• Minutes of the 20 November 2019 Meeting

    December 22nd, 2019 by Stan Pilling in General News ·Meeting Minutes

    Minutes of monthly Board Meeting
    Held 7pm Wednesday 20th November 2019 at Ballafesson Methodist Hall

    Present: Mr S Pilling (Chairman), Mr D Radcliffe, Mr G Clucas, Mr P Gunn and Mr P Vernon
    In attendance: The Clerk

    The Commissioners were joined at the beginning of the meeting by Simon Phythian, Nomads Secretary, Nick Watterson, Nomads and Neal Kelly, Sport Erin, as well as Sam Samson from Samson Designs.

    Nomads representatives explained that they had reduced their aspirations for their clubhouse but wished to proceed, possibly with a two-phase project in which changing facilities would be built first, with the main meeting room following later as funds allowed. They also explained that they would need to proceed with the development of parking fairly soon too, as it is clear that with the significant rainfall we’ve had lately, the ground would be too muddy for cars.

    Nomads also requested that the Commissioners erect signage asking for dog owners to ensure they pick up after their dogs. Nomads agreed to provide suitable wording for the signs and suggest what they would like to see in the new bylaws which the Commissioners wish to introduce as soon as practicable following the Arbory Rushen merger.

    The Clerk explained that in a meeting with the Church earlier that day, the Vicar and Church Warden had confirmed their general support for the plans. They preferred to see the car parking and toilet in the Barracks field and if possible, would like to see some traffic calming measures on the Barracks Road. The Clerk also reported that the Church Field had been seen by the Church as a potential further extension of the graveyard in 50 to 100 years’ time, however, the Commissioners confirmed that no such commitment had ever been made.

    Mr Samson then presented the latest iteration of the plans to the meeting. Nomads agreed to provide detail of their requirement for run off from the pitches and discussed the possibility of allowing the Commissioners to use a small part of the land in their lease, to the north west of the site, for the proposed dog park if space allowed.

    A discussion then followed during which the possibility of a joint toilet park, support for the services trench and the potential for the Commissioners to assist with the car parking area were discussed.

    Following the departure of the other parties, the Commissioners agreed in principle to begin negotiating a lease for the clubhouse following the motion being proposed by Mr Radcliffe and seconded by Mr Clucas. The Commissioners agreed that prior to making any commitment to make any physical or financial contribution to the Nomads development, they would need to see Nomads’ forecast project costs, as well as getting their own recreational development project fully costed.

    The Commissioners further agreed that they would go out to public consultation as soon as the plans were revised to reflect the latest thinking and suggested amendments.


    1. MINUTES: The Minutes of the Meeting held Tuesday 22nd October 2019 were agreed having been proposed by Mr Radcliffe and seconded by Mr Gunn.

    a) Dog Byelaws – the Clerk reported that DoI strongly recommended that such Byelaws be left until the newly constituted merged authority was formed.
    b) Risk Assessment, Health and Safety – the Clerk reported that the matter was ongoing.
    c) Ballakilley boundary extensions – the Commissioners noted that they had received several responses to the letter circulated by the Clerk to all Rushen Ballakilley residents. The Commissioners agreed to wait until their December meeting to allow all residents the opportunity to reply, before reaching a decision on the matter.
    d) Outstanding rates – the Clerk reported that the Deputy Clerk had been pursuing the matter. It is clear that the information held by the Coroner differs from that held by Treasury rates section. Agreement had been reached that the coroner will now pursue the outstanding debt.
    e) Play area on the green space within the Ballakilley estate – Clerk reported that he had been in discussion with Dandara about the transfer of the green space over to the Commissioners. The Commissioners agreed to use Corlett Bolton as their advocates for this transfer.
    f) Multiuse recreational space – see above discussion with Nomads.
    g) Surby resident’s concerns on high hedges and property owner’s request – the Clerk would endeavour to complete this matter prior to the next meeting.
    h) Joint working with Arbory – the Commissioners confirmed their support for the Order, the motion having been proposed by Mr Clucas and seconded by Mr Radcliffe.
    i) Equality Act training – the Clerk and Deputy Clerk would endeavour to complete the training as soon as time allowed.
    j) Discharge license application – Scholaby Mill – the Clerk reported that he had received an email from DEFA clarifying the monitoring and control of the discharge as follows:
    The license holder needs to ensure the sewage treatment plant is fully operational and maintained as per the manufacturer’s instructions otherwise they will be in breach of their license and could be prosecuted under the Water Pollution Act 1993. Currently due to resourcing restraints discharge license compliance is not checked regularly by DEFA but if I receive a complaint I will investigate it further and check any discharge licenses within the area to ensure they are fully operational. Once a year I monitor the Colby River next to the Shore Hotel. If the concentration of ammonia or phosphate is elevated then further investigations can be carried out within the catchment to locate the source which could be from a sewage treatment plant or agricultural run-off.
    k) Local Authority Elections in 2020 – the Clerk had not had time to pursue the matter, however Mr Radcliffe pointed out that election booths are currently available and sitting on the stage. The Clerk and his Deputy would check to see if all the parts are still available and usable.
    l) Flooding Call for Evidence – the Clerk had submitted the following to the Environment and Infrastructure Committee:
    Rushen Parish Commissioners wish to make the following submission regarding flooding.

    There are two significant flood prone areas in Rushen Parish – Ballafesson and Surby. There are a few low lying areas in Surby, with Ballagale Avenue being the worst. As yet there is no significant risk to property but the gardens are often left under several inches of water during wetter periods.

    Of greater concern in Surby, is the lack of maintenance of field drains and ditches which during heavy rain causes floods on the Surby Road and this flood water has caused damage to walls, driveways and indeed the road itself. When DoI and DEFA maintain the ditches and drains at the top of the Surby Mountain Road, the flooding on the Surby Road is reduced, however, neither department appears to have sufficient resource to adequately maintain the ditches and drains on the highway, let along the ditches on the greenway (which when blocked causes torrents of water to flood down the Surby Road.

    Of course the water which floods the Surby Road has to go somewhere and it ends up in Ballafesson, in particular in the Fairy Hill estate which has very poor drainage due to its sitting fairly low in the surrounding countryside. There are few gulleys (road drain grids) on the Ballafesson Road, and indeed these are entirely absent from Ballafesson corner up to the Methodist Chapel, making this section of the road, prone to water pooling.

    In the Fairy Hill estate itself, there are several properties prone to flooding and during particularly heavy rain the main road through the Fairy Hill estate lies several inches deep with water.

    The Commissioners have raised this matter on several occasions with both the MUA and DoI Highways and while both agreed that the foul sewers and storm drains are wholly inadequate for the more frequent significant flooding events we have faced in recent years, neither government agency has the funds to deliver the much needed new drainage scheme for the area which is estimated to cost around a million pounds.

    Of the two hundred or so flooding hotspots on DoI’s list, sadly Ballafesson and Surby don’t even make the top hundred, and as government only released sufficient funds to do the top ten to twenty schemes over this five year term, it seems we could be waiting at least another twenty years before our flooding problems get sorted. It seems to the Commissioners somewhat ridiculous that government has a detailed list of flood prone areas (prepared during my last tenure as DoI Minister) but has no appetite to invest the necessary resources to protect property and land from avoidable flood risk. Instead, government appears to accept that significant cost and inconvenience to property owners in flood risk areas is better than investing in the necessary infrastructure to mitigate against such flooding.

    The reality of Climate Change appears to have been accepted by the Isle of Man Government, but the more frequent flooding events we’ve been experiencing recently are just the start of more frequent and severe flooding events as the impact of Climate Change grows. The Commissioners wish you well in your investigation, but the answer is relatively simple. If Tynwald wishes to avoid the billions of pounds worth of damage to the Manx economy caused by flooding over the next fifty years, then it must make significantly more resource available to build infrastructure robust enough to deal with the inevitable consequences of Climate Change.
    m) Request for white lines to be repainted in the Howe Car Park – the Clerk will endeavour to get a price from Colas in time for the work to be completed in the Spring.
    n) Ratepayer concerns about agricultural related mess on roads – the Clerk had written to the ratepayer and they were grateful for his communication.

    3. SOUTHERN CIVIC AMENITY SITE – nothing to report since the previous meeting.
    4. MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION – Mr Gunn reported that Minister Harmer and Emily Curphey had attended the last meeting. They discussed the Douglas Promenade refurbishment scheme, Laxey flooding, and Mr Gunn raised the lack of progress on the Bill to clarify the matter of granting a lease on Public Open Space.
    5. SOUTHERN SWIMMING POOL AUTHORITY – nothing to report since the previous meeting except that the Board had agreed to object to the planning for the new pool at King William’s College for various operational reasons.
    6. MARASHEN CRESCENT – the monthly meeting and a residents meeting had taken place. The Committee is introducing residents’ parking permits as there had been several parking difficulties recently..
    7. SOUTHERN HEALTHCARE COMMITTEE – nothing further to report
    8. MANX NATIONAL HERITAGE – nothing to report – it was agreed to remove this as a standing agenda item.
    a) Ballafesson Corner – the Clerk reported that he had now had the opportunity to discuss the matter with the Director of Highways. The Director had agreed to ask the officer who had avoided answering the Commissioners’ requests for improved linage and a stop sign. The Commissioners agreed to leave the matter until the end of the month, but if nothing further was heard from DoI by then, then a request would be made for Mr Speaker to ask a Tynwald question on the matter.

