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Birdham Parish Council > Minutes > Minutes of the Planning Committee held on the 29th April 2013

Minutes of the Planning Committee held on the 29th April 2013

 

Birdham Parish Council

 

Minutes of the Planning Committee of Birdham Parish Council

 Held on Monday the 29th April 2013

At 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

 

Present:                     Cllr Tilbury (Chairman), Cllr Parks, Cllr Barker, Cllr Grafham.

 Ex-Officio:                

 Apologies:                 Cllr Cobbold and Cllr Finch (Chairman of Council)

 In attendance:           The Clerk and 13 residents.

 Prior to the start of the meeting the Chairman welcomed everyone and explained the process that the meeting would follow. He went on to outline the planning procedure and what part the Parish Council played in the whole process.

 P19-12            Declarations of Interests:

            There were no declarations of interest

 P20-12 Planning Applications:

 i)     Applications to be decided.

Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor

BI/13/00381/ADV Birdham Stores, Main Road, Birdham

This is a retrospective application for advertising signage at Birdham Stores, which lies within the Birdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is also in an Area of Special Control of Advertisements.  In many areas of advertising there is deemed consent but special rules apply in Areas of Special Control of Advertisements and in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our understanding is that the applicant has control over the advertising but that the designs are undertaken by Nisa.

Our concerns are mainly with the intrusion into the environment of the AONB. We accept the need for advertising at the shop, even though it is the only one in the village. It needs to attract passing trade to ensure its ongoing economic viability for the good of the village. We are concerned about the quantity of advertising and the colours used in an area where there is encouragement to use muted colours for the sake of the AONB. The references to signs below are from pages 2 to 5 in the application.

Sign 1 is acceptable.

Sign 2. It is understood that one of the purposes of this signage on the windows facing onto the main road is security. However we find the extent and size of the signage, and especially the use of white for most of it, does constitute an intrusion into the landscape, especially when viewed from the south. It may also constitute a distraction to motorists. We therefore suggest that colours more in keeping with the design guide of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy be used and that permission for the present design should be refused.

Sign 3 is acceptable.

Sign 4 also makes use mainly of white and faces onto the road at the entrance to the car park. We would like to see a more muted tone and a decrease in the size of the logo in order that it should not cause distraction.

Sign 5 consists of four out of a total of nine promotional signs facing the car park. This set however is close to the road and could cause a distraction to passing traffic and those entering the car park. We would like to see these signs removed.

Signs 6, 7, and 8. These signs are in an alcove and can only be seen from the car park.  We have no objection to these signs – except that the word “till” should be spelt correctly.

Sign 9. These three promotional signs are far enough away from the road and of a size not to cause distraction and we find them acceptable.

A case can be made for using a more muted tone for the building overall when it is next redecorated externally. The rules on the control of advertising are there to protect the environment. We are satisfied that in most cases the advertising here is of a size and design proportionate to the activity which has been carried on at these premises for more than one hundred years and therefore have NO OBJECTION to most of this application. We feel we must OBJECT however to signs 2 and 5  Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

One resident said the signs were far too large for the site and there were far too many.

Another resident suggested that whilst he also felt the signs were far too large and too many he also felt that they would take up car parking spaces which would mean parking would take place on the Birdham Straight.

BI/13/00747/ADV Longmeadow, Main Road Birdham

This is an application to erect additional advertising material in connection with the development at Longmeadow (Old Common Close). The site lies within the Birdham SPA but also within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is also an Area of Special Control of Advertisements.

As we said in response to the previous application on this site: in many areas of advertising there is deemed consent but special rules apply in Areas of Special Control of Advertisements and in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We found it totally unacceptable that the previous application was permitted despite the regulations because it was temporary. A temporary abrogation of the rules governing advertising in an AONB is no more acceptable than a permanent one, any more than a temporary agreement to stop beating your children.

We did not object to the smaller fascia signs previously applied for because they appear to be of a size which may be allowable and would not be so distracting as to create a hazard to motorists taking reasonable care when passing the site. We did object to the larger signs, their content and their proximity to the highway.

This fresh application decreases the size of the boards at the main entrance to the site but seeks permission for two new ones, each 3.05 metres tall and 2.44 metres wide (approximately 7.5 square metres, when the limit is, we understand 5 square metres), at a separate site which will simply make the intrusion into the landscape and the hazard to passing traffic worse. Either this is an Area of Special Control of Advertisements or it is not. Either there is control or there is not.

Birdham Parish Council therefore OBJECTS to this application as a further attempt to ride roughshod over the principles and spirit of the regulations.

Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor.

BI/13/00827/DOM 1 Bell Lane, Birdham

This is an application for a single storey extension to the rear and side of the existing dwelling house to provide an extension to the kitchen, new downstairs reception area and new bathroom. The site lies within the Birdham SPA and outside the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This application follows a previous PLD application earlier this year which was refused by the LPA on the following grounds:

“The proposed extension does not fall within the permitted development criteria as defined in Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A (h)(iii) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 as amended, as the extension would extend beyond a side wall and would have a width greater than half the width of the original dwelling house. Therefore planning permission will be required for the proposed extension.” (our italics)

We understood that there has been considerable discussion with the Officers about the roof of the extension and the pitched roof which was recommended has been used. The applicant was also advised that, as the size of the extension was less than 50% of the external walls of the existing dwelling, a Certificate of Lawful Development should be applied for. It seems that there has been a change of mind and that is the reason for the new application.

The Council has studied the plans and raises no objection to the extension. The extension makes no greater impact on the site than the extent of building at numbers 3 and 4, as shown on the site location plan. The previous application included alterations to the foul drain in connection with the new bathroom. We were concerned that the plans did not show how the surface water soak away will be positioned or what form it will take, as there has been a history of serious flooding in this area of Birdham. We assume that the Drainage Authorities of the District Council will satisfy themselves that the proposed system will be adequate and will not create problems for neighbours – as happened when the Pipers Mead estate was built at the rear of this site.

On the assumption that this matter will be examined and a suitable system installed, Birdham Parish Council continues to have NO OBJECTION to this application.

Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor

BI/13/00889/FUL Wophams Lane Nursery, Wophams Lane, Birdham

Wophams Lane Nursery lies just outside the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and outside the Birdham SPA.

An application was made in 2010 to build a new large greenhouse on a site on the south west corner of the property, previously used for a pick-your-own soft fruit area. This application was refused by the LPA as it was too close to St Aubin’s, the adjoining property.

This proposal sites the new greenhouse in the centre of the existing greenhouses behind the shop. The impact on St Aubin’s is therefore removed and the impact on the AONB on the other side of the main road will also be much reduced. Our only concern would be about the height of the structure and light pollution. We are told that there will be no lights either internally or externally. The height of the ridge is 4.5 metres which is, as far as we can see, the same as the greenhouses surrounding the site.

Birdham Parish Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

 Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor.

BI/13/00993/FUL Houseboat Water Gypsy, Chichester Marina, Birdham

This is an application to replace an existing houseboat on the Chichester Canal with one of the same dimensions. The site lies within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and outside the Birdham SPA. The applicant is a former Birdham Parish Councillor but here has been no contact between her and any member of the Council in the determination of this application and no member is conflicted.

There has been a tendency recently for boats on the canal to be replaced with a standard model, leading to a certain uniformity. This application is to replace the present houseboat with a 1903 Dutch barge design with superstructure which will add to the visual attractiveness of this part of the Parish.

Birdham Parish Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

 Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

A number of residents took the opportunity to comment.

Many felt that it appeared to be a rather large reduction in growth and would be required at roughly five yearly intervals.

The trees had been reduced in the past.

A resident said that the trees were protected by a TPO and the developers had breached their conditions because no protection had been used to prevent plant and other machinery from damaging the roots, it was therefore unlikely that the trees would survive in any case.

Many felt that the trees had been damaged through a lack of protection and some felt that the developers should be prosecuted.

BI/13/01058/TPA Longmeadow, Main Road, Birdham

This is an application to fell down to a four metre stump four black poplar trees (T1 to T4), an additional black poplar (Group 6), and a white poplar (T7) and to fell to the ground a Monterey cypress (T5) forming a row of trees along the northern boundary of this development and subject to BI/97/00036/TPO

This housing development by Bellway Homes is subject to planning conditions and section 106 agreements, some of which were discharged by the previous owners of the site, Phillips of Bosham.

