Minutes – Planning and Conservation Committee – 27 April 2023
The agenda and papers for this meeting are available here: Planning and Conservation Committee – 27 April 2023 – agenda and papers
The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Planning and Conservation Committee – 27 April 2023
PLANNING AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE
Date: 27 April 2023
Time: 2.00pm – 3.46pm
Location: The Council Chamber – The Council House • North Street • CHICHESTER • West Sussex • PO19 1LQ
PRESENT: Councillor Quail (Chairman), Councillor Gershater (Vice-Chairman), Councillor Corfield, Councillor Gaskin
EX-OFFICIO: The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Plowman), Councillor Apel (Chairman of the Community Affairs Committee) and Councillor Scicluna (Chairman of the Finance Committee)
IN ATTENDANCE: Councillor Chant
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: Town Clerk, Planning Adviser, Member Services Support Officer, Mr Ash Pal (Chairman of the Chichester Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group)
153. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
RESOLVED to accept and approve apologies and reasons for absence from the meeting from the Mayor (Councillor Joy).
154. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE IN MATTERS ON THE AGENDA FOR THIS MEETING
Councillor Quail declared an interest as Chairman of Westgate Residents Association.
Councillor Corfield declared an interest as Chairman of the Oaklands Park Residents Association.
The Deputy Mayor and Councillor Apel declared an interest as Members of Chichester District Council.
The Deputy Mayor and Councillor Scicluna declared an interest as members of Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee.
155. MINUTES OF THE PLANNING AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 30 MARCH 2023
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning and Conservation Committee meeting held on 30 March 2023, having been circulated, be approved and signed as a correct record.
Councillor Scicluna left the meeting.
156. APPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING PERMISSION
Case Officer: Sascha Haigh
Chichester City Football Club Oaklands Park Oaklands Way Chichester
Conversion of a stadia natural grass pitch into a 3G Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with perimeter fencing, floodlighting, storage container and refurbished hardstanding areas
No objection in principle to the proposed improvements. However, there is a concern that the proposed eight 15m high floodlights (replacing the existing four floodlights) in this area may affect bats. This should be considered by an ecologist and any necessary mitigation undertaken to ensure no harm is caused to protected (or otherwise important) species.
Councillor Apel voted against the recommendation and Councillor Gaskin abstained.
Advertising applications and rules regarding placement of event and estate agent boards on public highways
The Committee were reminded that they had delegated authority to the Planning Adviser to respond to planning applications in respect of display of advertising materials.
In response to a question from Councillor Corfield, the Committee were informed that no permission was required for the placement of advertising boards on the public highway, verges or adjacent land for short display periods as long as they were removed quickly when no longer required.
The Chairman agreed that an update could be given about an ongoing planning application issue that had recently been discussed by Chichester District Council.
Further to a meeting of Chichester District Council’s Planning Committee held on 26 April 2023, the Deputy Mayor gave Members an update on the discussions that had taken place regarding the playing fields and parking provision at Havenstoke Park.
He reminded Members that outline permission had been given for sports pitches to be delivered under a Section 105 agreement but that the application had now been modified to include more parking spaces.
Members discussed the issues raised and agreed that the application, that had been submitted prior to the pandemic, did not take in to account the post COVID recognition of the importance of open spaces and biodiversity.
The Committee was informed that the application had been approved but that a number of strict conditions had been attached to the approval. These included strictly limiting the use of the car park to users of the sports facilities, stipulating that the pitches must be grown grass and specifying that additional biodiversity measures should be added to the project.
Councillor Gaskin asked for it to be noted that she considered this decision to be a backward step for the environment and biodiversity and that lessons needed to be learned to ensure that green spaces were preserved in perpetuity.
157. 20MPH DEFAULT SPEED LIMIT WORKING GROUP
Councillor Corfield gave a brief summary of what had been happening within the 20MPH Default Speed Limit Working Group to date and informed Members that the work had been paused due to the lack of engagement from Members in some City Council wards.
She advised Members that she was looking for approval from the Committee to request funds from the Finance Committee to undertake data gathering and public engagement exercises to collect supporting evidence for the proposed Community Highways Scheme (CHS) application that would be submitted in support of the default speed limit.
She also advised Members that, while she did not have concrete costs for the necessary consultancy and associated work, she felt that a sum similar to the one approved for recent traffic consultancy by the City Council would be appropriate. The Committee was reminded that this was in the region of £5,000-£6,000.
The Town Clerk advised that, as the bar for evidence supporting a CHS application was very high, it would be wise to ensure that the work was completed to a very high standard with proving wide community engagement being especially important.
