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PLANNING MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE ROOM 2 ON TUESDAY 8 MAY 2012, 21:25 TO 21:55

MEMBERS PRESENT: Cllrs Heap, Mitchell, Reynolds, Cllr Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Council), Cllr Glew (Vice-Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond

 

Also in attendance: Parish Cllrs Chapman and Eldridge, District Councillor Ganly and 2 members of the public

 

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P12/13.1 Appointment of Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing year. It was moved by Cllr Vine-Hall and RESOLVED: That Cllr Reynolds be Chairman of the Planning Committee for the ensuing year.
P12/13.2 Apologies and reasons for absence. None, all present.
P12/13.3

Disclosures of personal and prejudicial interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct 2007. Cllr Mitchell declared her personal interest in Agenda item P12/13.6.1 by virtue of her living at East View Terrace and being a garage tenant. She remained in the meeting and took part in discussions.

P12/13.4 Public participation session. None.
P12/13.5 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 27/03/12.
P12/13.6

Planning Applications

  1. RR/2012/716/P East View Terrace - garages. Demolition of existing garages and erection of 3 flats in a single block, 4x2-bedroom semi-detached houses and a 2-bedroom wheelchair adaptable bungalow. Cllr Vine-Hall reported on this amended application (by reduction by one to three flats). RESOLVED: That the Parish Council continues to support refusal of this application for the following reasons:
    1. Contrary to Policy GD1(i) and (iii) and Policy TR2 - General Development Considerations, Transport -
      1. The proposal does not meet the needs of future occupiers because of the loss of garage spaces and provision of insufficient replacement parking.
      2. The proposal does not provide adequate and safe access by all relevant modes of transport as East View Terrace is remote from a daily bus service. The bus service to and from the Village centre, an uphill walk away, is only once every two hours and the last bus is before 6pm. There is no evening service. The bus stop near the Estate is for a once a week bus to Battle.
      3. The proposed development is not in a position that will promote more sustainable travel choice as required by this Policy. The site is not suitable for disabled or elderly people without a car being at the bottom of a hill which needs to be climbed to reach the centre of the Village.
      4. The proposed access to the new development is narrow without enough turning space near the proposed parking spaces.
      5. The additional properties will result in increased unacceptable traffic conditions in East View Terrace itself and in the already heavily-congested approach road - Brede Lane, especially at school arrival/departure times. The incremental additional development on the Estate (previously doubling the number of homes on part of the Estate 20 years ago) and on and off of Brede Lane increases the dangerous parking problem in the Lane.
      6. The proposal does not provide for sufficient parking spaces. Nearly all residents and their visitors and tradespeople will in future have to park on the roadside. If Rother District Council approves this application, the developer should be required to remove the grass verge from the East View lower road to provide a long layby to help cope with the loss of parking.
    2. Contrary to Policy HG4(v) and (ix) - Housing Developments.
      1. No public open space or play space has been provided to meet the needs of existing and new occupants. Currently East View has very limited recreational space with Orbit Housing Association providing one piece of play equipment for under 10s for the current 110 homes on the Estate.
      2. Early in 2011, Orbit Housing Association planned to provide allotments and identified a need for ten. The proposed development will use land which could be used for this purpose.
    3. Contrary to Policy CF2 and CF4 - Community Facilities.
      1. No community facilities are provided despite part of the site previously being used for a community meeting place. The provision of a building suitable for the youth club has long been discussed by the Parish Council and would have been possible before the fire and demolition of the Scout Hut on this site, The Sedlescombe Youth Club, whose members mainly live at East View, are currently meeting at the Pestalozzi International Village (about 30-minutes walk away).
      2. There is a shortfall locally in recreational land close to East View Terrace. Amicus Horizon and Orbit Housing Association, landlords of many of the properties at East View Terrace, should ensure that adequate recreational space is provided.

        It was agreed that the Clerk should object strongly to any approval by Rother of this application just because it ticks the affordable housing boxes of the Housing Association and the Local Authority and that, rather, Rother should listen to local people as required in the Localism Act.

  2. RR/2012/735/P Chittlebirch Oast, Cripps Corner - relocation of vehicular entrance. Cllr Reynolds reported on his inspection of this application site. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports a refusal because, although the Parish Council does not object to the relocation of the vehicular entrance, the public bridleway along the length of the proposed driveway must be safeguarded without any reduction in width, obstructions or gates.

  3. RR/2012/741/P 7 Blacklands, Sedlescombe - single storey rear and side extension, together with new vehicle access. Cllr Mitchell reported on her inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports a refusal because, if allowed, it will badly spoil the amenities long enjoyed by the adjoining property and would not respect the character and appearance of the locality. Parking in Brede Lane for neighbouring properties will be affected by the development.

  4. RR/2012/749/P Brickwall Hotel - land adj, The Green, Sedlescombe. Renewal of outline planning permission for new bungalow to land adjacent The Brickwall Hotel. Cllr Glew reported on her inspection. This is a renewal of previous planning permission. It was noted that the development will mean removal of several trees within the existing garden but that the site is outside the Sedlescombe Conservation Area. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval of this application.

