Agenda and draft minutes

Strategy and Resources Committee - Thursday 16th September 2021 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

274.

Chairman's Notices

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and went through some general housekeeping arrangements for the meeting.

 

The Chairman then made a brief statement, referring to the Council’s newly established Equalities, Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group which had recently met and agreed an action plan to be presented to this Committee later in the year.  He advised Members that his title at the Committee was Chairman although he preferred Chair but noted this was not a convention of the Council.  The Chairman expressed concern regarding behaviour at the last meeting of this Committee where he was not shown respect as the Chairman and hoped this did not happen again.

 

In response to the statement from the Chairman, Councillor Mrs P A Channer asked that it be noted that she was not present at the last meeting of this Committee.

275.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor K W Jarvis.

276.

Minutes - 15 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 567 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on Thursday 15 July 2021 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 15 July 2021 be approved and confirmed.

277.

Disclosure of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interest or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6 – 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members.

 

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

Minutes:

Councillor R G Boyce declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 7 - Affordable Housing and Commuted Sum Strategy as he was Chairman of an Almshouse Trust which may be affected by this item of business.

 

Councillor M F L Durham declared a non-pecuniary interest in relation to Agenda Item 7 - Affordable Housing and Commuted Sum Strategy as a Member of Essex County Council.

 

Councillor Mrs P A Channer disclosed that she was trustee of a Almshouse Charity which related to Agenda Items 7 - Affordable Housing and Commuted Sum Strategy and 8 - Local Development Plan Review Issues and Options.

 

Councillor Mrs W Stamp declared a non-pecuniary interest as a Member of Essex County Council.

278.

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 complete the online form at:

www.maldon.gov.uk/publicparticipation.

Minutes:

No requests had been received.

279.

Approval of Duty to Co-operate Strategy pdf icon PDF 239 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 seeking consideration of feedback received from the Draft Duty to Co-Operate Strategy (the Strategy) consultation and the changes considered necessary to address the feedback.  Following consideration of this Members were asked to approve the Strategy to support the delivery of a lawful and sound Maldon District Local Development Plan (LDP) Review.

 

The report provided background information regarding the Draft Strategy and subsequent consultation.  A Statement of Consultation setting out the comments received and the recommended changes was attached as Appendix 1 to the report and was transposed into the final Duty to Co-Operate in Appendix 2.  The Strategy, Policy and Communications Manager advised that since the report was written, further comments had been received from Braintree District Council, although these would not amount to any changes to the Strategy.  The Officer also advised that Appendix 2 should refer to September 2021 and not June 2021 as detailed.

 

The Chairman put the recommendations as set out in the report and this was duly seconded.

 

In response to a question and following clarification, the Chairman advised that approval of the Maldon District Duty to Co-Operate Strategy would be a recommendation to the Council.  The Chairman amended his earlier proposal to reflect this and the amendment was duly seconded.

 

The Strategy, Policy and Communications Manager, in response to a query, explained that the preparations for a Greater Essex Local Nature Partnership were underway, although Government approval was required, and how the Partnership would have a similar status in the planning arena to that of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)               That the Committee notes the responses received to the Duty to Co-Operate Strategy targeted consultation and recommended changes as summarised in the Maldon District Duty to Co-Operate Statement of Consultation as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(ii)            that the updated Maldon District Duty to Co-Operate Strategy as set out in APPENDIX 1 to these Minutes, be approved.

 

 

Councillor Mrs M E Thompson joined the meeting during this item of business.

280.

Affordable Housing and Commuted Sum Strategy pdf icon PDF 139 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 seeking adoption of the Affordable Housing and Commuted Sum Strategy (attached as Appendix 1 to the report).

 

Members were reminded that the Council did consider accepting financial contributions (commuted sums) from developers where it was justified that affordable housing could not be delivered on site or when the District’s affordable housing needs could be better satisfied through this route.  The Strategy had been brought forward to provide clarity and certainty for Developers, the Council and the General Public.  It was not prescriptive but set out principles to be followed whilst undertaking viability assessments and determining an appropriate commuted sum.

 

The Chairman moved the recommendation as set out in the report and this was duly seconded.

 

A debate ensued and in response to questions raised, the Lead Specialist Place provided Members with further background information and the following:

 

·                 A requirement for any contribution to be provided in a specific village, Ward etc. would be against the Council’s Planning Policy.

 

·                 The Council’s Affordable Housing Policy was clear that to meet the needs of the District, Commuted Sums were not required to be used.  To include this within the Strategy would conflict with the Council’s Local Development Plan Policy.

 

·                 In respect of Development Management the Council’s policy required on-site affordable housing but allowed Commuted Sums for exceptional circumstances.  The Strategy would provide clarity for the Council’s Housing Services as to how the policy could be interpreted and when a Commuted Sum may or may not be accepted.  It was noted that this would not affect the planning process.

 

·                 Financial contributions were part of an adopted Supplementary Planning Document, facilitated through planning policies and the Strategy would not impact on the level of these it purely referred to them.

 

·                 A number of the elements highlighted within the Strategy had been brought forward from Housing Services in response to the work had they observed in relation to Affordable Housing.

 

·                 The Strategy would mean that the Council was able to defend itself (at Appeals etc.) and ensure it could provide housing for the residents of the District.

 

During the debate Councillor R G Boyce reminded Members of his earlier declaration of interest.

 

The Director of Resources clarified that any financial contributions received were externally audited and detailed within the Council’s balance sheets.

 

The Chairman put the recommendation which was duly agreed.  Councillor K M H Lagan asked that his dissent to this be recorded.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Affordable Housing and Commuted Sum Strategy attached at APPENDIX 2 to these Minutes, be adopted.

281.

Local Development Plan Review Issues and Options pdf icon PDF 145 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 seeking Members’ consideration of the Issues and Options Document (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) with a view to it going out for public consultation.  It was noted that this would support the delivery of a lawful and sound Maldon District Local Development Plan (LDP) Review.

 

The report provided detail of the LDP Review agreed, the proposed timetable and work undertaken by Officers since the Review had been agreed.  The report summarised the contents of the Issues and Options document and an equality impact assessment which had been prepared was attached at Appendix 2.

 

The Chairman moved the recommendations as set out in the report and this was duly seconded.

 

The Strategy, Policy and Communications Manager, in response to a question, confirmed that consideration had been given to the consultation timeline and the Christmas period.  Members were advised depending on when the consultation started, assuming approval by the Council, the minimum length of time it had to run for was six weeks but because of the Christmas period this could and should be extended.  The Chairman confirmed that Christmas was therefore being counted as a non-working week for the purpose of the consultation.

 

A debate ensued and some Members raised a number of points regarding the consultation document including:

 

·                 Rail provision within the District;

 

·                 Incorrect reference to ‘towns’ in the east of the District as there was only one;

 

·                 No mention of railways stations outside the District in relation to settlements in the north of the District or connection with strategic routes such as the A12;

 

·                 Affordable housing in areas other than those details in the document’

 

In response the Strategy, Policy and Communications Manager advised that the Planning Policy Working Group had discussed the Settlement Hierarchy and Spatial Options on a number of occasions, as well as the Issues and Options Document.  He suggested that Officers could reflect on the comments made and make changes to the document in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee, prior to the document being agreed by the Council.  It was noted that Members were not precluded from responding to the public consultation.

 

Further debate ensued and in response to further comments and questions, additional information was provided by Officers including:

 

·                 how in response to the Call for Sites the Council had received more land submitted than it had a need for.  However, the Officer reminded Members that these were subject to further appraisal to determine whether they were suitable and sustainable.  Officers were also expecting the Issues and Options document to generate more land submissions as part of the consultation.

 

·                 It was noted that Essex County Council (ECC) had commented it would not support ‘pepper-potting’ and the Strategy, Policy and Communications Manager advised that ‘pepper-potting’ was an approach to growth used in the planning system that should at least be considered by the Council.  Although ECC had indicated they would not support it, it would be able to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 281.

282.

Approval to Consult on the Woodfield Cottages Conservation Area Proposal and the Draft Woodfield Cottages Local Listed Building Consent Order pdf icon PDF 212 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 presenting for approval the Woodfield Cottages Conservation Area Proposal and Character Appraisal (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) and Local Listed Building Consent Order (Appendix 2).

 

The report provided background information to Nos. 116 – 156 Woodfield Cottages, Heybridge and the initiatives proposed to help improve the character and condition of the cottages.  Appendix 3 set out the support for these initiatives received from Historic England.

 

The Chairman thanked the Conservation and Heritage Specialist for his fantastic report which he commented showed the Officer’s enthusiasm for conservation.  These comments were reiterated by other Members of the Committee.  The Chairman then moved the recommendations as set out in the report which were duly seconded.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              that the Woodfield Cottages Conservation Area Proposal and Character Appraisal (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) is approved for public consultation;

 

(ii)            that the Draft Woodfield Cottages Local Listed Building Consent Order (attached as Appendix 2 to the report) is approved for public consultation.

283.

Response to Rochford District Council - Development Capacity Letter - August 2021 pdf icon PDF 304 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 seeking consideration of a request made under the Duty to Co-Operate from neighbouring Rochford District Council (RDC) concerning their development capacity and Maldon District’s ability to help accommodate housing needs.  The letter from RDC was attached as Appendix 2 to the report.

 

The report provided background to the request from RDC and set out the following matters for consideration:

 

·                 The Duty to Co-operate;

 

·                 Stage of plan-making in RDC and Maldon District Council’

 

·                 Green belt;

 

·                 Housing market area geographies;

 

·                 Existing agreement or protocols.

 

The Chairman moved the recommendation as set out in the report and this was duly seconded.

 

It was noted that the letter would be sent from the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance.

 

RESOLVED that the response to Rochford District Council’s letter be approved as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

284.

Supplementary Estimates, Virements and Use of Reserves pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Resources, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources reporting Virements and Supplementary Estimates agreed under delegated powers where they were below the levels requiring approval by the Committee.  The report also set out procurement exceptions granted and reported on the Use of Reserves during the year.

 

It was noted that there were no supplementary estimates, procurement requests or drawdown from Reserves in this period.  Members attention was drawn to two Virements set out in the report, one requiring Committee approval and the other for information only.

 

The Chairman moved the recommendations as set out in the report.  This was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That Virement 1) as set out below, be approved;

 

(ii)            That Virement 2) as set tout below, be noted.

 

Cost Centre To

Directorate/ Service

Cost Centre From

Directorate/ Service

Budget Amount

Description

1)     172

Strategy, Performance and Governance (SPG) / Salaries

301

SPG / Local Development Plan (LDP) Project

£232,300

Separating out the salaries part of approved LDP budget.

2)     103

SPG / Communication

171

Resources/ Staffing

£9,600

Virement to correct miscoding.

 

285.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

To resolve that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, and that this satisfies the public interest test.

286.

Lease Agreement

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking Members’ approval to enter into a 25-year lease with a Maldon Sports Club (the Club).

 

The report provided background information regarding the lease agreement and proposal to enter into a new lease.

 

The Chairman moved the recommendation as set out in the report and this was duly seconded.

 

Councillor Miss S White disclosed an interest in this item of business as she supported this type of sports club.

 

A lengthy debate ensued, during which a number of comments and questions were raised, including the terms and negotiations around proposed new lease, the benefits of the Club to the local community, costs required for the Council to breakeven.  In response, the Commercial Manager and Director of Resources provided Members with further information.

 

Following further discussion the Chairman proposed an amendment that the annual rental figure be raised to £150 per annum and that the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed subject to this change.  This amendment was duly seconded and agreed.

 

Councillor R G Boyce asked that his abstention from voting on this item of business be recorded.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That the Director of Service Delivery be authorised to enter into a 25-year lease with the Sports Club identified in the report on the terms contained within this report and subject to an annual rental figure of £150 per annum;

 

(ii)       That a figure of £7,000 is included within the 2022 / 23 budget to fund the one-off grant to the Club.

Appendices pdf icon PDF 624 KB

Additional documents: