Update on Lone Barn Farm, June 2021

The parish council have received an update from EHDC regarding the situation at Lone Barn Farm, Church Lane, as follows:

  1. A temporary stop notice was served on 21 May requiring building works to stop. We have confirmed from site visits that building works have indeed stopped and that the trenches that had been dug have been filled in. The temporary stop notice has now expired.
  2. As I explained in my emails of 21 May to residents what happens now the Temporary Stop Notice has expired is in large part down to the owner and how he chooses to move forward. His actions will determine our response but at the moment there are no building works to construct the barn taking place (and thus no breach of planning in this respect) and nor do we have a planning application submitted for the barn.
  3. In respect of the mobile home the enforcement case on this is open and evidence being collated. Myself or Sean Baldock from EHDC will provide an update in due course.

Waste and Recycling in Hampshire

Please see below link to a blog written by our County Councillor Russell Oppenheimer about waste and recycling in Hampshire.

https://www.russelloppenheimer.com/post/waste-and-recycling-in-hampshire

Update on SDNP/21/00667/APNB Lone Barn Farm

Copy of email sent to resident 21st May 2021 providing an update on the above application:

Dear all
I have spoken to EHDC Enforcement this afternoon who have confirmed that a temporary stop notice has been placed on the works to build a barn at Lone Barn Farm. This notice lasts for 28 days.
The reason this has been issued is that the prior approval application was reviewed in some detail by the enforcement team who felt that the claim the land consists of 5 hectares (including land in Longmoor Road) was not accurate and therefore does not qualify for permitted development rights under the Town and Country Planning  (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 Part 6 Class A https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/596/schedule/2/part/6/made. 
There are various scenarios that could still play out and the owner may choose to continue to build the barn in which case further action may need to be taken. A full stop notice may or may not be issued,  and it may be that the owner now submits a full planning application within the next 28 days if he wishes to go ahead with the barn.
I’m aware that residents are keen to know whether the owners of the site can continue to live in the mobile home. My understanding is that they will be required to vacate the property as there is no building work taking place, but please bear in mind that this may not happen immediately. I have every confidence that the enforcement team are working through a process and will take the necessary steps to ensure that the correct outcome is achieved.
The parish council will be going ahead with our complaint to EHDC and the requests for information from EHDC and SDNPA as set out in my earlier email as we would still like to get to the bottom of how this issue occurred and to be absolutely certain this cannot be allowed to happen again.
Please be assured that we are in regular touch with officers at EHDC on this matter and we will pass on any news that we receive.
Jane Ives
Clerk
Greatham Parish Council

Informal Meeting 20th May 2021 Report & Outcomes

Greatham Parish Council contacted the Hampshire Association of Local Councils on Thursday 13th May 2021 to seek advice about the way EHDC have managed planning application reference SDNP/21/00667/APNB.

Hampshire ALC put the Clerk in touch with a planning specialist who spent some time going through all the documentation on the SDNPA web portal and speaking to the Clerk to obtain additional background information.

The following advice was then provided on 18th May 2021 by email.

Dear Jane

It was good to speak to you on the phone and I understand the controversy this issue is causing locally.  Unfortunately, it involves an area of planning law where there is some uncertainty, and as I am not a lawyer I would certainly not offer any view on how that should be resolved.  What I would offer are the following comments which may be of practical assistance.

  1. It is without doubt that East Hants or South Downs (or both – I will just refer to ‘the LPA’) made an administrative error in failing to determine the prior approval ‘in time’.  They have acknowledged this.  The applicant lawfully benefits from the error (because it is nothing to do with him) but only in so far as it goes – he cannot use it to excuse any action he chooses.   A complaint could be made by a resident to the Local Government Ombudsman regarding the error but no finding from the LGO will have any bearing on the planning position.
  2. As yet the LPA has not provided the parish council with some of the information which it can reasonably expect to see in order to understand what has happened.  In particular, the formal decision notice refusing prior approval and requiring a full planning application cannot be the last exchange between the applicant and the LPA because we know that that decision has been set aside.  In her ‘explanatory’ email to you (and now published on the EHDC file for the application) the planning officer says in opening:

 

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately the ‘SDNP/21/00667/APNB’ Prior Notification has deemed consent, that is the work can be carried out as submitted  (my underlining)

 

This suggests that the LPA has decided that the work is authorised (but provides no explanation of why of course).  Is this statement the actual position of the LPA and in what form has it been conveyed formally to the applicant?  The parish council needs to know what has been said and the reasoning behind it.  The question of whether or not, when considering an application for prior approval, the LPA is also bound to consider or is deemed to have considered whether the proposed development does actually benefit from the claimed permitted developments rights is not, as I understand it, a settled legal matter.  The NewWorld Payphones case your correspondent refers does indeed say what is quoted.  However, it is contrary to the view which has been understood from the previous leading cases and is not it considered definitive as it did not directly address those cases and precedence has not been firmly established.   This is further complicated by a more recent case still which appears to revert back to the previous position.  So, the question of what advice the LPA is relying on is one that you can reasonably expect to have answered.

3. In any event, the LPA did not determine the prior approval, it was deemed, and there is no final position statement on record (only the faulty decision notice which is presumably null and void).  We are back to the question of what does the LPA think the position is and what has it formally told the applicant?

  1. If the position, for any reason, is actually that the LPA consider that the development does not benefit from PD rights, then it may still take enforcement action.  As you know, the LPA has wide discretion on this and should follow its published enforcement policy.  Were it to turn on the question of the actual size of the agricultural unit this might not be the strongest platform for enforcement action and will be challenged back of course.

 

  1. If the LPA considers that the development does benefit from PD rights, as it would seem to do, then provided it is constructed within the scope of those rights they are obviously not going to be able to take enforcement action.  I believe you would be out of time for Judicial Review proceedings regarding the “decision either way” although you should consult a lawyer if you were considering the possibility of a challenge.

 

  1. If the LPA does not commence enforcement action the applicant, either before or after construction, could seek a lawful development certificate to resolve any lingering doubts about the status of the development.

I would suggest that a reasonable course of action (and something which is needed before you can go further) is to ask the LPA for the correspondence with the applicant subsequent to the issue of the faulty decision notice.  It is unsatisfactory that they have not given this to you and not placed it on the public record. A short, informal, email from the LPA is nowhere near enough in the circumstances.   You may also want to ask the LPA for an explanation of the chain of events.   Knowing what is and is not common ground between the LPA and the applicant is essential.  Whilst this may not seem like a particularly ‘bold’ response, in my experience it is essential where you seem to be getting conflicting statements and messages from different sources within the LPA.  With that information to hand a proper assessment can be made of any possible further action, even if that is only a complaint regarding the administration of the process.  It will also help the LPA to straighten out their thinking which might be useful to everyone involved.

 

Jane – I’m very happy to take a call in respect of clarifying any aspect of this email of course.   If I can be of further assistance to the parish council then I would be happy to do so although given the time constraints it would need to be on an arrangement beyond the HALC advice service.

 

Steve Tilbury MSc AssocRTPI

Steve Tilbury Consulting Ltd

 

Clerk additional notes: This is an email that we have been privy to from Nick Upton, EHDC Planning, which contradicts Danielle Hall’s email regarding the decision:

EHDC Planning Officer:  I’m aware the applicant for this scheme wanted us to go beyond our remit and issue a decision on whether their development strictly meets the permitted development criteria. However, that approach is not correct and I’ve advised the applicant that our function in determining a Prior Notification under Part 6 of the GPDO relates solely to the impact on its surroundings and does not extend to confirming the lawfulness of a development.  As ever, if the building does not meet the permitted development criteria and is not used for purposes permitted by Part 6 (eg agriculture) then it would not be lawful.