A number of reports on the trees have been made and it appears that the discharge of the condition on the retention and protection of these trees by fencing and cellweb was based on the report by Lizard Landscapes, which was a thorough report and included the recommendations for an environmental buffer zone: (Landscape General Arrangement Drawing (Ref LLD335/02);Tree Retention and Protection Plan (Ref LLD335/01 Rev 3  dated May 2011); Tree Survey Schedules  for the above plan (Ref : LLD335 Rev 3  dated 22-11-11).

It was agreed in 2009 under conditions 4,6,7,8,16,29,40 and 41 and the section 106 agreement, section 9, that these trees would be protected during construction and the Wildlife Buffer Zone implemented. Amongst other things there would be no drainage trenches dug nearer than 5 metres from the centre of the nearest tree bole. It appears from the current application that trenches have been dug at less than 4 metres from the tree bole, although it is difficult to scale from the drawings provided. It was also agreed that no roots with a diameter greater than 25 mms would be damaged and that the ground near the trees would not be compacted. To achieve this, it was agreed that hand digging only would be permitted in the buffer zone around the trees. Mechanical digging has in fact taken place.

Bats were also found roosting and foraging on the site and these trees provide a flight line, foraging and shelter.

The current application provides insufficient evidence and no detailed investigations appear to have been undertaken. We have to rely on the applicant’s photographic evidence as no access is available to the disturbed ground because offices and welfare facilities were installed on the area under consideration, contrary to the original agreement. It would appear, by the applicant’s own admission, that there is a case for concluding that the regulations governing TPOs have been breached as have the planning conditions and possibly the section 106 agreement.

Although the documentation and evidence on these matters is difficult to obtain and reconcile in some respects, we are seriously concerned that the applicant has simply ignored all the agreements and conditions and admits in the submission of the 28th March 2013 that these trees are now so badly damaged and unstable (when the earlier reports specifically said that they were not) that felling is the only answer.

Under the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) Regulations 2012, part 3, it is clearly stated that no person shall wilfully damage or destroy any tree to which a Tree Preservation Order relates. Anyone who does so is guilty of an offence. We understand that serious penalties can, and have been, incurred for contraventions including fines of up to £2,500 for wilful damage (which can include unauthorised pruning even if it accords with good arboricultural practice).

Birdham Parish Council regards the actions of the applicant which have led to this application so seriously that we have no alternative but to OBJECT to the application and to go further in asking for an independent assessment to be made to inform the Council’s Tree Officer as to whether there are grounds for criminal prosecution.

 Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor.

BI/13/01062/DOM Greenbanks, Crooked Lane, Birdham

This is an application to build a single storey extension to the side and the rear of this traditional-styled cottage within the Birdham SPA and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The issues would appear to be the extension almost to the site boundary to the north and the amount of increase in the footprint overall.

The adjacent dwelling to the north has a carport extension and garage towards Greenbank. They are built of wood with plain clay tiles and abut the boundary of the site. The proposed extension would therefore increase the massing of built structure within the streetscape at this point but, as it is well back from the road, would not result in any loss of amenity to the owners of the adjoining property or the ambience of this part of the village. There is already a small extension to Greenbank on the north side which will be replaced by this proposal. The proposed extension will undermine the architectural integrity of the east elevation onto the road. It will also increase the footprint, but this is a large site. We note that there is no fenestration on the north elevation, towards Swallow Cottage.

We do not believe that the proposed extension amounts to overdevelopment and here is no loss of amenity to the neighbours.

Birdham Parish Council therefore has NO OBJECTION to this application.

 Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor.

BI/13/01117/TPA Willow End, Lock Lane, Birdham

This application is for work to part of an avenue of oak trees forming part of Lock Lane which were given a tree preservation order because of their significance in the landscape as an avenue . The attitude of Birdham Parish Council on matters concerned with trees with preservation orders has been to rely on expert opinion based on the criterion that all work should be for the good management of the trees and not for the convenience of those who live near them. The work proposed for these trees seems to us to be proportionate for these four trees (one of which is bifurcated at the base).

Birdham Parish Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

  

                   Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor.

BI/13/01116/TPA Tradewinds, Lock Lane, Birdham

This is an application for work to part of an avenue of oak trees forming part of Lock Lane  which were given a tree preservation order because of their significance in the landscape as an avenue. The attitude of Birdham Parish Council on matters concerned with trees with preservation orders has been to rely on expert opinion based on the criterion that all work should be for the good management of the trees and not for the convenience of those who live near them. In the case of the eight trees forming this application the work seems to us to be proportionate. Tree T4 is a particularly good specimen. T7 has a heavy branch over the road. We would suggest that the heavy infestations of ivy might be dealt with at the same time. We would make the point that part of the attraction of this avenue is that the trees, when in full leaf, form a tunnel  leading towards the Egremont Bridge on the Chichester Canal and we hope that that can be preserved.

Birdham Parish Council has NO OBJECTION to this application.

 

Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor.

BI/13/01197/DOM & BI/13/01198/LBC Chaffinches Farm, Main Road, Birdham

This site has been the subject of a series of applications in the last two years after the expiry of a permission granted earlier. Birdham Parish Council and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy did not object to the most recent of these plans but an objection was raised by the Historic Buildings Adviser and permission was subsequently refused by the Local Planning Authority.

We understand that discussions have taken place between the project architect and the Historic Buildings Adviser leading to this new application.

The architect is a former Birdham Parish Councillor but here has been no contact between him and any member of the Council in the determination of this application and no member is conflicted.

This proposal is for a single storey rear extension, two conservation roof lights the roof of the north wing, the replacement of the existing flat roof timber porch on the north elevation with a new porch over the existing rear door, and the removal of internal walls from the existing utility room and the creation of a separate cloakroom.

Consistent with its previous responses to these applications, Birdham Parish Council has NO OBJECTION to this application

 

Prior to the Council debating this application the Chairman asked if any members of the public wished to comment.

There were no comments from the floor.

BI/13/00655/DOM I Pipers Mead Birdham

This is an amendment to plans previously submitted. The Parish Council objected to the partial integration of the garage space into the dwelling. The amendment removes this part of the plan. We are therefore content and raise NO OBJECTION to this application.

 

It was resolved to instruct the Clerk to notify the Planning Authority of the decisions reached.

 

3-    Delegate decisions to be noted.

 

BI/13/00317/DOM Mr Colin Sturch The Grange (Formerly St Christophers) Main Road Birdham

To construct a bedroom on the first floor immediately on top of an existing sitting room in place of a balcony terrace area. PERMIT

 

BI/13/00762/TPA Mr Stephen Bacon (Stephen Bacon Tree Services Ltd)18 Longmeadow Gardens

Fell 1 no. Ash tree (T1 on drawing) T3, subject to BI/72/00014/TPO. PERMIT

 

BI/13/00069/DOM Mrs Angela Palmer Palmers  Pescotts Close Birdham

Erect a lateral pitched roof extension (one and a half stories) above the existing flat roofed garage and side extension. Increase the main ridge sufficiently to provide four bedrooms and two bathrooms together with the reconfiguration of the ground floor accommodation. Rear dormer and roof lights to the western and eastern roof planes. PERMIT

 

It was resolved to note the delegated decisions.

 

P21-12  To formulate a response to the Chichester District Councils Draft Local Plan (Preferred Approach).

The Chairman offered the floor for residents to offer any comments they wished to make prior to the Council debate taking place.

Various comments were made and are summarised as under;

The web site was extremely difficult to use and was very cumbersome. It was not made available as a PDF. It was felt that the Peninsula could have been argued especially as Birdham is now classified as a service village. Some felt that the Plan was not specific enough. Is there to be a separate section for the Harbour Conservancy and the AONB?

The Chairman then asked Councillors for their added opinions having heard the comments of residents.

Most agreed with the residents and said that using the website was difficult and that the consultation period was very short.

The Chairman then read out the response which Councillors felt should be the response agreed by Birdham Parish Council which is as follows;

 

Response by Birdham Parish Council to the Local Plan – Preferred Approach

Preliminary Remarks

 

Residents of Birdham are disappointed with the way in which this consultation has been carried out. The documentation is hugely cumbersome on line and we suspect this will be reflected in the paucity of response, especially from individuals. It was exceedingly difficult to make backwards and forwards comparisons. And the cost to any individual, let alone a Parish Council, of printing off hard copy on a home computer printer was prohibitive.

 

The document appears to be an attempt to satisfy everyone and has finished up by being unspecific on many important matters. In this respect it offers less guidance and detail than the saved policies of the previous Plan. The National Planning Policy is now so vague and, we suggest, open to challenge, that the new Plan will be relied upon by applicants determined to run rings round local interests. It must therefore be more detailed, clear and precise.

 

The significance of the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to Birdham is such that we are disappointed that the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is not the subject of a section of its own in the Plan. We rely frequently on the existing saved local Policy RE4 and believe that a more robust version of this policy is needed in the new Plan. Saved policy H12 has also been open to much criticism and this too could be updated.  Much of a specific AONB Policy can follow the rolling Chichester Harbour Management Plan (current version 2009 to 2014), the Landscape Assessment, even though it now needs to be updated, and the Design Guidelines of 2010.

 

We believe that it is not enough for the criteria attached to any Policies to be “considered”; they should be met.

 

In the context of these remarks we respond to the Policies as follows:

 

Policy 1: Sustainable Development

Birdham Parish Council agrees with this approach

 

Policy 2: Settlement Hierarchy

 

Birdham Parish Council agrees with this approach because common sense indicates that the best places for development are those close to facilities and away from areas whose main attraction is their unspoiled nature. We would be concerned, however, if the result of using the A27 spine proves to be ribbon development of the kind which blighted development in the 1930s and coalescence of towns, the City and villages  so that a journey along the A27 becomes even more of a journey through endless housing.

We are unconvinced by the identification of East Wittering/Bracklesham as a settlement hub and pleased to see that, despite this, the target for homes in this area has been reduced to 100. We do not believe that building a large settlement at the end of a cul-de-sac, and where some parts are below the five metre contour, is sustainable.  We would refer you to the excellent ICZM produced by the Manhood Peninsula Partnership and our later remarks on this.

We are pleased to see that the Plan’s “hubs” are specifically “to meet local identified local needs”.

We accept that for Birdham, as a Service Village, provision will have to be made for small scale developments consistent with the indicative 50 set out in Policy 5. We note that Settlement boundaries are no longer defined but will be produced through the Neighbourhood Plan; in the meanwhile the existing Settlement boundaries should be given weight to avoid sprawl promoted by acquisitive developers.

We agree with the criteria for development.

 

Policy 3: Economy and Employment

 

We agree with this Policy although we still have misgivings (as we stated in our response to the earlier draft of the Plan) about the effect of the pressures for economic growth in this area. We note the support for high quality tourism (see also Policy 31) and accommodation of the needs of the horticultural industry(see also Policy 33).

 

Policy 4: Housing Provision

 

We view with some concern the statement at 7.1 that the Local Plan seeks to meet the likely demand for additional homes. There will always be demand for homes in this area; there is a difference between needs and wants which is unaddressed. The Council’s own Report from DTZ on Local Housing Requirements (2011) wisely made the point that demand is not the only factor. The practicability of delivery at this level (bearing in mind past patterns), the constraints of environment and infrastructure and the release of sustainable land are all limiting factors The Report also highlighted the impact of the South Downs National Park and the extensive Environmental Protection Zones (e.g. the AONB) and Flood Risk Zones, as well as the capacity of the Waste Water Treatment Works and the A27 Chichester by-pass. The reduction in the Council’s area by the loss of 64% of the District into the National Park is passed over in a footnote in this Plan.

The Plan has been previously hampered in its assessments by the South East Regional Plan; this was revoked on the 25th March 2013 (three days after the publication of this Draft Local Plan) and that now gives the opportunity for greater freedom to decide sustainable targets locally, with greater emphasis on affordable housing for local people. Otherwise there will be an on-going trend towards exclusion from the existing housing stock by price, leading to the fragmentation and decline of rural villages like Birdham, as local people find themselves priced out of their heritage.

Our comments in Policy 2 above as regards East Wittering/Bracklesham apply here but otherwise we have no comment on the allocation to strategic locations.

 

Policy 5: Parish Housing Sites

 

This Policy shows the development of 150 homes on the west Manhood over the period of the Plan (or 250 if East Wittering/Bracklesham is included), with only affordable housing in Apuldram, Earnley, Sidlesham nd West Itchenor. We believe the allocation of 50 to Birdham, spread between small scale sites and over time, is a realistic balance between necessary growth (especially for local people) and the demands of the environment. We expect the precise location of the developments to await the conclusions of the Birdham Neighbourhood Plan, scheduled for 2014, so that the spirit of localism can be seen to be more than words. The priorities must not be decided by predatory developers.  In this context we view with some concern sections 62A and 62B of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, which gives the Secretary of State power to designate what the Government deems to be poorly performing planning authorities and take over their authority.

 

Birdham Parish Council remains opposed to the concept of excluding sites of fewer than six dwellings in the total for each Parish. The pressure by developers is such that all housing which is approved should be included in the numbers.

 

Policy 6: Neighbourhood Development Plans

 

Birdham Parish Council agrees with this Policy but regrets the absence of reference to landscape, history, heritage and character. We believe that this Policy should mirror more closely Policy 7.

 

Policy 7: Masterplanning Strategic Development

 

Birdham Parish Council agrees with this Policy and is glad to see that this Policy does include, under point 2, reference to the criteria missing in Policy 6.

 

Policy 8: Transport and Accessibility

 

Birdham Parish Council is pleased to see the acknowledgement at 8.3 of the problems of the A27 and the level crossings as a significant barrier causing delays and unreliable journey times as well as being detrimental to air quality. The projected 20% increase in trip rates by 2031 is simply unsustainable with the present infrastructure and yet it is acknowledged that it is not possible to rely on a Government-funded solution to the A27 problem during the Plan period. Paragraph 8.8 invites us to put faith into an as yet unseen and not fully developed WSCC Strategic Infrastructure Package. Yet paragraph 8.10 tells us that the as yet unknown measures of the Package are considered sufficient to accommodate the growth and development of the Local Plan. We cannot have the same faith and suspect that the Planning Inspectorate will not either. Policy 8 as stated is laudable but will not enjoy public confidence.

 

Policy 9: Development and Infrastructure Provision

 

This is another aspirational policy; where is the evidence which shows it to be attainable? If the criteria were met we would emerge into a bright new world but the complications of provision when working with providers with different timescales and regulatory regimes make the public sceptical.

 

Policy 10: Environmental Strategy

 

Birdham Parish Council agrees with this strategy and approves in particular of paragraphs 10.8 and 10.12.

 

Policies 11 to 22

 

Birdham Parish Council does not wish to respond in detail to these Policies except in the context of its response to Policy 2 regarding the dangers of ribbon development and coalescence. Insomuch as the effluent from Apuldram Waste Water Treatment Works into Chichester Harbour affects Birdham, we support Policy 13. We also support Policy 14 where it affects Birdham residents.

 

Policy 23 ICZM

 

Birdham Parish Council is relieved to note the analysis of the problems of the Manhood Peninsula set out in paragraphs 13.1 and the weight to be given to the ICZM plan. This points to working in partnership (e.g. through individual and eventually Peninsula-wide Neighbourhood Plans) to implement and expand the aspirations and objectives of the ICZM. We cannot emphasise enough the need for consultation with local people – a process well developed by the Manhood Peninsula Partnership in drawing up the ICZM.

 

Policy 24 Selsey

 

We have no comment to make. Birdham Parish Council would however resist any plan to divert traffic to and from Selsey via the A286.

 

Policy 25:  East Wittering and Bracklesham

 

We have set out above under Policy 2 our concerns about the development of East Wittering and Bracklesham.

 

Policy 26: Development in Plan Area (North)

 

We have no comment to make

 

Policies 27 and 28: Existing Employment Sites and Chichester Centre Retail Policy

 

We have no comment to make.

 

Policy 29: Edge and Out of Centre Sites

 

We support the criteria to be applied to out of centre sites

 

Policy 30: Settlement Hubs and Village Centres

 

We believe that this Policy will need close consultation with residents in East Wittering and Bracklesham and that any development of retail facilities in Birdham would need to ensure that the economic viability of existing services is not undermined.

 

Policy 31: Built Tourist Accommodation

 

Insofar as this implies the conversion of existing building rather than new-build we would support this Policy. The Policy should not encourage the purchase of property in Birdham or the other villages on the Manhood Peninsula simply for tourist use as this would have social consequences for the integration and vitality of the community.

 

Policy 32: Caravan and Camping Sites

 

Similarly we support this Policy but underline the constraints set out in paragraph 16.28 as far as the AONB is concerned. In general we believe that camping and caravan sites are unsuitable within the AONB itself. Limitations will in any case be made by the conservation policies of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy and we would support those.

 

Policy 33: Horticultural Development

 

We believe that paragraph 16.38 is a realistic approach and would encourage the designation of further sites (as suggested by paragraph 16.40) close to transport facilities for this important local industry. We suggest that it has become apparent that part of the problem has been land-banking by some operators, coupled with insufficient planning control of the Sidlesham and Almodington HDA which has become fragmented. We underline the constraints of paragraph 16.41 and approve in general of this Policy. On the Manhood Peninsula we would like to see saved Policy RE11B reflected in a new Policy to preclude glasshouses from sites where there are not any at present.

 

Policy 34: New Development

 

We approve of this Policy and note the reduction in densities in paragraph 17.9. We believe that there is scope for less of a blanket approach to densities – which should be sensitive to the environment within which the development takes place. We agree with the thinking behind paragraph 17.12 and press the need for local consultation.

 

Policy 35: Affordable Housing

 

This Policy statement seems rather spare in view of the arguments which lead up to it. We agree with paragraph 17.13 on the need for specialist accommodation for older people; the types of provision will vary according to need and some of it must be affordable. We also agree that the growing student population in Chichester has distorted the dynamics of the rented housing market in Chichester, which is where much of the rented property is to be found.

We are concerned, as is the Plan at paragraph 17.19, at the affordability issues associated with low wages and high average property prices.

We agree with paragraph 17.23 that Neighbourhood Plans need to take account of affordable housing. The section on affordable housing mix is rather full of vagueness because future government policies are unknown. The recommendation for the Plan is 70-75% affordable/social rented housing and the remaining 5-30% intermediate housing. We believe that the second figure could be higher as it includes shared equity housing which encourages stable occupation and community involvement. The types of housing (paragraph 17.26) seem right to us, and we support integration and distribution as provided in paragraph 17.29.

We believe the statement of Policy needs amplification in view of the above.

 

Policy 36: Affordable Housing on Exception Sites

 

We believe that all forms of affordable housing should attempt to allocate the housing to local people in perpetuity but agree with Paragraph 17.32 that exception sites must do so. We also oppose exception sites in scattered or isolated locations (paragraph 17.34). All of this should be shaped by the Neighbourhood Plans.

 

Policy 37: Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

 

The key message is in paragraph 17.39 which sets out the requirements to meet the needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities while not conflicting with the rights and needs of the resident community. The actual need is not stated in paragraph 17.42. We understand that there will be legislation on these matters imminently.

 

Policy 38: Housing for Agricultural and Other Rural Workers

 

We agree with this Policy and support this important local industry.

 

Policy 39: Local and Community Facilities

 

We agree with this Policy which gives criteria in the event of the possible loss of community facilities.

 

Policy 40: Transport, Accessibility and Parking

 

We agree with these criteria which would apply to new development. The problem is always in the interpretation of words like “minimise” (criterion 2), “adequate” (criterion 3) and especially “cumulative” and “severe” (criterion 6). We urge the abandonment of desk-top exercises on these problems and recommend on-the-ground consultation, with surveys of traffic carried out at times and at places agreed with the local community.

