Planning Committee

Agenda

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:   All Members of the Planning Committee (Cllrs Carolyn Barton, Kristian Berggreen, Robert Brewer, Leslie Campbell, Bill Hatton, Claire Tester and Nick Owens) with copies to all other Councillors for information.

A meeting of the PLANNING COMMITTEE will be held on Wednesday 9 June 2021 at 6.30pm in the Adastra Hall, Adastra Park, Hassocks

Parish Clerk  28 May 2021

Please Note
Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees. Item 3 – 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.  However in order to maintain Covid safety it will be necessary to restrict attendance at this current time.  Therefore if you wish to make representation on a matter relating to the published agenda, the Council strongly encourages the submission of written representation in place of in person attendance.

If you wish to submit written representation or to request in person attendance at the meeting, please email info@hassocks-pc.gov.uk or call 01273 842714 by 12 noon on Tuesday 8 June 2021.  Unfortunately attendance at meetings will not be possible without prior confirmation.

AGENDA

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST. Disclosure by Councillors of personal and/or pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda and whether the Councillors regard their interest as prejudicial/pecuniary under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

4. APPLICATIONS (copies of each application can be viewed online via the Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) Websitehttps://pa.midsussex.gov.uk/online-applications/)

4.1 DM/21/1653 Byanda Brighton Road Hassocks West Sussex BN6 9LX Demolition of Byanda (a single residential property and ancillary buildings) and the erection of a 66 bedroom residential care facility, with associated access, ground works, car parking, servicing, private amenity space, landscaping and boundary treatment.

5. Urgent Matters at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.

6. Date of Next Meeting: 28 June 2021 at 7.30pm

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.

Minutes

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

Draft Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting held in the Adastra Hall on
Wednesday 9 June 2021 at 6.30pm

Attendees: Parish Councillors: Carolyn Barton, Jane Baker, Kristian Berggreen (Chair), Leslie Campbell, Bill Hatton and Nick Owens.

In Attendance: Deputy Clerk: Tracy Forte.  Cllr Sue Hatton.

P21/25 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.  Cllrs Bob Brewer and Claire Tester.

P21/26 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST. None.

P21/27 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.  There were 14 members of the public present.

Mr Peter Tooher of Nexus Planning spoke on behalf of his clients, Frontier Homes, in support of the application. Mr Tooher informed the Committee that his client is aware of the concerns a new development can bring to local residents and that his client has taken the opportunity to meet immediate neighbours on a number of occasions and is happy to meet with any other party to discuss the proposals.  Mr Tooher noted that a process of explanation, review and refinement is typical of most applications and that they expected nothing less on this occasion.  They are happy to consider and respond to comments made and refine proposals, where appropriate.

Mr Tooher acknowledged the technical issues that have been raised and believed that they have a robust grasp of these.  Following from this Mr Tooher suggested that there were three key matters which the Parish could focus on in considering the proposals, which are summarised below:

The Planning Status of the Site.  The site is currently residential and has previously been considered a suitable site for development through the granting of planning permission in 2016 for four large five to seven bed detached dwellings. The site is therefore already identified for development.

Although outside of the defined settlement boundary, the site is within the built up area of Hassocks.

The need for and benefits of a Care Home in Hassocks.  Mr Tooher stated that they believe there is a clear need for additional care home spaces in the area.  Hassocks has a growing and relatively aged population with currently very little care home provision.  The delivery of new care bed spaces is supported specifically in the District Plan, and a report submitted in support of the application by specialist consultants Carterwood suggests a need within a 2 mile catchment of the site for around 151 care home bed spaces by 2024 and 217 by 2034, with additional requirements for specialist dementia care bed spaces.  Furthermore the proposals will also deliver significant benefits including around 60 part time and full time local jobs and services would be bought in from local businesses.  As a social care business, they would seek to engage with and support local community initiatives and nursing care would be provided to reduce pressure on the NHS.

Scale and Design.  Mr Tooher explained that his client is conscious of the location of the site and the need to consider the amenity of adjacent and nearby residential properties. They consider that the separation distances, level changes and planting will respect the amenities of neighbours.   They have sought to work within the parameters established by the 2016 permission.  For example the proposed roof height at 3 storeys is no more than 2 metres higher than the already approved height for the 2.5 storey residential development.  The site plans to provide 20 parking spaces and the previously approved plan provided 17 spaces plus garaging.

Mr Tooher noted that Hassocks Parish Council is a key consultee on the application and that it was hoped that the application would receive positive support from the Council.

Mr Jon Jayal, spoke in opposition to the application, accentuating the points made in his written representation which is attached as Appendix 1. Please click here to read.

Dr Peter Bennett spoke in opposition to the application, again emphasising concerns raised in his written representation included as Appendix 2 at the end of the minutes.

Mr Richard Jones spoke in opposition to the application, again summarising concerns raised in his written representation attached as Appendix 3.  Please click here to read.

One further member of the public joined the meeting during Mr Jones’ representation.

Mr Geoff Willis spoke in opposition to the application.  Mr Willis lives at North Dean House and raised similar objections to those already shared regarding traffic and access safety.  Mr Willis referred to the gradient of the access road which increases the risk when exiting onto the main road. He also informed the Committee that he had concerns regarding the impact on the boundary of his land as shown on the Design Plan, and the impact of the proposed development on the privacy of both North Dean House and South Dean House.

Mr Mark Miall spoke in opposition to the application.  His parents have lived at Faerie Glen for over 45 years and so know the area very well. Mr Miall raised similar objections to those already voiced, including the lack of need for such a development, he noted that Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) raised concerns about the suitability of the site for a C2 or C3 development in December 2020, contrary to the information provided by the developers.  Mr Miall also stated that he believed the drawings did not fully show the extent of slope of the land in the area, referring to the proposed and existing section drawings AA and BB.  Mr Miall referenced page 3 of the Flood Risk Assessment and Outline Drainage Strategy which claims there have been no reports of local flooding in the area.  However he informed the committee that in 2000 both Byanda and Faerie Glen were flooded extensively with parts of Faerie Glen being under 3 metres of water.   This was supported by his sister, Tina Ainslie, who like Mr Miall, referred to a body of water which has no outlet and is based in the grounds of Faerie Glenn.  This has already been an ongoing problem for the residents and the plan to discharge rainwater from the proposed development into this ‘pond’ poses a real concern as the area will almost certainly flood in heavy rain.

Mr Noel Thomas referred the Committee to a previous application for flats at the nearby Station Goods Yard.  He noted that this application had been refused due to insufficient drainage for foul water.  Similarly he noted that a regulator had been installed near to the garden centre to ensure a continuous supply of water for Hassocks residents at peak times.  Mr Thomas pointed out that in his opinion water drainage and supply are already under pressure for the village although this may not be referenced by the relevant authority as they have a statutory obligation to provide these services.  Mr Thomas also raised previously voiced objections surrounding traffic and air pollution and access safety issues.

P21/28 APPLICATION

DM/21/1653 Byanda Brighton Road Hassocks West Sussex BN6 9LX Demolition of Byanda (a single residential property and ancillary buildings) and the erection of a 66 bedroom residential care facility, with associated access, ground works, car parking, servicing, private amenity space, landscaping and boundary treatment.

Members had individually looked at the application in detail and had noted the presentation given by Mr Peter Tooher.  Members had also taken note of the concerns raised by local residents both those received in writing prior to the meeting and those presented at the meeting.

Following a discussion based on all of these elements Members voted unanimously to RECOMMEND REFUSAL for the following reasons:

1.Scale and Character of Design. The scale and design of the proposed development is too large for the site and thus represents significant overdevelopment and as such will impact negatively on the amenities of neighbouring properties. The application is therefore considered to be contrary to Policy DP26: Character and Design of the District Plan and Policy 9: Character and Design of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan.

Hassocks Parish Council would request that the concerns raised by neighbouring residents about the impact on their properties are considered very carefully by the Planning Officer.

Furthermore, this site is outside the Built Up Boundary of Hassocks as defined in the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan where development should be restricted; District Plan Policy 12, Protection and Enhancement of Countryside.

2. Traffic and Access. The access to the proposed development site joins the busy A273, very close to Stonepound Crossroads, which is already the only Air Quality Management Area in Mid Sussex due to the high levels of air pollution. It is already notably challenging for vehicles trying to exit the B2112, New Road, and Underhill Lane in Clayton safely; the additional traffic generated by the proposed Care Home will most likely negatively impact further on the traffic safety in this area. In addition to the safety concerns, Hassocks Parish Council considers that the proposed Care Home will generate a significant level of additional traffic and it is likely that this will adversely impact on the levels of pollution at Stonepound.  Therefore the proposed application cannot be supported on the basis that it is contrary to Policy 8, Air Quality Management, of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan and DP29, Noise, Air and Light Pollution, of the District Plan.  Furthermore, it is requested that the issues raised by local residents regarding traffic and access to the site are carefully considered, including concerns regarding the gradient of the access road.

3. Lack of Parking Provision. Hassocks Parish Council would challenge the applicant’s assertion that only 15 members of staff will be on site at any given time. The proposal is for a 66 bedroomed care home, including provision for high dependency clients, therefore it is considered highly unlikely that the ratio of care staff to clients could be approximately 1:4.  It is also assumed that in addition to care staff, there would be a need for domestic staff such cleaners, cooks, maintenance and so on.  The proposed provision of only 20 parking spaces for all visitors and staff would therefore appear to be wholly inadequate.

4. Flooding and Drainage. Concerns over flooding and drainage have been raised by residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the development site and are familiar with issues around flooding in the area. It is requested that all concerns raised are reviewed in detail.

5. Impact on the South Downs National Park. Hassocks Parish Council is not satisfied that the impact of the proposed development on the South Downs National Park has been adequately addressed, including the impact of lighting. The location of the site is very close to the SDNP and will be clearly visible from the South Downs and it is considered that the development would have an adverse impact on the South Downs National Park, thus contrary to Policy 6 of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan; Development Proposals Affecting the South Downs National Park and Policy DP18 of the District Plan; Setting of the South Downs National Park.

6. Impact on Hassocks Health Centre. There is a concern that the proposed development could lead to the current health care facilities in Hassocks being significantly overstretched and create a need which cannot be met.

7. Insufficient Evidence of Need For C2 Provision. Based on pre-application advice provided by MSDC a need for C2 provision in the area has not been proven. Therefore Hassocks Parish Council is not satisfied that such a need exists.

8. Sustainable Design. The application provides insufficient information to be certain of compliance with HNP Policy 5 – Enabling Zero Carbon; therefore Hassocks PC would also recommend refusal on the basis that the application is currently not compliant with Policy DP39 of the District Plan – Sustainable Design and Construction and Policy 5 of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan. A design which only complies with Approved Document L2A of the building regulations (2013 edition with 2016 amendments) is not sustainable, contrary to the assertion made by the developer.

P21/29 RESOLVED that the observations on the planning issues as agreed above be submitted to the relevant Planning Authority for consideration.

P21/30 Urgent Matters at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.  There were no urgent matters.

P21/31 DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  Monday 28 June 2021 at 7.30pm.

There being no other business the Chair closed the meeting at 7.25 pm.


Appendix 2

Application No: DM/21/1653

Location: Byanda, Brighton Road, Hassock, West Sussex

We write to express our very strong objections to this development, on the following main grounds:

  1. The proposal of a 66-bed residential care facility is completely out of scale relative to the site. If built, it would have significant overbearing impact, causing severe loss of outlook for ourselves and other neighbouring properties, along with associated noise and night-time light pollution. Our gardens and those of other neighbours would be overlooked. The proposed development would be out of keeping with the area and would have a very deleterious impact on its general appearance and character.
  2. The proposed development would generate significant additional traffic, on a stretch of road (A273) that already suffers from serious traffic congestion and consequent air pollution at and near the Stonepound Crossroads.
  3. Furthermore, the nature of the site means that there could only be one access point, providing very restricted and awkward access to the main road – not only for cars but also for larger vehicles such as delivery vans and ambulances. This raises serious safety issues. A fatal accident occurred on this stretch of road within the last month, and within a few yards of the proposed access point. To add to these known dangers is completely The access road would have an unacceptable slope and inadequate sight line (looking North) for vehicles to exit safely onto the main road (A273). In fact, this would be a much less safe layout than that where the fatal accident occurred.
  4. Application for change of use for this site from residential to C2 or C3 in the Local Plan has already been rejected. MSDC’s assessment is that there is no significant unmet need for facilities of this type locally. Rather, there is a projected excess in capacity for the next 10 years. This directly contradicts the claims made by the developers. Furthermore, the likely excess in local capacity has now been reinforced by planning approval given for a new 70-bed facility in Sayers Common (Ref DM/15/1467).

In summary, we believe this to be a totally unacceptable and unnecessary proposal.

Dr Peter Bennett

Dr Beatrice Sofaer-Bennett