Property management committee minutes

Meeting details

  • Date: 28th September 2022
  • Duration: 18:30 - 21:09
  • Location: Parish Office

Meeting minutes:


Apologies were received from Cllr Foster as he would be arriving late to the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest received.


The minutes were agreed as a correct record of the meeting and signed accordingly.

Cllr Foster updated the following actions from the previous meeting:

Minute PMC50/22 item 1, nothing was required with DIY matters.

There has been no meeting with the architect with regards to the gym extension.

The next meeting with Community First with regards to the gym extension is in November.

Cllr Foster is in touch with the surveyor in relation to the South Lane Meadow car park. The surveyor is preparing a cost for project managing. All is going to plan and moving forward. The work will need to be done after the Cricket Club have erected their building. The projects will need to be coordinated accordingly.

Minute PMC65/22, the walkway at the pond has some vertical boards that are warped and coming away from the batons. This is not dangerous but will need replacing in the future.

Cllr Foster is still to liaise with the bowls club with regards to the car park barrier.


A member of the public wanted to make members aware that Storrington Field is being used by professional dog walkers. This will be monitored.



Cllr Woodroof highlighted that consistency of wording needs to be throughout this and related documents. The policy will cover all noxious plants and unwanted vegetation. This is a good template to work from which will be reviewed annually and expanded where necessary.

The committee approved the policy.


To review and consider the invitation to tender the ground’s maintenance contract

Cllr Williams reported that the current draft for precept is looking at an increase of 10%. The budget will be tight, especially with the increase in the cost of fuel. Tenders will be reviewed after the deadline for the precept in November, therefore a contingency will need to be put in place to cover the cost of the contract if it comes in significantly higher.

It was confirmed that the cost for the work to the shrub beds at Down Farm Park would come out of the budget for contingency and reserves. This will also depend on the cost of the ground’s maintenance contract.

The Clerk confirmed the following on the draft tender document:

  • South Lane Meadow – The Trust are currently negotiating grounds maintenance work with the cricket club; a definite answer will be needed as to whether it will be included in the contract or not. There will need to be a caveat for any contractor to stipulate flexibility should that arrangement not work out and provide an option price on those elements.
  • The Football Club have confirmed they will be doing the improvement works on the pitches at Peel Park as they have grants in place to cover this.
  • The maintenance work on shrub beds and the management of trees is to come out of the contract.
  • The control of ragwort has previously been an issue, but this should now be improved following recent works. The contractor will need to be proactive in the maintenance of ragwort control.
  • Notice has been given to our current bin emptying contractor. This was considered for inclusion into the new Grounds Maintenance tender document, or remain separate as we go out to open market. There have been no issues in terms of performance from our current contractor.

After some discussion, the Committee agreed to remove the bins from the draft tender document and go out to open market.

Cllr Woodroof highlighted the importance of consistency through the Parish Councils documents. For example, there are areas in the Noxious Plant Control Policy document that refer to ‘weeds’ and should read ‘unwanted vegetation’.

There needs to be an amendment to section E1 pg13, Amenity grass. It currently states application of weedkiller to the sward area, this is incorrect and will need to be amended. Herbicide should only be used on car parks and footpaths, not grass areas.

Also on Point 2, Meadow & wildflower grass land, remove references to ‘treated’.

Point 4, Shrubs/Hedge Plants and Trees, this has been simplified to a formal inspection of young trees and shrubs. This may require further review.

With the amendments mentioned, the Clerk will be asking the full council to approve this document at the October meeting.

Report on officers meeting with ground maintenance team

The assistant clerk reported that a review meeting took place with the ground maintenance team. The main areas they were asked to concentrate on were sightlines, reducing the width of the long grass by the hedge line alongside the skate park in Peel Park and cutting closer to the hedge that has been removed at South Lane Meadow. We have an additional cut to use as this was not required during the hot weather.

Cllr Woodroof highlighted the area of grass on the bank on Chalton Green is now looking untidy. This area is not cut due to it being unsafe for the contractor, this area requires a harness and banksmen. It was agreed by the Committee that this area should be cut twice a year.

Action - Asst Clerk & Clerk


Cllr Woodroof reported that the ‘Jubilee Celebration’ lime tree will be ordered shortly. It will be placed more centrally than the ash tree was. The organiser of the tree purchase and planting has been reminded that the tree is modest in size and to check the utility lines/pipes before digging.

The ash tree that was felled is now putting out some growth. It was agreed that Cllr Woodroof would prune the area and manage accordingly.

Cllr Foster joined the meeting at 7.06 p.m.

Cllr Williams confirmed there is now a way forward for the defibrillator on Chalton Green. Previously a decision had been taken to put it on a free-standing post rather than a wall, the main problem was connecting power to the unit. A quote has been received from Community Heartbeat Trust using a different manufacturer that make a defibrillator with a thermal bag, this means an electricity supply is not needed. The cost for the defibrillator and cabinet is £2,295, the thermal bag is £55, and the post is £210. Councillor grants are in place to cover the costs. Committee members were all in agreement.

