MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 23 February 2017 at 8.00pm in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
|Stephen Hand – Chairman David Evans Amanda Geel Tony Lank John Lowman
|Martin Machan Bob Sampson Steve Whitehead
Peter Griffiths (WSCC Ward member)
Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward member
Malcolm Brabon (Coast to Capital LEP)
2 Members of the public
Stephen Hoyles CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
C16/093. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: Allan Brown, Rosemary Burns, Rodney Jackson, Judith Marsh, Julia Shorrocks, John Wilkinson (MSDC Ward member). The following declared a personal nonpecuniary interest in item C16/098.3 Finance + General Purposes Committee (2 February 2017)
(1) F16/070.6 Hurstpierpoint Bowls Club – lease: John Lowman, Stephen Hand, Martin Machan, Tony Lank. Amanda Geel declared a personal non-pecuniary interest in item C16/096.(1) Presentation from Coast to Capital LEP. There were no other declarations of interest.
C16/094. Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 19 January 2017: The Council received and accepted the minutes which were then signed by the Chairman.
RESOLVED: The Minutes of the Council meeting of 19 January 2017 are approved.
C16/095. Matters arising from the Minutes of the Council held on 19 January 2017: There were no matters arising from the Minutes which are not covered elsewhere on this agenda.
C16/096. Adjournment for questions from the public: The Council considered whether to adjourn the
Meeting in accordance with clause 70 of Standing Orders in order to receive questions and presentations.
RESOLVED: The Council meeting is adjourned.
(1) Presentation from Coast to Capital LEP: Malcolm Brabon (LEP Head of Services ) gave a presentation on the LEP: The partnership was established in 2011, as one of 38 in the UK, replacing the previous Regional Development Agencies. The purpose is to encourage economic growth through business-led opportunities, covering the area bounded by Croydon, Brighton coastal area and Chichester. It is the number six in the UK regions for prosperity, embracing Gatwick Airport, the ‘Gatwick Diamond’, 1.9M people, 84,000 businesses and about 100,000 sole traders. The LEP is a conduit between businesses and local authorities and central government, to obtain project funding to facilitate business growth. £300 M has so far been secured, including the recent £14M to upgrade the A2300 road and junctions. Particular sectors targeted for growth include IT, health and life sciences, business and professional services, and low-carbon technologies. The LEP works with DCLG (HMG), transport services and the EU office. Recent projects included a technology park in Chichester and Enterprise Zone status for Newhaven.
The following questions and comments were raised from the meeting: the need to protect natural habitats and wildlife; the protection of ‘village’ communities; the process of governance of the LEP (it is independently scrutinised by WSCC); conflicts of interest, for example the pressure on the local District Plan to reallocate zoned employment land in the Parish for housebuilding, noting the composition of the LEP Board.
The Chairman thanked Mr Brabon for his informative presentation. The meeting was then reconvened.
C16/097. Reports from other authorities: The Council received verbal reports from representatives of other Authorities:
- (1) Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Colin Trumble noted that the main issue was the ongoing
Examination hearings into the District Plan (which were discussed under Minute C16/ C16/099. Mid Sussex District Plan Examination). Other issues: (1) The 2017/18 Budget had been set at £12.8M, noting the steady reduction in direct Government funding. (2) The Planning Committee structure was being reviewed. Cllr Trumble made further comments under item C16/ C16/099: Mid Sussex District Plan Examination.
- (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee (WSCC/CLC) : Cllr Peter Griffiths reported: (1) District Plan Examination: There was concern about the Inspector’s recent interim findings on housing targets. (2) Superfast Broadband: BT were introducing further initiatives and contact details were passed to the Parish Council. (3) 3 in 1 Travel Card: Cllr Griffiths had responded to Cllr Shorrocks on the changes and mitigation measures being introduced. (4) Wickham Hill catseyes: a highways fund had been located to reintroduce the catseyes. (5) Quiet Lanes: A meeting had been held with Cllr David Evans and 12 lanes had been identified. (6) Chalkers Lane footpath: this had been done in part, but required further extension. (7) Cllr Griffiths confirmed his support for the proposed Joint Traffic and Parking Group (Minute TP16/017: Joint Councils Traffic and Parking Management Group).
- (3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC) : The Chairman reported that he had on 23
February 2017 attended a Mid Sussex District Council briefing on the District Plan Examination, arranged by MSALC, which had proved very informative. There was no further report on MSALC on this occasion.
