EAST HOATHLY with HALLAND PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 30th May 2023 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall, East Hoathly.
PRESENT Councillors Tania Freezer – Chair Jacqueline Bradley
Susan Cole Chris Magness
Richard Partridge Tony Pope
Danni Thatcher 7.15pm
Clerk for the meeting – Linda Butcher
19 Members of the public including Jonathan Walker to speak about the Neighbourhood Plan
- PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend. The first fifteen minutes of the meeting will be available for the public to express a view or ask a question on relevant matters on the agenda. The public and members of the press are also welcome to stay and observe the rest of the meeting (subject to any items considered as confidential within the terms of the Public Bodies (Admission to meetings) Act 1960).
A recent resident from Halland raised a question about CIL payments. The Chair explained that the Parish has a wish list and as part of the Neighbourhood plan process the Council had identified what that wish list is but it can be discussed further in future meetings. It was confirmed that the Council has received the first tranch payment which in total is split 60%, 20% and 20%. The aspirations are detailed within the Local Plan Document and Jonathan Walker showed it on the screen.
There was a question as to whether it would be possible for the Parish Council to purchase the Ford garage site for a community hall in Halland. Cllr Chris Magness replied that although it was a wonderful idea, at around £1.5M it was not possible, also it is believed some wish for it to remain as a commercial site and there is a wish to develop it as such. Cllr Magness advised that he had looked for a piece of land over the years to see if it was possible to build a village hall in Halland. He confirmed there are very few development sites in Halland but there is always hope.
A member of the public asked if there were likely to be any improvements within the school, e.g. dining room, hall. Cllr Magness responded that the school has separate funding so it would not really come under the jurisdiction of the Parish Council, although it might be possible for the Parish Council to contribute. It was confirmed that the Council does get involved with ESCC and there is sometimes a 50:50 split. It is recognised that the school is an important part of the village infrastructure and there are a total of 110 places which are all filled and there is a waiting list. There was a query about whether or not Chiddingly has spaces available as it is acknowledged that with the new houses there could be an addition 50 or 60 children to accommodate. It was suggested that perhaps Portacabin classrooms could be placed in the school field at the back but it would mean they may lose their garden.
Another resident asked what the improvements to the sports ground constituted. The Chair explained that the Parish Council has a huge plan but the main focus currently is to get the Neighbourhood Plan over the line. However, in the future the Council wishes to have a much-improved sports ground and pavilion and it has asked a drainage specialist to look to see how the parish might have a far better facility for the community. The Council is also looking at improving the pavilion. At the moment it is unknown what that would involve for the Parish Council. The Chair emphasised that the Neighbourhood Plan is the most important issue but other matters will follow. The Chair confirmed that the Council may have to look at public funding and maybe grant funding. However, it is unlikely this can be done by the Parish Council alone. Cllr Pope confirmed that the drainage and landscaping quotes came in at between a quarter and half a million pounds. The pavilion of £1m so the emphasis has been on the CIL money. Just because we are going to get those developments it does not necessarily mean the village will get that payment. The Hesmonds development is at the lower rate [because there is no Neighbourhood Plan yet] and this is capped and unfortunately this payment is not retrospective. Cllr Partridge suggested that perhaps Wealden might have some “guilt money” as Wealden Council is not the same now as it was previously.
A resident said that at first glance under the cap would have been £90,000 but we received just £81,000. However, it was confirmed that there is more to come on a three-year rolling programme. The Council has asked WDC how much the village can expect. It is understood that each of the three stages should be £90,000 which adds up to a quarter of a million, enough to start the drainage. The 55 houses in South Street should raise a CIL account £1m and the village should get £250,000
Ten members of the public left the meeting and nine remained.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are invited to make any declaration of personal or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on the agenda and are reminded to make any declarations at any stage during the meeting if it then becomes apparent that this may be required when a particular item or issue is to be considered.
Cllr Tony Pope declared a Personal Interest in the Nightingales Estate Residents Association and being a Director of Church Marks Green Management Co. Ltd.
Cllr Jacqueline Bradley declared a Personal Interest as a garden plot holder.
- APOLOGIES – to receive apologies for absence
Apology received and reason accepted from Cllr David Vaughan
To resolve that the minutes of the Council Meeting held on Monday 15th May 2023 be taken as read, confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Cllr Pope Proposed and Cllr Bradley Seconded
0581 RESOLVED to approve that the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 15th May 2023 be taken as read, confirmed as a correct record and be signed by the Chair.
Matters arising from the minutes not otherwise covered by agenda items.
The Chair proposed and Cllr Partridge seconded
0582 RESOLVED to suspend Standing Orders to allow Jonathan Walker to give a presentation on the Neighbourhood Plan
Jonathan Walker then explained the process which had been carried out during the consultation process. The Consultation Statement had been circulated to the Parish Council and the public process started in 2017. The consultation process took on board everything that had been put forward. When it was initially put together WDC put in 62 pages of comments! When comments are received we have to address them and the Parish Council can either agree and change the plan, note, or disagree with the comment.
It now goes to WDC and the planning inspector will be appointed. The Basic Conditions Statement is the most important document. Hopefully all five documents will be approved tonight and it is handed over to WDC who will then appoint a Planning Inspector which will lead to a Referendum. Every registered elector will have a vote.
John Tarry emphasized the importance of ensuring every resident is informed and making it startlingly clear if we wish to get a result encouraging everyone to vote. It was AGREED there should be a Parish Council Newsletter. Other notifications should include something in the Church newsletter, leaflets, house to house calls, Facebook and notice boards. It was also AGREED that residents should be offered lifts in order to vote. It was suggested that other groups within the village who have mailing lists, e.g Village Concerns, Allotments Society, should be approached for assistance.
Appendix 7 is what the Parish Council says and that’s what we should focus on.
When the Parish Council is happy, it will be on Dropbox and then it can be given to WDC. It was suggested the Parish Council should send a covering letter with the final document.
The Chair wished to record a huge “thank you” to Jonathan Walker and the Steering Group as this has taken a huge amount of work over many years.
The Chair proposed and Cllr Pope seconded
0583 RESOLVED to Re-instate Standing Orders.
- NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
To discuss, amend as appropriate, approve and agree next steps regarding the Character Appraisal.
Proposed by Cllr Pope and seconded by Cllr Partridge it was
0584 RESOLVED to approve the Character Appraisal
To discuss, amend as appropriate, approve and agree next steps regarding the Submission Neighbourhood Plan
Proposed by Cllr Bradley and seconded by Cllr Pope it was
0585 RESOLVED to approve the Submission Neighbourhood Plan
Proposed by Cllr Magness and seconded by Cllr Partridge it was
0586 RESOLVED to approve the Basic Conditions Statement
Proposed by Cllr Bradley and seconded by Cllr Pope it was
0857 RESOLVED to approve the Consultation Statement
Proposed by Cllr Partridge and seconded by Cllr Pope it was
0858 RESOLVED to approve the Sustainability Statement
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the next meeting of the Full Council will be held at the Village Hall, East Hoathly at 7.00pm on Monday 26th June 2023
The Chair thanked everyone for attending and for their contributions.
Meeting closed at 7.40pm.