Agenda and minutes

Asset Management and Economic Development Cabinet Committee
Thursday, 6th July, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: J Leither Tel: (01992) 564123  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Webcasting Introduction

(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.

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.

2.

SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

(Director of Governance) To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Committee noted that there were no substitute members.

3.

Declarations of Interest

(The Director of Governance) To declare interests in any items on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor G Mohindra declared an interest in agenda item 6, Economic Development – Progress Report by virtue of his role as Chairman of the Smart Essex Board at Essex County Council. The Councillor had determined that his interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the item.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Cabinet Committee held on 13 April 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 April 2017 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

5.

Economic Development - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 123 KB

(Director of Neighbourhoods) To consider the attached report AMED-001-2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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.

 

Town Centres

 

Town & Village Centres / District Opportunities Fund

 

The EDO reported that it had been very rewarding to see a number of projects coming forward for funding and also for projects coming to fruition:

 

·         The first stage of the Ongar in Bloom project has seen colourful planters installed in the town centre to raise the appeal of Ongar Town Centre to visitors;

 

·         The Buckhurst Hill Residents Society has delivered its project to increase people’s awareness of the business offer in Queens Road through engagement between school children and these businesses. A first tranche of children had visited Queens Road on several occasions, interviewed businesses, produced promotional material for them and held a market outside these businesses. The Residents Society has worked hard to involve a wide range of traders, including some which have not historically been engaged with the town centre and community activities. The children also seem to have found the project both exciting and rewarding; and

 

·         The Epping Town Partnership are hosting a Youth Festival & Youth Traders Market on Saturday 8 July 2017 from 10am to 4pm. There will be a number of young people trading on Epping High Street and some entertainment provided by local schools and it was hoped that this would be a successful event.

 

Business Support

 

Business Confidence Survey

 

At a previous meeting of the Asset Management and Economic Development Cabinet Committee, Members were in agreement to the idea of conducting a local survey of business confidence. Members requested that a draft of the survey be brought to a future meeting so they could review the content. On page 17 of the Agenda was the first draft of the proposed survey and Members were asked for any comments they may have.

 

Digital Enterprise Programme

 

On 15 June 2017, the Cabinet considered a report to bring forward proposals to develop a Digital Enterprise Programme that would build on the successful infrastructure network improvements that the District has seen over the last two years and start to further develop the District’s potential as a Digital Innovation Zone.

 

In addition to the Council, six funding partners have signed up to a co-funded and co-commissioned digital strategy for the wider Digital Innovation Zone.

 

The Cabinet also agreed as a part of that report to funding from the Town Centre Opportunities Fund, up to a maximum of £45,000, to explore the potential for the delivery of a free public wi-fi scheme in the District’s town centres. The Economic Development team have been liaising with Broxbourne Borough Council and Pembrokeshire County Council who have been through this process, to learn from their experiences.

 

Councillor Breare-Hall asked if Members could receive details of the return on investment from these activities.

 

The EDO replied that all projects would return an end of project report but most of these projects were long term  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Asset Management Development Projects - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 164 KB

(Director of Neighbourhoods) To consider the attached report AMED-002-2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Work had commenced on the feasibility of relocating the Housing Repairs Services to the Depot at Oakwood Hill. This was agreed, in accordance with the Council’s accommodation strategy, by the Cabinet on the 9 March 2017. There were cost increases associated with the installation of an alarm system and a final report will be submitted to Cabinet before the end of the year. There were a number of snagging issues to be fully resolved with the building contractor, however progress was being made.

 

Councillor Breare-Hall asked why there were still issues with snagging as he thought that staff had been in situ for some time now and that these would have been remedied by now. My questions to the Director of Neighbourhoods are:

 

(a)  When did staff occupy the building; and

(b)  Have Building Control signed off on the depot.

 

The Director of Neighbourhoods advised that staff moved into the building in September/October 2016 and Building Control had signed off the building apart from one issue which was a means of escape for people with disabilities from the first floor.

 

The outstanding snagging issues were associated with the configuration of the external landscaping and the offsite monitoring of the alarm system which have contributed to the extra cost involved.

