SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL

PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES

A MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD IN COMMITTEE ROOM 1 OF THE VILLAGE HALL ON MONDAY 5 MARCH 2007, 19:30 TO 20:35

PRESENT: Cllr P Martin (Chairman of the Committee), Cllr W Cameron, Cllr Mrs V Wright (Chairman of the Council), Cllr A Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council)
Mrs P Raymond (Clerk, Sedlescombe Parish Council)

ALSO PRESENT: 3 members of the public up to and including agenda item P06/07.104.1 and another member of the public for the whole meeting

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P06/07.98 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. None received (note that the change in meeting day may have caused some confusion).

P06/07.99 MINUTES. The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 13/02/07.

P06/07.100 INTERESTS. Members were reminded to disclose personal interests in matters as they arose, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regarded the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

P06/07.101 MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES. None.

P06/07.102 PLANNING APPEAL RESULTS. None.

P06/07.103 PLANNING APPEALS. None.

P06/07.104 PLANNING APPLICATIONS

104.1 RR/2007/525/P 2 Old Schoolmasters House, Great Sanders House, Hurst Lane, Sedlescombe. Cllr Martin reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports refusal as the proposed development would harm the amenities of neighbouring properties and would not be compatible with the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The development would be more appropriately-situated on an industrial site.

104.2 RR/2007/522/P Little Firwood, Kent Street, Sedlescombe. Demolition of existing buildings and erection of new dwelling including detached garage. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.

104.3 RR/2007/400/P Beech Farm Bungalow, Hawkhurst Road, Sedlescombe. Erection of conservatory to the side of the property. DEFERRED.

104.4 RR/2007/353/P The Barn, Lower Jacobs Farm, Brede Lane, Sedlescombe. Change of use and conversion of barn to form dwelling with alteration to existing access and provision of three parking spaces. DEFERRED.

104.5 RR/2007/275/P Chittlebirch Yard, Great Sanders Farm, Beech Farm Road, Sedlescombe. Temporary siting of mobile home. Cllr Martin reported. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval in support of the local business.

104.6 RR/2007/261/P Old Barn, Hawkhurst Road, Sedlescombe. Change of use and conversion of detached former garage building into a single unit of self catering holiday let accommodation. DEFERRED.

CLLR CAMERON DECLARED HIS PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTEREST IN THE FOLLOWING THREE PLANNING APPLICATIONS BY VIRTUE OF HIM LIVING ON THE PESTALOZZI ESTATE. HE LEFT THE MEETING DURING CONSIDERATION.

104.7 RR/2007/397/P Pestalozzi International Village, Sedlescombe. Part demolition of existing and construction of replacement buildings including improved conference, dining, administration and education facilities, accommodation, including roof lights and associated works including parking and alteration to an existing access.

104.8 RR/2007/378/P Pestalozzi International Village, Sedlescombe. Outline: erection of 6 dwellings with alteration to an existing access.

104.9 RR/2007/282/P Pestalozzi Garden, Pestalozzi International Village, Sedlescombe. Construction of Pestalozzi garden including a strawbale classroom including rooflights, storage shed, greenhouse and formation of new vehicular access and pedestrian accesses.

RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval in principle of these three applications but with the following comments:

ACCESS

1 Neither of the two official entrances to the Estate are ideal for present-day traffic.

1.1 The current main entrance at West Lodge is at the awkward junction with the B2244 and Chapel Hill. In the January 07 Transport Assessment that accompanies the application the junction is described as "rather unconventional". Despite additional signs and road markings, vehicles emerging from the Pestalozzi road often seem unaware that they are moving into the path of vehicles leaving the B2244 and entering Chapel Hill. Any increase in visitors to the site, who are unaware of the peculiarities of this junction, will increase the chances of a collision. The Parish Council has spoken with Graham Furness, Manager, East Sussex Highways, concerning this junction and he has agreed that improvements would be desirable. He suggested that the entrances to the Pestalozzi estate and Chapel Hill should be separated.

1.2 At the south entrance, the junction with Cottage Lane and Harts Green has very poor visibility to the left of the junction (described as "limited" in the January 07 Transport Assessment"). The plans indicate that this will be the access used for visitors, groups and the public going to the new classroom/estate yard/garden facility. This is also the entrance used for collection of waste.

1.3 The possible use of the New England Lane/A21 junction to travel to the south entrance of the Estate is of very real concern to the Parish Council (see paras 3.6.25 and 6.9.3 of the January 07 Transport Assessment). The Highways Agency, in its letter of 28/10/06, highlights this as a junction with "an extremely poor level of visibility". They go on to say that the junction will need either to be improved or shut to traffic.

1.4 A field gate in Cottage Lane, opposite the garden of Oak Cottage, is occasionally used to access the Estate for events such as Tribal Earth (para 5.4.4 of the January 07 Transport Assessment). Tribal Earth lasts up to a week a year. No mention is made of this entrance, which itself has poor visibility, in the Transport Assessment . The attendance at this event is underestimated in the report. Although the Parish Council has not counted the number of people attending, it would seem that there are always considerably more than fifty people attending and camping on the Estate during this event.

EXISTING TRANSPORT NETWORK

2.1 Some statements made in the January 07 Transport Assessment are inaccurate or misleading. The Parish Council would like to make the following comments: -

CONSTRUCTION TRAFFIC

The Parish Council would support a condition of the planning permission to restrict construction traffic to using the access from the A21 via Paygate Road and not through Sedlescombe Village with its ancient buildings.

TRAVEL PLAN

The Parish Council suggests a Travel Plan should be provided before any development is allowed.

PROVISION OF INFRASTRUCTURE

The Parish Council would support a condition that the infrastructure must be put in place before any development, including house building, is started.

TREES

The Parish Council welcomes the extensive proposed tree planting scheme but the trees must be looked after following planting and there should be a condition requiring replacement of any trees that die within five years of planting. The retention of the Strawberry Tree should be included in the landscaping plans.

DRAINAGE

Work should be undertaken to sort out the drainage of the Pestalozzi Road, particularly of the section close to West Lodge. It is important that no more water is channelled into the ditch of the sportsfield which belongs to the Parish Council as there are already problems of flooding at that part of the field spoiling the enjoyment of users.

VISUAL INTRUSION

The Parish Council welcomes the efforts that have been made by the Architects to "lose" the buildings in the landscape. It is important that no changes are allowed to materials during the course of the build that would result in the use of different, less appropriate, colours or of reflective materials.

HOUSING

The Parish Council would support removal of development rights for the houses.

SWIFT NEST BOXES

The Parish Council would support the incorporation of swift nest boxes into the new buildings.

USE OF WOODEN SLEEPERS AT THE GARDEN AREA FOR WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

The Parish Council suggests that these could be very slippery in wet weather.

P06/07.105 PLANNING RESULTS
105.1 RR/2006/3884/P Catkins, Meadow Lane, Sedlescombe.
Demolition of existing dwelling and car port and erection of replacement detached dwelling including dormers with detached double garage including rooflights. PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED.

105.2 RR/2006/3500/L Garners Cottage, The Street, Sedlescombe. Replacement of windows and conversion of office to two bedroom house (retrospective application). LISTED BUILDING CONSENT GRANTED.

105.3 RR/2007/89/P The Candles, Battle Road, Swailes Green. Erection of conservatory to replace existing. PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED.

Chairman....................................................... Date..................................................................