SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL

PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 3 APRIL 2007 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL 19:45 TO 20:22

PRESENT: Cllr P Martin (Chairman of the Committee), Cllrs W Cameron, N Foord, Mrs J Mitchell, Cllr Mrs V Wright (Chairman of the Council), Cllr A Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council). Clerk - Mrs P Raymond

Several members of the public were present but took no part in the discussions

P06/07.110 Apologies for absence. None, all present.

P06/07.111 Minutes. The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 13/03/07.

P06/07.112 Interests. Members were reminded to disclose interests as they arose. The following were declared:

Cllr N Foord - Minute P06/07.113.3
Cllr W Cameron - Minute P06/07.114

P06/07.113 Planning Applications
113.1 RR/2007/644/P Bulmer Lodge (Bulmer House - land rear of), The Street, Sedlescombe. Erection of detached dwelling including dormer windows, rooflight and balcony with provision of two parking spaces. Cllr Cameron reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.

113.2 RR/2007/646/P and RR/2007/650/L 4 Manor Cottages, The Street, Sedlescombe. Conversion of open-fronted outhouse to an enclosed utility room. Cllr Foord reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.

113.3 RR/2007/686/P Coombe Wood, Sandrock Hill, Sedlescombe. Demolition of existing garage and carport and erection of detached pitch roof double garage. CLLR FOORD DECLARED HIS PERSONAL & PREJUDICIAL INTEREST IN THE APPLICATION BY VIRTUE OF HIM BEING THE NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR. HE LEFT THE ROOM AND TOOK NO PART IN THE DISCUSSIONS.
Cllr Mrs Wright reported on her inspection. Copies of several letters of objection had been received from neighbouring properties. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports refusal as the proposed development would be large and obtrusive close to its boundary, out of proportion to the house, and its proposed use for working on vehicles would unreasonably harm the amenities of neighbouring properties. The access onto the B2244 is unsuitable for any intensification of use.

113.4 RR/2007/791/P Gate Cottage, Church Hill, Sedlescombe. Extension of existing pitched roof over garage to side and majority of kitchen/dining room at the rear to provide two additional bedrooms and bathroom facilities. Cllr Martin reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.

The Committee agreed to move item P06/07.114 to the end of the agenda.

P06/07.115 Brickwall Hotel Illuminated Signs. Last year, the Parish Council had asked Rother District Council to investigate whether the refurbished illuminated signs at the Hotel should have had planning approval now that this part of Sedlescombe is within the Conservation Area. After a considerable delay, Rother had asked the Parish Council to provide some form of proof that the signs are new or have been completely replaced at some time since 1974. The Clerk had produced a series of photographs dating from 1968 which showed the signs. However, it was not possible to see whether the illuminated part of the signs had been replaced and it was, therefore, decided to drop the matter. Clerk to inform Rother.

P06/07.116 Planning appeals. None.

P06/07.117 Planning results.

RR/2007/397/P Pestalozzi International Village, Sedlescombe. 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 Rother District Council deferred decision on 15/03/07 to allow a full report to be presented at the next planning meeting on 19/04/07.
RR/2007/378/P Pestalozzi International Village, Sedlescombe. Outline: erection of 6 dwellings with alteration to an existing access Rother District Council deferred decision on 15/03/07 to allow a full report to be presented at the next planning meeting on 19/04/07.
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

ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL REFUSED PLANNING PERMISSION (not satisfactorily demonstrated that residential re-use is the only viable means of retaining the building and the proposal will adversely impact upon the traditional vernacular appearance of the rural building)

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

ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL GRANTED FULL PLANNING AT ITS MEETING ON 15/03/07 DELEGATED (SATISFACTORY RESOLUTION OF THE CONCERNS RAISED BY THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY AND CONFIRMATION THAT THE COUNTY ARCHAEOLOGIST DOES NOT WISH TO OBJECT/DETAILS OF THE USAGE OF THE ACCESS TO COTTAGE LANE)

RR/2007/275/P Chittlebirch Yard, Great Sanders Farm, Beech Farm Road, Sedlescombe. Temporary siting of mobile home

ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL REFUSED PLANNING PERMISSION (need not demonstrated)

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

ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL REFUSED PLANNING PERMISSION (increased traffic hazards because of inadequate visibility, loss of domestic garage, extension of residential curtilage)

RR/2007/182/P Petley Farm, Marley Lane, Sedlescombe. Outline: siting of two new holiday lodges and formation of car park and removal of steel containers

ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL REFUSED PLANNING PERMISSION (increased traffic hazards at existing access, too close to established business units)

The Committee noted that some of these applications had been decided contrary to the wishes of the Parish Council without any contact from the District Councillor.

RR/2006/3499/P Darwell Reservoir and Beauport Water Supply Works - land between Mountfield, Whatlington, Sedlescombe, Westfield and Battle. Construction of replacement raw water pipeline. The Clerk reported that on the day of the Rother Planning Committee Meeting, she had noticed that Rother's Planning Officer report contained an incorrect statement regarding the loss of large mature trees around the Marley Lane junction. She had alerted Rother and although Rother had later granted permission, the section adjacent to Marley Lane/Petley Wood re trees, had been delegated.

