Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Committee held on 11 July 2023, as a correct record.


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held 11 July 2023 be approved, and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Declarations of interest

Any interests not already registered.


Councillor Varley declared for Minute 19 – Local Plan Regulation 18 Consultation that he had formerly been a member of the Redlands Resident Association, and the Management Committee of the Brittains Lane Association, but that was no longer a member of either association and that he remained open minded.


Actions from previous meeting


There were none.



Update from Portfolio Holder


The Portfolio Holder gave an update on the services within their portfolio. The Development Management team remained busy, with no decline in the number of applications processed compared with previous years. 100% of major applications, and 97% of other applications had been determined within target deadlines. This placed the team in the top quartile of equivalent teams nationally. The teams were now fully staffed.


The Planning Enforcement team had appointed a new Planning Enforcement Manager, and hired a new Planning Enforcement Officer. Almost 70% of planning appeals were dismissed, and feedback from successful appeals was fed back to Members.


Building Control maintained a market share of around 70%. The team were preparing for the new Building Safety Act, to ensure they were able to respond to new responsibilities resulting from it.


The Local Plan remained on course, within the timeline set out in the Local Development Scheme. The Strategic Planning Team were thanked for their hard work in preparing the second Regulation 18 Consultation. The Sustainability Appraisal would be made available in advance of the consultation.  



Referral from Cabinet or the Audit Committee


There were none.



Budget 2024/25: Review of Service Dashboards and Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAs) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Finance presented the report which set out updates to the 2024/25 budget process within the existing framework of the 10-year budget and savings plan.


Some changes had been made to future assumptions and they would be continued to be reviewed during the budget process. The key cost driver continued to be inflation, with pressure coming through on service demand, the pay award and the cost of goods and services. The items listed in Appendix E reported a current annual budget gap of £1.368m. Members were advised that they were likely to have to make more difficult decisions during the 2024/25 budget setting process than they had had to make for many years.


Informed by the latest information from Government and discussions from Cabinet, it was proposed that the Council once again set a balanced 10-year budget and continued to aim to be financially self-sufficient with no direct funding from Government through additional Revenue Support Grant or New Homes Bonus.


The report presented savings that had been identified which needed to be considered, and requested further suggestions from the Advisory Committee, before finalising the budget for 2024/25.


The Committee considered the proposal as set out in Appendices G and H.


Members gave further consideration to additional suggestions for savings, which included lobbying central government to allow the Council to levy cost recovery fines in Planning Enforcement cases, and to review the provision of non-fee paying Building Control services. The Chief Officer for Planning & Regulatory Services advised that lobbying in this regard was ongoing, including in the recent government Fee Consultation. He further explained that many non-fee earning services were essential, but that this option would be investigated, to see if they could be minimised without negatively impacting the quality of service provided.


Public Sector Equality Duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.



(a)     That it be recommended to Cabinet that the savings proposal (SCIA 1) identified in Appendices G & H to the report applicable to this Advisory Committee, be considered.

(b)     That no further income or growth proposals were identified.



Local Plan Regulation 18 Consultation pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report, which set out the proposed Regulation 18 Part 2 Consultation for the Local Plan 2040. The consultation would run from 23 November 2023 to 11 January 2024, and would concern sites across the district, including the potential contributions of sites in the Green Belt. The Local Plan would help guide what could be built, and where, until 2040, and would address the district’s housing and infrastructure needs in a coordinated manner.

The Officer gave an overview of the Local Plan’s development. The first Regulation 18 consultation, held last year, focused on sites in existing settlements, to optimise density in sustainable locations. The consultation offered three density scenarios - Low, Medium, and High density - of which Medium Density was the most popular in the feedback received. This option did not meet the total housing need for the district, which was for 712 homes per year, 5.7 hectares of employment land, 43 Gypsy & Traveller Sites, and to maintain existing retail provision in high streets. Thus, additional development sites would need to be considered outside existing settlements.

The officer outlined the evidence base for the Plan. This included the Stage 2 Green Belt Assessment, which identified weakly performing Green Belt land on the edge of higher tier settlements in the district. The land was assessed against the purposes of the Green Belt as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The exceptional circumstances for amending the Green Belt in these areas were a combination of the acute housing need, particularly for affordable housing, the identification of available, sustainable, sites, and that the Green Belt land in question was weakly performing. Other elements of the evidence base were progressing in line with the Local Plan timetable.

The Consultation would cover three development scenarios, which would approximately meet the housing need, would meet the housing need, and would exceed the housing need respectively. All three options included a baseline consisting of the urban sites that were the subject of the first consultation, and Green Belt sites. The first option comprised of the baseline, and multiple smaller and medium sites that were in both the Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The second option consisted of the baseline, and a standalone settlement at Pedham Place. The third option was a combination of the other two options. It was noted that an over delivery of houses would likely not occur, as it was expected that some sites would not be brought forward for development. The site at Pedham Place was considered for a range of possible uses, including as a standalone settlement with 2500 housing units and associated infrastructure, including a secondary school. Another option was as part of a wider mixed-use development which would provide a multipurpose stadium complex, hotel, and training facilities for Wasps RFC. 

The Senior Planning Officer outlined the consultation strategy. The consultation period was longer than the 6-week statutory requirement to account for the consultation taking place over  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Work plan pdf icon PDF 54 KB


The Work Plan was noted with the following addition:


12 December 2023

·         Local Plan Update


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