Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting of the Development & Conservation Advisory Committee held on 12 December 2023, as a correct record.


Resolved: That the Minutes of the Development & Conservation Advisory Committee held on 12 December 2023, be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Declarations of interest

Any interests not already registered.


There were none.


Actions from previous meeting


There were none.


Update from Portfolio Holder


The Portfolio Holder advised that planning application performance in Development Management was on course to be the best ever recorded, and it was  fantastic effort by all officers who endeavour to provide excellent service for all customers. Within the council’s own measured performance indicators 100% of major development applications had been determined and all others within 95%. SDC had the busiest  planning department in Kent and he expressed his thanks to the officers. He also expressed his thanks to Andy Byard, from Building Control who was retiring for all his work and dedication to the service, in particular with bringing the building control partnership back in house.



Referral from Cabinet or the Audit Committee


There were none.


Local Plan Update pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited Mr Dobson and Su Hewitt to address the Committee.


The Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report which provided an update on the recent Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation which ran for seven weeks, national planning policy changes and the next steps.


Approximately 5,300 respondents had provided around 11,000 comments however, it was highlighted to Members that although it was useful to see the number of responses on different sites and options, the key issues, themes and topics raised were more important to the analysis. Therefore smaller communities were not penalised due to their size, as it was not a ‘numbers game.’ In relation to three growth options, the responses were fairly equally split between the first two options. There was little support for option 3 (the combined approach.) Some of the key themes and issues, included:


         The need for infrastructure/services to support new housing, GPs, schools, public transport

         Careful consideration of the Green Belt, particularly given recent updates to national policy

         Concerns about the impacts of traffic and congestion

         The need to provide homes and services for older people

         Concerns about flooding and climate change

         Comments relating to protection of AONB/National Landscapes, and also ecology/wildlife

Appendix A set out a high level analysis of some of the themes and topics consultees raised.


The Senior Planning Policy Officer, further advised on the key policy findings. The top commented policy was Policy SL1 (Sport and Leisure Facilities), which received 87 responses. She highlighted that many of the responses related specifically to opposition to site specific proposals, including the site at Pedham Place, and were not in response to the content and wider role of Policy SL1.

A mix of Housing, Transport and Infrastructure policies completed the top 5 most commented on policies with:

·   Policy H2 (Provision of Affordable Housing) – 54 responses

·   Policy IN1 (Infrastructure Delivery) – 46 responses

·   Policy H7 (Housing Density and Intensification) – 37 responses

·   Policy T1 (Sustainable Movement Network) – 34 responses

The top 5 were closely followed by Policies H3 (Housing in Rural Areas) and H6 (Smaller Sites) with 33 and 31 responses.

Overall, the most commented on chapter was Chapter 2 – Housing Choice for All, which received 251 comments across 9 policies, which included the two policies for Gypsy and Traveller provision. A key theme in Chapter 2 was the compliance with the December 2023 National Planning Policy Framework and simultaneous update to the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS).

In the majority of cases, these comments were made by general members of the public and analysis showed that statutory consultees, town and parish councils and other consultation bodies were generally supportive of these policies. However, further work would be undertaken to consider all comments made in relation to policies and these would feed into updates ahead of the Regulation 19 consultation later this year.

The most commented on sites consisted of those which were situated within the Green Belt and National Landscapes. Some of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Adoption of High Weald AONB Management Plan 2024-2029 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:


The Senior Planning Officer (Policy) presented the report which advised that the Council was legally required to prepare and publish a management plan for the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the High Weald, this requirement was delivered through the High Weald Joint Advisory Committee. A draft management plan had been prepared, after public consultation and with input from the Council, setting out key character components of the High Weald’s natural beauty. It was an important guidance document for functions affecting the AONB and its setting.


The document was due to be approved by the High Weald Joint Advisory Committee on 27 March 2024.


Public Sector Equality Duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.


Resolved: That it be recommended to Cabinet, that subject to its approval by the High Weald Joint Advisory Committee on 27 March 2024, it be recommended to Council to adopt the High Weald AONB Management Plan.


Report Of The Chairman Of The Community Infrastructure Levy (Cil) Spending Board - Projects Update pdf icon PDF 34 KB


The Chairman of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Spending Board gave a presentation to Members which showcased the infrastructure projects that had benefitted from CIL Funding, awarded by the CIL Spending Board. Since the Board’s first meeting in 2018, over £9.2 million had been awarded to infrastructure projects in the District. Many of the projects had social, economic and/or environmental benefits that had significantly benefitted local communities.  The Chairman highlighted to Members that the funding had been spread throughout the district enabling all areas to benefit.


Resolved: That the report be noted.


Work plan pdf icon PDF 34 KB


Members noted the work plan with the inclusion of the Local Plan update and Regulation 19 Consultation. A report or training on Enforcement would also be brought to a future meeting.


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