MEETING ON TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER 2013, 19:15 TO 20:00, IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL
PRESENT: Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman and Chairman of the Council), Cllr R Chapman, Cllr R Eldridge, Cllr J Parsons, Cllr J Reynolds, Cllr P Glew (Vice-Chairman of the Council). Parish Clerk: Pauline Raymond
100 APOLOGIES. Cllrs Fraser and Lawrence.
101 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT. None.
102 DISPENSATIONS. No dispensations had been requested, apart from the following that had been approved and which were noted:
- 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 R Eldridge - dispensation granted to him to participate and vote in discussions involving the allotment site despite him 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.
- Cllr 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.
103 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. No public present.
104 MINUTES. RESOLVED: THAT THE CHAIRMAN IS AUTHORISED TO SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITTEE HELD ON 19/11/13.
105 UPDATE ON SITES.
- Members noted David Marlow's comments in his letter (provided to members) of 05/12/13 regarding the Exhibition Sites. The letter included David's interim views on conformity which are listed on the agenda under the individual sites. It was accepted that the Committee still had work to do regarding sustainable development. Getting the proposals through both the Examination and the Referendum are vital parts of a Neighbourhood Plan.
- Neil Homer (Planning Consultant) will be working on site policies once further information has been received from site owners. The Clerk had written to them asking for further details to be submitted to the Parish Council by 13/01/14.
- The Chairman and Clerk are working on individual site assessments which should provide evidence that "sustainable development" can be achieved to meet the target of 35 new homes in Sedlescombe on sites of 6 or more within the next 15 years. The assessments will be e-mailed to councillors for their comments/amendments as they are produced. These site assessments will eventually be included with the Draft (Pre-Submission) Neighbourhood Plan and will be published for consultation for six weeks. It is expected that the consultation period will start some time in February 2014.
106 RESCINDING OF RESOLUTION. The Committee was reminded that a resolution had been passed by the Committee on 22/10/13 (Minute NHP 13/14.79) as follows: That the Parish Council will support inclusion of Sites E01, E02, E03, E06 and E07 in the Draft Pre-Submission Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Development Plan and, for the time being, take no further action on Sites E05, E09, E10, E11.
Subsequently, the Planning Consultant had suggested it had been a little premature to pass this resolution before all the conformity assessments had been completed. Members were therefore asked to consider whether the full Council should be recommended to rescind the NHP 13/14.79 Resolution and it was RESOLVED: That a report should be made to the full Council at its meeting on 14/01/14 requesting that the resolution at Minute NHP 13/14.79 which had been adopted by the Parish Council at its meeting on 12/11/13 under Minute No.C13/14.76.2 should be rescinded.
107 PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARY AS PART OF THE SNDP. It was RESOLVED: That the following areas should be included within the Sedlescombe Development Boundary:
- Balcombe Green gardens that were included in the Rother SHLAA of 2013.
- Garden land to the west of Sunningdale, Gregory Walk that will need to be within the development boundary in order for the proposed Sunningdale development to go ahead.
- Garden land to the north of Cartref, The Street where planning permission has already been granted.
Several other areas as listed on the agenda were considered but no action was agreed.
108 GREENSPACES. RESOLVED: That consideration should be given to inclusion of Red Barn Field and Street Farm as "greenspaces" in the Neighbourhood Plan.
109 INCLUSION OF OTHER SITES. The Committee discussed the appropriate future of land at the Bridge Garage and it was RESOLVED: That the Bridge Garage land should be retained in retail/recreational use.
110 AFFORDABLE HOUSING. The Committee acknowledged that mostly sites would have to include 40% affordable housing in accordance with Core Strategy Policy LHN2(iv)a). David Marlow had appeared to agree that, as Sedlescombe already has a large percentage of affordable housing, it might be acceptable for 35% to be social housing and 65% shared ownership rather than the usual other way round.
The Chairman had spoken with Kieran O'Leary of Rother's Housing Department about management of the affordable housing element of the developments, particularly those proposed at Pestalozzi and, possibly, Blackbrooks. Kieran had said that the Pestalozzi affordable housing could be managed under a Section 106 Agreement to allow their staff/volunteers to have first call on the new properties and, as they might want to let the houses at less than 80% of market rent, they could probably manage the properties themselves. A similar situation might be allowed at Blackbrooks.
111 STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (SEA)
- It is proposed to produce a SEA to accompany the Pre-Submission Plan. The SEA will assess the environmental impacts of the Plan's policies and proposals during its preparation against a series of sustainability objectives (see 2 below). It is a way of ensuring environmental implications are taken into account before decisions are made. A Scoping Report for the SEA together with the State of the Parish Report had been sent to English Heritage, The Environment Agency and Natural England as is required. They will have 5 weeks to reply (expiring on 07/01/14). A reply had already been received from Natural England. The SEA Scoping Report had also been sent to Dr Patrick Roper and he had commented on the out-of-date descriptions of the SNCIs in the State of the Parish Report. He had been on the committee that had set up the SNCIs in this area and would try to get amended descriptions of our SNCIs. The Clerk had obtained a biodiversity report for Sedlescombe from the Sussex Biodiversity Centre. RECOMMENDED: That the Parish Council would make a donation of £25 to the Sussex Biodiversity Centre in recognition of the work involved in maintaining the Sedlescombe part of the environmental database.
- Rother's Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal's environmental objectives. It was noted that sites will be considered against the following objectives already adopted by Rother District Council:
- Improve efficient in land use and encourage the prudent use of natural resources (Rother SA Objective 9)
- Reduce road congestion and pollution levels and ensure air quality continues to improve by increasing travel choice and reducing car usage (Rother SA Objective 10)
- Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (Rother SA Objective 11)
- Minimise the risk of flooding and resulting detriment to people and property (Rother SA Objection 12)
- Maintain, improve and manage water resources in a sustainable way (Rother SA Objective 13)
- Conserve and enhance biodiversity (Rother SA Objective 14)
- Protect and enhance the high quality natural and built environment (Rother SA Objective 15)
The SEA will be published for consultation together with the Draft (pre-submission) Plan and the site assessments.
112 DATE OF NEXT MEETING. The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Tuesday 28/01/14, time to be confirmed.