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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

40.

Announcements

1.   When the continuous alarm sounds you must evacuate the building by the nearest available fire exit. Members and visitors should proceed to the visitors’ car park at the front of the building and await further instructions (during office hours staff should proceed to their usual assembly point; outside of office hours proceed to the visitors’ car park). Please do not re-enter the building unless instructed to do so.

 

            In the event of a fire any person with a disability should be assisted in leaving the       building.  

 

2.     To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Meeting and/or the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

40.1          The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was advised to those present.

40.2          The Mayor welcomed the new Borough Councillor for Brockworth East, Councillor Charlotte Mills.

41.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

41.1          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M Dean and R D East.  

42.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

42.1          The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

42.2          The following declarations were made:

Councillor

Application No./Item

Nature of Interest (where disclosed)

Declared Action in respect of Disclosure

K Berliner

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Woodmancote Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

G F Blackwell

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Churchdown and Hucclecote Parish Councils.

Would speak and vote.

G J Bocking

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Churchdown and Innsworth Parish Councils.

Would speak and vote.

C L J Carter

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Brockworth Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

C M Cody

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Tewkesbury Town Council.

Would speak and vote.

P A Godwin

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Northway Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

D W Gray

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Winchcombe Town Council.

Would speak and vote.

D J Harwood

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is Chair of Brockworth Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

M L Jordan

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Churchdown Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

E J MacTiernan

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Northway Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

J R Mason

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is Chair of Winchcombe Town Council.

Would speak and vote.

P W Ockelton

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Innsworth Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

A S Reece

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Bishops Cleeve Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

C Reid

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Wheatpieces Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

J K Smith

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Highnam Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

R J G Smith

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a member of Churchdown Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

V D Smith

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Tewkesbury Town Council.

Would speak and vote.

P D Surman

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Shurdington Parish Council.

Would speak and vote.

M G Sztymiak

Item 8 – Planning Scheme of Delegation.

Is a Member of Tewkesbury Town Council.

Would speak and vote.

42.3          There were no further declarations made on this occasion.

43.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 October 2021.

Minutes:

43.1          The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 October 2021, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

43.2          A Member noted that he was still awaiting the information promised at that meeting in response to his supplementary question as set out at Minute No. CL.33.4.  

44.

Items from Members of the Public

a)   To receive any questions, deputations or petitions submitted under Council Rule of Procedure.12.

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 25 November 2021).

 

b)   To receive any petitions submitted under the Council’s Petitions Scheme.

Minutes:

44.1          There were no items from members of the public.  

45.

Member Questions properly submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To receive any questions submitted under Rule of Procedure 13. Any items received will be circulated on 7 December 2021.

 

(Any questions must be submitted in writing to Democratic Services by, not later than, 10.00am on the working day immediately preceding the date of the meeting).

Minutes:

45.1          The following questions had been received from Councillor Ockelton to the Leader of the Council.  The answers were given by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Bird, but were taken as read without discussion.

At January 2021 Council meeting I asked several questions, one being

“As TBC have lost 64% of appeals, I would suggest that the strategic plan is demonstrably flawed. Would Cllr Bird please inform Council, as to the cost to the taxpayer of these appeals and, what is his plan B”.

I was given written responses the following month.  Can I thank the Leader of the Council and the member for Built Environment for their replies?

However, I would ask for a much fuller response, from the Leader of the Council, this time to actually answering the question instead of asking one himself and I quote: -

“Before any response can be made, further information is requested as to the derivation of the specified percentage of appeal losses”.  To clarify, noun “derivation”, the action of obtaining something from source or origin.

The source of the percentage question was a report, by Pegasus Group, Proof of Evidence on Housing Need and Supply Matters on the appeal reference APP/G1630/W/18/3210903,  Land at Fiddington, Ashchurch, Near Tewkesbury, Gloucester dated 7 July 2019, LPA (TBC) Reference 17/00520/OUT, Statement of Common Ground and other information included at that appeal which are held by the Planning Department.

