Minutes of a Meeting of the Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group
held in the Epworth Hall at 7.00pm on Wednesday 10 January 2018

Present: Cllr A Brock (Chairman)
Mrs L Hodge
Mr G Searle
Mrs L Searle
Mr D StJohn
Cllr R Sutton

In attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)

Public Session: Seventeen members of the public were present.

1. Chairman’s welcome and announcements

The Chairman welcomed the presence of the public and took questions from the floor. The main points discussed included –

the background to SHLAAs (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments) and the more recent SHELAAs (Strategic Housing Economic Land Availability Assessments), what they were and how they were arrived at, the chairman confirming that all these sites were reviewed as part of the NDP process;

confirmation that target development numbers for housing related to sites immediately adjoining the King’s Somborne village settlement boundary and excluded other hamlets lying within the Parish boundary which were already subject to TVBC’s Local Plan;

confirmation that the forthcoming required referendum would be determined by a simple majority of those voting;

confirmation that the Gladman site is excluded from the potential development site from the NDP for much the same reasons that the original application failed i.e. the adverse landscape and visual impact such a development would create on that part of the rural scene;

the basis for calculating the affordable housing need was explained illustrating the reason for looking for small scale developments of between 11 and 14 houses three times within the next 15 years with each development generating maintaining the community’s existing affordable homes ratio which, if achieved, would retain the shape and style of the Village as a whole. The alternative would be to apply for a rural exception site, Lancaster Green being an example, which based on public feedback was now not thought to be an acceptable style of development for the future in our Parish;

a query was raised on the use of external professional expertise and the chairman was able to evidence use of external sources by quoting the help provided by TVBC to date and the acquisition of a specialist report from the South Downs National Park Authority with other specific advice being readily available as we were a ‘Pathfinder Council’ within TVBC leading the way which often resulted in advice and decisions being made without a precedent to draw upon;

and finally what remained to be done, the main points here being to conclude writing the supportive policies, receive the final Highways access reports for the selected sites thought appropriate for development from the relevant landowners, final drafting and receipt of informal comment from TVBC ahead of publication and public consultation for final feedback before formal submission to TVBC and independent examination and referendum, following all of which hopefully would be the adoption of the Plan by TVBC as a subset of the Local Plan giving us significant control over what development would take place, where and in what style and number, in the future.

1. Chairman’s comments

1.1 There were no other comments or announcements.

2. Apologies

2.1 Cllrs Hughes and Lane.

3. Previous meeting notes

3.1 Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 December 2017 were accepted as a true record by those who were present at that meeting.

4. Matters arising

4.1 The Clerk had received advice on Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) which basically stated that anyone could apply to have a TPO placed on any tree. However, the landowner had the right to object and TVBC would look at whether protecting the tree was worthwhile, the public amenity contribution it made and the general expediency i.e. the threat to that tree, before agreeing to start the process given there was a cost involved in making the Order. Of interest, TPOs would not normally be made in respect of trees owned by ‘responsible’ landowners such as County or Borough Councils, the National Trust etc.
Review of the need for TPOs to be undertaken by the Landscape and Environment Team
Action: Mrs L Searle

4.2 Note was also made of the Hedgerow Act 1997 designed to protect those hedges which extended beyond 20m with gaps of 20m or less in length or were less than 20m but met another hedge at each end or marked out agricultural or forestry land, animal breeding land, common land, a village green or a site of special scientific interest. Ancient woodlands were also protected to an extent.

4.3 Para 8.1 It was agreed that some policies would have to be left in draft form awaiting TVBC specialist comment or advice.

5. Declarations of Interest

5.1 None declared.

6. Review of site assessments

6.1 Some discussion took place on the assessments in the South Downs report given that all selected sites had earned a ‘moderate’ assessment for development but in the end the general tenor of the report was accepted and, apart from a few typos, confirmation would be given to print the final version for inclusion in the NDP as corroborating evidence for our conclusion and recommendations. A definition of ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’ developments was required within the report.
Action: Cllr Brock

6.2 It was agreed that the inclusion of maps for each potential development site together with an explanatory narrative would assist the general reader in understanding the comments made. Cllr Brock would follow this up all noted it would involve an additional cost.
Action: Cllr Brock

7. NDP drafting update

7.1 Various drafting strands were continuing with a view to having the first completed draft available for circulation before the next meeting. Some mention needed to be included on Local Areas of Green Space (LAGS).
Action: Cllr Brock (main draft)
Mr G Searle (LAGS)

8. Communications

8.1 Cllr Ryan would draft an update to be inserted in the next issue of The Gauntlet magazine and consult with Cllr Whitehead on the quantity and style of information to be included on the Parish Council website for the general public to access.
Action: Cllr Sutton

9. Any other business.

9.1 None.

10. Date, time and place of next meeting

10.1 Wednesday 31 January 2018 at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.00pm