MEETING ON 30/07/13 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL 19:00 TO 19:55
Chairman - Cllr John Reynolds
Members: Councillors Chapman, Parsons
Ex-officio members: Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Council), Cllr P Glew (Vice-Chairman of the Council)
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer - Pauline J Raymond
29 APOLOGIES. None, all present.
30 INTERESTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT. None declared.
31 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION RE MATTERS ON THE AGENDA AT THE CHAIRMAN'S DISCRETION. No public present.
32 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 09/07/13.
33 ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES. MINUTE NO.18.3. PLANNING PROCEDURES. It was noted that, according to the Chief Planning Officer, the previously-useful arrangement between the District Councillor and the Parish Council is no longer in operation where referral to the Planning Committee could be discussed when there was a difference between a Planning Officer's proposed decision and the wishes of the Parish Council. The Committee acknowledged, therefore, that District Councillor Ganly did not fail in his duty regarding referral of Cheyne Down applications to the Planning Committee.
As district councillors are not required to inform their parish councils that an application is to be decided contrary to the wishes of the parish council, it was agreed that, in future, if Sedlescombe Parish Council recommends refusal of a planning application, copies of the remarks, and a request for referral to the Planning Committee, will be forwarded without delay to the Chief Planning Officer and other senior planning officers at Rother. Members were reminded that, if possible, they should make reference to adopted planning policies in The Local Plan 2006/Core Strategy draft policies when opposing applications.
The Clerk was asked to raise the subject of a parish council's involvement in the planning process with RALC and Rother Clerks.
The Committee discussed how the comments should be worded. Members' attention was drawn to the "Guide to Development Control Practice for Town and Parish Councils" (2007) which is available on the Rother Planning webpage. Detailed in the Guide on pages 5-7 are descriptions of what are and are not "material planning considerations" and these must always be taken into account. The Chairman mentioned the importance of removing emotion from the comments and restricting them to facts.
It was agreed that discussions should be had with the Planning Consultant through the Neighbourhood Plan process whether there is anything that can be done to increase the Parish Council's influence in planning decisions.
34 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
- RR/2013/1360/P The Dairy, Barnes Farm, Poppinghole Lane, Robertsbridge. Removal of condition 6 imposed on RR/2012/666/P - amended design. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.
- RR/2013/1522/P Park View - land at, The Street, Sedlescombe. Variation of condition 2 (relating to land contamination investigations), removal of condition 12 (relating to provision of low floor bus waiting facilities on both sides of the road) and variation of condition 14 (relating to floor plans and elevations of the dwellings).
RR/2010/1131/P on this site was approved. The proposed amendments above apply to this application.
RR/2012/2172/P was an amendment to condition 14 on RR/2010/1131/P (above) and repositioned proposed dwellings on plots 2 and 3, deleted the large cart lodge and added a small one. Also revised parking. This was approved.
Members considered the reasons for the applicant requesting removal of conditions and decided not to comment.
- Update on RR/2013/876/P The Street, Car Sales Site, Sedlescombe TN33 0QB. Temporary change of use from car sales to car wash and valeting with 'in-out' drive through (six year temporary period). The Clerk had had ongoing communication with the Highways Officer, Ben Lent on, concerning highway hazards in the vicinity of the site. Photos of congestion had been submitted.
Ben had that day written acknowledging all that had been said but insisted that he could not recommend refusal because paragraph 32 of the NPPF states "Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe" and, in his view, the impact on the highway of the development could not be considered as "severe". This is because the proposal would result in a relatively small increase in traffic and a majority of these additional movements would occur outside of the peak periods of use of the surrounding road network. The Clerk will ask Ben to quantify "severe". Consideration will also be given to the amount of business on this site that would be required to cover the rental costs, business rates etc. A meeting will be arranged with Ben Lenton on site on Thursday 08/08/13.
It was reported that there is opposition in the Village to the proposal but that a lot of people are still unaware of it. A petition had been suggested. The Clerk stressed again that only "material considerations" should be included in objections and that this does not include "trade objections" such as "there are plenty of other car wash facilities in the area".
35 APPEALS. None.
36 RESULTS. RR/2013/1282/T, felling of one large conifer outside Pump Cottage, The Green. Approved. Tree has already been removed.
37 ENFORCEMENT. Publication of the weekly Enforcement List sent to parish councils. Publication by parish councils of Rother's weekly enforcement proposals had been discussed at a recent Rother Clerks' meeting. It was agreed that for a trial period the Clerk should send the list to Planning Committee members for their information rather than including the information on agendas or in minutes.
38 LETTER FROM NICK BOLES MP FORWARDED BY GREGORY BARKER MP RE HOUSING NUMBERS. Because of his role in the planning system, Nick Boles had written that he is unable to comment on Local Plans currently subject to independent examination. His letter therefore contained general comments in response to the housing numbers issues raised.