Agenda, decisions and minutes

Licensing and Planning Policy Committee
Wednesday, 12th July, 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Epsom Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Sandra Dessent, tel: 01372 732121  email:  sdessent@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Question Time

To take any questions from members of the Public

 

Please note:  Members of the Public are requested to inform the Democratic Servicers Officer before the meeting begins if they wish to ask a verbal question to the Committee.

Decision:

No questions were asked or had been submitted by members of the public.

Minutes:

No questions were asked or had been submitted by members of the public.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in respect of any item of business to be considered at the meeting.

Decision:

No declarations of interest were made by councillors regarding items on the Agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made by councillors regarding items on the Agenda.

3.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 94 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 20 April 2017 (attached) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.


Decision:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2017 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman subject to noting that it was the Chairman of Ewell Village Residents’ Association and not Epsom and Ewell Residents’ Association who addressed the meeting.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2017 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman subject to noting that it was the Chairman of Ewell Village Residents’ Association and not Epsom and Ewell Residents’ Association who addressed the meeting.  The published Minutes would be amended accordingly.

4.

Appointment of Licensing Panel Chairmen pdf icon PDF 86 KB

This report asks the Committee to select four members from the pool of Licensing panel members to be available to Chair as required any panels held during the 2018/18 Municipal Year.

Decision:

The Committee appointed Councillors Neil Dallen, Clive Smitheram, Jean Steer and Rob Geleit from the pool of Licensing Panel members to be available to Chair as required any Panels held during the 2017/18 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

The Committee appointed Councillors Neil Dallen, Clive Smitheram, Jean Steer and Rob Geleit from the pool of Licensing Panel members to be available to Chair as required any Panels held during the 2017/18 Municipal Year.

5.

Corporate Plan: Year-end Performance Report 2016 to 2014 and Provisional Targets for 2017 to 2018 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

This report provides a year-end update against our Key Priority Performance Targets for 2016 to 2017, under our new Corporate Plan and provisional targets for 2017 to 2018. 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Committee:

(1)          Considered the performance reported in Annexe 1 and did not identify any areas of concern;

(2)          Reviewed and agreed targets for 2017/18 as detailed in Annexe 2 of the report and outlined in paragraph 4.1

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report which provided a year-end update against its Key Priority Performance Targets for 2016 to 2017 as set out in the Council’s Corporate Plan and provisional targets for 2017 to 2018.

The report confirmed that out of a total of 9 targets for 2016/17, 7 had been achieved and 2 had not been achieved.  An additional 3 indicators were regularly reported to the Committee as part of the performance monitoring report but for information purposes only.  The report identified those actions which had not been achieved and the remedial action identified, were applicable as set out in the table below:

 

Not achieved

Actions identified

Keeping the Borough clean and green

Complete the pre-submission consultation on a partial review of the Core Strategy.

A revised Local Plan Programme had been approved on 13 July 2016. The recruitment process was successful.  The pre-submission consultation on a partial review of the Core Strategy was a target for 2017/18 with a date set for 31 March 2018.

Supporting businesses and our local economy

At least 90% of other planning applications determined within 8 weeks

At year-end it was 87% - slightly missing the target by 3%.  However, this exceeded the national target of 80%.

In regards to the Committee’s targets for 2017/18, it was noted that in the context of “supporting businesses and our local economy” the measure related to how the Council could support them through the planning process by timely determination of applications.

Accordingly, the Committee:

(1)          Considered the performance reported in Annexe 1 and did not identify any areas of concern;

(2)          Reviewed and agreed targets for 2017/18 as detailed in Annexe 2, and outlined in paragraph 4.1, of the report.

6.

Epsom & Ewell Local Plan Programme 2017 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

A new Local Plan Programme has been prepared to set the process and timetable for a partial review of the Epsom and Ewell Core Strategy.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and agree the Local Plan Programme to take effect from 12 July 2017.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Committee considered the draft Local Plan Programme and resolved that the programme presented to the Committee take effect as of 12 July 2017.

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered the draft Local Plan Programme which had been prepared to set the process and timetable for a partial review of the Epsom and Ewell Core Strategy.

The report stated that the primary purpose of the Local Plan Programme (or Local Development Scheme as it had previously known) was to set out the processes and timetable for the preparation and production of the Borough Council’s Local Plan.  The Council had always envisaged its programmes providing a three year project plan which sought to inform both the process and all of the interested parties and partners about how and when the Local Plan would be brought forward.

The timetable before the Committee was acknowledged as ambitious, with the intention of working towards Pre-Submission Consultation on a revised Core Strategy during the first half of 2018.

In response to concern about the speed of the process, the importance of quick and decisive action by the Council was stressed to mitigate the risk of government intervention and unsustainable speculative approaches for higher levels of housing growth from the development industry. Swift action was essential if the Borough Council wished to remain in control of the Local Plan’s growth strategy.

Accordingly, the Committee agreed that the programme set out in summary below should take effect as of 12 July 2017:

 

Key Stages

Dates

Issues and Options Consultation

September – November 2017

Consideration of consultation responses

December 2017

Pre-Submission Consultation

March 2018

Date of Submission to the Secretary of State

May 2018

Pre-Examination Meeting

September 2018

Public Hearing

Late 2018

Estimated Date for Adoption

December 2019

 

Documents

Publication Dates

Strategic Housing Market Assessment

October 2016

Green Belt Study Stage 1

February 2017

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

July 2017

Traveller Accommodation Assessment

July2017

Constraints Study

July 2017

Green Belt Study Stage 2

November 2017

 

7.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment pdf icon PDF 133 KB

The Strategic Housing Lane Availability Assessment (SHLAA0 is a key evidence base document that seeks to identify and account for future potential sources of housing land supply.  The SHLAA should identify a five year supply of specific deliverable sites.  The Committee is asked to note the findings of the SHLAA and agree to its publication.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Committee:

(1)          Considered the SHLAA and agreed to its publication;

(2)          Noted the findings of the SHLAA 2017 and the five year housing land supply position and housing trajectory against the Objectively Assessed Housing Needs (OAHN) figure;

(3)          Acknowledged that the outputs from the SHLAA would be used to inform the partial review of the Core Strategy.

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), a key evidence base document which sought to identify and account for future potential sources of housing land supply.

The Council was currently unable to demonstrate a five year supply of housing against the Objectively Assessed Housing Needs (OAHN) figure and, as such, the Core Strategy policy setting a housing target was considered out of date.  However, by proactively planning for future growth, identifying where it should and should not go, the Council would place itself in a stronger position to resist unsustainable levels of growth in the wrong locations.

The SHLAA sought to identify a five year supply of specific deliverable sites, a supply of developable sites for the next 6-10 years and, where possible, for 11-15 years. It was a starting point for the Council in its responsibility to prepare an up to date Local Plan to ensure that there was an adequate land supply to meet the needs of the Borough.

The report highlighted that whilst the sites identified by SHLAA’s were technically considered to be deliverable or developable, this was based upon a subjective judgement.  The identification of potential sites, buildings or areas in the SHLAA did not state or imply that the Council would necessarily grant planning permission for development.  All planning applications would continue to be determined against the appropriate development plan and other relevant considerations.  It was particularly important to recognise this in relation to opportunity sites, some of which were sensitive, especially those in Green Belt. It was stressed that in demonstrating a rigorous approach to its planning process, the Council should not seek to exclude such sites from the SHLAA.  In response to a query regarding the Council’s ability to meet its stated affordable housing target, whilst not directly related to the matter under consideration, it was confirmed that as part of the issues and options stage, the matter of affordability would be considered and viability would form part of that consideration.

Accordingly, the Committee, subject to Officers clarifying the Ward Boundaries in respect of sites171 (Epsom and Ewell High School) and 563 (Land at Fairview Road) and including an entry for West Ewell in Table 3 (Summary of Housing Land Supply 2017-2032 by Ward) as appropriate:

(1)          Agreed to publication of the SHLAA;

(2)          Noted the findings of the SHLAA 2017 and the five year housing land supply position and housing trajectory against the Objectively Assessed Housing Needs (OAHN) figure;

(3)          Acknowledged that the outputs from the SHLAA would be used to inform the partial review of the Core Strategy.

8.

Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2017 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

The Council are required to produce the Traveller Site Availability Assessment (TSAA) in order to inform the Local Plan process.  It identifies the future accommodation needs for the period between 2017 until 2032 in accordance with the latest national planning policy guidance. 

