Minutes of Mark Community Land Trust (MCLT) Members Meeting held in Mark Church Hall on Thursday 29th September 2016 at 19:00 hours.




MCLT Steering Group - Simon Emary (SE) (Chairman), Jan Horn (JH) (Company Secretary), John Spencer (JS) (Treasurer), Sally Flack (SF), Gareth Woodcock (GW), Mike Schollar

Steve Watson (SW) – Wessex Community Land Trust Project (WCLTP),

Esther Carter – Somerset District Council (SDC), Duncan Harvey (SDC), Andrew Gilling (SDC)

Donna Johnson (DJ) – CEO South Western Housing Society (SWHS), Martin Carney (MC) Operations Manager - (SWHS),

Colin Powell (CP) - GCP Architecture Consulting


Mark Parish Council (MPC) – Sally Flack, Will Human, Jendy Weekes, Eileen Corkish

Members – Debra & Sarah Bale, Maggie Borham, Amanda & Lee Bradley, Geoffrey & Lesley Catterall, Fred Cooper, Neil Corkish, Jacqueline & Stewart Dearsley, Elizabeth Emary, Tom Hanlon, Peter Horn, Jonathan Howse, Alison Human, Marion Pudner, Dot Reaney, Leslie & Susan Smith, Sandy Spencer, Jean & Michael White


Apologies for absence – Hattie Stevens, Geoff Francis, Vivienne Dix, Joan Thompson, Roy & Pauline Love, Anthony Hockin, Howard & Rosemary Joint, Jon Glauert, Robert Pudner, Christine Schollar


  1. Welcome – SE gave welcomed all attendees and thanked them for their presence.


  1. Acceptance of minutes from previous meeting held on 18th August 2016


  1. Purpose of meeting – To brief members on the work carried out since our last meeting having listened to comments received. Members will be aware that the CLT is set up to benefit the community rather than the members. The Board of the CLT is clear that this project very much benefits the community by providing affordable homes for local people on a site that is available at the right price, will be owned in perpetuity by the CLT and which is likely to obtain planning permission. Funds are available and feedback about use of the road, parking and design have all been taken into account, as you will hear. Although we have had one request to hold a vote on whether the project should proceed, because it so clearly fulfils our objects as a CLT in benefiting the community, the Board has made a decision to submit a planning application shortly to Sedgemoor DC. Anyone wishing to oppose the project will still have an opportunity through the planning application process” - SE


  1. Introductions – SE introduced representatives (as listed above) from MCLT, WCLTP, SWHS, SDC and GCP


  1. Petition - SE acknowledged receipt of a petition from Northwick Road/Vole Road members and residents which focuses on Road safety and flooding concerns. The full wording of the objections and details of the number of signatures and household’s is available to view on the MCLT website, under the ‘Housing Project’ Community Consultations section.


  1. Project background Re-visited – SW gave a brief review of why this project was established, it’s importance to the community and what the benefits of a CLT to the community are.


  1.  Activity since last meeting - JH gave an overview of what activities and actions have been undertaken since the last meeting to present. Detailed in-depth surveys completed. Project plans developed and reviewed. MCLT/SWHS Design team meeting held. Community consultation session conducted to share project plans and receive both written and verbal feedback. Preliminary plans revised to address community concerns and incorporate suggestions as appropriate. Traffic survey conducted. Formal pre-planning application meeting held with Sedgemoor District Council on 9th September. Monthly newsletters published and website established to share plans and project progress with the wider community, in addition to Members/Shareholders.


  1. Feedback summary – GW presented a summary of the written feedback from the questionnaire forms which were completed by attendees at the two Community Consultation sessions. Full details of the questions and all comments received can be viewed on our website.


  1. Proposed actions to address key themes - CP gave a detailed presentation stating what actions have been undertaken to investigate and address the key concerns expressed during the Community Consultation sessions. Activity included undertaking a traffic survey, discussions with relevant authorities and finally revising the plans to provide effective solutions to the issues raised including road safety and flooding concerns. 


  1. Overview of final development proposal – Attendees were shown the revised plans that included additional resident parking, visitor parking in ‘grasscrete’ to soften the hard surfaces appearance, landscaping, and paviours to the courtyard area. A pallet of proposed external materials in varying colours and textures were on display.


  1. What Next? – SE gave a brief summary of the next steps, which includes submission of the Planning Application, and exchanging contracts on the land. SE closed the presentation section of the meeting with the following: -

“Why would you oppose a project that provides affordable homes for local people on a site that is available at the right price, will be owned in perpetuity by the CLT and which is likely to obtain planning permission; where funds are available and feedback about use of the road, parking and design have all been taken into account?”


Questions/ Comments – A variety of questions were raised as summarised below: -


  1. What is the benefit of being a shareholder? You are entitled to vote members onto the board
  2. You state you have chosen a site that is likely to obtain planning permission? The site was chosen because it met the majority of desired criteria as presented at the public meeting in September 2015
  3. I am not permitted to run a business from my stables due to access, so why can this development go ahead? Ultimately it is for the Planning Officer to determine whether the proposed development is appropriate and feasible.
  4. How will Contractor traffic access the site? Initially vehicles will access from the Causeway, crossing the field on tracks until the access road from Northwick Road has been built. Materials will then be delivered on smaller flatbed vehicles via Harp Road/Northwick Road.
  5. What happens if there is nobody with local connections when a home becomes vacant? – DH re-iterated the findings of the last Housing Needs Survey which together with those that signed up during the Public Consultation session amounts to at least 15 local families. Previous experience of these projects indicates that demand will far outweigh the number of homes available. Presently affordable rented housing in Mark is extremely limited. Priority will be given to those living within the Parish of Mark, followed by the second and tertiary areas as previously presented. A post development review of Housing need will be performed by SDC.
  6. What about the introduction of a 20mph speed limit in development area on Northwick Road?  This is a possible option for consideration
  7. Why do the board feel the need to go ahead without conducting another vote? The CLT rules do not require further votes to be undertaken. The overall feedback from the Consultation sessions has shown wide support across the community. The public vote in September 2015 resulted in 70% of attendees in favour of the proposed location. In addition, the board has considered all feedback and plans have been amended to adequately address concerns, finance is in place, partnerships agreed, therefore the board believe it is right for the long term benefit of the broader community of Mark to go ahead with the planning application.
  8. What is the Board’s responsibility? – SW explained that the CLT has to consider whether the project proposed will benefit the community as a whole, this is the judgement that has been made in respect of this project.
  9. Why aren’t the board listening to the 44 members from the community who have signed the petition? Note: For clarity the 44 members- refers to members of the community, not necessarily members of the MCLT. – The board and its partners have listened to all forms of feedback and have tonight demonstrated how they propose to address the key concerns. For details of the petition refer to point 5 above.
  10. How much interest has been shown in the proposed new homes? – In addition to the 12 families already on the Housing Register, another 5/6 families’ registered during the recent drop-in sessions.


SE closed of the meeting, by re-stating the following: -


“Why would you oppose a project that provides affordable homes for local people on a site that is available at the right price, will be owned in perpetuity by the CLT and which is likely to obtain planning permission; where funds are available and feedback about use of the road, parking and design have all been taken into account?”


The meeting closed at 20:30 approximately with SE thanking all for attending.




For those members that did not attend the meeting or those that would like to revisit any of the information presented at the meeting, the full presentation and all associated documents are readily available to view on the website including detailed feedback. Actions taken and solutions proposed to address the community’s concerns, traffic survey  and revised plans.


If you have any queries please contact the Clerk to the Parish Council:


01278 789859 or email here






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