Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham
Contact: Joanna Morley 01572 758271
Apologies were received from Councillors Fox and Coleman. Councillor Ainsley was in attendance for Councillor Coleman and Councillor Harvey was in attendance for Councillor Fox.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Act 1992 applies to them.
No declarations of interest had been received.
To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 216.
The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes. Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received. Questions may also be submitted at short notice by giving a written copy to the Committee Administrator 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.
The total time allowed for questions at short notice is 15 minutes of the total time of 30 minutes. Any petitions, deputations and questions that have been submitted with prior formal notice will take precedence over questions submitted at short notice. Any questions that are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting and be the subject of a report to the next meeting.
The Committee agreed to allow all of the questions and the deputations that had been received to be heard even though this was likely to exceed the thirty minutes of allocated time. The Chair reminded Members that following the deputations any questions should be only for the purposes of clarification.
In total, one question with notice, two questions at short notice and seven deputations had been submitted and these are attached to the minutes. They were heard in the following order:
Question with notice
1. Mr Les Allen – resident of Edith Weston
Questions at short notice:
2. Mr Tim Smith – Chairman of North Luffenham Parish Council
3. Mrs Sue Walling - resident of Edith Weston
5. Monica Stark on behalf of the Oakham South and West Action Group
6. Vic Pheasant on behalf of Empingham Parish Council
7. Cliff Bacon on behalf of the Campaign for Protection for Rural England
8. Richard Camp on behalf of Manton Action Group
9. Neil Newton on behalf of Empingham Parish Council
10. Gareth Jones on behalf of himself and Julie Gray, residents of Edith Weston
11. John Dejardin on behalf of Wing Parish Council
Question with notice
The Chair directed the question to the Leader of the Council who stated that he would provide a full written response to Mr Allen’s question which would be appended to the minutes (see attached) The Chair allowed Mr Allen to ask a supplementary question in anticipation of the expected response. Mr Allen questioned whether the Council would be relying heavily on homeworking jobs, which were generally low paid, to reach the number of 1.5 to 2 jobs per home. In addition Mr Allen felt that as only 30% of the houses would be affordable homes it would be hard to meet this requirement.
Questions with short notice
The responses to the two questions with short notice are appended to the minutes and were provided by officers after the meeting.
Members had one question of clarification following the deputation from Mr Camp. Cllr Harvey asked Mr Camp to clarify his comment on affordable housing. Mr Camp replied that he had highlighted Appendix 39 of the PTTP Chartered Town Planner document in his deputation, which stated that a more detailed and independent assessment of viability was required in relation to delivering a policy-compliant provision of affordable housing, as it showed that more work needed to be done in this area.
QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE FROM MEMBERS
To consider any questions with notice from Members received in accordance with the provisions of Procedure rule No. 218 and No. 218A.
There were no questions with notice from Members.
To receive Report No.190/2019 from the Strategic Director for Places.
Report No.190/2019 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources. Mr Gordon Brown, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Environment, Finance, Planning and Property introduced the report the purpose of which was to provide Scrutiny with the opportunity to comment on a report to be considered by Cabinet on progress with the preparation of the Local Plan.
Mr Brown referred Members to the presentation he had prepared, a copy of which has been attached to the minutes.
During discussion the following points were noted:
· Although there had been numerous comments from those presenting deputations that the decision making was being rushed, Councillor Brown felt that in fact the process had been conducted within a reasonable time-frame. In addition there were several upcoming Cabinet and Council meetings and a further Scrutiny meeting to consider the Local Plan. Councillor Brown re-iterated to Members that he was also available to meet with them to discuss any of their concerns.
· The pre-submission Local Plan would go forward for public consultation to test its ‘soundness’ (ie. that it was positively prepared, justified and effective, consistent with national policy and legally compliant) before submission to the Government and an independent Planning Inspector for further examination.
· The Strategic Housing Market Assessment that was available on the website as part of the spatial strategy background papers discussed the numbers of dwellings per annum required and gave three numbers;
- 130 dwellings was the formulaic calculation from Government giving a minimum requirement
- 160 dwellings was the strategic market assessment
- 190 dwellings was the potential amount based on the economic data presented.
