Agenda and minutes
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To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 25 March 2014 and 1 July 2014, as a correct record.
Resolved: That the Minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 25 March 2014 and 1 July 2014 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of interest
Any interests not already registered
In order to be clear and transparent, Cllr. Mrs. Sargeant advised that in relation to Minute 15 “Gypsy and Traveller Plan: Site Options” that her family had an interest in land that had been included in the long list from the call for sites.
Gypsy and Traveller Plan: Site Options - consultation responses and additional sites and pitches promoted
The Principal Planning Officer presented a report which considered the responses to the recent Gypsy and Traveller Plan site options consultation where 935 registered comments had been received on the 13 proposed sites. A “call for sites” requested interested parties to suggest land that may be suitable for Gypsy and Traveller pitches. Consideration of the responses by the Committee was brought forward from October 2014 as Officers felt able to make recommendations regarding two sites and to give guidance on how the process was to be taken forward.
A list of further sites suggested by third parties where landowners had been approached, since the report was published, was tabled for Members consideration. Officers advised that the recommendation in paragraph (a) was now to read “…consideration in this Gypsy and Traveller Plan covering the period up to 2026”. Additionally Officers updated the Committee that the potential number of pitches at Two Barns, Knatts Valley had risen from three to four. Kent County Council had since responded to the Council and was unsupportive of 2 additional pitches at Polhill Park, Polhill.
The Principal Planning Officer explained that the recommendation included that two sites be removed from the consultation as alternative, more suitable sites had been identified. It was considered by Officers that the land south of Mesne Way, Timberden Farm, Shoreham was more sensitive and visible in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) than the majority of the alternative site suggestions and so was to be removed. Regarding the land at Fort Halstead the emerging policy EMP3 of the Council’s Allocation and Development Management Plan, relating to it, had developed since the initial consultation and did not refer to Gypsy and Traveller use. A Planning Performance Agreement now also outlined the submission of a planning application for the site on 10 November 2014. As there was not landowner support for Gypsy and Traveller pitches and as the Council was unlikely to adopt a policy to require pitches as part of the wider regeneration before the landowner’s target date for determination of an application, pitches on the site were unlikely to be deliverable.
A Member of the Committee expressed disappointment that, despite the recommendation of the Committee on 25 March 2014, the Timberden Farm site had not been removed at an earlier stage from the consultation. She felt that it had caused residents and the Council unnecessary stress and expense. The Chairman explained that it was since more sites had been put forward in the call for sites, which were preferable to the Shoreham site, that Timberden Farm could now be removed from the consultation.
Some Members requested that the Timberden Farm site be ruled out beyond 2026. The Chief Planning Officer advised that the recommendation was for the site to be ruled out for the period of the plan but it would not be down to the current Council to decide for any further period and this could not be enforced.
Officers were asked how far they had ... view the full minutes text for item 15.