Agenda and minutes

Planning and Rights of Way Committee - Tuesday, 30th March, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

Contact: Tracey Guinea on 033 022 28679  Email:  tracey.guinea@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

18.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personal interest in any business on the agenda. They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it. If in doubt, contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

18.1   In accordance the County Council’s Constitution, including the Code of Conduct as well as the Code of Practice on Probity and Protocol on Public Participation in Planning and Rights of Way Committees, the following declarations were made:

 

In relation to agenda Item 4 - planning application WSCC/055/20, Woodlands Meed College, Burgess Hill:

 

·      Cllr High (Chairman) and Cllr Atkins both declared a personal interest because they had been lobbied about the application.

·      Cllr Barratt-Miles declared a personal interest because he lives in Birchwood Grove Road, and because he has been lobbied about the application and also because he was the author of the Burgess Hill Neighbourhood Plan as a councillor for Burgess Hill Town Council.

·      Cllr Burrett declared a personal interest because he was involved in early discussions relating to plans for the school whilst in the role of Cabinet Member for Education and Skills prior to October 2019.

 

In relation to agenda Item 5 - application to register land known as Rascals Wood Field in the parish of Shipley as a Town or Village Green:

 

·      Cllr Atkins declared a personal interest because he has been lobbied about the application.

·      Mrs Becky Moutrey, Solicitor and Mrs Ami Dye, Legal Assistant both declared a personal interest because a member of their team is related to the applicant, Mrs Tessa Nash.

 

19.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 218 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1   Resolved - That the minutes of Planning and Rights of Way Committee held on 2 March 2021 be agreed and that they be signed by the Chairman.

 

 

20.

Urgent Matters

Items not on the agenda that the Chairman of the Committee is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1   There were no urgent matters.

 

21.

Planning Application: Regulation 3 pdf icon PDF 304 KB

Report by Head of Planning Services.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and determine the following application:

 

WSCC/055/20 – Construction of new two storey Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) College building with associated soft and hard landscaping, a floodlit all-weather pitch, car parking and drop off/pick up facilities and alterations to existing access arrangements.  Woodlands Meed College, Birchwood Grove Road, Burgess Hill RH15 0DP.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

WSCC/055/20 – Construction of new two storey Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) College building with associated soft and hard landscaping, a floodlit all-weather pitch, car parking and drop off/pick up facilities and alterations to existing access arrangements.  Woodlands Meed College, Birchwood Grove Road, Burgess Hill RH15 0DP

 

21.1   The Committee considered a report by the Head of Planning Services, including changes to conditions as amended by Agenda Update Sheet (copy appended to the signed copy of the minutes).  The report was introduced by Chris Bartlett, Principal Planner, who gave a presentation on the proposals, details of the consultation and key issues in respect of the application.  The following points of clarification were made:

 

·      The changes proposed via the Agenda Update Sheet were as a result of the late submission of a Noise Impact Assessment (NIA) the previous week.  However, the NIA had not affected the overall recommendation for approval of the application.

·      Proposed new condition 13 should also include the following additional sentence: “Once approved, the details shall therefore be implemented as specified within the approved document and maintained throughout the lifetime of the development.”.  The Committee was requested to delegate the form of final wording of the condition to the Head of Planning Services.

·      It should not be inferred from the proposed change to condition 11, which removes reference to the MUGA, that there should be no controls on the hours of the MUGA.  To make this clear, a further condition was proposed, along the lines of: “The use of the MUGA shall only be for the College and College activities within normal College hours of between 08.45 and 15.45 Monday to Thursday and 08.45 and 13.50 on Friday”.  The Committee was requested to delegate the form of final wording of the condition to the Head of Planning Services.

·      At a virtual site visit on 24 March, Committee members requested that additional information be provided in relation to drainage.  Drawings were submitted by the applicant and passed to the County’s drainage officers for consideration.  Drainage Officers were still considering these, in discussion with the applicant and, therefore, they could not be included along with the approved plans.  However, there should be no reason to suppose there would be an unacceptable impact on the site.  Drainage Officers are still content with the proposals, in principle.  Approval of a drainage scheme can be dealt with as a pre-commencement condition, which is standard practice for planning applications.

 

21.2   The Chairman advised that he had used his discretion to allow
Cllr Kirsty Lord, County Councillor for Hassocks and Burgess Hill South to speak on the application due to the close proximity of her electoral division to the site, the fact the Woodlands Meed School is in her division and because of the local interest from residents in her division.

 

21.3   Mrs Marion Wilcock, Chair of Governors, Woodlands Meed College spoke on the application.  The County Council has statutory obligations to provide suitable accommodation under the School Premises Regulations 2012, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Registration of land to become a Town or Village Green under Section 15(2) of the Commons Act 2006 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Report by Director of Law and Assurance.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and determine the following application:

 

Application to register land known as Rascals Wood Field in the parish of Shipley as a Town or Village Green.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Application to Register Land known as Rascals Wood Field in the Parish of Shipley as a Town or  Village Green under Section 15(2) of the Commons Act 2006

 

22.1   The Committee received and noted a report by the Director of Law and Assurance (copy appended to the signed copy of the minutes).  The report was introduced by Ami Dye, who gave a presentation on the key points of the application, legal provisions, the applicant’s case, objections, consideration of applicationincluding the reasons for the hearing by an independent barrister, details of the inquiry, the inspector’s decision and the conclusion in respect of the application.

 

22.2   A written submission in support of the application from Mrs Tessa Nash, the applicant was read out.  Concern was raised about possible impartiality of the Inspector leading the inquiry because of his being from the same Chambers as the objector’s barrister.  Objectors had access to professional expertise, supporters did not.  COVID-19 made it difficult for some to attend the inquiry because phoning in was not allowed.  Supporters had no financial or other incentive, yet the fact that they provided partially pre-filled questionnaires was questioned by the Inspector, even though subsequent letters were provided stating they were genuine.  Objectors letters also all said the same thing.  The objectors’ statements that they had full lines of sight and their dogs alert them to activity were found to be untrue.  The Driscolls have only lived in their property for a quarter of the period in question.  There has never been an attempt by the owners to fence off the area, nor has there ever been any signage.  Households of properties which straddle Shipley and Southwater have used the field for recreation and dog walking for many years.  The statement by the Inspector regarding what is a “cohesive community” was not agreed with.  The statement of Mr Driscoll regarding permission from Lady Burrell to ride on the footpath – the only access to Dragons Estate – was called into question because for part of the way this footpath has a clear sign stating, “no public bridleway”.

 

22.3   A written submission in support of the application from Mrs Magda Haire, who provided a witness statement for the application was read out.  It was difficult for some elderly residents to attend the enquiry held on ‘Teams’, particularly those who wanted to phone in – original paperwork had said they could, but the facility was withdrawn.  Concerns were raised about conflict of interest because the Inspector and Barrister for Catesby Estate and objectors were from the same Chambers.  The report gives the impression the Inspector was more sympathetic to the objectors.  The applicant, Mrs Nash, is a lay person whose aim was to benefit the whole of Southwater.  It is felt that the Inspector made implications about the integrity of the supporters who provided partially filled questions, even though they all provided a letter stating they understood what they signed.   The forms filled in by objectors were almost identical  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday, 8 June 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

23.1     The Chairman thanked the Committee members and Officers for their work and dedication during the 2017-2021 electoral term.

 

23.2     The next scheduled meeting of Planning and Rights of Way Committee will be on Tuesday, 8 June 2021 at 10.30 a.m.