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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Full Council

November 26, 2015

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 26 November 2015 at 8.00pm in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.  

Members Present 

Stephen Hand  –  Chairman   Allan Brown   Rosemary Burns   David Evans  Rodney Jackson   Tony Lank   John Lowman    Judith Marsh   Pam Mitchell   Bob Sampson   Julia Shorrocks  Matthew Stokes  Steve Whitehead  John Wilkinson   

Also Present:   

1  member of the public.  

Stephen Hoyles – CLERK TO THE COUNCIL 

C15/065.  Apologies for absence and declarations of interest:  The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: Cllr Anthony Watts-Williams (MSDC Ward Member),  Colin Trumble  (MSDC Ward Member),  Peter Griffiths (WSCC Ward Member).  The following declarations of personal interest in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct were recorded:   Tony Lank, John Lowman, and Stephen Hand each in respect of item C15/074  Hurstpierpoint Bowing Club.  The Clerk referred to advice from the District Monitoring Officer which noted the prejudicial interests of Members who reside in proximity of potential development sites, as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process.  The Clerk advised that Member Judith Marsh had an interest in respect of item C15/072(4) – Sayers Common Housing Sites Appraisal but, in accordance with advice from the Monitoring Officer, had given dispensation such that Mrs Marsh could participate in the appraisal process. (Ref:  MSDC Tom Clark email 6 November 2015 :  Interests and Neighbourhood Planning)  

C15/066.  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 items:  

Governance and Staff Panel  (meeting of 26 November 2015):  To receive reports and recommendations on:   

(1)  Co-option of Council Member (2)  Parish Office staff. 

RESOLVED: To close the meeting to the public and the press under the Public Bodies (Admissions to meetings) Act 1960.  

The matters were considered and the meeting then resumed in public.   

C15/067.  Co-option of Council Member:  Further to Council  meeting 29 October 2015 (Minute C15/061) and following local advertising, five candidates had applied for consideration for co-option.  The Governance + Staff Panel had interviewed the candidates on 25 and 26 November 2015, and brought a recommendation to Council for appointment.  

(Ref:  Local Government Act 1972 s87(1)) 

RESOLVED:  The Council agrees to co-opt Mr Martin Machan as a Member.   

C15/068.  Minutes of the  Meeting of the Council held on 29 October 2015:  The Council received and accepted the minutes which were then signed by the Chairman.    

C15/069.  Matters arising from the Minutes of the Council held on 29 October 2015:  There are no matters arising from the Minutes which are not covered elsewhere on this agenda.  

C15/070.  Adjournment for questions from the public:  There was no request from the public for the Council to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 3(e) of Standing Orders  

C15/071.  Reports from other authorities:  The Council received verbal reports from representatives of other 

Authorities:  

(1)   Mid Sussex District Council   (MSDC)  Cllr John Wilkinson (Parish Member and MSDC Ward member) reported:  (1) District Plan:  as previously reported, the revised Submission version was now available for consultation until 

31 December 2015.  The revised target housing was 13,600 in the period to 2031, including 600 at a strategic site at Pease Pottage.  This increase was due to received advice that MSDC should take adequate account of the un-met housing needs of neighbouring planning authorities in the housing market area.  (2) The matter of devolution of services to clusters of local authorities was being explored with Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex county councils.  (3) MSDC had earlier in the day approved a revised application for 61 houses at Chalkers Lane  South, Hurstpierpoint, but had rejected the application for industrial development at Ricebridge Farm (Twineham Parish).   

  1. (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee   (WSCC/CLC) :  Cllr Peter Griffiths ws not available to report on this occasion.   
  1. (3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC) :  Rodney Jackson reported: (1) He had attended a meeting of MSALC on 17 November 2015, at which the MSDC District Plan revisions were discussed.  Concern had been expressed for those parishes who did not have made Neighbourhood Plans, and who might be expected to accommodate some of the increased housing target.  (2)  Plans were in hand for an MSALC conference in 2016.  (3) Earlier in the day Rodney Jackson had attended a joint WSALC/ESALC meeting with the Sussex Chief Constable.  It was noted that the anticipated budget cuts to police services had been held back following the HMG Spending Review announcements on 25 November 2015.  Notwithstanding these announcements, it was expected that the Police precept for 2016/17 would increase.   