C16/098. Committee and Working Group minutes: The Committee Chairmen or, in their absence the Vice-chairmen, introduced each Minutes, which the Council was asked to receive and where appropriate, consider the RECOMMENDATIONS::
C16/098.1 Planning Committee (2 February 2017)
C16/098.2 Strategic Policy Working Group (7 February 2017)
C16/098.3 Finance + General Purposes Committee (2 February 2017)
(1) F16/070.6 Hurstpierpoint Bowls Club – lease: Further to Minute C16/081 (Meeting 15 December
2016) the agreed lease and Deed of Surrender have now been signed by both parties and are about to be engrossed. However, the Council has been advised that the Bowls Club Trustees had expressed their concern that the lease excludes the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, which gives tenants additional security of tenure beyond the end of the lease period. The Council’s solicitors advise that it is their normal practice to recommend to landlord clients that such exclusion is made, to protect the interests of the landlord, and this was followed in this case. The Council now has the option of amending the lease to allow the inclusion of the Act, or to maintain the current arrangement. It was recommended to the Committee that the Act remains excluded from the lease and the Bowls Club was advised accordingly. However, the Club were concerned that their significant investment in the pavilion is not matched by a sufficiently secure lease. The Committee therefore recommends to Council to offer an extended lease period of say 30 years (from the date of expiry of the previous lease, being 1 April 2013) in place of the current 20. Legal advice has been sought and has confirmed that there was no further liability if the term was extended to 30 years. The Council was advised that the Bowls Club had now agreed to this arrangement. (Ref: Mayo Wynne Baxter email 30 January 2017)
RESOLVED: The Council’s lease for the pavilion to the Hurstpierpoint Bowls Club is not amended, except that the term is to 30 years from 1 April 2013.
(2) F16/070.7 Little Park parkland – land transfer: This matter was reported to the Parkland Management Committee (17 January 2017) and it was noted that a meeting had been held with the landowners on 11 January 2017, with the Clerk and Council’s solicitor present, to clarify a number of proposed boundary matters. The following matters had been raised (with reference to the transfer plan):
- (a) Landowners requested that the permitted pedestrian access R to S be deleted and that pedestrians utilise the public right of way 62bHU. The Clerk had refused this request.
- (b) Landowners had requested that permitted farm vehicle access across parkland from X to T be changed to a new point ( C) (midway between X and B) to allow access along the existing track. It was recommended that this be agreed.
- (c) The Landowners had requested that point X be moved approximately 50 m to the east and that that section of farm track be retained in the landowners ownership. There was no material loss to the Council and It was recommended that this be agreed.
- (d) The Council would have right of pedestrian access along A to B, into the parkland. There was concern that this access was shared with the farm vehicle access along the metalled road. This section was narrow and would probably become one of the main access points to the parkland. It had therefore been suggested that a separate footpath be constructed on the north side of A to B, and fenced to prevent pedestrians straying onto the road or into the woodland. (The woodland to the north side has steep down gradients, is boggy and quite hazardous.) The Council had therefore requested that the land boundary be set immediately to the north side of the metalled road, to enable the footpath and its entrance to be in place.
The Parkland Management Committee agreed that these matters should be included in the transfer and agreement was reached with the landowners. However, the Council had now been advised that the landowners would wish to proceed with the transfer deed as currently drafted, and agreed with the housebuilders Bovis, and deal with the minor matters (a) to (d) above by way of a subsequent amendment (Deed of Variation/Grant) . It was clear that the landowners and housebuilders are keen to complete the transfer, which is also in the interests of the Council, and the Council’s solicitors had confirmed that the subsidiary matters could be addressed in a supplementary deed of variation.
It was therefore proposed that a RECOMMENDATION to Council is made to authorise the Chairman and one other Member to sign the Transfer Deed and Deed of Variation on behalf of the Council in accordance with Clause 22 of Standing Orders.
(Ref: Little Park Parkland transfer plan; MWB email 30 January 2017; HP&SCPC email 12 and 19 January 2017; Houlton email 19 January 2017)
RESOLVED: Council authorises the Chairman and one other Member to sign the Little Park Country Open Space Transfer Deed and Deed of Variation on behalf of the Council in accordance with Clause 22 of Standing Orders.
C16/098.4 Community Affairs Committee (26 January 2017) It was noted that the Committee Chairman and Council Chairman were due to hand over a grant cheque to St Catherines Hospice on 27 February 2017.
C16/098.5 Traffic + Parking Working Group (31 January 2017)
- (1) TP16/016. Progress review (5): Cuckfield Road: Complaints are received from time to time form the public about the poor road surface. The Parish Council has been advised by WSCC local Member Peter Griffiths that the reconstruction of the road (and footpath) is in the 2017/18 Works Programme. In addition, the Parish Office has previously requested WSCC Highways to undertake a traffic management feasibility study, in line with the Neighbourhood Plan (Aim Transport 3 – Cuckfield Road) and in response to the requirements of the new Little Park Farm housing development (s106 planning agreement). Further advice is being awaited from WSCC. It was agreed that the Council reaffirms its request for the reconstruction of the road surface, and that a start is made on assessing the feasibility of traffic calming measures.
