Notes of Survey Results Presentation on the 8th July 2017 at the Village Hall

Presentation by Catherine Bright
Attended by approximately 38 residents 

Catherine introduced the presentation by explaining that the survey results would be available on the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) website.

Catherine highlighted a few overall points:
301 Surveys had been completed giving a percentage return of 42% which is very high.
50 sites originally put forwarded had been narrowed down, by the sites exhibition, to the 5 put forward in the Survey.
There was still a need to explore these sites more and a need to do more on the Environment.
The aim is for voting on the completed NP to take place in early 2018
There had been a low engagement by under 30 year olds. 3% of under 18 year olds and 4% of 18-29 year olds returned the survey.  More would need to be done to consult with young people.  Older people were slightly over represented.

Catherine presented findings, taking questions and comments during the presentation.
The ranking of the five sites were: 1st choice Site A; with Sites B and C in the top 3 ranking; Site E was close in ranking with the top 3;

Site D was the least preferred.
Site A – Field to West of Forewood Rise and Paddock area to South
Site B – Coombe Dell
Site C – Land East of Station Road
Site D – Wooded area to East of Station Road Car Park
Site E – Land between Plough Lane and Royal Oak Lane

The survey showed some very mixed choices. Over 30% felt that the homes should be smaller.  Rother District Council (RDC) policy suggests said that 30% should be 1 or 2 bedroom homes

Summary of comments/questions from the floor during presentation
  • Site D may not have been the first choice as a result of only 6 homes being indicated.
  • 1 and 2 bedroom homes could be for young or for older people.
  • 3 to 4 bedroom homes would encourage more families which were needed in the village.
  • The Parking Places question did not indicate a maximum or a minimum.
  • Recreation Ground parking was not sufficient when events took place there.
  • Parking fees should be removed from the Station Car Park as neither Network Rail nor local residents benefitted from the current arrangement.
  • The previously free car park and consequent number of commuters, including from Bexhill, had helped keep the station open when previously threatened with closure.
  • There were two different aspects of Site A (Forewood Rise) which were the pony field and the field behind Forewood Rise.
  • Using Site B as an example; statistics can be interpreted in different ways.

Martin White (MW ) made the following points following the presentation:
Rother require 4,500 houses to be built within the next 5 years otherwise developers will be able to put forward their own plan. Our allocation is 20 27 , but RDC expect there to be some windfall development too (maybe around 7) of which 7 were assumed to be windfalls.

The Survey is not exact.  Landowners had been asked about the sites, but not the access land to them as yet and would have to agree for the sites to be viable.

The Survey doesn’t lead to decision making, but informs and provides a baseline from which to move forward. It is aiming for majority support rather than splitting the Village. There are still a lot of technical aspects to be considered.

Summary of comments/questions/ from the floor and MW responses
  • Ninfield had no NP. A local farmer had been approached resulting in a planned  development for more houses than with a NP with residents furious about this.
  • Young people had been clear in previous consultation events with them that they did not want a combined Village Hall and Youth Club.
  • Recent or near-future house building counts as windfalls (as less than 6 and not part of the NP). MW
  • It is unlikely a developer could come in now as we are close to a draft NP (Nov 17) MW
  • Our housing needs survey is more up to date than Rother’s which provides evidence of need to support the NP.
  • Landowners will be consulted as will Highways. MW.
  • It would be worth considering if there might have been a higher response to the Survey if Street Champions had given out more paper copies (as before), rather than asking for online responses ?

Future Steps and Proposed Timescale for the NP Process:
Please note that various exhibitions and consultations will be held as part of this process.

  • August 2017: Start drafting the plan
  • 12th August: Crowhurst Fayre with NP Stall providing information and consultation
  • Sunday, 20th August 3.30-5.30pm: NP Workshops open to all residents
  • Tuesday, 29th August 7.30-9.30 pm : NP Workshops open to all residents
  • September: Seek Parish Council approval of the draft NP.
  • 6 week resident consultation and exhibitions
  • Submission of draft NP to Rother District Council (RDC)
  • Further 6 week resident and wider consultation on draft NP undertaken by RDC.
  • Submission to Independent Examiner (if proposals and consultation are accepted).
  • March 2018 approx. Village Referendum on the NP run by Rother District Council.

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The Final Crowhurst Neighbourhood Development Plan. ​The referendum on this important document will take place in the summer. 
Contains links to the archived Reg. 16 and Reg. 14 consultation and submission pages.  Archive-REG 14, 16
This page contains all documents relating to the Consultation Process including village survey results and longlisted and shortlisted sites feedback. It will be updated as the process continues. 

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