The Committee would like to invite questions from the public present at the meeting. The Committee would encourage members of the public with more complex issues to submit their question before the meeting to allow a substantive answer to be given.
25.1 The Chairman introduced the item and advised that the open forum was an opportunity for comments and questions to be raised on items not already on the agenda, and over which the County Council has a reasonable interest. The following issues were raised, and responses made.
• Mr Barrow from Disability Access-East Grinstead Area requested an update on a request for a pedestrian crossing at Turners Hill Road and Sandy Lane in Crawley Down. Mr Speller, Area Highways Manager, explained the process for requesting such schemes and stated he would be happy to liaise directly with Mr Barrow to discuss possible options. Another resident stated that the Clockfield developments planning approval included crossings, but Mr Speller confirmed that these were not guaranteed until a development was delivered. It was agreed to include any progress of this item on the Progress Statement for the next meeting.
• Mr Tullett submitted a question on behalf of East Grinstead and District Cycle Forum noting that transport "infrastructure and service improvements" are being developed by WSCC to mitigate the impacts of the new housing development envisaged in the Mid Sussex Site Allocations DPD. He also understood the final stage of consultation on the DPD starts in April 2020. Will any of these transport plans be in the public domain in time for this final consultation period, to allow residents to judge the impact of these plans, and the overall sustainability of the development proposals?" The following response was provided by a County Council officer: The County Council’s role is to provide advice to local planning authorities on the transport impacts of development to inform their planning decisions. Details of the infrastructure needed to support their preferred development strategy will then be set out by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC). MSDC have published an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) alongside the Draft Site Allocations Development Plan Document that is available here and our understanding is that they will publish a revised version of the IDP at the start of the next stage of consultation. In most cases, detailed plans for specific transport schemes will only be available when they are developed for delivery, either as development takes place or through the Capital Programme.
· Mr and Mrs Steggles from Turners Hill requested traffic lights at the
crossing in North Street between the Free Church and Central Stores. The local County Councillor confirmed he was in support of traffic lights and had recently met with residents and the Area Highway Manager about the issue. Mr Speller, The Area Highway Manager reiterated that it would also have to be prioritised against other schemes across the County. The Area Highways Manager did confirm that such schemes could progress if third party funding was provided and explained that a recent scheme was paid for by a Parish Council.
· Mr Hartley, a resident of West Hoathly, asked what the County Council
thought about the Metrobus No 84. The local County Councillor said he had made some enquiries and was trying to get the Cabinet Member to speak to the local Parish Council about the service. The Chairman added that in the past Scrutiny Committees had looked into the consultation processes when bus services have been reviewed and also monitored afterwards. Mrs Russell confirmed that about 18 months ago as part of a Scrutiny Committee review a draft strategy suggested community transport partners be bought in to work alongside commercial bus companies. It was agreed an update would be sought on that and provided to Mr Hartley and included in the Progress Statement for the next meeting.
· A resident raised concern regarding a planning application that would
involve 17 lorry loads of materials. Mrs Russell explained that this was indeed a decision for Planning Committee and that she had submitted her views with regard to the highways concerns. She confirmed that a section 59 agreement will be agreed that will mean any damage to the highway will have to be repaired. She also stated that she had asked for a community liaison officer to be appointed by the contractor.