 

Policy 41: Carbon reduction Policy

 

The section says little about the adaptation needed by the agricultural and horticultural industries and how this is to be supported. Instead it concentrates on housing development and we agree with the 15 criteria. We are concerned about the degree of pressure which may be brought by developers under the paragraph headed ”Flexibility”.

 

Policy 42: Renewable Energy

 

The Council agrees with the criteria set out in this Policy but foresees problems over the interpretation of “significant” and “adverse”.

 

Policy 43: Flood Risk

           

This is of great concern to Birdham residents who have suffered greatly over the past year. W are sure that development needs to be strongly restricted in areas at risk of flooding.  Much of this Policy refers to the Environment Agency; we understand that their responsibility is for tidal and fluvial flooding which is only of concern in Birdham because of back-up from further down our surface water drainage systems. Chichester District Council’s new Flood Risk Assessment in 2015 is crucial to us. We hope that the opportunity will be taken to extend the responsibility of developers so that they must ensure that the surface water drainage from their site is clear to the nearest watercourse for which the Environment Agency is responsible. SUD systems which depend on soakaways are entirely inappropriate because of our geology.

The Policy as stated is suitable but we note in particular the need to demonstrate that the development is safe, not simply to rely on the word of the developer or his/her technical adviser or some formula such as “If this is done properly I am confident that it will work”.

 

Policy 44: Coastal Management

 

We are pleased to see acknowledged the materiality of the Chichester Harbour Management Plan and the significance of the ICZM in development round the coast.

 

Policy 45: Development in the Countryside

 

We agree with this Policy.

 

Policy 46: Alterations, Change of Use and Re-use of Existing Dwellings in the Countryside

 

We agree with this Policy

 

Policy 47: Heritage

 

We are content with this Policy and its stress in 19.40 that any developer should respect the character and scale of the existing settlement and make a positive contribution to the qualities of the built environment. We also support the desire at paragraph 19.43 to give modern communities a sense of history and distinct local identity. We note that the study “The Future Growth of Chichester” of April 2005 is now out-of-date and suggest that, as Neighbourhood Plans begin to evolve, including a section on heritage, there might be the opportunity to put these together in a new study.

 

Policy 48: Natural Environment

 

We support this Policy, especially in its emphasis on maintaining the openness of views around Chichester Harbour, which, in our experience, can easily be written off by incoming developers – and even assessors of environmental value – as having no value.

 

Policy 49: Biodiversity

 

We support this set of criteria, especially numbers 6 and 7 (but see also Policy 50 below).

 

Policy 50: Development and Disturbance of Birds in Chichester and Pagham Harbours Special Protection Area

 

Birdham Parish Council supports this Policy but hope that some lateral thinking can be applied to mitigation measures; little ponds surrounded by suburban paths and grass are not adequate mitigation and are not why people come to this area to visit or to live.

 

Policy 51: Green Infrastructure

 

We are pleased to see at paragraph 19.71 that the need for retention, management and provision of trees on the Manhood Peninsula is highlighted, to compensate for the loss of elm trees in the1970s. We agree with the benefits listed and support this Policy.

 

Policy 52: District Canals

 

The completion of through-navigation on the Chichester Canal must be achieved with the maximum of consultation and discussion. We suggest this is a matter for the Neighbourhood Plan and the residents of the much-prized houseboats on the Birdham section of the Canal. There is however a tendency for new boats to be to a standard pattern and we would hope that some means could be found to restore greater variety by discussion.

 

Policy 53: Open Space, Sport and Recreation

 

We support this Policy

 

Policy 54: Equestrian Development

 

We strongly support the use of the west Manhood for equestrian activity. Our experience in Birdham would lead us to emphasise points 4 and 5.  Where new facilities are to be developed, the needs of existing adjacent dwellings must take primacy as regards loss of amenity through smell, lighting, noise and additional traffic.

 

It was resolved that the response should be adopted by Council and that the Clerk be authorised to submit the response online and in addition ensure that the response was included in the Councils own web site.

 

A resident thanked the Council and specifically Cllr Tilbury for the excellent work that he had carried out for this comprehensive report.

 

P22-12 Date of next meeting.

 

To be advised

 

There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 9.15 pm

 

                       

 

Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________

                                                  Chairman