Edited extracts from draft minutes of the Parish Council meeting on 17th December 2018
Neighbourhood Plan update
Chris Paterson, Communities Lead at SDNPA, and the Fittleworth contact through the whole Neighbourhood Plan process, was due to attend to give update on progress following the delay caused by the outcome of the Sweetman case and to answers any questions, however he had to cancel his attendance due to ill health
CW reported that the problem highlighted by the Sweetman case was essentially an inconsistency between the regulations governing Neighbourhood Plans, and those covering Habitat Regulations Assessment. It has not only impacted on Fittleworth – several other Neighbourhood Plans in the South Downs are held up because of it, and many more nationally. As a result of this, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has been pressed by MPs, and have recently said that amendments to the regulations to correct this anomaly will be authorised by Parliament. The target date for these changes to come into effect is 28th December 2018. Chris is arranging for the parts of our document most affected by the problem (mainly Appendices 3 SA incl SEA and 4 HRA) to be amended where necessary, and approved by Natural England – a significant part of the process. The changes will mean that the Basic Conditions Statement will need revision, and there may be minor changes to the Plan itself. However, if all goes well, it is hoped that Neighboorhood Plan Committee would be able to ask the Parish Council to approve and sign off all the documents at the Parish Council meeting on 21st January 2019. It’s important that this is achieved, and the plan is submitted to the SDNPA without delay, as on 24th January a new version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will come into effect, bringing a host of new and changed requirements into play.
Editor’s note. The above could be filed under “boring but important”, and indeed some of the procedures described in the various Parish Council minutes we look at every month do seem somewhat obscure. However we thought it worth including here to show the hoops that local councillors have to jump through on behalf of their residents.
Lower Street parking – near miss reported
A resident reported a near miss to herself and her dog opposite The Terrace on Lower Street Fittleworth as her view was blocked due to two parked cars on the footpath. Residents of the Terrace have been previously asked not to park there. The clerk will ask the elector to report the incident to the police.