 

Recommendations from Informal Meeting of Councillors 20th May 2021

Councillors attended an informal meeting on 20th May and made the following recommendations to the Clerk under the delegation scheme. The Clerk will now carry out the following actions:

 

  1. Write a letter of complaint to Mark Webb, EHDC Planning Relations Manager, regarding actions taken by EHDC relating to planning application SDNP/21/00667/APNB. The letter of complaint will outline the background to the events leading up to deemed consent being given and will then cover the main issues as we see them: lack of communication with parish council and residents when deemed consent was given; failure to upload any documents on the web portal showing that deemed consent has been given; and conflicting advice from EHDC planning officers as to whether permitted development rights apply.

 

The complaint will also be sent to Tim Slaney, SDNPA and Julia Mansi, EHDC Planning Development Manager with a series of questions as follows:

 

  1. Is the correspondence between EHDC and the applicant to advise that EHDC got the dates wrong and confirming they now have deemed consent going to be published?
  2. What has EHDC formally told the applicant about permitted development rights?
  3. What is EHDC’s formal position on whether the applicant has permitted development rights as two planning officers have given conflicting information?
  4. Why was the correspondence confirming deemed consent not published?
  5. Where is the formal withdrawal of the decision notice for refusal?
  6. How exactly did the failure in the SDNPA system happen? Was it an input error or a system error? Who was overseeing the system and were there any checks in place?
  7. When Danielle Hall says in her email of 11th May that the system has now been changed, what system has changed and how? And is this a control process change or a technical change?
  8. How can we be sure that this kind of failure will not happen again?
  9. Can you tell us all the other applications this has affected?
  10. Why did the Planning Officer not contact Greatham Parish Council to update them on the change of status of the application to deemed consent?

 

A Freedom of Information request will be sent to both EHDC and SDNPA asking for all correspondence relating to SDNP/21/00667/APNB including, but not limited to:

Correspondence between EHDC and the applicant and/or his agent;

Correspondence between officers of EHDC;

Correspondence between officers of EHDC and the SDNPA; and,

Correspondence between officers of EHDC and District Councillors from Whitehill, Hogmoor and Greatham ward

 

Once we have responses to the above questions and seen the information provided under FOI, the Council will meet again to decide next steps.

 

 

 

Informal meeting, 20th May 2021

Parish councillors are hosting a drop in online session this Thursday evening from 7pm-8pm on Zoom. We would like to invite residents to attend to give you the opportunity to talk to us about recent concerns raised about how deemed consent has been granted for a barn at Lone Barn Farm in Church Lane.
If you wish to attend then please use the link below to log in. The session will start at 7pm but feel free to drop in any time until 8pm when the session will close.
Or by telephone: 0203 481 5240 using meeting id: 892 5133 4128
Following the drop in session, councillors will separately meet informally to discuss any action they wish to take. Holding meetings at the present time is proving extremely difficult and frustrating. We are not permitted to hold formal council meetings remotely at all now and we also have some councillors and residents who are understandably concerned about meeting in person. If members of the public attend a remote informal meeting, it may be considered a council meeting which would leave any decisions made open to challenge and potentially run the risk of those decisions being deemed invalid.
The other reason why we have decided to arrange the meetings this way is that whilst we are able to hold face to face meetings, we must also balance public safety and think about restricting numbers. This could mean that some residents may not be able to participate in a formal face to face meeting meeting should we hold one in the village hall as, if we reach capacity, we would have to turn people away. This does not sit well with us and we want to give anyone who wishes to speak the opportunity to have their say.  We have also considered holding a meeting outside but the weather forecast is currently awful for the remainder of this week and would make any meeting very difficult.
We do hope that you will drop in to talk to councillors on Thursday if you have concerns but equally do pass on any comments by email. Importantly, we must bear in mind that the site owner does have permission to proceed with building a barn but it is the method by which this has been given that we will be focussing on.

Greatham Amicable Charity

Greatham Amicable Charity

Did you know that you can get financial help from Greatham Amicable Charity if you live in Greatham and are struggling financially? To find out more please read the flyer here:

Allotment Charity Flyer

SDNPA Refuses Planning Application at Liss Forest Nursery Site

The SDNPA Planning Committee met in March to discuss their response to the proposed development of 37 houses on the Liss Forest Nursery Site. The proposal was unanimously rejected and you can watch the discussion here. The discussion about Greatham starts at approximately 16 minutes in to the video.

