PRESENT:  Cllr. Warne (in the Chair), Cllrs. Fletcher, Gilbert and Pethurst, Annie Hopper, Marion Cranmer, Liz Daley, June Bell and Matt Warne

APOLOGIES:  Cllrs. Hatcher and Smith

Cllr. Warne read out the following statement:

Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations, predetermination or lobbying on items on this agenda.  Members are reminded that changes to the Register of Interests should be notified to the Clerk.

Cllr. Warne declared an interest under the site assessments regarding site 122 which had been put forward by a relative.  Cllrs. Warne, June Bell and Annie Hopper declared a personal interest as members of the CVLT (Crane Valley Land Trust).  Annie Hopper, June Bell and Liz Daley declared an interest as members of Hartley Save Our Fields Action Group. Members of the various Advisory Groups declared an interest as necessary.

1.  Liaison with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council:

Cllr. Warne reported on a video meeting held recently with Deborah Dixon, Planning Officer Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, also in attendance Cllr. Pethurst and Liz Daley.  Discussion had taken place about the TWBC Local Plan and what they were doing and the timeline – it was hoped to get the plan adopted in 2022.  The TWBC Local Plan Reg. 19 consultation would take place in March/April next year and there was likely to be some changes to the proposed site allocations.

Cllr. Warne updated Deborah Dixon on the NDP and Reg. 14 consultation to be held in October.  Deborah Dixon recommended an 8 week consultation period, rather than the minimum 6 week period.  Deborah Dixon draw attention to the fact that there are proposed changes to the Limits to Build Development area in Wilsley Pound and suggested that the NDP write to her as soon as possible with their comments on this.

Cllr. Warne reported that the Borough Council will be guided by the draft Local Green Spaces in the NDP Landscape Chapter, even if they are privately owned.  She planned to send a copy of this chapter to David Scully, TWBC Landscape & Biodiversity Officer, to seek advice on how this could be improved.

Deborah Dixon was very supportive of the ideas the NDP had to carry out the Reg. 14 consultation.  A consultation statement needed to be compiled which itemised everything the NDP were undertaking to encourage participation by our residents.  After the Reg. 14 had been carried out and following the logging of comments and associated changes to the plan the NDP is required to submit the plans to TWBC.  Deborah Dixon then suggested a health check is carried out by Intelligent Plans, or other similar organisations which offer this service, which were a group of ex planning inspectors who would check everything was in place and make the NDP aware of any potential changes in order to save time later in the process.

Cllr. Pethurst commented that the NDP Website needed to be compliant to the new accessibility regulations.

2.  Draft Regulation 14 Document:

Cllr. Warne had forwarded the NDP Draft Reg. 14 to Katie McFloyd, TWBC Environmental Officer, who had recommended that a further sustainability appraisal needed to be carried out to go alongside the draft document for the statutory consultees (Heritage England, Natural England and the Environment Agency). Cllr. Warne had undertaken this work which had now been forwarded.  Nancy Warne had received confirmation that the SEA screening opinion had been forwarded to the statutory consultees would hopefully be back the 2nd week in September. 

3.  Project Timetable:

Cllr. Pethurst indicated that he had started work on this.  It was hoped to start public consultation in middle of October for an eight week period.  In answer to a question, Cllr. Warne stated that she had been advised that it would be very unlikely that further work would be required following the screening process. 

4.  Public Consultation:

The forthcoming issue of the Parish Cake carried ten pages on all the chapters included in the Neighbourhood Development Plan encouraging members of the community to participate in the consultation process.  This magazine was being delivered to residents in Cranbrook and Sissinghurst so that a full as full a consultation as possible could be assured.

Cllr. Warne stated that the Vestry Hall had been provisionally booked on Saturday 17th and 31st October.  Several members of the NDP Steering Group agreed to meet at the hall to see if public consultation could be undertaken safely and also the type of information which could be used i.e. flyers/ power point/ tape recording.  Cllr. Warne agreed to produce a 2-4 page flyer for distribution and a simple questionnaire would be drawn up by Richard Eastham, who may even be able to undertake a short presentation.  It was agreed to encourage responses be returning the questionnaire by email/post.  However, those without computers could request a paper copy.  Due to the present circumstances it may be necessary to carry out all consultation virtually – possibly with zoom meetings could be arranged with a limit to numbers attending.

Cllr. Warne reminded the Steering Group that the aim on consulting the public on the Draft Neighbourhood Development Plan was to help them understand the document and how to navigate it and make a response should they wish to do so.

5.  Stakeholder Engagement:

Cllr. Warne reported that two developers had been in touch for pre-application meetings, which were encouraged to take place by TWBC.  Liz Daley believed that these meetings were very important and beneficial to encourage the ideas of the NDP.  Cllr. Warne agreed to arrange two virtual meetings with the promoters of two sites: (i) End of Frythe Way – Cllrs. Warne, Pethurst, Annie Hopper and Liz Daley (ii) Whitewell Lane – Cllrs. Warne, Fletcher and June Bell

A pre-meeting would take place before meeting with any developers so the NDP representatives are fully prepared.

6.  Any Other Business:

Cllr. Warne agreed to circulate to Parish Councillors the two project lists for possible Section 106 projects which needed to be revisited and prioritised – Culture & Community Projects and Access & Movements Projects.

Date of Next Meeting – 28th September 2020 at 7pm

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