RESOLVED: That WSCC is requested to:
- (1) Urgently progress the reconstruction of the road and footpath surface in year 2017/18.
- (2) Proceed with the traffic management studies, as required by the Little Park development s106 planning agreement (MSDC ref 12/04141) .
- (2) TP16/016. Progress review (7): London Road, Sayers Common: A resident’s complaint had been received (23 Jan 2017) about traffic speeds, particularly HGVs and local Members have also made similar points. The Parish Office responded that we would consider whether to make representations to WSCC. The layout of the London Road (with its relatively wide verges) and the approaches from both north and south (being high speed wide roads) have the effect of facilitating higher speeds in the 30mph restricted area. Unfortunately, there are no physical restrictions, such as chicanes or priority give way sections. These would be relatively low cost and have the effect of forcing approaching traffic to slow, as they enter the restricted zone. The Working Group agreed to RECOMMEND to Council that a request is made to WSCC Highways to investigate traffic speed physical management measures for this road.
RESOLVED: That WSCC is requested to investigate the introduction of physical traffic speed management measures in the restricted section of London Road, Sayers Common.
- (3) TP16/017. Joint Councils Traffic and Parking Management Group: The Working Group
considered the dissolution of the existing Working Group and the possible formation of a joint councils management group to address traffic and parking matters. The Traffic + Parking Working Group was formed in May 2013 initially oversee the introduction of the High Street changes. It subsequently became a conduit for considering requests for changes to traffic and parking issues raised by Members and the public, and passing requests to the Highway Authority (WSCC) or the parking authority (MSDC) for action. The Parish Council has no specific powers in these matters, and has only acted in an advisory capacity. It is now suggested that consideration is given to engaging more closely with these senior authorities, to better ensure that important projects are taken forward. A joint authorities (Parish, District and County Councils) management group could be formed, which would improve communications and better agree lines of responsibility. The existing Working Group would be dissolved but some members would transfer to the new joint management group (JCTPMG). The JCTPMG would have the remit of agreeing traffic and parking projects in this Parish to be progressed and of delegating action to the respective authorities. This proposal would be subject to the agreement of WSCC and MSDC in participating.
RESOLVED: That the Traffic and Parking Working Group is dissolved and, subject to the agreement of West Sussex County Council and Mid Sussex District Council, a new Joint Councils Traffic and Parking Management Group is formed.
C16/099. Mid Sussex District Plan Examination: Council noted the letter sent to the Examination
Inspector regarding the role of the Neighbourhood Plan in informing the making of the District Plan and the policy (DP11) relating to the Science Park proposal. The Inspector to the District Plan Examination had published his Interim Conclusions on housing targets (20 February 2017). A new housing target of 1026 dpa has been set (subject to confirmation of the Plan) which compares with the District Plan target of 800ddpa for the remaining 17 years of the Plan period. This equated to an additional 3800 dwellings, beyond that previously planned, across the District over the remaining Plan period. Discussion took place at which considerable concern was expressed at the new housing targets and the ability of the District area to absorb the necessary additional sites. It was understood that MSDC were considering their response. Meanwhile the Parish Council confirmed its support for its current Neighbourhood Plan and its housing allocations. (Ref: HP&SCPC ltr to Inspector District Plan 9 February 2017)
C16/100. Streetscene Improvements Project: Council noted the initial proposals for floral displays in the High Street approaches and at some highway verges around Hurstpierpoint. A sketch display was available at the meeting and members expressed general support for the proposals. The ideas would now be worked up into a specific project for approval by Council. Meanwhile, members were invited to offer further comments to the Parish Office.
C16/101. Information items, correspondence received and requests: The Council was asked to note:
- (1) Burgess Hill regeneration: MSDC had advised that £14.3 M has been allocated by the Local Growth Fund (DCLG) towards transport infrastructure relating to Burgess Hill. (Ref: MSDC Press release 8 February 2017)
- (2) Emergency Plan – Operation London Bridge (MSDC email 15 February 2017) (3) High Street repairs: The Council’s contractor Landbuild had advised that WSCC had agreed to
‘roadspace’ allowing the resetting of the dislodged kerbs to take place 24 to 26 April 2017.
(4) Kingsland Laines planning application: The public enquiry into the appeal was now scheduled for 11 and 12 May 2017. (Ref: Planning Inspectorate ltr 22 Feb 2017)
C16/102. CONFIDENTIAL Matters:
The Council was asked to determine whether to close the meeting to the public and the press under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to discuss the following item:
(1) Governance and Staff Panel (meeting of 7 February 2017):
RESOLVED To close the meeting to the public and the press under the Public Bodies (Admissions to meetings) Act 1960.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.35 pm.