Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth - Thursday, 22nd October, 2020 5.00 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


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No. Item


Roll Call and Virtual Meeting Explanation.


The Chairman carried out a roll call to establish attendance at the meeting.  The Chairman proposed Cllr Marsh is elected as Vice-chairman for the meeting, this was agreed by a vote.  The Solicitor to the Council provided information on the format of the virtual meeting.



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


Councillor Pulfer substituted for Councillor Walker and Councillor Dabell substituted for Councillor Mockford.



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillors Mockford and Walker.



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


Councillor Eggleston declared a non-prejudicial interest in item 8 as he is an appointed trustee of the Beehive, Burgess Hill and is a Member of Burgess Hill Town Council. Councillors Pulfer and Bates declared a non-prejudicial interest in item 8 as they are both Haywards Heath Town Councillors. Councillor Laband declared a non-prejudicial interest in item 8 as he lives within the area identified on Haywards Heath Town Centre’s Master Plan.  Tom Clark, Solicitor declared a non-prejudicial interest in item 8 as he owns a flat within the area identified on Haywards Heath Town Centre’s Master Plan.



To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth held on 29 July 2020. pdf icon PDF 219 KB


A minor amendment to the minutes was agreed, “In response to a Members concern about cycle parking at commercial premises, the Urban Designer noted that it was referenced under DG24 but in a residential setting”.  The amended minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 29 July 2020 were agreed as a correct record with 10 votes in favour, 1 against, and 2 abstentions.  These were electronically signed by the Chairman.  



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





Parking Strategy and Action Plan 2020 - 2030 pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Additional documents:


Claire Onslow, Business Unit Leader Parking Services advised that the current Parking Strategy expired in 2020. She reminded the Committee that a cross party working group had been set up to lead on refreshing the strategy and Parking Matters Ltd had been appointed as the consultant.  This high-level strategy provides a 10-year strategic framework for the future management of the Council’s car parks with the overall objective to support   sustainable economic growth.  The strategy has a 5-year rolling action plan to ensure it remains agile and relevant in the current and future economic climate and takes into account the anticipated impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.   The prediction for economic recovery has been based on previous economic recessions.  She noted that the Working Group had agreed the document in principle and if it was approved today Council would consider adoption in December 2020. 


Several Members of the Working Group welcomed the comprehensive document,  thanked the Working Group and officers and expressed support for the recommendations. 


Members discussed Electric Vehicle Charging points (EVCs), the use of digital technology to manage the Council’s car parks, subsidised parking for retailers and future use of car parking sites.


The Business Unit Leader for Parking Services reiterated that this was a high-level document and further work streams would provide more detailed proposals for Members to consider in due course. She noted that as part of a separate sustainability work stream a tender was underway and work would start next year on installing 26 new EVCs. Any future demand would be identified in the Investment Strategy. 


Judy Holmes, Assistant Chief Executive advised the Council has not been approached to provide subsidised parking for retailers and the Council’s approach would be to work with all employers to encourage the use of season tickets. Each request would be considered on a case by case basis.  She confirmed the Working Group had seen evidence to support the proposals in the Strategy and Action Plan.


Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth added that Cabinet would discuss any such request.  The Chairman noted that Waitrose in Burgess Hill subsidises car parking for its customers to raise footfall in its store.

Members discussed how the Government’s aim to promote and encourage support of local businesses would integrate with the strategy and the future size of parking spaces.


The Business Unit Leader advised that a feasibility study of each car park, would identify the community’s needs, as a one size fits all approach is not appropriate.  This work will inform the development of the strategy.


Councillor Gary Marsh, Chairman of the Parking Strategy Working Group thanked the members of the working group and Parking Matters.  He reminded Members that it is a high-level strategy and a long-term plan.  He urged members to support the recommendations.


Members expressed concern with the change of shopping habits due to Covid-19 and discussed employment travel plans, season tickets and tariffs.


The Business Unit Leader for Parking Services commented that the Council must take stock of their estate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Haywards Heath Town Centre Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document - Consultation Draft pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Additional documents:


Andrew Marsh, Business Unit Leader for Planning Policy introduced the report. He commented that the Town Centre  plays a vital role in the heart of the community, and it must remain vibrant and prosperous.  Haywards Heath has good transport links, and a good public realm, which the Master Plan seeks to regenerate.  The high-level framework of the Master Plan will provide clarity for the community and investors.  It will also support bids for future funding and priorities for future projects.  The Master Plan will be a material consideration for future planning schemes and will replace the existing 2007 Masterplan. It will not set policy but will supplement District Plan policy DP2. The Masterplan draws together a number of existing studies such as those prepared by the County Council and Town Council.


The Business Unit Leader highlighted various sections of the report and confirmed that the inclusion of a site in the Master Plan does not confirm the site is available.   He noted the public consultation in November and December and the Community Involvement Plan.  The consultation results will come back to the committee in January 2021 and the Council will consider the next version for adoption in March 2021.


Several Members welcomed the comprehensive report and the Chairman commented that the public need to contribute to ensure a robust document going forward.  Members questioned how the Council would engage the public in the consultation in the current pandemic.


The Business Unit Leader confirmed the current restrictions regarding the pandemic had been considered.  He noted that the Council had received a good response to virtual consultations over the last six months. To encourage participation in the consultation, an interactive map facility was being made available on the website.  Consultees could then click and view the proposals and interact that way.  Copies of the Master Plan would be available in the library, help-point and the Town Council’s office for inspection should restrictions allow.  They hoped to include an article in the next edition of Mid Sussex Matters as it is distributed to every household in the District, ensuring a wide reach.  There would also be the usual press release and listings on social media.


In response to a Member’s question, Sally Blomfield, Divisional Leader for Planning & Economy advised that Burgess Hill has a strong variety of employment sectors, and the banking and financial sectors of Burgess Hill had been included as they are the strongest examples.  She stated the time frame of the Master Plan was 2031, to tie in with District Plan and references to short, medium and long term was in this context.


Members expressed concern that on-street parking causes traffic congestion, queried the use of Controlled Parking Zones,  timing for the introduction of 20 mph zones, and plans for a multi storey car park at The Orchards.


The Business Unit Leader advised that the operation side of parking is not in the high-level Master Plan as that will be covered by other work streams.  The reduction of traffic is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth - Work Programme 2020/21. pdf icon PDF 193 KB


Tom Clark, Head of Regulatory Services introduced the Committee’s Work Programme.  He noted the report on the outcome of the public consultation on the Haywards Heath Town Centre Masterplan would be on the agenda for the January meeting.


The Chairman noted that no more Members wished to comment on the Work Programme and so moved to the recommendation to note the Committee’s Work Programme which was agreed with 11 votes in favour and 1 against.




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



Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2 due notice of which has been given.