Neighbourhood Plan Group Meeting
27th February 2016
Village Hall
In Attendance:   26 Residents

The meeting was facilitated by Gail Harley who thanked everyone for attending.  The notes from the meeting held on 20 January 2016 were agreed. 

Liaison with Parish Council

Councillor Alan Stainsby, Chairman of Crowhurst Parish Council, stated that he was impressed with the work the group had achieved so far.  He stressed that he would not be attending on a regular basis to ensure clear separation between the Neighbourhood Plan Group and the Parish Council.  Crowhurst is one of the smallest parishes to begin the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan and it was important that the final plan passes Independent Examination the first time, particularly to avoid extra time and costs.  Three basic conditions that must be met are the National Planning Policy Guidance, Rother District Council’s Core Development Plan, and the Strategic Environment Assessment.  It is also a requirement to follow Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) guidelines.  Crowhurst Parish Council is the qualifying and relevant body and has overall responsibility for the Plan.

Councillor Alan Stainsby explained that it is vital to have clear Terms of Reference in place approved by the Parish Council.  He confirmed that a Steering Group should be set up, using professional advice where necessary.  The Parish Council needs to be assured that nothing is overlooked. A clear framework for everyone to work with was essential; and he suggested that the work of other councils towards a Neighbourhood Plan could be useful to the Group in deciding on a way forward.

Sonia Plato explained how the Neighbourhood Plan Group could be structured, i.e.
some Task Groups have already been set up and others will follow later as work progresses.  These will report back to the Steering Group with one representative per Task Group being a member of the Steering Group.  Steering Group members may change over time as new Task Groups are set up but it is necessary to have a strong framework with a clear structure that includes everyone’s views.  (See attached)

This will be a two year process and the guidelines for evidence must be followed , e.g. notes of all meetings, consultation with residents, photos of posters, etc., as clear proof of what has been done during the process.  A grant of £8,000 is available from DCLG for beginning the process, administered by the Parish Council.

Tracy Hoad informed the meeting that any fundraising money needs to go through the Parish Council because the Group does not meet the necessary regulations to enable it to have its own bank account.  Tracy Hoad agreed to meet with Keith Robertson, Clerk to the Parish Council, to discuss how this can be done.

Our Vision and Terms of Reference
Gail Harley opened the discussion on Our Vision and some ideas put forward were –
Protecting the identity of the village,
Promoting community spirit,
Consensual development,
Sustaining the character of the village,
Protecting the environment. 

It was important to include what residents want and what we don’t want.It was suggested that neighbouring parishes be contacted to check the plans they have for their village borders which may impact on Crowhurst.Concern was expressed about the possibility of development along the Hastings/Bexhill Link Road and the loss of the identity of Crowhurst as a village.

It was pointed out that there has been eight new buildings erected at Crowhurst Park and whether this would count towards the District Council’s allocated development for Crowhurst.It was agreed that Keith Robertson be asked to contact Norman Kwan, Planning Officer, Rother District Council, to clarify the situation.

The meeting then went through the draft Terms of Reference drawn up by Graeme Quinnell, who was unable to attend this meeting.Gail Harley agreed to produce the amended document which would be submitted to Parish Council for approval.

In view of the length of the discussion on the draft Terms of Reference, it was agreed to defer the remainder of the agenda to the next meeting.

It was agreed to distribute a leaflet with a map of the Village boundary on the back showing the designated area for the Neighbourhood Plan and suggested that this could be distributed with the Parish Newsletter.

Gail Harley thanked everyone for their work at the meeting.

Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 24 March 2016 at 7.30pm in Crowhurst Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm.

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The Final Crowhurst Neighbourhood Development Plan. ​The referendum on this important document will take place in the summer. 
Contains links to the archived Reg. 16 and Reg. 14 consultation and submission pages.  Archive-REG 14, 16
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. 

​​ Useful links:
For more information on the Crowhurst Neighbourhood Plan application please see: 

For more information on our Neighbourhood Plan process and to access minutes of all previous meetings please see either of the links below: