SPC logoSedlescombe
Neighbourhood Plan Project Group


MEMBERS PRESENT: Cllr Vine-Hall (elected Chair)
Cllrs Chapman, Eldridge, Glew, Lawrence, Mitchell, Parsons, Reynolds
Lindsay Fraser (Co-opted non-voting member)
Clerk/RFO - Mrs P J Raymond

Also present from item 34 - District Councillor Tony Ganly

27 APPOINTMENT OF THE CHAIRMAN FOR THE ENSUING YEAR. RESOLVED: That Cllr Vine-Hall be Chairman of the SNPPG for the ensuing year.

28 APOLOGIES. All members present.


Lindsay Fraser declared her interest in agenda items 31, 32 and 33 because of her ownership of property close to the Street Farm Site. The Clerk explained to the meeting that, as a non-voting member, Lindsay is not bound by the Parish Council Code of Conduct and, because she is not bound by the Code, she does not have to leave the meeting as other members would have to do. Consequently, there is no need for her to claim dispensation to speak. However, all members were reminded that they are bound by the Seven Principles of Public Life including considering all matters in the public interest.

Members were reminded to declare interests if they arose during the meeting.

NB It was noted that the Parish Council had granted dispensation as follows:

Cllr P Glew - dispensation until May 2015 to speak and vote re the allotment site despite her husband being the tenant of an allotment.

Cllr R Eldridge - dispensation until May 2015 to speak and vote re the allotment site despite being a tenant of an allotment.

Cllr J Vine-Hall - dispensation until May 2015 to speak and vote re land at Dell View in Hawkhurst Road despite him being the owner of the neighbouring land.

30 PLANNING CONSULTANT. Members gave further consideration to the role of the Planning Consultant and the Chairman reported discussions he had had with an applicant who has experience in advising parishes on their Neighbourhood Plans. The majority of the work that the Planning Consultant will be involved with is expected to take place from September 2013. The importance of experience in the work or the area was stressed and it was, therefore, decided to eliminate one of the applicants on the grounds of lack of experience relevant to Sedlescombe's Neighbourhood Plan. It was agreed that a decision on the appointment should be left over until the next meeting on 16/07/13 but that it will be necessary to keep to the overall budget approved by the Finance Committee.

31 REVISED HOUSING NUMBERS FOR INCLUSION IN THE REVISED STRATEGIC HOUSING LAND AVAILABILITY ASSESSMENT (SHLAA). Cllrs Vine-Hall, Glew and the Parish Clerk had attended a meeting with the Rother Planners on 23/05/13 after which a confidential report had been circulated to members. The meeting had focused on the need to find additional housing development sites in Rother District which would satisfy the Core Strategy Inspector.

Subsequently, an e-mail had been received from David Marlow of Rother District Council in which he lists three amber sites in Sedlescombe which he proposes to include in a revised SHLAA to meet the requirement for 25 new properties in or close to the Sedlescombe development boundary. It was not clear whether the date from which the figures are calculated has been moved from 2011 permissions to those from 2013 which would mean that the 25 no longer would include the 8 properties currently being built at East View Terrace. David Marlow stated that the inclusion of "amber" rather than "green" sites is to allow further investigation of the sites through the Neighbourhood Plan process.

It was noted that last month the County Education Department responded to Rother's request for educational capacity information across the District saying that, in Sedlescombe, "because of the School organisation constraints ESCC would prefer that any additional housing in this area is kept to a minimum". They went on to say "As it may be necessary to put in some temporary classrooms to cope with bulge year groups, the provision of adjacent land for sports pitches would allow temporary classrooms to be provided on the existing school site. As such, the offer of land for a sports pitch east of the existing site would be of potential interest to ESCC."

32 POSSIBLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT SITES AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR VISITING THEM. Sites that are thought by their owners to be suitable for developing with at least six houses had been listed and will be considered in due course in accordance with the agreed site criteria.

Members had been e-mailed maps marked up with these sites. Although some are in or adjacent to the existing Sedlescombe development boundary, others are outside the area but could provide amenities of community benefit eg employment uses or parking. Still others that are outside the development boundary do not appear to provide community benefit.

The Chairman stressed that it is important to remember that support for sites will be decided, not by the Group members, but by the residents of Sedlescombe who will be able to see plans of the sites and comment at the Exhibitions and to vote at the referendum.

No discussion took place on the merits of any of the sites apart from regarding the suitability of the accesses to the sites from the highway. This information had been provided by Chris Stanyard of East Sussex Highways on a tour of the sites by the Chairman and Parish Clerk on 14/06/13. It was expected that sites with access onto the highway which do not meet the Highway Standards will not be considered further unless alternative accesses can be identified.

Members agreed that no formal arrangements should be made to visit the sites.


34 INTRODUCTION AND WELCOME TO VISITORS. District Councillor Ganly was welcomed to the meeting.

35 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION RE MATTERS ON THE AGENDA. No other members of the public present.


The Chairman informed the Group that he had, the previous week, attended a Networking Chairmen's Day arranged by SALC at which the Housing Minister, Nick Boles, was the major speaker. Nick Boles spoke of the enormous support the Government is putting into Neighbourhood Plans.

He had also attended a meeting of the Herstmonceux Neighbourhood Plan Committee and intends to attend another meeting there with Cllr Glew on 01/07/13. Other members of SNPPG are invited to attend as well. At this public meeting, landowners who had put forward sites, will present their projects to the meeting. It was noted that Wealden District Council will accept housing development sites outside the immediate village.


  1. Evidence Sources - evidence re housing needs has been included in the draft questionnaire. Rother had provided a long list of evidence sources and others had been received from the Environment Agency.
  2. E-mail database. Gradually being increased as local residents agree to being included.
  3. Street Champions. Cllr Glew was congratulated on getting so many areas of the parish covered by Street Champions whose job it will be to encourage residents to complete their survey forms. The Clerk will send out to members details of areas that still need a champion.
  4. Opportunities to benefit the Sedlescombe community, possibly through 25% of the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy on housing development.
    1. Provision of a car park next to the Parish Church
    2. Provision of a footway at Sandrocks
    3. Provision of a footway in Paygate Road (could be insufficient width)
    4. Provision of parking bays at East View Terrace
    5. Provision of parking bays in Brede Lane
    6. Youth facilities
    7. Other
  5. Approval of criteria for site assessment. Members had been sent details of site criteria containing A Vision for the Parish; the categorisation of sites under three groups; overarching principles for development within Sedlescombe Parish; Criteria for development sites; Development Priorities; Use of any funds generated by the neighbourhood plan or developments; timing of development. An amendment was agreed.

    The Chairman suggested that, at the Exhibition, it might be best for attendees to be asked to comment on which development meeting Category 1 sites - Acceptable for development - should be used to make up the housing number for Sedlescombe. Category 2 criteria - Marginal Sites - to be used as back-up with just comments being sought for Category 3 criteria sites - not acceptable for development. Members were invited to try considering the criteria up against the submitted sites.
  6. Background information. Being gathered together by the Parish Clerk eg census results.
  7. Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan Area Approval. To note that a report is expected to be submitted by Rother Planners to Cabinet on 01/07/13. No comments had been received by Rother re the published Neighbourhood Plan Area.
  8. £7,000 Funding application. For submission once the Neighbourhood Plan Area has been officially approved by Rother DC.


  1. E-mail database. Being maintained by the Clerk. A resident's approval must be obtained before his/her e-mail address is added to the database.
  2. Elderly. For further consideration how to involve the elderly.
  3. Younger people. The Chairman is meeting with the head of Claverham CC to arrange some involvement of students living in Sedlescombe. He is also considering how to involve the two students over 15 who come from Sedlescombe and go to Robertbsridge CC. Involvement of children attending private schools such as Battle Abbey, Vinehall and Claremont will be considered. The Chairman is meeting with the Youth Club on Wednesday 26/06 in response to their request. With Pestalozzi students (see 11 below) and other contacts, it is expected that about 100 young people will be involved.
  4. Business-people. Cllr Chapman will consider how to involve business-people possibly through the Federation of small businesses.
  5. Local landowners. Already most local landowners with suitable land have been contacted. Chairman to contact Mark Winchester.
  6. Developers. Probably invite to Exhibition.
  7. Estate Agents. Lindsay Fraser to contact estate agents.
  8. Publicity. Cllr Reynolds to consider publicity, particularly for the Exhibition.
  9. Police to be involved in due course, possibly re traffic issues.
  10. Local organisations will be involved through their members who are resident in the Village.
  11. Pestalozzi. Arrangements have been made for two sessions with Pestalozzi students next week on Wednesday 26/6 and Friday 28/6 at which members of the Group will be involved.

39 APPROVAL OF DRAFT RESIDENT SURVEY, ARRANGEMENTS FOR DISTRIBUTION, RETURN AND ANALYSIS - NB Financial approvals had been delegated to the Finance Committee.

The Chairman had drafted a questionnaire for consideration of the Committee. In order to provide evidence for the Plan, it has been necessary for it to be rather lengthy and some members expressed their concerns about this aspect. Members had been able to comment in advance of the meeting on the questions and these comments, together with more made at the meeting, will be forwarded for amendment to the survey form.

It needs to be with the printer by Friday 21/06 in order for it to be returned by the following weekend ready for distribution. The Clerk will arrange distribution of the forms, one for each resident, together with the June Parish Council Bulletin, the front page of which will be given over to providing more details about the questionnaire and the Neighbourhood Plan. Members were asked to collect bulletins and forms from the Clerk on the weekend of 29-30/06.

Mark Winchester of Blackbrooks Garden Centre has agreed to provide three vouchers for a prize draw.

Return will either be by free post or may be left in Sedlescombe Village Stores. Street champions will be asked to chase returns. ID cards to be provided for street champions.

The timetable is expected to be as follows:

18-20/06 - amendments to the survey form by the Researcher in consultation with the Chairman.
21/06 - questionnaire to the printer, ready for printing onto oversized A3 paper.
28/06 - 1250 printed questionnaires to be returned to the Clerk.
29-30/06 - Group members to collect questionnaires and Bulletins from the Clerk for marking and taking to the people who will be doing the delivery.
01/07 - Group members to aim to get questionnaires and Bulletins to those doing the delivery.
08/07 - People doing the delivery to be asked to aim to get questionnaires and Bulletins to residents as soon as possible after 01/07 and, in any case, not later than 08/07.
15/07 - Champions to chase return questionnaires.
16/07 - Next meeting of the SNPPG to review situation.
19/07 - Closing date for return of questionnaires and as soon as possible thereafter for the completed questionnaires to be passed to the researcher for analysis and reports.
12/08 - Reports and completed questionnaires to be returned from researcher.
20/08 - SNPPG to review and prepare for Exhibition of sites.

40 PREPARATION FOR DISPLAY AT THE SEDLESCOMBE FAYRE, 27/07/13. Cllr Lawrence agreed to be in charge of this and other members, who are already very involved with the Fayre, will help as they are able.

41 PREPARATION FOR THE EXHIBITION TO BE HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON 14-15 SEPTEMBER. Consideration deferred to the next meeting.


43 PREPARATION OF THE DRAFT NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN. Consideration deferred to the next meeting.

44 APPROVAL OF TIMETABLE. Currently running to timetable.