· Minute 779 – Recreational Avoidance Mitigation Strategy Supplementary Planning Document.
(i) That the Minutes of the meeting of the Planning and Licensing Committee held on 24 January 2019 be received.
Minute 779 – Recreational Avoidance Mitigation Strategy Supplementary Planning Document
Councillor Mrs P A Channer, Chairman of the Planning and Licensing Committee, pointed out her non-pecuniary interest referring to social housing and that she was a Trustee of the Henry Guilder Drake Alms-house Trust.
Councillor Mrs Channer informed Members that she had been advised that the Council needed to receive legal advice in relation to the recommendation in this Minute and asked the Chairman if this advice could be given.
With the permission of the Chairman, the Council’s Interim Monitoring Officer advised that recommendation (ii) included the words “excluding social housing” and provided some information in relation to what this would mean. Members were informed that the view of the Interim Monitoring Officer was that this this recommendation was in breach of the Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 because the whole purpose of the Recreational Avoidance Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was to protect European sites as a result of new development. All Councils affected by these regulations were now signing up to this SPD and in his view it would unlawful for the Council to exclude social housing, because residents of social housing were just as likely to cause a problem to a European site as occupants of non-affordable housing. Therefore, excluding social housing would put the Local Authority and the developer potentially in breach of these regulations.
Councillor R G Boyce declared an interest in this item of business as he was Chairman of a housing association. He then provided the Council with some information regarding why he had made the proposition at the Planning and Licensing Committee to exclude social housing.
Councillor Mrs Channer proposed that in light of the legal advice given the recommendation be amended to remove reference to “excluding social housing” leaving essentially the recommendation presented in the report to the Committee. This proposal was duly seconded.
Councillor Boyce raised a point of order that as these Minutes were being presented and a change to the recommendation was proposed that they should go back to the Planning and Licensing Committee. Councillor Mrs Channer advised that this matter contained a resolution from the Planning and Licensing Committee along with a recommendation to the Council. She outlined the reason for the recommendation and how it was her understanding that the recommendation could be changed by the Council.
The Chairman then put the amended recommendation as proposed by Councillor Mrs Channer to the Council. Upon a vote being taken this was agreed.
(ii) That the tariff in the draft Essex Coast RAMS be used for securing financial contributions from new housing development in the interim period prior to the draft Essex Coast RAMS Supplementary Planning Document being adopted.
(iii) That subject to the above decision, the Minutes of the meeting of the Planning and Licensing Committee held on 24 January 2019 be adopted.