  5. RR/2012/787/T Harriet House, The Green, Sedlescombe. Fell 4 conifers because of close proximity to this and neighbouring property causing damage to drains and drive and excessive shading and low amenity value. No discussion by the Parish Council as Rother has already approved this application.

  6. RR/2012/824/P Pine View, Balcombe Green, Sedlescombe. Proposed extension. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council approves this application.

  7. RR/2012/729/P Sedlescombe Sportsfield, Extension of Car Park. It was noted that there had been a delay in the submission of this application because of a requirement for a Heritage Asset Statement to be included because of the Sportsfield's situation in an "Archaeological Notification Area" defining an important and extensive Roman industrial site. The Assistant County Archaeologist suggests a condition which will, if agreed by Rother, mean an additional cost will be incurred. It was agreed that a comment should be made to add to that of the Rother Parks & Leisure Services Manager regarding parking in the access road by sportsfield users as follows: This parking, often by visiting teams, takes place in a narrow private road which is the main access drive (Ladybird Lane) to the large Pestalozzi International Village as well as several dwellings, some currently being built.  The parking in Ladybird Lane, which is contrary to the covenant on the sportsfield land, causes severe obstruction for residents and visitors of the Estate and would hinder clear access by emergency vehicles.  The successful use of the sportsfield and pavilion is to be applauded and encouraged but it is essential that additional parking within the field is obtained before the next football season, otherwise the future of the sportsfield will be threatened.
P12/13.7

Other planning applications

  1. RR/2012/666/P and RR/2012/667/L Barnes Farm, Poppinghole Lane, Robertsbridge. Demolition of agricultural storage building and conversion of redundant dairy building to 3-bed dwelling with associated parking and landscaping. It was noted that "no comment" had been forwarded re the above-mentioned applications.
  2. RR/2011/279/L, 1 Manor Cottages, The Street, Sedlescombe. The Committee noted correspondence between the Clerk and the applicant regarding the applicant's objection to the way the Parish Council had handled his application for a conservatory.
P12/13.8 Appeals. None received.
P12/13.9

Results

  1. RR/2012/312/P Lower Marley Farm, New Road, Sedlescombe. Extensions, chimney. Planning permission granted.
  2. RR/2012/459/T 11 Orchard Way, Sedlescombe. Tree Work. Overall crown reduction refused. Reduction of lateral branches consented.
  3. RR/2012/417/P Durhamford, Stream Lane, Sedlescombe. Joining two ponds on land south of Durhamford. Planning permission granted.
  4. RR/2012/529/P Spilstead Oast, Stream Lane, Sedlescombe. Enlargement of existing pond on pasture land. Planning permission granted.
  5. RR/2012/787/T Harriet House, The Green, Sedlescombe. Tree Work consented.
P12/13.10

Enforcement List

  1. New Complaint received 24/04/12 - Great Sanders House, Hurst Lane, Sedlescombe. Garden building.
  2. Prosecution 24/04/12 - Budget Car Company, The Street, Sedlescombe. Car Parking. No further action.
  3. 10 Park Shaw, Sedlescombe. Garden room built - No further action.
  4. Crazy Lane Caravan Park, Crazy Lane, Sedlescombe. Repairing and selling vehicles. No further action.
  5. New Complaint received 02/05/12 - 115 East View Terrace, Sedlescombe. Tyre repair business.
P12/13.11 Bexhill to Hastings Link Road. The Committee noted that the Link Road has been approved by Government.
P12/13.12 National Planning Police Framework. The Committee noted that the new National Planning Policy Framework has been published. Action with Communities in rural England has published a summary.
P12/13.13 Pre-application Planning Advice. The Committee noted that Rother District Council is introducing a range of charges for pre-application advice, permitted development enquiries and general requests for planning information. The charges are based on £48 including VAT per hour per officer which reflects the cost of providing the service. Charging for information requests and permitted development enquiries started from 01/05/12 and a charged pre-application advice service will start in July/August. Rother Planning Committee has confirmed that enquiries from Parish, Town, District or ESCC will remain exempt from charges.
P12/13.14

Code of Conduct. The Clerk reminded members that a useful summary has been included on the Rother Planning website which is pertinent to Sedlescombe Parish Councillors as well as follows:

 

Councillors on the Planning Committee are subject to the Council's Code of Conduct. This requires them to register certain interests and when considering individual planning applications to declare any interests they may have in relation to the application before them. If the interest is both a personal and prejudicial interest they are required to leave the meeting during consideration of that item and may not take part in the discussions. If the interest is just a personal interest, they may participate in both the discussion and voting on that item.

 

It is equally important that Councillors on the Planning Committee do not come to the Planning Committee with a predetermined position on any planning application. They are required under the common law on bias to come to the meeting with an open mind and give consideration to all relevant facts presented to them at the meeting. This does not mean that a member cannot form an initial view in advance of the meeting (that is being predisposed to a particular viewpoint) but they must not come to the meeting with a closed mind and not be prepared to listen to the arguments of fellow members and the advice of the Officers.

 

This causes difficulty, because members of the public, action groups etc not only ask Councillors to listen to their views but also try to persuade them to commit for or against a planning application in advance of the meeting without understanding that if they do so they will be precluded from voting at the Committee.

 

 

   
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