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

Cllr. Warne read out the following statement:

Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations, predetermination on items on this agenda in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct.  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, Matt Warne 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 informed members that a meeting had been scheduled with Deborah Dixon, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Planning Officer on Wednesday 13th January 2021 at 2pm to discuss the next step in the process to prepare for submission to TWBC. All were welcome to attend.

  • Draft Reg. 14 Public Consultation:

Richard Eastham had forwarded the results from Survey Monkey.  He suggested that most of the responses would fall into the following three categories:

  1.  Inconsequential – such as typing errors
  2. Statutory Consultees – need to be seriously considered
  3. Reasonable argument/objection/suggestions – Richard Eastham offered to help with responses.

Cllr. Pethurst informed the Steering Group that he had sorted out the responses into chapter headings and he shared his excel worksheets showing how it had been set out.  It was agreed that the responses would be forwarded to those who dealt with the chapters for them to deal with the comments received.  Cllr. Warne and everyone present thanked Cllr. Pethurst for all his work.

Cllr. Warne would check that responses had been received from all the Statutory Consultees and then forward comments and Cllr Hatcher to assist.

Richard Eastham stated that there was no need to respond to individual comments, as once the published consultation report had been completed, they would see the responses within the Public Consultation document.  When dealing with responses many can be answered using cut and paste stock replies – i.e., policy will be revised to show your concerns.  He shared the documents produced by Staplehurst PC and Lewes which he agreed to forward to Cllrs. Warne and Pethurst.  Matt Warne agreed to produce one policy executive summary as a draft which he would circulate to all.  Once the individual chapters had been dealt with and possible changes noted, this would be the time to share with the group in order to moderate.  Do not make any changes until everyone is happy to sign off consultation document.  Cllr. Pethurst asked how a comment from a developer should dealt with and Richard Eastham responded exactly the same as any other comments.

Following discussion, it was agreed that steering group members would aim to get the consultation comments dealt with by 31st January 2021, for the group’s review ahead of the next meeting on 22 February 2021.  This would mean the project timetable was on track for submission to TWBC April/May.  Cllr. Pethurst commented that perhaps the referendum in September may be obtainable.

Richard Eastham suggested that a note could be displayed on the NDP Website thanking people for their comments, he agreed to forward Cllr. Hatcher wording.  Cllr. Warne will be writing a piece for the Cake due to be published in March as well. In answer to a question by Marion Cranmer regarding paper responses he suggested these could be dealt with separately. 

Discussion then took place on the process of consultation and Richard Eastham stated that in his opinion everything had been done to let parishioners know about this event. This can be evidenced by all the publicity, articles in the Parish Cake, website, posters, and Facebook.

Marion Cranmer asked what information needed to be redacted such as name of person or organisation that forwarded comments.  Richard Eastham replied that this needed to be clarified with TWBC but in his opinion it would be easy to remove a column giving personal details.

Marion Cranmer asked for clarification on how the papers needed to be filed when it came to submitting the evidence of consultation to the Inspectorate.  Richard Eastman advised evidence could be filed, firstly by individual events chronologically, how they were advertised, posters, worksheets etc.

  • Project Timetable:

Following discussion Cllr. Pethurst stated that the project was on track at the present time.

  • Stakeholder Engagement:  Nothing to report.
  • Any Other Business:

TWBC Draft Local Plan – The consultation for the pre-submission version of the TWBC Local Plan (Reg 19) is scheduled to commence March/April 2021. It was noted that the new housing numbers for Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parishes were now 413-433 dwellings.  However, this also mentioned windfall sites totalling 1,300 dwellings.

Date of Next Meeting:  Monday 22nd February 2021

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