MP Old Bexley & Sidcup
James Brokenshire continues in to 2018 as the Northern Ireland Secretary. He previously worked with the
PM at the Home Office, where he was immigration minister.
He is the Secretary of State for Communities, Housing and Local
From 2011 to 2015, he served as security minister at the Home Office with responsibility for domestic national security and counter-terrorism. This included supporting the home secretary with oversight of the work of
MI5 and the national police
Mr Brokenshire's responsibilities also included the government's counter-terrorism strategy and he was part of the
prime minister's "extremism taskforce". He also led negotiations with the
Jordanian government to secure the deportation of the radical cleric Abu
is now embarking on an overhaul of the National Planning Policy
Framework in the 2018
draft recently published, and well done on that, provided that the
changes sew up
the little cracks that the syrup has been cascading down as greed takes
a hold, sacrificing all that is British to urban sprawl. We are sure
that Mr Brokenshire is aware of the issues.
FROM HERSTMONCEUX MUSEUM 14-10-18 and 30-06-18
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP Your ref: 3827514
Secretary of State, Housing, Communities & Local Gov.
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
14 September 2018
Dear Mr Brokenshire,
REF: PLANNING APPS No: WD/2015/0090/MAO & WD/2018/1584/MRM
HERSTMONCEUX, EAST SUSSEX – WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL
As predicted, a last minute application from the developers was lodged stemming from the Major Outline application in 2015.
Despite our invitation to the developers to meet with ourselves and other interested parties to try and work out a way of protecting our precious historic water supply, via repositioning of the proposed houses away from the groundwater soakage line, our invitation has been ignored.
The developers contacted us about the Japanese Knotweed problem when it became clear that
Client, hence the Clarion Group and
Latimer Developments were not made aware of the well issue by the local authority, nor were the members in 2015. It appears then that this council allowed developers to proceed bereft of crucial information that could well render them liable to criminal prosecution and anyone
purchasing/renting such property. Whereas, concerning
surface water drainage and the two large ponds, the council sought legal opinion, by way of double standards. We think because they knew the well issue presented them with an insurmountable problem, best ignored in the hope nobody would notice.
It is of course illegal to pollute a watercourse, or encourage others to do so. It follows that to know about a potential pollution issue and do nothing about it or to encourage to pursue a use without appropriate protection measures, would in itself constitute misfeasance in public office, turning to malfeasance and creating a vicarious liability situation for the Members of the council concerned if they are still at this late stage kept in the dark as to
Please find attached copy of 8 open letters confirming use of the well(s) in question by several interested parties.
There has been no improvement made to the entrance to make it safe where Highways suggested the developers may be able to overcome the shortcomings identified during the average road speed measurements, but we have noted no improvement to make the exit onto the
Please also find attached copy of a letter of objection from
Lime Park Heritage
Trust, the contents of which we should like to bring to your attention in considering a call in.
Thanking you for taking the time to look at this matter
for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd
& TRAINING - Environment Analyst Development & Infrastructure is delighted to announce Building Sustainable Towns and Cities. This packed one day conference will analyse opportunities linked to the current housing crisis and policy initiatives on regional development, planning reform, urban regeneration and environmental protection. The event will bring together those working on the front-line delivering environmental solutions to share best practice with those charged with planning and building the cities of the future. It will feature key presentations on planning reform, brownfield policy, infrastructure requirements and housing market outlook.
"This Government is rewriting the rules on planning. With the major overhaul being published today, we’re giving councils and developers the backing they need to get more homes built more quickly." Prime Minister
Bringing together local authorities, planning consultants, architects, house builders, EIA consultants and contractors for one information-packed day, this event provides an opportunity to share first-hand experiences and solutions to many housing and development issues. A topical and up-to-date conference programme, combined with extensive networking and discussion opportunities and a focused exhibition, ensures you can make the most of your time out of the office.
Building Sustainable Towns and Cities will draw upon the recently published National Planning Policy 2018, examining the policy changes; 85 of the proposals set out in the Housing White Paper and the budget whilst looking at how the challenges we face can be overcome:
>> Over 40 per cent of local planning authorities don't have a plan that meets the projected growth in households;
The pace of development is too slow; and
>> The very structure of the housing market makes it harder to increase supply
This framework holds stark warnings for both local councils and developers with plans to penalise the latter who do not build homes quickly enough, whilst also highlighting that the Government may introduce sanctions for councils via the housing delivery test, stating that they will be held to account for the number of new homes delivered in their areas, not just the number planned for.
