Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting of 11th July 2017 held at 7.00pm. in the Reading Room, Buxted.
Present: Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman) Rose and McQuarrie. Also in attendance Cllr Hall, Miss B Macklen, Clerks to Buxted Parish Council
Public: approximately 40 members of public were present at this meeting.
The Chairman invited members of the public to speak in connection with the following items of the agenda.
Mr Phil Gilbert-Smith spoke in connection with item 4.2 on this agenda, and represented the views of the other members of public in attendance at this meeting:
1. I am a resident of Royal Oak Lane High Hurstwood. My home is directly opposite and within 100m of the proposed Mast Site at Nordens Green Farm. I am an active member of the newly formed HARMM (High Hurstwood Against Radio and Mobile Masts) a group of villagers opposing this proposal. So far, we have over 70 objection emails and letters and over 100 individuals have signed the HARMM petition.
2. The nearest neighbours to the proposed site are less than 10m away from the mast. The mast would be sited very close to the most densely populated area of High Hurstwood, where there are in excess of 50 residences and not “a row of properties” or “away from the mainstay of the village” or in “an isolated area of the village” as described by the Applicant.
3. May I point out that High Hurstwood is in an AONB, the highest form of planning protection afforded to an area.
4. We received the WDC letter of notification for the proposal on Saturday 1st July allowing only 19 days for a response to WDC. There seems to have been no statutory notice placed anywhere on the entrance to the proposed site. There has been insufficient consultation and the applicant has not demonstrated thorough community and neighbour engagement as indicated on the application form. Only Cllrs from Buxted and Maresfield, Clerks from Buxted Parish Council and MP Nusrat Ghani were consulted. WHEN? So WHY weren’t the residents informed if you were???? No neighbours have been consulted and there was no knowledge by any resident in High Hurstwood of the proposal including a Cllr, who also lives opposite the Mast Site in Royal Oak Lane!
5. High Hurstwood is situated within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a designated landscape where saved Policy EN6 of the Wealden Local Plan is applicable. This requires all new development to conserve and enhance the AONB landscape. The proposed Mobile Mast would have a detrimental visual and audible impact and spoil the character of this remarkable landscape and therefore will not comply with Wealden District Council’s own Policy.
6. Recent Academic studies show that the health and well-being of residents living close to a Mobile Mast is negatively impacted in a variety of well documented ways. In addition, residents will suffer from an increase in noise and disturbance from the traffic that will result from the construction and maintenance requirements of the Mobile Mast. The Mobile Mast will overlook and impinge on the residents resulting in loss of privacy, especially during the winter months, when there will be very limited screening from deciduous trees and would be seen as far away as Buxted itself. The Applicant justifies the site by stating that it is screened by trees, on 2 sides, so, on the basis that trees may not be permanent, how can this be used as a valid reason? WDC Local Plan Core Strategy policy SPO13 states that “We will encourage the development of high quality, safe and attractive living environments for communities in both towns and villages”. The proposed Mobile Mast therefore contravenes WDCs own policy.
7. High Hurstwood has a rich population of endangered species including Great Crested Newts, Cuckoos, Bees, Bats and Dormice. These creatures are highly sensitive to changes in the Electro Magnetic Spectrum that these Masts bring about. WDC Local Plan Core Strategy policy SPO1 states that “We will help manage countryside resources and assist in the development of the rural economy whilst protecting and enhancing recognised biodiversity and geodiversity attributes, in particular we will protect the internationally important sites of the Pevensey Levels and Ashdown Forest and other designated areas of bio and geodiversity. We will also protect, and will work with others to enhance and manage, the distinct landscapes of the District, particularly, but not exclusively, those nationally designated”. Again, the proposed Mobile Mast is in direct conflict with WDC’s own policy. No Habitat survey has even been mentioned, let alone commissioned.
8. The applicant has failed to demonstrate thorough work and justification in discounting alternative sites or mast-sharing. Their Site Selection Process includes sites that were already too low to have even been considered, let alone included in this process, indicating that they were simply ‘padding out’ the number of alternative sites.
