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PRESENT: Councillors Martin (Chairman), Cllr Marland, Cllr Mitchell
Cllr Wright (Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond

1 member of the public

P10/11.63 Apologies and reasons for absence.None received.

Disclosure by Members of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the member regarded the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. None disclosed.

P10/11.65 Prejudiced members' participation. None.
P10/11.66 Public participation session. None.
P10/11.67 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 05/10/10.

Planning Applications


The Chairman varied the order of business to take this application first.

RR/2010/2494/P Barnes Farm, Poppinghole Lane, Robertsbridge TN32 5BN. New garage building with new driveway and access from road. Cllr Martin reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.

68.1 RR/2010/2293/P Suntrap Cottages, The Street, Sedlescombe TN33 0QN. Proposed pitch roof porch. Cllr Mitchell reported on her inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.
68.2 RR/2010/2320/P Castlemans, Church Hill, Sedlescombe. Conversion of stable buildings to form 2 x 2-bed holiday lets. Cllr Marland reported on his inspection. Members discussed whether the current trend for conversion of redundant farm buildings to holiday lets in this area should be encouraged. Cllr Marland reported that, at the recent Planning Seminar, Rother planners spoke of their support for this type of development. The possible value to the local economy had been highlighted. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports this proposal for an appropriate and sympathetic conversion of redundant stable buildings to holiday lets.
68.3 RR/2010/2260/P Catkins, Meadow Lane, Sedlescombe TN33 0RF. Alternative scheme for garage building to that approved under Application RR/2006/2884/P. As Cllr Rand had the plans, and he had not been able to attend the meeting, no comment could be made.

RR/2010/2134/P Pestalozzi International Village Trust. Variation of conditions 4,10, 12, 13, 15 and 16 on RR/2007/397/P to exclude refurbishment of Sainsbury House. See Clerk's Pestalozzi Briefing Note II.


The Clerk gave the following information:

  • The major redevelopment of the Pestalozzi Village (RR/2007/397/P) was approved in January 2008. This included various works to Sainsbury House, including extensions.
  • A "non-material amendment" was made in May 2010 to alter what had been approved for Sainsbury House to exclude extensions and cladding of wall and roof. The Parish Council was not informed of this amendment and it was approved by Rother DC in June 2010.
  • This application seeks to remove the need for Pestalozzi to meet some of the conditions attached to the approval for RR/2007/397/P with regard to the work at Sainsbury House. The conditions relate to vehicle and cycle parking areas, contaminated land assessment, archaeological work, ecological and wildlife impact mitigation, bottle bank recycling, and the proposed workshop and maintenance yard.

RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.

68.5 RR/2010/2500/P Spilstead Farm, Stream Lane, Sedlescombe. Retention of holiday accommodation in redundant grain silo (retrospective). Cllr Wright reported on her inspection. She had had various conversations with neighbours who live in Stream Lane. RESOLVED: That a general observation comment is made that the Parish Council is concerned that the practice of converting buildings for residential/holiday use prior to applying for planning permission could set a precedent on this farm. Although this application is for holiday accommodation, it appears that the residential use of the grain silo may be more permanent. A grain silo is not really a suitable building for conversion.
P10/11.69 Appeals

Results. The Clerk reported as follows:

  1. RR/2010/2078/P, Poppinghole Farm, Poppinghole Lane. Triple garage. Approved. The Planning Officer had noted the Sedlescombe PC observation re the imposing nature of the proposed garage. However, it appears that the impact of the proposed garage will have a lesser impact than the two-storey house that it replaces. The principle of the garage on this site has already been accepted with the previous permission.
  2. RR/2010/627/P, Brede Barn Farmhouse, Brede Lane. Replace extant planning permission RR/2004/2589/P for change of use and conversion of farm building to form a holiday cottage/annexe. Approved.
  3. RR/2010/1954/P Chittlebirch Yard, Great Sanders Fruit Farm, Hawkhurst Road, Sedlescombe. Siting of mobile home for occupation by farm owners. This matter had been considered at the meeting of the Rother DC Planning Committee on 14/10/10 and temporary and personal planning permission had been granted subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement.
  4. RR/2010/1933/FN Chittlebirch Yard, Great Sanders Farm, Hawkhurst Road, Sedlescombe. Planning permission is required because the proposed building would be erected on a separate parcel of land forming part of the unit which is less than 1 hectare in area.
  5. RR/2010/2212/P The Budget Car Company, The Street, Sedlescombe. Erection of valeting bay structure. Rother Planning had written to the applicant's agent requesting that amendments to the current scheme are considered. Subsequently, an amended plan was submitted and was available for the Committee at this meeting. This shows a more substantial structure with double doors. RESOLVED: That the Clerk is authorised to submit an objection to the amended plan as follows - the proposed building will be no more appropriate in the Sedlescombe Conservation Area than that shown on the earlier plans. By making the building more substantial with doors, it will have an even greater visual impact than the existing shelter. This site should not be used for valeting which adds to the over-development and unreasonable use of the land for a business that is much too big to be accommodated without having an impact on the surrounding roads and local residents.

Report of Rother Planning Seminar held on 19/10/10. Due to the date clashing with the Parish Council's Finance Committee Meeting and Rother being unwilling to change the date, most Sedlescombe councillors had been unable to attend. However, Cllr Marland, not a Finance Committee member, reported on his attendance at, what he described as, a very interesting meeting. The meeting was held the day before major cuts in public expenditure were due to be announced and the Planning Officers were very concerned that the Bexhill Bypass might be axed which would cause a considerable problem for them to meet their housing allocation figures. In the event, it was announced that the Bexhill Bypass will not get an immediate go-ahead. Since the Coalition Government has taken office, announcements have been made about the abolition of the South East Plan and its proposed housing numbers. However, Rother will still be required to submit a Local Development Plan containing housing numbers. There will be a new emphasis on parishes developing sites on their own without the need for planning approval. Rother planning staffing levels are dropping and work is increasing and there may be an increased workload for the parishes.


It has been decided by Cabinet that Rother should not investigate alleged breaches of planning permission where it is considered that the matter is not having a serious impact on amenity. Generally, this will relate to slight variations in excess of "permitted development rights" eg a wall an inch or so higher than permitted. Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated. Contentious enforcement matters will still be reported to the Rother Planning Committee. Parish councils could receive a weekly e-mailed list of all new complaints and where the status of existing complaints has changed.