DRAFT Remote Parish Council Meeting 16 July 2020

Minutes of the REMOTE meeting of the Council held on Thursday 16th July 2020 at 7.00 p.m.



Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton (19:13 hours), Cox, Coxon, Humphrey, Illingworth (19:13 hours) (WDC), Marshall, Roberts and Rose.


Also present: Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.



There were four members of public present during the remote meeting.


A member of public spoke on behalf of the Coopers Green Residents Association – as they are objecting to  in objection to WD/2020/1088/MAO.

There are many concerns over this development particularly with regards to access and how the traffic survey was completed during the lock down period which did not convey a true picture.

The parish council had received many letters of objection for this objection.




Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Wells, Cllr Moss, Cllr Johnson, Cllr McQuarrie and ESCC Cllr Galley.





All councillors declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the Ionides Trust by virtue of the parish council being managing agents of the site.


Cllr. Rose declared a prejudicial interest in any matters relating to the land west of Church Road (Beechbook Park) due to having owned part of the application site (04/07/20/3)


Cllrs. Cox declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the allotments by virtue of being an allotment holder.


Cllr. Illingworth declared a personal interest in any matters related to the St Margaret’s and St Mary’s Churches by virtue of being a member of the PCC.


Cllr. Rose declared a prejudicial interest in respect of item 04/07/20/1 (WD/2020/1073/FA) as he is the applicant.


Cllr Coxon declared a personal interest in respect of Old Farmhouse (04/07/20/4) and Greystone Farm (05/07/20/3) – as a friend of the applicants.


Cllr Cox declared a personal interest in respect of Greystone Farm, as a friend of the applicant.


Cllr Illingworth declared a personal interest in respect of WD/2020/0970/RM interest as he lives opposite the development site.






The minutes of the REMOTE meeting held on 16th June 2020 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting. This was proposed by Cllr Roberts and seconded by Cllr Coxon.























































































































Planning applications considered:


Cllr Rose temporarily left the room whilst the following planning application was considered and Cllr Blandford took over.


Application: WD/2020/1073/FA



Description: removal of condition 2 of WD/2019/0742/f (construction of a pair of semi-detached dwellings) in order to remove the requirement for a scheme to secure further mitigation of vehicles crossing Ashdown Forest special area of conservation and special protection area.

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC:  As the WDC Local Plan is no longer in force and therefore the Ashdown Forest restrictions are no longer valid, the planning committee reached a unanimous decision to recommend approval. recommend approval


Cllr Rose was asked to return so he could continue to chair the meeting.


Application: WD/2020/1088/MAO


Description: Outline planning application (all matters reserved except for means of access) for the development of land for up to 39 residential dwellings.

Response from Buxted Parish Council to WDC: the parish council strongly object to this planning application.

Cllr Rose advised that he had spoken to the neighbouring councils of Uckfield and Maresfield and the general opinion was that they were not in favour of this development.

The parish council had received many letters of objection for this application.

Cllr Humphries (Five Ash Down Ward Cllr) had been inundated with objections for this development.

The parish council discussed how this development site was not appropriate and outside of any development boundary. The parish council has serious concerns over the impact this would have on Highways.

This development would connect the town of Uckfield to the hamlet of Five Ash Down and Coopers Green would lose its individuality. Five Ash Down has already seen vast development with the homes at Ashdown Place. The parish council noted the serious concerns of the local parishioners and would support their objections.

Cllr Blandford understood that WDC has a policy on coalescence and they would not support the joining up of hamlets and communities.

Whilst the parish council strongly object to this application, should the local authority decide to grant permission then the parish council would respectfully request that full consideration is given to:

  • Significant footpath improvements
  • For there to be no street lighting
  • Installation of a fully coordinated traffic light system to allow safe pedestrian crossing of each of the roads on this junction
  • Improvements to the pumping station and address all flooding issues
  • For a wider buffer for some of the houses on the design.


Cllr Illingworth and Cllr Bolton joined the meeting at 1913 hours.


Application: WD/2020/0970/RM (Reserved Matters)


Description:  Reserved matters pursuant to outline application WD/2019/1114/O (outline application for the erection of up to 9 no. dwellings, access and other associated infrastructure).

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC: the parish council have no further objections for the reserved matters of this application, other than what was made by the parish council previously.


