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April 2007

MINUTES for the meeting held on 16th April 2007 at 7.00p.m. at Barnstaple Civic Centre.

 

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. R. Day, Chairman, (Instow PC and CPRE), Capt P Fronteras, (Westleigh PC and MVS), Mr.R. Butler, (UKMAB), Mr. C. Hassall, (Rolle Canal Soc.), Mr. John Brooks, (ND Waterski Club), Mr. A. Bell, (NDCCS), Mr.S. McKay, ( E.A.), Mr. J Lee,(NDDC), Mr. B. Hockin, (Fremington PC.), Mrs. L. Blanchard, (NDAONB), Mr. A Gladwin, (Dev.Birds.), Mr. S. Shambrook, (RMB Chivenor Volunteer Grp.), Mr. A. Atkinson, (Appledore Sea Anglers). Mrs. A. Humphris, Hon. Sec.

 

1.APOLOGIES for ABSENCE: Mr. T. Pratt, (NDYC), Mr. J. Diamond, (Natural Eng.), Mr. J. Breeds, (Br. Bur. Education Warden), Mr. D. Graham, (ATTURM), Mrs. M Cox, (Northam TC), Mr. R. McCormack, (TDC), Mr. J. Hartnoll (Br. Marsh Comm), Mrs. W. Dale (RNLI), Mr. P. Mullen, (Fremington PC), Mr. M. Davies, (RSPB), Mr. R. Knight, (Barnstaple TC), Capt R. Hoad, (Bideford Port Harbour Master).

 

2.PRESENTATION:  North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty  -  Annual Report:

Linda Blanchard  -  AONB Officer.

 

Linda Blanchard gave an overview of events of the AONB for the year 2006.

The AONB has had another extremely successful year. The new formal Newsletter is receiving excellent feedback, and there has been plenty of coverage from the local press and media.

2000 people attended the very successful Watermouth Open Day, which was supported by David Kennard, Baroness Sue Miller and Dr. Mark Horton.

A poetry competition has also been launched.

The Explore North Devon Project  being led by Devon Records Office, supported by a £12.000 grant from Natural England, achieved £50,000 match funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and work has commenced on the project in two AONB communities, Hartland and Morthoe.

Dave Edgcombe has submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and to Devon Renaissance for an Explore Braunton bid and has received encouraging comments.

The Community Profiling Project is still exceeding targets and has been extended until March 2008. Janine Holbert’s next piece of work is to complete the VMCA (Voluntary Marine Conservation Area) Scrapbook to include The Section of Croyde and Putsborough. Also they have identified and surveyed 22 areas leading to the designation of a further 11 County Wildlife sites in the AONB.

Through the Natural England Project grant they have supported an Access Project within the AONB. This has resulted in improvements in 5 routes, Hartland, Greencliff, Georgeham, Mortehoe and Appledore.

Landscape and Planning: An officer workshop was held on 22 January to discuss the statutory AONB Management Plan Review Process. They continue to respond to planning applications in line with the AONB Policy Documents.

Sustainable Development Fund:13 projects were successfully completed in 2006-7 and a total of £72,000 allocated They were  impressed with the wide range of work completed and were especially impressed by the Braunton Marsh Project undertaken by the TTEF.

In conclusion Linda Blanchard suggested that Janine Holbert should come to give a talk to the Forum on her work in the AONB.

The Chairman thanked Linda for her contribution and suggested that Janine might like to come to the next Forum Meeting to speak to members.

This report can be seen in full on the TTEF website  www.ttef.org.uk

 

3  MINUTES of PREVIOUS MEETING:  Monday 15th January 2007.

Andrew Atkinson proposed and Richard Butler seconded the adoption of the minutes, and members voted unanimously to adopt them.

 

4.  MATTERS ARISING from the Minutes:

     (a)Estuary Report: Including:

                    TTEF Update  -  24 January 2007 - all items were for information or were covered later in the Agenda.

                    TTEF Update  -  25th March 2007 – all items were for information or were covered later in the Agenda.

 

Appledore Quay Wall:

Torridge District Council has granted planning permission for moulded concrete – the design and colour of the moulding is to be agreed.

