Paul De Jonghe (Acting Chair) opened the AGM with an explanation of how the agenda would run, as this was our first attempt at an AGM via Zoom due to Covid 19.
All committee members were introduced as the committee had some fairly new members.
Despite the difficulties operating during the pandemic, the Committee has stayed in close contact on-line, and we’ve carried on working on your behalf as usual. We’ve picked up and pursued the many different issues that have cropped up. And we’ve also been in close contact with our councillor’s, BCP and so on.
As a committee we’re very thinly spread, and urgently need a Chair-Person, Head Road Warden and Membership Secretary.
The Forum, which we hope you’ve all received, is going strong. Apart from the one publication missed last June we have no problems whatsoever. Advertising is good and healthy.
The Website is running well thanks to Jan Peters and her son, Bill. And we’re seeing Increased usage.
We are seeing big changes across many areas of BCP business, and some of those give us cause for concern. Sometimes we need to shout as loudly as possible to gain traction on issues but, in the end, we are just one Residents’ Association among many in the BCP conurbation.
We are in communication now with Highcliffe Residents’ Association to find ways to work together more formally, and perhaps also with other Residents’ Associations in the Christchurch area, to give the communities we represent a more cohesive, influential voice when necessary.
We’re at the early stages of this and drafting a Memorandum of Understanding – to set out how we can work together to best effect.
Peter Skeggs covered our financials for the year, but due to pandemic the audit had been held in abeyance. Our membership figures had increased slightly, and overall the association’s funds were very healthy at over £19,000.
Cost of the Forum had increased and was not fully covered by advertising, but it was agreed that member’s subs would cover the shortfall.
Louise is hoping to expand the environment team and has a plan to cover several items such as surveys on Flora/Fauna. There had been a few questions raised to the committee before the AGM such as Litter picking, Trees, Renewable energy tariffs to be promoted within FC.
A Highcliffe resident Kelly Agar, expressed keen interest in helping and liaising with other parties due to her environmental links.
Concerns were raised about the impact of Staycations on our environment, given the huge visitor impact last Summer once lockdown was raised.
Head Road Warden
Thanks were given to all road wardens, we are still missing a warden for the Mudeford section of roads adjacent to the Avon Beach car park, but Paul De Jonghe is handling this temporarily.
Overview of main issues
1) Beach Huts
After many residents being unhappy with the extensions to beach huts, the committee held a meeting with BCP officials, councilors and ABC Ltd to express residents reasons for dissatisfaction. This covered a multitude of areas including H&S, Legal permissions, planning as well as the underlying reasons for the promenade work after 2014 storm.
The conclusions so far are that planning permission will be required for the hut extensions, and we will communicate out when this is applied for.
However we still have unanswered questions, which we are continuing to chase down with BCP.
Residents have seen a huge increase in on road parking, which is often dangerous and does not seem properly enforced.
BCP are in the process of revising the on road parking in the area and our councilors will update you.
3) License Notices
Residents have seen these notices and have been concerned that it appears to be opening the floodgates for events on the beach and open spaces. These are generic license applications moving the ownership from Christchurch to BCP, and is not a concern.
As highlighted previously, changes in council policy on calling in to Planning Committee. Now only councilors are allowed and not though any resident objections.
No parking spaces now required in town developments, not sure if this may start rolling out to our area?
Previous Christchurch local plans now being merged into BCP and Christchurch neighbourhood plan under development. Time to comment expires tomorrow.
Pinebeach was approved and work is well underway.
MCA to be heard at committee 18th March, with planners recommending approval. The action group has raised this decision at executive level in BCP as well as our MP and the press. There is also a demolition order submitted for 23rd March.
There have been a number of thefts from vehicles in the Highcliffe and Mudeford areas over the last few weeks where tools have been stolen. We do live in a predominantly safe area, however there are always opportunist thieves around so we try to encourage people not to leave tools in vans overnight. There has also been a nationwide issue of catalytic converter thefts. We are advising the public to remain vigilant and make sure anything suspicious is reported via 101 or online.
Cllr Hilliard stated that some progress had been made with regard to the Beach Hut extensions once FCRA became involved.
Parking proposals should have seen residents receiving a letter about the consultation required under the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), Cllr Hilliard will chase the relevant BCP department. The basic premise of double yellow lines with parking bays chargeable all year was explained. See AOB for more.
Cllr Dedman stated that Christchurch independents were trying to get a separate planning committee created rather than rely on the overall BCP committee.
The idea was previously refused, but an independent study was to be commissioned as to the benefit.
The planned Neighbourhood Plan will give Christchurch a good voice regarding planning guidance.
Cllr Dedman intended to speak at the MCA planning meeting in opposition. The history of this was that one planning officer wanted a landmark building for the site, but generally Christchurch had a 3 storey rule.
She then thanked the FCRA on the Forum magazine.
All officers were happy to continue should there be no other nominations for any positions. We had one volunteer for Head Road Warden and welcomed Sarah Webb to the committee, and there being no further nominations, the existing committee would continue which still left us with Chair and Membership vacancies.
An extensive discussion with questions raised on how the proposal might impact residents.
This took most of the AGM’s time, and there were too many issues identified to record here.
It was decided that a Working Group was to be formed to analyse the proposal, seek proactive contact with BCP, and look at impacts and options.
The recent proposal in Highcliffe elicited a response from the Portfolio Holder that should local councillors and residents refuse it, then it would not be implemented. Cllrs Hilliard and Dedman had been given no such directive.
The Working Group will report back to committee and residents regularly.
Meeting closed at 20.55hrs
22 Residents 2 Council members and 4 Committee members attended