Agenda and draft minutes

Lewes District Council Devolution Committee - Thursday, 7th June, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Telscombe Room - Southover House, Lewes. View directions

Contact: Committee Services on 01273 471600 

No. Item


To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2016 (copy previously circulated - attached herewith for information) pdf icon PDF 98 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2016 were submitted and approved, and the Chair was authorised to sign them as a correct record.



Apologies for absence/declaration of substitute members


Apologies had been received from Councillors Jackie Harrison-Hickes and Vic Ient. Councillor Giles declared that he was acting as substitute for Councillor Harrison-Hicks for the duration of the meeting.


Declarations of interest

Disclosure by councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the councillor regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.


Councillor Giles declared a non-prejudicial interest in agenda item 6, as his home was adjacent to the site Meeching Down, Newhaven.


Urgent items

Items not on the agenda which the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances as defined in Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There were none.


Written questions

To deal with written questions from councillors pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 11.3 (page D8 of the Constitution).


There were none.


Devolution of open spaces to town and parish councils pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To consider the Report of the Head of Property & Facilities.


The Committee received the report of the Head of Property & Facilities (HPF) which provided an update on the progress of devolution requests from town and parish councils within the District, and to confirm the next sites that it was proposed were transferred.


The Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services (ADLDS) informed the Committee that on 18 April 2018, two separate meetings were held between members of Lewes District Council (LDC)’s Devolution Committee and the clerk/members of Lewes Town Council (LTC) and the clerk/members of Newhaven Town Council (NTC), respectively.


The ADLDS reported that both meetings were felt to have been constructive and helpful. It had been two years since the last meeting of LDC’s Devolution Committee on 15 June 2016. Work on the devolution of sites had been proceeding during this period, albeit slowly.


The meeting with the clerk and members of LTC had provided an opportunity for the district council to explain its reasons for deciding to postpone the devolution of the Malling site, pending development of the North Street Quarter.


The ADLDS confirmed that progress on the devolution of the Landport Bottom site had now progressed to a stage where LDC was holding signed documentation from LTC and was only awaiting final sign-off from the relevant Cabinet portfolio holder.


In light of the devolution of the Malling site being postponed, LDC officers had written to LTC offering certain other open space sites (already approved by the district council’s Cabinet for devolution back in 2014) which could be brought forward for early devolution. These were Timberyard Play area, the Paddock play area (including public toilets) and Bell Lane. A response from the Town Council was not expected until after its next meeting on 21 June 2018.


The ADLDS highlighted that Lewes Road Recreation Ground needed to be included on the list of sites in paragraph 2.6 on page 6 of the report, as the site was discussed at the meeting with NTC on 18 April 2018. The devolution of Lewes Road Recreation Ground might take some time to sort because there was an issue of land contamination and the potential of indemnities which had yet to be resolved. Further, this was not a matter that could be sorted by the town and district council alone; there were third party interests. Solicitors for the town and the district were working together to progress these.


The ADLDS  provided a progress update on the Newhaven sites listed under paragraph 2.6:


·         Eastside Recreation Ground was an exception to the usual overage position as explained in paragraph 2.4 on page 6 of the report, For that

reason LDC  would need to refer the matter back to Cabinet to obtain approval to proceed with an amended overage provision;

  • Avis Road Recreation Ground needed a licence from East Sussex County Council in order to access the site;

  • Drove Park required a right of way over the industrial estate, which required a third party consent; and

  • Valley Road Recreation Ground contained a strip of land that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Date of next meeting

To note that the next meeting of the Devolution Committee will be called as necessary.




That it be noted that the next meeting of the Devolution Committee be scheduled to be held at a date later to be agreed and by no later than 7 October 2018.