Minutes of a Meeting of the Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group
held in the Epworth Hall at 7.00pm on Wednesday 31 January 2018

Present: Cllr A Brock (Chairman)
Mr G Searle
Mrs L Searle
Cllr R Lane

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

Public Session: One member of the public was present.

1. Chairman’s welcome and announcements

1.1 The Chairman announced the departure of Cllr Sutton from the Steering Group following his resignation from the Parish Council due to pressures of work and his feeling unable to carry on with any NDP work. He was thanked warmly for his contribution over the past two years.

1.2 Although not quorate, all present agreed the Chairman’s request that we move forward with the agenda.

1.3 A member of the public had submitted a Freedom of Information request for sight of all papers leading to the current position vis-à-vis drafting the Plan. Following legal advice, this request was considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 given it related primarily to environmental issues, specifically landscape issues, which were exempt under the Freedom of Information Act. Given most of the information requested was already available in the public domain i.e. meeting minutes, Parish Council website and leaflet drops, that it would take 18 hours or more to seek and retrieve this information resulting in diversion of staff resources and cost, and that there was at this time no draft Plan in being to be considered, the request was refused, and the applicant informed accordingly.

2. Apologies

2.1 Mrs L Hodge, Mr D StJohn and Cllr Hughes.

3. Previous meeting notes

3.1 Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 January 2087 were accepted as a true record by those who were present at that meeting.

4. Matters arising

4.1 Para 4.1 TVBC had confirmed any one could apply for a TPO to protect a tree although the landowner could object. Accordingly, it was decided the Parish Council should oversee the protection of suitable trees as and when they came under threat.

4.2 Para 6.2 After further consideration, it was thought appropriate to limit the amount of supporting information for each site within the Plan on grounds of cost and leave it to developers to compile at the time of application.

4.3 Mrs Hodge had queried the lack of a clear stated need to respect and maintain the historic nature of much of the Parish and ensure only sensitive future growth. The Chairman advised that as per the South Downs National Park Authority appraisal and analysis, the village very clearly demonstrated that the its evolution did indeed follow and still retains much of its historic form as a linear valley bottom settlement with its pattern of relatively low density-built form set along historic valley bottom routes and around key open spaces and therefore entirely appropriate in our plan – especially as it helped preserve the views and rural feel of the village that the community wanted to retain.

5. Declarations of Interest

5.1 None declared.

6. Review of Landscape Assessment Report

6.1 All agreed to accept the final version of the South Downs National Park appraisal apart from a date change in the beginning. Cllr Brock would inform them accordingly.
Action: Cllr Brock

7. NDP drafting update

7.1 It was thought inappropriate to identify landowners by name in the NDP preferring the use of the term ‘owners’ at this time.
Action: All to amend as necessary

7.2 Those editing the draft would now include as much information as possible in the appendices to reduce the length of the main body of the report.
Action: All to amend as necessary

7.3 As many of the proposed maps for inclusion carried a copyright notice from HCC, the Clerk would seek agreement to their use.
Action: Clerk

7.4 It was agreed to minimise the use of photographs to reduce the overall size of the Plan thus making it easier to e-mail.

7.5 Cllr Brock would update the Parish Council to date on the Plan and then submit to TVBC for an informal assessment by them. All noted we were likely to be the first Pathfinder Parish to have reached this stage in NDP preparation in Test Valley.
Action: Cllr Brock

8. Communications

8.1 With the resignation of Cllr Sutton, the Chairman had drafted, and the Clerk had arranged for printing and distribution via The Gauntlet of an update on the Plan to date as part of the on-going public consultation process.

9. Any other business.

9.1 None.

10. Date, time and place of next meeting

10.1 No further meetings were planned for the time being as the remining work could be completed by e-mail exchanges ahead of submission to TVBC for their review and comment. It was agreed that the Steering Group will reconvene as soon as possible after feedback from TVBC so as to address any points made or further work required before public consultation.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.15pm