TRANSCRIPT WEALDEN APS 2 MARCH 2000
Plans South Committee Meeting 2-3-2000
SB6 Herstmonceux 99/0810. The
Old Steam House, Lime
(Head legal services
serving 15+ years)
Ah yes Chairman thank you. Firstly,
I’d like to just draw
members attention to
page SG8. And the second,
officer to Mr Moss
item in the history section. WD/98 (oakland?) 69. An
who served 15 + yrs)
application for certificate of lawful development for use … B1
light industrial workshops and office. …. A public inquiry took place
on the 18th & 19th January.
Um, I can confirm Chairman that the appeal has been dismissed by
way of a letter from the department of the environment dated the 24th
Chairman can I just perhaps confirm to you that members of the Committee
have received a letter from the applicant dated the 9th
February, entited .. entitled ‘Viable Use’.
This letter actually encloses statistical information from Ross
& Co, who as most members will know are local estate agents and
valuers, and the letter sets out various costings and figures for the
conversion in the change of use of this building for various B1 and
Yes, certainly I received that.
I received several other letters,
and I’m sure the members have as well.
One of these the 28th February, um and er, a letter of
the 4th February to you.
There are various others what… enclosed …won’t go through
them all, but it’s a fairly …….miscible … pocket.
Thank you Chairman it, its really just a …. Pertinent…, the
points that are raised in that specific letter dated the 9th
February, which relate to the… costing ..to the… costing,
specifically on the basis of the viability of commercial uses are not
addressed through this report, and that was deliberate, and the reason
being that this report, before you today is for the residential use of
the building, and your officers have taken a view that should the
applicant wish to pursue er, a commercial activity, that perhaps the
contents in that letter …all of the……. would be best considered
through a new application for commercial use on the site.
Just to make that point clear Chairman.
Yes, I, I have advised the applicant that he should do that.
In, in view of the advice he received from the, er, the
department when they, er turned down the application for um,
non-determination, there was a need to put this in and I’m sure, I
hope he will be doing that.
Thank, thank you Chairman. Er,
if I could also just draw members attention to pages SG20 and SG21. Those members that were in attendance of, at the APS meeting
late last year on the 9th December will recall that officers
were invited to meet with the applicant with a view to discussing
various alternative uses for the land and the building. And just to draw members attention to those paragraphs on
SG20 and SG21 which follows meetings …n
may….. discussions which were undertaken with the applicant.
(Why was Mr Barker not present at this
And finally, Chairman just to say that Mr Barker is present
with us today, um and members may wish to question him on specific
points relating to the archaeological …claimed archaeological interest
of the building and or the architectural merits thereof.
And that completes the update Chairman.
Mr Chairman I think perhaps I should start by saying that I am
not totally opposed to this, er ……….
Policy…. for use for residential purposes is a suitable way of
making a residential purpose apply to….the……..
I am not however……………….. er and I would be interested
to hear what other members of the committee had, before I made any form
Councillor West, I think you wish to speak.
(to Cllr Jarman) You, you want to hear the views of other
Thank you Chairman. Um,
conscious of the fact that I have to
(Member in support)
leave at three o’clock today, I prepared an aid memoir and did
enough copies for every member.
Have members got this ……..……on their desk
This, this building is deteriorating and ….will become an
eyesore. The policies laid
down in this ‘new strategy’ by English
Heritage, quite clearly put
the onus on the planning system to progress things…. Um.
I understand that, er, I think the Heritage, or one of the
organisations offered to mediate to ……… the applicant.
This er …offer has I understand been rejected.
Um, it did seem a way forward.
It….um…. its been rejected.
I can see no reason why we cannot approve this application today.
Um, I’m confident that if it does go to appeal, both English
Nature, Heritage, Sussex Archaeological Society and one other, will
support the applicant at appeal. Um,
I’ve no doubt about that.
The point….. If we don’t do… what is going to happen to it?
We’ve acknowledged, Mr Barker’s acknowledged that the .. have
a history and it would be suitable for inclusion in a list…if we had a
list. We don’t have one,
unfortunately. Erm, maybe
that’s for another depart… another day to discuss.
