£10,000 secured by parish council for traffic calming

We are delighted to let residents know that we have secured £10,000 funding from the South Downs National Park Authority to be used for highway improvements in Greatham.
We have been working closely with the Highways authority for many months on various traffic calming measures for the village and will be consulting with residents in the next few weeks to find out what you think about the various options proposed.
To find out how to get involved in the consultation, please watch out for updates here or message us via our contact page to be added to our mailing list to receive regular updates.

Greatham Parish Council objects to nursery site application

Greatham Parish Council’s Planning Committee recently met to agree their response to the latest planning application for 37 houses on the nursery site on Petersfield Road. The committee listened to residents views about the application before agreeing their response.

The committee agreed to object to the application as it failed to meet policies contained with the South Downs National Park Local Plan.

The full parish council response can be found in the attached document. GPC Objection Nursery Site planning application SDNP-21-04848-FUL 281021

Are you interested in trees?

We are looking to appoint a number of tree wardens in the village and are seeking suitable people who are willing to get involved in the local community.
Tree wardens are the eyes and ears of their neighbourhood and will be the focal point for any issues. They will act as the link on tree matters between the community and the parish council and can be the catalyst for getting tree projects started and supported.
Tree wardens are not expected to be experts and training will be given.
Many wardens combine tree warden responsibilities with another activity such as walking their dog so it should not take up too much of your time.
The main characteristics are looking for are:
🌳 Being professional and understanding that sometimes trees have to be removed for safety reasons
🌳 Genuinely caring for the environment and the trees in it
🌳 Be willing to learn and able to deal with people at all levels
🌳 Have a basic knowledge of trees
🌳 There is no age limit
Our tree wardens will get involved in any planting schemes, map trees in the village, offer an opinion to the parish council if work to trees is required and gather information about our trees.
If you are interested, please contact the parish clerk in the first instance by emailing or call 07873 891351.

Councillor Vacancy

Greatham Parish Councillor currently has a vacancy for a councillor. Please view this link for more information.

Vacancy notice 120821

Greatham Allotment Charity call for Trustees

There are two vacancies for trustees at the Greatham Allotment Charity. The purpose of the charity is to financially support Greatham residents that have found themselves in financial difficulty – this can be through gifts in kind or grants of money.


This is a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference in the community, the role of a trustee is to:
  • Be available to meet and consider applications as and when applications for support are received
  • Good communication skills and integrity
  • Act with discretion and protect the identity of applicants
  • Act with reasonable care and with the charities best interests
  • Ensure the charity is accountable
  • Good local knowledge
  • If an applicant is ineligible (i.e. not a resident of Greatham) help find other sources for financial help.
The parish council are responsible for appointing trustees to the charity so, if you are interested, please email the clerk at with a short summary about yourself and your skill set. 

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.