MEETING ON TUESDAY 20 AUGUST 2013, COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL, 17:30 TO 19:35
PRESENT: Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman and Chairman of the Council), Cllr P Glew (Vice-Chairman of the Council), Cllr R Chapman, Cllr S Lawrence, Cllr J Parsons, Cllr J Reynolds
Pauline J Raymond (Clerk to the Parish Council)
The meeting (up to and including Agenda item 69), which was not open to the public, was attended by Neil Homer, Planning Consultant of Teddington, Middx.
65 APOLOGY. Cllr R Eldridge.
Dispensation had been granted as follows:
- Cllr P Glew - dispensation granted to allow her to participate and vote in discussions involving the allotment site despite her husband being a tenant of an allotment.
- Cllr Vine-Hall - dispensation granted to allow him to participate and vote in discussions involving possible development sites in the parish even though he owns land adjacent to one of them.
- Cllr Chapman - dispensation granted to allow him to participate and vote in discussions involving possible development sites in the parish even though he is a near neighbour of the Pestalozzi International Village.
- Lindsay Fraser - dispensation to allow her to participate and vote in discussions involving possible development sites in the parish even though she is a near neighbour of one of them.
No other interests declared.
67 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Group held on 13/08/13.
68 PLANNING CONSULTANT. Neil Homer, who had been appointed by the Parish Council to give expert advice and assistance during the drawing up of Sedlescombe's Plan, attended the majority of the meeting. The Chairman and Clerk had had a pre-meeting with Neil to bring him up to date on the Plan's progress to date. In summary, this included:
- The Parish Council's decision that it would be advantageous to produce a Neighbourhood Plan after a large "green" site in Brede Lane was included in Rother DC's Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and its owner's held an exhibition of development plans for the site. A parish meeting at the end of November 2012 to discuss the site was attended by 150 people where the owners' plans were unanimously opposed.
- Setting up of an advisory committee of the Parish Council to work on the Plan.
- Designation of the whole of the parish of Sedlescombe as the first Neighbourhood Plan area in the Rother District in July 2013.
- Receipt from landowners of notice of 27 sites which might be suitable for housing development in the next 15 years in response to a flyer from the Parish Council asking for suitable sites in the parish of Sedlescombe.
- Initial information about the Neighbourhood Plan process given at the 2013 Annual Assembly in April 2013 (attended by 130 people).
- Residents' Survey during July 2013 with a more than 50% response. Results professionally analysed and presented on 13/08/13 to the Committee.
- Business Survey currently being undertaken.
- Young people's workshops held.
A meeting of parish councillors and Rother is due to take place next week. A Parish Council exhibition to show the sites to the public is planned for the weekend of 14th and 15th September in the Village Hall, 10:00 to 16:00.
Details of the proposed sites together with the site criteria had previously been passed to Neil.
During the meeting, Neil provided useful information which included the following:
- Site assessments of the proposed sites will be the Parish Council's own version of the SHLAA for Sedlescombe and will need to be in more detail than Rother's.
- Site specific policies could be drawn up in Sedlescombe.
- All "Category 1 and 2" site owners should be asked to provide a lot more information about their sites and full consideration should be given to the mix of development proposed for each of them. Landowners should be given until about the end of September to provide the necessary information after which the Group should meet to discuss the outcomes. Neil would attend a further meeting probably in early to mid October 2013.
- It should be made clear at the exhibition that the sites shown will not necessarily be the ones that will be developed in the future.
- It is advisable for the Parish Council to publish on the website a State of the Parish Report prior to the Pre-submission Report.
- The Pre-Submission Report should be used as a testing ground for draft policies. It should include all the sites which appear to be achievable even if they have to be removed later.
- The Plan does not have to be confined to housing and, indeed, he noted the Parish Council's aim to ensure that any development in the parish brings community benefit with it. He suggested informing Rother DC that the scope of the Plan might be extended.
- Because Rother is not expected to adopt its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) until the middle of 2015, some development in Sedlescombe could start previously. Neil would not expect the CIL rate in Rother to be as high as in other Districts and suggested that Section 106 agreements to secure planning gain community benefit would probably be more advantageous to the Parish Council than the CIL. From next year, Section 106 Agreements have to be directly related to the development.
- The importance of protection of the AONB and the "exceptional circumstances" that will need to be demonstrated if "major development" (all the proposed development together could be considered major) outside the development boundary. See * below for details of Paragraphs 115 and 116 of the NPPF.
- Rother is the planning authority and will have to agree the Neighbourhood Plan prior to independent examination. It will be necessary to provide robust evidence of the advantages of the Parish Council's proposed sites over Rother's proposed SHLAA sites.
- If the Plan produced by the Parish Council does not have good community support in the final referendum, much of the considerable effort put in by volunteers will have been wasted.
69 SITE CONSIDERATION. Details of all the sites had been provided to members previously together with details of The Vision for the Parish, Overarching principles and Criteria for consideration of the sites including the support received in the recent survey. All the sites that had not been withdrawn because of the site being too small to accommodate six properties or because of highway access problems were considered and placed in one of the following categories:
- ACCEPTABLE DEVELOPMENT. Meets overarching principles and all criteria for site selection.
- MARGINAL SITES. Meets all overarching principles, but marginal on any of the additional criteria.
- NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT. Fails to meet all overarching principles or fails to meet any site criteria materially.
- That the Plan should in future be known as THE SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN.
- That the landowners of Category 1 and 2 sites should be asked for more detail about their sites and their viability including the proposed mix of development and the planning gain that could be provided.
- That landowners of Category 3 sites should be informed of the reason(s) their sites had been removed from the list and should be allowed to withdraw from the Exhibition.
- That details of the remaining sites should be released at the Exhibition on 14th September and on the website at the same time.
- That quotes are obtained from Fastprint for printing and folding the September Bulletin in colour and black and white.
70 EXHIBITION ARRANGEMENTS
Although some members will be away on the weekend of 14/15 September, others will be able to attend. Cllr Vine-Hall outlined a proposed layout of the display boards. He will e-mail all members draft general text displays. Site displays to follow in due course. It was agreed that sites will be shown under their categories 1,2 or 3. Attendees will be invited to scale their agreement or otherwise of inclusion of each site in the 1 or 2 category and to comment on the category 3 sites (if any remain).
Arrangements for advertising the Exhibition were made including bringing forward delivery of the Bulletin, hopefully to the first week of September. See recommendation above for printing the September Bulletin.
THE NEXT MEETING OF THE SNPPG IS PLANNED FOR 24/09/13.
*Paragraph 115 of the NPPF - Great weight should be given to conserving landscape and scenic beauty in National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which have the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. The conservation of wildlife and cultural heritage are important considerations in all these areas, and should be given great weight in National Parks and the Broads.
Paragraph 116 of the NPPF - Planning permission should be refused for major developments in these designated areas except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest. Consideration of such applications should include assessment of:
- the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations, and the impact of permitting it, or refusing it, upon the local economy;
- the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it in some other way, and
- any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated.