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Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday 22nd September 2015
at 19:00 in Committee Room 2 of Sedlescombe Village Hall

All Minute numbers are preceded by C15/16

Cllrs. Vine-Hall (Chairman)
Cllrs. Brister, Chapman, Glew, Page, Parsons and Veitch
Clerk/RFO: Mrs Carol Hodgson

Also present:
Cllr. Angharad Davies - County Councillor, Cllr. Tony Ganly - District Councillor and Mrs. Sue Walton - Chief Executive at Pestalozzi.

The Chairman invited the following to speak:

District Councillor Tony Ganly reported that Rother DC Cabinet had set aside a £10,000 Community Grants fund for community events linked to the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. A 1% pay increase had been approved for 2015/16. £45,100 had been awarded in the latest round of the Rother Community Grants Scheme, which included £100 for the Sedlescombe Friendship Club. A review of the elections in May revealed that some voters had been unable to vote which has lead to a review on communicating. Rother DC's Annual Report for 2014/15 is now available online. With the aid of a £57,000 funding from DEFRA and ESCC, Rother DC prepared a bid for £1.7m funding under the new European Union programme. The bid was successful and Rother DC will work with Plumpton College on administering the funding. The Camber Wristband Scheme, which is freely available to parents, has been a great success and seen a reduction in level of reported missing children in one of the busiest beaches in the country. The scheme is being used as a model for beaches with similar issues across the country. A total of £607,000 had been spent in providing wet floor showers, stair lifts, level access and other items to allow 78 people with health issues to remain in their homes.

County Councillor Angharad Davies reported the Police and Crime Commissioner now has two funds providing grants - a Community Safety Fund and a Victim Services Fund. East Sussex County Council is promoting 'Apprenticeship Schemes' which combines job experience with formal training and gaining a qualification. Whilst the Newhaven energy recovery facility was closed for a month for routine maintenance, waste was diverted to other energy recovery facilities rather than landfill creating a saving of £23,000.

Mrs Susan Walton (Chief Executive of Pestalozzi International Village) reported that MP Huw Merriman has been helping the Pestalozzi on their immigration problems with first year students. The system has recently changed and is effecting alot of Educational establishments taking overseas students. Pestalozzi is concerned if the issues are not resolved within the next two weeks it will be too late for this years students as they will not be able to catch-up on their study programme. All students are now required to have Biometric Residence Permits which are issued by the Post Office but unfortunately not many outlets are yet set-up to handle this process.

109 Apologies
Cllrs. Anson and Fraser.

110 Interests in accordance with 2012 Code of Conduct

  1. To receive new written requests for dispensation.
    None received
  2. To receive councillors' declarations of interest regarding matters on the agenda.
    Cllr. Glew declared a personal interest in :-
    > Item 113.f 'RR/2015/2188/P - 15 Park Shaw, Sedlescombe First floor extension over existing garage' as a neighbour to the property
    Cllr. Brister declared a personal interest in :-
    > Item 113.a. 'RR/2015/1804/P - The Oast House, Battle Barn Farm, New Road The reinstatement and refurbishment of The Oast House including reinstatement of the roundel including cowl. The rationalisation of the external services and the over-cladding of the part of the first floor with creosoted ship lap boarding' as a friend of the applicant.
    Cllr. Chapman declared a personal interest in :-
    > Item 117 'To receive an update on managing Red Barn Field' for work carried out to a neighbouring property

111 Public participation session re matters on the Agenda at the Chairman's discretion.
There were no members of the public present.

112 Approval of Minutes for the meeting held on 08-Sep-15
RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2015

113 Planning

  1. To consider response to planning applications.

    a. RR/2015/1804/P - The Oast House, Battle Barn Farm, New Road
    The reinstatement and refurbishment of The Oast House including reinstatement of the roundel including cowl. The rationalisation of the external services and the over-cladding of the part of the first floor with creosoted ship lap boarding.
    Rother DC had already made a decision on the planning application.

    b. RR/2015/1999/P - 6 Swailes Green Cottages, Cripps Corner, Sedlescombe
    Single storey extension to rear and bay window to front
    Cllr. Parsons reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council supports approval but notes there is no mention in the planning application of the path to the front of the house which will be in very close proximity to the proposed new bay window and may need moving / removing.

    c. RR/2015/2074/P + RR/2015/2075/L - Hiltons Beth, The Street, Sedlescombe 
    Single storey extension to replace sub-standard lean-to structure.
    Cllr. Glew reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has no objections and supports approval.

    d. RR/2015/2086/A + RR/2015/2088/L - Post Office, The Green, Sedlescombe 
    Signboard indicating store and post office, replacement hanging sign
    Cllrs Brister and Page reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has no objections and supports approval.

    e. RR/2015/2104/P - Hastings Fly Fishing Club, Reservoir Lane, Sedlescombe 
    The stationing of 3 lodges (one for water bailiff & two for fisherman holiday lets)
    Cllrs. Anson and Page reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has a neutral point of view. If the application is approved PC would wish the following conditions to be applied:-
    1. There should be an undertaking against permanent use of the two holiday units - suggest this is limited to the trout fishing season.

