SPC logo

CLERK'S BRIEFING NOTE

PESTALOZZI

 

 

1. The driveway to Pestalozzi's buildings, now known as Ladybird Lane, is in a very poor state of repair following years of neglect .There is also a drainage problem, particularly near the start, where water pours across the road from south to north. East Sussex County Council attempted to solve the problem of water pouring from Chapel Hill in 2002 with a pipe into the sportsfield ditch. However, particularly during this very wet winter, water has still been a problem in this area. This water problem contributes to the breakdown of the road surface.

 

CURRENT LEGAL SITUATION

  1. Ladybird Lane belongs to Pestalozzi International Village.

  2. The Parish Council is responsible for paying a fair proportion (according to user) towards the costs of keeping the roadway between the disused cattle grid and the sportsfield car park in good repair. [Title Deeds of Sportsfield 23/05/1985]

  3. The Sports Association has the right to access the car park along the drive but has no responsibility regarding a contribution towards repair costs. [Lease of the Sportsfield from Sedlescombe Parish Council to Sedlescombe Sports Association 01/08/2005]

  4. The occupiers of Oaklands Manor and 1-4 The stables also have legal responsibilities to contribute a fair proportion towards the costs of keeping the roadway between the disused cattle grid and the stone pillars at the entrance of Oaklands Manor driveway in good repair. [Individual Title Deeds]

  5. The Parish Council must allow water from Pestalozzi land to enter any ditches or watercourses on its property. [Title Deeds of Sportsfield 23/05/1985]

  6. The Parish Council must "at all times to keep in good repair and working order the ditches culverts and watercourses running along the southern and western boundaries of the property". [Restrictive covenant on Title Deeds of Sportsfield 23/05/1985]

  7. The Sports Association must keep all ditches on the Sportsfield in good order. [Lease of the Sportsfield 01/05/2005]

  8. The Sportsfield Car Park is not included in the Parish Council's Lease to the Sports Association and, therefore, remains the responsibility of the Parish Council.

NB The housing land is expected to have a covenant requiring contributions from the new owners towards keeping Ladybird Lane in good order. The amount Pestalozzi receives for the building land is to be reduced to provide the housing developer with sufficient funds to allow roadworks to be undertaken. The developer plans to carry out initial work on the road within the next three months. This will not include new passing places (as proposed in RR/2007397/P ie the major development of Pestalozzi). However, it has recently been suggested by the Chief Executive that the entrance to the sportsfield car park is included in the roadworks and properly prepared for tarmac so that it can be used as a passing place.

 

CURRENT PLANNING APPROVALS

  1. HOUSING - RR/2007/378/P Outline: erection of 6 dwellings with alteration to an existing access. Permission granted 08/01/2008. This was described by the applicant as enabling development to raise capital from the sale of the housing site to secure the future of the PIVT in its present location. The following conditions apply:

    1. Application for approval of reserved matters regarding landscaping and appearance of the site must be submitted by 07/01/2011.

    2. Tree work to be controlled.

    3. Vehicle and cycle parking areas to be provided before occupation.

    4. "Upon occupation, use of the south access to the site (ie from Cottage Lane) shall be restricted to Pestalozzi staff and emergency vehicles only and must be kept locked at all times only to be opened for the approved limited use." Signage must be erected.

    5. Wheel washing equipment to be provided during earthworks and excavations.

    6. Archaeological work to be undertaken.

    7. Contaminated land assessment to be undertaken.

    8. Scheme for foul and surface water drainage to be produced.

  2. SECTION 106 AGREEMENT - in connection with the above-mentioned planning permission for housing development, a Section 106 Agreement between Rother DC and PIVT was signed. In the event of implementation by the owner of the residential development, PIVT is to:
    1. Commence the Pestalozzi works (as detailed in paragraph 4 below ie Sainsbury House refurbishment and extension and the construction of a new Administration building) within 2 years after the "Date of Commencement" of the housing development. [Therefore if the housing development is commenced in January 2011, Pestalozzi works should begin by the end of 2012. See commencement of RR/2007/397/P development in planning terms below.]

    2. To use reasonable endeavours to complete the Pestalozzi works within a further 2 years. [Therefore the Pestalozzi works should be completed by the end of 2014]

    3. PIVT must inform Rother of anticipated dates for a) Date of Commencement of the Housing Development; b) Date of commencement of the Pestalozzi works and c) Practical completion of the Pestalozzi works.

    4. In the event of implementation of the housing development and within 28 days of the date of commencement, a deposit of 62.5% of the net proceeds of the sale of the residential land must be deposited in an Escrow Account to be used for carrying out of the Pestalozzi works approved under RR/2007/397/P below. The Agreement specified that the money should be used as follows:
      • Refurbishment and extension of Sainsbury House
      • Construction of the new Administration Building.

        NB - at a meeting with Paul Evans on 21/04/10, he informed the Chairman and Clerk that Pestalozzi would make an application to Rother in the next couple of months to alter the Section 106 Agreement so that the Escrow Account funds can be used to refurbish (in a different layout), but not extend, Sainsbury House and to construct a conference centre on the footprint of the proposed administration building (and, therefore, not build a new adminstration building).

    5. Before commencement of the Pestalozzi works development, PIVT must enter into a legal agreement (and pay the legal costs) with the County Council to secure a junction improvement at the northern access to Pestalozzi Village where it joins Chapel Hill C22 and Paygate Road B2244. Before occupation of the new conference centre, the highways works to the junction must be complete.

    6. Obtain the County Council's approval of a Travel Plan before occupation of any part of the Pestalozzi Development.

    7. Six months after occupation of any part of the Pestalozzi Development, to submit a revised travel plan and other documents as described in the Agreement.

  3. MAJOR REDEVELOPMENT - RR/2007/397/P Part demolition of existing and construction of replacement buildings including improved conference, dining, administration & education facilities, accommodation including roof lights and associated works including parking and alteration to an existing access. Permission granted 08/01/2008. Development to commence by 07/01/2013.
    1. External materials to be agreed.

    2. Tree work is controlled.

    3. New tree, shrubs and hedge planting to be carried out. Tree replacement if lost controlled.

    4. Vehicle and cycle parking areas to be provided before occupation.

    5. Improved western access to be provided prior to occupation of the new conference facility.

    6. Upon occupation of any new building which is part of this planning approval, use of the south access to the site (ie from Cottage Lane) shall be restricted to Pestalozzi staff and emergency vehicles only and must be kept locked at all times only to be opened for the approved limited use. Signage must be erected.

    7. Wheel washing equipment must be provided during earthworks and excavations.

    8. Schemes for foul and surface water drainage to be provided.

    9. No landraising or development works within floodplain of the River Brede.

    10. Contaminated land assessment to be undertaken.

    11. Use of Swiss Hall Field for occasional car parking not approved under this planning permission.

    12. Archaeological work to be undertaken.

    13. Ecological and wildlife impact mitigation measures to be implemented in accordance with a timetable of works to be agreed.

    14. Further detail of the appearance of the surface finish of the proposed car park, including levels in relation to adjacent land to be submitted to LPA.

    15. Bottle bank recycling area location not approved.

    16. Proposed workshop and maintenance yard to be used only for purposes ancillary to the operation of PIVT including repair of vehicles operated by PIVT only.

    17. Floodlighting and illumination plans to be submitted to LPA for approval before installation.

    18. Decision relates to original plans and amended plans PIV040A, PIV300A, PIV301A and PIV302A date stamped 21/05/2007.

The major development plans include construction of

  • The Estate Road - the existing road to be resurfaced and upgraded with passing places and a contrasting colour pedestrian strip. Six passing places shown on the plans, two within the area between the disused cattle grid and the sportsfield car park, both on the south side of the road.

  • Removal of the existing sports courts at the centre of the Village and their replacement with a village green and pond.

  • The Pestalozzi Centre - providing new facilities for education, conference, dining and administration. A group of four single-storey buildings with pitched roofs around the new village green. Two rundown buildings would be demolished.

  • New bunk Accommodation for 230 visitors close to the existing dining hall (Swiss Hall). A sports pitch and multi use games court also proposed at the rear. Two rundown buildings would be demolished.

  • A new Estate Management Yard with an accompanying garage/workshop building next to the new garden to replace facilities lost on the sale of the housing land. Initially situated next to the new Pestalozzi garden close to Cottage Lane but following objections from local residents in Cottage Lane, plans were amended to move the yard and building to the site of the former Inspiration House.

  • Restoration and extension of Sainsbury House to allow student numbers to be increased to 60 (from 33). The refurbishment included changes to the roof, windows and cladding to improve the view from the centre of Sedlescombe Village. New planting was proposed to further soften the view.

  • Minor refurbishment of Songtsen Khang and Trisong Ngonga (not part of the planning application).

  • Improvements to Chief Executive's House.

  • VW houses reconverted into two semi-detached houses including significant upgrading.

  • A new car park for approximately 49 spaces close to the south entrance on a greenfield part of the site. Residents living adjacent to the proposed car park objected to its position even with a proposed 2 metre mound to hide the car park from their property. They were supported by the Parish Council (planning meeting 29/05/2007 P07/08.8.2).

  • Landscaping.

GARDEN - RR/2007/282/P Construction of Pestalozzi Garden including a strawbale classroom with rooflights, storage shed, greenhouse and formation of new vehicular access and pedestrian accesses. Permission granted 14/06/2007. The garden was originally proposed adjacent to Cottage Lane. However, following the loss of the old garden as part of the housing development, a new garden has been constructed within the site but not as proposed in this planning application.

