frampton, Saul and other areas in that direction will be closed for what could be about 16 weeks. It is proposed that areas of wetlands and support to wildlife, flora and fauna will be created on the line of the canal, with the majority of the canal banks and edges being “soft”, i.e., not piled with wooden or steel piles, but grown with rushes, and bushes and the like. Council will endeavour to keep everyone informed of the application’s progress in the coming weeks.
Council received a visit from PCSO Mike Trebble, who gave some statistics on crime in the village. They showed that reported crime in Whitminster remains low, and that this area is still a safe place to live, although it does mean that everyone needs to remain vigilant to keep it that way.
Support was given to the revised Listed Building Application for Parklands Farmhouse, and the clerk will be writing again to Planning Enforcement at Stroud District Council with reference to apparent breaches of Planning Consent within the parish
A report on the meeting with the Area Highways Manager (AHM) on perceived Highways issues on School Lane showed that statistics of recorded Road Traffic Collisions, injury or otherwise, with speed surveys results and any others would have to meet the necessary Highways criteria to enable further action to be considered. Previous speed surveys carried out on School Lane have shown that the average percentile speed on School Lane is within acceptable limits. The AHM advised that it is possible the County Council could adopt a blanket 20mph limit on urban roads, such as School Lane, next year, and suggested that a wait and see position be adopted until more information is known. Other items included the condition of the surface of Hyde Lane, with repairs needed in several places, the pavement northwards from the Crossroads, and the broken drain cover on Packthorne corner. The AHM said he would keep these issues in mind for further budget requests. (NB, Council supported a request previously from an organisation in the County for the proposed 20mph limit)
A meeting with a possible Skate Ramp builder is likely to be arranged shortly, to further discuss positioning and costs. A request for financial help from the Village Hall and Playing Field Management Committee, to remove and pollard some of the diseased and dying trees on the playing field was approved, so that all users of this Community Asset are kept safe.
These are only summary notes of the meeting, full minutes will be available when they are approved at the next meeting.