C15/072.  Committee and Working Group minutes:  The Committee Chairmen introduced each Minutes, which the Council was asked to receive and where appropriate, consider the RECOMMENDATIONS: :  

  1. (1) Planning Committee  (5 November 2015)   

P15/063:  s38 Agreements:  The Planning Committee considered the role of s38 Agreements (Highways Act 1980) for the adoption of roads and associated infrastructure on new developments, and RECOMMENDED to Council that they should always apply.  However, since the Committee meeting the Council has been advised by MSDC that such agreements cannot be imposed on developers, and only that roads and infrastructure are built to prescribed standards.  The RECOMMENDATION was therefore withdrawn.   

  1. (2) Finance + General Purposes Committee (12 November 2015)  

F15/040.3  South Avenue Play Area:   The Play Area Working Group had considered the three tenders at its meeting 

15 October 2015 and RECOMMENDED to the Committee that the contract is awarded to Kompan, for a fixed price of 

£99,942.82 + VAT.  The Committee agreed to RECOMMEND to Council that Kompan be awarded the contract.  The Play 

Area Working Group Chairman (Cllr Julia Shorrocks) explained the process by which Kompan had been selected.  The 

Council was advised that the £100,000 funding for the scheme would be met by s106 funds, largely attached to the Chalkers Lane South development.  The availability of the funds was dependent on the timing of the development and the formal approval of the MSDC Grants Panel.  Due to the height of some of the proposed equipment it was necessary to seek planning permission, and an application was being prepared.  The Council requested that references be sought in respect of Kompan.  Some discussion took place concerning the impact on drainage in the area.  There was concern that the extended area might be water-logged in winter, and might exacerbate drainage issues on the adjoining bowls green.  It was noted that these matters would be explored with the preferred contractor.  (Ref:  Play Area WG Minutes 15 October 2015) 

RESOLVED:  The South Avenue Play Area preferred contractor is Kompan at a price of 

£99,942.82 + VAT, subject to confirmation from MSDC that sufficient s106 funds are available.   

  1. (3) Community Affairs Committee (19 November 2015) 

Minute CA451.  Reaccreditation under Local Council Award Scheme.  The Committee was asked to decide whether the Council wishes to remain accredited under the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS).  As background, the Committee agreed at its meeting of 15 January 2015, that the Committee proceed with the temporary transition from Quality Council status to the Local Councils Award Scheme – Foundation Level, and requested that the Committee investigate the merits of continuing in the scheme in November 2015.  The Foundation Level is expiring at the end of this year.  (Ref:  Briefing Note written by Mrs R Taylor, Local Councils Award Scheme, 11.11.15)  The Committee decided not to remain accredited under the LCAS at this time because the Committee believes that the quality of the Council is seen through its work, achievements and involvement with the community. 

RESOLVED:  The Council will not proceed with being accredited under the Local Council Award Scheme. 

  1. (4) Strategic Planning Working Group  (10 November 2015)  

SP15/024.  Sayers Common – Housing Sites Appraisal:  The Clerk advised, and Council noted, that he had given dispensation to Cllr Judith Marsh  to participate in meetings where the Neighbourhood Plan, and specifically the appraisal and selection of sites in Sayers Common, and where the Councillor had a prejudicial interest due to the proximity of her residence to one of the sites under consideration.  

The public consultation ran from 21 July to 28 September 2015 on the long-list of 9 possible development sites.   40 responses were received and are shown in the summary schedule.  The Working Group considered the current position regarding the Kingsland Laines application for 120 houses, and the unresolved appeal decision.  Depending on the choice of preferred site(s) the Working Group could foresee a situation when other sites are promoted by the Parish Council, but the appeal decision still finds in favour of Kingsland Laines.  In that scenario Sayers Common could have a surfeit of 

‘acceptable’ sites, which could place it in a vulnerable situation to further aggressive applications.   

The Working Group agreed that it was appropriate to proceed with a selection of site(s), as follows:   a) Noting the Methodology produced by Planning consultants Dowsett Mayhew (May 2015)  

  1. b) Noting the Schedule of Sites (long-list) (13 May 2015 rev3)  
  2. c) Reviewing the Consultation responses (28 October 2015)  
  3. d) Noting the following PARISH 2031 Neighbourhood Plan  policies :  

Housing Hurst H3: Sayers Common Housing Sites:   

Subject to existing water drainage issues being resolved, to remove the incidence of localised flooding, new housing will be permitted at Sayers Common. It is anticipated that the village will accommodate around 30-40 dwellings during the Plan period. A review and appraisal of deliverable housing sites will be undertaken at an early stage in the Plan period. 

Countryside HurstC3 Local Gaps and Preventing Coalescence: 

Development will be permitted in the countryside provided that it does not individually or cumulatively result in coalescence and loss of separate identity of neighbouring settlements, and provided that it does not conflict with other Countryside policies in this Plan. Local Gaps between the following settlements define those areas covered by this policy: 

Hurstpierpoint and Hassocks; 

Sayers Common and Albourne; 

Hurstpierpoint and Albourne; 

Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill. 

The Working Group noted that the following sites are within the area defined as Local Gap in Policy C3, but also acknowledged that a site might be acceptable in a Local Gap if it did not materially contribute to coalescence:    HP33 (Land south of Furzeland Way),  HP28 (Coombe Downe),  HP32 (Coombe Farm)  

e) The Working Group considered all the sites and concluded that the following would be taken forward for further assessment.  The Council’s Planning Consultant would be asked to mark each site against the criteria, to propose the preferred site or sites to offer 30 to 40  houses:   

HP28  Land north of Coombe Down 

HP30  Kingsland Laines 

HP34 Kings business Centre 

HP35 Land north of Kings business Centre 

RESOLVED :  The following sites are to be further assessed against the appraisal criteria, to provide the 30 to 40 houses required by the Neighbourhood Plan: 

HP28  Land north of Coombe Down 

HP30  Kingsland Laines 

HP34 Kings Business Centre 

HP35 Land north of Kings business Centre 

The Council’s Planning consultant is asked to prepare the assessment 

C15/073.  Appointment of External Auditor:  The Council considered the appointment of the external auditor effective April 2017.  With the cessation of the Audit Commission smaller local authorities are expected to procure their own auditing services.  This could be a considerable task and NALC has agreed with HMG – DCLG that they can procure services on behalf of local councils.  The Parish Council therefore has the opportunity to opt in to the NALC External Audit scheme.  It was suggested that the NALC Sector Led Body approach will considerably ease an otherwise significant burden on the Council, in directly seeking its own service. (Ref:  SSALC email 17 November 2015 – Sector Led Body;  

NALC ltr – The future of audit procurement and the Sector Led Body) 

RESOLVED:  The Council agrees to opt in to the NALC Sector Led Body for the procurement of External Audit services.  

C15/074.  Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club:  Vice-chairman Allan Brown was Chairman of the meeting  for this item.   

The Council was asked to agree to support the application by the Club for s106 (Planning Agreement) funds towards the extension of the clubhouse at South Avenue Recreation Ground.  At its meeting 12 February 2015 (Minute C699) the 

Council agreed in principle to support the application for £25,178 ‘Community Building’ s106 funds towards the total project estimated cost of £130,000.  Other funds were expected to come from Sport England, WSCC and the Club’s own resources.  At a meeting attended by the Chairman of Council, the Clerk and the Club Chairman  on 17 November 2015, it was confirmed that the Club has learned that the Sport England grant will not be available, and they would now be looking for additional s106 monies.  The question has also been raised whether the project should be funded from ‘Formal Sport’ funds, rather than ‘Community Buildings’.  The Club now wishes to apply for funds in two phases:  £40,000 for Phase 1 (western extension) and £25,000 for Phase 2 (eastern extension) which it is suggested that the Council supports.  In answer to a question the Council was advised that the Club were raising about £15,000 from 100 active members, towards the project.   

RESOLVED:  The Council agrees support the Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club application for s106  Formal Sport funds in two phases of £40,000 and £25,000.  

C15/075.   Information items, correspondence received and requests:    The Council noted:  

  1. (1) SALC – Sussex Policing matters:  SALC Sussex News – November 2015  
  2. (2) SALC November Newsletter 

There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at       9.42  pm.   Chairman 

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