The Town Clerk expressed the opinion that this would make meeting the July 2023 deadline very difficult and reminded Members that the application could be made at any time before the July 2024 deadline if the 2023 deadline was missed.
Members expressed support for the project and Councillor Gershater reported that the 20MPH default speed limit featured in the Business Plan framework.
After a short further discussion, it was RESOLVED that Councillor Corfield should complete a tender process for the consultancy work and obtain at least three quotations based on a specification of the requirements of the Working Group.
158. ZEBRA CROSSING AND 20MPH SIGNAGE FOR SUMMERSDALE ROAD
The Chairman agreed to a request from Councillor Corfield to discuss agenda items 6 and 7 together.
Councillor Corfield reported that recent Speedwatch group data had shown that 50% of vehicles driving along Summersdale Road had been travelling fast enough to have been issued with a speeding ticket had Police enforcement been present.
She also reported that the Speed Indicator Devices in College Lane were not currently working despite having been replaced recently and asked whether additional, illuminated, signage could be provided to remind drivers about the speed limit.
Councillor Corfield requested that these issues be considered by the 20MPH Working Group and was advised that each of the proposals would need to be submitted separately to West Sussex County Council as Community Highway Schemes and that this would need to be promoted by the appropriate City Council ward Members alongside the relevant County Councillors for that area.
She was informed that this was not something that was within the power of the City Council to resolve.
159. LOCAL PLAN UPDATE
Members were advised that there were no further updates at this time.
160. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN UPDATE
The Chairman of the Chichester Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (CNPSG), Ash Pal summarised his report that had been circulated to Members earlier in the day.
He reminded Members about the successful community engagement sessions that had taken place earlier in the year and advised that it was the CNPSG’s intention to run further engagement events to provide evidence of community involvement in the development of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Members were informed that it was hoped that future events would include pop-ups around the city and working with the local schools and colleges.
Members were further informed that the CNPSG had been working with a local landscape architect to gather ideas but that it was now necessary to underpin the work with public feedback and input.
Mr Pal advised that the Events subgroup of the CNPSG had been struggling with the engagement work and that professional support may be required in the future. He requested approval to get quotes and work proposals from external suppliers for this purpose.
The Committee was informed that the CNPSG was keen to align with the developing Chichester City Council Business Plan as well as the Chichester District Council Local Plan. Mr Pal noted that there were gaps in the Local Plan at the moment that the CNPSG were keen to assist with.
He made a further request that the CNPSG be authorised to write to the District Council to follow up their recent meeting with the Planning Policy team and offer assistance with the identified gaps.
Members were informed that the CNPSG would also like formal direction from the City Council on a number of key issues identified in the CNPSG Chairman’s report.
Councillor Gershater agreed that alignment between the Business Plan, the Neighbourhood Plan and the Local Plan was critical to ensure the relevant organisations were working towards the same goals.
The Deputy Mayor reminded Members that two other local Neighbourhood Plans had failed at the inspection stage due to a lack of public engagement and/or lack of alignment with the Local Plan. He also expressed the opinion that it was important that the Neighbourhood Plan did not focus solely on housing and that it also encompassed community priorities.
Mr Pal responded and informed Members that the quality of the discussions with District Council Planning had improved and that the CNPSG was looking largely at utilising brownfield sites or repurposing other land as Chichester Parish was largely built on and very little other land was available.
In response to a question from Councillor Corfield, Mr Pal advised the Committee that the planned community engagement over the summer was part of a wider filter that was important for a staged gathering of information supporting the development of key themes over time and which would underpin the development of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Planning Adviser reminded Members of the initial survey work that had taken place in the early stages of the Neighbourhood Plan development, the results from which should still be available.
Councillor Gaskin asked, with no Green Party candidates standing in the City Council wards in the upcoming local elections, that green and environmental issues still formed an important part of the Neighbourhood Plan.
After a short further discussion, the Committee RESOLVED the following actions:
i) To decline calling a Special Meeting with the matters for discussion being taken to the May Planning and Conservation Committee meeting
ii) That the CNPSG draft a letter to Chichester District Council offering assistance with the Local Plan with the draft being presented to the May meeting of the Planning and Conservation Committee meeting for approval.
iii) That a funding proposal, supported by a work specification and at least three quotes be presented to the June meeting of the Finance Committee for approval.
Councillor Corfield voted against and Councillor Gershater abstained.
161. ITEMS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE NEXT AGENDA
Members agreed that the content of the agenda in the new Administration should be decided by the members of the Committee after the election results were known.
162. DATE OF NEXT ORDINARY MEETING
Thursday 25 May 2023 – time to be confirmed
The meeting closed at 3.46pm