    2. A restriction on the Bailiff's unit that it can only be used by a Bailiff acting on behalf of Hastings Fly Fishing Club
    3. That none of the properties can be sold separately
    4. In the event of discontinued use by
    Hastings Fly Fishing Club, that the huts are removed from site and same re-instated.
    5. It may be prudent to grant temporary planning permission to Hastings Fly Fishing Club for a period of 10 years.

    f. RR/2015/2188/P - 15 Park Shaw, Sedlescombe
    First floor extension over existing garage
    Cllrs. Brister and Page reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has no objections and supports approval.

    g. RR/2015/2292/P - Pestalozzi Int. Village Trust, Sedlescombe,
    Modification to existing S106 planning obligation to remove restriction on the Escrow Account which limits withdrawals to 50% of the original deposit until practical completion of the Pestalozzi Works (as set out in the S106).
    Cllr. Brister reported.
    Mrs. Susan Walton explained how £600,000 of funding was held on Escrow to facilitate the building works. At present only 50% can be drawn down and the balanced released on completion. Pestalozzi does not have the disposable income to cover the monies held in Escrow and has applied to Rother DC to ask if the relevant S106 condition can be relaxed to allow the funds to be released at various stages on production of the Architects Completion Certificates.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has no objections and supports approval.

  2. To receive advice of decisions on previous applications

    a. RR/2015/1864/P - Cheyne Down, Hurst Lane, Sedlescombe
    Proposed extensions; loft conversion with dormers, porch, replacement garage and alterations.
    APPROVED CONDITIONAL : As per decision notice 11-Sep-15

114 To approve the use of the Village Green for the next Spring Fayre on the 14th of May 2016
RESOLVED: That use of the Village Green for the next Spring Fayre on the 14th of May 2016 is approved.

115 To discuss the very large signage recently installed on the A21 / Stream Lane / Ricards Lane junction by 'Highways England'.
A concerned Sedlescombe resident has written to Highways England and the Secretary of State for Transport asking why the warning sign for the crossroads along the A21 at the Stream Lane / Ricards Lane junction has been taken down and replaced with a large 'Motorway size' directional sign to London, Sevenoaks and Leeford Hotel in Whatlington by Highways England. Members were sympathetic to the issue but felt Parish Council could do no more than the concerned resident had already done.

116 To consider a response to Rother DC's Consultation
The Draft Statement of Community Involvement 2015
Members had reviewed Rother DC's proposed draft statement of Community Involvement together with additional information from the CPRE Sussex Countryside Trust.
RESOLVED: Parish Council will submit the following representations:
SCI Para 4.20 Parish Council considers an important means of communication has been missed. On planning matters, applicants, objectors and group representatives should be allowed to speak at meetings of the Rother DC Planning Committee on any scheduled planning applications.
SCI Para 3.12: Pt. Making documents available: (1) Rother DC no longer issues Parish /Town Councils with paper plans. Parish Council recognises that electronic plans works well for some but not all applications. For applications with multiple housing it would be useful to have paper plans provided. (2) For consultations, could consideration be given to making 'hard copies' available at designated local shops / businesses especially in rural villages which are away from the main inspection points in Bexhill, Battle and Rye?

117 To receive an update on managing Red Barn Field
Cllr. Chapman reported on his meeting with Patrick Roper to identify any rare plants in Red Barn Field. Mr. Roper had advised there was no reason why the grass could not be cut now and stacked into small haystacks. This would be useful as a shelter for vertebrates and the haystacks would also become a valuable habitat for beetles and bugs which would contribute to the supply of food for birds and animals. Members acknowledged this was a good idea but it may be difficult to carry out now, due to the recent rain.
To devise an appropriate Management Plan Parish Council has to first consider how Red Barn Field is made available to all residents. Majority of Members were keen to see the field blended as a Wildlife area and if befitting, a public recreational area.
Cllr. Chapman left the room while Members discussed the recent clearing of a section of land at the 'School House' to enable the owners to put their boundary fence up. Mr. Chapman had assisted with the aid of a digger on a voluntary basis and at no cost to the Parish Council. The debris from the clearance was currently in Red Barn Field.
RESOLVED: To top cut the field at an appropriate time. To agenda for discussion in the New Year options on how to manage Red Barn Field to make it more accessible to residents. To contact the 'School House' to advise that Parish Council wishes to survey the boundary before any fencing is erected. The current debris left in Red Barn Field needs removing / disposing of. Access for the fencing work should be via the School House property where possible.

Cllr. Chapman rejoined the meeting.

118 Reports & Questions
To receive reports and questions from Members in brief, including items for next agenda.