SPC logoPlanning Committee Minutes

MEETING ON TUESDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2014 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL 18:30 TO 19:23

PRESENT: Cllr J Reynolds (Chairman)
Cllrs P Anson, R Chapman, J Parsons
Ex-officio member: Cllr P Glew (Vice-Chairman of the Council)
Clerk/RFO: Mrs P J Raymond

Also present: Mr Stephen Hardy (CPRE)

79 APOLOGIES. Cllrs Vine-Hall and Eldridge.

80 INTERESTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT. None declared.

81 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION RE MATTERS ON THE AGENDA AT THE CHAIRMAN'S DISCRETION. Mr Stephen Hardy of CPRE gave notice that he would like to speak later in the agenda at Minute No.83.5.

82 MINUTES. RESOLVED: The the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 10/12/13.

83 PLANNING APPLICATIONS

  1. RR/2014/7/P Sedlescombe Vineyard, Staplecross TN32 5SA. Formation of visitors' car parking area. Cllr Parsons reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That, although Sedlescombe Parish Council supports the general principle of a car park for this important local tourist attraction, it suggests that trees/shrubs should be planted to screen the car park from view, particularly at the Compasses Lane end.

  2. RR/2014/62/A Sedlescombe Vineyard, Staplecross TN32 5SA. Static non-illuminated painted signboard. Cllr Parsons reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval of this application.

  3. RR/2013/2502/A Sedlescombe United Reformed Church, Chapel Hill, Sedlescombe TN33 0QX. Advertisement consent for static illumination of existing Church noticeboard. Cllr Chapman reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports refusal of this application for an additional light at the front of the Chapel. The existing light on the wall of the Chapel has been satisfactorily used for many years when the building is in use after dark. As no-one lives on the site and the building is very rarely used after dark, there is no need to light up a sign every night that simply displays the Chapel's name. The application gives the impression that a smallish size lamp has been installed and tested but the lamp is in fact a large floodlight that produces a spread of "red" light that is distracting to motorists. The reason for the light proposed in the letter of 27/11/13 is that "we would like to continue our service by illuminating the church notice board and simultaneously lighting a dark lane often used as a 'shortcut' to the A21". Please note that it is not a "notice" board simply the name of the Chapel, there is no street lighting anywhere in Sedlescombe and all the lanes in the whole area are unlit and Chapel Hill is not a shortcut to the A21 as it doesn't lead to it.

  4. RR/2014/179/T 5 Oaklands Park, Sedlescombe. Works to remove two lower limbs of two Scots Pine trees. Cllr Chapman reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the following comment is made - As these trees have tree preservation orders, it is important that they are properly surveyed to ensure that the correct work is to be undertaken. Any treework should be undertaken by a professional tree surgeon.

  5. RR/2014/147/P Land at Brede Lane, Sedlescombe. The erection of 18 residential dwellings with associated access, car parking and open space together with the transfer of land to be used as school playing fields.

    The Chairman allowed Mr Stephen Hardy to speak about the application. Mr Hardy's comments centred around the policies, particularly the AONB and the National Planning Policy Framework.

    Members had received a Clerk's Report which answered points raised by Mr G Armstrong of Armstrong Rigg (planning consultant) on behalf of the applicant in a Planning Statement attached to the application.

    RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports refusal of the application:
    1. BECAUSE OF THE SITE’S LOCATION OUTSIDE THE LONG-ESTABLISHED SEDLESCOMBE DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARY, ON AN EXPOSED SITE IN THE AONB COUNRYSIDE THAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE LOCAL CHARACTER OF THE AREA, APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE LOCAL PLAN 2006 POLICIES DS3 AND DS4 AND EMERGING CORE STRATEGY POLICY OSSS3 AND NPPF (NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK) PARAGRAPH 115.

    2. BECAUSE APPROVAL OF THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE LOCAL PLAN POLICIES THAT PROTECT THE AONB COUNTRYSIDEAND THERE ARE NO MATERIAL CONSIDERATIONS THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE CONTRARY TO PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE NPPF.

    3. PARAGRAPH 183 OF THE NPPF GIVES COMMUNITIES DIRECT POWER TO DEVELOP A SHARED VISION FOR THEIR NEIGHBOURHOODS TO DELIVER THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THEY NEED. 