9. There appear to be a number of significant errors and discrepancies on the Application Form that I will not go through now, but I’m happy to share with you separately.
In summary, the proposed installation of a mobile mast at Nordens Green Farm, would have significant impact on the safety, well-being and attractive living environment. And, by reason of its height, location and appearance, would be detrimental to and have adverse impact on the visual and residential amenities of the surrounding locality which lies in an AONB.
Mr Gilbert-Smith handed to the Clerk a 5 page document with discrepancies/missing information from planning application WD/2017/7507/T.
Apologies: Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Cox.
Minutes: The minutes of the meeting of 9th May 2017 and 13th June 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
Declaration of Members Interests in respect of items on this agenda
No declarations of interest were made.
Cllr Skinner arrived at 1918 hours
Cllr Roberts arrived at 1921 hours
4.1 Application No. WD/2017/1441/F
Location: High Hurstwood house, Chillies Lane, High Hurstwood, TN22 4AD
Description: Erection of car port and garden store.
Applicant: Mr Wolsey Cooper
Agent: Mike Hill Architectural Services Ltd
Response from Buxted Parish Council to Wealden District Council: No objections, recommend approval.
4.2 Application No. WD/2017/7505/T
Location: Nordens Green Farm, Royal Oak Lane, High Hurstwood, TN22 4AL
Description: The installation of 1 no. 20m phosco monopole painted drab olive with 3 no. antennas, 2 no. 0.6m dishes, 3 no.equipment cabinets and ancillary development thereto surrounded by a 1.1m high timber post and rail fence.
Applicant: Ctil And Telefonica UK Ltd
Agent: Harlequin Group
Response from Buxted Parish Council to Wealden District Council: The parish council noted the comments made by the representatives of the High Hurstwood Against Radio and Mobile Masts group, and advised that the 70 letters of objection and petition would need to be forwarded to Wealden District Council planning department. On the basis of the overwhelming objections from the residents of High Hurstwood the parish council would strongly recommend for Wealden District Council to re consider the siting of this mast.
4.3 Application No. WD/2017/1340/LDE
Location: Astrop Lodge, Hurstwood Road, High Hurstwood, TN22 4BD
Description: Alterations to the roof of the outbuilding.
Applicant: Mrs Jayne Orviss, Astrop Lodge, Hurstwood Road, High Hurstwood, TN22 4BD
Agent: Mrs Jayne Orviss, Astrop Lodge, Hurstwood Road, High Hurstwood, TN22 4BD
Response from Buxted Parish Council to Wealden District Council: no objection, recommend approval
4.4 Application No. WD/2017/1370/F
Location: Beechway, Buxted Road, Coopers Green, Uckfield, TN22 4AT
Description: Single storey infill side extension.
Applicant: Mr & Mrs Coleman
Agent: Liz Tobitt Architectural Services
Response from Buxted Parish Council to Wealden District Council: no objection, recommend approval.
4.5 Application No. WD/2017/0759/F
Location: Former Medical Centre, Unit 7, Temple Grove, Uckfield Road, Herons Ghyll, TN22 4BY.
Description: Redevelopment of medical centre to provide 5 dwellings.
Applicant: Joseph Yates Ltd
Agent: Lewis and Co Planning SE Ltd
Response from Buxted Parish Council to Wealden District Council: The parish council believe the design of this development would be more aesthetically pleasing as to what is currently on site. The parish council would recommend approval for this application if Wealden District Council can justify the traffic movements.
Planning applications considered by email consultation, due to the deadline set by Wealden District Council for the parish council’s response:
There were no applications considered by email consultation during this period.
Matters for information:
To discuss any planning applications received from Wealden District Council after the publication of the agenda that are available on the District Planning website:
No further applications were received.
Any other matters properly notified – None
Announcements – a) Chairman of the Committee; b) Clerk to the Council
The meeting closed at 1926 p.m.