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: Via Zoom
Contact: Linda McBean 0116 272 7708
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).
No disclosures were received.
To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2020 (enclosed).
The minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2020, as circulated, were approved as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Housing Services Manager (enclosed).
Considered – Report of the Housing Services Manager.
Cllr. Geoff Welsh welcomed the portfolio holder Cllr. Les Phillimore to introduce the item.
Cllr. Les Phillimore presented the refreshed strategy which was more aligned with the Blaby District Council Priorities. The 4th priority was introduced to members.
The Housing Strategy Manager set out 4 Strategic Priorities including the additional 4th priority as follows:
1. Increasing the supply of affordable housing.
2. Provision of specialist housing for vulnerable groups.
· This has become more prominent in the last 12 months with the pandemic.
· This also includes housing individuals in temporary accommodation with added support.
3. Prevent homelessness and end rough sleeping in the District.
· There are minimal rough sleepers in the district however we have had a few cases of rough sleepers in the last 18 months.
· We want to ensure we have suitable provision and facilities to allow us to continue to offer this support.
4. New Priority - To minimise the environmental impact of the existing housing stock and future housing development.
· Housing has a huge impact on our emissions with 20% of all carbon emissions come from housing.
· Fuel all poor homes in the social housing sectors.
· Registered providers need to meet EPC level C by 2030.
· No gas fuel boilers in new homes from 2025.
· Goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050.
· Continue working with developments and making sure that the Green agenda is prioritised.
Cllr. Nick Brown asked if there was balancing act between the climate change agenda and building new homes as both conflict with each other?
The Housing Strategy Team Leader responded that discussions are being held with developers on their own green agendas to ensure this is a priority. There is a conflict but with the growing population this has to be expected as housing is required.
· Having a robust Local Development Plan would support the Housing Strategy.
· Will continue to work with developers to get what Blaby District Council needs.
· Green agenda is a high priority.
Cllr. David Findlay questioned whether the strategy could prioritise smaller properties within the district rather than larger properties
The Housing Strategy Team Leader responded with the following points:
· The market within Blaby District is heavily focused on 3, 4 or 5 bedroom properties.
· Every development over ten units is considered for smaller properties and where possible we will work with the developers to find compromises.
The report and appendices from the Council meeting held on 19 January 2021 have been enclosed for members consideration.
Supporting documents can be found on the council’s website or by clicking this link:
Considered - Report of the Planning & Economic Development Group Manager.
The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager presented the report and set out the main 3 key areas:
1. Options for the spatial strategy and location of future development setting out the direction that the Council expects to take.
2. Reasonable site options – these are sites promoted to the Council for built development by landowners, developers and site promoters.
3. Initial information about other strategic policies expected to be included in the Local Plan.
The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager in a previous briefing had encouraged members to be involved in the future by:
1. Picking up key highlights and issues through analysing consultation responses.
2. Getting involved with the draft policies when they emerge, considering whether we are on the right line and are responding to what our communities are saying.
Key points raised:
· Cllr. Nick Chapman and Cllr. Geoff Welsh both queried whether the Green Agenda should be dealt with separately in the future.
· Cllr. Nick Brown commented with thoughts that retail may change in the future, especially considering the impact that the pandemic has had on big retailers. Will large spaces such as retail parks still be needed or will there be more demand for smaller bespoke retailers.
· The Planning & Economic Development Group Manager advised Members on the Strategic Growth plan which allows the council to look at where growth is best accommodated within Leicestershire. She also advised that Blaby District has a high level of land availability which will enable growth within the District.
· It was agreed that Members would find it beneficial to have further discussion on the hierarchy of settlements.
List of actions for Scrutiny:
1. Discuss whether the Green Agenda should be dealt with separately in the future.
2. Discuss the hierarchy of settlements.
3. Discuss whether the council should look at harmonising the timing of our local plan in comparison to the City, Oadby & Wigston, and Hinckley & Bosworth.
4. Investigate how retail may change in the future and what impact this could have.
To consider the report of the Senior Democratic Services Officer.
Considered – Report of the Senior Democratic Services Officer.
To identify if Forward Plan items require further discussion or information for Scrutiny Members.
No issues were raised for further information or examination.
Further Actions for Scrutiny arising from Meeting
There were no further actions arising.