Crowhurst Neighbourhood Plan Group
Notes of Meeting held on Saturday 21 January 2017 in
Crowhurst Village Hall

Present:              Ros Day (Chair), Chris Davidson, Dave Howley, Sonia Plato, Diane Stainsby, Willy Wilson, Pat Buckle,

In Attendance:     Robin Young, May Treu, Brenda Davidson

Apologies:               Ann Wilson, Tracy Hoad, Martin White, Tim Knaggs, Laura Cecil, Audrey Griffiths,      Marion Terry 

Ros Day opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. 

1.         Land Use/Call for Sites
Elaborating on PowerPoint slides, Chris Davidson updated the meeting on progress so far explaining that all survey forms had now been submitted and the Task Group had listed all proposed sites, including those for housing. The process now starts on assessing each site.  A consultant has been appointed to do this to ensure objectivity and he has designed an assessment form which will be completed for each site to show that every site has been assessed to the same formula. Once this exercise is completed  it is envisaged that a ‘masterplan’ will be drawn up showing how the new developments will fit into the village, taking into account size and style of dwellings, as well as responses to the previous surveys and the previously agreed aims and objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). A public exhibition is planned for March 2017 at which the lists of all proposed sites and the assessment of each will be shown, together with a draft vision of how the village will look.  Following the exhibition a consultation document on the assessed sites will be distributed to every household to which all residents will be asked to comment. 
The Task Group has been informed that Rother District Council (RDC) is currently carrying out a housing assessment which is largely about the state of dwellings in Rother but will also point to housing need in the District.  There will be a possible 20 forms being sent to Crowhurst.  A copy of this questionnaire has been requested by the Task Group with a view to adapting it for a detailed housing needs  survey in Crowhurst, but so far this has not been forthcoming.
Developers are not happy with NPs because they see them as challenging their independence and their way of operating.  The Government has just published a proposal to strengthen NPs in relation to the local authorities need to show a 5 year supply of land for housing development but developers are challenging this through a Judicial Review. However, it is felt that the insufficient infrastructure in Crowhurst is unlikely to make this an issue for us.
Two members of the Task Group met with the owners of Crowhurst Park, to discuss their future expansion plans and whether these could be included as part of Crowhurst’s NP.  However, it was felt that RDC may be unsupportive of such plans and therefore these would have no effect on Crowhurst which would still have to show space for 20 dwellings to meet RDC’s housing allocation.

2.         Finance
Using PowerPoint slides, Ros Day presented an update explaining that the total grant was for £9,000 issued in 3 parts.  The first part amounting to £1,800 had been completed and the second part amounting to £5,083 had just been agreed.  This is to be used by the end of March 2017 in line with the financial year.  The third and final part of the grant, to run from April 2017 to the end of the project, will then be applied for.  The Parish Council had agreed up to £3,500 to cover any shortfall, making a grand total of £12,500.

3.         The Proposed Strategic Gap
Using a PowerPoint slide, Ros Day informed the meeting that the Steering Group was responding to the consultation stating that Crowhurst was concerned about the long-term impact the removal of the current gap at the north/west of Crowhurst would have as we are sandwiched between 3 higher growth settlements.  The proposed extended gap to the south and east of the village includes an area where sites have been proposed by residents but not yet assessed by the Land Use Task Group.  The Steering Group’s response pointed out that it is essential that the extended strategic gap boundaries do not influence or prohibit our process of objectively assessing and allocating sites for our plan and therefore the boundaries of the strategic gap should not be fixed at this stage pending the preparation of our Neighbourhood Plan. When RDC have collated all consultation responses and drawn up a re-drafted proposal, it is thought a second consultation will be held to which the Steering Group would again respond.

4.         Volunteers
Ros Day requested volunteers with expertise in the following three areas to come forward to assist the Steering Group with upcoming work;
Project Risk Assessment
Draft writing of Equalities Impact Statement
Census data – population, housing, economy, etc., and how these have changed .
An email request was also being sent via the NP email system.

5.         Consultation with Schools
Crowhurst Primary School – The meeting was informed that the Steering Group had expressed the importance of getting the children’s views as they also have to live with the effects of the Plan.  Several visits have been made to the school with more planned. The children were very keen and the project is well supported by Andrew Jervis, the Head Teacher. Each class was invited to give their views on what they liked about the village, their dislikes, and what they would like to see in the future.  On 26th January 2017 a display would be mounted in the school for parents/carers to come and find out more about the NP and to express their views.
Claverham Community College – It was felt important that the views of the under 18 age group should be sought as the NP extends through to 2028 and affects their future.  18 students from Crowhurst and the very supportive Head Teacher, attended a meeting. The students went through what they thought were the best and worst things about Crowhurst and completed a survey form.  The two main areas of concern for the students were that there was nothing for their age group to do within the village and there was no public transport (buses) to enable them to go elsewhere.  The students had stated they would like to form a Youth Council/Group as part of the NP process.

6.         Policies that relate to our Aims
Ros Day stated that as a result of a previous meeting on our NP Aims and Objectives, we know we want policies on various areas. The following RDC Core Strategy policies relate to some of those Aims;

Community service, facilities and activities;
Improving sports and Recreation provision;
Supporting young and older people; 
Community safety
Mixed and balanced Communities – mix of housing size and type
Affordable housing provision
Landscape Stewardship
Design Quality
Biodiversity and Green Space
Flood Risk and Development
Access and New Development
Car Parking
General Strategy for the Countryside
Development in the Countryside
Water Supply and Wastewater Management

The proposed RDC Development & Sites Allocation process could also produce more and updated policies.
It was suggested that Crowhurst may also want policies on;

Tourism/Holiday Park/Camp and Caravan Sites
Stabling/Equine development
Economic/Business
Greenhouses / Polytunnels / Agriculture
Telecommunications
Lighting
The Steering Group would consider this at a future meeting.

7.         Date of Next Meetings 
7.1       Neighbourhood Plan Group  – Saturday 25 February 2017 at 3.30pm in Crowhurst  Village Hall. 
7.2       Steering Group – Monday 6 February 2017 at 7.30pm Crowhurst Village Hall

The meeting closed at 5.15pm.

Website:           www.crowhurstneighbourhoodplan.org
Email:              crowhurstneighbourhoodplan@gmail.com
  

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?​

TASK GROUPS

There are several task groups in which Crowhurst resident volunteers work on issues like communications, land use, heritage and the environment  These groups will make a huge contribution to the final Neighbourhood Plan document. 

POLICIES AND FAQS

This page contains the legal stuff! Our policies, data protection information, terms of reference and frequently asked questions about the Neighbourhood Planning Process. 

COMMUNITY GALLERY

Your pictures of our village.  Views, buildings, sheep, trees, dogs..... we want to see what makes you happy about Crowhurst. Please send you photos to :

Towards the end of 2016 we met with staff and pupils at Crowhurst Primary School and Claverham. Given that our consultation  with local schools will be ongoing we have created a new dedicated website page links, notes and information about our school visits. 


Useful links:
For more information on the Crowhurst Neighbourhood Plan application please see: 

For more information on our Neighbourhood Plan process and to access minutes of all previous meetings please see either of the links below: