Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Commission - Wednesday, 16th September, 2020 5.30 p.m., NEW

The Agenda for this meeting will be published 5 clear working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. The Minutes and Decisions for this meeting will normally be published within 9 working days following the date of the meeting.

Note: this does not apply to Scrutiny Working Groups or Scrutiny Commissioners meetings, please contact the relevant Scrutiny Officer for more information on the work programme for these Groups.

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, Narborough

Contact: Linda McBean  0116 272 7708

Items
No. Item

61.

Disclosures of Interests from Members

To receive disclosures of interests from Members (ie. The existence and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this agenda).

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

62.

Minutes

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on                 (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 9 September 2020 were approved as correct.

63.

Changes to Current Planning System Consultation pdf icon PDF 436 KB

To consider the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government consultation document and questions on changes to planning policy and regulations.

 

The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager, Cat Hartley will be in attendance.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members, officers and members of the public to the meeting.  

 

The Chairman directed everyone to a report to be considered by Council on the 22 September 2020 setting out the proposed formal consultation response on Changes to the Current Planning System on which to base discussion.

(View Council report here: https://w3.blaby.gov.uk/decision-making/documents/g4095/Public%20reports%20pack%2022nd-Sep-2020%2017.30%20Council.pdf?T=10)  

 

The Planning and Economic Development Group Manager was invited to provide some background on the report and explanation on the technical aspects of the government consultation document.

 

Discussion comments and questions were made on the proposed responses in four thematic areas:

 

1.    Changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need  (consultation Qs 1-7)

 

No comments were put forward.

 

2.    Securing of First Homes through developer contributions (consultation Qs 8-16)

 

o   Concern was raised about First Homes suppressing delivery of affordable and social housing.

 

o   Have to be careful that First Homes fully reflects the local picture and need and provides the right balance based on evidence.

 

o   No work has yet been done on the impact of First Homes on housing viability for the district 

 

o   ‘there are a lot of questions that can’t be answered’

 

3.    Temporarily lifting the small sites threshold (consultation Qs 17-23)

 

·         An ‘initial’ time limited period of 18 months while acceptable to support  economic recovery suggests it could be extended. 

 

·         When we struggle to meet our affordable homes requirement, more people are becoming homeless then add to this a mechanism to roll on beyond 18 months then delivery is going to be seriously hampered.  A stronger response is needed.

 

·         It is massively important to support our small, medium enterprises to encourage economic recovery.  The Governments proposed approach is narrow on how this might be achieved.  There are many ways SME’s can be helped, access to finance is key to this and suggest that other ways of helping are included in the consultation response.

 

 

4.    Extending the current Permission in Principle to major development (consultation Qs 24-34).

 

o   Discussion reflected concern of reducing community input and engagement through the Permission in Principle proposals and a feeling of depleting the local democratic process. 

 

o   The importance of Local and Neighbourhood Plans being an integral part of the planning process was highlighted and must not be overlooked.

 

o   Suggest that the response asks that new PiP regs cover developments of no more than 40 homes.

 

o   Brownfield sites often have additional costs which make viability difficult.

 

 

The Chairman thanked the Planning & Economic Development Group Manager and members for their insight and comments.

 

 

 

64.

Further Actions for Scrutiny arising from Meeting

Minutes:

There were no further actions arising from the meeting.