Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bathampton Methodist Church Hall - Holcombe Lane (next to the Village Hall). View directions

Contact: Mark Hayward 01225 396975  Email: mark_hayward@bathnes.gov.uk

Items
Note No. Item

5 mins

1.

Welcome, Apologies

Minutes:

Councillor Kevin Guy (Chair) welcomed attendees to the second meeting of the Bathavon North Forum of 2020. Kevin asked that ideas for future agendas be brought forward from the parishes and the community, the forum needs to involve and hear from the community not just be presented at by the Council. Please e-mail mark_hayward@bathnes.gov.uk with any suggestions for the forum which is next due to meet in June 2020.

 

The forum has a great opportunity to welcome a greater number of residents and local organisations to be involved in these community meetings. It will be really helpful if the parish councils and local people that are already involved, could provide any useful contacts that they feel would benefit from being included on the mailing list.

 

30 mins

2.

The future of Bathampton Meadows

Minutes:

The forum heard from Mark Minkley, B&NES Council Officer for Environmental & Design. The presentation that was given explained the work that Mark and his team are involved with and finished with a discussion on the plans for the future of Bathampton Meadows. The presentation used by Mark is available on the Bathavon North Forum Website

 

Bath and North East Somerset Council are in talks with the National Trust about a community asset transfer to protect the land in future, this is an unusual deal which may not require the council to fund its future maintenance.

 

The question was asked about the likely success of the transfer?

 

Kevin Guy explained that the deal would only fail if either the Council or the National Trust were to pull out, which is unlikely on either side. The Council only owns some of the land, but he revealed that another landowner, his father-in-law, is also negotiating with the National Trust, meaning more of the meadows could be protected.

 

The National Trust are extremely interested, and the administration want to give it to them, it was promised that the land would be given to the National Trust. It is just a case of the Councils’ Officers doing the paperwork and following the legal process.

 

The question was asked about how the business case looks for the transfer?

 

Environment and design manager Mark Minkley told the forum: I would be very surprised if the National Trust pulled out as this fit with their new vision. The business case is about protecting the World Heritage Site and its setting for future generations. They recognise there are opportunities to improve the habitat and make it better for people. Normally, if you were giving them land, you’d have to pay for its maintenance. We’re transferring it without a budget. They are very keen to take it on because they see its strategic importance. We’re hoping by the spring or summer we’ll get to a decision. The National Trust are committed to having a series of workshops with the community to work out what the priorities are for the land.

 

A suggestion was made that if the National Trust are to be working closer with the Council, could there be an inclusion in the deal which looks at the options for the future of the Fashion Museum if it must move premises in Bath.

 

The question was asked about the car park on the plans:

 

The car park on the east of the site is not part of the asset transfer and will continue to be leased to Batheaston Parish Council.

 

The question was asked about the new role of Waterscape Officer:

 

This is a new post that is fixed term and has the purpose of progressing the plans.

 

Bathampton Meadows Alliance:

 

The Meadows Alliance are pleased to see that the pledge is moving forward. The group continues to work and would want to contribute with the community needs from the meadows.

 

The question was asked about why there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

25 mins

3.

Bringing empty properties back into use

Minutes:

The forum heard from Debbie Freeman, B&NES Council Officer for Empty Properties regarding the work that has been taking place on acting on empty residential properties. Debbie explained that the growth of the service will be helped by the valuable intel that is provided from local communities. The presentation used by Debbie is available on the Bathavon North Forum Website

 

Question 1. Where are the empty properties situated across B&NES?

Response. The split is around half in Bath and the others are in North East Somerset. We don’t presently have a breakdown by wards, but it is something we could produce; we would however need to be careful that when there are low numbers that we avoid disclosure by default.

 

Question 2. Do you cover commercial properties?

Response. We only cover residential now. The properties that the Council own are covered by their own policy.

 

Question 3. Is there a list of the properties that are presently on the case list?

Response. We can’t share that information due to data protection rules. Only when the enforcement on the property is completed can information be shared in the public domain.

 

Question 4. How do the numbers on the case list very?

Response. There are normally between 600-700 properties that we are aware of at any one time. Case are added and drop off all the time, when new builds are empty in high numbers then this can distort the numbers.

 

Question 5. Being the sole worker dealing with these cases, do you have time to deal with new cases as they come in?

Response. Yes, I really enjoy the work and priorities are managed, my time is generally split across the region 50/50. We hope to see an additional person join the team soon, this will give extra capacity.

 

Question 6. Are houses that are dived into flats included?

Response. Yes.

 

15 mins

4.

AOB

Minutes:

A number of notices for were provided at the end of the meeting The documents and information is available through the following website links: