Agenda and minutes

Special, Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Environment
Monday, 22nd October, 2018 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Fiona Cameron  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

26.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

To receive apologies for absence and note substitutions.

 

Members who are unable to attend this meeting must submit apologies by the end of Monday 15 October 2018 to enable a substitute to be arranged, if applicable.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Wyatt Ramsdale.

 

Cllr Nick Holder attended as a substitute.

27.

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 in relation to matters on the agenda.

28.

Waverley Borough Council Local Plan Part 2: Site allocations and Development Management Policies - Pre-submission draft pdf icon PDF 91 KB

This report updates Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee on the work to develop the Publication version of Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2).  As with previous reports, this report will focus on the areas that are likely to generate a high degree of public interest, however Officers have been able to make a number of changes to the draft Plan which address a large number of concerns raised through the consultation.

 

Subject to the consideration of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, the intention is to seek the approval of the Executive and Council at Special Meetings on 31 October 2018 to publish this Pre-Submission Draft for formal consultation.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee considers the Pre-Submission Plan and provides comments and recommendations to the Executive.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed those Members who had accepted the invitation to attend the Committee for the consideration of the Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2) item, and reported that Cllrs King and Knowles had registered to speak.

 

Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning, introduced the item, and reminded the Committee that it was important to get LPP2 adopted in order to build on the benefits of having adopted LPP1 earlier in the year, and update the Development Management policies. The consultation on the LPP2 Preferred Options had concluded in July, and 990 responses had been received. Elizabeth assured Members that all responses had been read and carefully considered, and where possible the LPP2 document had been revised to reflect the comments submitted. However, LPP2 had to be consistent with the strategy set out in LPP1, and this was not an opportunity to re-visit matters that were contained within LPP1.

 

Gayle Wootton, Team Leader for Local Plans and Planning Policy, then explained the significant changes in the Pre-Submission Draft of LPP2 compared with the Preferred Options document published earlier in the year. In response to the change in the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on windfall development, there had been an increase in the contribution from windfall sites to Waverley’s overall housing requirement. In addition, the number of planning permissions granted in the year to 1 April 2018 had now been added to the database, further reducing the number of residual houses to allocate sites for.

 

In looking at specific site allocations, where these were being addressed through LPP2 rather than the Neighbourhood Plan process, Officers had revised the site allocations for Haslemere to remove all allocations on sites within or partially within the AONB. Whilst the Red Court site remained in the allocation, as a result of the concerns expressed through the consultation about traffic impacts Officers had held further discussions with the Transport Division at Surrey County Council to clarify the nature of the traffic impacts and how these could be assessed at the planning application stage through a full Transport Assessment.

 

Minor changes to site allocations in Godalming and Elstead reflected the reduction in the number of residual homes to be found by the end of the Plan period. More significant changes had been made to allocations in Witley including Milford, where two allocations within the AONB had been removed, and a new site had come forward that could provide sufficient on-site mitigation for itself and two other sites in the proximity to the Wealden Heaths SPA. Whilst some consultation responses had continued to promote the land at Secretts, to include this site would be contrary to outcome of the Green Belt Review in LPP1, and there was insufficient evidence to support the claim that some of the site was brownfield land.

 

The Chairman thanked Officers for the explanation of the changes to the LPP2 in the Pre-submission Draft, and invited Cllrs Robert Knowles and Carol King to make their statements.

 

Cllr Knowles stated that in his view,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Community Infrastructure Levy - Adoption of Charging Schedule pdf icon PDF 60 KB

This report updates the Committee on the outcome of the Examination of the Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule, and seeks comments and recommendations on the supporting policies on instalments, phasing and payments in kind.

 

The intention is to seek approval from the Executive and Council to the adoption and implementation of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) including associated policies at Special meetings on 31 October 2018, and the comments of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee will inform the recommendations.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Environment Overview and Scrutiny committee considers the instalment policy at Appendix 3 and the Phasing and Payments in kind policy at Appendix 4 and offers comments and recommendations to the Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning, advised the Committee that following the examination of the Council’s Draft Charging Schedule in the summer, which included a formal hearing on 17 July 2018, the Examiner’s report was received on 1 October 2018.

 

The Examiner’s report had concluded that the Council’s Charging Schedule provided an appropriate basis for the collection of the levy in the area, and that the Council had demonstrated that it had sufficient evident to support the levy rates and that these would not put the overall development of the area at risk.

 

The proposed implementation date of 1 March 2019 would allow sufficient time for the Council to prepare internally, and to liaise with the development industry to enable them to complete their negotiations and prepare planning applications in the knowledge of whether or not they would be liable to pay CIL. The lead-in time was similar to the average time allowed by other councils that had already implemented CIL. Planning decisions made after 1 March 2019 would be liable for CIL, regardless of when the application was submitted.

 

In addition to adopting the Charging Schedule and S123 List, Council would be asked to approve supporting policies on instalments, phasing, and payments in kind.

 

Cllr Holder asked how CIL would be co-ordinated across borough boundaries. He referred to the planning application to Waverley for a site at Aarons Hill that bordered Guildford; and the expectation that a similar application would be submitted to Guildford for the adjacent field. The CIL due on the Guildford application would be paid to Guildford, but the impact of the development would fall on Godalming in terms of access to schools, traffic, demand on health facilities.

 

Elizabeth recognised the concerns in relation to the planning application at Aarons Hill, and the speculation around what might happen on the Guildford site. The planning application for the Waverley site had been submitted and would be determined before 1 March 2019, therefore mitigation of the impacts of the development would be secured through a S106 agreement. The adjacent site in Guildford was still in the Green Belt, so there was less certainty about whether this site might be developed. If an application was submitted to Guildford for that site, it would need to provide mitigation for the impacts of the development, either through a S106 agreement or through CIL payments if Guildford had adopted CIL by that time. Even if S106 agreements were agreed separately for the two sites, there would still be scope for Waverley and Guildford to negotiate with the developers to change the agreements to consider the impacts and mitigation together.

 

The Chairman noted that at paragraph 28 of his report, the Examiner had acknowledged that the development industry had argued that the CIL rates being proposed were too high and would threaten viability of development. The Examiner had recommended an early review of CIL rates in 3 years. Officers advised the Committee that, notwithstanding the representations of developers, the Examiner had concluded that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Sweetman Judgement and the requirement for a supplementary note on the Thames Basin Heaths and Hindhead Avoidance Strategies pdf icon PDF 80 KB

This report outlines the necessary minor changes to be made to the Avoidance Strategies relating to the Wealden Heaths Phase 2 and Thames Basin Heaths SPA in light of the Sweetman judgment which re-clarified the process of Habitats Regulations Assessment.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee provide comments and recommendations to the Executive on the supplementary notes proposed in paragraphs 2 and 3. 

 

 

Minutes:

Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning, introduced the report which outlined the necessary minor changes to the to the Avoidance Strategies relating to the Wealden Heaths Phase 2 and Thames Basin Heaths SPA in light of the Sweetman, judgment, which re-clarified the process of Habitats Regulations Assessment.

 

The Strategies set out the Council’s approach in seeking to avoid the effect of a net increase in population within either the Hindhead Concept Area or within 5km of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA, and how it proposed to discharge its legal obligations under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (the ‘Habitats Regulations’). Following the recent European Court of Justice decision, termed ‘Sweetman’ the Council had to update its process for considering avoidance measures and could no longer take these into account at a screening stage. Instead, developments would be required to be subject to an Appropriate Assessment at which time the avoidance measures would be taken into account. The change in approach had been implemented in the summer, and the revisions to the Strategies now proposed brought them into line with practise and latest case law.

 

Officers had reviewed the wording of the Avoidance Strategies and, on the advice of Counsel, written a supplementary note to update each Strategy to reflect the new procedure.

 

The Chairman informed the Committee that he had asked to see the Counsel’s advice and had been advised that it had been verbal advice. He also felt that the approach proposed was not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Sweetman judgment, and that paragraph 36 of the judgment was significant: in his view there was no ‘full and precise analysis’ of the mitigation put forward for the Wealden Heaths.

 

Daniel Bainbridge, Borough Solicitor, advised the Committee that Counsel’s advice had been sought, and the key issue of the Sweetman judgement was about the point in the planning application process at which the Appropriate Assessment needed to be carried out. It was not a re-opening of the evidence of the effectiveness of mitigation. Waverley had revised its practises immediately following the judgement, and proposed Supplementary Note to the Avoidance Strategies formalised the change in process. This approach was consistent with the interpretation of Sweetman by other local authorities, and Natural England.

 

With the exception of the Chairman, the Committee was content that the approach to carrying out Appropriate Assessments as set out in the Supplementary Note reflected Counsel advice following the Sweetman judgement.

 

The Chairman had continuing concerns about the approach of the local authorities in the Thames Basin Heaths Joint Strategic Partnership, who had no evidence that the mitigation worked in the context of paragraph 36 of the Sweetman ruling.

31.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

To consider, if necessary, the following recommendation on the motion of the Chairman:

 

Recommendation

 

To consider the following recommendation on the motion of the Chairman:-

 

Recommendation

 

That, pursuant to Procedure Rule 20, and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item(s) on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during these items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) at paragraph 3 in the revised Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

3.         Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular       person (including the authority holding that information)

 

Minutes:

At [….] the Committee

 

RESOLVED that, pursuant to Procedure Rule 20, and in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in Paragraph 3 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:

 

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

32.

Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning Services Procurement

The Strategic Director to give a verbal update on the procurement of Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning services from 1 November 2019.

Minutes:

Patrick Tuite, Procurement Officer, gave a verbal update to the Committee on the outcome of the work undertaken over the last 12 months to procure Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning services from 1 November 2019.

 

A report and recommendations would be considered by the Executive at the Special meeting on 31 October 2018.

 

Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee noted the outcome of the procurement exercise.

33.

Grounds Maintenance Contract Re-tendering Options

To consider the attached exempt report.

 

Recommendation

 

To consider the options outlined in the exempt report.

Minutes:

Matt Lank, Greenspaces Manager, updated the Committee on the need to procure a new Grounds Maintenance. The current contract with Glendale ends on 31 October 2019 and cannot be extended further. The Committee’s Waste and Recycling Task & Finish Group had concluded last year that there would be no benefit to procuring a joint street cleaning and grounds maintenance contract. The Task & Finish Group reconvened earlier in October to review the procurement options for the Grounds Maintenance Contract and their recommendations were set out in the Exempt report.

 

Cllr Mulliner had registered to speak on this item, and offered a perspective as chairman of the Value for Money and Customer Service O&S Committee’s Budget Strategy Working Group. Cllr Mulliner reminded the Committee that the Council was facing a significant budget shortfall from 2020-21, and needed to make significant savings. This contract was a significant proportion of the Council’s contracted services and the re-procurement provided the opportunity to consider ways in which savings could be achieved.

 

The Committee discussed the procurement options in Exempt session and endorsed the recommendations from the Task & Finish Group on the procurement approach.