Minutes – Planning and Conservation Committee – 17 September 2020
The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Planning and Conservation Committee – 17 September 2020
Additional papers referred to in the minutes are only available for download in PDF format as follows:
MINUTES OF THE VIRTUAL MEETING OF THE PLANNING AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE HELD ON THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2020 AT 2.00PM
- Councillor Bowden (Vice-Chairman)
- Councillor Bell
- The Mayor (Councillor Plowman)
- Councillor Apel (Chairman of Community Affairs)
- Councillor Scicluna (Chairman of Finance)
- Planning Adviser
- Mayoral/Administrative Assistant
- Mr Mark Record (for Item 8a(iii))
- Mrs Fiona Dobbs (for Item 8(b))
- Councillor Sharp
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)*
- Councillor Joy
- Councillor Turbefield
- Councillor Gaskin
*The Deputy Mayor had tried, unsuccessfully, to join the meeting but was unable to due to technical reasons.
Councillor Joy (Chairman) had given apologies for this meeting, therefore Councillor Bowden, as Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.
45. MINUTES OF MEETING OF COMMITTEE HELD ON 20 AUGUST 2020
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 August 2020 having been printed and circulated be approved and be signed by the Vice-Chairman as a correct record at a later date.
46. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
As recorded above, these apologies were accepted by the Committee.
47. UPDATE FROM THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
Any actions arising from the previous Minutes were included on the Agenda
48. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE IN MATTERS ON THE AGENDA FOR THIS MEETING
The Mayor and Councillors Apel, Bell, Bowden as members of Chichester District Council, declared a Personal Interest. The Mayor and Councillor Scicluna as a member of the CCAAC, declared a Personal Interest.
The Chairman requested that due to the attendance of members of the public that this item be taken next.
49. REVISED AGENDA ITEM 8(b) TRACTORS AND TRAILERS THROUGH CHICHESTER
Mrs Dobbs had written a letter of representation, which had been circulated to all members, regarding heavy farm vehicles (namely tractors) that had been using Chichester as a short-cut causing noise disturbance and pollution. She explained that this had been going on for some time from early morning until late at night. She was seeking advice from the Committee as to whether this situation could be addressed as a health and safety issue. Someone had already been knocked off their bike. A more agreeable route could be addressed with the organisers.
Councillor Apel explained that another accident had recently occurred resulting in very serious injuries to a cyclist knocked off his bike by a farm vehicle in Broyle Road.
Councillor Scicluna expressed her concerns and commented that when the incident occurred, the driver of the farm vehicle appeared unaware and continued driving, leaving the cyclist to be assisted by other road users. The driver is still being sought.
Speed was also a major concern.
The Mayor had raised this at the Infrastructure Steering Group at the District Council and said that this could be a result of the extra development at Whitehouse Farm. He suggested that this issue be taken forward with West Sussex County Council as the Highways Authority. This was supported by those present.
Councillor Bell said that the owners of the vehicles were local farms and that it might be practicable for the Mayor to make an approach expressing the City Council Council’s concerns.
Councillor Sharp mentioned the following:
- Community speedwatch training via the Police
- Application for Flashing Speed lights reminders
- Reduction in speed on the roads of 20mph
Councillor Sharp said that there was an on-line form produced by a local resident that could be completed regarding road noise and forwarded to West Sussex County Council or the Police. Councillor Sharp would forward the link to Mrs Dobbs. Councillor Sharp also suggested that a corporate response from the City Council could be made.
The Planning Adviser said that she could formally contact West Sussex County Council and express the City Council’s concerns. WSCC would be able to consider speed, weight, and width restrictions where appropriate. There is also a possibility of re-routing traffic so it cannot cut through the city centre and this is being explored through the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Mayor suggested that an approach to the owners and managers of the farms with a view of arranging a Summit would be a good starting point. This was supported by the Committee.
RESOLVED that an approach be made to the owners and managers of the farms with a view to arranging a Summit to discuss this matter.
The Chairman also suggested contacting the local Police Community Support Officer expressing concern. Cllr Anne Scicluna suggested that Councillor Cherry Hughes may have some insight on the farm vehicles’ routes through the city due to her locality within the city. Councillor Apel, as a regular contact with the PCSO, would make contact about this.
Mrs Dobbs expressed her thanks to the Committee for their support and asked Councillor Sharp if she could circulate the form previously mentioned. Mrs Dobbs then left the meeting.
RESOLVED that the Planning Adviser approach West Sussex County Council in the first instance to raise the issue, and that the Mayor make contact with owners and managers of farms with a view to discussing the matter directly.
REVISED AGENDA ITEM 8(A) (i) TEMPORARY CYCLE LANES (ii) CHICHESTER CITY LOCAL CYCLING AND WALKING INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN (LCWIP) (iii) CHEM ROUTE
(iii) Chem Route
Mr Mark Record, a local resident and cyclist had joined the meeting to comment on the Highways England proposal on the A259 between Chichester and Emsworth. The proposal was to change the cycle lanes and put cyclists onto the pavement. He said that this was acceptable in some more rural stretches of the A259, but not all cases, for example in village centres such as Fishbourne and Emsworth where pavements were more frequently used by pedestrians. He was concerned about the problems associated with road users and cyclists and pedestrians alike. He said that the current proposal was unsatisfactory and re-design should be encouraged.
The Mayor said that although the Chem Route concept was good the execution was poor. He hoped that within the Neighbourhood Plan Cyclists and pedestrians could be separated and that shared use of pavements was unsatisfactory.
The Planning Adviser advised that much of the Chem Route is outside of the Chichester city parish, and whilst a representation to WSCC and the Highways England could be made, they would be unlikely to afford it any significant weight where it pertained to proposals outside of the city. The shared path would be 2.5m wide as a minimum along the whole route, and it appeared that this solution was chosen because in some places along the route it would not be possible, within the space available, to provide standard cycle lanes. However, within Chichester city itself, there may be sufficient space for such an approach.
The Chairman invited Mr Record to make a closing comment. Mr Record said that he commuted every day past the Bishop Luffa School route and he felt it was not feasible to share this route. Mr Record thanked the Committee for the opportunity to express his views.
(i) (ii) Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)
The Planning Adviser gave a brief presentation on the LCWIP with the aid of a visual presentation. She said that the consultation opened on 18 September. The presentation showed the area covered and the accidents that had occurred over the past 3 years. The existing provision was marked out and level 2 (Green) was adequate, red (busy) and burgundy unsafe. She said that there was quite a high level of red routes. The provision proposed in summary was shown showing the improvements anticipated.
Comments were invited from members and the proposed improvements were welcomed in principle; where there were two improvement options, basic or more comprehensive, the more comprehensive should be sought. However, some further refinements and details were still needed.
Councillor Scicluna expressed concern about the detail shown on the plans where there appeared to be some inaccuracies which would need clarification.
Councillor Bell said that the principle of the improvements scheme was to be encouraged and he felt that the City Council should support this.
Councillor Sharp said that the LCWIP was an extremely detailed proposal and encouraged a joint City Council response. There was a form on the WSCC website that could be completed. Sustainable travel should be supported in the first instance. She mentioned the unpleasant videos that had been produced regarding the pop-up cycle lanes.
The Chairman asked what the closing date for the Consultation was and the Mayoral/Administrative Assistant advised that this was six weeks from 18 September 2020.
RESOLVED that the Planning Adviser would draft a response to the Consultation from the Committee, which would be reviewed and agreed at the next meeting of the Committee on 15 October prior to submission and that in the meantime Councillors could also comment on an individual basis.
50. APPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING PERMISSION
Week 33 – 12 August 2020
Land to the rear of 24 and 22A Lavant Road, Chichester
Demolition of existing dwelling at 22A Lavant Road and the construction of 4 no. dwellings and associated works.
The Planning Adviser, with the aid of a visual presentation, gave a brief summary of this proposal.
Objection due to the harm to the character of the area, biodiversity and highway safety.
Weeks 34-37 – there were no Committee items.
51. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – UPDATE ON PROGRESS
The Planning Adviser updated the Committee on the following:
The PLACE training sessions had taken place, this is an exercise in getting local people involved in the planning process. The results of studies on roads and infrastructure were due back imminently. A first draft has been produced of the Trees and Green spaces study, some further information has been requested for inclusion in the study and a final edit would be published in October. The information in this and other studies helps to form the basis for strategies and policies in the plan. The next Steering Group meeting is being held on 18 September 2020.