 

The Committee are asked to consider the findings of the TSAA and agree to its publication.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Committee:

(1)          Considered the findings of the TAA, agreed to its publication and agreed that there was no current requirement for the emerging Local Plan to include a target for Traveller pitch provision;

(2)          Agreed that there was an outstanding accommodation need for non-travelling Travellers and that this need should be considered as a specialised component of the Borough’s wider housing need;

(3)          Considered the outputs of the TSAA, agreed to its publication and agreed to it being used to inform the preparation of any future site allocation options;

(4)          Acknowledged and thanked the Gypsy and Traveller Working Group for their contribution towards the preparation and production of the evidence base documents.

Minutes:

National planning policy required the Council to plan for the future accommodation needs of the local gypsy and traveller communities and the Committee considered a report in that regard.

A cross-party Working Group had been established and had contributed to the preparation and production of the technical evidence documents that the Council was required to produce in order to inform the Local Plan process.  The Epsom and Ewell Traveller Accommodation Assessment (TAA) identified the future accommodation needs for the period between 2017 and 2032 in accordance with the latest national planning policy guidance.  The accompanying Traveller Site Availability Assessment (TSAA) considered potential sources of supply that could be brought forward to meet future accommodation needs.  It was noted that this was a separate exercise to the SHLAA as such sites were not considered as housing in planning law.

Accordingly, the Committee:

(1)          Considered the findings of the TAA, agreed to its publication and agreed that there was no current requirement for the emerging Local Plan to include a target for Traveller pitch provision;

(2)          Agreed that there was an outstanding accommodation need for non-travelling Travellers and that this need should be considered as a specialised component of the Borough’s wider housing need;

(3)          Considered the outputs of the TSAA, agreed to its publication and agreed to it being used to inform the preparation of any future site allocation options;

(4)          Acknowledged and thanked the Gypsy and Traveller Working Group for their contribution towards the preparation and production of the evidence base documents.

9.

Constraints Study pdf icon PDF 115 KB

National Planning Policy stats that Local Plans should meet objectively assessed needs with sufficient flexibility to adapt to rapid change unless there is any adverse impact in doing so.  The National Planning Policy Guidance makes it clear that whilst the establishment of development needs should be unbiased relevant constraints including environmental constraints needs to be addressed when bringing evidence bases together and formulating policies.  A Constraints Study has been produced to demonstrate that the Council have appraised and taken into account constraints relevant to the borough.

 

The Committee is asked to consider the Constraints Study and agree to its publication.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Committee:

(1)          Considered the Constraint Study and agreed to its publication;

(2)          Agreed with the definition of the Primary Constraints that would prevent development form taking place and where it would not be possible to mitigate impacts;

(3)          Noted that the study recommended that a further assessment be undertaken to consider how the constraints affect the land parcels identified within the Epsom and Ewell Green Belt Study 2017;

(4)          Agreed that the Study’s inputs be used to inform the partial review of the Core Strategy.

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report regarding the Constraints Study.

National planning policy stated that Local Plans ought to meet objectively assessed needs, with sufficient flexibility to adapt to rapid change.  This was unless there was any adverse impact in doing so which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefit. This was based on an assessment against the policies within the National Planning Policy Framework or where specific policies in the Framework indicated development ought to be restricted.

National planning practice guidance made it clear that whilst the establishment of development needs ought to be unbiased, relevant constraints – including environmental constraints – needed to be addressed when bringing evidence bases together and formulating policies.

The Primary Constraints as set out in the policy were noted as follows:

·                     Undeveloped functional flood plain;

·                     Sites of Special Scientific Interest;

·                     Local Nature Reserves;

·                     Sites of Nature Conservation Importance

·                     Ancient Woodlands

·                     Registered Parks and Gardens

It was further noted that designation as a Field in Trust (King George V or Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field) was not considered a primary constraint.  In terms of protection, such sites were protected by land law not planning designation although, in reality, were unlikely to be considered as potential development sites.  Designation as Green Belt was also not a primary constraint.  However, whilst the exceptions as to when development in the Green Belt would not be considered inappropriate had been widened, national and local Green Belt policy still clearly regarded the construction of new buildings in the Green Belt as inappropriate.

Accordingly, the Committee:

(1)          Considered the Constraint Study and agreed to its publication;

(2)          Agreed with the definition of the Primary Constraints that would prevent development form taking place and where it would not be possible to mitigate impacts;

(3)          Noted that the study recommended that a further assessment be undertaken to consider how the constraints affect the land parcels identified within the Epsom and Ewell Green Belt Study 2017;

(4)          Agreed that the Study’s inputs be used to inform the partial review of the Core Strategy.