Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Swanage Residents Assn 17May minutes

Swanage Residents' Association
Meeting held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 17th May in Catholic Hall, Rempstone Road

1. The SRA Chairman, John Leach, chaired the meeting. Committee members present were: Stewart Borrett, Robert Owen, Rowland Hughes, Councillor Colin Bright and Councillor Mike Hadley; Apologies: Councillor Cherry Bartlett, David Price-Hughes, and Mr. & Mrs.Postlethwaite

2. Pier Head development
Barry Chapman (Architect) and Nick Storer presented new design proposals
for the site. BC explained their awareness of the importance of the site for Swanage and their desire to develop a building that harmonised with existing buildings and the landscape while looking forward to the future in terms of design, function and materials. He explained how the Old Rookery would remain unchanged; how the roof line would be lower than that of the Rookery (and of the previous scheme); that the intention was to provide retail/accommodation units that could offer life/work balance and entertainment opportunities for the community in the form of restaurants and a gallery.
Questions raised (and answers provided) included:
Q - How can architect dictate use of building? A - Only by making top floors more attractive for living environments
Q - How can architect avoid glare from roof? A - Aware of issue, will consider materials carefully to provide matt effect.
Q - How can architect avoid light pollution, from a building with so much glass? A - Aware of the issue, roofs will overhang to prevent upward light loss; hope to exploit technology, such as photo-voltaic opaque glass to function as blinds
Q - How this scheme better than previous? A - better sight lines from and around all points; no turrets (disliked by some); slightly smaller footprint; slightly less accommodation; less overlooking
Q - What about Rowing Club? A- Tried to accommodate, but not able to. Believe they are still exploring possibilities across the road.

3. Annual Report
John Leach explained actions of last year were largely detailed in latest edition of the newsletter "The Independent". Two meetings held last year: one with PC Clapp about policing in Swanage; one attempting (unsuccessfully) to clarify the position of the Town Partnership. He also explained he had written a number of letters on behalf of the SRA: about wheelie bins; Seacourt development; the Grammar School; Dorset schools; Ambulances; Advertising 'A' boards; the Swanage Partnership

He noted the same problem of lack of volunteers to join the committee.

4. Treasurer's Report
JL noted that copies of last year's Accounts were available at the meeting, and summarised that there had been a net deficit over the year of £425 (Income: £1023, Expenditure (mainly newsletters; meeting advertising and halls): £1448.52), which it is hoped would be remedied by the modest increase in membership to £3. Balance: £1481.44 JL thanked Rachel Kerley for her continuing efforts - and repeated her plea for someone to take on this role. There were no takers.

5. Election of Officers
As constitutionally required, JL resigned his office. Only to be nominated again, and to accept. Other officers were asked if they were prepared to be re-elected, agreed, and were.

6. Minutes of the Open Meeting 17 October 2005
Minutes circulated at this meeting, and have also been published on www.swanageresidents.org.uk and www.swanageview.co.uk, as well as
circulated to all committee members. Many of the topics addressed have been covered in the Independent newsletter.

Matters arising:

Parish Plan (Swanage & Community Partnership): JL noted he has attended Partnership meetings, but remains disappointed at the lack of communication and the public reporting on progress. Was told by Chairman no report would be published until the end of 2006.The meeting discussed the apparent confusion on funding. Councillor Colin Bright reported that at the last meeting, the Chairman, Ann Faulkner had said quite categorically, that funding was to cease and was "unlikely to continue beyond December" Yet at the recent Parish Assembly, the Town Clerk had been adamant that government funding would continue, as would Town Council support (in terms of rooms/admin). It
was suggested that the confusion might be owing to one tranche of funding ending in December, although more should be forthcoming. John Wootton also asked what the money had been spent on (referring to figures that have been suggested of about £40,000)?

The Association will continue to try to establish what is going on.

7. Activity of Residents' Association?
JL noted that there had been some responses to the question raised about how active the Association should be, and asked for more responses before people left (via the ballot box provided).

8. Alcohol license application, premises in Lower High Street
Robert Owen raised the matter of an off-sales application for a small take-away snack bar opposite Jenkins, seeking a licence to sell alcohol until midnight. He argued that this was unnecessary and could only lead to trouble, in an area that already suffers considerably. There was discussion about the fact that licensing is now in the hands of the Purbeck District Council. Councillor (and District Councillor) Colin Bright pointed out that government's recent law change presumes that any premises may have an alcohol licence unless there is good reason why it may not. Robin Brasher noted there are four key criteria for rejection: the prevention of harm to children; the prevention of public nuisance; the prevention of crime and disorder; and public safety. Councillor Mike Hadley also noted that (as acting Mayor Gary Suttle had said at the Parish Assembly) apparently the law provided for greater notice to be taken by anyone objecting to any problems arising.

There seemed to be general consensus that Robert Owen may indicate to the Purbeck Task Group that the SRA has concerns about this application.

9. AOB
a/ Civic Service Sunday 25th June 2006 at St Mary's Church. Please advise JL if wish to attend
b/ Beach Opening: Councillor Colin Bright reported that there was to be an official "beach recharge" ceremony in the area of the Ocean Bay Restaurant, at 10.30 am, Saturday 27 May.
c/ Bay View Caravan Park: Robin Brasher reported that the restaurant had applied for a licence to sell alcohol between 8 am and 12 midnight. Councillor Colin Bright noted that this function was now no longer operated by Swanage Town Council.

10 Next meetings:
Committee meetings: TBA
Quarterly meetings: TBA

11 Thanks
John Leach thanked (16 or so) residents for coming (despite the rain and a football match) and thanked Phylis Denton and her daughter for preparing refreshments.
Minutes: Mike Hadley (E&OE!)

Ballot box result!!
1) Should the Residents Association be - more aggressive 1 vote
2) Should the Residents Association be - much the same 10 votes
3) Should the Residents Association be - less active 0 votes
Above from over 300 questionnaires sent out.

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