A few points / activities carried out in July for you to read on the beach or out walking whilst you have a break for the Summer:
Wrote to SDNP re: their site assessments, their feedback is as follows: Most of these sites have previously been commented on and I see no reason to revise our comments.Site 14 replaces a larger site at Beeding Court which we previously commented on. It is my view that the revised site is in a prominent position and development here would impact on wider views and would be harmful to the landscape character.I would also like to remind you that for the purposes of allocating sites in your Neighbourhood Plan, you will need to demonstrate that there are no alternative preferable sites outside the National Park before considering allocating sites in the National Park.
Wrote to WSCC to seek better support from their Planning Dept. Chased this again and was promised a response but still nothing. Hate to say it but it looks like WSCC will not provide any support until we produce our Draft Plan which is very disappointing and could mean that we waste time on some sites only for them to not support further on down the process. HDC said they are also trying to engage more support from WSCC.
Received a request from a Small Dole resident regarding extending the Built Up Area Boundary (BUAB). Have followed this up with HDC who will be undertaking some BUAB assessment work and will be consulting on revised boundaries in the Issues and Options this Autumn.
The AECOM Housing Needs Assessment was hoped to be complete by end of July for us to assess with final sign off by mid August. To date it has not yet been received and I have asked AECOM when they will complete. We have also been given Technical Support from Locality which will mean that AECOM can help us with re-assessing our sites.
Carried out a review of some of our sites with Norman Kwan of HDC on 14th. July. He was very helpful in some of his ideas and the information he let me have.He agrees that UB is not best placed with available sites for development and was pleased that he had had the opportunity to visit and have a look around.
We visited Sites 1, 2 and 3 (Smugglers, Pound Lane & the Paddocks) to start with and he said that in truth these 3 sites together, if well managed could suit our housing needs.
He felt that Smugglers Lane on its own would not really be suitable because of access issues and concern on its impact on the nearby Listed Building. He felt that if we did not try to manage these sites within the NP that they could be open to a Developer seeking to develop their own proposals in the future.
He suggested that perhaps a way around overcoming peoples objections was to consider Sheltered Accommodation and Affordable Housing with a Developer having to satisfy any sewage and traffic issues and providing some facilities to the village that would enhance their proposals. I have to say Sheltered Accommodation, that also provided well landscaped gardens for all in the village to use could be a winner. This type of accommodation would attract our elderly folk in the village thus freeing up some of our housing stock that has only one person occupying a 2/3 bedroom house.This type of accommodation would also reduce the amount of traffic generated, rather than a market housing development with 2 to 3 cars per household Sheltered Housing may only have one if any at all per household. Food for thought and some discussion I think. He is going to find out a bit more from his Housing colleagues and for us to get a view from the Downs as to what a development might do visually.
We visited Site 17 Church Farm which he thought would be a difficult site to progress because of access, it being a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) and its proximity to the Church.
He felt that if we could do something with the Pound Lane sites. this would possibly be all we ever had to consider in the future in UB as there was very little else available to develop.
These will all become a lot clearer when we carry out new site assessments with the help from AECOM.
Query on whether we needed an SEA/SA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) One of our Team got SEA/SA mixed up with Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and said she had been advised we didn’t need an SEA/SA.We now have it confirmed that: ‘It was a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) that you said HDC had said we would need. The main purpose of this assessment is to ensure that your neighbourhood plan will not result in significant damage to designated wildlife sites (known as Natura 2000 site). These designated sites are those which are considered to be internationally important for nature conservation and wildlife. However, there are none near enough to Upper Beeding to be of consideration and therefore you do not need to do a HRA.”
We have since been advised by HDC that: Please be advised that although your team member has advised that an HRA will not be necessary, it is still a requirement to undertake a screening assessment to formally rule this out. This will help the eventual Examiner of the plan to demonstrate that the basic conditions have been met. (Conformity with EU regulations is part of this test).The Screening will be undertaken by HDC as part of our offer of support. We are unable to undertake this until we have some certainty of which sites that Upper Beeding is considering are allocated, so this would likely be at / around the Reg 14 stage. So There!!
We are in the process of finalising our new Project Plan with AiRS with a possibility of holding our referendum in May 2018 if all goes to plan.
PC had asked about Call for Sites and formal notice, this has been clarified and on advice from HDC we have advertised on the PC website, the June edition of the PC Newsletter (distributed to all households), the UBNP Facebook page and on the PC Notice Boards.
DONM is dependent on receipt of our HNA from AECOM, on current timescales this may not now be until the 3rd. week in August
Chair of UBNP