HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: All Members of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee (Bill Hatton, Ian Weir, Carolyn Barton, Kristian Berggreen and Don McBeth) with copies to all other Councillors for information.
A meeting of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITEE will be held at the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks on Thursday 28th September 7.30pm.
Parish Clerk 20th September 2023
1. TO ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
2. TO ACCEPT DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
3. ELECTION OF VICE CHAIR
4. MINUTES to accept the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on 13th July 2023 (previously circulated).
5. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
6. Hassocks Priorities Statement
At the last meeting members held a focus group to revisit the priorities.
|Extract from NP23/06
Members discussed the next phase and felt that a focus group comprising members of this committee should be tasked with reviewing the current document and expanding/clarifying the existing priorities with a view to breaking them down to more meaningful (less high level) aspirations to encourage wider engagement at the next stage of consultation. Members would also need to have regard to the weighting of some of the issues that were identified through the initial consultation process.
It was proposed that the refreshed document would then be considered by this committee at its September meeting who would then determine how to take the project forward
The outcome of this session are summarised in the attached paper for further discussion and members may wish to consider developing them further. (Appendix 1)
7. District Plan (verbal update)
8. Infrastructure plan– This paper provides an outline of the infrastructure requirements identified on behalf of the parish which can/is used to potentially influence the contents of section 106 agreements (Appendix 2) This document was last reviewed around 2 years ago therefore members may wish to revisit this document in light of the emerging priorities statement. To view Appendix 2 please click here.
9. Any other business
10. URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.
11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 9th November 2023.
EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS
In view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted Councillors will be referred to the Confidential Agenda. If any members of the public or press are in attendance they will be requested to withdraw from the meeting in the public interest.
All members of the public are welcome to attend to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees. Item 5 – a period of 15 minutes will be set aside for the public statements and questions relating to the published non-confidential business of the Meeting.
It may be necessary to consider particular items in confidential session and where this arises, these items will be considered at the end of the agenda.
FILMING, RECORDING OF COUNCIL MEETINGS AND USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA During this meeting members of the public may film or record the Committee and officers from the public area only providing it does not disrupt the meeting. The Confidential section of the meeting may not be filmed or recorded. If a member of the public objects to being recorded, the person(s) filming must stop doing so until that member of the public has finished speaking. The use of social media is permitted but members of the public are requested to switch their mobile devices to silent for the duration of the meeting.
Notes from Neighbourhood Plan Meeting 07 September 2023
Meeting opened 10.30 am
Present – Cllrs Carolyn Barton (Chair), Ian Weir (Chair of Council), Bill Hatton and Frances Gaudencio. Clerk to the Council Ian Cumberworth.
Purpose – to scope out specific items for discussion and potential inclusion in a new Neighbourhood Plan (NP), propose timescales and ways forward.
Clerk’s introduction/general discussion – No specific timescales; delivery of HPC NP is out of line with MSDC timings; HPC are a very early to prepare/adopt a new NP; SDNP have a different timescale aligned to Oct/Nov 2023.
The new NP will also need to link in with the new HPC budget which requires preparation and completion around November 2023 for budgeting purposes.
Some HPC councillors have expressed the view that the elements currently under discussion for the NP are at too high a level to be relevant.
W/b 11 September 2023 – MSDC are having a meeting of all PCs re Regulation 18 submissions. Cllrs Weir, Berggreen and Hatton plus the Clerk to attend and report back. Cllr Chris Hobbs (MSDC) also invited.
The Clerk mentioned two recent major planning applications in which the PC had been involved as consultee – Byanda (care home Brighton Road) and Land north of Wellhouse Lane (both passed)
Comments were made that land south of Wellhouse Lane should be preserved/protected as it had become an informal nature reserve and provided separation between settlements.
Cllr Hatton outlined four important aspects for the NP
- The PC could deliver projects with its own money on its own land
- The PC could deliver projects with other parties
- Certain projects must be those that are achievable
- Others could be those that are aspirational
Suggestions (in order of discussion)
Agreed that items should be specific rather than general and prepared under ‘SMART’ criteria – i.e.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Priority F (Infrastructure/facilities/services)
- Provision of a footpath in Lodge Lane (serving caravan site)
- Provision of more cycle paths and bridle ways (with developers)
- Retention of a fully staffed station ticket office (lobbying)
- Better use of the cricket pavilion
- Discussions ongoing re Adastra Hall extension/enhancement
- Continue work on reducing speed limits in Hassocks (with others)
- Better links with local schools particularly regarding anti – social behaviour (with others)
- Continued work on flood mitigation (with others)
- Provision of better health services – possibly minor injuries unit locally serving several villages (with others)
Priority G (Other features)
- Provision of integrated private transport services with Hurst and Ditchling – possibly serving Hassocks railway station. Businesses to sponsor/be involved in small bus scheme (with others)
- Encourage access/use of electric charging points at strategic places in Hassocks (also appears under Section © of current plan)
- Encourage others to run public events such as ‘May Day’ and LUH (with others)
Priority E (public spaces)
- Creation of country park on the golf course site – HPC to manage for 20 years subject to funding
- Adastra Park North Field drainage
- Improve Talbot Field and encourage greater/different uses
- Encourage new ‘green fingers’ and preserve existing ones within Hassocks (i.e. land North of Clayton Mills)
- Seek out sites for more allotments
- Potential for public area/square on land north of Keymer Road abutting entrance to Wilmington Close
Priority C (natural environment)
- Continue tree planting schemes within village
Priority A/B (Development/management of land, including housing)
- Encourage provision of elderly/assisted housing (with others)
- Encourage ‘affordable’ housing (with others)
- Encourage provision of residential units in ‘brown field’ situations such as (disused) storage/offices over shops in village centre
Priority D (the economy)
- Encourage people to shop in Hassocks to support local business
- Acknowledge and assist growing number of home – based businesses and WFH generally. Encourage homeworkers to use local cafes and facilities
Draft Minutes of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITTEE meeting held on Thursday 28th September 2023 at 19.30 pm
Attendees: Parish Councillors: Carolyn Barton (Chair), Don McBeth, Bill Hatton and Kristian Berggreen
Clerk: Ian Cumberworth
NP23/10 APOLOGIES: Cllr Ian Weir
NP23/11 DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS: None
NP23/12 ELECTION OF VICE CHAIR
The Chair introduced the first item on the agenda which was to elect a Vice Chair for the committee for the forthcoming year.
Cllr McBeth was proposed as the Vice Chair for the Committee, which was seconded and supported by all members present, therefore members RESOLVED to APPOINT Cllr McBeth the Vice Chair of this Committee.
Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on the 13th July 2023 were agreed and accepted as a true record.
NP23/14 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.
There were no members of the public present.
NP23/15 Hassocks Priorities Statement
The Chair informed members that the work undertaken at the recent member focus group was set out in Appendix 1 which summarised the proposed outline priorities. The purpose of the group was to try and provide greater clarity in the way the priorities were presented. Members felt that it was important that they remain realistic and achievable. Prior to discussing the item in more detail the Chair sought an update from the Clerk as to the outcome of a recent meeting with MSDC regarding the District Plan. Although the Clerk indicated that this was the next item on the agenda it was felt appropriate to deal with the matter within the current item due to the interrelationship between the processes.
The Clerk advised that MSDC had arranged meetings with all parishes in response to a request from the new administration to improve communications with Parish Councils.
MSDC officers confirmed that the District Plan that had been previously paused has now been reviewed and will progress to Regulation 19 consultation stage in the near future, where the Parish will have an opportunity to submit further comments on the amended plan which will reflect any adjustments that have been made post the Regulation 18 consultation stage.
MSDC officers confirmed that there were no proposed changes relating to the Hassocks sites previously allocated as part of the original Draft Plan Byanda – care home and 2 Hurst Rd – 25 units).
MSDC were keen to encourage a general point to all parishes to ensure they utilise developer contributions where possible, so that they are not returned to developers. The Clerk advised members that this Council had utilised funds where possible and periodically receives a position statement from MSDC on funds currently held relating to Hassocks sites together with details of funds expected to be received further down the line. Members indicated that the parish should continue to maximise the utilisation of s106 funding to support infrastructure improvements/enhancements where possible.
The Clerk was asked whether MSDC where considering introducing CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) and it was confirmed that this was not being considered at this stage and they will continue to rely on section 106 agreements to deliver infrastructure.
MSDC re-emphasised that it was important that parishes have the opportunity to influence infrastructure funding opportunities and they had created a pro forma document to assist this process.
It was raised by HPC that within the parish they had experienced situations whereby strategic infrastructure had been funded and identified as part of the development agreement but was subsequently not delivered by third parties, therefore funds were either returned or not utilised for the original purpose (the example provided was funding for a medical centre on the Clayton Mills development).
Clarification was sought as to whether anything could be done to utilise or re-divert strategic infrastructure contributions in the event that the initial proposal is undeliverable for whatever reason. MSDC officers indicated this would be complicated but agreed to take this away and see if any options were available.
The Chair thanked the Clerk for the overview of the briefing session.
The Chair then returned to the paper on the Priorities Statement and it was clarified that it does not have the same standing as the Neighbourhood Plan and is not subject to examination but is able to incorporate wider issues than just being planning focused. This approach is being promoted through the Levelling Up legislation which is currently progressing through the House of Lords.
Members were advised that the Priorities Statement consultation may assist the Council in formulating any responses as part of the Regulation 19 District Plan consultation (Appendix 1) by providing an evidence base of parishioners’ views.
The content of the focus group proposals were then considered in detail and members felt that they currently reflected the Council’s priorities, and elements should also be incorporated in the emerging business plan being drafted later this year where appropriate.
The Clerk re-emphasised that HPC was one of the earliest to progress a Priorities Statement therefore further consideration will need to be given as to how to best present the information, as there was currently a lack of examples in circulation at present, but it was accepted that the priorities should remain within their respective descriptor categories (Priority A – F) and should be SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound).
Members acknowledged that some of the priorities would be in the direct gift of the parish council and funding could be allocated to support these if necessary, however others will rely on other parties to deliver therefore the parishes role could be one of lobbying, working in partnership with other agencies etc.
Members requested that the Clerk undertake further work on drafting an appropriate format for the Priorities Statement to be presented to a future committee for consideration incorporating the priorities identified at the recent focus group session. AGREED
NP23/16 District Plan – this item had been addressed in detail in NP23/13 where it was confirmed that the District Plan will shortly progress to Regulation 19 consultation.
NP23/17 Infrastructure Plan – Members where advised that the current Infrastructure Plan was reviewed approx. two years ago and forms the basis of a request to MSDC of the types of infrastructure the parish would wish to see potentially funded by developer contributions.
Members felt that the document should remain un-amended therefore RESOLVED to retain the current infrastructure schedule previously submitted to MSDC.
NP23/18 Any Other Business. None
NP23/19 Urgent Matters. None
NP23/20 DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 9th November 2023.