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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Neighbourhood Plan Working Group

September 3, 2013

NOTES of a Meeting held at 7.30 pm. Tuesday 3 September 2013 at the Village Centre,
Working Group Members Present:
John Lowman (Chairman) David Evans Judith Marsh Stephen Hand
Rosemary Burns Rodney Jackson John Wilkinson
In attendance:
Bob Sampson
Julia Shorrocks
Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward Clrr)
Peter Griffiths (WSCC Division Cllr)
Stephen Hoyles (CLERK to the COUNCIL)

  1. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies were received prior to
    the meeting and accepted: Matthew Stokes, Jack Callaghan (MSDC). There were no declarations of interest.
  2. Minutes of the Meetings of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group 2 July and 18 July
    2013: The Working Group received and accepted the Notes which were then signed by the Chairman.
  3. Review of information: The Group noted the following:
    3.1 Meetings held:
    (a) Mayfield New Town: The Chairman, three Council members and the Clerk attended a meeting convened by
    Albourne PC on 15 July 2013, to discuss the collective response of the local Parish Councils to the Mayfield proposals.
    The agreed position was that there was no need for additional housing on this scale, that District and Neighbourhood
    Plans were being prepared or were in place to satisfy planned, and that the Mayfield proposals were inadequately
    defined to enable a detailed response. A further meeting of the joint group of parish councils, convened by Albourne
    PC, is scheduled for 7.00pm Monday 7 October 2013. (Ref: Albourne PC email 16 July 2013 – Notes of Meeting)
    (b) College Lane development (MSDC Ref: 13/01250): The Clerk met the Managing Director of Thakeham Homes
    on 17 July 2013,at Thakeham’s request, following the granting of permission for this scheme of 81 houses. The
    purpose of the meeting was to set out the process of agreeing a planning agreement for community infrastructure. The
    details were reported to the meeting of the Working Group 18 July 2013.
    (c ) Little Park/Highfield Drive/Country Park (MSDC Ref: 12/04141): The Chairman of Council and the Clerk met
    Rydon Homes on 18 July 2013, at their request following the refusal of permission for the 157 house development. The
    PC had supported the application and the key elements were embodied in the Neighbourhood Plan. Rydons wanted to
    explore the PC’s likely way forward with the NP. Discussion took place on Rydon’s likely response to the refusal, and
    they were still considering their position.
    (d) Fairfield Recreation Pavilion: The Chairman of Council and the Clerk met representatives of MSDC Leisure,
    Hurstpierpoint FC and Hurstpierpoint Cricket club on 18 July 2013, to discuss the possible future and redevelopment of
    the pavilion.
    (e) MSDC Ward Councillors: The Chairman and VC of Council, the Working Group Chairman and the Clerk, met two
    of the District Ward Councillors on 25 July 2013, to discuss the Parish Council’s disappointment at the decisions of the
    MSDC Planning Committee on 11 July 2013. (see item 3.2 below)
    (f) A meeting in commercial confidence took place on 27 August 2013 between the Clerk and representatives of
    Thakeham Homes at which the developer posed some possible development options in the Parish area. The Working
    Group was advised by a Member that Thakeham’s interest in the land west of Kemps for housing development was well
    known by local residents. The Clerk reported that a member of the public had visited the office seeking advice about
    the possible sale of property to developers, on 15 August 2013, and the Clerk had advised that the Parish Council could
    not give advice on the matter and the person concerned should seek professional advice regarding land and property
    (g) Mid Sussex District Council: A meeting was held between representative Members of the Parish Council and
    District Council on 29 August 2013, to discuss the current District council views on strategic planning affecting the
    Parish. Cllr Bob Sampson, who had attended, brought a verbal report to the Working Group as follows: HP&SCPC
    were keen to be involved in the Burgess Hill ‘Northern Arc’ liaison group and project group between developers and
    the planning authority; WSCC were running a project group to investigate education and highway issues surrounding
    the Northern Arc. Discussion had taken place on the MSDC defence of their 20-year housing targets and the ‘duty to
    co-operate’ with neighbouring planning authorities and MSDC reported their confidence in defending their numbers.
