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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 19th December 2016

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 18th April 2016

Birdham Parish Council

 Minutes of the

Meeting of the Parish Council

 held on Monday 18th April 2016

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall

Present:                       Cllr Pocock (Chairman), Cllr Bird, Cllr Firmston, Cllr Barker, Cllr Campbell, Cllr Wells and Cllr Churchill.

Apologies:                   Cllr Brooks, Cllr Hamilton (Vice Chairman), Cllr Barrett (CDC) and PCSO Bainbridge.

 In attendance:              The Clerk, Cllr Montyn (WSCC) and 41members of the public.

Absent:                        None


127-15 Public Question time in accordance with Standing Orders 1d -1l:

A number of residents attended the meeting because of their concerns over potential development of the playing field and the impact this would have on flooding within the village, loss of security and amenity should the play area be removed to another part of the playing field.

The Chairman responded that he and the Council had heard rumours that there would be anywhere from four to sixty houses build on the playing field. He clearly stated that the Council are not building houses on the playing field at all. He urged all residents to ask either the whole Council or Councillors to confirm or deny the statements being made by the rumour mill rather than accept rumour as fact.

He went on to say that to do what the residents wanted was the wish of the Council but there had to be a realistic vision of what could be achieved without imposing a greater tax burden on the residents of Birdham. The open day had been a method chosen to bring all ideas to the residents to find out what residents wanted to see on the playing field and also how it might be funded. The idea of a small number of buildings for local residents had been put forward as one idea, and he stressed the word idea.

The Chairman said that a number of ideas had come forward from the open day and that the Council were in the process of collating the responses.

A resident asked how residents could comment. The Chairman said either directly to any Councillor or through the Clerk.

A resident suggested that a vote against the Neighbourhood Plan at the forthcoming referendum would prevent the Council from building on the playing field. The Chairman said actually the opposite was true.

A resident said that it was good to hear that nothing was going to be pushed through without consultation.

A resident asked how many had been against the idea of a pond. Cllr Wells said he did not have the exact amount but the majority had been against.

The Chairman said that if residents would let the Council know their views on the playing field it would be very useful. The Council did not want to put in a tremendous amount of work to achieve nothing. The Council wished to work for the benefit of the residents as this is what they had been elected to do. A considerable amount of money may well be needed and the services of a professional engineer to resolve the playing field flooding problem.

A resident said that in the past Farne Lane had been flooded and asked how, would the Council deal with the surface water run-off if building did go ahead.

The Chairman said that water does now flow but work still needs to be carried out throughout the village on ditches and culverts.

A resident suggested that if money was needed why not build on the land that had been bequeathed to the Council.

The Chairman said that the land was subject to covenants that prevented any form of development taking place.


128-15 Declaration of Interests:

Cllr Wells declared a personal and prejudicial interest in planning application BI/16/00933/OUT and would leave the room prior to the start of the debate.       

129-15 Approve and sign the minutes of the 21st March 2016.  

It was resolved to adopt the minutes of the 21st March 2016 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

130-15 Clerks’ Report:

  1. WSCC – There was nothing to report
  2. CDC – Although the Clerk had nothing to report Cllr Campbell asked about the Birdham Pool Causeway. The Clerk said that prior to writing to CDC about the supposed ‘condition’ which had been imposed by CDC he had decided to speak to WSCC Public Rights of Way (PROW) who have the responsibility in these matters. He had been informed by PROW that no condition had been imposed by them, that no planning application had been submitted to them concerning gates across the Causeway. They had gone on to say that the PROW was across the full width of the Causeway not just a path. They did accept that should it become necessary to close any gates preventing access to the PROW permission had to be sought from WSCC PROW unless it was for a short time during a boat lift. However, as the crane was now to be situated at the other end of the Causeway they could see no reason for even this to take place.
  3.  Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – Cllr Montyn (WSCC) said that he very little to say. However, the Council had released £5m over the next two years into repairing footways and pavements throughout West Sussex and a further £500k on road markings.

In addition the Council would be releasing details of Op Watershed 3 which was due to release a further £500k to address flooding issue throughout the County.

4. Other related matters – There were none.

131-15 To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan:-

Cllr Campbell said that the Neighbourhood Plan referendum would take place on the 5th

132-15 Finance and Corporate:

  1. To receive and approve the financial report.

The Clerk presented the financial report up to and including the 18th April 2016 shown at Annex a. The current balances are as follows;


Balances held at Bank £   89122.51
Designated Funds £   21063.13
Ring Fenced Funds £   13297.90
Available Funds £   20758.41
Creditors £     1282.81

The Clerk offered to answer any questions that Councillors may have.

It was resolved to adopt the Financial Report.


  1. To consider signing the Annual Governance Statement of the Annual Return

It was resolved to sign the Annual Governance Statement.


2. To consider signing the Accounting Statements of the Annual Return.

It was resolved to sign the Accounting Statements of the Annual Return.


133-15 Correspondence – Not previously circulated: -

There was none.


134-15 Reports:

  1. Play Area and Playing Field. – The Chairman said he felt that enough debate had gone into this at the start of the meeting and unless there was anything that had not been addressed he felt the meeting should move on.

Cllr Wells said that is it was the wish of residents he would organise costings for a revamp of the current play park.

2.Village Green and Pond. – The Chairman highlighted the work that had recently been done on the Kingfisher Pond or as he preferred to call it Kingfisher Ditch. He said that we a great deal yet to be done including getting out the stumps of the trees that had been cut down. However, he was rather grateful to Mr Monnington for the work that he had carried out both at that pond and also in the Triangle Pond area.

3. Condition of Village Ditch/Drain Network. – Cllr Bird as Chairman of the Flood Prevention Working Group said that he had had long talks with both Mr Barrington and the Chairman of the Earnley Flood Prevention Group. He realised just how much work Mr Barrington had put in to keeping Birdham flood free over the last couple of years and considered that the Village owed a debt of gratitude to Mr Barrington. He went on to say that he was in the process of pushing for outstanding works to be done and would continue to do so.

4.Police and Neighbourhood Watch – PCSO Bainbridge had given her apologies.

5. Communication Working Groups – A newsletter had just been delivered but a further A5 flyer concerning the referendum would be delivered shortly.6.

6. Community Resilience: - Cllr Firmston reported that there was nothing urgent to report.

7. Other – There was nothing to report.


8. Reports of meetings attended by Councillors; - There was nothing to report.


136-15 Planning matters including applications and CDC delegated decisions:


  1. Planning Applications to be decided.

BI/16/00527/FUL - Mr C Sharpe Bell Inn Bell Lane Birdham West Sussex

Renovation and extension of existing public house to improve existing restaurant and bar areas including the provision of tourist accommodation. Construction of 3 no. detached dwellings and associated works within the grounds of the Bell Inn.

After careful consideration the Parish Council Objected to the application as it lies extremely close to the Somerly Conservation area and therefore conflicts with the Neighbourhood Plan. The development lies outside of the current settlement boundary in a rural area.


BI/16/00528/COU - Mr C Sharpe Bell Inn Bell Lane Birdham West Sussex

Change of use of Public House (A4) to 1 no. dwelling (C3).

The Parish Council reviewed the reason behind the COU and the various alterations to be made should the application be granted and find no reason to object.


BI/16/00901/FUL - Mr Michael Marsdin Land Adjacent To Oakdene Sidlesham Lane Birdham West Sussex

Tractor and implement store.

Birdham Parish Council deferred their comments to this application as in their opinion insufficient information was provided.


BI/16/00985/DOM - Mr D Segel Chaffinches Farm Main Road Birdham Chichester

Amendments to BI/13/01197/DOM to include brick patio area to east of extension and patio doors in lieu of 2 no. windows.

Birdham Parish Council raises No Objection to this application.


BI/16/00987/LBC - Mr D Segel Chaffinches Farm Main Road Birdham Chichester

Amendments to BI/13/01198/LBC to include brick patio area to east of extension and patio doors in lieu of 2 no. windows.

Birdham Parish Council raises No Objection to this application.


BI/16/01049/TPA - Mr A Jackson Lock Lane Birdham West Sussex PO20 7BA

Reduce over-extending limb arising at 2m to west, back to 3m on 1 no. Oak tree (T315). Fell 2 no. Oak trees (T328 and T348). Reduce height and extension of crown to east back by 3m on 1 no. Unknown tree (T351). All 4 no. trees are within Group, G1 subject to BI/08/00174/TPO.

Birdham Parish Council are content to leave the decision to the CDC Tree Officer.


BI/16/00931/DOM - Mr And Mrs Kane and Iwa Pirie Navarre Lodge Westlands Lane Birdham West Sussex

Proposed new garage courtyard area including erection of outbuilding, new garden walls north and south and changes to access.

Birdham Parish Council raises No Objection to this application.

 BI/16/00933/OUT - Koolbergen, Kelly's Nurseries And Bellfield Nurseries, Bell Lane, Birdham, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 7HY

Erection of 77 houses B1 floorspace, retail and open space with retention of 1 dwelling.

Birdham Parish Council raised Objections to this application.

In its considered opinion the proposed development imposed a scale of urbanization that would destroy the character of the village. In addition the proposed development is outside the current SPA, conflicts with the pre-referendum Neighbourhood Plan, the existing Local Plan and the NPPF.


 It was resolved to authorise the Clerk to notify the Councils decision to CDC Planning.


2. Delegated Decisions to be noted.

BI/16/00267/PLD Mr Hemal Patel Redmoor Estate Main Road Birdham   Proposed roof extension. REFUSE


BI/15/03954/ELD Mr Malcolm Rodgers Birdham Farm Birdham Road Birdham Storage of materials and parking of vehicles on land adjacent to the NE boundary of existing property. REFUSE


BI/16/00238/FUL Mr Malcolm Oliver Moorings Westlands Estate Birdham

Replacement of existing timber sea defence. PERMIT


BI/16/00425/DOM Mr Mike Fairall Police House Crooked Lane Birdham

Proposed side single/double storey extension and new pitched roof to garage. WITHDRAWN


BI/16/00495/DOM Mr & Mrs J Slatter Brightwater 14 Greenacres Birdham

Proposed detached garage building. PERMIT


BI/15/04175/DOM Mr & Mrs D Smith Cowdry Barn Birdham Road Birdham 7BX

Alterations to existing conservatory to provide replacement walls and roof and rear extension to existing car port. PERMIT


The delegated decisions were noted.


137-15 Items for inclusion on the next agenda:

There were none             

138-15 Date of Next Meeting:    

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council will be held on the

16th May 2016 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


There being no further business to discuss the meeting was declared closed at 8.34pm




Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________


Annex a.

Birdham Parish Council
Financial Statement as at 18th April 2016
Bank Accounts as at 31st March 2016 89612.51
Receipts to date 22793.20
Expenditure to date 48695.23
Balance 63710.48
Represented by;
Current Account (Barclays Community A/c) 50585.12
Deposit Account (Barclays Premium Business A/c) 6263.47
National Savings 6861.89
Total 63710.48
Reserve @ 50% of Precept 21063.13
Loan Reserve for half year 8591.04
Outstanding Cheque/s -
Total 29654.17
Ringfenced Funds
Op Watershed 11255.85
NHB 2042.05
Total 13297.90
Available Funds Total 20758.41
Clerk to the Council
18th April 2016
Payments to be considered
B Geary (Litter Picking) 70.00
Clerks Expenses (Telephone etc.) 298.90
A Dover 90.00
CDC (Peninsula Partnership) 438.00
MH Kennedy 166.20
Southern Electric 219.71
Total 1282.81


Power point presentation of the APM 2016


Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 16th January 2015

Birdham Parish Council


Minutes of the

Meeting of the Parish Council

 held on Monday 19th January 2015

at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


Present:                     Cllr Barker, Cllr Hamilton (Vice Chairman), Cllr Pocock (Chairman), Cllr Churchill, Cllr Ayton and Cllr Brooks.

Apologies:                   Cllr Cobbold, Cllr Montyn (WSCC & CDC).

 In attendance:             The Clerk and 21 members of the public.

Absent:                        Nil

99-14 Public Question time in accordance with Standing Orders 1d -1l:

          A resident thanked the Clerk for his speedy response to a matter that she had spoken to him about concerning the WI Memorial Bench on the Village Green.

A resident asked if it was possible to arrange that the bus stop by the village stores on the north bound side be cleared of ivy and the waste bin emptied.              

100-14 Declaration of Interests:

There were no declarations of interest given.

101-14 Approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on the 15th December 2014.

It was resolved to adopt the minutes of the 15th December 2014 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

102-14 Matters arising from the minutes of the 19th November 2012:

Minute 89-12 - Land Bequest. The Clerk said that the assent documents had all now been signed and the registration of the land was now in hand. He went on to say that he anticipated that at the February meeting he would be able to remove this item from following agendas.

103-14 Co-Option of Council Member:

            It was resolved that Mr T Firmston be co-opted onto the Council and after signing the required paperwork and being welcomed by the Chairman Cllr Firmston took his place at the Council Table.

104-14 Clerks’ Report:

i)       WSCC – The Clerk reported that he had received notification of a consultation to take place from the 17th December 2014 until the 11th February 2015 on the subject of Care and Support and the implantation of the Care Act. If members of Council or the residents wished to get involved they could do so via www.westsussex.gov.uk/careact.

ii)      CDC – Nothing had been received from CDC.

iii)     Reports from Members of WSCC/CDC – There was nothing to report.

iv)     Other related matters – There was nothing to report.

105-14 Finance and Corporate:

i)    To receive and approve the financial report.

The Clerk presented the financial reports for the month of January (shown at annex a). The current balances are as follows;

Balances held at Bank £50763.39
Designated Funds £29844.17
Ring Fenced Funds £10465.00
Available Funds £10454.22
Creditors £  8918.09

The Clerk offered to answer any questions that Councillors may have.

It was resolved to adopt the Financial Report.

106-14 Planning matters including applications and CDC delegated decisions:

                i) Approve and sign the minutes of the Planning Committee held on the 22nd December 2014.

It was resolved to adopt the Planning Committee minutes of the 22nd December 2014 as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

a)     To finalise the Councils decision and comments on planning application BI/14/02662/OUT.

