Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Environment
Monday, 22nd May, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming. View directions

Contact: Fiona Cameron  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairman

To confirm that Cllr Jerry Hyman be appointed as the Chairman of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the Council year 2017/18.

Minutes:

The Committee confirmed the appointment of Cllr Jerry Hyman as Chairman of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the Council year 2017/18.

2.

Appointment of Vice Chairman

To confirm that Cllr Wyatt Ramsdale be appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the Council year 2017/18.

Minutes:

The Committee confirmed the appointment of Cllr Wyatt Ramsdale as Vice Chairman of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the Council year 2017/18.

3.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

To receive apologies for absence and note substitutions.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Stephen Hill and Peter Isherwood.

 

Cllr Denis Leigh attended as a substitute.

4.

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

To receive from Members declarations of interests in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with Waverley’s Code of Local Government.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests in relation to items on the agenda.

5.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The Chairman to respond to any questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

6.

COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY: PRELIMINARY DRAFT CHARGING SCHEDULE pdf icon PDF 79 KB

The purpose of this report is to seek the views of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the emerging Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule (PDCS).  This sets out the Council’s approach to collecting developer contributions towards infrastructure.  In due course, this matter will be considered by the Executive with a view to the PDCS being approved for consultation.  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is invited to forward any comments on this matter to the Executive.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee considers the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule attached as Annexe 1 and forwards any comments to the Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman opened this item by advising that as it had previously been considered by the old Corporate O&S Committee in March, members of that committee who were not members of the new Environment O&S Committee had been invited to attend this evening. Apologies had been received from Cllrs Mike Band, Pat Frost and Richard Seaborne. Cllr John Williamson was present and would be invited to participate in the discussion.

 

The Chairman also welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, Cllr Brian Adams, and Executive Members Cllrs Jenny Else and Jim Edwards.

 

The Chairman reminded the Committee that there had been a briefing for Members on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in early March, and then consideration of the draft Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule (PDCS) at Corporate O&S Committee in late March. In view of the concerns expressed by Corporate O&S, the Executive had agreed that further work was needed to develop the PDCS before going out to public consultation.

 

The Chairman invited Graham Parrott, Planning Policy Manager, to introduce the revised report and highlight the changes made since the previous scrutiny meeting.

 

Graham Parrott reminded the Committee that the consultation on the CIL PDCS was the first formal stage in the timetable to adopt a CIL charging schedule for Waverley. The principle reservations expressed by Corporate O&S Committee in March were summarised in the covering report, and in conjunction with the Council’s consultants these had been addressed:

·        There was no longer a differential between the proposed CIL in the Guildford and Blackwater Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA).

·        The relationship between CIL and SPA contributions had been clarified.

·        There was confirmation that CIL rates could be index-linked.

·        The priority of the viability test over the infrastructure funding gap had been clarified.

·        The consultation document would be reviewed with the Communications Team to ensure that it is accessible, and Frequently Asked Questions and answers would be provided.

 

Graham Parrott introduced Mark Felgate of Three Dragons Consultants who gave a presentation on the work undertaken since the March scrutiny committee, and the revised PDCS that was now proposed.

 

A copy of the presentation is attached to these Minutes.

 

Mark Felgate explained the additional work that had been undertaken to model the viability of CIL rates at a density of 40 dwellings per hectare, and to test the impact on higher density (flatted) schemes using updated data, which reflected the strong market for flats in Waverley. Following a reassessment of residential viability rates, it was felt that a strong case could be made for having one CIL rate applied across both the Guildford and Blackwater BRMA. The rates proposed were higher than originally, and the indicative potential CIL receipt over the plan period had increased to £80 – 85m.

 

A comparison with the CIL rates proposed or adopted by neighbouring local authorities was presented, and it was noted that whilst Waverley’s proposed PDCS was at the higher end of the range, it was not out of line with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

LOCAL PLAN PART 2: ISSUES AND OPTIONS CONSULTATION pdf icon PDF 60 KB

This report provides the context for the attached draft Issues and Options Consultation paper.  It sets out the background and progress to date of Local Plan Part 2, describes the main issues pertinent to this stage of the Plan’s development, and requests that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee discusses and supports the content of the Consultation Document.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee considers the content of the consultation document and passes any appropriate comments and recommendations to the Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Gayle Wootton, Principal Planning Officer, to introduce the Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2) draft Issues and Options Consultation paper. Gayle Wootton gave a short presentation (copy attached to these Minutes) that summarised the scope and content of LPP2.

 

Members were reminded of the Council’s commitment to progress LPP2 at an accelerated rate, and in parallel with the examination stage of Local Plan Part 1, in order to ensure that its adoption did not fall far behind that of Part 1.

 

LPP2 would deliver:

·        specific housing and employment allocations to towns and villages (in conjunction with Neighbourhood Plans where they exist);

·        sites for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople;

·        specific settlement boundaries and areas to be removed from the Green Belt (as indicated in LPP1);

·        reviewed boundaries for local landscape designations;

·        reviewed town centre boundaries, and boundaries for local retail centres;

·        Detailed Development Management policies.

 

Officers had met with every Parish or Town Council currently preparing a Neighbourhood Plan and had discussed the scope of LPP2 with them in the

interests of avoiding duplication of effort between the Local Plan and their Neighbourhood Plan.

 

The intention was to commence the 6-week consultation on 12 June 2017, well before the start of the school holiday period. It was anticipated that the majority of public responses would relate to housing sites that had come forward during a recent Call for Sites. Officers emphasised that these ‘blue sites’ had been put forward by developers or landowners, and had not yet been evaluated by the Council for suitability for development.

 

In opening the discussion, the Chairman expressed his concern about the standard of presentation of the draft consultation document. Officers acknowledged that there were improvements needed to the presentation, including the quality of the maps, and this was in hand.

 

The Committee recognised that the Council had set an ambitious timetable for completion of the Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2), and there was a need to move forward with the consultation on the Issues and Options.

 

The Committee was concerned about the quality of presentation of the draft consultation document, and emphasised the importance of officers carrying out a thorough review before it is published for the Executive, although recognised the planned improvements proposed by Officers.   For example, the version the Committee had received had: no numbering of Questions; stopped numbering chapters part way through; had incorrect number referencing to tables from part way through; as well as typographical errors. 

 

One specific suggestion for the future was that urgent projects like this had separate resources identified from non-specialist staff to proof read documents that were intended for members of the public as opposed to other specialists.

 

The Committee asked that the document include a very clear introductory explanation as to why only the Godalming, Dunsfold and Haslemere site allocations were described in detail in the Issues and Options document; and the process by which non-strategic sites for other settlements would be consulted upon.

 

It was also important that the explanation of ‘blue sites’  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.