 

(3)        Pyrles Lane Nursery

 

In March 2016, outline planning permission was granted for the demolition of the District Council’s tree/plant propagation nursery in Pyrles Lane, Loughton and the erection of up to 36 dwellings with a mix flats and houses) with associated car parking, landscaping and supporting infrastructure. The Council had commissioned specialist advice on the value and marketing of the site. A report will go to the next Cabinet meeting on the 11 July 2017, with an independent report on the value of the site and some proposals of how the marketing and disposal could be conducted. There were however a number of issues regarding affordable housing on the site and a steer would be sought from Members.

 

(4)        St John’s Road Development

 

Final agreement between the District Council, the Town Council and Frontier Estates had now been reached on the provision of the community elements of the scheme, in particular assurance around the provision of the cinema. This was now in the hands of the respective solicitors to complete the final legal agreement, which should be ready to be entered into by mid-July. Once achieved, further work would commence on a planning application which could be submitted by the end of the year.

 

(5)        North Weald Airfield

 

After an unsuccessful attempt to galvanise external interest in terms of an operational partner there had been work done through the Local Plan process in terms of employment uses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Epping Forest Shopping Park - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 90 KB

(Director of Neighbourhoods) To consider the attached report AMED-003-2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council’s Asset Management Development Consultant, Mr C Pasterfield presented a report to the Cabinet Committee with regard to the current progress on the development of the Epping Forest Shopping Park. He advised that practical completion of the Shopping Park had been achieved on the 19 June 2017 and control had been handed over to the Council. There were some minor snagging issues and the building contractors were working to remedy these.

 

The day to day management of the Shopping Park was being handled by Savills which included security and cleaning and they would be reporting to the Council’s Estates Management department.

 

The tenants which had completed and exchanged contracts were Next, TK Maxx, Smyths Toys, Hobbycraft, Pets at Home and Aldi. On the 26 June, three of the tenants had taken occupation of their units and had started their shop fitting works. There were three more lettings in the hands of solicitors and this left one small unit and two larger units to be let. Mr Pasterfield advised that there was a healthy interest in the last three units which the Council were currently considering. He added that it was important to get the right mix of tenants in the Shopping Park.

 

There was no date for the official opening of the Epping Forest Shopping Park but it was anticipated that it would be on the lead up to the Christmas Shopping period. However some of the units would be open before the official opening and advertising for staff was taking place. Hobbycraft would like to be ready to open for business on the 3 August, Smyths Toys and T K Maxx at the end of August. Pets at Home will take possession of their unit on 17 July and anticipate opening in September and Aldi estimate they would be ready to open at the end of October. Next are doing major alterations to their unit but will be ready to open before the run up to Christmas

 

Section 278 Road Works

 

Mr Pasterfield advised that the road works were progressing. The new traffic light system at the junction with Abridge Road was now active and the traffic now seemed to be flowing smoothly through this junction. The roundabout at the Broadway would be completed within two weeks and the traffic lights at Langston Road, Chigwell Road and Oakwood Hill would be completed by the end of August. The resurfacing work had been done at night and this was now complete. The road markings would be completed by the end of the week and the footpath would be finished after the street lights were connected.

 

Where roads were being planed off such as Langston Road and Chigwell Lane a joint inspection with Essex County Council Highways had taken place to agree any repairs. Structural repairs would be paid for by Essex County Council and they would decide what method they preferred to complete the repairs.

 

Barrington Green South, by Sainsbury’s on the Broadway had not yet been planed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Committee noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration.

9.

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):

 

Agenda Item No

Subject

Exempt Information Paragraph Number

 

Nil

 

Nil

 

Nil

 

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

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

 

    8a                Epping Forest Shopping Park                           3

10.

Epping Forest Shopping Park - Part II

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Neighbourhoods advised Members that there were three units currently in the hands of solicitors and a further two units still to be decided upon. Although there was much interest in the units the Council had to make the right decision to the mix of tenant that would fit in with the Shopping Park and the Broadway shops.