Minutes – October 2020


Minutes of an Ordinary meeting held on October 20th  2020 at 7.30pm in the Amport and Monxton Village Hall

Present; Ian Long – Chairman, Chris Harris – Vice Chairman, Tessa Hawkings-Byass, Allan Maddern, Jill McAvoy, Suzanne Hoare (Clerk), TVBC Councillor David Coole TVBC Councillor Maureen Flood and Caroline Unwin – Village correspondent

Apologies; Stephen Coke, Will Hawkings-Byass, Sue Richardson and HCC Councillor Zilliah Brookes.



  1. Welcome

IL welcomed everyone to the meeting

The details of all present were recorded for potential track and trace procedures

The arrangement of furniture was covid secure and hand sanitiser provided


  1. Declarations of interest none

The minutes of the September meeting were proposed by T H-B and seconded by JMc


  1. Matters Arising
  • The bulbs given by Rosebourne last May have all been planted
  • The drainage of the boggy area near the new bridge in the fen is on-going W H-B
  • The information signs on the fen need replacing as they have become rain damaged. CH
  • No response has been received from the Hawk regarding the offer to place a dog waste bin somewhere on their site.
  • The removal of the Ash trees on Monxton Green has been approved by TVBC with the recommendation that they are replaced – unfortunately, this is not enforceable
  • The verges have still not been cut back on the A303 slip road at Mullenspond on the Amport side. Clerk to monitor and report back to ZB


  1. The Current Coronavirus ((covid-19) outbreak

T H-B said the inquiry hotline was not currently being used


  1. Principle and Process

SC Nothing to report.


  1. Website

T H-B is awaiting help to further matters


  1. Communication

T H-B Currently on hold


  1. Tree Legacy- Avenue of Trees   AM

Simon Chessire is in the process of moving solicitors, this has resulted in a delay and it would seem that no further progress on this project is likely this year.

The PC sincerely hopes this project will restart next year culminating in planting during the Autumn of 2021.


  1. Speeding at East Cholderton

A report from ZB informed the PC that HCC not TVBC now undertake speeding control tests.

This means that APC would be charged approx. £ 200 for a speed testing session.

HCC have already stated that they think that the necessary street furniture only exists near the Trout Fishery where the national speed limit of 60mph currently applies.

Obviously, this would be of little use. The PC felt if anything the whole of Wiremead Lane should be a 30mph zone dropping to 20mph past the Hawk along to the School.

This matter will now be put on hold until the hotel development starts.


  1. Amport House Hotel

IL met with Ben Harper, MD of Another Place, for an update about future plans for Amport House.  The redevelopment will be called Another Place, The Gardens, whilst it is a challenging market at the moment, there is optimism that significant news and pictures will be revealed soon. There is certainly a desire to work with the community for a mutually beneficial relationship.


  1. Chairman’s Annual report

As it was not possible to have an Annual Parish Meeting this year, IL provided an annual update as follows.


So much has been written about the current situation, I am sure we don’t need another set of earnest platitudes, so I will keep this review of the last year or so of Amport Parish Council short and without controversy.

What with one thing and another, the PC responded quickly with Amport Parish Community Support. An impressive number of households volunteered to help reach-out to those in the community who might need support, a Code of Conduct was agreed and neighbour helped neighbour. We are in a holding phase at the moment, Tessa Hawkings-Byass has kindly held the phone for many months and we will continue to monitor and respond if support is required.

A considerable part of the work of the PC is maintenance.  Some of the work, the digging out and clearance of drainage ditches has been completed by the Lengthsman, additionally volunteers have continued the ‘unsung work ‘of planting bulbs around The Green, litter picking and similar.. The telephone box has been repainted and Dragons Teeth have been positioned to help guide traffic and prevent road edge erosion by The Green.

We continue to try and influence events outside the Parish, and we are aided in that by keen support from the County and Ward Cllrs, we are well-briefed about the wider community, for example by offering a voice to counter planning conditions of the PV Park to the west and oppose the application for the Wheelabrator Waste Management Plant at Harewood. Similarly, we have engaged with Southern Water to better understand the management of waste water and nudge behaviours in terms of the water tankers incessant visiting.

We have welcomed the news of the re-development of Amport House, which will become Another Place, The Gardens and we have started to explore ways to help support the business and deal with concerns about traffic management and noise interruption.  Likewise, we are pleased to support the redevelopment of Amport and Monxton Village Hall.

Considerable work has been completed to update the village website http://amportvillage.co.uk/ and we hope to support the creation of an avenue of trees to run alongside a footpath, once a legal position with the landowner can be finalised. 

Finally, may I ask that you consider taking an active part in our community, there are vacancies to join the council or you can volunteer to help on some of the projects, so what are these projects? Primarily we are seeking to improve road safety, what form this takes will be community driven and the work at Amport House may well prompt a significant review of speed limits and possible engineering projects, we are likewise looking to engage with the community and investigate options on The Fen and similarly with the area of the parish by Rosebourne.

 Thank you


  1. Reports

 The Green

  • The telegraph poles around the edge of the Green have moved and CH asked if W H-B could use his vehicle to replace them and insert pegs to stop further movement
  • CH is organising a walk around the Green and Fen with Tony Darbyshire to assess any tree work that might be needed this Autumn.
  • It would appear that the Land Registry title for the Fen is still held at the home address of a previous chairman of the Parish Council. After some discussion it was decided that Tessa Hawkins-Byass would apply to transfer the address of the Parish Council holding to her home address. CH offered to help with the paperwork if needed and a covering letter will be sent from the PC to the Land Registry.
  • Replacement trees for the 2 which died this summer have been ordered at cost
  • The funding for the lengthsman scheme has been approved and the clearance of the ditches around the Parish will be put on the list to be cleared this Autumn.
  1. The ditch along the Green    The ditch by Waterloo bridge
  2. The ditch by the pumping station at East Cholderton
  3. The ditch alongside the Bridleway behind Amport Mil


Highways –

IL has been approached by several residents concerned about walking the village roads to school each day.

IL would like to see a 30mph speed limit from East Cholderton right through to Amport

It might be possible to lower the speed limit to 20mph throughout Amport, especially near the school.

IL feels that the CIL money which will come from the Amport Hotel must be spent on local roads, this might well include speed bumps at certain points in the village.

A priority would be a pavement from the end of Sarson lane to the Green, this idea was taken to HCC nearly 20 years ago, perhaps now the finance might be available to complete this project.

Footpaths –

The land behind Sarson Mill next to the stream is not the property of HCC, hence it has now been cleared by the Owner of the Mill and the whole area tidied up.

Several Ash trees at the top of the Bridleway will be removed by the landowners due to the fact they are suffering from Ash dieback. This will happen the week beginning the 9/11 and will result in a temporary closure of the path.


  1. Planning

AMPORT PARISH COUNCIL  20/01106 VARN Solar farm  Objection: there is a lack of detail and reasoned argument on why this application should be approved. The prematurity of extending permission from 25 to 40 years would lessen control of this site and maybe forgo advances in technology or controlling poor behaviours and lack of maintenance for example.
The position of the PC has not changed since the previous objection in May


  1.    Finance

A budget for 20201/2022 will be prepared by AM and will be presented at the next meeting

Please consider and bring to the next meeting any projects which require funding.

A proposal to set the precept will be discussed at the November meeting

Account Service Chq No


Date Payee Amount £
Green Grass cutting


1553 20/10/20 Mr Welch 366.00
Footpaths Cutting footpaths 1554 20/10/20 Clive


Administration Clerks salary 1555 20/10/20 S A Hoare 364.85


  1. Chairman’s report and AOB 
  1. The top of a fir tree is being donated to the Parish

It is proposed that this will act as a Christmas tree and approval was given for a set of light to be purchased to decorate the tree. It was felt that the Green by the phone box would be the best place

  1. MF discussed the forthcoming White Paper on planning and urged the PC to respond on issues which affected the parish.
  2. Planning permission has been granted for the new village hall in Monxton, CH has been working with Monxton on this project and the application for CIL funding needs to be completed by the end of December. Monxton has asked Amport to share its CIL and Section 106 monies with them to enable this project to procced. Amport is awaiting the full breakdown of CIL monies from TVBC.
  3. MF – TVBC is starting its leaf clearance week on October 26th – please report any problem areas.
  4. AM stated that he was disappointed in the lack of any response on the improvements to the Fen.

It had been hoped that local residents or users of the Fen and Green might come forward with suggestions and plans on how to make the best use of the Fen in the coming years.

CH felt it shouldn’t just be the PC ‘s wishes but a broader based project.

The PC is to try and publicise this project.