News from BATCOMBE

Planning Application for five social rented 3 bedroom dwellings and one market housing 3 bedroom dwelling on land at Westcombe Stables Lane, Westcombe. (Ref: 2018/2819/FUL) 

Shortly before the extraordinary Parish Council meeting called to consider the above planning application, the Parish Council were informed that the application had been amended to being for two social rented 2 bedroom dwellings, three social rented 3 bedroom dwellings and one market housing 3 bedroom dwelling.  As the Parish Council could only consider the application it had before it, it decided to recommend refusal of the application for six 3 bedroom dwellings, on the understanding that an amended application had been submitted, and to ask that the full consultation period be provided for that amended application.   


The Parish Council will arrange a meeting to consider the amended application once we are informed of the new consultation period.   Until the amendment is confirmed, any resident wishing to comment on the original application to the District Council should do so by the consultation deadline for that application of January 10th.


The Parish Council is aware of a letter from "several concerned residents of Westcombe" that has commented on this application, but which contains a number of misunderstandings about the nature of affordable (social rented) housing and the Parish Council's position on this.  The paper below seeks to address these misunderstandings.

Social Rented Housing in Westcombe
Social Rented Housing - Westcombe.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [66.0 KB]


February Parish Council Meeting

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 6th February 2019 at 7.30pm in the Old School, Batcombe.  Residents are welcome to attend and to participate at the discretion of the Chairman.  The Agenda and Minutes of the previous  meeting can be downloaded from the Minutes and Agendas page a week before the meeting.


Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting - Shindig Weekender

At an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday 19th December the Parish Council decided to make a representation regarding the licensing application for the 2019 Shindig Weekender at Gilcombe Farm in May.  The Parish Council is concerned that the increased attendance at this music festival, rising from 6,500 to 9,999, and some additions to the hours that live and recorded music is played will result in an increased level of noise and disturbance to local residents. 


Pre-salting in Batcombe this winter

Following an open parish meeting with our MP David Warburton in April, the Parish Council were hopeful that Batcombe might be re-instated on the pre-salting network this winter.   


However, details of the winter salting routes have now been published and the County Council has reduced the pre-salting network from 23 to 16 routes to save money.  This means that not only has Batcombe not been reinstated on the network but Evercreech has been removed as well.  As a result the Bruton-Evercreech road and the Evercreech-Westcombe road will not be salted this winter.  Great care will therefore be needed in icy weather.  


New Parish Council Chairman

Following the resignation of Chris Wildridge due to ill health, John Sommer was elected as Parish Council Chairman at the October meeting of the Council.  John will serve as Chairman until the election of a new Chairman following the Parish Council elections in May.  Justin Witcombe remains the Parish Council's Vice Chairman.


Vacant Allotments

There are currently two vacant allotments.  If anyone in Batcombe or one of our neighbouring parishes is interested in renting these allotments, please contact the Clerk.  The rent for an allotment is £35 for the year (discount for the remainder of this year) and a copy of the allotment holder's tenancy agreement can be downloaded from the Allotments page. 


Proposed Affordable Housing Development in Westcombe

A Housing Needs Survey undertaken in 2016 by the Community Council for Somerset revealed eight households with a need for affordable housing within the next five years.  A site has been offered in Westcombe (off the lane behind the War Memorial) and private housing company has produced a feasibility sketch for six affordable homes which was considered by the Parish Council at its June meeting.  Around 30 local residents attending the meeting, some objected to the location of the housing and others supported the provision of affordable housing in the parish.  The potential developer of the site also attended to answer questions about the proposal.  

Housing Needs Survey for the Parish of Batcombe - Final Report
Batcombe Parish Housing Needs Survey - F[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]


Parish Council Accounts for the Year Ended 31st March 2018

The notice of the period for the exercise of public rights to inspect the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) can be found on the Audit and Transparency Code Requirements page.  The various sections of the AGAR: the Certificate of Exemption; the Internal Audit Report; the Annual Governance Statement and the Accounting Statements for 2017/18 can also be found on the same page. 


Playing Field - Zip Wire

The zip wire has been repaired with Mainstay Projects reconcreting the stays to prevent the flexing of the timber supports.  And following the annual RoSPA safety inspection of the Play Field the zip wire can now be used again.  Please note that the zip wire should only be used by one child at a time.


Batcombe Telephone Kiosk

As the telephone kiosk in Batcombe had not been used for a year, BT have removed the telephone.  The Parish Council adopted the telephone kiosk in Westcombe, which is now a listed building - but do not plan to adopt the Batcombe kiosk, which is a modern replacement.


Somerset County Council - New Telephone Number

0300 123 2224 is now the single telephone number for all enquiries to Somerset County Council.  This number replaces the previous 0845 numbers including the number for reporting safety defects on the roads. 


Priority Services Register

Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution have a Priority Services Register for anyone who needs electricity for home medical equipment, or who is disabled, has a young baby or receives a state pension.  Those on the Register are promised support during a power cut.  To register call 0800 294 3259 from a landline or 0345 072 1900 from a mobile or see the webpage for more details of the Register:


Planning Applications

Details of all applications the Council considers can be found by following the link to the District Council's planning search page from the Planning Applications page.


Guide to Information Available from the Parish Council

The Freedom of Information Act requires the Parish Council to publish "A Guide to the Information Available from the Parish Council."  Now that the Council has a website, this guide is available to download from the Parish Council Documents page along with the Parish Council's Standing Orders and other policies and papers that the Parish Council is required to publish.