Agenda and minutes
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Declarations of interest
Any interests not already registered
There were no additional declarations of interest.
The Development & Conservation Portfolio Holder presented the report which sought Members’ approval to the proposed consultation response to the Government’s Planning White Paper. The proposed reforms to the system were presented as three pillars: Planning for Development; Planning for Beautiful Places; Planning for Infrastructure and Connected Places; and the proposed response addressed each of these in turn.
The Chairman of Development & Conservation Advisory Committee advised Cabinet that the Advisory Committee had considered the same report and noted that where the report may say ‘no’ to a question the actual draft response currently stated ‘not sure,’ for example as set out for Question 22 (a). Members had agreed that they would prefer a ‘no’ followed by an explanation and generally commented that responses could be more substantive.
The desire for officers to be more clear in their responses that the current planning system works well and the need to ‘fix’ what perhaps only needed ‘tweaking’ was also requested. It was discussed whether this should be in a covering letter but Members were keen to see this in their response for questions as this was more likely to be considered. It had also been acknowledged that there were a number of minor typographical and grammar amendments that were still required.
The Strategic Planning Manager set out the level of engagement undertaken in developing the response the White Paper. The Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Officer for Planning & Regulatory Services also set out the Council’s approach to the proposals.
Public Sector Equality Duty
Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
a) the content of the report be noted;
b) delegated authority be granted to the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Officer for Planning & Regulatory Services, after consultation with the Development & Conservation Portfolio Holder, to
i) make minor typographical and grammar corrections as required
ii) ensure all answers were as robust and comprehensive as possible, with ‘not sure’ being amended to ‘no’ with justification, where applicable, and to include reference in the response that the current planning system worked well and there was no need to ‘fix’ it
iii) check whether it was possible to submit a covering letter and produce a draft if allowed;
c) the proposed response to the Planning White Paper be approved as amended above, and submitted to the Government, in advance of the submission deadline of 29 October 2020.