 

Bideford Harbour Master’s Report:  There was no report as the Harbour Master was not present. The Chairman was to send out the report when she receives it.

 

Clay Pigeon Shooting at Fremington Quay:

There is nothing further to report. The Chairman is to contact Peter Mullen for Information.

 

Finding Sanctuary: Marine Protected Areas:

Partners are Natural England, Devon, Dorset and Cornwall County Councils, the Wildlife Trusts, Joint Nature Conservation Committees, National Trust, and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. A Newsletter is produced and can be obtained from:- Tom.Hooper@southwestfoodanddrink.com

 

Brunswick Wharf, East-the-Water: Regeneration Consultation: The Forum was neither notified nor invited to comment as a consultee.

 

NDCCS Funding:

The Chairman had written to DCC and others on behalf of the Forum expressing concern about the proposed cuts to the funding to the NDCCS which amounted to a cut of 40%. The Members agreed the Chairman’s action.

 

Marine Bill White Paper was launched on 15th March 2007.

 

TTEF Website:

                 March hits: 19,014.

                 Total hits for the year April 2006 to March 2007   167,106

The Chairman expressed thanks to Paul Fronteras, webmaster, for keeping the website updated.

 

Braunton Burrows Files:

These have been updated twice since the last meeting, and now contain the results of the Public Meeting held at Braunton Parish Hall in November /December.

 

Devon Area Estuary Officers’ Meeting: 19th June 2007. in North Devon. Venue to be decided. Perhaps NDYC.

 

Coastal Partnerships Working Group: The Chairman has sent them our contact details and areas of interest, as requested.

 

South West Response to the EU Maritime Green Paper:

There will be a conference at County Hall on Thursday 26th April to agree a draft response in the presence of all South West Stakeholders with an interest in Maritime affairs.

As the chairman is unable to attend the meeting, Andy Bell will report back to the Forum and will represent our areas of interest.

 

 (b)  North Devon’s UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve:

Biosphere Reserve Strategy: Andrew Bell  (Biosphere co-ordinator).

Andy Bell reported on the meeting of the Biosphere Reserve Partnership in Jan, which was to produce the first draft of the strategy from internal consultation. This consultation comes to an end in May when the partnership meets again, and will be released then.

The strategy is in different forms at the moment – one part which is a 100 page Action Plan specifically for UNESCO and Government Agencies, in order to secure funding etc. The second part is a shorter summary the main part of which goes out to public consultation. It has 9 main Aims or Divisions for Sustainable Development to look 100 years hence, regarding topics such as Climate Change, Biodiversity, Landscape Changes etc.

The local Strategic Partnerships are about to merge.

The next meeting is on 10th May but no one from the Forum is able to attend so Andy Bell will report back to the Forum.

Richard Butler (UKMAB) commented that he thought that the partnership with a new Chairman had gone extremely well. He was also impressed by the positive way that the educational links with the North Devon College and Bideford College are progressing.

 

North Devon Independent/State School Partnership: BR Education Project

The Chairman and Richard Butler were invited to attend the launch of this project which involves Braunton School, West Buckland School, Pilton Community College, The Park School and Bideford School. They have obtained £135,000 for projects and for the post of Biosphere Education Co-ordinator, over the next 18 months. One of the projects will be the setting up of an interactive website. With the use of digital mapping software, a virtual learning environment providing access to Braunton Burrows will be established.

Andy Bell mentioned other projects which will have a cross curricular input and will be used used for GCSE and A -  Level coursework, and also research.

The Co-ordinator appointed by NDDC is to help teachers as well as pupils in the 5 schools. Exeter University Education Department is monitoring the system carefully.

 

John Breed’s Report: John Breeds was not at the meeting but the Chairman had received his report and also a photograph of the area fenced off at Broadsands for nesting ringed Plovers.

Copies of the report and photograph were handed out to members at the meeting and they will appear on the Forum website www.ttef.org.uk

 

(c)  Braunton Marsh Management Study 2007:

The Chairman announced that the project finance is now completed, a copy of the Receipts and Payment Account  for the completed project was handed out to members.

