Crowhurst Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Notes of Meeting held on Monday 5 February 2018 at 7.30pm  
in Crowhurst Village Hall

Present:            Ros Day (Chair), Tracy Hoad, Sonia Plato, Diane Stainsby, Martin White,, Pat Buckle

Apologies:       Gareth Bright, Chris Davidson, Dave Howley, Nicola Stell, Ann Wilson,  Willy Wilson

In Attendance:    1 Member of the Public

Ros Day opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. 

1.            Declarations of Interests
1.1`         All present declared an interest as residents of Crowhurst .
1.2          Item 3.2  Land Use Task Group - Martin White declared a personal interest as the owner of Church Paddock, Crowhurst.

2.         Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 8 January 2018 – Approved.
2.2.       Matters Arising - None

3.            Task Groups

3.1.         Finance –  Members were asked to advise of any amounts to be included in the final grant request.  Likely items were printing of the final version of the plan and SEA, printing of exhibition invites, final fees for planning consultant, exhibitions, design workshop, photocopying of SEA and site assessments, refreshments (from Community Engagement budget).  A meeting would be arranged in the next couple of weeks to start the grant process.

3.2          Land Use
                Martin White reported the group had met on 10 January and 2 February 2018.  He stated he had received an email response from Network Rail informing him that it is still looking at the options and regulations, etc., concerning the suggested alternative access to the proposed site at the station, and will keep us informed. Most of the meeting was discussing site configuration and size and design of dwellings.  LUTG felt it was important to have ideas of what we want in case approaches are made by developers although the Group agreed it did not want to restrict design nor lead developers.  It was felt a workshop would be useful to find out what residents want, and don’t want, in terms of design and site configuration.  It was also agreed that this was not urgent and it could wait until after the consultation responses had been analysed.  Martin White also mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding needs to be agreed with site owners.  Adam has already said he supports the draft NP.

3.3.         Street Champions
                The meeting agreed a really good turnout was vital for the referendum in order to achieve a definitive outcome.  Discussion ensued about whether to ask Street Champions to knock on doors to deliver information and speak to residents to encourage them to vote, but not to become involved in any discussion about the draft plan.  Diane Stainsby agreed to raise this with the Street Champions to see if they would be willing. Other suggestions were to offer a pick-up service to take any residents to the vote who could not otherwise get there, to ask the School to put information out on its email system prompting parents/carers to vote, add it to the website and to have posters around the village.

3.4         Communications
Ros Day reported that the Group was meeting next week and would be looking at the new General Data Protection Regulations and training to see if any changes need to be made to comply with them. A problem had been reported about emailing via the website, any further problems should be reported to Ros Day.

3.5          Research/Heritage
In the absence of Dave Howley, Sonia Plato reported that a volunteer archaeologist who had a wealth of knowledge about Roman remains, had made himself known at the Village Market and was keen to be involved.  Casper Johnson, ESCC County Archaeologist, had moved to another post but was still willing to give a talk about the archaeology found on the marshes. The meeting was pleased to note that several people had bought a copy of the Gunpowder Trail booklet at the Village Market.

3.6.         Environment
Sonia Plato reported that Dr John Feltwell, Crowhurt & Catsfield Tree Warden, had attended the exhibition and was keen to be involved in the Group. Cliff Dean, Ornithologist, who does bird walks at Rye Harbour has offered to do similar walks in Crowhurst.  His son, who studies fish, has found various species in the Crowhurst streams and Sonia Plato stated this was environmentally important.  She stressed the need to ensure  the streams were kept clear of pollution and debris to protect the fish. The Group had agreed it was keen to be an action group, had already carried out a bramble cutting and had agreed to do other clear ups of the local environment.  Sarah Blackford had voiced concern to Sonia Plato about air pollution monitoring of the Link Road. This had been done before the road opened but no information has been released about monitoring carried out since. Sarah Blackford was following this up, and was also keen to join the Group.

4.            Feedback from Local NP Forum
                Ros Day reported that there is a Government paper about increasing housing numbers and Rother may have to increase its allocations.  Rother is keen to get it’s site allocations completed - this includes NPs, as up-to-date plans have extra time before targets are increased. It is not enough to show site allocations, the houses have to be built as well. Rother has an issue where many of its site to be built on are slow to progress. Parishes doing NPs in Rother district are at differing stages with Sedlescombe having it’s referendum in March.  Wealdon DC is trying to get its housing numbers decreased in view of the high level of nitrogen in Ashdown Forest and heathlands, and are concerned about the increase in traffic new housing may bring in both it’s district and surrounding districts.
                The Forum was advised of the importance of booking an Examiner early to avoid any delays in availability. This was the responsibility of Rother DC and it was agreed to ensure it dealt with arranging an Examiner promptly.

5.            Consultation Events
            It was reported that the exhibition held at St George’s Church Coffee Morning on 19 January 2018 was well attended, but not as many people attended the exhibition at the Village Market on 3 February.  The final exhibition is being held on 18 February in the village hall between 10am and 4pm and it was hoped that this would be well attended. Overall it was felt there had been a positive response so far to the draft NP.

6.         Project Plan
                Ros Day presented an updated Project Plan showing what had been completed and what  remained to be finalised.  There was some discussion about analysing the comments  received from the consultation and further thought will be given to this.  It was hoped that there would need to be minimal changes made due to the amount of consultation that had  been carried out with residents through the process.
7.         Future Roles of the Steering Group and the Task Groups
                Sonia Plato reported that at Crowhurst Parish Council meeting Keith Robertson, Parish Clerk, had stated he had some ideas about the future of these groups and offered to outline his  thoughts to the Steering Group.  It was agreed this would be useful and June was felt to be  the optimum time.  The Environment and Heritage Groups had already expressed their  interest in continuing their work and it was agreed it would be useful to find out which other groups would be keen to continue. It was reported that two people had expressed an  interest in developing a community project although no suggestion had been made about what sort of project.  The meeting discussed whether the Crowhurst Parish Plan would still be relevant after the NP has been adopted. It was felt a Parish Plan would be useful to cover  some of the issues/actions that came up during the NP process that were not ‘housing development’ related.

8.            Dates of Next Meetings
                Exhibition – Sunday 18 February 2018, 10.00am – 4.00pm in the Village Hall
                Steering Group - Mondays on 5 March, 9 April and 14 May 2018 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 8.55pm


This page contains all documents relating to the Consultation Process including village survey results and longlisted and shortlisted sites feedback. It will be updated as the process continues. 

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