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DECLARATION OF INTERESTS BY COUNCILLORS
2.1 The Monitoring Officer had granted dispensations to all Members for the item BC/19/7 Draft Joint Local Plan.
2.2 There were no other declarations of interests.
It was RESOLVED: -
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 May 2019 be confirmed and signed as a true record.
In addition to any announcements made at the meeting, please see Paper BC/19/6 attached, detailing events attended by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
4.1 The Chair referred Members to Paper BC19/6 which was NOTED and invited Councillor Ward, the Leader to report any announcements.
4.2 Councillor Ward updated Members on the District Councillor Network Board Meeting (DCN) which took place on 5th June and was the first since the elections.
4.3 At the meeting it was noted that a number of permitted development changes to encourage greater flexibility for the uses of town centre buildings came into effect last month. The Government was now considering the initial expressions of interest for the Future High Streets Fund submitted by local authorities earlier in the year and the DCN would be lobbying for early decisions on these.
4.4 The continued slow speed of progress on Housing Infrastructure Fund bids by Homes England remained a source of frustration to many DCN members.
4.5 Two briefing papers were prepared for the Planning Minister in May on speeding the build-out of consented housing sites and on the housing land supply.
4.6 The Environment select committee invited the DCN to provide evidence on the implications of the Waste Strategy for local authorities following a written evidence submission. Nobody liked the free green waste collection proposal.
4.7 Written evidence was submitted to MHCLG inquiry into Local Government Finance and Spending Review.
4.8 A written response to the Treasury Select Committee inquiry on the ‘Impact of Business Rates on Business’ was submitted.
4.9 Following the lifting of the Housing Revenue Account Borrowing Cap, the DCN commissioned a study of its impact since implementation and gained an understanding of what was needed for districts to fully explore its potential. This was of particular interest to BMS and the findings were relevant to District. The initial headline findings were that lifting the HRA cap had freed up a significant number (two thirds) of stock holding councils to increase their house building programmes. However, there were ongoing barriers to building or using the increased borrowing, which included:
· The impact of Right to Buy
· Affordability of schemes making future revenue more precarious
· Cost and availability of land
· Appetite for borrowing and risk – particularly among elected members, and linked to perceptions of capacity to deliver effectively
· Competition with the private sector
Belle Vue Park
4.10 There had been a press release about the official opening of the new Skate Park and MUGA in Belle Vue park on Saturday. There were a lot of people there to enjoy the party the Council had put on and by all accounts everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Babergh had invested £150k in these two facilities and further improvements were being planned.
Grimsey Review Study Tour
4.11 Finally, later this week the Leader would be going on a DCN study tour to Roeselare in Belgium, which has implemented many of the recommendations in the 2013 Grimsey Review into the future of the high street. The DCN would produce a publication following the tour and the Leader would provide a report at next month’s Council meeting.
TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATION OF PETITIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 11, the Chief Executive will report the receipt of any petitions. There can be no debate or comment upon these matters at the Council meeting.
5.1 The following validated petitions had been received and would be dealt with through the usual planning process:
1. 77 valid signatures regarding the planning application DC819/01712 in Hintlesham.
2. 144 valid signatures regarding planning application DC/1901873 in Boxford.
QUESTIONS BY THE PUBLIC IN ACCORDANCE WITH COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES
The Chairmen of Committees to answer any questions by the public of which notice has been given no later than midday three clear working days before the day of the meeting in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 12.
6.1 None received.
QUESTIONS BY COUNCILLORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULES
The Chairman of the Council, the Chairmen of Committees and Sub-Committees and Portfolio Holders to answer any questions on any matters in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affect the District of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 13.
7.1 None received.
Cabinet Member for Planning
8.1 The Chair stated that the Joint Local Plan could not be changed apart from typographical and factual errors and Members should focus on the policies within the report and avoid in getting into specific issue relating to Members’ wards. Such issues should be raised as part of the consultation.
8.2 Councillor Arthey, Cabinet Member for Planning, introduced the report and informed Council that a great deal of work had been undertaken since the draft plan had been presented to Members two years ago, including the Draft Local Plan Working Group. He said that the Council must have an up to date Local Plan to be compliant with Government regulation. Members had been invited to several Local Plan Briefing Session leading up to the completion of the Draft Local Plan.
8.3 Members were asked to approve the Draft Local Plan for public consultation. The minimum consultation period being six weeks. Councillor Arthey MOVED the recommendations, however as the consultation period began in July, he further PROPOSED that the length of the period was extended to ten weeks to allow for the summer holiday.
8.4 Councillor Ward SECONDED the recommendations.
8.5 Councillor Carpendale SECONDED Councillor Arthey proposal of a ten weeks consultation period.
8.6 Councillor Hinton asked for clarification on which evidence had been used to determine the data in the report. He was also concerned if employment prospect and issues with infrastructure were sufficiently covered in the draft plan.
8.7 Councillor Maybury raised concerns based on the responses she had received from the Parish Councils in her Wards regarding infrastructure issues such as available places the local schools, health provisions and highways. She felt that the Draft Local Plan had been hurried through and not enough time had been allowed for Members to consider the plan.
8.8 Councillor McCraw called for a Point of Order and asked that the questions raised were answered.
8.9 Council Arthey drew Members attention to the section for infrastructure in the Joint Local Plan document and invited the Corporate Manager for Strategic Planning to respond to Member’s questions.
8.10 The Corporate Manager for Strategic Planning listed the following documents, as part of the evidence base:
· An updated version of the strategic housing and employment land availability plan, published along with the consultation.
· The housing needs were based on a standard governmental methodology which used household projections and affordability in the calculation which was available in the planning guidance on the website
· There was a Strategic Housing Market Assessment of Employment Land Needs Assessment from 2016
· A Sector Needs Assessment from 2017.
· The infrastructure delivery plan had been developed in corporations with Suffolk County Council and would be published together with the Joint Local Plan.
· Water issues were detailed in the LPC 23 policy, page 116 and 117, which detail the optional standard of 110 litre of water per person per day.
8.11 Councillor Hinton questioned further the reduced water consumption and the capacity of the infrastructure for the strategic road network.
8.12 The Corporate Manager ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Cabinet Member for Planning
Note: Councillor Maybury left the meeting at 6:09pm
9.1 Councillor Arthey introduced Paper BC/19/8 and provided a brief summary of the key information in the report. He then MOVED recommendation 3.1 and 3.2.
9.2 Councillor Davis SECONDED the recommendations.
9.3 Councillor Ward stated that the Housing Delivery Action Plan justified the Join Local Plan and allowed sites to be brought forward and the plan ensured that sites would be available in the future.
9.4 Councillor Hinton asked for clarification of the achievement of 88% for housing requirements.
9.5 The Corporate Manager for Strategic Planning responded that 88% was the total of all developments including sites of less than ten houses, however, the Housing Delivery Plan focused on Major developments.
9.6 Councillor Hurren expressed concern for the compulsory purchase order referred to on page 44.
9.7 The Corporate Manager for Strategic Planning responded this was included in the Homes and Housing Strategic policy.
9.8 Councillor Busby commented that stalled developments were caused by the developer but that this could be alleviated if the Council built more houses. He felt that the requirement of 35 % affordable homes on development sites did not encourage developers to complete development sites and could be the cause of stalled sites.
9.9 Councillor Arthey referred to pages 42 and 43 of the report and said that engagement with all developers was needed to ensure progress.
9.10 Members continued to discuss the Housing Delivery Action Plan and it was established that the Council had to produce the plan as a legal requirement.
9.11 The recommendations 3.1 and 3.2 were PUT to the meeting and the vote was CARRIED
It was RESOLVED: -
1. That the Babergh Housing Delivery Test Action Plan (June 2019) is approved for publication.
2. That the Corporate Manager – Strategic Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning, be authorised to make consequential amendments to the document arising from any drafting errors and typing mistakes.
Acting Chair BDC (Suffolk Holdings) Ltd
10.1 Councillor Busby MOVED the recommendation 3.1, which was SECONDED by Councillor Holt.
10.2 The vote was put to the Members and the vote was CARRIED.
It was RESOLVED: -
That the appointment of Councillor John Hinton and Councillor Elisabeth Malvisi as Directors of BDC (Suffolk Holdings) Ltd be approved.
In accordance with the joint arrangements established with Mid Suffolk District Council and Ipswich Borough Council, Council is asked to appoint two substitute Cabinet Members to serve on the Committee for the Current municipal year.
The political balance rules do not apply to Babergh’s appointees.
11.1 The Chair informed Members that Items 11 and 12 on the agenda were to be proposed together and referred to the tabled paper. The paper was for noting.
It was RESOLVED: -
It was noted that the following appoints be made:
APPOINTMENT OF SUBSTITUTES TO THE SHARED REVENUES PARTNERSHIP
AGENDA ITEM 12 – APPOINTMENT TO THE SUFFOLK POLICE AND CRIME PANEL
AGENDA ITEM 12 – APPOINTMENT OF ARMED FORCES CHAMPION
AGENDA ITEM 12 – APPOINTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH CHAMPION
AGENDA ITEM 12 – APPOINTMENTS TO COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW WORKING GROUP
Suffolk Police and Crime Panel
In accordance with the allocation of seats across the County, Council is asked to appoint a Conservative Member as the Babergh representative on the Suffolk Police and Crime Panel.
Please see Item 11.
LONG SERVICE AWARD - COUNCILLOR MARK NEWMAN
To present Councillor Mark Newman with his 20 year Long Service Award.
13.1 The Chair informed Members that this item had been withdrawn.