1 – Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr L Canham, Cllr M Mitchell, Cllr K Lynch, Cllr C Pearce and Cllr J McQueen.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, s 85.

 

2 – Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

There were no disclosures of pecuniary interests.

Relevant Legislation: Localism Act 2011, s 31.

 

3 – Public Participation

Members of the public that were present all wished to speak in relation to item 7.1. The Vice Chairperson suggested that the public participation be delayed until that item was discussed.

Members resolved to include the public participation in item 7.1.
Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act, s 100.

 

4 – Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of the council held on Wednesday 25th January 2023 were approved.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, Sch 12, para 41 (1).

5 – Review of Internal Controls

The system of internal controls was inspected by the Responsible Finance Officer during February and March members were presented with the internal controls document for council review.

Members were requested to review the scope of internal controls contained on the Risk Register and resolve approval of the system. It was confirmed by the RFO that this was a live document that the Council reviews each year.

Members resolved to note the annual review of internal controls and approve the document as presented.

 

6 – Finance

 

6.1 – Community Grant Applications

To consider and resolve applications to the council’s Community Grant Scheme:

  1. Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Charity – request for £300

Members discussed the application and that the Air Ambulance has needed to use the recreation ground to land. Members commended the important work done by the charity.

Members resolved to award a £300 grant to Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Charity.

 

  1. We are Beams – request for £500

Members discussed the application and commended Beams on the fantastic work they do. It was felt that many Parish residents relied on the work done by the charity.

Members resolved to award a £500 grant to We are Beams.

 

6.2 – Supplier Payments

Members were presented with a list of supplier payments.

Members resolved to approve the schedule of supplier payments.

 

7 – Planning

Relevant legislation: Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

7.1 – Medical Centre Car Park Steel Avenue

To resolve council representation to planning application 23/00145/FUL | Development of a medical centre with undercroft car parking, landscaping, and other associated works | Car Park Steele Avenue Greenhithe Kent.

 

The Vice-chair opened the discussion regarding the proposed application for a medical centre at Steele Avenue. Several members of the public were present and wished to speak on the matter.

 

The Chairman of the Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan, Paul Winchester explained that several policies within the Neighbourhood Plan were compromised by this application. The Neighbourhood Plan took seven years to develop and contains the wishes of residents regarding how they want development to come forward. The plan has succeeded at referendum with 90% of electors in support of the plan, which now forms a significant part of the local development policy framework so this must be a primary consideration.

 

Mr Winchester spoke about the repeated consultations with residents and that Horns Cross had been identified as a potential community hub, built around a much-needed health centre. The proposed application is on a site that was designated by the Neighbourhood Plan as a green buffer and the application will mean an increase in traffic and parking issues, which in turn would have a negative effect on air pollution.

 

The Chairman of the Patient & Participation Group, Kelvin Reynolds spoke to members regarding the proposed medical centre. If the centre is opened, it would be able to facilitate 1400 appointments per week. The health centre would be replacing 3 current GP practices that are located on dilapidated premises which cannot be improved. Mr Reynolds told members that the train connection and location of the fasttrack bus route makes the proposed location one that should encourage people to use public transport rather than drive. He informed members that population growth was burgeoning and healthcare is not increasing with it so this centre is sorely needed.

 

Robin Jones of Land Logical informed members that live planning consent already exists for the site on Horns Cross built by Land Logical that was planned around a Health Centre. Mr Jones told members that the proposed application was deeply flawed and does not meet Dartford’s own parking standards by 40%. He also spoke to the lack of consultation with local residents and stakeholders being unacceptable. Mr Jones spoke about the Neighbourhood Plan which was now a planning document that supercedes Dartford’s own plan for matters in Stone and urged members to stand by their own Neighbourhood Plan policies.

 

The Vice Chairperson thanked the members of the public for their input.

Members all agreed that there was a desperate need for a medical centre in the area, but noted that the proposed application would need to be changed to conform with the policies laid out in the Neighbourhood Plan. It was agreed that further discussion would be vital going forward with all parties to ensure that a medical centre could be provided in an acceptable way.

 

Members were keen that though objections would be raised, that it be noted that the Council is in support of a medical centre being built, but one that would align with the council’s strategic objectives and the Neighobourhood Plan policies.

Members resolved to object to planning application 23/00145/FUL and requested that the Clerk formulate the response.

 

7.2 – Stone Lodge Development Complex

To resolve council representation to planning application 23/00006/VCON | Amendment to Condition 2 (approved drawings) of the Outline Planning Permission DA/18/01074/OUT as amended by DA/20/00746/VCON for the erection of an 8-form entry secondary school, up to 140 residential dwellings in total across 2 sites and provision of 19 ha of public open space. Amendment of Condition 2 (approved drawings) to provide a revised Parameters Plan which changes the boundaries to the two areas shown as ‘New Residential Development’ | Stone Lodge Development Complex Cotton Lane Stone Kent

Members felt that these were minor enough amendments that no response was warranted at this time.

Members resolved to respond to the planning application with no objections.

 

8 – Clerk’s Report

The Clerk provided members with a verbal update and invited PCSO Stephen Keers to speak first.

 

PCSO Keers spoke to members about the work done by PCSO’s in the area including problems with horses and motorbikes. He also confirmed that there would be an increase in police presence by the local parks over the Easter break.

 

PCSO Keers informed members that on 6th June, he will be redeployed after 13 years service in Stone as the number of PCSO’s was being reduced. Members thanked PCSO Keers for his service and regular updates, commending him on his reliability and approachability over the years.

 

The Clerk then informed members that an update on the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan would be provided at the next Strategy & Finance Committee meeting.

 

Members were informed that the recent funding that the Council had been awarded for tree planting meant that the Grounds Maintenance team would be planting 52 trees on the Cotton Lane site before the end of next week.

 

The Clerk informed members that the Notice of Election had now been posted and, as this was the final full council meeting of this civic term, thanked members for their service over the past four years

 

The Vice Chairperson thanked the Councillors and Council staff for their hard work over the last 4 years and there being no further business, closed the meeting at 20:47.