Agenda and minutes

No. Item


To approve the notes of the previous meeting

To approve as correct the notes of the meeting held on 14 July 2016.


The group approved the notes of the meeting held on 14 July 2016.


Discussion on departure applications going to committee

A discussion on the need for applications which are a departure from Development Plan policies to automatically go to committee (as they currently do), particularly where the actual decision does not result in a departure (due to the application being refused).




The Development Manager explained that clause 3.12 of part 3F of the constitution of the council ‘non delegated planning matters’ required that all departure applications be heard by a Development Management Committee. The clause meant that a departure application with no support for approval would have to be heard by a Committee rather than being refused by an officer under the scheme of delegation. Departures recommended for approval would still be required to be heard by a committee. Members noted:


·         The time and resource saving of the proposed amendment

·         That the public would not have to attend a Committee for a departure application that would be refused anyway

·         That the proposed amendment would need consideration by the Monitoring Officer


The Planning and Development Policy Development Advisory Group endorsed the proposal that the constitution be amended and recommended that the Constitution Review Group consider the amendment as part of its constitution review.


The proposed change to the scheme of delegation would be reported to Council.



Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) - Consultation Draft

This document sets out how and when the Council will involve the community and other interested people and organisations in the preparation of our policies and guidelines, including those related to planning and development. It also discusses community involvement in relation to planning application decisions and explains the role of the Council and that of applicants and their agents. The SCI is being amended to simplify the explanation of the different stages in the preparation of planning documents and the opportunities to participate and so that it reflects the Council’s constitutional changes and changes in the title of the Cabinet Member. It is not a policy document. The existing SCI may be viewed here:


The Consultation Draft SCI circulated with this agenda will, subject to the advice of PDAG, be reported to Cabinet on 22 September for discussion and agreement to be published for a period of public consultation. Any comments received will be taken into account and a revised SCI presented to Cabinet 24 November 2016 for adoption.



The Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainability introduced the draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) that had been circulated to Members with the agenda pack. It was explained that the existing SCI needed to be refreshed in order to reduce its size and increase its readability for the benefit of the public. The existing SCI also referred to revoked legislation so it was timely to prepare a new draft encompassing all necessary changes than to rely on incremental change.


Consequent to recent legislative and constitutional change, the new draft SCI was easier to comprehend and used less technical language whilst maintaining the same structural content. Cabinet would be recommended to approve the draft SCI on 22 September for a consultation period of 6 weeks. Cabinet would receive the outcome of the consultation at its meeting in November.


Members asked about:


·         Whether the draft SCI covered matters like notifying adjoining properties about planning applications and whether there was a checklist for officers to ensure notifications had been given;

·         Whether relevant links to the Council’s constitution needed to be made explicit; and

·         The consideration given to the publication and promotion of the draft SCI consultation.


Officers responded:


·         That the document was about consultation on the planning process and that feedback about notices would be noted. However, the existing process of notification, including the validation process, was considered appropriate;

·         That reference links within the draft SCI to the Council’s constitution will be made more explicit;

·         That publication of the draft SCI would include social media, press releases, the Council’s website and a notice in the District Post. Officers would consider whether any other publications should be used, subject to cost.


The group resolved that Cabinet member for Planning and Development be advised that the draft SCI be forwarded to Cabinet on 22 September.




·         Community Infrastructure Levy Draft Charging Schedule and Draft

·         Planning Obligations & Affordable Housing Supplementary PlanningDocument – A summary of comments received and proposed changes will be reported to Cabinet 22 September for agreement and for publication for public consultation prior to submitting for Examination by the independent Examiner.

·         Neighbourhood Planning

·         Site Allocation document – summary of evidence gathered to date

·         Strategic Sites – an outline application for the development of land north of Horsham has been received and is available to view on the Council’s website via the Public Access system, planning application number:




The group heard the following updates from officers:


      I.        The CIL Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing SPD documents considered at the last meeting of the policy development advisory group (minute reference 3) were scheduled for Cabinet on 22 September. Minor changes had been made consequent to the advisory meeting. As proposed and supported at the last meeting of the group, Cabinet would be recommended to zero-rate large strategic sites with existing permission where there is sufficient evidence to do so. Any Proposed Modifications will be subject to consultation. The Cabinet Member explained that the changes would be subject to examination and that submission to the inspector was expected in November.


Members discussed:


·         Whether such a similar policy position was nationwide.

·         There would be any impact on any forthcoming neighbouring sites to the existing strategic development sites.

·         The impact of any potential material change to an existing application.


Officers explained that:


·         The recommended approach was nationwide and was becoming industry standard.

·         The recommendation was only for the identified strategic development sites.

·         Any material changes to existing applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis.


    II.        The Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainability provided a further update on the progress of neighbourhood planning; Shermanbury was now at examination stage and Thakeham would be the next plan to be examined. More work was being undertaken with Storrington, Sullington & Washington and Pulborough. The government had just published a procedure focussed Neighbourhood Planning Bill and a link to that Bill would be circulated to the group along with an update on the progress of all neighbourhood plans.


   III.        Members heard a summary of evidence gathered to date on the Site Allocations Document, including the Horsham District Hotel and Visitor Accommodation Study which would be forwarded to the group. Members enquired about Gypsy and Traveller site allocation and were informed that the HDPF included sufficient sites for a 5 year supply and that the Site Allocations Document would address the long term allocation.


  IV.        An all-member briefing would be forthcoming to engage members with the land north of Horsham strategic site, consequent to an outline application for development being considered at Committee. Members urged that consideration be given to communication options in order to alleviate any public misperceptions.