Cllr Foster added updates to his actions from the previous meeting please see PMC 71/22.


To review the increase of rodent activity at the allotments, particularly within the area where the chickens are.

A member of the Clanfield Allotment Association, who is also a plot holder, attended the meeting to report the vast number of crops that are being destroyed on numerous plots due to rats. Site A is more affected than site B. The worst affected plots are next to the plot which has the chicken house. It cannot be underestimated how upsetting and disappointing this has been for all plot holders.

According to the National Allotment Association, chickens are allowed but only if they are not creating a nuisance.

After a lengthy discussion, the committee agreed to not allow future plots to have chickens, this will be reviewed accordingly and closely monitored. Plots that currently have chickens cannot replace or add more chickens. Allotment holders will be informed of the decision by the assistant Clerk and asked to do all they can to reduce the problem. All rubbish should be removed from site, compost bins kept accordingly, and grass paths kept short. Plots will be monitored more carefully, and steps will be taken if rules are not being adhered to.

Action – Asst Clerk

To discuss the potential of adding additional plots to Allotment Site A.

There is the possibility of adding 4 or 5 new plots to Site A. Planning would need to be checked before this was permitted and the rodent problem would need to be under control.

Action - Clerk


To review the works highlighted by ROSPA

After discussion, it was decided that an itemised quote will be needed to understand how much the individual outstanding works will cost. The equipment at Peel Park and South Lane Meadow is coming to its end of life. A plan will be needed to build this into future projects and look at all options for funding.

Action – Asst Clerk

Update on the basket swing

The Committee agreed to go with Option 2 which will see a rope basket swing being installed instead of the plastic pod that was there before.


Cllr Woodroof reported that two more surveys have been done, looking at the area around the sports pavilion, the wildflower meadow and Chalton Lane frontage.

It is difficult to be confident when ascertaining the condition of ash trees and the best solution will be to get an inspection done by an Arboriculturist. The Clerk will get quotations.

It was also reported that the lime trees on Endal Way/Storrington Road are in poor condition and will need monitoring.

Cllr Woodroof put forward a proposal to remove stakes and bands and carry out a health check on the trees planted in Down Farm Park. Where stakes are removed and found to be serviceable, these will be stored for re-use on future fencing projects.

After discussion it was explained that some of the work is already done by the ground’s maintenance team. The assistant clerk will liaise with Cllr Woodroof to ascertain the areas that the Tree Group can help with.

Action – Clerk & Asst Clerk


Update on the control management system.

Cllr Williams has emailed the electrician for a quote but has received no response. This will be chased.

Update on who will be taking forward the warranty issues

Cllr Foster will be taking the warranty issues forward and will update at the next meeting.

Action - Cllr Williams & Cllr Foster


Update on the French drains and repairs to the pathway behind the bowls pavilion

There has been no update, this is linked with the transfer of the Football pitches and is being moved forward by EHDC.

Update on the wildflower project

Nothing further to report since the update at the main council meeting.

To review and approve the specification for the Down Farm Park shrub beds

After discussion it was confirmed that Bed 11 is not to be included as per an on-site meeting. Once this area has been sorted it will need to be maintained by the ground maintenance team. The Committee approved the specification.

Cllr Woodroof has looked at the hedges in Down Farm Park. A great deal of bramble is found within them. A map was provided with detail on the hedges at Down Farm Park. Some of the hedges are looking like they will need maintenance.

Action – The Clerk


Cllr Woodroof reported that phase 2 of the Whiteland Copse planting has been agreed at a meeting of the Environment Working Group. Fencing will be done first and then digging the holes. The perimeter of the fence will be 100 metres, coming out 25 metres from the hedge line. The fencing will go right up to the hedge line. This could cause a problem with hedge maintenance. Cllr Woodroof and Clerk will meet on site to ascertain exactly where the fence will be going.

Action – Cllr Woodroof & Clerk


Nothing new to report.


Update on the hedge works

Cllr D’Este Hoare reported that the conservation group have been working through the summer. The hedge has been cut back and the bramble take back to the ground. Some debris was burnt on site and a contractor mulched the remainder at a cost of £350. The arisings will be used on the new planting. The planting will aim to be done mid to end of November. The Woodland Trust will be delivering 240 trees and shrubs towards the end of October. Volunteers will be needed to do the planting work, if we use the South Lane Meadow Facebook page this may encourage people to come forward. Ground preparation work will take place over the next few weeks.

Update on car park improvements

Cllr Foster confirmed quotes that we received for the CIL application have included a 10% contingency to cover price increases.


Nothing new to report.


After discussion, all members agreed no action is required with regards to a complaint received about the footpath in this area.


The Pond volunteers have requested a skip for clearing up the area. The committee agreed to fund.


Nothing new to report.


Cllr Foster reported that Solar panels have now been installed on the roof. Work has been done in the changing rooms and kitchen, but there is still a problem in the gents’ toilets.


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