P06/07.114 Pestalozzi planning applications. CLLR CAMERON DECLARED HIS PERSONAL & PREJUDICIAL INTEREST IN THESE APPLICATIONS BY VIRTUE OF HIM LIVING ON THE PESTALOZZI ESTATE. HE LEFT THE ROOM AND TOOK NO PART IN THE DISCUSSIONS

114.1 The Clerk reported that she had attended a meeting with residents of Cottage Lane and Mr M Cathcart, Rother Planning Officer, on 20/03/07.

She drew attention to the following:
South Lodge entrance - East Sussex County Council did not foresee any problem with the South Lodge gate at the time of writing a report on the RR/2007/282/P application on 14/03/07 because of insufficient traffic impact. The main access road was expected to remain at the bottom of Chapel Hill. Since then, there have been many objections from people living in the Cottage Lane/Crazy Lane/New England Lane areas who feared intensification of the use of the South Gate entrance, particularly because of the proposed position of the car park at that end of the Estate.

Proposed development close to South Lodge gate. As well as the car park to the west of the existing road leading from South Lodge gate into the estate, on the east side there are proposals for a series of buildings connected with estate management and the new garden. None of the plans provided seem to show all these proposed buildings at the same time as they are included on two separate planning applications. In all there will be a strawbale classroom, a storage shed, a greenhouse, a garage, an automobile workshop, an office, a wood workshop, a laundry and a storage area. The buildings will be situated close to Ashdown Cottage and not that far from South Lodge and this is obviously the area where the majority of noisy activities will be sited.

Archaeology. The Clerk reported that the County Archaeologist has been enthusiastic in seeing the proposed development at the PIVT as an opportunity to investigate the area where, he says, there is "considerable potential for the survival of significant archaeological features and deposits". Remains could be in existence from at least the Mesolithic (middle stone age) found elsewhere in the Brede and Rother Valleys, through Roman times (43-410AD) when we know there were ironworkings on the site and through the medieval period (1066-1377AD). The Roman period remains could be of regional significance.

The County Archaeologist does not accept the statement in the desk based assessment that archaeological deposits under the existing buildings are unlikely to have survived as this has not been definitely proved. Because of the potential archaeological significance on the site, the County Archaeologist is proposing a programme of archaeological works meaning that all groundwork on the site including buildings, roads, landscaping and planting, will require pre-construction archaeological survey evaluation and reporting in order to allow an informed decision to be made about mitigation.

114.2 Cllr Mrs Wright had attended a meeting with residents of Cottage Lane on 26/03/07 and she had also had discussions with Mr Richard Maidment, Chairman of the Pestalozzi Trustees. Although the proposed car park is close to the boundary of South Lodge itself, it but will be dug 1 1/2 metres into the ground and, if Mr and Mrs Heap so desire, a bank can be constructed in order to completely hide the car park. Additional trees will be planted to further hide the vehicles and deaden the sound. The area will be lit only when in use in order to save money and to protect the bats.

Cllr Mrs Wright reported that she had been informed by Pestalozzi that the proposed buildings close to South Lodge gate will be used for agricultural use with the automobile workshop being used to maintain five cars on the site. There will be no windows or doors on the Cottage Lane side of the buildings.

114.3 East Sussex County Council is recommending refusal of RR/2007/378 & RR/2007/397 because of the substandard layout and the increase of existing hazards at the junction of Chapel Hill and the B2244. If Pestalozzi is willing to improve the junction to a standard agreed with the County Council, the objection would be withdrawn. The junction improvement would have to be designed, funded and implemented by the applicant and ESCC had provide a sketch of which might be appropriate with the entrances to Chapel Hill and Pestalozzi separated.

County Council additional report. Cllr Mrs Wright reported that information had been received that the County Council is now requiring the South Lodge gate entrance to remain locked so that its use cannot be intensified. Although this means that the proposed car park is situated at the wrong end of the development, with all vehicles including coaches having to wend their way through the Pestalozzi Village to the car park, Pestalozzi is unable to find an alternative site for the car park close to the bunk houses and, therefore, wishes to keep the car park on the proposed site.

114.4 Additional Parish Council comments. The Comittee had supported all three Pestalozzi applications in principle. However, members were concerned about the impact on the neighbouring properties and it was RESOLVED:

1. That additional comments are made on RR/2007/282/P as follows: Despite the Parish Council's approval in principle of the Pestalozzi applications, the realisation that all these buildings are to be situated so close to dwellings makes it necessary to ask that the following is taken into account: The buildings should be kept as low as possible. All buildings should have effective soundproofing. All buildings should be restricted to use for Pestalozzi with no commercial element. Adequate tree screening should be planted.

2. That additional comments are made on RR/2007/397/P as follows: Despite the Parish Council's approval in principle of the Pestalozzi applications, the closeness of the proposed car parking area for the whole site to the South Lodge boundary is not supported. It is suggested that, despite the car park being dug into the ground and the offer of an earth bank, a car park in this position will unreasonably harm the amenities of South Lodge and its garden.

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