Friday, 15 May 2015

Council Meeting - Sports Facilities, Allotments and Persimmon Homes

Negotiations between HADSCAL and the Council are not going well. Apparently, Leon Morrelli sent an email outlining the terms that he was looking for, and members of the council didn't like it at all. They said that it was the sort of thing that would be appropriate in a business situation, but this wasn't a business situation - it's the different sports clubs, which are all run by volunteers, and the Council. And the email said that the position was non-negotiable, which seems to bring an end to any further discussions.
So it seems that it's up to the sports clubs to set up their own organisation. There was some thought of approaching the Cheesemarket cic to see if the sports clubs could come under their umbrella, as they are already set up as a legal organisation.
Someone pointed out that the clubs involved cover tennis, cricket, bowls and football, all major sports, and if they set up their own organisation to promote sport in Hay, what then would be the purpose of HADSCAL?
HADSCAL, of course, own some of the football pitches, which could cause difficulties.
So the next step is to get all the clubs working together.
Last weekend, there were 600 children playing football, as well as ladies' football, bowls, tennis, and cricket matches going on, so the facilities are really very well used. The cricket club also recently had a race night at the Con Club, which raised about £600.

On the edge of the play area, there's a narrow strip of ground between the play area fence and the hedge of one of the houses, and the owner of the house wants to buy the strip of land. The councillors couldn't see that there was any use they could make of the ground, so they were quite happy to agree to that.

The allotments at the back of the Council Chambers are being transferred to Town Council control along with the building, so they are now looking at what rent is presently being paid for the allotments (which look very well-kept) and where the water supply is and so forth. Someone has also asked if the Town Council will be taking control of the large area of allotments at Gypsy Castle - they're not at the moment, but it's something they might consider in future.

There will be a meeting about the new school on 20th May, and the Town Council are also considering options for the Library - they decided that they can't do that until they've heard the latest plans for the school (which seem to be different now from the plans that went out for consultation).

Persimmon Homes want to put a drainage ditch in, having taken on board local opposition based around the flooding of the field, and they want to run it through Council land - the old railway line, which they say they would restore to its former state when the work is done, and they would also pay a fee to the Council for crossing the land. They also want to build a pond as part of the housing development, thus creating a water feature and a holding area for the excess water.
Fiona Howard was unhappy about this, in an area where families with young children would be living. The councillors also wanted to make sure that Persimmon would be liable for the maintenance of the pipework and ditches. Agreeing to the drainage pipe would, in effect, be giving agreement to the building of the 80 houses, as the building work couldn't go ahead until the drainage problem was solved. The councillors were also concerned about the affordable housing portion of the plans - they want to make sure that happens if permission for the development is given. Gareth said he was only supporting the development if the affordable housing portion of it was guaranteed.
After a round of voting, (5 - 3 in favour), it was decided that the Council will, in principle, support Persimmon's proposal, and allow the drainage work.

It was now about ten thirty, and everyone was flagging, with several things that still needed to be discussed, so they decided to press on to the end, though Gareth had to nip up to Spar for bread before they closed.
These included a visit by a party from Gung Po City in South Korea on 22nd May, which would be a collaborative effort between the Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce (though Andrew Williams, the new chair of the Chamber of Commerce, said he could only manage to see them for an hour) and Hay Festival, and would include a small reception. Apparently, they want to set up a book town of their own, so they may get sent to see Richard Booth, too.
The Prime Minister of Turkey has written to the Council on behalf of a town which wants to be twinned with Hay - but the councillors were all aware of just how much work is needed for a successful twinning, and no-one was prepared to take that on.
There's going to be a radio programme being made during the Festival, which John Evans of the Chamber of Commerce will be organising, and Nippon TV also want to come and film, which they were quite happy with.
And then we all staggered out into the night....


Organic Bull said...

Re: Persimmon and a drainage pipe.

Shouldn't part of the deal include a pipe from the Festival site. Apparantly the current pipe is too small to take all the water so the result is flooding at the Festival Site and also by Gipsy Castle Farm.

An enlarged pipe might solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

Are Persimmon going to put in their own sewage treatment plant, or are they going to tap into the existing main sewer that runs through Gipsy Castle and down past the Church? This is already running at full capacity with Wyeside Gardens,Warren Cloase and Hay Meadows,with Hay Meadows having to be initially pumped into the run.

Anonymous said...

Do the Town Council in effect own a "ransom" strip of land preventing the Persimmon development from happening if they don't let them put in the drainage ditch.....this being the same development that the Town Council were not happy about because they knew nothing of until it was given planning permission by the county council?

Anonymous said...

The Town Council do not own any "ransom" strip as you call it, Persimmon were put a drainage pipe through the old railway line, which the council own. No big deal!!