"Fundamental to building the homes our country needs is ensuring that our planning system is fit for the future." Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP
The white paper places the route cause for the lack of housing, unsurprisingly down to the fact that not enough homes are being built and has been building up over many decades, requiring a radical re-think to the approach to home building.
This new conference will look into the issues surrounding the current and future housing strategy, from site to occupation and managing the environmental challenges.
For local authority bookings and for group rates please call +44(0) 203 637 2191 or email email@example.com
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP
Secretary of State, Housing, Communities & Local Gov.
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
30 June 2018
Dear Mr Brokenshire,
REF: PLANNING GRANT No: WD/2015/0090/MAO
HERSTMONCEUX, EAST SUSSEX
We are writing to you to alert you to what appears to us to be unsustainable development just outside the village envelope of Herstmonceux, with additional policy deficiencies.
Permission was granted in outline form in2015 to build 70 (windfall) houses on green belt outside the Herstmonceux village envelope, where restrictive policies apply. At that time it is our understanding that the planning officers at Wealden District Council told their Members that it was a planning free for all, and that normal policies went by the board due to a housing shortage.
We do not think that the council officer’s comments were accurate, as we know they have misinterpreted National and Local policies before. It appears that the
Area South Planning Committee was misdirected as to important material considerations, also leaving out other pertinent information that would be inconvenient to a grant. This meant the approval was given on both inaccurate and incomplete information – in Outline form.
One major issue yet to be agreed is the current proposal to use a giant septic holding tank to service 70 properties, presumably with emptying on a weekly basis or even more frequently. To us this seems to be a health hazard in the making. We believe that the original proposal to connect to mains drainage is more sustainable, taking away potential problems that are being engineered in at the moment because the developer is seeking to avoid what we understand was agreed when the consent was given. I.e. connection to proper mains drainage.
FAILURES TO ADVISE
The councillors granting consent - by only one vote - were not told about a common law footpath that has existed since 1945 and is still in use today. The Members were told about two registered paths. This/these extra paths of what was open an open field, are a significant part of our heritage and the means by which hundreds of villagers engage with the countryside, especially dog walkers and ramblers.
In our view, where Council’s have a responsibility to register unregistered footpaths, this should have been on the agenda as a material planning consideration, but it was avoided. As such, this was a major failing on the part of the advising officers.
We have our doubts that the Members were informed as to an ancient well that has supplied water in this location since at least C. 1900. In the proposed layout plan, around 25 houses were located on a hill leading down to the ancient well, meaning that herbicidal poisons and other household chemicals would eventually find their way into the water course, thus poisoning the ancient well that has provided sustainable water supplies for over 115 years.
In two other cases the advising officer’s were involved in, they failed to properly advise. A permission granted at Berwick in Sussex was quashed by the High Court in January of 2017: WD/2016/1659/MAJ for 33 homes, 3 shops and 2 offices. Reference: CO/5983/2016. Kelvin Williams was the District Planning Officer in both cases.
LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURE & SUSTAINABLE FEATURES
There are no school spaces for additional children. Given that this is a windfall site, one would at least expect the proposed houses to include energy saving features, such as to allow the UK to comply with the targets set by the
Climate Change Act
2008. If we are to meet these targets new housing should include solar heating and micro electricity generation, perhaps with wind generators.
Electric car charging might also help with EVs being a condition of occupation.
The only exceptions to restrictive policies apply to housing that is both
affordable and sustainable. None of that applies in this case. The housing proposed is a mix of expensive executive housing (70%) and less expensive housing (30%), but nevertheless, still more expensive than any local worker could afford on an
We should also add that around 300 members of the village opposed the application, but that the wishes of the people were ignored. Lastly, the means of access appears to us to be substandard in terms of a lack of a suitable visibility splay, it being an accident in the making.
This Council owes the District a duty to protect historic assets and public spaces, as well as seeking to meet climate change targets. Not having met any of these pre-conditions (or presumptions from the NPPF), we would respectfully suggest that the grant was inappropriate.
