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MEMBERS PRESENT: Councillor Vine-Hall (Chairman), Cllrs Glew, Rand, Reynolds, Cllr Wright (Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond


Also in attendance: Cllr Chapman and three members of the public.


P11/12.23 Apologies and reasons for absence. None received.

Disclosures of personal and prejudicial interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct 2007.

  1. Cllr Wright declared her personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 27.5 by virtue of her being a near neighbour of the applicant. She left the meeting during discussions.
  2. Cllr Chapman declared his personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 32 by virtue of him being a near neighbour of the Pestalozzi Village. He left the meeting during public and council discussions.
P11/12.25 Public participation session. At the Chairman's invitation, Robin Archer and Rod Eldridge gave notice of their intention to make representation to the Committee at agenda item 32.
P11/12.26 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 24/05/11.

Planning Applications

27.1 RR/2011/852/P Little Swailes Green Farm, Compasses Lane, Swailes Green TN32 5QU. Retrospective application to use oast as residential unit associated with existing furniture manufacturing business.
27.2 RR/2011/853/L Little Swailes Green Farm, Compasses Lane, Swailes Green TN32 5QU. Retrospective application to use oast as residential unit associated with existing furniture manufacturing business.
  Cllr Rand reported on the two above-mentioned applications. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval of RR/2011/852/P and RR/2011/853/L but requests that no changes are allowed in size or character of the oast.
27.3 RR/2011/999/T The Cottage, The Street, Sedlescombe TN33 0QE. Lawson Cypress x 2 - fell due to roots causing damage to sewer pipe and path. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval of the removal of 2 Lawson Cypress trees from the rear garden of The Cottage because of damage being caused to the drains by tree roots.
27.4 RR/2008/3175/MA 1 and 2 Tilly House, The Street, Sedlescombe. Non-material amendment to RR/2008/3175/P - construction of disabled ramp to comply with Part M of the Building regulations (retrospective). Noted.
27.5 RR/2011/600/P Sharewood Farm, New England Lane, Sedlescombe. Removal of agricultural occupancy condition on dwelling (A69/206). Cllr Wright declared her personal and prejudicial interest by virtue of her being a near neighbour of the applicant and left the meeting during discussions. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval of the removal of the agricultural occupancy condition from Sharewood Farm, New England Lane, Sedlescombe (RR/2011/600/P).
27.6 RR/2011/1168/FN Lower Jacobs Farm, Brede Lane, Sedlescombe TN33 0PN. Proposed agricultural barn. Cllr Vine-Hall reported on his inspection of the application site. The previous problems caused in the Village by the large number of lorries importing soil to the site when the last barn was being built were noted but it was considered that only minor groundworks would be needed this time. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval of a new agricultural barn at Lower Jacobs Farm, Sedlescombe (RR/2011/1168/FN) which will be a reasonable addition to the existing agricultural building.

Appeals. None.


Planning applications still awaiting decision.

  1. RR/2011/940/P Bulmer Lodge, The Green, Sedlescombe. Removal of conditions 2, 3 and 5 re RR/2008/1676/P - erection of detached garage with art/hobby room over including addition of dormers. Details of objections to the proposed change of use of a garage to living accommodation can be seen on the agenda. Contrary to the Parish Council's recommendation, the Planning Officer wished to approve. A current dispute between a near neighbour who believes that the garage is being built higher than detailed in the approved plans and Mr Searle, a Rother Enforcement Officer, who thinks it is not, was noted. It was agreed by the Committee that Rother should be asked to measure the height of the building to check whether the professional report obtained by the neighbour is accurate or not. Although Rother appears satisfied with the amount of parking which will be available, members are not and proposed that the application should go to the Rother Planning Committee.
  2. RR/2011/859/P Ivy Cottage - land rear of, Brede Lane, Sedlescombe - four new properties. The Parish Council wished to see refusal of this application. Thirty-one letters of objection have been sent to Rother, some of which have been copied to the Parish Council.


02/06/11 RR/2011/737/P 32 Park Shaw, Sedlescombe, extensions Approved conditional
09/06/11 RR/2011/278/P
1 Manor Cottages, The Street, Sedlescombe. Conservatory

Approved conditional

Listed building consent


Regarding the conservatory at 1 Manor Cottages, it was noted that English Heritage has confirmed that the listing is incorrect and that, although much of the building is 15th and 16th century, the wing occupied by 1 Manor Cottages is a late 19th century addition. It has been decided by Rother DC that the Victorian design of the proposed conservatory is appropriate for the Victorian elevation that it is to be attached to. Also that the conservatory can be seen as part of the evolution of the building which has been previously extended and adapted as its use has changed.


