Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth - Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019 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


To note Substitutes in Accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4 - Substitutes at Meetings of Committees etc.


Councillor Smith substituted for Councillor Coe-Gunnell White.


To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillor Hillier, Councillor Coe-Gunnell White, Councillor Margaret Belsey and Councillor Peacock.


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




To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth held on 11 September 2019. pdf icon PDF 226 KB


The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman after it was noted that the Scrutiny Committee had met to review the process for the site allocations development plan document on five occasions prior to 11 September 2019.



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




Parking Services Annual Review 2018/19. pdf icon PDF 363 KB


Claire Onslow, Business Unit Leader for Parking Services introduced the annual review of Parking Services.  She advised that the report provides the Committee with an overview of Parking Services’ activity in 2018/19, including information about the enforcement contract the Council operate on behalf of West Sussex County Council.  The Committee were informed that the Parking Services Team manage the District's public car parks, the enforcement of on and off street parking, administers West Sussex County Council's Controlled Parking Zone in East Grinstead and the Council's concessionary taxi voucher scheme.  She highlighted that the rollout of cashless parking had modernised the service for users and had been well received.  In response to a Member's question she advised that the contract with West Sussex County Council was due for consideration next year but the County Council were currently reviewing the Civil Parking Enforcement agreements in all Borough and District Councils.  


Due to the unavoidable absence of Councillor Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, it was agreed that Councillor Gary Marsh would answer questions relating to the Parking Strategy.


A Member queried how Parking Services prioritised parking enforcement and enforcement of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).  The Officer noted that the contract with West Sussex County Council stipulated that enforcement should be 70% for on-street and 30% for off-street parking.  The Committee were advised that the District covers a large area but the controlled parking zone and known hot spots are prioritised.  The hot spots have been identified from historic data and local knowledge, and the parking enforcement team can monitor any other areas that are raised as sites of concern.   The Officer stated that they also undertake reactive enforcement after receiving information from Members and the public, and the priority is to keep traffic moving across the District.


In response to a Member's question Councillor Marsh stated that the decision had been made, where possible, to pursue unpaid tickets issued to foreign drivers.  He noted that the enforcement officers have visited hot spots like schools and these visits have been effective.  The Business Unit Leader for Parking Services confirmed that the pursuit of debt collection from foreign drivers has a zero cost to the Council if there is no successful outcome.  If a debt is recovered the cost to the Council is 20% of the recovered funds. 


Members queried the spare capacity of the car parks, key performance indicators, the retention of parking enforcement staff, the use of car parks by season ticket holders and controlled parking zones.  The Officer confirmed that there are three car parks in Haywards Heath for use by season ticket holders only, and Franklynn Road car park is for use by both season ticket holders and pay and display users.  The Committee were informed that there was no high turnover of staff, staff moved on due to relocation or retirement but it has proved difficult to employ the final enforcement officer.  She advised that the Parking Strategy Working Group would look at the transaction data and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


East Grinstead Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review - Outcome of Public Consultation pdf icon PDF 280 KB

Additional documents:


Alma Howell, Senior Planning Officer and Conservation Officer introduced the report which requested that the Committee considered the proposed changes resulting from the public consultation on the East Grinstead Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review.  She noted that the review was a legal requirement and Historic England advised that best method was by undertaking appraisals. A programme of appraisals had been agreed by this Committee in July 2018. The review of East Grinstead Conservation Area was agreed as a priority within this programme and in the Council’s Economic Strategy due to its economic role and the historic medieval timber framed buildings on the High Street.  She advised that since that programme had been agreed, appraisals had been completed for the three Conservation Areas in Hurstpierpoint, this one, East Grinstead, was now almost complete and work had started for Lindfield and Muster Green. The Committee was informed that Part A of the document sets out the special architectural and historic features of the Conservation Area that should be preserved and enhanced, Part B sets out the Management Proposals which also includes a review of the boundary of the Conservation Area.  The work on the appraisal noted that there was no reason to significantly alter the boundary other than to rationalise the edges and include some of the rear service yards. 


The Officer confirmed that a meeting and exhibition at East Grinstead Library formed part of the consultation There had been 26 respondents to the consultation.  She noted that where appropriate action had been taken and responses to the comments were noted in red in appendix 2.  The appraisal provides a clear statement on what needs protecting and the document should be adopted as a material consideration in the planning process.


Members discussed the responsibilities of the Highway Authority, signage in the conservation area and the development at Queens Walk.  The Officer confirmed that all initiatives required partnership working with East Grinstead Town Council and/or the County Council.  She informed the Committee that the document could only influence future applications once the changes have been approved.  Sally Blomfield, Divisional Leader for Planning and Economy confirmed that the development at Queens Walk had planning permission and this document would inform future applications.  She advised that the progress of any collaboration work with the County Council would be reliant on their work programme and budget.  


The Chairman noted that it was remarkable that the High Street was still identical to the medieval map, and he thanked the Officer for her work.


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




The Committee:


(i) Considered the responses to the public consultation on the East Grinstead   Conservation Area Appraisal and the recommended changes, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;


(ii) Delegated approval of the proposed changes to the East Grinstead      Conservation Area Appraisal to the Cabinet Member for Housing and  Planning along with approval of the revised document (as set out in Appendix 2), as a material in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth - Work Programme 2019/20. pdf icon PDF 195 KB


Tom Clark, Solicitor to the Council, introduced the tabled report which presented the Committee’s Work Programme for the year.  He highlighted the additional meeting on 11 March 2020 to discuss the consultation feedback from the Site Allocation Development Plan Document.


Councillor Paul Brown proposed an amendment to the Work Programme to examine the Northern Arc Masterplan and IDP, and invite expert witnesses to the Scrutiny meeting on 25 March.  Tom Clark, Head of Regulatory Services advised that the Masterplan had already been adopted. Councillor Marsh informed the Committee that it was the responsibility of the Head of Service and Cabinet Members to ask questions of Homes England and the Assistant Chief Executive, as Head of Planning, has regular consultations with Homes England.


The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning noted that Homes England should not be treated differently to any other developer and all applications were scrutinised during the planning process.  The Assistant Chief Executive noted that Councillor Brown's proposal would be discussed outside the meeting to help the Chairman make an informed decision. 


In response to a Member's question the Assistant Chief Executive advised that the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance has the responsibility for monitoring the Council's corporate performance and this is done quarterly using a suite of indicators for every service area of the Council, and Officers and Cabinet Members are asked to attend the meeting if more information is required.  The Head of Regulatory Service added that Members are permitted to attend the meeting and would be able to comment.


The Chairman took the Members to the recommendation which was unanimously agreed.




The Committee noted the Committee’s Work Programme as set out at paragraph 5 of the tabled report.


Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10, due notice of which has been given.