 

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL AND PESTALOZZI

  1. Letter from Paul Evans, Chief Executive, dated 30/03/10. The purchase price for the development plots has been adjusted to cover the cost of the drive improvement. Mr Evans has written to the owners of the Stables and the Manor House asking them for a contribution towards the cost "from the entrance to the site to the entrance of their drive". A request was made for the Parish Council to agree to fund the cost of tarmacing the sportsfield car park bellmouth entrance ie £3,703.60 including VAT. This area will be used as a passing bay. There may be other costs involved in improving drainage alongside the Sportsfield.
    To consider passing the following resolution: That, in principle, the Parish Council is willing to fund the cost of tarmacing the sportsfield car park entrance to meet its obligation to make a fair contribution towards the upkeep of Ladybird Lane to date. Payment to be made by 2 April 2011 provided the work has been completed. By paying for this work, the Parish Council does not accept responsibility for repairs to the bellmouth other than as part of the overall responsibility of all users. (By the Parish Council giving the order for the work and receiving the invoice, VAT will be reclaimable. No VAT reclaim can be made if a donation is made to Pestalozzi even if the money is spent on the same work.) It will be necessary to ascertain the exact amount of the bellmouth to be surfaced (NB the maximum width of the bellmouth is 24 metres while the gateway is 3.2 metres. The depth is 7.7 metres.)

    Further recommendation in connection with work to the Sportsfield car park entrance:

    To consider passing the following resolution: That the Parish Council should seek inclusion of the repair work to the culvert at the Sportsfield car park entrance in the proposed surfacing work to the entrance, to be paid for by the Parish Council in accordance with its obligations as owner of the car park to keep ditches and culverts clear.

  2. Meeting with Paul Evans, Chief Executive, and Debbie Martin, Marketing Manager (attended by Cllr Wright and Pauline Raymond) on 21/04/10. Mr Evans explained that, in order to ensure the road does not fall into such bad disrepair in the future, he would like to establish a principle for percentage contributions whenever a repair is required from those contributing towards its repair in accordance with their Title Deeds ie Parish Council (say 10% of the cost of repairing the road from the disused cattle grid to the entrance to Oaklands Manor driveway), the owners of Oaklands Manor and 1-4 The Stables (say 10% between them) and the six new properties (say 10% between them) leaving 70% for Pestalozzi to pay.

    Although the idea of a clear division of the cost of repairs looks attractive at first sight, the Parish Council is only responsible for a proportion of the driveway ie approximately 210 metres of the total 620 metres and it would be inappropriate for the Parish Council to appear to be contributing towards the cost of the whole road. Any repairs necessary to the "top" part of the driveway should not involve the Parish Council in any expense. Although an amicable agreeement of all parties regarding apportionment of costs is preferable, and less expensive, if no agreement is forthcoming, there is a provision in the Title Deeds for an arbitrator to make the decision.

    The Parish Council must also be aware that use of the roadway could intensify significantly in the future and whatever percentage is agreed might not be reasonable the next time a repair is required. This could include not only alternative uses of the buildings at Pestalozzi or the construction of new ones but also the designation of the Estate as a "Country Park" or use of Ladybird Lane for Speed Hill Climb events which might damage the road surface and which it would be unreasonable for the Parish Council to have to repair. The description of the amount required in the Title Deeds of "according to user" allows the matter to be considered when required.
    .
    To consider passing the following resolution: That the Parish Council does not accede to the request from Pestalozzi to agree in principle to contribute 10%, or any other set percentage, of the cost of the whole road's future repairs but, in accordance with its legal obligations and in the light of circumstances prevailing at the time, the Council will consider any future request from Pestalozzi for a contribution towards repairs to the 210 metres between the disused cattle grid and the Sportsfield car park entrance.

    Work is required to improve the drainage situation of Ladybird Lane, particularly the part near the disused cattle grid. Some of the water appears to emanate from Chapel Hill and discussions need to be held with East Sussex County Council. Drainage will, of course, need to be sorted out by East Sussex County Council when the new junction with Chapel Hill and the B2244 proposed in connection with the new conference centre is being considered. Some water is thought to emanate from a spring on Pestalozzi land.

    To consider passing the following resolution: That the Parish Council agrees to allow Pestalozzi to cut additional grips in the grass verge adjoining Ladybird Lane to allow water to enter the Sportsfield ditch in accordance with its obligations in its Title Deeds to allow water into ditches or watercourses on its land coming from Pestalozzi land. The Council does not object to the proposed reprofiling of Ladybird Lane to encourage water to enter the Sportsfield ditch. The Parish Council does not consider it should contribute further financially to this drainage work.

 

 

Pauline J Raymond
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer
Sedlescombe Parish Council
12 April 2010