Officers had opted for the lower number of 130 dwellings although there had been very good reasons for increasing it to 160.
· The evidence from 2018 showed that there was a current oversupply of employment land although there had been market factors that had not allowed those pieces of land to develop. The long term scenario however showed a requirement to provide up to 25 additional hectares of employment land as it was important that the St Georges Barracks development was sustainable. Work would be continuing with existing Rutland employers and a new highly experienced Economic Development Manager had been recruited.
· The Woolfox site was not viable or deliverable on the basis of the information provided. In contrast, evidence for St George’s Barracks demonstrated that, with the delivery of the HIF bid, it was viable and justified its inclusion in the Local Plan.
· There was a clear strategy to develop brownfield rather than greenfield sites and the St George’s Barracks project met this requirement.
· The Local Plan was approximately a year behind the original schedule because of the submission of the Woolfox proposal at the later stages of the process. As this needed to be given due consideration the timetable had been affected.
· The Chair reminded members and residents that there would be a further Scrutiny meeting and a Cabinet meeting on the Local Plan in January. Both meetings would be held in public, ... view the full minutes text for item 398.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
The Committee is recommended to determine whether the public and press be excluded from the meeting in accordance with Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, and in accordance with the Access to Information provisions of Procedure Rule 239, as the following item of business is likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Paragraph 3: Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
Council resolved to exclude the public and press from the meeting in accordance with Section 100(A)(4) of the LocalGovernment Act 1972, as amended, and in accordance with the Access toInformation provisions of Procedure Rule 239, as the following item ofbusiness was likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined inParagraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
The Chair proposed that the meeting be extended by 15 minutes in accordance with Procedure Rule 58 and this was unanimously agreed by the Committee.
To receive Report No.191/2019 from the Chief Executive.
Report No.191/2019 was received from the Chief Executive. The Leader, Councillor Hemsley, introduced the report which updated the Committee on progress in relation to the Housing infrastructure Funding (HIF) Forward Funding for the St George’s project.
During discussion the following points were noted:
· It would be very clear in the contractual negotiations that the financial risk for any contractual overruns would lie with the MOD.
· If full Council did not approve the report then the Council would not have a sound Local Plan and that would put it at risk.
· If a Local Plan was not agreed and delivered then eventually the MHCLG (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government) could take over all the planning decisions for the Council.
· Councillor Brown confirmed, for absolute clarity, that the St George’s Barracks development was only viable if the full amount of the HIF bid was accepted.
· If the HIF monies fell away then the whole masterplan would have to be revisited as building any less than 2200 houses was not viable.
· Because of the delays to the Local Plan, a strategic advisor, Montague Evans, had been appointed to work with the developer to bring forward the planning process.
· Homes England wanted to be satisfied that the model to procure a developer for the site was robust.
· It was important to remind Members that much of the site would be untouched but if costs to clear up the site were more than expected then the costs would fall to the developer.
· The cost of the majority of officer time spent on the project and a newly appointed project manager would paid from the £150k grant received from the Gardens Communities Fund. This was in addition to the £130k funding received to help put together the business case for the HIF monies.
· A £100k of Council money had been allocated to delivering the St George’s Barracks Project and it was not anticipated that this budget would increase.
· There would be an impact on costs for the planning team when it came to processing the planning application but the MOD would pay the monies up front to allow them to deliver this.
At 9.45pm a further 15 minute extension to the meeting was unanimously agreed upon.
· Councillor Baines asked whether, if the Council were in a position to reject the HIF bid, it would be possible to present a viable local plan. Officers confirmed that this would entail revisiting sites that were previously unacceptable and indeed some of the sites had fallen away completely.
· The HIF bid was carried by only one vote went it went to Council last time. Councillor Cross felt that a plan was deliverable if Members were minded to do so and that if HIF was agreed then it effectively meant that St George’s Barracks was approved.
· Allowing the HIF bid to go through would allow the Council to be in the driving seat and build something that Rutland would be proud of.
· The Council expected that they ... view the full minutes text for item 400.