Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 7.00 pm

As of May 2021, decision making of meetings of the Council have returned to in-person sessions. A number of meetings remain virtual, with appropriate Councillors attending via remote video link. Public access to these meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: Council Chamber

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No. Item


Opening Prayer


Councillor Margaret Belsey acted as Chairman for this meeting and with the agreement of the Council appointed Councillor Anthea Lea as Vice Chairman.



The opening prayer was read by the Vice-Chairman.


To receive questions from members of the public pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 9.


A question was received from David Hayes:


Re: Land east of High Beech Lane - Land Stability Condition 14.


Despite Portsmouth Wood Close and Drive residents making representations and comments to MSDC about land stability issues, dating from 2006 and certainly from 2014, residents are extremely alarmed to find these roads have been excluded from the crucial land stability Condition. Why were we given assurances from Jonathan Ash-Edwards and your drainage engineer, Scott Wakely that this Condition covered the entire site? MSDC must surely have known that the previous builder of Portsmouth Wood Close went into liquidation due to land stability problems?


Response from Cllr. Andrew MacNaughton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning:


Following representations from residents the Council included a condition on land stability. The Condition 14 refers to those roads which the Council considered would have the potential to be impacted by land stability issues.


I can confirm that Cllr Ash-Edwards did not make assurances that the condition covered the whole site and in fact in an email from him to residents he confirms that this condition cannot be amended retrospectively.


I also have an email from Scott Wakely to a resident where he confirms that the land stability condition does not cover the entire site.


A supplementary question was asked by David Hayes to clarity if the land stability condition will cover both sites; the access and the area for building. The Cabinet Member stated that it would cover only this particular site.


A question was received from Mary Samuel:


Are MSDC failing in their responsibility by not following government regulations (March 2014) regarding land stability, that require an assessment of ground instability and I quote, ‘before a detailed planning application is prepared’? Surely all nearby householders must not be excluded from the land stability Condition? Otherwise residents could face subsidence or land slippage problems and could ultimately seek redress in the Courts.  


Response from Cllr. Andrew MacNaughton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning:


Planning policy and guidance both state that where a site is affected by land stability issues, responsibility for securing a safe development rests with the developer / landowner.


The condition attached to the permission requires that “no development shall commence until details have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority regarding slope stability issues” and the development should only be carried out in accordance with the approved details.


We are waiting for a Slope Stability Report and Intrusive Ground Investigation works in relation to condition 14.


A supplementary question was asked by Mary Samuel as to why the developer had been allowed to proceed with intrusive work on site before the condition had been agreed. The Cabinet Member confirmed that a stop notice was issued as soon as the Council became aware that work had started prior to the condition being fulfilled.


A question was received from Hilary May:


Is MSDC going to allow the 'Temporary Stop Notice' on this site to expire in a few days’ time? If  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


To confirm Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 29 January 2020. pdf icon PDF 227 KB


The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 29 January 2020 were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.


To receive Declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.


In relation to item 8, Councillors Andrew Lea, Liz Bennett and Pete Bradbury declared an interest as they are West Sussex County Councillors.


To consider any items that the Chairman of the Council agrees to take as urgent business.




Chairman's Announcements.


The Chairman noted that recent engagements of both the Chairman and Vice Chairman are available to view online. She also encouraged Members to support the fundraising Marsden March taking place on 29 March in aid of the Chairman’s chosen charity.


Recommendations from Cabinet held on 10 February 2020. pdf icon PDF 173 KB


The Chairman moved the item and took Members to the recommendations which were agreed.




Council approved:


(i)         that £82,000 be transferred from General Reserve to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 20 of the Cabinet report;

(ii)        that £4,702 grant income relating to Local Authority Data Sharing Programme Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 21 of the Cabinet report;

(iii)       that £1,779 grant income relating to External Wall System Data collection exercise be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 22 of the Cabinet report;

(iv)       that the commuted sum of £29,925 is released from General Reserve as detailed in paragraph 23 of the Cabinet report;

(v)        the variations to the Capital Programme contained in paragraph 37 of the Cabinet report in accordance with the Council’s Financial Procedure rule B3.



Corporate Plan and Budget for 2020/21. pdf icon PDF 352 KB

Additional documents:


The Leader moved the item, noting that it was the first Budget and Corporate Plan for the new administration. He thanked the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance for their scrutiny of the budget on 15 January. He noted that there have been significant changes to Council finances over the last decade and the Council has responded effectively to set a bold and ambitious agenda. This has included investing in assets to generate new income to support services, ensuring the Council is financially independent, using technology to modernise services and ensuring that work is carefully prioritised on behalf of Mid Sussex residents. The administration has also been bold in bringing investment and resources into the District both from Government and the private sector, exercising significant leadership and influence with regional and national partners on behalf of Mid Sussex.


The Leader drew Members attention to some further key areas contained within the plan:


1)         Sustainable Economic Growth – Through measures such as continuing the grants programme to support microbusinesses, the preparation of a marketing strategy for the District, the delivery of a new Parking Strategy and consideration of the deliverability of a Business Improvement District. Also through developing better infrastructure with better digital connectivity and the Burgess Hill Growth Programme.


2)         Environment – Continuing the work outlined in the Sustainability Strategy including the roll out of the first food waste recycling project in West Sussex and a network of electrical vehicle charging points across the District.


The Leader acknowledged the two amendments on environment and sustainability matters put forward by the Liberal Democrats and on behalf of the Conservative group he confirmed that these were accepted and to be included in the overall recommendations to be voted on.


3)         Planning for the future of our communities – In the next year the Council will begin the 5 year review of the District Plan.  Work will also continue to explore options to expand the provision of temporary accommodation for homeless households in the District, and on the regeneration of the Orchards Shopping Centre to ensure it is fit for purpose going forward.


Discussion was held on the work the Council has carried out to address environmental issues and climate change, and the projects proposed going forward. Members were supportive of the cross-party approach to incorporate the amendment into the recommendations. It was noted by some that the Scrutiny Committees are the platform to raise such proposals, and that the current amendment reinforces work that is already taking place. Two Members agreed that the Council should proceed with work to combat climate change from a position of leverage, to ensure that the Council’s actions encourage others to follow and that the Council needs to remain proactive in public relations on the various initiative taking place.  A Member requested further action to ensure new homes are built to incorporate renewable energy, and for work to progress on promoting walking and cycling within the District. Clarification was provided on the photovoltaic panels installed on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.