Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 28th July 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon. View directions

Contact: Committee Services  Email: committee.clerk@maldon.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

198.

Chairman's Notices

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone present and went through some general housekeeping arrangements for the meeting.  The Chairman thanked Councillor V J Bell, the former Chairman of the Committee, for her excellent chairmanship over the past year.

199.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor M S Heard.

200.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 23 March 2022 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 23 March 2022 be approved and confirmed.

201.

Public Participation

To receive the views of members of the public of which prior notification in writing has been received (no later than noon on the Tuesday prior to the day of the meeting).

 

Should you wish to submit a question please completed the online form at www.maldon.gov.uk/publicparticipation.

Minutes:

There was none.

202.

Disclosure of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registrable interests and Non- Registrable Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraph 9 and Appendix B of the Code of Conduct for Members.

 

(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).

Minutes:

There were none.

203.

Notice of Motion

To consider the following Motion which has been referred to this Committee from the Council for resolution.

 

In accordance with notice duly given under Procedure Rule 4, Councillor A S Fluker to move the following motion, duly seconded by Councillors R P F Dewick and M W Helm:

 

Preamble:

With reference to the Costs Decision Notice regarding the planning appeal determined on 21st March 2022 Ref/APP/X1545/W/213283478 Land 250M North of 16A Maldon Road, Burnham on Crouch Essex.

 

Since losing the appeal the Council has agreed to pay the appellants costs of £230,000.  The Council’s own legal fees are £30,000.  These costs will be met by Council Taxpayers.

 

Motion:

1.               That Council considers the Inspectors Notice and in particular paragraph 18 and takes the appropriate action.

 

2.         That Council considers whether the ‘unreasonable behaviour’ of members in determining the application resulted in the appeal being lost and a costs of £230,000 being paid to the appellant and takes the appropriate action.

 

3.         That Council considers, bearing in mind members overturned the Planning Officers recommendation to approve the application, why no members attended the appeal to evidence and give weight to their decision.

 

4.         That Council considers why members went against the Officers decision to approve the application, the advice that Council was unlikely to win any appeal and considers why under those circumstances the appeal was defended at a cost of £30,000.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the Committee that the Council had the Notice of Motion (as set out on the agenda) to this Committee for consideration as its remit was mainly one of scrutiny and review.  For now, rather than look to discuss it without more information to understand what lies behind these issues, the Committee needed to receive it and decide how to deal with it.  Since the matters to be looked at are clear and the Council has asked the Committee to look at this, the Committee could at least agree to add it to its Workplan.  The Committee’s normal process would however be to refer a scrutiny request to the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group (which was due to be appointed at this meeting) to seek further information and then for the Working Group to report back to the Committee on the actual scope for scrutiny and a plan for how to go about it. 

 

The Motion was in the name of Councillor A S Fluker and he proposed that the Committee consider referring the matter to the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group for review.

 

The Chairman put that the best way to proceed was for the Committee to agree receipt of the Motion, add it to its Workplan and refer the matter to the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group for further consideration and report back.  This was duly seconded and agreed by the Committee:

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)               That the Notice of Motion be received;

 

(ii)              That the Motion be added the item to the Committees Workplan;

 

(iii)            that the matter be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group for further consideration and report back to the Committee.

204.

Scrutiny Workplan Item - Five Year Housing Land Supply (5YHLS) pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, providing a detailed response to the scrutiny workplan item – Five Year Housing Land Supply (5YHLS).

 

The report provided background information following the request for the scrutiny item and a number of questions to be addressed and explored in greater detail.  A written response had been provided by Officers and this was attached as Appendix A to the report. 

 

The Committee received a detailed presentation from the Lead Specialist: Planning Policy and Implementation who took Members through the report at Appendix A.  A lengthy debate ensued during which Members raised a number of questions and the Officer provided additional information including:

 

·                 The Council continually reviewed what was going on sites and within the 5YHLS Officers had included the right to review the 5YHLS in six months.

 

·                 At the present Covid had not had a real impact on build rates in Maldon, although the cost of materials was still rising and this may impact on the number of completions which may be seen as an impact later this year or next year.

 

·                 The Officer confirmed It was noted that the Strategy put forward was sound in principal because growth was being put in sustainable places.

 

·                 The Council now had a legal requirement to review its Local Development Plan (LDP).  It has been five years since the approval to the Plan.

 

·                 The Planning Policy Working Group (PPWG) would be looking at future housing requirements as more land for housing, possible employment and Gypsy & Traveller sites had to be considered.  Policies needed updating along with some of the evidence provided when the LDP was originally approved in 2017. 

 

It was noted that meetings of the PPWG were now open to all Members.  Councillor K M H Lagan commented that he felt this matter should be brought to the Council as it was sovereign.  Following further discussion Councillor V J Bell proposed that this be brought to the Council. This proposal was duly seconded.  Following further discussion Councillor Bell withdrew her proposal.

 

Councillor P L Spenceley referred to providing housing at a level that was needed and ensuring that the District was protected against over-development at the same time.  She felt Members should own the LDP and understand the methodology being used in the construction of the plan during the current review.  Councillor Spenceley proposed that this Committee recommends to the Council that it pauses the current review methodology of the LDP, all Members be invited to an extraordinary meeting of the Council to consider options with regard to the methodology used and considers a partial review of the LDP as required rather than a full change to the Council’s current Strategy.  This proposal was duly seconded.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) Councillor C Mayes requested a recorded vote. 

 

The Chairman put the proposal in the name of Councillor Spenceley and the voting was as follows:

 

For the recommendation:

Councillors Mis A M Beale, B S Beale, V  ...  view the full minutes text for item 204.

205.

Working Group of Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the report of the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking agreement to establish the Working Group of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Chairman proposed that Councillor V J Bell, B B Heubner, M W Helm and P L Spenceley be appointed to sit on the Working Group.  This proposal was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the following Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are appointed to sit on the Working Group of this Committee:

 

·                 Councillor V J Bell

 

·                 Councillor B B Heubner

 

·                 Councillor M W Helm

 

·                 Councillor P L Spenceley

206.

Appointment of Representatives on Liaison Committees pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To consider the report of the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking appointment to the Health, Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the remainder of the municipal year, to May 2023.

 

Councillor C Mayes confirmed that she was happy to continue as the Council’s representative on this Committee.  Councillor V J Bell proposed that Councillor Mayes be reappointed as the representative, this was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED that Councillor C Mayes be appointed as a representative to the Health, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, for the remainder of the municipal year, to May 2023.