Agenda, decisions and minutes

Local Plan Cabinet Committee
Monday, 18th February, 2013 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: Gary Woodhall  Tel: 01992 564470 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

23.

Webcasting Introduction

The Chairman will read the following announcement:

 

“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be recorded for subsequent repeated viewing on the Internet and copies of the recording could be made available for those that request it.

 

By being present at this meeting it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.

 

You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns please speak to the webcasting officer.

 

Please could I also remind members to put on their microphones before speaking by pressing the button on the microphone unit”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.

24.

Apologies for Absence

(Assistant to the Chief Executive) To be declared at the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman, who had tended his apologies for the meeting, the Cabinet Committee agreed that the Leader of the Council would chair this meeting.

25.

Declarations of Interest

(Assistant to the Chief Executive) To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.

26.

Minutes

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Cabinet Committee held on 26 November 2012 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2012 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

(1)        That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2012 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

27.

Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 14 KB

(Assistant to the Chief Executive) To note the Cabinet Committee’s Terms of Reference, as agreed by the Leader of the Council in June 2012.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Committee noted its terms of reference, as amended by the Leader of the Council.

28.

Portfolio Holder Decisions Agreed since the Last Meeting

(Assistant to the Chief Executive) To note the agreed Portfolio Holder Decisions in relation to the Local Plan since the last meeting of the Cabinet Committee on 26 November 2012:

 

·                     PLA-012 Sustainability Appraisal & Habitats Regulation Assessment – Waiving of Contract Standing Orders

 

(1)        To appoint URS (previously Scott Wilson) to undertake:

 

(a)        an advisory role in the preparation of further Sustainability Appraisal work; and

 

(b)               Habitats Regulation Assessment work;

 

in support of the emerging Local Plan, and to waive Contract Standing Order C3(2) to enable consultants to be appointed without further delay.

 

·                     PLA-013 Annual Monitoring Report 2011/12

 

(1)        To note the content of the Draft 2011/12 Annual Monitoring Report, and to approve it for submission to the Secretary of State and publication on the EFDC website.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Committee noted that the following Portfolio Holder decisions in relation to the Local Plan had been agreed since the last meeting on 26 November 2012:

 

(i)         PLA-012 Sustainability Appraisal & Habitats Regulation Assessment – Waiving of Contract Standing Orders; and

 

(ii)        PLA-013 Annual Monitoring Report 2011/12.

29.

Local Plan - Progress & Budget Update pdf icon PDF 95 KB

(Director of Planning & Economic Development) To consider the attached report (LPC-007-2012/13).

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That progress on the Local Plan be noted;

 

(2)        That the expenditure on preparing the Local Plan to date in 2012/13 and the estimates for further expenditure over the coming months be noted; and

 

(3)        That a progress and budget update report on the Local Plan be submitted to the Cabinet Committee every quarter for consideration in the future.

Minutes:

The Forward Planning Manager presented a report on current progress with the Local Plan and an update on the Local Plan budget.

 

The Forward Planning Manager reported that progress on the Local Plan had accelerated in recent months, with the ‘Community Choices: Issues & Options’ consultation period being held between July and October 2012. This had resulted in 4,080 responses being received on behalf of 6,331 people. Detailed analysis was now being performed by the Forward Planning team. Further evidence base work was required around population figures, economic development, flood risk and transport. Further detailed investigation of some matters might also be required as the analysis of consultation responses progresses. It was currently envisaged that the ‘Preferred Options’ consultation would commence in the Autumn of 2013.

 

The Forward Planning Manager informed the Cabinet Committee that, as of 30 January 2013, £262,930 had been spent from existing budgets on the preparation of the Local Plan. Identified expenditure was broadly within estimated budgets, and unforeseen amounts could be absorbed into the existing District Development Fund (DDF) budget at this stage. Further review of the overall budget was likely to be required in future. The ‘Community Choices: Issues & Options’ consultation had cost £54,000. The Local Plan budget was in a healthy position at the moment but some extra expenditure was expected in the future; the Cabinet Committee advised the Officers that any request for supplementary finance should be made as early as possible to ensure that it was approved by the Cabinet and Council in good time.

 

The Forward Planning Manager confirmed that population and household projections for the District commissioned by the Essex Planning Officers Association would not be available until March, and therefore would not form part of the scheduled Member Local Plan workshops. However, it was intended to hold a fourth workshop when the figures had been released. The population figures to be released in March 2013 would be the most accurate and would used for the Local Plan when they were made available. This would be phase 4 of the process referred to in the report and would incorporate the recent census figures.

 

The Assistant Director of Planning & Economic Development (Policy & Conservation) informed the Cabinet Committee that the Communications Strategy was being updated to learn the lessons form the previous consultation. This had included the performance of the distribution company used to circulate the leaflets advertising the consultation. As had been reported at the previous meeting, further testing of the on-line response system would be undertaken before the ‘Preferred Options’ consultation. The Chief Executive added that a whole range of different mechanisms were being investigated for advertising the ‘Preferred Options’ consultation, including better use of the Town and Parish Councils within the District. It was suggested by the Members present that a consistent letter should be sent to each resident within the district to advertise the next round of consultation, and the underlying assumptions used for each of the models should be published for Member and public information. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Draft Statement of Community Involvement and Draft Communications Strategy pdf icon PDF 111 KB

(Director of Planning & Economic Development) To consider the attached report (LPC-008-2012/13).

Additional documents:

Decision:

(1)        That the responses made to the Statement of Community Involvement consultation be noted;

 

(2)        That the proposed modifications to the draft Statement of Community Involvement, which were partly as a response to the consultations and to update the document, be approved;

 

(3)        That the actions proposed for inclusion in the Council’s draft Local Plan Communications Strategy be approved;

 

(4)        That the further items to be explored for inclusion in the Council’s Local Plan Communications Strategy be noted; and

 

(5)        That the draft Statement of Community Involvement, incorporating the revised Local Plan Communications Strategy, be recommended to the Council for approval, on the understanding it represented the minimum level of actions the Council would take to encourage community involvement in the Local Plan process.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Planning & Economic Development (Policy & Conservation) presented a report on the draft Statement of Community Involvement and the draft Communications Strategy.

 

The Assistant Director reminded the Cabinet Committee that the Statement of Community Involvement represented the minimum that the Council would do in engaging with the community on matters of concern to the Local Plan, and a consultation on the draft version of the Statement of Community Involvement had been undertaken in the summer and autumn of 2012. The responses gave rise to considerable valuable feedback for the service which could now be implemented for forthcoming consultations. Consequently, a number of changes to the text of the Statement of Community Involvement had been made to make it clearer and more up to date, and address a number of the concerns raised.

 

The Assistant Director stated that, in addition, there were a range of actions proposed for inclusion in the draft Communications Strategy to strengthen the transparency of communication on the Local Plan and improve on the recent experience regarding planning policy consultation. It was intended that the Local Plan Communications Strategy would provide more detail as to how the Council would engage with all its stakeholders and would provide a detailed methodology. However, planning consultations always contained controversial matters and the overall aim could only be to ensure that messages were clearly and consistently communicated, and that processes were fair and transparent.

 

The Assistant Director added that some additional items had been identified for further study and, if considered feasible, could be included in time for the next major planning policy consultation, namely the ‘Preferred Options’ consultation. The draft Statement of Community Involvement and draft Communications Strategy, if agreed by the Local Plan Cabinet Committee, would then be submitted to the Council at its meeting in April 2013 for formal adoption.

 

Some of the other Members present opined that the Council would want as many responses as possible from the public for the ‘Preferred Options’ consultation, to generate a sound evidence base for the Local Plan. It was therefore suggested that plain English should be used for the supporting documents to make them more comprehensible to the public. The Chief Executive stated that the production of “Idiots Guides” for each document was being considered and the Leader of the Council confirmed that the Council would engage plain English consultants if necessary. It was also suggested that telephone and email contact information for the Parish and Town Council Clerks could also be provided within the advertising literature sent out by the District Council. The Assistant Director reassured the Meeting that the additional items identified for further study would be submitted for Member approval before being included in a future revised Statement of Community Involvement.

 

Decision:

 

(1)        That the responses made to the Statement of Community Involvement consultation be noted;

 

(2)        That the proposed modifications to the draft Statement of Community Involvement, which were partly as a response to the consultations and to update the document, be approved;

 

(3)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Any Other Business

Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, together with paragraphs (6) and (24) of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution requires that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.

 

In accordance with Operational Standing Order (6) (non-executive bodies), any item raised by a non-member shall require the support of a member of the Cabinet Committee and the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee. Two weeks’ notice of non-urgent items is required.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Committee noted that there was no other business for consideration at the meeting.