    HP&SCPC had expressed concern about the recent MSDC planning decisions in the Parish, which had the effect of
    undermining the draft Neighbourhood Plan. MSDC were having to assess each site on their own merits and in the light
    of the current 5-year housing-land-supply (HLS) targets. Unfortunately, the current HLS had to be based on the larger
    SE Plan targets and not on the lower MSDC target, until such time as the District Plan was approved. Discussion had
    taken place on the decision to refuse permission on the Little Park/Highfield Drive (Ref: 12/04141) application and
    HP&SCPC had said that this had formed a significant part of the draft Neighbourhood Plan. It had been suggested by
    one MSDC Member that the N’hood Plan should now be revised to exclude the Little Park proposals, but neither
    HP&SCPC nor the MSDC Planning Officers felt that this was a viable option, bearing in mind the background work
    leading up to its inclusion in the draft Plan. It was noted that the application had now gone to appeal, to be heard 17
    December 2013 and, until the outcome was known, it was not reasonable to exclude from the Plan. If this route was
    taken it would be necessary to return to the start of the N’hood Plan process. Discussion took place on the MSDC use
    of their policies on prevention of coalescence between settlements, particularly in light of the decision to grant
    permission on development at College Lane (Ref: 13/01250). HP&SCPC had expressed concern that MSDC were not
    following their own policies. The MSDC Planning Officers said that defence of local gaps was always challenging and
    suggested that the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) allowed for ‘green spaces’ in settlements which might
    be used as defence against coalescence. The Clerk tabled informal notes of the meeting for reference. (Ref:
    Confidential notes of Meeting MSDC/HP&SCPC – 29 August 2013)
    3.2 Other matters: The Working Group noted:
    (a) College Lane – 93 houses (MSDC application ref: 12/03972 permission refused): The applicant has withdrawn the
    appeal following the permission granted for a 81 –house development. The Parish Council’s planning consultant has
    been informed that no representation will be required.
    (b) College Lane – 81 houses (MSDC application ref: 13/01250): The MSDC District Planning Committee meeting on
    11 July 2013 granted permission. This was contrary to the recommendation of the PC, the position of the N’hood Plan,
    and the recommendations of MSDC officers. A draft s106 Agreement has been produced by the applicant and,
    following the decision of the Parish Council (Minute C488 – 15 August 2013) Solicitor David Warman of Richard Max
    LLP has been appointed to act for the Council in concluding the Agreement.
    (c ) Little Park/Highfield Drive (MSDC application ref: 12/04141): The MSDC District Planning Committee meeting
    on 11 July 2013 refused permission, on the grounds of impact on the countryside. This was contrary to the
    recommendation of the PC, the position of the N’hood Plan, and the recommendations of MSDC officers. The
    applicant has lodged an appeal which is scheduled to be heard 17 December 2013.
    (d) Kingsland Laines, Sayers Common – 120 houses (MSDC application ref: 12/01540 permission refused): The
    postponed Appeal Enquiry proceedings are expected to start early October 2013
    (e) MSDC District Plan – Submission Draft July 2013: The District Council has lodged the Submission Draft with the
    expectation of a public enquiry in autumn 2013 and an Inspector’s decision in spring 2014. The Plan is no different
    from that published in May 2013 and has not taken on board the comments submitted by the PC. (Ref: MSDC email
    LDF Alerts 24 July 2013)
    (f) Cuckfield Neighbourhood Plan: The Submission Draft was published 23 august 2013 for a formal 6-week period.
    (g) Land south of Chalkers Lane, Hurstpierpoint: Thedeveloper Village Developments has published proposals for 57
    houses/flats plus an extension to Fairfield Recreation Ground, plus contributions to community infrastructure. It is
    understood that copies of the proposals have been distributed to local households. At the time of preparing this agenda
    no planning application had been received. (Ref: Village Developments letter 2 August 2013)
    (h) Response to PARISH 2031 Neighbourhood Plan – Consultation Draft – March 2013: The Parish Office has
    received a late response from Mr Worsley regarding the land owned by him and currently allocated by WSCC for a
    built waste facility at Goddards Green. The respondent suggested that the land would be better allocated for business
    and employment use. (Ref: Worsley letter 1 August 2013)
    (i) New school – Hurstpierpoint: A local resident has proposed that the newly expanded St Lawrence School is made
    into ‘Infants – only’ and construct a new junior school in land at Little Park Farm, with access from Brown Twins Road.
    (We have been advised that the current metrics are 30 children per year-group per 1000 houses. For example, 250 new
    houses would require 53 new spaces at Primary School level, which the current St Lawrence expansion plans will
    provide.) (Ref: J T Georgeson letter 25 July 2013)
    (j) East Grinstead: The Town Council has published its Consultation draft Neighbourhood Plan 27 August 2013 for a
    6-week period. (Ref: East Grinstead Neighbourhood Plan – EGTC letter 23 August 2013)
    (k) MSDC – Traveller site Allocations Document – Call for sites: MSDC has identified the need for 41 additional
    traveller pitches in the period to 2031 and a formal call for sites has been published. (Ref: MSDC LDF Alert 27 August
    2013; Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment, June 2013.)
  4. PARISH 2031 Neighbourhood Plan – the next steps – PART 2: (Note: PART 1 refers to the
    meeting of the working Group of 18 July 2013.) (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE PARISH 2031 – The Next Steps – PART 2 –
    20 August 2013). Following the decision of Council at its meeting 15 August 2013 not to progress the PARISH 2031
    Neighbourhood Plan to the next stage, pending decisions on the planning appeals for Little Park/Highfield Drive and
    Kingsland Laines, the Working Group considered the possible scenarios for future development in the Parish.
    Discussion took place and a number of suggestions were made as to the way forward, including continuing with the
    N’hood Plan in its current form, but including the 81-house development in College Lane; holding the Plan in its
    current form, but withholding further progress until the outcome of planning appeals at Little Park/Highfield Drive and
    Kingsland Laines; progressing the search for alternative sites at Sayers Common, to implement in the event that the
    Kingsland Laines proposal was refused; setting absolute housing targets as currently stated in the Plan, but not
    identifying preferred sites; and the use of sites other than Little Park to satisfy the stated housing targets. However,
    there was general support for Little Park/Highfield Drive/Country Park proposal as being the centrepiece of the Plan
    and its removal from the N’hood Plan at this stage would be a fundamental change which would require re-starting the
    whole process. Suggestions were made that the Neighbourhood Plan should continue to be progressed, and the work to
    also include assessments of the effects of alternative outcomes of the two large pending planning appeals in Sayers
    Common and Hurstpierpoint. It was then agreed that a RECOMMENDATION would be made to Council.
    RECOMMENDATION to Council: The Council shall continue to progress work on the
    PARISH 2031 Neighbourhood Plan, including assessing the effects of possible outcomes of
    pending large development planning appeals, and maintain its strategic objectives as follows:
     By keeping the village-feel and sense of place in existing settlements
     By protecting and enhancing the countryside
     By containing new development to a manageable and sustainable level in the villages
     By working closely with the Planning Authorities Mid Sussex District Council and South
    Downs National Park Authority, and Highway and Education Authority West Sussex
    County Council, to achieve a positive outcome for our community.
  5. Any other business:
    5.1 MSDC District Plan: An open meeting is to take place at MSDC offices, 2.00pm Monday 16 September
    2013, arranged by the Planning Inspectorate to explore the District Council’s obligations in its ‘duty to co-operate’ with
    neighbouring authorities in setting housing targets. The public are entitled to attend but not participate. (Ref: Banks
    solutions ltr 28 August 2013)
    5.2 Neighbourhood Plan forum: 10.00am Thursday 5 September 2013 at MSDC offices, hosted by MSDC
    and DCLG, to note progress nationally on N’hood Plans and to share experiences. The Chairman of council will be
  6. Next meeting of the Working Group: 7.30pm Tuesday 8 October 2013 – subject to confirmation.

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