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Agenda and minutes

Planning and the Environment Committee
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent. View directions

Items
No. Item

6.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Cllr Harold Craske.

7.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2011 were signed by the Chair.

8.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

9.

Corporate Business Plan 2011/15 pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the extract from the Plan that outlined the four key areas of focus that fall within the remit of the Committee.  The Committee had some concerns on the measures of accountability which the Service Manager (Regeneration & Policy) said she would take on board and seek further guidance.

 

It was agreed that the report be noted and Members would retain Appendix one for future reference.

10.

Performance Update - Quarter One 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

An update on performance in quarter one of 2011-12 against the areas of focus and measures of accountability specific to the Planning Delivery Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee felt that with the introduction of new measures of accountability it was a bit early in the process to comment.  However, they believed that in the future annual as well as quarterly figures would be useful for comparison purposes.

 

It was agreed that the report be noted.

11.

Conservation pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Minutes:

The Service Manager (Regeneration & Policy) introduced the report.  The borough has 23 conservation areas, just over half of which are within the urban or suburban parts of Gravesend.

 

Appraisals and Management Plans for all Urban Conservation Areas have been adopted by the Council and are available on the Council’s website.  Those for the rural areas are nearing completion and will go through the adoption process in 2011/12.

 

The Committee asked about public consultation and Member involvement in the adoption process.  The Service Manager (Regeneration & Policy) said that consultation on proposals for conservation areas was a legal requirement and all residents in the proposed area were notified of the dates for the meetings at which the proposals would be discussed.  Public notices were also prominently displayed.  All Councillors have the opportunity to put forward their views.

 

The Conservation & Design Officer said that the quality of the consultation detailed in the Appraisal and Management Plans was invaluable to the Council at appeals.

 

It was agreed that the officers be commended for the clarity of the report and that the report be noted.

12.

Draft National Planning Policy Framework pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer gave a short presentation on the proposed changes in the draft compared to the current position.  Whilst the planning system needed simplification there was concern that the draft was an over simplification with a number of the elements in the draft unclear, with potentially serious consequences for the Borough.

 

The Committee felt that under the Coalition Government’s Localism Agenda, local Councils should be allowed to determine the number and location of developments to meet the needs of their authorities and residents.  As such the current draft fails to provide sufficient flexibility to deal with local circumstances, in this case the impact of the Green Belt on site availability.

 

It was agreed that the report be noted and the Planning Delivery Portfolio holder write to the Department of Communities and Local Government raising the concerns outlined in paragraph 4.5 of the report and at this Committee meeting.