A paper submitted by the Chairman of Council and the Chairman of the Planning Committee having been circulated previously was agreed as the Parish Councils wording in their strong objection response to this application. (The full document may be found attached to these minutes at annex b)

ii)          To determine a response, if required, to the CDC Chichester Local Plan Key Policies Pre-submission   2014-2029 Proposed Modifications (The full document may be found attached to these minutes at annex c). It was resolved that the suggested response shown at annex c should be the Councils formal response to the Proposed Modifications.

iii) Planning Applications to be decided.

BI/14/03697/DOM Mr & Mrs Chamberlain Skylarks Pescotts Close

New Porch, raising existing roof & insertion of small dormer windows and rooflights plus rear extension. (Revised drawings). The Council raises No Objection to this application.

BI/14/04272/FUL - High Seat Ltd Premier Business Park Birdham Road

Conversion and change of use of existing retail/storage/light industrial unit to new designation retail unit incorporation new shopfront and entrance. The Council raises No Objection to this application.

BI/15/00005/TPA - Mr Michael Lansley 7 the Saltings Birdham Chichester West Sussex

Reduce back to old cut on side limbs and remove deadwood on 1 no. Walnut tree (marked on plan as A), subject to BI/81/00022/TPO.  Reduce by 30% on 2 no. Field Maple trees (marked on plan as B1 and B2), subject to BI/97/00033/TPO. As the Council has no expertise in this area it is content to accept the decision of the CDC Tree Officer.

BI/15/00003/DOM - Mr David Thompson Copper Beech, Church Lane, Birdham

Rebuild first floor of side extension with new design and two rear ground floor extension. The Council raises No Objection to this application.

It was resolved to authorise the Clerk to notify Councils decision to DC Planning.

i)       Delegated Decisions to be noted.

BI/14/03574/DOM C/O Agent Manhood Cottage Birdham Road

Single storey rear extension and two storey side extension. PERMIT

BI/14/03703/DOM Mr & Mrs Morelli 11 Greenacres Birdham

Ground floor extension and internal alterations. First floor extension to west facing elevation and internal alterations. Roof converted to provide master bedroom and en-suite. WITHDRAWN

BI/14/03832/PLD Manhood Cottage  Birdham Road

New detached double garage and permeable driveway/turning area. REFUSE

The delegated decisions were noted.

107-14 Correspondence – Not previously circulated:

i)       The Clerk reported that he had received a letter from the Samaritans requesting a grant. However as there are no remaining funds in the S137 budget and none allocated for the 2015/16 budget it would not be possible to grant any form of funding.

ii)      In the light of the above comments and request, the Council had been informed by SSALC that the 2015/16 level of S137 had been raised to a maximum of £7.36 per elector.

108-14 Reports:

i)      Play Area and Playing Field. – Nothing to report at this time.

ii)     Village Green and Pond.

a)     To determine the level of grass cutting to take place on the Village Green.

It had been suggested that rather than cut the grass as one might a garden lawn, that the grass be left longer in order to facilitate the growth of wild flowers and to encourage insects and bees to the area.

After some debate it was resolved that the grass should be kept longer with a boundary cut of approximately 1 mtr. from the kerb with grass walkways from tree to tree.

It was felt that the pond was in need of some remedial work and the Clerk was authorised to get the basic work done.

iii)    Condition of Village Ditch/Drain Network. – Mr Barrington reported that the network had, so far, stood up well over the last few days of bad weather. However, at least one resident in Somerley had been flooded. He was aware that the Chairman had been invited to look at the problem.

He went on to say that a further meeting with Mr Langmead had taken place to try and obtain a strip of land to provide a ditch for the residents of Walwyn Close rather than digging up their back gardens. A number of costs and quotes are still awaited to progress this further.

A meeting had taken place with WSCC and the owners of Birdham Pool to resolve the problem with the causeway. The net result is that WSCC have written to the Birdham Pool owners informing them that they are responsible for having the work done and that it should be carried out forthwith.

The ditches from the shop to Farne Lane and from north of Birdham Straight House are to be cleared by Summit whilst the ditches from Crooked Lane along Farne Lane and from Farne Lane to Birdham Straight House are to be cleared by the Councils contractor.

Progress has been made along Westlands Lane but identifying ownership of the ponds was creating a delay. The Parish Council via the Clerk undertook to contact the Land Registry to identify the owners.

Whilst the owner of the land leading to the Premier site was praised for digging his ditches he was to be asked via the BEFPG if he would tidy spoil from the ditch work as it was quite hazardous at the moment.

iv)    Police and Neighbourhood Watch – In giving her apologies PCSO Bainbridge asked the Clerk if he would read out her report which is as follows;

Could you mention within the Police item that we would like to remind residents not to take valuables with them when attending beauty spot car parks, especially in Chichester and north of the city.  Hiding valuables is not a deterrent and best practice is not to have them at all in your vehicle.

We have had an increase in reports of a scam whereby a person will call and state a credit card security has been breached.  The caller will request card details and PIN number and will arrange collection of the card.  A bank or the Police will never ask for bank card details.  Never give personal information to anyone who approaches you and who you do not know.  Report any such calls immediately to the Police and pass this message on to anyone who you feel should be reminded of this.

Meet Me In Person sessions are on the 1st Thursday of the month at the Wittering Medical Centre 11:00 and Wittering Library 11:30 - noon.

The next Neighbourhood Management Panel Meeting is Monday 9th February at 7pm at East Wittering Fire Station.  Our local priorities are set at this meeting.  If you wish to attend, you are most welcome.  Please let me know if there are any issues you wish may to raise.

v)     Communication Working Groups – Nothing to report.

vi)    Other -

a)     To determine if the Parish Council should purchase and lay a wreath on Remembrance Day.

It was resolved that a wreath should be purchased.

109-14 Reports of meetings attended by Councillors;

          Cllr Churchill said that he had attended various meetings to determine the outcome of the MSK discussion which were taking place with a decision that was due in March. If it went ahead it is likely that the Health Trust budget could be considerably reduced.

110-14 Items for inclusion on the next agenda:

111-14 Date of Next Meeting:


16th March 2015 at 7pm in Birdham Village Hall


There being no further business to discuss the meeting was declared closed at 8.30pm


Signed ___________________________   Dated ____________________




Annex A

Birdham Parish Council
Financial Statement as at 18th January 2015


Bank Accounts as at 31st March 2014


Receipts to date


Expenditure to date




Represented by;
Current Account (Barclays Community A/c)


Deposit Account (Barclays Premium Business A/c)


National Savings




Reserve @ 50% of Precept


Loan Reserve for half year


Outstanding Cheque/s -





Ringfenced Funds
Op Watershed funding (Ditch Clearance)


New Homes Bonus


Available Funds Total



Signed              Clerk to the Council     18th January 2015           Payments to be considered           B Geary (Litter Picking)


Clerks Expenses (Postage/Telephone etc.)


Southern Electric (Power charges)


Rather Good Productions Ltd (Access by Design)








Annex b.

Birdham Parish Council Objection to

Koolbergen And Ramsay Bell Lane Birdham

Ref. No: 14/02662/OUT



Birdham Parish Council strongly object to this application on the grounds that it breaks

  • National Planning Policy Guidelines.
  • Policies within Local Plan currently before the Inspector?
  • Birdham Neighbourhood Plan.


This site comprises three separate nurseries along Bell Lane, outside the settlement of Birdham, away from the village facilities and close to the conservation area of Somerley.

We believe the proposed site is currently undeliverable as the owner of the northernmost nursery, Bellfield Nursery, Trevor Buttress, informed the public and parish council at a Planning Meeting on December 22, 2014 that he has no intention of closing his successful and popular second-generation nursery business or selling his land. As Bellfield Nursery is the closest area of land to Birdham village itself, the development of the southernmost nurseries will create a stand-alone residential area, closer to the hamlet of Somerley than the settlement and facilities of Birdham.

The middle nursery, Kelly’s Nursery, is owned by the applicant and has been a popular nursery in the parish for many years. The owner Mr Paul Knappet applied for planning permission for a farm shop on the site two years ago, which was granted. The shop has not yet been built but a café was opened in the glasshouse earlier this year. Mr Knappet suddenly and unexpectedly closed both the café and garden centre during the summer of 2014. We have no evidence or reason to believe that the business, and proposed farm shop, could not be viable in the future. There has, as we understand it, been no attempt to sell the existing businesses on the site.

The third – and southernmost – site, Koolbergen and Ramsey, was a wholesale nursery and closed several years ago. The site has several redundant glass greenhouses to the back (west) of the site but most of the site is undeveloped. Indeed, until this summer much of the site was heavily wooded, largely self-seeded from tress grown by the nursery. (See photographic evidence attached and from google earth).The trees were cleared and burnt by the applicant, Mr Paul Knappet, this summer. Neither Mr Knappet nor the site’s owner had sought permission for the clearance from either the Parish Council or CDC and, after the site had been cleared, Mr Knappet informed a representative of the Parish Council that he had destroyed the trees in order to expand his business from Kelly’s onto the Koolbergen site, which he proposed to rent. We understand that there were no TPOs on the trees but there were known to be tawny and little owls, other birds, an active population of bats and mammals including deer on and in the vicinity of the site. The Parish Council and members of the public are greatly concerned about the loss of these trees as they provided valuable wildlife habitat, important surface water absorption and contributed to the rural ambiance of the village. We would ask that extensive tree planting in this area is made conditional; particularly on the southern and eastern peripheries of the site should any redevelopment of the land be granted.


