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(a) This meeting is to be webcast;
(b) Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking; and
(c) the Chairman will read the following announcement:
I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being 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 your image becoming part of the broadcast.
You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.
Please could I also remind Members to activate their microphones before speaking.
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.
(Director of Governance) To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.
The Cabinet Committee noted that there were no substitute members.
Declarations of Interest
(The Director of Governance) To declare interests in any items on the agenda.
Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor G Mohindra declared a personal interest in agenda item 8, Epping Forest Shopping Park by virtue of being known to one of the prospective tenants. The Councillor had determined that his interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the item.
To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Cabinet Committee held on 27 October 2016.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 October 2016 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
(Director of Neighbourhoods) To consider the attached report AMED-010-2016/17.
The Economic Development Officer (EDO) presented a report to the Cabinet Committee and updated them on a number of projects and issues being explored by the Economic Development Team.
Waltham Abbey Wayfinding Project
Following a full tendered procurement process a contractor had been appointed to design, manufacture and install a new pedestrian wayfinding system in Waltham Abbey Town Centre. A total of eight tenders were received all of which were of a similar quality. Therefore the award of the tender was determined by the lowest priced tender and Mödel Signage Solutions were the successful contractor. The winning tender was less than 50% of the total potential budget that had been agreed for the project representing excellent value for money and ensuring that further funds would remain available to consider further enhancement projects for the town centre in the future.
Mödel have already undertaken a stakeholder presentation and consultation event in the town and have subsequently set up an online survey to enable those stakeholders, including businesses, unable to attend the meeting to have their say. It was intended that a proposed design for the scheme be presented to the key stakeholders in February 2017 in order that the finalised design could be agreed before the end of the current financial year.
Councillor Mohindra stated that it was important to ensure that in terms of the design and the points of interest that the Royal Gunpowder Mills and the Lea Valley White Water Raft Centre were included in the plan as they were critical tourist attractions in the area.
He also commented that the business confidence survey was a good idea and looked forward to receiving the results of that survey in the near future.
The EDO advised that both the Royal Gunpowder Mills and the Lea Valley White Water Rafting Centre would be referenced from the town centre in the Wayfinding scheme.
The Rural Challenge Project to deliver ultrafast broadband to rural parts of the district continued to make progress. Almost 195km of network had now been built within excess of 2,800 connection pots installed at the property edges. Ten cabinet areas would be completed by the end of June 2017 with two cabinet areas being delayed in the Hastingwood Area, which includes North Weald and Ongar which will start in Spring 2017 and would be completed by the end of October 2017.
Councillor Breare-Hall asked the EDO if the soft launch had taken place and what were the enhancements that have been made to the new district tourism website.
The EDO advised that the soft launch had not yet taken place as it was still in the process of building the content. There were two elements to the website, the database side and the content, which was used to perform the narrative for the district. Previously the visit Epping Forest website had been a list based website now there was an opportunity to tell the story of Epping Forest. The new website will have more ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
(Director of Neighbourhoods) To consider the attached report AMED-011-2016/17.
The Director of Neighbourhoods presented a report to the Cabinet Committee and updated Members on further developments to the report since it had been published.
(1) Epping Forest Shopping Park
There was a separate detailed report on the progress of the Epping Forest Shopping Park at Agenda Item 8.
(2) Oakwood Hill Depot
The Depot was now completed and fully operational. The mezzanine floor had been extended at a notional cost to provide additional office accommodation.
(3) Pyrles Lane Nursery
Planning permission had been granted for a residential development on the site of Pyrles Lane Nursery. External advisors had produced a report, the outcome of this report and a proposed disposal strategy would be reported to Cabinet on 9 March 2017.
(4) St John’s Road
After a protracted period of negotiation the Council have completed on the purchase of the former junior school from Essex County Council. There had been some anti-social behaviour on the site but the Council have now secured security presence on and the site was now secure. The next stage was to work with Frontier Estates and Epping Town Council moving towards the submission of their full planning application and if this was successful a tri-party agreement would take place between Epping Forest District Council, Epping Town Council and Frontier Estates and would develop the site.
Councillor J M Whitehouse stated that it had previously been reported that the consultation would take place as part of the planning process. He advised that as landowner and the planning authority the Council should be ensuring and encouraging pre-application engagement and not just the statutory 21 day letters going out when a planning application was submitted. It was easier to deal with queries in the pre-application stage rather than when the planning application was submitted.