What are we going to do about it?
It a… because of the, the nature of the planning system, you
would normally put in an outline application and agree materials and so
forth. With a change of…er...
this policy, particular issue we can’t do that.
It has to be a full out…. a full application.
The applicant has put forward four suggested, um, external
appearances. One of which
is identical to the original construction; match-board with a slate
roof. Um, if you don’t
like that, you have a choice of putting what …. finishing outside you
want. But basically this is
the original building. Underneath
the tin is the original match-board.
But, if you don’t like that, choose one, or he’s put ….four
different ones, um, it’s not going to go away this building.
Let’s make it, something of it, and approve this app ..
application today and draw a line under it and learn from it.
Thank you Chairman.
….. I do feel the officers will have something to say about
the, the various categories of use, um, there in the, the plan, for
example residential use, a commercial use and so on.
And certainly, er, when I spoke to the applicant back in the
beginning of February, um, I said that my way of going forward…….
would be to look at this, the commercial use of this building in lines
we have……. his letter.
um, was mentioned by Mr Black, he, he didn’t bring this into the
report, because this was a separate exercise.
But there is another use of obviously that can be made.
But I, I’m merely making this point in general.
Er, I wonder whether it would be a ..… perhaps I should save
to the end Mr Chairman. I
just wondered whether Councillor
West had any evidence that the Sussex Archaeological Society
serving 15+ yrs)
or English Heritage would support the appellant on appeal.
Well, there’s certainly a letter I’ve seen, um .. trouble is
I’ve got four lever arch files full up with ……...
I thought I brought sufficient, um, I’ll have a look through
it, but there is a letter I’ve seen where they have, er, more or less
stated they would support ……. as close as a public body like English
Nature or Sussex Archaeological could go.
It would be useful er, if the officers could be, could see that
I’ve got the original survey and the planning application
drawing, and they are identical ……...
So, I don’t know what ………
Fine, well that case, um … no comments to make at this point in
Yes Chairman. The
question as I see it is policy. And
under the recommendations 1, 2, 3, and 4, we have an awful
lot of policies which this application breaches.
And, I’d like to take the emotional issue out of this …….
We, this has been ongoing for a number of years.
We’ve been bombarded by the applicant and, you know, taken on
board like everyone else …. this point.
But, we cannot get away from policy issues.
This is outside the urban framework, …etc.. I won’t bore you
with them….. and therefore I would remove …. move for a
recommendation for refusal Chairman.
Thank you Chairman. Erm,
I, I …. tend to go along with Cllr West’s view.
I think it is not suitable for a commercial use.
It a er, the location is completely wrong for a commercial use
and whilst I’m not convinced of the fact that this ……is… the er,
right ……………. It
does seem to me that a domestic dwelling on this site is the right way
Erm, I would support the um …………... for permission, but
um on page SG21 I ………………………….
If members decided that it is imperative to secure retention of
the building, then the whole issue requires more careful and detailed
examination along the lines set out by the County Archaeologist in his
letter dated 18th January 2000.
That letter is reproduced in the appendix and I read his letter,
and it seems to me that the approach of the County Archaeologist …….
are perfectly valid and sensible and proper one which is the correct…
the approach which is normally adopted in er looking at er, at er
proposals for ……………… or similar buildings.
And, I, I would hope that a process along the lines suggested in
the County Archaeologists letter can be, um undertaken, and indeed, even
if, even if this application is refused, it will be undertaken, because
I do believe that there is something there that justifies attention in
an appropriate form.
I’m not convinced that a residential proposal which is before
us is the, the only or the best way of achieving that objective.
So I, I would make that plea, that the …… takes the
Archaeologists advice……. I would simply add that the er that, that
the information I have been sent on the viability of alternative
proposals, um raises a whole number of range of questions in my mind,
which I would like to see fully explored.
Well Councillor Simmons was first.
Thank you very much Chairman.