In the circumstances, might we offer that it may be appropriate to call in this application, to be able to be sure that the permission was given was based on correct information, with
United Nations sustainability firmly in mind aimed at a
We look forward to hearing from you and remain willing to assist with additional information and to give evidence at any inquiry, as will a large number of local people who attended the committee meeting where important matters were not put to the decision making councillors.
for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd
WELL, WELL - Councils that are strapped for cash may be cutting
corners and granting consents where they would never have contemplated
doing so before and that is because they have been directed to build
huge numbers of houses where in the past they were only granting
consents in small numbers to keep control over who got the cream. Wealden
District Council are an example of a council that is known for corrupt
practices. Via a partnership with Sussex
police they were granted immunity to prosecution. Since 2015 they have been dishing out consents to developers
in the rush to generate additional rates and Community Infrastructure
Levy payments to make up for central Government cuts. This is regardless of the appropriateness of mass
developments around villages of character and charm and urban sprawl. In
the case of the proposed development above, this council is likely to become
complicit in poisoning a public
water supply from the only surviving well in Herstmonceux village in
Sussex, as per the board above protesting as to the impending ruination
of their water supply.
will this affect Wealden's future solvency against criminal prosecutions
for environmental offences and civil claims that are uninsurable? Nobody
can say. But this council will be leaving the builders and occupiers of
those homes built unlawfully to litigate for years to come as to selling
houses unfit for purpose - and the council may be vicariously liable for
failing to secure reasonable conditions.
the developers (Thakeham,
Group) admitted that they did not know that the well provided water
to the public. But said that this was the proposal that the council
wanted to see. Does that not smack of a done deal? Surely the committee
make that decision, but where a proposal is for up to seventy houses on
green belt, we would expect to see alternative scenarios with less
houses to mitigate any environmental damage.
grants from this council that were challenged in the High Court were
overturned by way of Judicial Review. These grants were by the same
planning officer and committees as the above application. A water level
management board has advised that the proposed surface water run off
solution is not sound and will lead to flooding at a point where a
sewage pump sub-station is to be located, potentially leading to foul
water pollution to add to the misery of slowly poisoning those drinking
from this well (they do not have a mains water
supply) and destroying a heritage asset in the process.
access to the site is also substandard, not being wide enough for a safe
visibility line on exit to the A271, a narrow road that is potholed
along its length because this council keeps spending money on things
like doing favours for those in the fold. If the road had been wider and
in good condition with the right width access, then they'd only have the
pollution issue to contend with. But there is also a lack of schools in
the area and the proposed houses will add to climate change in denial of
Act, when they should have micro energy generating features at the
very least and electric vehicle charging points to encourage clean
have about-faced a long-term resistance to development on this hill, ignoring
National Planning Policies that
are designed to protect heritage assets adjacent to proposed
development. This council has no local list of historic assets in their
area because such a list was inconvenient to their ongoing agendas.
Unless a council is directed to do something they will always elect not
HERSTMONCEUX VILLAGE CONDITIONS A - Z INDEX
- NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK A - Z INDEX
May - Prime Mnister
Runnymede & Weybridge
Uxbridge & South Ruislip
Hastings & Rye
Haltemprice & Howden
Bowes Park Haringey
South West Surrey
Epsom & Ewell
South West Hertfordshire
Old Bexley & Sidcup
Vale of Glamorgan
Clydes & Tweeddale
MP South Northamptonshire
Kenilworth & Southam
South West Norfolk
CLIMATE - Michael Gove has been summoned to Brussels because of his
party's failure to meet air pollution targets despite warnings about
which the Prime
Minister was aware of.
United Kingdom has many political parties, some of which are
represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Below are links to the websites of the political parties that were
represented in the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election:
DEMOCRATIC AND LABOUR PARTY
Democratic and Labour Party
are concerned with how the make up of the above parties and (reasonably)
popular policies may affect the Wealden district, because we are all
brothers on two islands in the Atlantic
Ocean and what we do or fail to do is likely to rebound on ourselves
and our fellow man in other nations around the world. How we act today
influences policies in other countries in our global community. It is
not just about us and our patch.
& BOROUGH COUNCILS
Sussex has five District and Borough Councils, each with a border on
the coast. From west to east they are:
is also East
Sussex County Council as the provider of services to the 5 East
near neighbours and with councils now sharing facilities and working
together, these area of Sussex are included in our remit and an area
change and affordable
housing are issues that need urgent attention. Where the coastline
is a feature in every Council, Blue
Growth is a food
security issue, especially where this side of of our local economy