The assessment of cycling and walking infrastructure within the LCWIP is very useful for the Neighbourhood Plan. CDC is due to publish the latest Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) shortly which will also be useful. A call for sites would still be needed, and zero carbon viability would also need investigating. The Planning Adviser has asked the Neighbourhood Plan consultant to now put together a process map of the actions needed and in what order.
The Chairman asked for clarification on housing being included in the Neighbourhood Plan as this had not been a previous consideration. The Planning Adviser explained the rationale behind this.
The Mayor reinforced the working together with Chichester District Council on some of the initiatives associated with the Neighbourhood Plan which he felt sped up the process. Support for the studies had been given by Chichester District Council.
It was anticipated that a Neighbourhood Plan could be produced by the end of October 2021.
The Neighbourhood Plan would give protection to Chichester as a strategic document.
Councillor Bell expressed his deep disappointment about the recently announced draft Events Strategy and Policy document produced by Chichester District Council. The Policy was site specific about parks in the city. Councillor Bell asked whether the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group had been consulted on this as this would have an impact on events in the City for some time to come; it had not. The Chairman and Councillor Scicluna said, to their knowledge, that the City Council had not been consulted.
The Planning Adviser sought the advice of the Committee on whether she should prepare a response to Chichester District Council about this matter. Councillor Apel, as a member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, would forward the draft Events and Strategy Policy document to the Planning Adviser. In addition, Councillor Bell would forward his comments to the Planning Adviser. Councillor Bell pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic had meant much more use of the parks and that this was not likely to change for the foreseeable future.
Councillor Sharp mentioned that the City Council was consulted on events in May 2019 in a consultation document ‘Let’s talk events’. However, members felt that a further consultation upon production of the draft policy would have been appropriate, particularly as this document now goes to the Chichester District Council cabinet on 6 October 2020 without comment invited by the City Council.
Councillor Apel left the meeting.
Clarification would be sought from the Town Clerk. The Mayoral Administrative Assistant explained that the Town Clerk was currently on annual leave and it was therefore suggested that the Deputy Town Clerk’s advice be sought on this matter.
RESOLVED that the Planning Adviser submit a brief response to CDC on the draft policy and express the City Council’s disappointment and concern that the City Council had not been consulted on the District Council’s Draft Events Strategy and Policy document.
52. WHITEHOUSE FARM – FEEDBACK
The Chairman said that the recently held Infrastructure Steering Group meeting had been very constructive. A Dutch style roundabout had been agreed at Westgate/West Street. A continuous priority cycleway separate from the footway would be constructed all the way round the roundabout. The retention of the tree in the middle of the roundabout was welcomed.
Councillor Plowman said that he would be carrying out the first virtual ‘ribbon cutting’ of the Minerva Heights. He emphasised the engagement with the developers and the community was going well and said that the meeting with residents and directors had opened up a dialogue on Phase 2 regarding the type of housing and also environmental issues. He also mentioned commercial development within Phase 2 which had 6 hectares of industrial use which needed to be built into. Ways of utilising the space making it more tourist related were discussed and also the idea of a good crematorium. The next meeting would be in 3 weeks’ time.
The next meeting would be looking at the basic situation with the southern access and where it would go. The possibility of a land-swap was being considered, where a new Bishop Luffa school would be built on the development land, and the existing school land redeveloped for housing; the southern access could take a route going through Bishop Luffa land. There would be no modification to Centurion Way, which is an important and well-used route. The existing land (currently playing fields) could be used for affordable housing, better responding to local housing need. He said there were some real benefits for the community by having early negotiations. Councillor Scicluna asked about the possibility of the building of a new scout hut (12th Chichester Scouts) on the Bishop Luffa land.
Councillor Joy had produced some ideas for consideration – ‘Possible Ideas for Chichester new Cycleways and External new Central Market Areas’; a copy of which is appended to these minutes for ease of reference.
53. ITEMS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE NEXT AGENDA
- Neighbourhood Plan – update
- Whitehouse Farm – update
- Parklands – update from meeting
54. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Thursday 15 October 2020 at 2.00pm
The meeting closed at 4.02pm