Crowhurst Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Notes of Meeting held on Monday 3 October 2016  
in Crowhurst Village Hall

Present:     Gareth Bright, Chris Davidson, Ros Day, Tracy Hoad, Sonia Plato, Diane Stainsby,
                     Martin White, Ann Wilson, Willy Wilson, Pat Buckle

Apologies:   Catherine Bright, Dave Howley
Ros Day opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending

1.         Minutes of Previous Meetings
1.1        Steering Group held on 5 September 2016 – Minutes approved.
1.1.1      Matters  Arising
Sedlescombe  NP Objection – The meeting agreed to invite Rother District Councillor, Gary Curtis, Vice Chair Planning Committee and Vice Chair Scrutiny Committee, to the next Steering Group meeting or venue convenient to him, to discuss planning applications and NPs and how NPs are part of Rother’s housing supply.

2.         Task Groups Reports
2.1          Finance – Tracy Hoad presented her report on the grant money expenditure to date and the underspend on some headings.  The meeting was reminded that any underspent grant had to be returned at the end of the grant period which was 24 January 2017. There followed a discussion on likely upcoming expenditure, particularly in terms of the Land Use Survey due to be distributed to every household later this month.  The suggestion of a public exhibition of the complete list of proposals submitted by residents, prior to the shortlist of acceptable sites identified by the consultant, was agreed.  The meeting was reminded that the consultant’s invoice will come out of the next grant due to be released in February 2017. Tracy Hoad reported that a donation of £50 had been received from a resident and the meeting extended its thanks.  The Finance Task Group’s next meeting will be on 5 October 2016. All task groups should try and set a budget for the next year and forward to Finance Task Group.  Budgeting and grant applications should be added to the project plan.

2.2        Survey
                The meeting discussed the feedback from the survey results exhibition held on 1 October 2016 which was very well attended. It was generally agreed that it had been well received and pitched at the right level in terms of the information given on the NP process and the suggested sites.  A comment received was that it was a “professional exhibition” which the meeting agreed was due to Catherine Bright’s excellent presentation and the information displayed in the village hall.  Members expressed their thanks to Catherine Bright for her very detailed work who in turn thanked everyone for the support she had received in the preparation of the survey and results.  Some discussion followed on the need to involve the younger generation in the NP process.  Responses to the invitation to various local groups including Crowhurst School and Claverham College, for a representative of the Steering Group to meet with the members had been received. Other groups still to be contacted were the football club, youth club and playgroup parents/carers.

2.3          Land Use (Call for Sites)
                Chris Davidson reported that the group was meeting on 4 October 2016 to discuss the final draft survey form and accompanying documents following recent meetings with the Survey Task Group, and it was anticipated that these would be finalised. The group was grateful to Catherine Bright for her invaluable work in helping the group to put the survey form together.  When finalised, the document including a letter to businesses and landowners, would be sent to Mr Norman Kwan, Senior Planning Officer, Rother District Council, for his comments prior to submission to the printers.

2.4          Street Champions
                Diane Stainsby reported on the meeting with the Street Champions who had again agreed to distribute the Land Use (Call for Sites) survey form, anticipated to be in the third week of October.  A locked box outside the village hall will be provided for the return of the completed forms, subject to the approval of the Village Hall Management Committee. It was agreed that a banner would be erected reminding residents to complete and return the survey forms.

2.5          Communication
            Gareth Bright reported that Claverham College had agreed to provide information on the number of Crowhurst children attending the College.  He confirmed Mr Norman Kwan would be contacted regarding affordable housing numbers, the draft consultant brief and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).  There was some discussion on whether Crowhurst would need a SEA and the need to fill out a Screening Request to Rother this month.  The meeting was informed that Rother District Council had a list of local landowners that could be used when sending out survey forms and letters to them, providing this did not breach Data Protection law.

2.6        Research/Heritage
                It was reported that Dave Howley had visited Bexhill Museum, and he and Will Kemp would investigate a possible walk along the Link Road where archaeological remains had been found during its construction.  Dave Howley would also be contacting Mr Casper Johnson, Senior Archaeologist, East Sussex County Council, with a view to inviting him to do a follow-up presentation in the village hall to update residents on the findings. This information could also be used as part of the Link Road walk. The group was disappointed that it had received no response to its request at the Survey Exhibition for anyone interested in carrying out research.  An advert would be place in the Crowhurst News to see if anyone would volunteer. The meeting was informed that two residents with an interest in environmental issues had offered to assist the Steering Group and Ros Day agreed to send them a list of the NP requirements on the subject to see what they could cover.

3.            Project Plan/Milestones
Ros Day outlined tasks already completed and upcoming tasks for October/November.  Sonia Plato stated that it was a requirement of the grant to report on the use of the first part of the grant money and submit an application for the next.  It was agreed that this work needed to be carried out in December for submission by 24 January 2017.  Sonia Plato informed the meeting that a Transfer of Funds form could be completed if necessary to enable funds underspent on one heading to be moved for use under another.

4.            Draft Consultant Brief
Ros Day presented a draft brief based on the template produced by the Locality organisation and stated that this had been sent to Mr Graeme Quinnell for his comments, then on to Mr Norman Kwan for his, before going to Parish Council for approval.  Following approval, tenders from experienced NP consultants for the work would be requested and three would be invited for interview. The meeting was informed that consultants charged between £400-£500 per day, plus travel and expenses estimated at about 10% of the total charges. There was some discussion regarding whether to ask consultants to submit periodic invoices rather than a single one at the completion of all work. The meeting thanked Ros Day for a great job on pulling the draft brief together and for the large amount of work she regularly does.

5.         Declaration of Interests
It had been suggested that each member of the Steering Group should complete a Declaration of Interest form similar to that signed by parish councillors. Some discussion ensued after which Sonia Plato agreed to contact Robertsbridge NP Group to see if such a form was completed by its members.

6.            Direction from Survey
As 98% of respondents to the main survey had agreed with the vision statement for the NP, the group agreed  this would now be adopted with no amendments.  The aims and objectives of the Crowhurst NP needed to be firmed up following the responses from the survey.  Catherine Bright would be asked to present the actions arising from the survey at a public exhibition to be held in the village hall on 29 October 2016.  Posters and banner advertising the exhibition would be placed around the village.

7.            Dates of Next Meetings
          1. Neighbourhood Plan Group /Public Exhibition – Saturday 29 October 2016 - Crowhurst Village Hall - 2.30pm.
          2. Steering Group – Monday 7 November 2016 at 7.30pm in Crowhurst Village Hall.
The meeting closed at 9.55pm


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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