Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday 27th September 2016
at 19:00 in Committee Room 2 of Sedlescombe Village Hall
Present: Cllr. Vine-Hall (Chairman).
Cllrs. Brister, Chapman, Fraser, Page, Parsons and Veitch
Clerk/RFO: Mrs Carol Hodgson
Also Present: Cllr. Anson, County Cllr. Angharad Davies, District Cllr. Tony Ganly and 2 Members of the Public
31 Interests in accordance with 2012 Code of Conduct
- To receive new written requests for dispensation.
The Clerk confirmed the following written Dispensations are held for on file:
Cllr. Fraser dated 22nd January 2016 re: Development of land at the Street Farm site on Brede Lane and Scotch Down
Cllr. Chapman dated 15th May 2015 re: Pestalozzi
- To receive Councillors' declarations of interest regarding matters on the agenda.
32 Public participation as approved by the Chairman regarding matters on the Agenda.
The Chairman invited the Members of the Public to speak. No comments were received.
33 To approve the minutes of the NHP meeting on 07-Jul-16
RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 7th July 2016
34 Regulation 14: Revised Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan
- To review the Neighbourhood Plan for consistency and soundness.
Members had received prior to the meeting copies of the Submission Version of the plan, Basic Condition statement, Strategic Environmental Assessment Report, Site assessments, Local Green Space and Consultation Statement. The Chairman invited comments on the documents from Members. In summary:
Members discussed the consultation responses and the summary of support and objection to each site and overall. All these details of which are in the draft documents. Discussion was had on the consultation form and issues relating to the process were discussed and the responses received. Cllrs. Page and Parsons presented a balanced argument on a number of issues which were discussed at length.
To consider a response to letters received from the following in relation to the execution of Regulation 14 by the Neighbourhood Plan Committee
a. Residents in Gregory Walk
Members had received prior to the meeting a copy of the correspondence from residents in Gregory Walk and a proposed response to review.
The Chairman invited comments from Members.
Residents in Gregory Walk had voiced their concerns at the NHP Exhibition on 31st July to a Councillor and were encouraged to write in detailing any issues they may have for Parish Council to review.
A vote was taken to accept the proposed response to residents in Gregory Walk.
Agreed: 6 / Objected 1 / Abstained 1
RESOLVED: The following response to comments received by residents of Gregory Walk in relation to the execution of Regulation 14 by the Neighbourhood Plan Committee would be issued (As attached)
b. Resident in Chapel Hill
Members had received prior to the meeting a copy of the correspondence from a resident in Chapel Hill listing several issues.
The Chairman invited comments from Members.
Individual comments must be given the same weight as the other 400 respondents to the consultation. The Parish Councillors all work hard to support the Sedlescombe community. Protection of the AONB is very important to Parish Council. The comments from both correspondents has enhanced the NHP by bringing-up these issues.
RESOLVED: Parish Council's response to the following statement in the letter attached to the consultation submission from Rother District Council as follows:-
Comment in letter:
‘while a local resident has written to Rother DC asking that the consultation exercise be declared null and void “because of the biased campaign undertaken by the Parish Council which appeared to be aimed at stopping development on that site while other sites, also in the AONB and outside the development boundary, were not given proper consideration.’
Parish Council Response:
The Parish Council has given due consideration to every site through:-
1. Site assessments conducted by Graham Fifield a Chartered Town Planner with over 25 years experience and former senior planning officer with Rother District Council. (See Site Assessments document in the submitted Neighbourhood Plan)
2. Review of the Site Assessments by Neil Homer MBA MRTPI Planning Director rCOH Ltd.
3. Review of the SEA prepared by Neil Homer Neil Homer MBA MRTPI Planning Director rCOH Ltd.
4. By reflecting the clearly articulated views of the residents as expressed through the following consultations.
• Response from first public meeting in November 2012
• Resident Survey responded to by 58% of all households in August 2014
• First Sites exhibition attended by 400 people (mainly residents) in September 2013.
• Resident response to refused planning application RR/2014/147/P in Spring 2014.
• Results of Regulation 14 and Regulation 16 consultations of the withdrawn plan in (April 2014 and October 2014).
• Residents response to Dismissed appeal by the Secretary of State APP/U1430/A/14/2219706.
• Results from the Regulation 14 Consultation for the current Submitted Plan.
• Resident response to resubmitted planning application RR/2014/1837/P-July 2016.
Rather than being biased the Parish Council has simply and consistently reflected the views of the majority of residents.
It should be noted that this resident submitted a 14 page response to the consultation in addition to a number of suggested amendments. Whilst having been sent a copy of the correspondence sent to Rother DC the comment above was not submitted as a response to the consultation.
The comments are the opinion of one resident who has clearly indicated in their separate consultation response that they do not support the Neighbourhood Plan (despite supporting a number of individual policies). This must be balanced against the advice given by two professional Chartered Town Planners and against the desire of the large majority of residents. It is understood that this resident is one of the 22 residents who supported development on Street Farm out of the 266 who made specific comments of which 244 specifically commented on wishing to retain this site as a green space. In addition, 88% of all those who submitted consultation responses generally supported the plan including keeping this site as a green space (Conversely 12% did not support the plan and made comments only) .
The Parish Council respects the views of every resident but must be mindful that the Neighbourhood Plan must reflect the large majority of residents view’s otherwise it will be highly likely to fail at Referendum.
The Parish Council is also mindful of the clear purpose of neighbourhood planning, as set out in a number of paragraphs of the NPPF, in allowing local communities to shape future development of their areas. It is therefore for the Parish Council of Sedlescombe to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the various sites put forward for allocation and to exert their planning judgement in deciding which sites to allocate. Provided communities do so in a way that meets the basic conditions, the fact that one resident may have arrived at a different judgement is immaterial.
There is a judicial review ruling that provides the precedent for this position, which agreed that proposals that were clearly unlikely to win the support of the local community at a referendum could not be defined as ‘reasonable’ for the purpose of evaluating alternatives (see EWHC1470, Barratt Homes and Wainhomes v Cheshire West & Borough Council, 9 May 2014 relating to the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan).
The Parish Council recognises that it cannot satisfy every resident but is mindful that at every consultation the plan has achieved at least 88% overall support.
The Regulation 14 Consultation was carried out as required by the regulations set out in the legislation and it is resolved that the Regulation 14 consultation has met all the requirements of the legislation.
- To approve submitting the Neighbourhood Plan to the Local Planning Authority - Rother District Council.
The Chairman called for a vote to approve the submitting of the Neighbourhood Plan to Rother DC.
Agreed: 8 - unanimous.
RESOLVED: That the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan will be submitted to Rother District Council.