The Chairman was granted permission by the members to send a letter of thanks to Clare Manning for her superb work on the project.

Also the Chairman was to send formal letters of thanks to the AONB Sustainable Development Fund, The North West Devon Leader+ and The North Devon & Exmoor Regeneration Company who provided the funding for the Study.

The Chairman also wished that her thanks should be given to Richard Butler (UK MAB) and Richard Dyer (Braunton Marsh Internal Drainage Board) for all of their hard work and support and that this should be minuted.

In reply Richard Butler suggested that the Chairman’s hard work and dedication should also be recognised and minuted.

Most of the copies of the Study have now been sent out, with a few being retained for future projects or to be sent out to agencies and establishments contacting the Forum. Copies of the Study are now in all of the universities in the South West and beyond, in all of the secondary schools in North Devon, and all of the primary schools in Braunton. Copies are also in North Devon libraries and Museums, in the Devon and North Devon Records Offices, and in all of the Agencies involved in the AONB and the TTEF, in the Planning and Strategic Planning Departments of DCC, TDC and NDDC, and also other groups such as historical and scientific societies. Copies have also gone to the British Library and British Museum and to universities in Germany and Australia.

The Chairman informed the meeting that there have been many hits on the website to access the Study. There are also links to the Study from the AONB website and from the new North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve website.

The Management Study has aroused some interest with the planners increasing their understanding of the value of Braunton Marsh. This will work for the future with the Shoreline Management Plan, when the SMP committee comes to looking at the issues of Horsey Island and Velator.

Braunton Marsh Commissioners/Braunton Marsh Internal Drainage Board: Following on from the excellent relationship built up by the Study, it is clear that the both of these bodies will feel able to involve the Forum in any help they may need.

Environment AgencyMultiple copies of the Study have gone to officers of the EA and copies are filed at the Devon Area Offices at Exminster House and also in the regional EA library at Bristol.

Explore North Devon Project: It is hoped that the archive of taped interviews conducted by Clare during her research for the Study will be able to be used for the Braunton part of this project.

BR Bridges Education Project: Copies of the Study have been sent to all of the schools involved for use in the project.

Richard Dyer has invited the TTEF to a guided tour of the Marsh. Further information will be sent out to TTEF members by the Chairman in due course.

 

AONB Boundary:

Some time ago a letter was sent from the Forum to the Countryside Agency asking them to review the Braunton Burrows AONB with a view to including Braunton Marsh and The Braunton Great Field. Braunton Parish Council has also asked for this. Having now prepared the case for Braunton Marsh in the Management Study, it is now a good time to renew this request.

It was proposed by John Brooks, seconded by Brian Hockin that the Chairman should write to Natural England, (Countryside Agency) to support the matter. It was agreed by all members.

 

(d)  Fast Leisure Craft.

Appledore Churchfield Slip: Information had been sent out to Members about the use of the slipway, and the application form for a permit to launch from the slip.

Simon Toon has been in contact with the Marine Volunteer Service, and agreement has been reached that the MVS volunteers will man the slip for the rest of the season.

Paul Fronteras (MVS) reported that it has become apparent that there are problems to be resolved and suggested that there is not enough publicity. Also the machines for paying for parking and fees does not give change and do not accept notes therefore 10 £1 coins have to be carried. The Chairman suggested that Paul Fronteras should liaise directly with TDC on this matter. He also reported that if someone wishing to launch had no insurance and therefore refused permission, they would launch elsewhere where insurance would not be required.

The Chairman was to contact John Hartnoll (Marsh Commissioners), about insurance checks at the White House.

Andrew Atkinson suggested that the slipway needed attention to make it more user friendly by cleaning and replacing concrete.

Jerry Lee was asked to explain to NDDC that TDC is running a volunteer service at the launching areas by the MVS. Could NDDC not do the same. Paul Fronteras said that he would be willing to explain the MVS work that they are doing at Appledore for TDC to NDDC.

The Conditions of use for the Churchfields Slip and the form requesting the necessary permit to launch are on the TTEF website: www.ttef.org.uk  along with the details of the Registration Scheme run by the Northern Devon Coast and Countryside Service.

