Agenda item

Public Question Time

So as to provide the best opportunity for the Committee to provide the public with the fullest answer, questions from the public should be submitted by midday on Thursday 29th September 2022.


Where relevant notice of a question has not been given, the person presiding may either choose to give a response at the meeting or respond by undertaking to provide a written response within three working days.


Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services –


(Note:  Public Question Time will last for a maximum of 30 minutes)


James Breckell asked (read out by Gary Peck, Planning Services Manager) -


I would like to address the Planning Committee with regard to the unreasonable application of planning conditions in regard to rainwater design. 


The Council's Engineers often use ‘holding objections’ and ask applicants to consider rainwater drainage as part of the planning application process.  This is unreasonable and has the effect of stifling the supply of housing.


Gary Peck, Planning Services Manager, responded -


Drainage is an issue for a number of planning applications. Often those brought to Committee have drainage conditions attached. A number of applications haven’t reached Committee yet because there are objections on drainage grounds. It is correct that these are looked at carefully as there is a drainage issue across the district. If there isn’t sufficient drainage information with an application at the outset it is usual that the Council’s Technical Services Section will raise a holding objection to those applications. If that happens we try to work out a resolution but, generally, those applications don’t come to committee. The applications that do come before Committee are the ones where such information has been provided and potentially negotiated with applicants. Members have said in the past that, even then, they don’t feel there is enough information in those reports so a conclusion could be drawn from this that it is an important issue for, not only  applicants but members, officers and residents alike. I appreciate that we should never stifle the supply of housing but at this stage we seek as much information as we can to allow the Committee to make their decisions and only when we’ve got to a point where we can feel confident that there will be no issues do we bring them to the Committee for consideration.


Chrissie Gunter (AREA) asked -


My question relates to the Brief for Review of Western Harbour Arm.

Pt. 3.3 proposes that a Design Code could be delivered and suggests more public participation.

I believe the Council has consulted the Coastal West Sussex Design Review Panel for past developments and this appears to have resulted in uniformly, ugly, brown buildings.

Will there be more imagination in future. Does the Council look at other attractive coastal developments and how will local residents be involved in decision making?


Moira Hayes, Adur Planning Policy Manager, responded -


The paper you’re referring to is talking about the National Design Code and that is a process for assessing districts, areas or sites and looking at the details and providing a vision and guidelines as to how development might come forward in those particular areas. As part of its process the National Design Code involves public participation, its part of its methodology. The Coastal West Sussex Design Review Panel looks at planning applications and my colleague Gary Peck will enlarge on that.


Gary Peck, Planning Services Manager, responded -


When a major application is submitted, as part of the determination of the application, before it comes to Committee, the Design Review Panel may be consulted as a consultee. They can provide comments and sometimes guidance to an applicant, who may or may not take into account that advice. A major planning application has to come to Committee and they are entitled to take into account design during their determinations. Residents are also consulted at the same time as the Design Review Panel and any comments received from them are fully incorporated in the report for members to consider.


Chrissie Gunter (AREA) asked -


How will residents be able to participate? I know from being involved with AREA that many residents dislike the design of most of the developments that have been approved, such as Kingston Wharf and Free Wharf.


Gary Peck, Planning Services Manager, responded -


I can only speak on the planning application aspect. Anyone can comment on a planning application and all those comments are reported. It is perfectly valid for residents to use examples of other developments in their comments and in some ways that makes for more useful comments.


Chrissie Gunter (AREA) asked -


In this brief it actually says it’s going to encourage public participation more than just making comments about planning applications.


Moira Hayes, Adur Planning Policy Manager, replied -


The Design code process is very new, only being published in Oct 2021. The government is running pilot schemes which Adur District Council are not involved with. The authorities that are in these pilot schemes are involving their communities at different levels. Some are looking at whole districts, some at small sites and some at areas. It’s all about getting people involved in setting out broad principles and looking at aspects such as materials etc. We don’t have a start date for this process yet or details of exactly how it’s going to work, but we will keep residents informed when we can. The Government Design Code is a detailed methodology and we may need to work with a consultant who is used to both the planning process and working with the community.