The Chairman advised that Officers would raise that issue with Frontier Estates when they had their next meeting.
(5) Lindsay House
Essex County Council advised that they no longer wished to obtain Lindsay House for use as accommodation to support vulnerable adults. A report would go to Cabinet on the 2 February 2017 with regard to marketing the property for disposal as either a single dwelling, subject to the restrictive covenants, or conversion to flats.
(6) North Weald Airfield
A discussion had taken place earlier in the meeting regarding North Weald Airfield.
(7) Site of former Winston Churchill Public House
Members and Officers were invited by Higgins for a site visit. The views from the top of the building were spectacular with views across East London. The flats would be completed ready for occupation in September 2017. The Council’s main interest were the retail units on the ground floor which we had the opportunity to view. The Council have now appointed agents and were receiving offers for those units.
Councillor Mohindra stated that the site visit was a worthwhile exercise but that the top floor was for office space and not living accommodation and Planning Enforcement Officers should keep stringent checks that this was ... view the full minutes text for item 33.
(Director of Neighbourhoods) To consider the attached report AMED-012-2016/17.
Epping Forest Shopping Park
The Council’s Asset Management Development Consultant, Mr C Pasterfield presented a report to the Cabinet Committee with regard to the current progress of the development of the Epping Forest Shopping Park. Mr Pasterfield was accompanied by Mr L Edwards of Colliers International, one of the Council’s appointed consultants for the management of letting the units at the shopping park.
Mr Pasterfield advised that at a recent meeting with the main contractor, McLaughlin & Harvey it had been reported that completion of the site was proceeding according to schedule. The steel frame for the 95,000 sq ft building was complete with the end walls and part of the roof clad. Meetings with tenants would now become more intensified regarding their shop fitting requirements.
On 22 December 2016 Members of the Cabinet and Board Members were taken on a site visit of the Shopping Park. The site Manager for McLaughlin & Harvey gave an overview of the construction process to date and advised that they were on schedule with the scheme.
Section 278 Road Works
There had been a delay with the highways work due to a gas mains being discovered which was not revealed in the original searches and site investigations. This meant that the drainage had to be redesigned. The widening of the carriageway works would be completed by the end of March 2017.
Members expressed concerns and queried if the delays with the highways work would cause a delay on the opening of the Shopping Park.
Mr Pasterfield advised that the Shopping Park would be completed before the highways work was completed. The shopping park would not be ready to open as the tenants would need to fit out the shops and this would take approximately 6-8 weeks. It was anticipated that the Shopping Park would open around August/September 2017.
Councillor Lion asked if there was any progress on the installation of broadband and Wi-Fi services at the Shopping Park.
Mr Macnab advised that during a recent site meeting with the project manager he advised that there was extensive duct work which runs all through the site where the cables for the broadband would run.
This report updates the Cabinet Committee on a Epping Forest Shopping Park as discussed at previous meetings.
Reasons for Decision:
To comply with the Cabinet Committee’s previous request to monitor the development of the Shopping Park on a regular basis.
Other Options Considered and Rejected:
None, as monitoring report is for information not action.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, together with paragraphs 6 and 25 of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution require 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.
The Cabinet Committee noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration.
Exclusion of Public and Press
Exclusion: To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):
The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Background Papers: Article 17 - Access to Information, Procedure Rules of the Constitution define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:
(a) disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based; and
(b) have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.
The Council will make available for public inspection for four years after the date of the meeting one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers.
That the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on the grounds that they would involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972:
Agenda Exempt Information
Item No. Subject Paragraph Number
8 Epping Forest Shopping Park 3
Progress Report Part II
Epping Forest Shopping Park Progress Report Part II
Mr L Edwards from Colliers International, consultants responsible for letting the units at the Epping Forest Shopping Park reported that the market was steady and 75% of the retail units had been let to a mix of tenants.
Mr Edwards advised that they were considering offers on some of the smaller units but were looking to make sure that they did not conflict with any of the traders on Debden Broadway.
Mr Pasterfield advised that they would be looking into installing some electric car charging points at the Shopping Park. More information would need to be collected to estimate how many electric car charging points to install.
Members were very enthusiastic to see that a provision was being made to install electric car charging points.