I would like to follow
(new to APS)
Councillor Blake’s point then, and Councillor Blake referred to
.sh…. the question of whether members should consider this building
should be retained or protected on archaeological, historical or any
other valued grounds. I
think the one line used in this report which finally convinced me was
this, and it’s the
reference Inspector, Inspector Michael on this occasion 7th
July 1998, SG22. …..In
this erm, in conclusion ………in his opinion there was no evidence of
the buildings architectural, historical importance.
And it closes, would be unsympathetic to the rural setting
contrary to the development plan 8.
Now, I have not heard any convincing argument that this building
is of greater importance than that er, considered by Inspector Michael.
I see at the moment no reason to contravene our own development
plan. As Mr Barker is here
Mr Chairman, erm, should he wish to counter the Inspector I would be
delighted to hear what …………
Have you any ……….... Mr Barker.
I wouldn’t wish to counter the Inspectors comments. I think
they are perfectly valid.
replacing Ms Bird)
Thank you Chairman. Um……..
Could I just before you start off, remind you that you’ve
already had one bite at the cherry, so make your remarks …..
Thank you Chairman. Um,
I think I ………. Um, Inspector Michael in reaching his, um views was
presented with Chezel Bird’s, um, archaeological report which turns
out to be a completely inaccurate, um, piece of work…. and her, those
views have been countered by, ah, … Mr Barker for instance and er,
the, the person that did the, the report on behalf of um, East Sussex
County Council. Erm, who,
who’s report was part of this, er …..
So, Inspector Michael quite rightly believed Chezel Bird.
The fact that she got it wrong, must be a material consideration.
If Inspector Michael had had the report as presented to us by, er,
East Sussex County Council …..…….. He would most probably have
come to a different decision. And,
conscious of that, um, Mr Kay asked if I had any…. I can’t find the
actual letter, but I do have one from, um, English
Heritage to Mr Moss,
which states: your Council may therefore wish to consider whether the
building should be put on a local list, or simply in its absence take a
decision that the historic interest of the site based ….on recent
report, is sufficient to be a material planning consideration.
Is that a letter in respect of this application?
Ols Steam House, Lime Park, Herstmonceux.
Dated 11th August 1999.
Is the application date along there?
Any application number on it?
Thank you for your letter dated 4th August
199…………. I have now
received infor……… informal reviews on the Monument Protection
Programme. Addressed to Mr
Yes. That’s the
reason I ask, because Mr Moss is not the case officer.
This is not the case officer………….
He was at the time.
Oh, yes…….. and the previous…….
And that was why he wrote to English Heritage… for their views,
and this is a reply to their letter.
You haven’t answered my question…….
It was dated …..
All, all, all Mr Kay is trying to get from you…. Mr West is
whether that particular letter, because there have been so many
It refers to DM, DM/SC/99/0810/F.
Now, is that the …the…..
Yes it is.
So, the answer to your question is yes, it is a material …….
Would you like to……
Chairman, Char……. If
I may, I asked a provocative question.
I’m not an architect, I’m not a historian, and therefore I
read with interest Inspector Michael’s conclusion.
I’m quite open to be persuaded otherwise.
So I asked … our own resident expert if he …. with all new
evidence to counter the Inspector’s conclusion….he did not.
Therefore, I am inclined to follow his guidance.
Can I make one comment…….. I was at the inquiry, when er,
……….. at the inquiry when the appellant did set out, in, in, in,
suitable detail what he thought were, were the historical features. And
there was considerable discussion……as when the …..erected, … so,
er, I appreciate the views of the people were not considered at that
stage, but the appellant did…. give his side of things.
Explain what he thought were historic features….. and
……those features…and um……..are the same ones that we are
Can I just come in on that Chairman.
I’d like to get one thing quite clear in my own mind, and I’m
quite sure the members ……………make it clear.
And, I’ve listened to…… and I did ask the officers …..
I know Mr Kay wants to reserve his fire, but on this particular
one it would be of interest to give guidance to the committee.
Members have, some members have said that a residential use is
the only one that’s appropriate. I myself have advised the applicant that a commercial use
would well be er, er applicable, and I’ve certainly said that um, in
the pecking order that the commercial use comes before residential use,
in, in a case like this, concerning, with the, the district plans. Now, if I’m wrong that’s fine, but if I’m right would
you please highlight it.
In policy terms, the err, the appropriateness of the building to
be used for commercial use, for business use does come first before a
residential. Residential is
.. policy terms a last resort. That
doesn’t mean to say that every building is suitable for either B1 or
Fine. Um, Cllr Mrs
Thank you Chairman. This
goes against all policies
goes against all policies. If
formerly Chairman of particular
building were transported anywhere else within the
Wealden area, I am quite sure that .. anybody putting it forward
for conversion, they would have been derided and laughed at …..
This is not a building that is worthy of conversion.
If it hadn’t been for the fact that the applicant has done a
lot of work on the inside over a period of years, um, all you would have
been looking at in that particular …….. is a storage shed.
But patio doors have been put in and windows have
been put in and the whole inside of the structure has been made to look
as though ………… This building in its early stages was purely a steam house
and a business use, for business use.
It was not a residential property, um, I would feel very
uncomfortable in permitting residential development there, because if I
knew that there was a monument there, who in their right mind is going
to want to buy it ……….the planning application, with all that goes
with it and the fact that members of the public might wish to come
if it is an archaeological monument, it should be left as one.
It should be left as undisturbed as possible.
And … in more of its entirety as it, as it ……… and not
changed into residential. It
obviously had a business use at one stage, although it was part of Lime
Park farm …….. it was part of their electricity supply, although
some of it I believe, went into Herstomonceux as well.
So, um, that part of it could be taken as a …….. business use
and as such it is a business use that should be given.
…………….. a residential use.
And, it would be more compatible for us to find a sympathetic,
and it would have to be a very sympathetic, bearing in mind where it is
situated. It would have to be a sympathetic business use, um, before a
residential use, so I, that’s why I will second, er, Councillor
Ellwood and I seconded him anyway in treating this application.
………………….. Cllr Jarman.
Chairman, as I said at the beginning I am not totally opposed to
the idea of residential use. I
accept that the basic use of the building is commercial.
It has always been so. A
better for it to be residential. It
is surrounded by a series of residential properties.
…. very reliant indeed ..to a large extent ….by a use for
commercial purposes. So a … reasonable solution might be for this to become
eventually a residential. However,
I don’t think the present building as it is …….as
the proposals are, er, could possibly … and therefore …support
……… But I wouldn’t
like to … put out of all mind in my view that it could be
I can also see the use for commercial purposes, and I can think
of a number of commercial uses that would not cause a nuisance and
disturbance to most of ……..building, er, that is the point I was
making Chairman, and perhaps ….. will some day be a solution.
A solution has got to be found.
There is no question about that.
Something has got to be done.
Er, to get rid of this, er, problem that has been going on a
long, long before I was a member of this, er, committee and er, I hope
it will finish long before I cease to be a member of this committee.
And, so Mr Chairman I don’t think we’ve got it, I don’t
think its right yet, but I think maybe …. we’ll, we’ll be ……
the right lines. I do
however, believe that if the time comes that we give planning permission
of one kind or another, that it must be coupled with some form of
agreement. Presumably a 106
agreement that gets rid of all the existing planning permission, or
existing planning rights. So,
it comes down to whatever we agree to ……. and nothing else.
And we’ll have no more of this ifs buts and ….
Anybody else who wishes to speak.
Right. We have a
proposal that this application should be refused.
Er, I would just like to repeat again what I said earlier on .. I
have advised the applicant himself……
he wrote to me in February.
My own view is that ….. should be taken in line with the, with
the, with the, er Wealden various plans ….to seek the commercial
application. This doesn’t
mean to say that that would be … successful one. But, I am sure that the right sort of commercial use would be
much easier to look at and sustain, than, than this particular
Um, I know he is here and I hope he will listen to what I’ve
said. Anyhow, it has been
proposed and seconded for refusal.
Now I’m sure I ………
I did propose a, approval. Um…….
…… Let me think first. I
will take the proposal for refusal.
If that is not carried, then your, your amendment, your proposal
for, of er, approval will be put to the vote.
It has been proposed and recommended for refusal for various
reasons. All those in
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Nine.
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