The site is in an area of the parish that is visually and functionally distinct from the residential part of the village. It forms part of the horticultural, agricultural and rural camping holiday area that separates Birdham village from the conservation hamlet of Somerley. (See Birdham Neighbourhood Plan pages 18, 22 & 45). Dense residential development in this part of the parish would radically change the settlement pattern of the parish and alter the streetscape of Bell Lane. It would also create coalescence or perceived coalescence between settlements and result in a suburban and ribbon-like streetscape on the main rural road leading to the Medmerry Nature Reserve, impacting on the landscape and tourist economy and contrary to the ICZM and Destination Management strategies for the peninsula.

Conflict with Birdham Neighbourhood Plan

Policy 1 of the Birdham Neighbourhood Plan states that ‘any development must conserve and enhance the heritage assets of the parish and their setting, including maintaining settlement separation.’ The Somerley Conservation Area is the only conservation area in the Birdham Parish and one of the most historic settlements on the Manhood Peninsula.

Policy 4 of the Neighbourhood Plan states that ‘any development must maintain the local character of the landscape’.  Among the particular landscapes identified in the plan is the streetscape of Bell Lane, a rural road where housing within the Settlement Boundary area is all set well back from the road. The site has a very extensive frontage along Bell Lane and development of the site would completely change the visual character of the road, Birdham and the setting of Somerley and the currently rural approach to the important environmental and coastal tourist attractions of Medmerry and Bracklesham.

Policy 5 of the Birdham Neighbourhood Plan states that ‘any proposals to install lighting in areas of the parish that are currently dark at night will be resisted.’ The dark night sky of the Manhood Peninsula is identified by CPRE and the Manhood Destination Management Plan as an important environmental feature. This part of Bell Lane is currently dark at night and indeed the applicant’s own traffic assessment states that there is no system of street lighting in this part of the parish and that there would be a need for additional street lighting for road safety issues if the development were approved.

Policy 7 of the Neighbourhood Plan covering Integration and Sense of Community states that ‘new residential development must integrate well into the existing community.’ This development is separated from the core centre of Birdham village and all its facilities, which lie to the north of the A286. In order to reach all the village facilities, residents from the proposed site would have to walk a considerable distance along the B2198 and cross the A286, both roads of which have a 40 mph speed limit and no formal crossings. If the Bellfield Nursery remains a working nursery, which its owner intends and the Parish Council strongly supports, any residual development on the remaining part of the site will be entirely separated, visually and physically, from Birdham village. Indeed, this part of the site almost borders Somerley, which has no facilities and is the only historical conservation area in the parish. A study prepared by the CDC planning policy team and published on 4 May 2012 concluded that the three nursery sites included in this application all related poorly to the village and its facilities.

Policy 13 of the Neighbourhood Plan defines a Settlement Boundary Area within which residential development is allowed. According to the Neighbourhood Plan, Birdham’s SBA will be extended for 2014-2029 to allow for further development as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process. However, this application lies outside the revised SBA and, as such, any development is deemed to be in a rural area and must comply with the Neighbourhood Plan, CDC Local Plan and NPPF policies for rural areas which this application does not. The application fails to comply with Policy 15, Rural Area Policy, of the Neighbourhood Plan, and national and district-wide rural area policies.

Sustainability / Infrastructure

This application does not conform to the local plan which states that Birdham is sustainable for 50 homes. Sites for 79 homes, 58% more than the Local Plan allocation, have already been designated in Birdham’s submitted Neighbourhood Plan and applications for windfall sites within the settlement area are allowed for in the Plan, and, indeed, are already being made and will increase Birdham’s housing total further. This application for an additional 81 homes will, therefore, result in at least 160 new homes in the Local Plan period, more than three times that considered sustainable for Birdham.

Primary Schooling

Birdham has the privilege of having one of the best primary schools in West Sussex. The down side of this is that it is extremely over-subscribed; to the extent that eligible children currently resident within the village are unable to attend it, and may stay on the waiting list for some time until a place becomes available. West Sussex LEA’s attitude is that there are other schools in the locality that are currently undersubscribed, and therefore have places available. Their policy is to encourage places at these schools to be utilised before any extra facilities would be considered at Birdham. This in turn, creates yet more traffic congestion, as parents have to drive their children out of the village to other rural schools.

Birdham School is currently categorised as a ‘medium’ school by the LEA, and this comfortably fits with the village as it is. It means that all the children on roll can go together to St James Church, for example. This happens on a regular basis, in line with the school’s C of E ethos, and may be lost if the school were to expand. Birdham School is justly proud of its pastoral ethos - it is a caring school, where everyone knows and respects one another - and that would be harder to achieve if the school were to grow.

Secondary Schooling

After Year 6, all children have to be transported out of the village to attend secondary education. There is a secondary school on the Manhood Peninsula, but it is in Selsey, and most parents choose to send their children off the peninsula to the schools in Chichester and further afield. Many children travel on a school bus, but many are also driven to school, creating enormous congestion issues at certain points of the A286: turning on to the A286, out of Church Lane and Crooked Lane, for example, through Donnington, Apuldram and onto/across the A27. Regularly, the bus that picks children up at 8am from the Birdham pick-up points takes as much as 50 minutes to reach the secondary schools - a distance of approximately 5 miles. The buses themselves work to capacity, with a waiting list, and children not on them have to be transported by car, adding greatly to the congestion and pollution on the Peninsula’s access roads.


Retail nurseries are an important part of Birdham’s economy and are also considered to be among the facilities most highly valued by local residents (see Neighbourhood Plan page 25 and 37). Research for a Business Survey conducted as part of the evidence gathering for the Neighbourhood Plan indicates that the presence of several nurseries in the parish is considered to be important for the local horticultural and visitor and tourism economy, with which it has a symbiotic relationship. Nursery owners claim that visitors come to Birdham because of the choice of nurseries available in the parish and that Birdham enjoys a widespread and high-quality reputation as a centre of independent retail nurseries.


There is evidence from a recent comprehensive employment survey of the Manhood, which states the western Manhood provides very few job opportunities for residents, and a declining number of jobs outside of the tourism and horticultural industries. Poor transport connections and traffic congestion between Birdham and the A27 make it difficult to encourage employment and new businesses outside of the tourism, horticultural and marine sectors. Therefore, the loss of any facilities or sites which support local jobs directly, or indirectly, will be resisted by the Parish Council. Birdham’s submitted neighbourhood plan, Chichester’s submitted Local Plan and Towards ICZM, the integrated coastal zone management policy for the Manhood, all support the retention of businesses on the Manhood, particularly retail horticulture and nurseries.

Policy 23 of the Neighbourhood Plan, states that ‘support will be given to the retention of all businesses related to tourism, marine, horticulture’ against any proposals for ‘redevelopment or change of use’. It also adds that ‘proposals for development must not have a significantly adverse impact’ on horticultural business. It also needs to be recognised that any new residents in the parish likely will have to commute to Chichester and beyond for work and most facilities, including secondary and higher education, shopping and leisure/sport.

Drainage and Sewage

The drainage and sewage information provided by the application is inadequate and inaccurate.

Foul Water

Information obtained by local residents from local residents, and later confirmed by letter from Southern Water to Andrew Tyrie MP indicate  as far back as 2013 the Sidlesham Waste Water Treatment Plant was operating at 93% of its overall capacity. Development planned within Policy 5 of the Local Plan will increase this to 97%

Southern Water has acknowledged the regular backing-up of toilets from existing properties in the Bell Lane area and the repeated hydraulic failure across the Manhood including the Pinks Pumping Station at the northern end of Bell Lane.

Surface Water Run off

This area of Bell Lane has also been identified in several surveys as being a wet spot and having inadequate drainage and large parts of the site have flooded in recent years. (see photos). Surface water run off from the site travels south through Somerley where homes have been seriously flooded in recent years. Although the Earnley relief scheme has improved the flood situation in Earnley, there are still serious issues in the Somerley area that have yet to be resolved. Local residents are concerned that developing what is essentially a green field site will add to the considerable flooding problems in the area, compounded by the recent felling of large numbers of trees on the site, which soaked up surface water. Moreover, some sixty new homes are due to be constructed within the next few years on sites north and upstream of the proposed site. Birdham Parish Council believes development of this size and bulk should not be considered in this location until the proposed development identified in the Neighbourhood Plan has been built and the drainage in the catchment is demonstrated to be adequate. Residents in Bell Lane and in Somerley, downstream of the sites, have experienced extensive and worsening flooding in recent years, with several families having been unable to live in their properties for six months to a year.


Bell Lane and the Birdham Straight both have above-average traffic accident rates already and children/residents from this site will have to walk along and cross two 40 mph roads to access all the village facilities.

A recent traffic survey commissioned by the six parishes on the Western Manhood states that the A286 and junctions onto the A27 from the Western Manhood are above capacity and any housing development in excess of the local plan numbers will cause considerable tail-backs.

The proposed development is unsustainable as most residents will have to travel to Chichester and beyond for work, due to the lack of regular employment in the Manhood. Traffic congestion is already severe, with the A286 often grinding to a halt with holiday traffic. Meanwhile, there are no secondary or other higher education facilities nearby and residents will have to travel to Chichester for shopping and other facilities.


Birdham Parish Council STRONGLY OBJECTS to the development of this site as it is contravenes NPPF, the CDC submitted Local Plan and Birdham’s submitted Neighbourhood Plan.

If this site is to be considered for planning at any time in the future, it is important that:

  • The density of housing on the site should be below that of an urban or central village density to reflect the fact that the site is in the rural area and removed from the main settlement area. It also must be recognised that the nurseries on the site provide outdoor recreational and leisure space that is used by villagers and visitors and that the landscaping of any replacement residential/business development reflect and replace that amenity within the site itself. Any development should be appropriately landscaped so as enhance the rural ambiance of the village and maintain its rural holiday character which is vital for the local and wider economy. It should be recognised that there are several rural-based tourism businesses in the vicinity that will be adversely impacted if the area becomes suburbanised.
  • The rural streetscape of Bell Lane is maintained with houses set well back from the road. Substantial new hedgerow and planting should be enforced to the east and south of the site to maintain a gentle transition from built environment to the countryside and to prevent visual and perceived coalescence with Somerley.
  • Due to the severe flooding issues on, adjacent and downstream of the site, extensive, above ground, water retention ponds and swales should be incorporated within the development to ensure that run off from the site is reduced from the current situation, to improve the flood risk further downstream. Drainage problems throughout Somerley must be resolved and the three separate crossings/culverts under Bell Lane between the site and Bookers Lane enlarged before any development begins.
  • The speed limit of Bell Lane (B2198) should be reduced to 30mph for the safety of existing and new residents.


Bellfield Nursery 2012

https://goo.gl/maps/hh4Se shows the frontage of the application site prior to the removal of the trees.

https://goo.gl/maps/MPyu6 Bell Lane adjacent to nursery sites illustrating the rural nature and the rural gap.

https://goo.gl/maps/dHjIQ overhead satellite view of Koolbergen nursery, showing lack of hard surface covering and the extent of the felled trees.



Annex c

Birdham Parish Council was broadly in agreement with the policies originally laid before the inspector.


We must now express our concern increasing housing numbers on the Manhood Peninsula.


Much has already been said concerning transport, employment opportunities and sewage disposal, all of which we fully concur, so we do not propose to dwell on these topics


We recognise the need for new houses across the country, but it must be recognised that the major industry of this area is tourism. It’s the open skies, and rural environment that attracts thousands of visitors every year to our beaches, lanes, and footpaths and they make a significant contribution to local finances. We believe that the benefit from increased housing will not offset the economic damage it will do.


Recently the Medmerry Coastal Realignment Scheme has opened up new opportunities, offering extended footpaths and cycle ways which will attract yet more visitors increasing the burden on transport and sewage disposal, and it is rapidly becoming a very important wild life haven.


Developers have claimed that the WSCC transport plan is out of date. We would claim that Chichester District Landscape Capacity Study Extension, enthusiastically quoted by developers is also out of date as it does not reflect this new coastal development. From the data reproduced from Chichester District Landscape Capacity Study Extension

An addendum to Chichester District AONB Landscape Capacity Study October 2009 published in 2011 it would appear that the assessment for the Bracklesham Coastal Plain is out of step with the assessment for the other areas around the Medmerry Scheme.


No Landscape Character Areas(2011 Study) LandscapeSensitivity LandscapeValue LandscapeCapacity
144 Bracklesham Coastal Plain Slight Slight High
145 Earnley Western Matrix Substantial Slight Low / Medium
146 East Wittering Northern Coastal Plain Moderate Slight Medium / High
147 Broad Rife Substantial Substantial Negligible / Low
148 Selsey Western Mosaic Moderate Moderate Medium
149 Selsey Western Leisure and Recreation Moderate Moderate Medium
150 Selsey Western Coastal Plain Substantial Moderate Low


Should the Inspector be minded to allow the increase in housing we would request that the plan be broached in such a way that it prevents high density urban development, and reflects the views of the inspector in Appeal Ref: APP/L3815/A/14/2219554

Land to the south of Clappers Lane, Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex, PO20

8JB where he rejected the application on the grounds that the


Nevertheless, I find the submitted plans to be illustrative of a layout that is mediocre and unimaginative, contrary to the guidance of the Framework and the requirements of requirements of ‘saved’ and emerging planning policies. Although the scheme is submitted in outline, I consider the defects illustrated to be fundamental and their rectification to require careful and thorough reconsideration. The Framework is very clear. Great importance is attached to the design of the built environment and good design           ….


We would also like to point out that another development, of far superior design, has come forward on west of the B2179 Land West Clappers Lane Bracklesham Lane Bracklesham West Sussex Ref. No: 14/03543/OUT which is where we believe future development should be placed. It is our belief that development should be restricted to the SHLAA areas between the B2179 and Piggery Hall Lane.

Terms & Conditions

Terms, Conditions and Privacy for the Birdham Parish Council website
Last Updated: April 2012


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  • This website does not use ASCII ART
  • This website supplements text with graphic or auditory presentations where they will facilitate comprehension of the page. (1.0)
  • This website uses a style of presentation that is consistent across pages. (1.0)
  • This website now refers to the new WC WCAG 2.0 guidelines and does NOT include default, place-holding characters in edit boxes and text areas in forms as user agents ARE now able to handle empty controls correctly. (1.0)

This website passes Priority 3 (AAA) Accessibility.

This website complies with WC3 WAI Triple A Accessibility Checklist

Accessibility Problems?

This website may have the following minor access problems/issues. These are explained here and alternatives given.