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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors K. May and M. Sherrey.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.
The minutes of the Cabinet held on 31st October were submitted.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 31st October 2018 be approved as a correct record.
It was noted that the minutes were from the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 29th October 2018 and the recommendations had been discussed at the Cabinet meeting held on 31st October 2018. The minutes were therefore submitted for information only.
RESOLVED that the minutes from the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 29th October 2018 be noted.
The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration introduced the report and provided a summary of the proposals.
The Conservation Officer gave a brief overview of the Council’s statutory duty to formulate and prepare the Conservation Area Appraisal and advised that Homes England guidance had been followed and they had been consulted together with a number of other partners such as the parish council. A public consultation had also been carried out. Homes England had confirmed its agreement to the proposals.
Following presentation of the report Members discussed the following in more detail:
· Whether residents would in future need permission to make minor changes to their properties. It was confirmed that currently they would not but that the introduction of Article 4 could be considered at a later stage.
· It was noted that many of the frontages of properties in Dodford were set back from the roads so did not, in many cases, have such an impact. If Article 4 were to be introduced, this would be following a further period of consultation.
a) that the Dodford Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan be approved and its contents be endorsed as a material consideration for planning purposes;
b) that the designation of the area to the south of Woodlands Road (Woodlands Road Extension) be appended to the Dodford Conservation Area as outlined in the report; and
c) that the designation of the area along the southern stretch of Priory Road (Priory Road Extension) be added to the Dodford Conservation Area as outlined in the report.
The Chairman welcomed Councillors S. Colella and R. Jenkins, the Ward Councillors for Hagley, who had asked to speak at the meeting and advised that they would be able to do so once the report had been presented.
The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration introduced the report, which he believed was a robust response to the Wyre Forest Local Plan Pre-Submission Plan, which it was felt was undeliverable in its current format. The main areas which would be affected by the Plan were highlighted and it was commented that there was no appropriate data or information within the plan to support much of its content.
The Planning and Conservation Manager highlighted a number of key areas within the response, which included:
· The objection had not been done lightly, however from the information provided the infrastructure suggested did not support the plan and therefore there was no option but to put in an objection.
· The level of growth was predominately through Hagley and whilst the suggestion was for a bypass the evidence did not make this clear or support it.
· The lack of detailed modelling within the plan.
· As this was the only stage where the Council could put forward an objection, it had no option but to take this course of action.
· It was likely it would go before the Planning Inspector in July 2019.
The Chairman invited Councillors Jenkins and Colella to speak to this item and the following areas were discussed in more detail:
· Both had great concerns around the impact on Hagley and the surrounding area.
· Concerns that the Plan would fail within a five year period.
· The County Council Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4) had not mentioned the inclusion of a bypass and it was believed that if it was not included within this then it was unlikely to happen. Whilst, this was acknowledged by Officers it was explained that this was not relevant to the response at this stage.
· It was understood that Councillor K. May as a County Councillor had asked for an assessment of the traffic in Hagley through one of the LEPs.
· The Ward Councillors were grateful for the objection but were concerned that the response could have gone further.
· Concerns that the Plan also did not included the impact of South Staffordshire and Dudley on the local areas. Officers responded that both Dudley and South Staffordshire were at the earliest stages of producing their plans and therefore it was not possible to include the impact of these within this matter.
· That the response should include reference to the fact that there had not been any investment in the infrastructure of North Worcestershire by the County Council for over 50 years.
· It was important that the Planning Inspector got the full picture of the concerns raised in respect of this matter.
· That the residents of Hagley had been campaigning for a bypass for a number of years.
· Concerns that the matter could go to the Planning Inspector as early as July ... view the full minutes text for item 46/18
The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources introduced the report and handed over to the Executive Director, Finance and Resources to highlight a number of areas, which included:
· The projected position to end of March 2019.
· Unidentified savings of £400k which had been allocated within the purpose of enabling others – it was confirmed that this item would be removed by the end of the year and all significant savings would be drawn down.
· Additional income for a number of areas, in particular Bereavement Services and Core Waste.
· Projected additional income in respect of Business Rates S31 Grant.
· Projected shortfall in planning applications and the impact this has on other areas, including Council Tax and New Homes Bonus.
· The request for approval of an increase in budget of £59k for a district heating feasibility study. It was confirmed that that the cost of this would be funded by a Government Heating Network Development Unit Grant, NWEDR and Worcestershire LEP contributions.
· Income and efficiency savings of £293k had already been identified.
· Capital Programme under spend.
· Reserves – the Heads of Service and Portfolio Holders had been asked to review this as part of the budget process.
· Balances were discussed and the estimated budget gap as approved in February 2018.
The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources took the opportunity to thank the Executive Director, Finance and Resources and her team for all their hard work and reiterated her concern in respect of the planning applications shortfall in income and its impact on the Council’s financial position overall.
The Executive Director, Finance and Resources advised Members that she had received, within the last few hours an email from Central Government advised that the settlement details for 2019/20, which had been expected on 6th December, would now be delayed. It was not anticipated that these would come through before 12th December. She advised that she would keep Members up to date of any further information she received.
Following discussion, it was agreed that the resolved item 2.2, under the Recommendations within the report, would be removed pending clarification.
RESOLVED that the current financial position for the period April – September 2018 as detailed in the report be noted;
RECOMMENDED that an increase in the 2018-19 Revenue Budget of £59k for the Bromsgrove Heating feasibility study be approved and to be funded by a Government Heat Network Development Unit Grant (£40k), NWEDR (£5k) and Worcestershire LEP (£14k).
The confidential minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 31st October 2018 were submitted.
RESOLVED that the confidential minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 31st October be approved as a correct record.
Overview and Scrutiny Board - Confidential Minutes 29th October 2018
The confidential minutes from the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 29th October 2018 were submitted.
RESOLVED that the confidential minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 29th October 2018 be noted.