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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Strategic Policy Working Group

October 11, 2017

MINUTES of the Meeting of the STRATEGIC POLICY WORKING GROUP  held at 8.00pm on Wednesday 11 

October 2017 held in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.  

Working Group Members Present 

John Lowman (Chairman)   Allan Brown  Stephen Hand   Martin Machan  Bob Sampson   

Also Present:   

                             Stephen Hoyles – CLERK TO THE COUNCIL 

SP17/10.  Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest:  There were no absences.  There were no declarations of interest.   

SP17/11. Minutes of the meeting of the Strategic Policy Working Group 11 August 2017:  The Working Group received and accepted the minutes which were then signed by the Chairman.   

SP17/12.  District Plan – Main Modifications Consultation:  The Group considered its response to the 

Modifications proposed by MSDC and make a recommendation to Council.  It was noted that the key issues affecting the Parish Council are:  

  1. a) Science Park:  the requirements for the environmental impact have been strengthened.  
  2. b) Policy DP5: Housing – has been amended to make provision for the increased housing numbers and the stepped housing trajectory requested by the Inspector. The Plan therefore makes provision for 876 dwellings per annum to 2023/2024, and, subject to the outcomes of Habitats Regulations Assessment, for 1,090 dwellings per annum thereafter to 2031.  
  3. c) Policy DP9b: Land north of Clayton Mills, Hassocks – is a new policy which has been introduced to allocate Land at Clayton Mills, Hassocks for 500 new homes and supporting infrastructure. This is in the light of the Inspector’s findings regarding the need to strengthen the 5 year housing land supply.  
  4. d) Neighbourhood Plans:  an expectation that NPs will be reviewed in the 5-year period.  
  5. e) Provision for travellers fixed sites within the Northern Arc development. 
  6. f) The re-allocation of the West Farm, Goddards Green site from employment to housing (approx. 170 houses) 
  7. g) Policy DP2: Sustainable Economic Development – has been amended to reduce the extent of the strategic employment allocation at Burgess Hill from 30ha to 25ha with the 5ha contributing towards the housing allocation of the Northern Arc proposals.  The re-allocation of the employment land at Goddards Green to housing, as part of the Burgess Hill  Northern Arc.   
  8. h) Policy DP5a: Planning to meet future housing need – is a new policy which has been added to strengthen the 

Council’s commitment to working with the other authorities in the Housing Market Area, and with Coastal West Sussex and the Greater Brighton Strategic Planning Board  

  1. i) Policy DP6: Settlement Hierarchy – has been amended to include support for development of fewer than 10 dwellings and to ensure that proposals do not represent under development of a site. The Policy also sets out the minimal housing requirement for each settlement.  
  2. j) Policy DP19: Transport – has been amended to ensure that development which generates significant amounts of movements is supported by a Transport Assessment or Transport Statement. 
  3. k) Policy DP24a: Housing Density – the Inspector requested that this Policy be deleted and that a reference to 

‘optimising’ capacity of sites is included in Policy DP24 on Design and Character. 

The Working Group discussed the issues and agreed that the Parish Council would be asked to agree a response.  A proposed response would be offered to the October meeting of Council.  (Ref:  MSDC District Plan – Main Modifications Consultation 2 October 2017 ) 

RECOMMENDATION to COUNCIL:  The Parish Council responds to the Main Modifications to the District Plan.  

SP17/13.   Strategic housing  issues:   

  1. (1) ‘Right home in the right places’ :  The Group noted the content of the HMG/DCLG white paper:  (Ref:  Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals (September 2017  DCLG);  BRIEFING NOTE 16 September 2017) 
  1. (2) Meeting with MSDC and strategic housing position statement:  The Chairman reported on a meeting held with MSDC on 27 September 2017 regarding planning for the increased housing targets set by the District Plan.  The Group agreed that the Council should consider a position statement, setting out its views on how the strategic housing issues should be addressed by MSDC to meet the post 5-year housing targets plus any possible additional numbers required by the DCLG white paper ‘Right Homes’.  The objectives of this policy position would be:   
  2. 1. To acknowledge the outcome of the District Plan Examination (2017) and the set housing targets  (Policy DP5 revised).   
  1. 2. To acknowledge the possible impact of the DCLG White Paper  ‘ Right homes in right places’ (September 2017) in imposing further increases on these targets.  
  2. 3. To protect the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan (February 2015)  
  3. 4. To affirm the value of existing settlement patterns of towns and villages and the significance and value of all surrounding countryside which defines these settlements.   
  4. 5. To acknowledge the high risks of incremental expansion of existing settlements to the point where they could morph into continuous urban areas and lose their individual characters.  The erosion of the countryside areas between settlements could be such that local gaps are meaningless and the definition of built-up areas is lost.   
  5. 6. To suggest that MSDC gives serious consideration to meeting these further housing targets by the allocation of a single strategic site, located to ensure sustainability but also to protect existing settlements and their surrounding countryside.  Such a site could be an expanded existing settlement rather than a stand-alone settlement, but placed in a sustainable location. 

The Working Group also noted the impact of the South Downs National Park and the possible protection of the settlement pattern of Hurstpierpoint.   

  1. (3) MSDC SHELAA – call for sites:  The Group considered the MSDC ‘call for sites’ as part of its District Plan development beyond 2023/24.  It was agreed that the Parish Council does not make a response at this stage.  (REF:  MSDC SHELAA  September 2017)   
  1. (4) Reside Homes – land north of Kings Business Centre, Sayers Common:  The Group noted the meeting attended by the Clerk and representatives of Reside Homes on 5 September 2017.  (Ref:  NOTES of meeting with Reside homes  5 September 2017) 

SP17/14.    South Downs National Park  Authority-  Local Plan Pre-submission  consultation – 

September 2017:  The Group is asked to note the consultation.  It was agreed that the Parish Council had no comment to make.  (Ref:  SDNPA  Local Plan Pre-submission  consultation – September 2017) 

SP17/15.    Court Bushes Community Hub:  The Group was asked to make a recommendation to Council that investigations are made into the possibility of the Parish Council taking on a new long lease of the Ex-Servicemens Club building, and set up a community hub in partnership with local groups.  It was agreed that any involvement of the Parish Council in the future use of the building must take account of:   

  1. 1. An unencumbered long lease of the building from landlord MSDC 
  2. 2. Sufficient start-up funding to bring the building to appropriate standard, and to fund operating costs until  sustainable rental income is achieved.  This funding could be from a range of sources, including the local authorities, s106 funds, and contributions from Hub Partners.   
  3. 3. The building to be brought to fit-for-purpose for public use 
  4. 4. A viable business plan, accounting for all maintenance, utilities, insurance, caretaking, and sinking-fund for repairs, to be met from rental income from community groups and private users.   
  5. 5. Hub Partners (local voluntary groups) would commit to long-term use, at agreed rents for sections of the building.  The 

reformed Ex-servicemens Club could be one of these groups, having a dedicated ‘club lounge’ area, perhaps with its own liquor licence.    

  (REF:  CONFIDENTIAL BRIEFING NOTE     Court Bushes Community Hub  proposal 10 October 2017)  

RECOMMENDATION to COUNCIL:  The Parish Council investigates with MSDC the opportunity of taking a new lease on the Club building with the objective of creating a community hub of services, supported by local groups.   

There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at     8.58 pm   


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