MINUTES OF THE STRATEGIC POLICY AND RESOURCES PANEL held on Monday 14 September 2020 at 4pm via Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing
Cllrs John Lowman (Chair), Malcolm Llewellyn, Allan Brown.
Also in attendance: Sarah Groom, Clerk to the Council
1. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest: Apologies were received from Cllrs Stephen Hand, Tony Lank, Claire Majsai, Martin Machan & Bob Sampson. There were no declarations of interest.
2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Strategic Policy & Resources Panel: The minutes of the meeting of 1 June 2020 were agreed as a true record of the meeting. The minutes will be signed by the Chairman at the next available opportunity.
3. Review of Membership: Members considered the membership of the Panel following changes in the Council Chairman and Vice-Chairmen at the 28 May 2020 Council meeting, and the secondment of Cllr Sampson during COVID-19. It was understood that informally the membership of the Panel was to include 7 councillors: current and past Chairman of the Council and Chairs of all the Committees. The additional of Cllr Lank for his detailed planning and highways knowledge and Cllr Sampson for his Sayers Common focus during the pandemic and key planning policy discussions was considered vital to the current success of the group, and it was:
AGREED: That the membership of the Panel will remain as agreed at the 28 May 2020 Council meeting, with the addition of Cllr Bob Sampson to specifically represent the Sayers Common wards during the pandemic and Cllr Lank regarding key planning policy discussions. When the membership of Committee is discussed at Council next May, the informal criteria for membership will be explicitly included.
4. Mid Sussex District Council Site Allocations DPD Consultation: Members considered the submission draft of the Site Allocations Development Plan Document with the intention to recommend any comments to 24 September 2020 Council for approval and adoption. The deadline for submission of comments to MSDC is 28 September 2020. The consultation can be found here: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning-building/development-plan-documents/
The two key sites are Ref: SA30 (Land to north of Lynden, Reeds Lane, Sayers Common and Ref: SA9 (Science and Technology Park) (details attached). Members agreed to recommend to Council the resubmission of the original observations on SA30 and to await further detail before commenting on SA9 the Science and Technology Park in the future.
ACTION: Clerk to include original submission as a recommendation to 24 September 2020 Council meeting.
5. Changes to the Planning System: Members considered the Government consultation on the proposed changes to the current planning system including their analysis and projections for the increase in development in Mid Sussex. Members agreed that the proposal would have a very significant impact on the growth in homes in the South East and little consideration had been given to ground conditions, property prices or the impact of COVID-19. The recent increased in people working from home may also allow the conversion of more commercial/office use to residential use, in cities and town centres. One significant impact on the Parish Council may be the loosening of Section 106 requirements for developers such as upfront investment in infrastructure by local authorities before claiming the costs back from developers after first occupation. Hopefully, NALC and SALC will issue further guidance and
Cllr Llewellyn is waiting for a copy of the SALC response. Cllr Lowman offered to create a list of a number of bullet points in preparation for a Parish Council response.
Members also discussed whether Mid Sussex District Council would be including the parish and town council’s in any consultation and/or how we wish to engage with MSDC if they are not. The Clerk will write to MSDC to enquire.
The closing date for responses to the consultation is 29 October 2020. The consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-current-planning-system
ACTION: Clerk to request any further information available from MSDC Cllr Alison Bennett and investigate what other parish councils have written. Cllr Lowman to draft bullet points to form a draft response.
6. Matters for information or inclusion on next agenda:
The next meeting will be held to consider the response on the Changes to the Planning System consultation.
7. Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is Monday 21 September at 11am.