    A] REVENUE (inc. VAT where appropriate):
    The Clerk reported the income received since the last meeting.

    B] ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT (inc. Vat where appropriate)
    The accounts for payment were agreed.

    a) Financial Statements – the Clerk reported that signed copies had now been received.
    b) Letter from liquidator of D’s Leisure – the Commissioners noted the letter and that the liquidator had accepted the full amount owing to the Commissioners, but as ordinary creditors the liquidator confirmed that no money was available to pay the amount owing.

    11. FINANCIAL SITUATION – the following position was noted
    Balance on last statements August 2019
    General account 135,721.10 Liquidity Manager 5.11

    a) Email from Bradda View Grove resident – Commissioners to consider. Since the building of Bradda View Grove there have been a number of issues regarding the house numbering. As resident of 2 Bradda View I have had a number of attempted deliveries for 2 Bradda View Grove. I would like to recommend that road name signs should be introduced at the entrance of Bradda View (eg Bradda View leading to Bradda View Grove), and at the tee junction at the end indicating the direction. The Commissioners agreed that appropriate signs should be erected to hopefully remove confusion, the motion having been proposed by Mr Vernon and seconded by Mr Radcliffe.
    b) Invitation to attend the Childhood Healthy Weight Summit – this was noted.
    c) Consultation request discharge license application – Glenlea Lodge, Truggan Road – the Commissioners considered the matter and agreed that it seemed acceptable provided DEFA could give assurances that the discharge will do no harm.
    d) Extension of the powers of the Tynwald Commissioner for Administration to local authorities from 1st July 2020 – this was noted.
    e) Consultation on electoral legislation – Commissioners to consider previously circulated consultation documents – this was noted, and it was agreed that the Commissioners would respond individually to the consultation.
    f) Public lighting non-destructive testing letter from MUA – the Commissioners considered the options in the previously circulated letter and agreed to get all the columns tested, the motion to do so having been proposed by Mr Vernon and seconded by Mr Radcliffe.
    g) Invitation to Port Erin Commissioners Carol Service – this was noted.
    h) Letter from DoI regarding the waste gate fee charges to increase by 1.92% – this was noted.
    i) RTLC, Applications, Decisions and Notices – this was noted.
    j) Invitation to attend the Tynwald Carol Service on Thursday 12th December at 1.10 pm – the invitation from the President of Tynwald was noted.
    k) Copy of Manx Nature – this was noted.
    l) Letter from Ballakilley residents concerned about the recreation plans on fields behind their property – the letter and subsequent reply from the Clerk were noted.

    A] Planning Applications – the Commissioners had no comments to make on the following applications.
    a) 19/00638/B Ballakillowey Farm. Mr & Mrs Ennet. Amended description to plan.
    b) 19/01210/B Mount Cottage, Mount Gawne Road. Ms Skuska. Single storey extension.
    c) 19/01184/B 8 Bradda View Grove. Mr & Mrs Joynes. Install flues on each gable for wood burner fires.

    The Commissioners had no further comments on this application but wished to reiterate their comments made previously on this application.
    d) 19/00794/B Field 414174 of Ballagill Close. Miss Quinn. Amended plans.

    B] Planning Approvals – the following approvals were noted.
    a) 19/00995/B Struan Ballakillowey Road. Mr And Mrs Clive And Debbie Harrison. Decision – Principal Planner. Approved. Issued 25th October 2019.
    b) 19/01033/B 8 Bradda View Grove Ballakillowey. Manx Utilities Authority. Decision – Principal Planner. Approved. Issued 7th November 2019.
    c) 19/01095/B Agricultural Building Robin Hill Farm. Julie Anne & Gerard MacQuillan. Decision – Principal Planner. Approved. Issued 20th November 2019.

    C] Planning Refusals
    D] Completion Certificates – this was noted.
    a) 03/07140/DGA 18 Odins Way, Ballakillowey. Mr Sweetapple. Issued 30th October 2019.
    E] Planning appeals – none.
    F] Other Planning Matters – none.

    a) Accounts from Rushen Burial Authority –copy of the accounts was passed on to the Clerk..
    b) Planting trees – Mr Radcliffe reported that the fence will be erected soon.
    c) Oakleigh House, St Mary’s Road – the Clerk gave an update on
    d) The Commissioners noted that the trees at Moorescroft, Ballafesson are now encroaching significantly on to the road. It was agreed that the Clerk should write to the owner requesting the matter be attended to.

    15. DATE OF NEXT MEETING Wednesday 18th December 2019.