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

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond


Also in attendance: Cllrs J Heap and R Chapman. Mr R Eldridge. Mrs S Walton.


P11/12.113 Apologies and reasons for absence. None, all present.

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. Cllr Mitchell declared her personal interest in item P11/12.117.1 Planning Application RR/2011/2490/P, East View Terrace as she lives at East View Terrace and rents one of the garages.

P11/12.115 Public participation session. None.
P11/12.116 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 13/12/11.

Planning Applications


RR/2011/2490/P East View Terrace, garages to rear of, Sedlescombe. Demolition of existing garages and erection of 4 flats (in a single block), 4x2-bedroom semi-detached houses and 1x2-bedroom wheelchair adaptable bungalow. Cllr Mitchell declared her personal interest by virtue of her living at East View Terrace and renting one of the garages. She remained in the room and took part in the discussions. This matter had been discussed previously by the Parish Council, Minute, C11/12.59. Various members of the public had attended and a petition against the proposal had been signed by residents of East View Terrace. The application included some additional parking places but the positions of these was not supported by members.


RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports refusal of RR/2011/2490/P for the following reasons:

Contrary to Policy GD1 (i) and (iii) and Policy TR2- General Development Considerations, Transport.  The proposal does not meet the needs of future occupiers because of the loss of garage space which may be used for storage as well as car parking.  This is especially important where houses are small.  More garages would have been used if Amicus Horizon had properly maintained them and the area would have been less susceptible to vandalism.
The proposal does not provide for adequate and safe access by all relevant modes of transport as East View Terrace is remote from a daily bus service.  The bus service to and from the Village centre, an uphill walk away, is only once every two hours and the last bus from Hastings is before 6pm.  There is no evening service.  The bus stop near the Estate is for a once a week bus to Battle.
The proposed development is not in a position that will promote more sustainable travel choice as required by this Policy.  The site is not suitable for disabled or elderly people without a car being at the bottom of a hill which needs to be climbed to reach the centre of the Village with its amenities and access to bus services.
The proposed access to the new development is narrow without enough turning space near the proposed parking spaces.  The additional properties will result in increased unacceptable traffic conditions in East View Terrace itself and in the already heavily-congested approach road - Brede Lane, especially at school arrival/departure times.  Parking in Brede Lane near the School/Doctors’ Surgery has made the road virtually one-way with cars being forced up onto the pavement resulting in danger to pedestrians which are often children going to and from school.  Any additional traffic will increase this problem.
The proposal does not provide appropriate parking provision even with the additional spaces proposed by Amicus Horizon.  Existing occupants of the Estate do not have their own garages and only a few have parking areas within their own gardens around the Estate.  Therefore nearly all residents and their visitors and tradespeople will in future have to park on the roadside.  Current parking problems on the Estate will only be exacerbated by the loss of 35 garages/parking spaces and the construction of additional properties.  The proposed new parking spaces within the established part of the Estate will be sited close to the windows of the bottom flats and occupants are likely to suffer pollution from car exhausts as well as noise and light disturbance.  In addition, the loss of green space and a tree to provide extra parking is regretted and will not improve the amenities of existing residents.
Policy HG1 - Affordable housing.  Amicus Horizon cites the affordable housing need figures for Sedlescombe as a reason for this development.  According to Rother District Council's Affordable Housing Study published in 2008, Sedlescombe has 15.8% of social rented housing in the existing stock.  The only parish to have more is Bodiam with 20%.  Our nearest neighbour Whatlington, has no social housing at all.  The average per Rother Village is 8%.  According to the 2008 Housing Needs Study, Sedlescombe had 26 households on the housing register.  The inflated housing need figures in Sedlescombe currently stated by Amicus Horizon are misleading as these households do not necessarily have a Sedlescombe connection and some would not therefore be eligible to take up a property in the parish.  The number of households ticking the Sedlescombe parish box on the Housing Register application form would probably be similar in other areas having a mix of social housing.  According to Rother’s Housing Department, households are often on a series of lists for different parishes, some ticking all parishes and, until they bid for a property, their eligibility is not tested.
Contrary to Policy HG4(v), (ix) - Housing Developments.  No community facilities are provided despite part of the site previously being used for a community meeting place.  The building over of land left in trust for recreational use means that the only land available for this purpose will be lost.
No public open space or play space has been provided to meet the needs of existing and new occupants.  There could be additional children living in the some of the new properties.  The East View Estate is large by local standards (110 properties), having partially been doubled in size twenty years ago, and has very limited recreational space.  At that time, the large play area was built on by Orbit Housing Association.  Currently, the Parish Council has a small kickabout area on the edge of the Estate and Orbit Housing Association has one piece of play equipment for the under 10s.  Recreational facilities are insufficient for current occupants.  Early in 2011, Orbit Housing Association planned to provide allotments and identified a need for ten.  The proposed development will use land which could be used for this purpose.
Contrary to Policy CF2 - Community facilities.  The development should not be permitted as it would result in the loss of land that could be used to supply facilities which are lacking in the community unless an assessment has been undertaken which clearly shows that it is surplus to requirements.  The provision of a building suitable for the youth club has long been discussed by the Parish Council and before the fire the use of the Scout Hut was possible.  The Sedlescombe Youth Club is currently meeting at the Pestalozzi International Village which is not within easy walking distance of the Estate (about 30-minute walk) especially at night without street lighting.  The village hall is a 20-minute walk away.
Contrary to Policy CF4 - Community facilities.  There is a shortfall locally in recreational land close to East View Terrace.  Amicus Horizon and Orbit Housing Association, landlords of many of the properties at East View Terrace, should ensure that adequate recreational space is provided.

117.2 RR/2011/2488/P 5 Chapel Hill, Sedlescombe. Relocate low voltage pole 573245. Cllr Wright reported on her inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council does not wish to make a comment but asks that the neighbour's comment is taken into consideration.
117.3 RR/2011/2546/L Beech Farm House, Hawkhurst Road, Sedlescombe. Minor alterations to revise the layout of approved bathrooms. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council does not wish to comment as this is a listed building application for internal alterations to the property.
117.4 RR/2011/1448/P 11 Orchard Way, Sedlescombe. Construction of pre-fabricated garden office. Cllr Glew reported on her inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.
117.5 RR/2011/2464/P Eastlands, Sandrock Hill, Sedlescombe. Installation of 16 solar photovoltaic panels to existing stable roof to form a 4kwp PV System to supply the existing domestic house "Eastlands". Cllr Wright reported on her inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.

RR/2011/2273/P 10 Park Shaw, Sedlescombe. Double glazed conservatory within site boundaries (retrospective). Cllr Reynolds reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports refusal of this retrospective application.  The building is intrusive being out of keeping with surrounding properties in terms of size, style, design and materials.  It unreasonably harms the amenities of neighbouring properties.


Enforcement List. No list because of Christmas and New Year holidays. Rother's Chief Executive, Derek Stevens had written to parish councils before Christmas explaining the difficult situation Rother is currently in regarding enforcement matters. He informed councils about the review of the enforcement structure and practices which has resulted in a team of four people, headed by Michael Adams, focusing completely on planning enforcement and breaches of environmental rules/regulations such as fly-tipping, graffiti etc. Planning inquiries will not be part of this team's workload. The current workload of the team of four is 420 cases, many dating back some time and described by Derek as "no more than neighbour disputes". The caseload is being reviewed and the weekly enforcement lists will, in future, have more up to date information as to the exact status of each outstanding case.


Appeals. None.

P11/12.120 Results. None.
P11/12.121 Budget Car Company update. The second magistrates' court appearance for Budget Car Company on 19/12/11 resulted in deferral until 30/01/12 at the request of the Budget Solicitor. The Clerk is expected to make a witness statement this month. The replacement tree has been planted. According to an e-mail dated 21/12/11, other summonses were being served on Budget Car Company by Rother Legal Department.