Application: WD/2020/1027/F & WD/2020/1028/LB


Description: Erection of a timber frame garage.

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC: The county archaeologist has viewed this application and has not objected. The position of the garage is behind the house and does not affect the neighbours, no objection, recommend approval.


To discuss any planning applications received from Wealden District Council after the publication of the agenda that are available on the District Planning website.


Application: WD/2020/0704/F


Description: Erection of two detached dwellings & one detached garage to include access on to the A272. Additional drainage and supporting information, plans received 12 and 22 June 2020.

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC: The parish council are aware of the many objections from neighbouring properties. The parish council has previously objected to this application and would like to reiterate their previous comments:  Buxted Parish Council objected to this planning application under the following grounds: It would considerably alter the landscape as the houses would be visible. Road safety is a primary concern, and it would be desirable for no further access onto the A272. Howbourne Lane, Spotted Cow and Roser’s Common road etc are all historic routes. None of the houses in this location have direct access onto the A272 until you reach after Pound Green where the village envelope begins. Allowing a new access could set a precedent in Planning and for other properties with frontage on to the A272. The parish council will be interested to see the comments from the ESCC Transport report with regards to the safety with access onto A272. The site is also adjacent to AONB.


Application: WD/2020/1158/F


Description: Single storey ground floor extension, replacement of windows, addition of PY panels, addition of insulation and render to walls.

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC: no objections, recommend approval.


Application: WD/2020/1113/F


TN22 4AA

Description: Conversion of an existing disused tennis court into a kitchen garden and swimming pool. Erection of pool house, garden store and greenhouse. Hard and soft landscaping to include a pergola and fruit cages.

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC: there are no close neighbours. The parish council have no objections, recommend approval.


Application: WD/2020/1142/F


Description: Demolition of existing dwelling and garage. Erection of four detached dwellings with creation of one new access and improvements to existing access.

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC: DEFERRED. This will be deferred to give the neighbouring properties time to consider this application, then the parish council will consider it.


Application: WD/2020/1236/F


Description: Proposed single storey rear extension and the creation of a patio to the rear of the property.

Buxted Parish Council response to WDC: no objections, recommend approval.


Cllr Rose finished chairing the planning section of the meeting and Cllr Blandford took over as Chair.


All members of public left the meeting.




Cllr Galley has given his apologies for not being able to attend.


WDC Cllr Illingworth – The council has started its new grant programme in addition to government grant schemes and this is going quote well.


Clerk (R Macklen) asked Cllr Illingworth about the work on the new Local Plan and the request for new housing allocation sites and if Cllr Illingworth knew when the assessments would take place, and when the public would be advised of the results.

Cllr Illingworth advised that the SHELAA document may be released by the end of the year. WDC are now working on the new Local Plan and so the SHELAA is also being renewed. There will be a lot more housing in the local areas in comparison to what was in the proposed in the last Local Plan and we may have less control on restrictions over housing development and feels we will be accepting housing that we would not wish for.

Cllr Illingworth advised that he and his colleague from Uckfield would call WD/2020/1088/MAO (Coopers Green) application to the Planning Committee if the Planning Officer recommend it for approval,  but it may possibly go to appeal.


Cllr Illingworth suggested that the parish council should re consider doing a Neighbourhood Plan. This might give the parish council more opportunity to direct where housing would be placed, and we would also receive a greater percentage of CIL funds for infrastructure. Maresfield are working on a Neighbourhood Plan, and even before it is passed has carried some weight when considering planning applications.


Cllr Rose commented that in view of many more houses he would like to applaud Cllr Galley for his work and recommendations not to accept the plans of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to reduce their capacity.



Play areas and exercise equipment:

–          ratification of council decision to reopen play areas on 4th July

–          Acknowledgement of receipt and recommendations from RoSPA play equipment annual check. No high risks that we need to deal with immediately.

–          Cllr Moss was concerned over the missing fence in Buxted play area. The RoSPA report said ‘fence missing – replace missing fence’ – and we are looking to replace the fence soon.


Resolved: the above were considered and approved by full council.


Cllr Cox raised her concerns over the missing areas of hedge on the High Hurstwood recreation ground. Children can get through and run straight out onto the road. There are two areas, one by the Hurstwood and one by Chillies Lane. Action: Clerk will contact the handyman to deal with this by posts or fencing.





Public footpaths: Nothing to report.


Trees: Nothing to report.


Road Safety: Nothing to report.


Wealden Local Development Framework: Noting to report.


Property issues: Consideration of timing to reopen the Reading Room – Members discussed the opening of the Reading Room for public use; however, it was agreed that until social distancing indoors rules are relaxed the parish council would not open the hall. It is hoped that it may be back in use by September with all relevant risk assessments, safety precautions and signage in place. Other councils are beginning to open halls in September, so we need to make sure our risk assessments are ready. Hirers of the hall will also need to have their own risk assessment too.


During the summer period Cllrs Rose and Blandford and the Clerks will try to box up historical papers, remove rubbish and generally tidy up the off-stage back room. The progress of this task abruptly stopped at the beginning of lockdown.


NALC advise is for us to continue to meet remotely until further notice.


Survey of Reading Room: the printed paper survey should arrive anytime at all properties in Buxted. The envelope will be titled ‘Resident of Buxted’ and it is very much hoped that residents will complete the survey to help shape future renovations and improvements that will be made. Completed paper surveys can be returned to The Buxted Inn or Oast Farm. Update: Cllr Bolton had already received about 15 completed surveys; Cllr Roberts had received a couple and Clerk (Claudine) had received 5 in post and about 10 online surveys already.


Communications Matters:


Request from clerks to source website designers – Cllr Bolton had intended to create a new website for the parish council, but due to the coronavirus, other aspects of his business have had to take priority. Therefore, the clerks requested that quotes be sought from website providers to create a new website for the parish council that will comply with website accessibility requirements. Agreed.

Proposer John Rose and Chris Humphries





No priority correspondence








i)    Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Roberts seconded by Cllr. Rose, payments totalling £7544.36 +VAT = £8,074.94 covered by cheque numbers 4529 and 4545 were approved.

ii)     Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed bank reconciliations for April, May and June 2020 which were approved and will be signed at the next public meeting.

(i)        RBS reports: Cash and Investment Reconciliation, Ear Marked Reserves, Summary Receipts and Payments report were noted

(ii)    Grant applications: Grant applications for 2020/21 have now been sent and details published on the parish council website. The deadline for grant applications is 1st September 2020.





No other meetings





Cllr Coxon: following on from what Cllr Illingworth said, maybe we should be considering the Neighbourhood Plan. It is a very large piece of work, that then goes to a referendum.

Horam has been going through this very costly and lengthy process.

Cllr Illingworth: one of the main problems is getting people to read this fully, and some believe this is allowing housing, rather than manage where the housing would go. However, think this is a way forward for the parish.

The parish councillors discussed if this could be an affordable possibility, and if so, would it be worth carrying out.

Action: Cllr Illingworth to speak with the Chair of Maresfield Parish Council to obtain further information.

Action: Clerks to obtain some information and costings from other parish councils that have already completed these works.


Cllr Illingworth – there is a resident in Buxted who is speaking with Aviva Bus Company about a new bus route through Buxted. They have arranged a meeting and are inviting members of the parish council to join. Action: Clerk to contact Aviva to obtain further details.




Nothing to report.


  The meeting closed at 2003 hours.


Ionides Trust Update:


  • Scout Lease – further small amendments requested by the Scouts Executive. These are being reviewed by our solicitor.

The Council’s solicitor has confirmed that final minor amendments have been made to the lease which are procedural matters to make it compliant with the way the Scouts operate. The changes would not impact on the Ionides Trust’s obligations in any way, but we are yet to review it and sign it. We are also waiting for a letter from them to accept that they do not have the right to park, they require permission.


  • Fencing around play area – the Clerks are awaiting a final quote. The chairman suggested that all quotes be circulated to council members with a view to deciding following email agreement.


  • Consideration of quote to replace metal frames on play equipment and moving of two benches – a quote has been received and circulated to all members. The quote to replace the frames and move the benches is £800 (plus any additional materials if required), as opposed to a quote of almost £7,000 previously provided by Mant Leisure. Resolved: the parish council agreed, proposed by Cllr Illingworth and seconded by Cllr Rose.


Meeting closed at 2009 hours.


Posted in Featured Stories, Parish Council Minutes