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Neighbourhood Plan Project Group Minutes


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Setting up of an advisory committee of the Parish Council to work on the Plan.
  3. Designation of the whole of the parish of Sedlescombe as the first Neighbourhood Plan area in the Rother District in July 2013.
  4. 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.
  5. Initial information about the Neighbourhood Plan process given at the 2013 Annual Assembly in April 2013 (attended by 130 people).
  6. Residents' Survey during July 2013 with a more than 50% response. Results professionally analysed and presented on 13/08/13 to the Committee.
  7. Business Survey currently being undertaken.
  8. 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:

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:

  1. ACCEPTABLE DEVELOPMENT. Meets overarching principles and all criteria for site selection.
  2. MARGINAL SITES. Meets all overarching principles, but marginal on any of the additional criteria.
  3. NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT. Fails to meet all overarching principles or fails to meet any site criteria materially.


  1. That the Plan should in future be known as THE SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. That details of the remaining sites should be released at the Exhibition on 14th September and on the website at the same time.
  5. That quotes are obtained from Fastprint for printing and folding the September Bulletin in colour and black and white.


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.




*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: