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MEMBERS PRESENT: Cllr J Reynolds (Chairman of the Committee), Cllr Heap, Cllr Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Council), Cllr Glew (Vice-Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond


Also in attendance: 3 members of the public


P12/13.15 Apologies and reasons for absence. Cllr Mitchell (away). RESOLVED: That the Parish Council accepts Cllr Mitchell's reasons for absence.

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 Heap declared his personal/prejudicial interest in P12/13.21.6 RR/2012/666/P and RR/2012/667/L Barnes Farm, Poppinghole Lane. When he became aware of it, he also declared his personal/prejudicial interest in P12/13.19.1 RR/2012/1069/P Pestalozzi International Village because he works for the applicant.

P12/13.17 Public participation session. The Chairman asked members of the public whether they wished to make representation, answer questions or give evidence with regard to items on the agenda. Eileen Bullen and Pat Evans gave notice of their interest in agenda item P12/13.24 Site Allocations. When the item was discussed, Sue Walton also took part in discussions.
P12/13.18 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 08/05/12.

Planning Applications

  1. RR/2012/1069/P Pestalozzi International Village - land at. Drawing No3999.10 REV A to replace 3999.10 approved under condition 17 of RR/2010/1671/P in relation to boundary wall. Cllr Heap had declared his personal/prejudicial interest and left the room during discussions on this application. Cllr Reynolds reported on his inspection. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.
  2. RR/2012/1127/L 1 Manor Cottages, The Street, Sedlescombe. Build brick front to outhouse with door, window and small door to hide plastic wheelie bin. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.
  3. RR/2012/1126/P 1 Manor Cottages, The Street, Sedlescombe. Build brick front to outhouse with door, window and small door to hide plastic wheelie bin. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports approval.
  4. RR/2012/1246 Powdermills/Sunningdale boundary, Gregory Walk, Sedlescombe. T1 Oak Tree Fell. T2 Oak Tree reduce crown by 30% and remove damaged branches. The Clerk had been informed by Rother's Tree Officer that she had visited the site and agreed with the proposed work. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council does not object.

Appeals. None.


Results. Members had been sent copies of the decision notices on the following applications (excluding No.8) which had only just arrived.

  1. RR/2012/749/P Brickwall Hotel - land adj, The Green, Sedlescombe. Renewal of outline planning permission for new bungalow to land adjacent to the Brickwall Hotel. Planning Permission Granted with conditions.
  2. RR/2012/735/P Chittlebirch Oast, Sedlescombe. Relocation of vehicular entrance. Planning Permission Granted with conditions.
  3. RR/2012/741/P 7 Blacklands, Sedlescombe. Single storey rear and side extension and new vehicle access. Planning Permission Granted.
  4. RR/2012/716/P East View Terrace - garages to rear of. Demolition of garages and erection of 8 dwellings. Rother Planning Committee delegated to approve with conditions. Also the following related matters:
    1. Cllr Vine-Hall reported his discussions with Rother and ESCC prior to the Rother Planning Committee meeting on 24/05/12 where he was unable to persuade them that the East View planning application should be rejected on highway grounds. The reason was that the earlier application had only been refused on the effect of the proposed flats on neighbours. Cllr Vine-Hall's discussions had highlighted the need for closer liaison with East Sussex highways when applications are received that could have highways issues.
    2. Meeting with Lawrence Stringer, Transport Development Control Manager of ESCC. Arising from Cllr Vine-Hall's discussions with Mr Stringer, a meeting had been arranged to allow members of the Planning Committee to hear how ESCC assesses planning applications from a highway/transport perspective. The meeting will be held on 03/07/12, 1400 at the sportsfield pavilion.
    3. Reactions to request for laybys at East View Terrace and in Brede Lane. Unfortunately, Rother had not imposed a condition that additional parking laybys should be provided by the applicant. Cllr Ganly had investigated and found that the County Council was not against the construction of a layby in East View but it would have to be at the Parish Council's expense.
  5. RR/2011/1455/P Castlemans Coach House, Church Hill. Tree hide (retrospective application). 3-year temporary planning permission granted with conditions for the building to be used for watching wildlife only. After 3 years the building will need to be removed or made more modest in size and design.
  6. RR/2012/666/P and RR/2012/667/L Barnes Farm, Poppinghole Lane. Demolition of agricultural storage building and conversion of redundant dairy building to 3-bed dwelling with associated parking and landscaping. Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent Granted with conditions.
  7. RR/2010/2762/P Luffs Farm, Chapel Hill, Sedlescombe. Conversion of single storey farm building into a 2-bedroom holiday let/annexe. Planning Permission Granted with conditions.
  8. RR/2012/729/P Sedlescombe Sportsfield. Extension to car park. Planning Permission Granted with conditions. An archaeological condition had been attached and the Clerk was authorised to contact the County Archaeology Department for advice.

It was noted hat a Battle application for two houses, within the Battle development boundary, had recently been refused on appeal on AONB grounds.


The Clerk reported that statistics are available from DCLG allowing comparisons to be made between planning authorities across the country. In 2011, Rother DC had 1531 new applications, 91% of which were delegated to officers to decide. 88% ot the total applications were granted approval.


The England average is 90% delegated and 87% approved.

The South East England average is 91% delegated and 87% approved.


Rother's record with appeals seems to be very good with only four being allowed by Planning Inspectors on appeal and 26 dismissed. This is a higher percentage of dismissals than most other authorities.


Enforcement List

  1. ENF/SED/2012/185 7 Eaton Walk, Sedlescombe. New complaint - change of use.
  2. ENF/SED/2012/203, Spilstead Farm Airfield, 16/05/12, Breach of condition concerning microlight/ultralight. Rother DC writing to operator of Spilstead Airfield. The Clerk to Whatlington Parish Council had also reported a recent apparent breach of the protocol by an aircraft flying in the Whatlington avoidance zone. The Enforcement Officer had written to the operator who had argued that he was allowed to fly over because he was at 1700ft.
  3. ENF/SED/2011/85, Castlemans Farm - field adj, Sandrock Hill, Sedlescombe. 17/05/12. Erection of building in field. No further action, planning permission granted see RR/2011/1455/P above.
  4. ENF/SED/2012/171, Great Sanders House, Sedlescombe. Garden building. 17/05/12. No further action, not expedient, a technical or de-minimis breach of control.
  5. ENF/SED/2012/180, 115 East View Terrace, Sedlescombe. Tyre repair business. 17/05/12. No further action. No breach of planning control.
P12/13.23 Local Development Framework including Rother's answers to Parish Council comments on the Core Strategy. The Clerk reminded the Committee of the situation regarding the Local Plan and Local Development Framework. She reported Rother's comments on those made by Sedlescombe Parish Council on the Core Strategy submission document and that only one adjustment had been made in accordance with Sedlescombe's comments which concerned priorities for re-use of agricultural buildings.

Site Allocations. As part of the Local Development Frameworks, planning authorities are required by Government to draft Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs). These are technical assessments of sites and broad locations that are considered to have potential for housing. Also included is information on other sites that have been assessed but are not considerable suitable, available or achievable for housing. The SHLAA only considers sites with potential for six or more dwellings.


Although Rother has drafted its SHLAA, there has been no public consultation yet and Rother has not made any policy commitment to housing development on sites in the SHLAA. Sites will eventually be proposed for development through a Site Allocation Development Plan Document (DPD). According to Rother, because of the housing requirement, new greenfield extensions to settlements will need to be identified.


8-25 new additional dwellings have been included in the Core Strategy for Sedlescombe. Planning permission has recently been granted for 8 of these at at East View. There are planning commitments for an additional 28 properties that have already been granted planning permission in Sedlescombe.


On the Sedlescombe SHLAA, there is one remaining area of land which its is suggested could be suitable for housing development (SE5 adjacent to Street Farm). Rother's Senior Planning Strategy Officer is due to meet Cllrs Vine-Hall, Reynolds and Mitchell as well as the Clerk on 09/07/12 at 0930 in Committee Room 2 of the Village Hall to discuss the way forward.


After consideration, members agreed not to support development of this site at all because

  1. Of its position outside the Development Boundary.
  2. Of its position on a prominent ridge where development would not be compatible with the conservation of the natural beauty of the AONB.
  3. The proposed housing development would be very noticeable from Sedlescombe's nearby public rights of way, from its Sportsfield and from Cottage Lane.
  4. Important views of the Brede Valley from the site would be spoiled instead of safeguarded. (Noted in the Landscape Assessment.)
  5. Smaller blocks of development are preferable.
  6. The already difficult traffic situation in Brede Lane would be made much worse by any increase in housing development in or off Brede Lane.

Other smaller sites around the Village for, say, 6 dwellings, could be more acceptable eg brownfield sites at the Pestalozzi Village (suggested by Sue Walton, Pestalozzi Chief Executive).


Eileen Bullen and Pat Evans (near neighbours of the site) were allowed to speak during the following discussions:


As the Committee was aware, DPP on behalf of John Keeling and his brothers had already drawn up an indicative plan of how the SE5 site could be redeveloped with 40-45 houses, 25-30 new car parking spaces (for School staff and pre-school parents) to the south of Street Farm with pedestrian access to the Primary School, a new vehicular access and roadway from Brede Lane to the west of the access to Gorselands, a new 24-place pre-school building to the south of the proposed additional parking area with pedestrian access to the School, proposed additional School playing fields to the east of the School's multi-use games area, two areas of small office suites close to the proposed pre-school building and proposed open space to the south and east of the proposed development area. This proposal had been opposed unanimouslyby Sedlescombe Parish Councillors. DPP had also made attempts to get the Core Strategy amended.


The pre-school and playing fields were to be included free of charge only if 40-45 properties were included. Cllr Vine-Hall reported a recent meeting he and the Clerk had had at the School with the Headteacher, and Chair and Vice-Chair of School Governors where this matter was discussed. It had been suggested to the Headteacher that she contact the Keelings to see if they would give or lease the land needed for the playing fields and pre-school without inclusion of the other development.