Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Please visit the previous decisions page to view Cabinet Member and Senior Officer decisions prior to 2018.

Decisions published

12/06/2019 - Performance Outturn 2018/19. ref: 251    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance

Made at meeting: 12/06/2019 - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance

Decision published: 24/06/2019

Effective from: 12/06/2019

Decision:

Neal Barton, Policy and Performance Manager introduced the report, noting the positive performance over the year with 80% of indicators green compared to 67% at the same point last year, and no red performance indicators. He highlighted the improvements in customer service, staff sickness rates and the speed of processing planning applications as well as improvements the Revenues and Benefits service and success with the Council’s own temporary accommodation project.

 

The positive achievement of 80% green indicators was commended by a number of Members and discussion was held on whether the subject focus and metrics to monitor performance going forward was appropriate. It was noted that no significant change is anticipated to affect how performance is monitored, and that the decision to amend targets falls within the remit of the committee later in the year. In terms of the flagship activities for 2019/20 they pro-actively address a number of current topical issues including sustainability and environmental impact.

 

Performance at 98% of undisputed invoices paid within 10 days was commended by a Member who noted this was an excellent way to support local businesses. Discussion was also held on the amount of Council Tax collected. It was noted that whist the report provides a snapshot of amounts collected in the past year, the Council also actively promotes the Council Tax Support Scheme to assist residents facing difficulties in this area

 

It was agreed that a written response would be provided to Members on why there is a downward trend on the return on the tenanted non-residential property portfolio.

 

The subject of staff turnover was discussed, and it was confirmed that exit interviews take place to establish reasons why staff leave. A written response will be provided on how the Council measures the percentage of full time equivalents that are unoccupied, and any impact this may have. Clarity will also be provided on whether it is appropriate to include Fixed Term Contract numbers in the turnover figures. A Member also suggested that it would be useful to provide in future reports a breakdown of the longevity of legal cases that remain open. The Solicitor to the Council confirmed that most of the open cases relate to SANG and SAMM contributions to the Ashdown Forest.

 

The topic of recycling and food waste was discussed and the Policy and Performance Manager confirmed that the figures provided for recycling take in to account levels of contamination that results in recycling going to landfill. A Member expressed a wish for the Council to consider the overall environmental impact of waste disposal, including mileage if items are recycled abroad.  The Leader provided an update on discussions with West Sussex County Council regarding domestic food waste collection, noting that Mid Sussex District Council has the decision to make as the collection authority once implications on cost and methods of collection have been considered. A business case will be presented for scrutiny later in the year.

 

The Committee discussed the figures presented on the Early Intervention Family Project with a preference expressed for a qualitative rather than quantitative update.

 

A Member commended the Council on raising awareness of the disabled facilities grants available and it was confirmed that the Council made use of a discretionary policy as well as the statutory requirement, utilising additional central government funding for more grants.

 

The Policy and Performance Manager introduced the Flagship Activities update, noting that the September meeting will provide the first quarter update on the 2019/20 Activities. Members discussed the project to deliver full fibre broadband, seeking clarity that rural areas will benefit and seeking approximate time-frames for roll out. A Member requested that the Council measures the benefit of the connectivity to local residents, once it had been instigated. The Leader provided an update on a recent meeting with the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries to discuss a project working with Parishes to connect the rural communities. He also confirmed that the funds generated by the Business Rates Retention Pilot are now available to enable the full fibre project to move forward and joint working with fibre providers is proceeding as a high priority.

 

A Member noted the inclusion of additional CCTV being installed in Clair Park and urged that this was acted on as a priority to increase the safety of those who visit the park.

 

Discussion was held around the Council’s asset acquisitions, and the release of Council owned land for housing. It was commended that the Council released land (such as the Bolnore Land Depot and Imberhorne Lane Car Park) in order to deliver a higher percentage of affordable homes than the 30% requirement. The Leader confirmed that any land release or investment is made with scrutiny and due diligence and reported through Cabinet and Council in relation to finance for decision by Members. 

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendations which were agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Committee:

 

(i)            noted the Council’s performance and progress with flagship activities in 2018/19 and identified any areas where it was required to have further reporting or information and

 

(ii)           agreed to advise the Cabinet of any issues that should be given particular consideration when it considers the report at its meeting on 8th July 2019.

 

 

 


12/06/2019 - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance - Work Programme 2019/20. ref: 252    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance

Made at meeting: 12/06/2019 - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance

Decision published: 24/06/2019

Effective from: 12/06/2019

Decision:

Tom Clark, Solicitor to the Council introduced the report, and noted the significance of the January meeting for discussing the draft Corporate Plan and Budget for 2020/21.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Committee agreed the work programme as set out in paragraph 5 of the report.


