Minutes of the Meeting held to on 14/08/09 (1600 to 1715) to discuss the future of the portacabin/youth project
(at the request of the Parish Council)

Cllr Valerie Wright - Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council

Cllr Anthony Rand - Vice-Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council and Chair of the Parish Council's Sportsfield Committee

Cllr Pauline Glew - Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council's Finance Committee and Chairman of Sedlescombe Village hall Management Committee

Mrs Pauline Raymond - Sedlescombe Parish Clerk/Financial officer

Mr Craig Atkins - Orbit South Community Investment Officer

Mr Paul Barraclough - Chairman of Sedlescombe Youth Projects Committee

Mr John Hooker - Member of Sedlescombe Youth Projects Committee

Mr Leon Mende - East Sussex County Council Youth Worker


1. Chairman. Cllr Wright was appointed Chair of the Meeting.

2. Apologies. Debi Carr (Senior Youth Development Officer (Rother)) - Debi had agreed that Craig Atkins could speak on behalf of Youth Development.

3. Possible facility at the Sportsfield. Cllr Wright explained that the Council is still supporting the idea of a youth club in Sedlescombe but the Parish Council and Sports Association have not been able to find a form of words for a lease that they could be happy with. This, together with concerns about the river and lack of street-lighting, has persuaded them to withdraw the offer of allowing the portacabin to remain at the sportsfield. The Council is still willing to let the Youth Group have the portacabin if a suitable site can be found. Craig expressed his disappointment that there had not been the opportunity to sit round a table together to discuss the draft lease prior to the making of the decision.

4. Possible facility at the ex-Scout Hut site belonging to Rother Homes. Although the ex-Scout Hut site is in many ways a suitable alternative site, it is considered far too close to properties and Rother Homes is not willing for the land to be used for a youth club.

5. Possible facility at the Kickabout Area.
5.1 Use of Kickabout Area. As an alternative to the ex-Scout Hut site, the Parish Council may be willing to allow the portacabin(s) or another building to be placed on the Kickabout Area. The Kickabout Area has the advantage of being close to the homes of the majority of young people wanting a youth club. It also has the advantage of having its own play area.

5.2 Additional land next to Kickabout Area and access. Cllr Rand reported that the owner of the adjoining land is not willing to sell a piece of the field next to the Kickabout Area as had been proposed for the skate park. He will, however, allow access across his field in order to install the portacabin at the Kickabout Area. Cllr Rand has measured the site and believes that there is sufficient space at the western end of the site for the 40'x10' portacabin.

5.3 New building. It was suggested that the main advantage of using the portacabin is that it is currently in place at the sportsfield. For the cost of moving the portacabin and then refitting it, it might be possible to put a suitable wooden building at the Kickabout Area. There would be advantages in providing an eco-friendly building with compost toilets and solar panels. It was agreed that, the Youth Group should find the most cost effective and expedient way of getting a facility and that the portacabin does not now seem to be the best option. The portacabin will, therefore, be disposed of by the Parish Council..

5.4 Lease/Licence of Kickabout Area. Craig made the suggestion that the Youth Projects Forum might like to lease the whole Kickabout Area from the Council so that it could raise funds and, maybe, add more equipment to the site. They might also like to take over responsibility for grass/hedge cutting and litter collection.

The difference between a lease and licence was discussed. Of particular concern to everyone is the issue of anti-social behaviour. It was agreed that if any problems of anti-social behaviour attributed to the youth centre arise, the matter will be discussed between Orbit HA, the Youth Development Service, the Sedlescombe Youth Project and Sedlescombe Parish Council in order to try to find a solution.

5.5 Planning permission/Council's permitted development rights. It was noted that the Parish Council's permitted development rights allows any small ancillary building (less than 4 metres in height or 200 cubic metres in capacity) on land belonging to it without planning permission. However, the building must be required in connection with the operation of a public service administered by the Parish Council. Planning permission will be required if the building is owned by or leased to another body.

5.6 Action.

  1. Craig will speak to tenants of homes near the Kickabout Area.
  2. The Youth Projects Group will meet on 01/09/09 by which time they hope to have made some initial enquiries regarding a suitable wooden building.
  3. Pauline will give further consideration to the lease/licence situation.
  4. The Parish Council will meet on 08/09/09 by which time the Youth Projects Group should be able to put forward a proposal for discussion and agreement.

6. Any other site. Over the years, several sites in the Village have been considered. Recently, the Chairman has suggested that the village hall end of Red Barn Field Nature Park might be a suitable site for a youth club. Leon suggested that this site should be kept in reserve in case of insurmountable problems at the Kickabout Area.