A copy of the Moorings Code of Conduct is also on the TTEF website, and was circulated to members at the meeting.

 

RMB Chivenor – Update.

It was reported at the previous TTEF Meeting that non-military personnel were no longer going to be able to launch from the slipway at RMB Chivenor after 31st March 2007. The Chairman reported that she had understood that there has been a change of heart over this matter, and approved non-military members of the club at RMB Chivenor are to be allowed to continue to launch and to use the club facilities.

 

(e)  Knapp House:

The EA Representative at the meeting said that negotiations were still on-going at Knapp House between the landowner and Agents and the EA. He requested that it should be minuted that EA Devon Control Office would keep the TTEF informed of developments at Knapp House direct.

 

(f)  District Council Liaison:

 Joint LSP Torridge and North Devon.

The Chairman reported that the two Local Strategic Partnerships – Torridge Together and the North Devon Community Alliance – are to merge into a Joint Local Strategic Partnership covering the whole of North Devon. This will eliminate duplication. The first meeting of the interim Board will be on 20th April. The new joint LSP will deliver the new Local Area Agreement, due to be published in 2008. As there will only be one member on this Joint LSP representing the Environment, it is doubtful that the Forum will be offered any role in this new body. The Chairman suggested that as a body dealing with the Estuary, and falling outside the usual representational structure of the local alliances that feed into strategic alliances and into the council structure, this would appear to totally sideline and isolate the estuary once again.

Jerry Lee commented that the 2 councils are concerned and are working on possible links to the new LSP and representation from the Environment.

The Chairman said that at the ND Community Alliance, she had mentioned to the DCC Officer who is drawing up the accessibility plan for the County that the Appledore Ferry is no longer in operation.

The Sustainable Community Strategy for North Devon is now due to be published and will be on the NDDC Website.

A strategic draft Local Development document on Sustainable Design and Construction and on-site renewable energy, is to go out to consultation later this year.

The new North Devon College will be built on the banks of the Taw. Building will start in 2008/9

 

(g)  Estuary Modelling and Shoreline Management Plan 11: - Update.

Andy Bell reported that the first draft of the report from the consultants on the estuary modelling survey had been received. (The officer group was to meet on the day after the TTEF Meeting) He said that their points for clarification will be sent back to the consultant and they hope to have public consultation after the funding authorities have received the report.

The SMP11 is awaiting project approval from the EA as the main budget holder. Scoping work will commence as soon as the budget is approved.

 

5..Erosion at Northam Burrows: Disused Landfill Site:

The Chairman read a letter to the meeting that she had sent to the NDCCS, the district councils, the EA, DCC, AONB, Northam TC concerning the erosion at Northam Burrows and the Disused Landfill Site. This letter had been sent two months previously and there had not yet been a formal reply.

Copies of the two photographs were handed out to members.

Andy Bell said that he was putting together the replies from the various agencies and that they were due to meet the following day. A report was to be forwarded to the Forum within the week.

This reply would be forwarded to members when it was received.

The Chairman declared an interest in that her husband is a member of the Royal North Devon Golf Club.

 

6..Urgent Matters brought forward by the Chairman:   None.

 

Bideford Upstream Bridge:  Chris Hassall had contacted the Chairman suggesting that the article in the ND Journal about DCC rethinking their plans for strengthening the Bideford Longbridge, and a potential plan for an upstream bridge in Bideford, should be discussed by the Forum.

It was agreed that the Chairman should write to DCC asking for further information and requesting that the TTEF be included as a consultee for any scoping studies or plans.

 

7.Consultations:

 

   NDDC: RMB Chivenor: No:43948: Erection of Motor Transport Facilities and Washdown Area, Extension to Armoury to form a workshop and minor alterations to Buildings 57 & 59.

   Environment Agency: RMB Chivenor: No:203839: Notice of Application for consent for the purpose of Section 88 of the Water Resources Act 1991 (as amended by the Environment Act 1995)

   Defra Consultation: Fisheries 2027: towards a contract for the future of Marine Fisheries.

The Chairman is to draw up letters of response to the above consultations so any comments to the chairman as soon as possible.

The EA representative said that he would try to get direct consultations sent to the Forum.

 

Copies of the Letters of Response to: NDDC: Leaderflush & Shapland Sit

                                                        NDDC: Sussmann’s were handed out to members at the meeting.

 

8. Correspondence Received: A list is at the end of the Minutes.

 

9. Agenda Items proposed for the next Meeting:

Janine Holbert - AONB – Community Profiling

 

10. Any Other Business:

Ø       1. The Chairman asked that new members should be considered. The AONB, through Natural England, was now a member in its own right. The Chairman is also to make enquiries about groups such as Appledore Pilot Gig Club, Marine Volunteer Service, and the Sea Cadets.

Ø       2. Andrew Atkinson (ND Sea Anglers) gave a safety message that people should be careful when crossing the Bar because of shifting sand banks. Some channels which were safe last year but are no longer safe this year.

Ø       3. Brian Hockin (Fremington PC), informed the members that there was to be meeting of the Fremington PC with NDDC the following night about the position of the “Severn Sands” moored at Fremington Quay. It was hoped to get the vessel removed, a decision to be made before the high spring tide at the end of the month.

11. Dates and Venues of Meetings for the Forthcoming Year:

 

Monday 16th July 2007 at Bideford Town Hall at 7.00 p.m.

Monday 16th October 2007 at Barnstaple Civic Centre at 7.00.p.m.

Monday 21st. January 2008 at Bideford Town Hall at 7.00 p.m.

 

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.20p.m.

Signed………………………………………………………………………………

Chairman.

 8. Correspondence Received:

Environment Agency: Environment Day – 5th. June 2007: Flyer

Bright Future – Energy Supplement 2006 Green Speak – Newsletter: Your Environment – Magazine – Issue 14

Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service: Biosphere Reserve Partnership – Agenda, Minutes, and papers for the Meeting held on 30th. January 2007

Discover North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve: Leaflet

North Devon AONB: Coastal Life: Newsletter – Spring and Summer 2007

North Devon Community Alliance: Minutes of Meeting on 2nd. April 2007 and papers

North Devon & Torridge Joint LSP – Draft Terms of Reference Torridge Together: Minutes

North Devon’s Festival of Gardening with Wildlife: Free Celebration for all the Family

Defra: Access Newsletter – Issue 23 – February 2007

Biosphere Field Study Seminars: Programme DCC: Devon Minerals Update No.3

Westcountry Rivers Trust: Confluence – Magazine.  Winter 06/07 – Issue 6

Wetfeet: Magazine – Issue 1 – 2005/06 – www.wetfeet.org.uk

CPRE: Countryside Voice: Magazine – Spring 2007CPRE: Houses and Gardens 2007

CPRE: Annual Report RSPB: Newsletter

Finding Sanctuary: Newsletter – Tom.Hooper@southwestfoodanddrink.com

Halcrow: Barnstaple Western Bypass: Newsletter 17: www.barnstaplebypass.com

North Devon Voluntary Marine Conservation Area: DWT’s Rockpool Rambles – Summer 2007

Eclipse Internet: Internet@work: Newsletter – Spring 2007

South West Response to the EU Maritime Green Paper: Conference – 26th. April, 2007

Commission of the European Communities: Policy to reduce unwanted by-catches and eliminate discards in European fisheries: Impact Assessment – Executive Summary

Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS): Objectives

Erosion of Northam Burrows - pictures: www.northam-devon.co.uk

Estuary Users’ Guide and Estuary Code of Conduct: www.ttef.org.uk (use rotate button on Menu Bar to read)

Appledore Churchfields Slip - Conditions fo– Application Form for Permit: www.ttef.org.uk

Taw Torridge Estuary Moorings Code of Practice: www.ttef.org.uk

Defra: Marine Bill White Paper – www.defra.gov.uk

TTEF Braunton Marsh Management Study 2007: www.ttef.org.uk

Weblink:http://www.ttef.org.uk/Study/BrauntonReportDigital.pdf

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