SDNPA refusal of Liss Forest Nursery Site

 

Defibrillator Update

The defibrillator has been placed back in the cabinet on the outside of the Church Rooms behind St John’s Church today. It has new batteries and pads and is in full working order.

We have been aware of some criticism on social media that the defibrillator was removed last week without informing residents. Defibrillator batteries last approximately 5 years so the unit has not had to be serviced until this year. The Clerk correctly removed the unit in order to do this and informed the ambulance service that it was currently out of action. This is the correct process so that when a resident dials 999 they are automatically directed to the next nearest defibrillator should they need to access one.

The ambulance service advised us that the defibrillator, which was purchased some years ago by the old parish council, was not registered with them at the time of purchase. This means that the emergency services have not known of its existence to use in an emergency. The good news is it will now be registered and also automatically added to the Save a Life app.

The defibrillator will be moved shortly to a new location at the Village Hall with a new cabinet as the existing one needs replacing. The cabinet will have a keypad system in place and if you dial 999 after someone has had a cardiac arrest, the ambulance service will give you the keypad code so that you can access the defibrillator.

Every community defibrillator needs to have two guardians whose details are held by the ambulance service and whose role it is to ensure the defibrillator remains response ready at all times. This involves checking the active light and battery life regularly and reporting any problems to the Clerk. The Clerk will have the overall responsibility for being the main liaison point with the ambulance service should there be any issues.

If you would like to take on the role of guardian please email the Clerk at

Reporting Crime

Greatham Parish Council recently took part in a meeting with our District Councillor Phillip Davies at our local Police office in Bordon over several matters that local residents were concerned about it became apparent that people are not reporting crimes to the Police. People don’t like to bother the Police who they know are busy.  People have told us they are not always sure who to call when they wish to report anti-social behaviour and other forms of crime so we thought it useful to explain here how and when to report.

As with any organisation, public or private sector, resources are deployed where they are most needed. if there are no reports of crime or anti-social behaviour the Police will not adjust resourcing to meet demands that are not there. When local councillors are working to try and solve anti-social behaviour it’s difficult for them to engage with partners including the Police if crimes haven’t been reported. Please always report anti-social behaviour and crime. Don’t leave it to someone else. Reporting crime will help your councillors and the Police take the right action to help you and the wider community.

When and who to report things to?

When you have a crime or other situation you feel should be brought to the Police’s attention, such as anti-social behaviour, you can either report online on the Hampshire Police website – https://www.hampshire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ or you can phone 101. You can do both twenty four hours a day seven days a week. Where you phone, your call  is answered by the Police. Examples of what you might phone 101 with are thefts you may have discovered overnight from your car or damage to your fence or anti-social behaviour such as litter, graffiti or late night noisy neighbours. It’s important the Police are told when you discover this so they can ensure the right actions are taken including referring to agencies that can help and prevent escalation.

Phone 999 when a crime is happening right now such as a burglary or an assault so the Police can try and apprehend the offender and also phone if you or others are in danger. Also use 999 where you see people regardless of age with weapons, even if you think these are air weapons. Someone may get hurt if you don’t. It’s important in these cases that the Police  are told quickly so they can do their best to respond to keep us safe, to prevent crime and where needed to preserve evidence.

 If you don’t want to give your name, telephone number or address that’s fine. You can phone Crime Stoppers anytime twenty four hours a day, seven days a week on free phone 0800 500 111. Crime Stoppers are a well-established charity who have a very close working relationship with the Police. You can report to Crime Stoppers anonymously, you do not need to give your name, address or contact number. Crime Stoppers will pass reports of crime to the relevant Police force.

Rewilding Greatham

District Councillor Adam Carew produced a wonderful report for us on rewilding Greatham and has agreed to provide a grant for wildflower plugs to be planted in 3 locations in the village over the coming weeks. We are really excited about this project and look forward to seeing the results over the coming year. Read Cllr Carew’s report here Rewilding Greatham