      PARAGRAPH 184 OF THE NPPF PROVIDES A POWERFUL SET OF TOOLS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE TO ENSURE THEY GET THE RIGHT TYPES OF DEVELOPMENT FOR THEIR COMMUNITY. 

      PARAGRAPH 185 STATES THAT NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANS WILL BE ABLE TO SHAPE AND DIRECT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THEIR AREA. 

      THE SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN PROCESS IS ROBUST AND IS EXPECTED TO PROPOSE A PLAN WHICH IS ACCEPTABLE TO SEDLESCOMBE RESIDENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SEDLESCOMBE UP TO 2028 IN ACCORDANCE WITH NUMBERS SPECIFIED IN FIGURE 12 OF THE DRAFT CORE STRATEGY.  IT SHOULD THEREFORE BE LEFT TO TAKE ITS COURSE THROUGH TO REFERENDUM WITHOUT PREMATURE APPROVAL OF A HOUSING DEVELOPMENT SITE THAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT FORWARD IN ORDER TO TRY TO GET ROUND THE LEGAL NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN PROCESS.

More specific reasons are summarised below (detailed further in the Clerk's Report which it was agreed would be e-mailed separately to the Planning Officer):

  • Building on the proposed site would jeopardise the landscape and rural character of the area and would be visible above the Brede Valley.
  • Traffic in Brede Lane created by the proposed development, together with the increase already brought by 8 new homes built at East View Terrace in 2013, is expected to increase by 13% which is unacceptable.
  • A new entrance onto Brede Lane will be created close to an existing one.  Moving it further away from Oakhurst will bring it closer to the junction of Brede Lane and Gorselands where there is very poor visibility to the west when entering Brede Lane.
  • Despite being in accordance with parking rules, having space for only 5 cars for visitors is expected to increase visitor parking on Brede Lane close to the junction with Gorselands which could bring unacceptable congestion and danger for other road users.
  • The visibility splay and 5m wide new road will require loss of some of the existing Brede Lane hedgerow.
  • The development will have a significant impact on the 21 neighbouring properties.
  • Proposed site is too large based on optimum development size expressed by residents.  A site of 18 properties could be ready for occupation at the same time as other sites that are being brought forward in the Neighbourhood Plan which could create overcrowding for the school, particularly in the first few years, before pupil numbers can be adjusted back down to the maximum intake.  This will be done by increasing intake of children living in Sedlescombe and decreasing those taken from other areas but, as the rules allow siblings to join a School, adjustment could take a few years.
  • Proposed financial contributions towards upgrading the existing play area and breaking through the hedge should be ignored as the play area is not under the control of either the developer or Rother District Council as the freehold belongs to Sedlescombe Parish Council.

84 PROCESS OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING (FRACKING) FOR SHALE GAS. Because of public concerns over the process of hydraulic fracturing for Shale Gas the County Council has produced a Note of Frequently Asked Questions. The County Council would be the determining authority for any planning application related to fracking but there are no current applications for oil and gas exploration in East Sussex although fifteen licences have been granted by the Department of Energy & Climate Change in East and West Sussex. If an application was received, any decision would involve a rigorous examination of any potential environmental impact and would be considered in the light of national planning policy as well as local planning policy as set out in the County Council's recently adopted Waste and Minerals Plan. A couple of the answers that were highlighted were as follows:

Re the possibility of there being shale gas in East Sussex - geological conditions make the presence of shale gas in East Sussex a probability. However, until exploratory wells are drilled into the shale rock we do not know the amounts for sure.

and

Re the ownership of minerals rights under land - it is fairly common that someone will own the surface of the land but someone else will own the land below the surface. Silver, gold, oil and other petrochemicals are owned by the Crown.

85 RESULTS

  1. RR/2013/2477/P Ivy Cottage, Brede Lane, Sedlescombe. Extensions and summerhouse. Approved with conditions.
  2. RR/2012/2398/P Spilsted Farm, Stream Lane. Remodel land to improve visibility on airstrip, including new temporary access for construction traffic. Refused (damage to the AONB).
  3. RR/2013/2424/P 7 Eaton Walk, Sedlescombe. Relocation of side porch. Approved.

Chairman

Date