13/06/2019 - TP/19/0005 - Butchers Shaw, Ardingly, RH17 6UB ref: 249    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 13/06/2019 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 21/06/2019

Effective from: 13/06/2019

Decision:

Nick Rogers, Business Unit Leader for Development Management introduced the report to consider whether or not to confirm a new Tree Preservation Order (TPO) TP/19/0007 on a woodland known as Butchers Shaw in Street Lane, Ardingly. He noted that the site currently as a TPO in place and the Council has 6 months to confirm the order or it will lapse.

 

He confirmed that the site is in a conservation area and designated as Ancient Woodland. The Conservation status allows protection to larger trees but not ones of less than 75mm diameter and concerns have been raised about the removal of smaller trees and continued erosion of the understorey. The Ancient Woodland designation does not afford direct protection to the trees but the NPPF describes it as ‘irreplaceable habitat’ therefore indicating the importance the Government places on such an area.  In summary, the Tree Officer has concerns that the incremental removal of smaller trees has harmed the understory and the TPO would allow for protection of these younger trees and allow for some natural regeneration. It would not preclude maintenance work but these would need to be justified in the interests of beneficial woodland management through an application.

           

The Chairman spoke as Ward Member, noting that the Forestry Commission has granted a felling licence on the site for 30% thinning of the trees. The Business Unit Leader confirmed that this overrides the TPO. The Chairman noted that past and present Chairman of the Parish Council’s Planning Committee are against the TPO as they feel the woods are managed correctly, however he acknowledged that there is a benefit to the TPO protecting the smaller trees.

 

Councillor MacNaughton also spoke as Ward Member highlighting that as the Local Planning Authority, the Council is required to protect Ancient Woodland, and not just the trees, but the ground around it. Having the TPO in place would allow the Council to retain control of what happens on site, and approval to remove trees could still be granted if appropriate.

 

Members acknowledged that this is a difficult decision as there are pros and cons to both sides of the decision. In response to questions from a member, the Business Unit Leader clarified that a partial order could not be made as a woodland order  is designed to cover the whole site. He also confirmed that should there be damage caused as a result of the implementation of the Felling Licence, the Council would only prosecute if it was deemed to be deliberate. He clarified that the TPO was put in place following concerns raised by a local resident and the Tree Officer following a site visit. It was originally planned to be put before the Committee earlier in the year, but inaccuracies in the extent of the previous TPO plan needed to be resolved.

 

In response to a Member’s query, it was advised that there would be no cost to the applicant or the Council in setting up or ongoing maintenance of the woodland as a result of a TPO. There is no fee for an application for works to trees subject of TPO’s.

 

A Member queried what controls would remain in place if the TPO was not confirmed.  As the site is a conservation area, it is covered by conservation legislation but this does not protect the smaller trees. If the TPO is confirmed, the applicant can still manage the understory, with the involvement of the Council’s Tree Officer and an appropriate application.

 

Councillor MacNaughton moved that the order be confirmed and this was seconded by Councillor Walker.

 

The Chairman took Members to the recommendation which was agreed 8 in favour and 3 against.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the order be confirmed.


13/06/2019 - DM/19/1352 - 4 Wyngates, Copthorne Bank, Copthorne, Crawley, RH10 3QX ref: 250    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 13/06/2019 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 21/06/2019

Effective from: 13/06/2019

Decision:

Caroline Grist, Planning Officer introduced the application for the removal of the existing conservatory with replacement double storey rear extension. She noted that although there would be some views of the extension from the street, the size and scale of the extension was deemed proportionate. The nearest property is 3 Wyngates which is separated by a fence and detached garage and it is the Officers recommendation that the overall design and separation distance will have no harm to the neighbouring amenity.

 

The Chairman noted that there were no public speakers and took Members to the recommendation to approve which was moved by Councillor Coote and agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

That planning permission be approved subject to the conditions outlined at Appendix A of the Officer Report.

 

(Councillor Budgen returned to the Chamber at 7.09.)


13/06/2019 - To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 22 May 2019. ref: 248    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 13/06/2019 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 21/06/2019

Effective from: 13/06/2019

Decision:

The Minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on 22 May 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


11/03/2019 - Land at Hurst Farm, Hurstwood Lane, Haywards Heath. ref: 234    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 11/03/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 13/06/2019

Effective from: 11/03/2019

Decision:

Peter Stuart, the Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report and noted that the decision to dispose of four pieces of land at Hurst Farm had been advertised.  The Head of Regulatory Services confirmed that objections had been received as set out in the Appendix and in relation to Section 123 (2) of the Local Government Act 1972 the sale was compliant.  

                                          

The Cabinet Member for Customer Services said she had read all the papers carefully and noted that the community would benefit from increased accessibility to the open space and supported the project.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning confirmed that all representations received had been carefully considered.  The project would improve access to the public open space which is in the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan and he supported the project. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance noted the representations and was grateful for the comprehensive nature of the report.

 

The Cabinet Member for Community confirmed that he supported the provision of allotments, Country Park, burial ground, school and improved access to open space.


11/03/2019 - Land at Hurst Farm, on East Side of Hurstwood Lane, Haywards Heath - Exempt Appendix F. ref: 235    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 11/03/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 13/06/2019

Effective from: 11/03/2019


11/03/2019 - Proposed Development of Land at Hammonds Ridge, Burgess Hill. ref: 233    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 11/03/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 13/06/2019

Effective from: 11/03/2019


11/03/2019 - Land at Maple Drive, Burgess Hill. ref: 232    For Determination

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 11/03/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 13/06/2019

Effective from: 11/03/2019

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Peter Stuart


11/03/2019 - Court Bushes Community Building Proposed Lease Disposal. ref: 231    For Determination

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 11/03/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 13/06/2019

Effective from: 11/03/2019

Decision:

Kate Wilson, Business Unit Leader for Community Services, Policy and Performance introduced the report.  She noted that the Council has a long standing policy of supporting the provision of good quality, accessible community buildings across the district.

 

The building works at Court Bushes had been completed and the Parish Council committed to managing the building for the benefit of the community in line with the proposed heads of terms.  She confirmed that there had been no objections to the advertisement in the local newspapers outlining the proposal to lease the land, a requirement of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The Deputy Leader noted that the Council had worked hard to have the building ready for public use.

 

            The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance queried how the rate of affordable rent had been agreed.  The Business Unit Leader advised that the rent was negotiated.

 

            The Head of Corporate Resources confirmed that £54,000 of Section 106 money had been spent on Community Facilities as detailed in the Cabinet report.  He also confirmed that a lease of 35 years had been agreed through negotiation with the Parish Council.  The Head of Regulatory Services noted that a lease of at least 28 years was necessary to apply for grants.

 

            The Deputy Leader noted that no other Members wished to speak so took them to the recommendation contained in the report, which was agreed unanimously.

 

            RESOLVED

 

Cabinet resolved to:

a)     authorise the Head of Corporate Resources and the Head of Regulatory Services to grant a lease of the land and building at Court Bushes, Hurstpierpoint (shown edged in red on the plan in Appendix A) to Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council for purposes of operating the Property as a Community Building on the terms set out in paragraph 4 of this report and upon such other terms as the Head of Regulatory Services considers appropriate.

 

b)     award Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council a Revenue Grant of up to £6,200 per annum for the first three years of operation toward the overhead costs.

 

The Deputy Leader and Councillor Binks left the Chamber at this stage and Councillor Webster acted as Chairman for the following items.

 

Lead officer: Tom Clark


11/03/2019 - Strategic Risks 2019-20. ref: 230    For Determination

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 11/03/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 13/06/2019

Effective from: 11/03/2019

Decision:

Kate Wilson, Business Unit Leader for Community Services, Policy and Performance introduced the report.  She commented that the report considers the Council’s key strategic risks for the coming year and an annual review of the risk management policy.  A range of risks had been considered and three proposed strategic risks were highlighted.  The Business Unit Leader referred to Appendix A which showed the likelihood and impact of each risk on a matrix. She also advised that fuller descriptions of each risk along with risk management plans could be found at Appendix B. The Business Unit Leader noted it was the responsibility of Heads of Service and Cabinet Members to monitor risks throughout the year.  She noted corrections in Appendix C to page30 paragraph 1 the title should read Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and paragraph 3, where the responsible officer is the Head of Corporate Resources.

 

The Cabinet Member for Customer Services expressed concern about the funding of West Sussex County Council and its potential impact on this council.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning commented that the County Council was a key partner for work within his portfolio. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance advised that the Council should continue to forge a good working relationship with West Sussex County Council to achieve a suitable environment for public especially vulnerable people.

 

The Cabinet Member for Community showed concern over a possible reduction in Housing Support services planned by the County Council.  He noted the evidence presented to the Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee (HASC) by Sussex Police on this matter.  He expressed regret that it had not been heeded.  He was proud of the work at this Council to set aside funding for temporary housing within the district to reduce the negative impact of homelessness. 

 

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth commented that risk management was firmly embedded into the Council’s Policy and it was essential that the Council and County Council work well together. 

 

The Deputy Leader noted that no other Members wished to speak so took them to the recommendation contained in the report, which was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

Cabinet resolved to:

 

    (i)        Agree the strategic risks for 2019/20 and management plans set out at appendices A and B; and

   (ii)        Agree the existing Strategic Risk Management Policy, as set out at Appendix C with the only amendment being Officer and Member titles.

 

Lead officer: Peter Stuart