Agenda and minutes

Lewes District Council Devolution Committee - Monday, 14th January, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Committee Services on 01273 471600 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 June 2018 (attached herewith).


The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 June 2018 were submitted and approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Apologies for absence/declaration of substitute members


Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors V Lent and S Osborne.  Councillor J Carr declared that he was acting as a substitute for Councillor S Osborne 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 G Amy declared a non-personal interest in agenda item 6, as he is the Chair of the Castle Hill Conservation Group.



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 from councillors

To deal with written questions from councillors pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12.3 (page D8 of the Constitution).


There were none.



Devolution of Open Spaces to Town and Parish Councils pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Report of Interim Head of Property and Facilities


The Committee considered the report of the Interim Head of Property and Facilities Shared Service, which provided an update on progress of devolution requests from Town and Parish Councils within the district.


The Lawyer provided a progress update on the Newhaven sites listed under paragraph 2.1:

·         East Side Recreation Ground - A form of wording for the transfer document had been agreed and was awaiting signature. 

·         Avis Road Recreation Ground – Legal are endeavouring to deal with third party issues

·         Drove Park Recreation Ground – Legal are endeavouring to deal with third party issues .

·         Valley Road Play Area – The transfer is awaiting signature.


The Lawyer confirmed that the terms were to be agreed by Lewes District Council (LDC) and Newhaven Town Council (NTC) solicitors to ensure the appropriate access rights would be in place.


The Committee noted that NTC had requested the devolution of Castle Hill and Meeching Down, take priority after the completion of the first “wave” of sites. Preliminary work on the transfer of these two sites had commenced.


Paragraph 2.3 of the report stated that there was currently no official management agreement in place for the Riverside Country Park. The Committee noted that East Sussex County Council (ESCC), who own the majority of the freehold of the site and LDC who own the rest of the site propose that  an agreement is put in place to regularise the management of the whole site with NTC by way of a lease/management arrangement.  NTC had declined to take freehold ownership of the site due to the level of liabilities associated with the former landfill site. The Committee agreed to recommend to Cabinet that the Council enters into a lease/management arrangement for Riverside Country Park on terms to be agreed, subject to clarification being  given to Cabinet regarding the maintenance/special expenses liabilities.  The Interim Head of Property and Facilities confirmed that he would seek clarification.  If approved, confirmation of the lease/management arrangement terms would  be reported back to Cabinet before completion of the lease/management agreement


NTC had requested that land known as Lewes Road Recreation Ground be devolved to the Town Council with a variation to the boundary to reflect the boundary of the previous landfill site.  A variation to the standard form of transfer document was proposed so that specific development, commensurate with the use of the site, could take place at that site.  A caveat would be put in place to preserve primary use of the site as open space/ recreation ground.


The Committee acknowledged the ownership of Landport Bottom to Lewes Town Council (LTC) was completed on 19 June 2018.


It was noted that LTC had declined to proceed with acquiring Timberyard Play Area, The Paddock Play area (including WCs), and Bell Lane.  However, LTC has expressed interest in assuming the Trusteeship of the Mountfield Pleasure Ground Trust (which included Convent Field), and including the off-street car park, and the trusteeship of the Stanley Turner Recreation Ground.   


The Committee agreed to recommend to Cabinet devolution  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Date of next meeting

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




That the date of the next meeting of the Devolution Committee be confirmed by the Committee Officer.