Minutes - Sedlescombe Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust


PRESENT: Simon Lawrence (Chairman), Pauline Raymond (Secretary)
Peter Anson, Roy Chapman, Rod Eldridge, John Parsons, John Reynolds, Jonathan Vine-Hall


13 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Trust held on 10/09/13 are approved.


  1. Completion. The completion of the MUGA was noted and the final costs arranged by the Parish Council. Details here.
  2. Opening. The opening ceremony was carried out by Jonathan Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Parish Council) on 28/09/13 and attended by parish councillors, District Cllr Ganly, members of the public, members of the Football Club Committee, junior Football Club members and the tennis coach. A free tennis coaching activity was arranged on the same morning.
  3. Use.
    1. Tennis. The MUGA is being used for tennis coaching by Nick Montague who is arranging training sessions for children 5-8 years and adults on Saturday mornings and is just starting coaching on Monday afternoons (about a dozen people have so far been involved on Saturdays). The Secretary had seen confirmation of the Tennis Coach's insurance, DBS Certificate and First Aid Certificate although neither the Trust nor the Parish Council are employing the coach.
    2. Netball. The Netball Club had arranged a tournament for 09/11/13 which had been postponed because of weather conditions. The Club planned to hold the tournament in January. The Netball Club is expected to recommence practice at the MUGA in the spring when the evenings are lighter.
    3. Hiring fees. The Trust is receiving the hiring fees.
    4. Insurance. The Secretary confirmed the Trust's £5,000,000 public liability insurance cover of the whole playing field. Members discussed the insurance and whether it is essential for both the Trust and the Council to pay for insurance. Scenarios were considered and it was agreed that, although it may seem unnecessary, both bodies should continue to have public liability insurance for the area.
  4. Tennis markings. The coach had asked if a further set of tennis lines could be painted on the second half of the MUGA. He is able to bring along mobile posts and a net. It was agreed that the Trust would ask the Parish Council to consider paying for the additional lines costing around £160.

15 CHARITABLE SCHEME. The Public Playing Field and Recreation Ground Scheme was made on 26/08/1971 in the name of the sole Trustee, Sedlescombe Parish Council. The agenda included a link to the Scheme document. Cllr Anson suggested that it would be better for the charity interest to be set aside and the land managed entirely by the Parish Council. It was noted that the charitable scheme applies to Sedlescombe and neighbourhood and is not simply for the Parish of Sedlescombe.

16 MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT. It was noted that the Trust has a Management Agreement with the Parish Council whereby the Council will undertake the "entire care, management and control of the Playing Field and maintenance of the Playing Field, as the Trust has limited funds". The agenda included a link to the Maintenance Agreement document.

17 DESIGNATIONS. It was noted that the Trust Land is designated as follows:

  1. Entirely within the High Weald AONB
  2. Entirely within the Sedlescombe Conservation Area
  3. Almost entirely within the Flood Zone 2 August 2012. Cllr Anson commented that he had made some checks and believes that the Flood Zone does not cover most of the land in front in the MUGA. However, the Environment Agency puts the area in Flood Risk Zone 2 and shows the risk as significant (ie 1 in 75). The National Planning Policy Framework, para 101 restricts development in flood risk areas. See here.
  4. Entirely within the Brede Valley Site of Nature Conservation Importance

There is a vehicular and pedestrian right of way to the land from the B2244. The Secretary informed the Trust that the vehicular right had been confirmed legally. The Trust is responsible for paying 50% of maintaining the Powdermills access driveway.

There is a public footpath north of the site partially on land belonging to Powdermills.

The Secretary produced a map showing all known services under the land in front of the MUGA which are: 24" concrete sewer (to the Pumping Station), 24" cast iron water main, 9" water main, gas main.

18 FUTURE USES OF THE TRUST LAND. The Parish Council had asked the Trust to consider future uses of the land for the benefit of the Trust and not for Parish Council purposes.

  1. Whole of Trust land. It was noted that the Parish Council is considering designating the playing field as a "greenspace" open to the public in the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan although the status of greenspace land needs to be checked to ensure that building recreational amenities are not excluded.
  2. Grassed area in front of the MUGA
    1. Drainage and installation of mini-kickers footpath pitch with fence to safeguard children from running onto the driveway. This had been proposed a couple of years ago by the Football Club and a couple of quotes had been obtained for the drainage work. Pumphouse Designs had drawn a plan. It was suggested that the total cost of drainage, levelling, seeding and fencing could be £5,000 to £7,000. Concern was expressed about whether it would be possible to install drainage on this land without damaging the underground services. Also whether the Football Club should be allowed to use additional land in Sedlescombe when they already have the monopoly of the Sportsfield and the majority of players live outside the Village.
    2. Skateboard ramp. The Youth Club had organised a petition in the Village to get support for installation of a skateboard ramp, although this had never been presented to the Council. They had had a mobile skateboard ramp at the Village Fete in July. Members were of the opinion that interest in skateboarding has waned generally of late.
    3. Outdoor gym equipment. Again, members were concerned that there would not be enough use made of this type of equipment.
    4. Housing. Peter Anson suggested that a couple of houses for local people should be allowed on this land and he had carried out some informal investigations. During discussions, the Trust purposes, National Planning Policy Guidance and building restrictions because of the underground services were raised. Peter Anson proposed "That the Trust should support erection of housing for local people on the land in front of the MUGA". The result, on being put to the vote, was one in favour, three against with three abstentions.
    5. Other. The following ideas were put forward:
      1. Selling a strip of the land to the owner of the land to the east so that that site could be used for building - flood risk zone problems and underground services could make that land unsuitable for housing development.
      2. Covering the MUGA to make it an year-round all-weather facility.
      3. Timber building to be used for storage and indoor sport. Maybe the tennis club will reform and will want a pavilion.
      4. Use as temporary car park to ease parking problems. It was agreed that the Parish Council should be asked to consider installing a temporary car park on the land.
  3. Grass area in front of Play Area. Agreed should be left as a green space.
  4. Play area
    1. Continue as children's playground. It was agreed that the area is well-used and should continue as a playground. It was noted that the Parish Council has funds in the 2013-14 budget for a new piece of children's play equipment following removal of one small springer which had broken. It was agreed that the Parish Council would be asked to use the funding to buy a piece of equipment for the playground. Circulation zones will need careful consideration.
    2. Some members asked to be reminded about the dates allocated for their inspection of the playgrounds on behalf of the Parish Council. A new schedule for 2014 will be available soon.