Enforcement List

24/05/11 ENF/SED/2011/195 Dinos, Churchland Lane, Sedlescombe - builders yard To be visited
02/06/11 ENF/SED/2011/192 Swailes Green, land at - new access and caravans Information requested
14/06/11 ENF/SED/2011/212 Whydown House, Sedlescombe - caravan No further action
16/06/11 ENF/SED/2011/154 Bulmer Lodge, The Green, Sedlescombe - works not in accordance with approved plans No further action (but see 29.1 above)
13/06/11 ENF/SED/2011/85 Castlemans Farm - field adj., Sandrock Hill, Sedlescombe - erection of building in field Application requested



Pestalozzi Country Park Estate and temporary uses of land

  1. Cllr Chapman declared his personal/prejudicial interest by virtue of him being a near neighbour of Pestalozzi and left the meeting.
  2. Robin Archer of the Manor House on the Estate spoke about
    1. The unacceptable level of noise from Pestalozzi which was being suffered by people living in properties on and around the site during outdoor events. It was noted that planning permission had been granted for the construction of a further six properties within the Estate grounds and that, once these are completed, the number of people directly affected will, be about a hundred, equalling 8% of the population of the Village.
    2. Pestalozzi's unwillingness to accept any responsibility for disturbance caused by people hiring its land.
    3. The unreasonable number of temporary events which have been booked on Pestalozzi land for 2011.
    4. The need for some of the events to be kept within the Pestalozzi buildings where there is already a Premises Licence.
    5. The pop festival style wedding which had taken place in the fields at the end of May where the music amplification was unreasonable.
    6. The failure of the temporary events to meet the costs incurred in putting them on.
    7. An offer he had made to sit on a panel at Pestalozzi to find sustainable events that would not be disturbing to neighbours.
  3. Rod Eldridge of Park Shaw spoke about
    1. The unreasonably loud tannoy, as well as the music, used at the wedding at the end May and that, at the time he went to bed, he could hear every word spoken from his home at the top of Park Shaw.
    2. The letter of complaint to Rother Planners that had been generated and signed by people in Park Shaw concerning temporary uses of the land..
    3. The expressed wish of many to live happily with Pestalozzi and to give them the chance to raise the much-needed funds. He believed this could be achieved if the noise nuisance was addressed.
    4. The attendance by the Police at the end of May event because of drunk and disorderly behaviour.
    5. The exceeding by Pestalozzi of the number of days allowed under 28-day temporary event permitted development rule.
  4. The Committee noted the Clerk's Briefing Note regarding temporary uses of land at Pestalozzi. The Clerk added that Pestalozzi's latest Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31/08/11 stated the main objectives of Pestalozzi to be to refocus the organisation to increase the number of overseas students to 60 by September 2012 and that to meet these ambitious growth plans Pestalozzi would need to be more successful at fundraising and improving the profitability of the Estate so that it would be able to cover estate costs and all the charity's overheads. The current position is that 80% of overheads are being covered.

    According to the Pestalozzi website, the estate is used to raise money by various methods including outside events such as weddings and wedding receptions, camping, festivals and gatherings and the JCA Adventure School Holiday Company. The latter's contract ends at the end of September 2011.

    Paul Evans, CEO, had told a recent meeting of neighbours who had been invited to Pestalozzi that consideration is being given to rebranding the estate into a separate entity with a new name not linked to Pestalozzi and that he would have liked Pestalozzi to become a second Bedgebury Pinetum but the funds are not available to set it up.

    The Chairman of the Committee spoke of the general belief in the Village that it is better to have Pestalozzi stay within Sedlescombe but that the charity must manage the fund-raising events so that local people are not regularly disturbed.

    RESOLVED: That, when the new CEO, Sue Walton, takes over in early July, the Parish Council should request a meeting with her to be attended also by Rother Planners and a representative of neighbours to discuss the running of fund-raising events at Pestalozzi.

    RESOLVED: That, because of the annoyance being caused to Sedlescombe residents by temporary events, the Parish Council should ask Rother District Council to ensure that the Pestalozzi Country Park Estate is being operated in accordance with
    1. Its permitted development rights under the "28-day rule".
    2. The correct number of Temporary Events Notices.
    3. Permitted uses of buildings.

Budget Car Company. The Committee noted that the four appeals to the Planning Inspectorate made by the Budget Car Company had been refused on 02/06/11 giving the Company 1 week to remove cars from unapproved land and 1 month to remove the storm shelter.

RESOLVED: That the Parish Council closely monitors Budget Car Company's compliance with the Planning Inspectorate's decisions and ensures that Rother District Council swiftly moves to prosecution of the offender(s) if the proper action is not taken.


The Clerk reported that she had been informed by Rother DC's Tree Officer that Rother is in the process of serving a tree replacement notice on Budget Cars following their removal of trees from within the Conservation Area in February without approval.