The Role of the Planning Committee

Fairlight Parish Council Planning Committee

How we are Involved in the Planning Process

Some Information About Fairlight

We think Fairlight is a special place. It is a village benefitting from being on the coast and in the country. It is bounded by the cliffs which are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI ), Hastings Country Park, ancient woodland, farmland and National Trust land. The village is also surrounded by The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ( AONB ).

Our Challenges

Despite our advantages we also face a number of challenges. There is a history of erosion to the cliffs which has resulted in the loss of a number of properties. Rock berms below the cliff, and a system of pumps in the Rockmead Road area, have improved the situation and slowed the erosion but will not stop it completely. The drains in the village are at full capacity and there have been a number of overflows.  Surface water drainage  is traditionally dealt with by soakaways in the gardens of properties. We oppose their use as in some areas of the village they result in the ground becoming waterlogged.

How Planning Applications in Fairlight are Dealt with

Residents who wish to carry out development work to their properties are  required to obtain consent from the Planning Authority, Rother District Council, unless it is minor work classed as “permitted development”.

Fairlight Parish Council  cannot decide applications but is notified of them and has the right to make comments, or representations. Anyone who is affected by a proposal  can comment  direct to Rother.

The Parish Council has established a Planning Committee which meets every two weeks  to consider and comment on applications.

What the Planning Committee Considers

  • The Planning Committee will consider a number of factors e.g.
  • The suitability of the site for the proposed use 
  • Conflict with Council or National Planning policies
  • Whether the appearance and size of proposals are in keeping with the village and neighbouring properties.
  • Whether the proposal  will overshadow or overlook neighbouring properties.
  • Whether the proposal will generate noise or disturbance.
  • If the access and parking arrangements are safe and suitable.
  • The visual impact  and  loss of trees or hedgerows
  • Whether the proposal  will put undue stress on the cliffs.
  • Potential  impact on the drainage system or other village infrastructure.

Matters the Committee can not Consider

  • Loss of private view.
  • Boundary and other private disputes between neighbours.
  • Perceived loss of value of nearby property.
  • Land ownership
  • Personal issues
  • Impact of construction traffic

We will sometimes raise concerns that are not strictly planning issues but are causing particular concern to residents or Councillors.

Planning Committee Meetings

The Planning Committee meets every two weeks when there are planning applications to consider.

Meetings are generally held on Tuesday afternoons  at 2.30pm In the Village Hall and are open to the public.

Notices are displayed on the Parish Council noticeboards and on the Parish Council section of the village website

Where to get Further  information about Planning Matters

1) Rother District Council has useful information  and the necessary forms on its website Planning applications can be made online . If you need to make contact by telephone  the number is 01424 787000. 

2) The Department for Communities and Local Government ( DCLG )There is a  website which is run by the DCLG. This provides detailed guidance on planning issues and has interactive  houses to explore . Using this facility you can see what does and does not require planning permission.

3) The Council to Protect Rural England ( CPRE ) has produced a very useful guide “ How to Respond to a Planning Application “ which can be found on the website

If you are thinking of carrying out work always check whether planning permission is required before starting. If you  carry out work which requires planning permission and you don’t have it , you may have to put things back as they were.

Fairlight Parish Council June 2013


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