Public Participation

There were no questions from the public.


PRESENT: Cllrs. Fletcher (Chair), Bunyan, Gilbert, Newman, Page, Pethurst, Mills, Somers, Stone and Swenson


Borough Cllr. Warne


155/23: APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Fairweather, Groome, Hatcher, Selby and Tomlinson

and Borough Cllr.  Dawlings


156/23: Declaration of Interests, Dispensations and Predetermination:

The Chairman read out the following statement:

Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations or predetermination on items on this agenda in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct. Members are reminded that changes to the Register of Interests should be notified to the Clerk. The meeting is routinely recorded as a clerk’s aid.


None received.


157/23: To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Full Council held 14th March 2024

The Chairman referred to the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 14th March 2024 that had been circulated before the meeting by the Clerk.  They were agreed for accuracy and proposed for acceptance by Cllr. Fletcher, seconded by Cllr. Pethurst and agreed.


158/23: To consider the offer from Kitemill of donation of strip of land in Sissinghurst – Title no. K926120

Following requests at the March meeting for additional information, the Clerk advised that confirmation had been received that the footpath running through the land was the responsibility of KCC.


Following receipt of the title document related to K926120 and the other titles mentioned there in, no covenants were identified.


Costs related to a one off tidy up and ongoing maintenance had not been received in time.


The Clerk will contact Kitemill and TWBC to enquire if there are any further documents relating to the land that aren’t available in the public domain.


Following discussion, the Members agreed that it was in the best interests of the village for the Parish Council to take on the land, on the condition that Kitemill pay for an initial tidy up. This was proposed by Cllr. Fletcher, seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.


159/23: To appoint a delegate to King Georges Field Charity

Cllr. Page offered to take on the role. The Clerk will inform the Trust’s Secretary.



160/23: Education/ New School in Cranbrook Update:

The Chairman read out a report from Cllr. Selby which summarized the progress of the education steering group.

The campaign went live almost two weeks ago and as of lunch time today, there are 624 signatures.

A large range of print media was contacted on 4th April – this has gained reaction & input from: Family Grapevine, Wealden Ad and Kent Messenger. Cllrs. Fletcher and Mills were interviewed by Kent Messenger FM. The interview is broadcast on their podcast. This has alerted Greatest Hits Kent who wish to do a follow up interview to broadcast

Both KM print and KMFM have contacted KCC (and LAT, in the case of the former) – they have yet to receive a response.

The steering groups next meeting is on Monday 15 April. A meeting with KCC is arranged for 23rd April.

161/23: Community Centre/Medical Centre Update:

Cllr. Fletcher confirmed that the two GP partners from the Old School Surgery will be attending the Annual Parish Meeting to share their future plans, now that The Crane Surgery has closed. Once they have overcome the challenges they are facing in expanding the premises, their plans include employing additional clinicians, training GPs and implementing an improved communications system.


The Old School Surgery partners are still very interested in occupying a purpose-built medical centre. The costs to progress to RIBA stage 4 are currently calculated at £530,000. The earmarked funds for a community/medical centre as of the 31st March were £460,000. It is expected that KCC will confirm in the next two weeks their preferred strategy for Childrens Centre provision in Cranbrook.


162/23: Chairmans Report:

The two large pot holes in the old dental surgery parking area have been filled. This increases the evidence that the Parish Council is investing in the up keep of the unregistered land that we are in the process of registering.


163/23: Approval of Committee Reports as detailed below: 

a) Policy & Resources:

Cllr. Pethurst referred to the minutes of the most recent meeting of which significant focus had been year-end financials. The RFO has provided a file containing all the necessary documents for the external audit, which it was recommended Members examine. He highlighted the total earmarked funds of £911,000 of which the bulk is attributed to the community centre and car park maintenance (Regal and Tanyard are leased from TWBC with a full repair lease). The NDP and Amenity Vehicle funds which are no longer required will be reassigned in due course.

Cllr. Pethurst recommended the minutes for adoption, this was seconded by Cllr. Somers and agreed.


b) Planning & Preservation:

Cllr. Bunyan referred to the minutes of the meetings held on the 19th March 2024 and the 9th April 2024 which were all straight forward applications.


She reported on an Item for Information from the April meeting regarding ongoing concerns with a planning application for a new property at 32 Joyce Close. The land currently contains a pond and there are legitimate flooding fears from neighbouring properties. She has re-sent the planning committees previous submitted comments to TWBC planning department. The Chairman thanked Cllr. Bunyan for the research she had carried out on the planning application.


Notice has been received that the application to convert the White Horse pub and landlord flat to residential has been refused by the TWBC.


c) Properties and Burials:

Cllr. Gilbert advised that the next meeting will take place on April 16th.


d) Community Development:

Cllr. Fletcher proposed the adoption of the minutes from meeting held on the 26th March. This was seconded by Cllr Gilbert and agreed.


e) Environmental Management:

Cllr. Pethurst highlighted a couple of matters from the minutes of the meeting held on the 19th March:

  • the Coronation benches for Sissinghurst and the Ball Field. They have been delivered but due to the wet conditions they have not yet been installed.
  • the new slide for the Ball Field is due to be installed at the end of the month
  • responses from three play equipment companies in response to our request for a redesign of the Ball Field play area. The Clerk and Cllr. Mills will meet to decide the next steps.
  • an allotment tenant who is disabled has offered to pay to increase accessibility at the entrance of the allotments. It was felt that the developers of Wilkes Field are in a position where they could provide ground works assistance. The Clerk reported that she has made contact with Roddy New Homes whose initial response was positive. This will be followed up when the Project Manager is back on-site next week.
  • Relining of Jockey Lane car park has been completed


Cllr. Pethurst proposed adoption of the minutes. This was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed


164/23: Delegate Reports:

a) Hop Pickers Line Heritage Group:

Cllr. Fletcher read out the following statement from Graham Holmes:

The Annual General Meeting of the Group was held at the Paddock Wood Community Centre on the 27th March. All officers were re-elected en bloc to serve for a further year.

Following the meeting, the Group delivered a presentation to some 40 attendees which explained the Group’s activities in more detail. A number of stands were also provided showing the history of the line and work that the Group have undertaken to date.

The next regular meeting will be held in Goudhurst on the 16th April.


b) Tourism Group:

Cllr. Fletcher read out the following statement from Graham Holmes:

A meeting of the Group was held on the 26th March.

It was reported that KCC had extended the consultation period concerning the future of the Union Windmill due to the public response and the need to evaluate the information received.

The current situation regarding The White Horse was also discussed, in particular the latest Planning Application. The Group were very concerned about the loss of a local amenity and its impact on tourism in the Town. It supports the encouragement of comments from Parishioners.

The Group continue to support the re launch of the “Visit Cranbrook” website and regard it as an important tool in promoting the Town as an excellent base for further exploration of the surrounding area.

The next meeting is scheduled for the 18th June.



Cllr. Bunyan advised that a meeting had taken place on March 27th. The committee is looking for a new Chair and there are also several vacancies which they are working on filling. In response to a question, Cllr. Bunyan advised that CCAAC is a TWBC committee that comments on planning applications that fall within the committee’s terms of reference.

d) Cranbrook Museum:

Cllr. Pethurst reported that the museum reopened on April 1st with a good number of visitors during the first week.

165/23: Clerks Report:

The Maidstone Borough Council Local Plan has been adopted and is available to view on their website.


152/23: Correspondence:

A ‘thank you’ letter has been received from the Charity ‘Beams’ who successfully applied to CSPC for a grant.


A notification has been received from Kent Film Office regarding a permit that has been approved for RHS Chelsea Flower Show to carry out filming at Grow for Good in Stone Street on the 16th of April.

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