Question 1

Will the Leader of the Council please give Council a full and detailed answer to the cost to the taxpayers of lost appeals for major housing development, in the plan period 2011 to date, to now include the appeals lost this financial year.

Answer

The cost to the Council of lost appeals for major housing development includes external costs for Counsel / Advocate’s fees together with the costs of appointing consultants as required to give evidence on behalf of the Council (e.g. landscape evidence, planning evidence, arboricultural evidence).  In addition, there are significant amounts of work carried out by Council officers to prepare for appeals including, where required, attendance at Public Inquiries.  Whilst those costs for which invoices are raised can be quantified, Council Officers do not routinely record their time and it is therefore not practically possible, over the period 2011 – 2021, to quantify the officer time spent on those appeals.  I can confirm that the total of the external costs to the Council of the 16 appeals for major housing development that have been lost during the period 2011 to date, including related High Court challenges, amounts to £454.130.32.

Question 2

The Statement of Common Ground agreed by the Council and the Appellants in respect of the appeal for residential development at Fiddington held in June 2019 included the following:

    “It is agreed that there is a considerable level of housing need in Tewkesbury Borough, and this is worsening year on year”.

    It is agreed that if the approach to land supply as recently endorsed by the Secretary of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Recommendations from Executive Committee

The Council is asked to consider and determine recommendations of a policy nature arising from the Executive Committee as follows:- 

46a

Annual Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Rate Summary Statement Requirements pdf icon PDF 104 KB

At its meeting on 17 November 2021 the Executive Committee considered a report on the Annual Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Rate Summary Statement Requirements and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL:

1.   That the publication of the Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) relating to the financial year ending 31 March 2021 by 31 December 2021 be APPROVED.

2.   That the Annual Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Rate Summary Statement be published alongside the IFS.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

46.1          At its meeting on 17 November 2021 the Executive Committee had considered a report on the Annual Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Rate Summary Statement Requirements and recommended to Council that the publication of the Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) relating to the financial year ending 31 March 2021 by 31 December 2021 be approved; and the Annual Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Rate Summary Statement be published alongside the IFS.

46.2          The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 10-38.

46.3          The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation and the Vice-Chair seconded it.

46.4          A Member noted that the Council was requiring S106 money faster than it was being spent meaning there was quite a large balance and she questioned how much of the £10.4 million was unallocated and how much had been spent this financial year. The Head of Development Services advised that she would check and advise Members accordingly. Another Member raised a query in terms of infrastructure and the Head of Development Services confirmed that the list included all infrastructure identified in the JCS adopted in 2017 and she would look at providing a list of the infrastructure for the JCS. In addition, Officers were currently reviewing the CIL and as part of that would have to look at what infrastructure was currently required so this would be available in due course. Referring to the JCS examination inspector, a Member indicated that it had been made clear that the County and Borough Councils could not ‘double dip’ on infrastructure in strategic sites and that there should be a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure this was the case; he questioned whether that had yet been agreed. In response, the Head of Development Services undertook to find out and advise the Member accordingly.

46.5          It was

                 RESOLVED           1. That the publication of the Infrastructure Funding Statement                              (IFS) relating to the financial year ending 31 March 2021 by                                  31 December 2021 be APPROVED.

                                                2. That the Annual Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)                                                 Rate Summary Statement be published alongside the IFS.

 

47.

Planning Scheme of Delegation pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To agree an amendment to the Planning Scheme of Delegation as set out in Paragraph 2.3 of the report. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

47.1          The report of the Head of Democratic Services, circulated at Pages No. 39-55, proposed an amendment to the Scheme of Delegation, with a full review of the Scheme planned to take place in the medium term (12-18 months), which Members were asked to approve.

47.2          The Borough Solicitor advised that this followed on from the Executive Committee’s approval of the action plan which had resulted from an external review of the Development Management service. The review had found that Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Planning Committee considered significantly more minor applications than other authorities of a similar size. The consultants had indicated that to take an application to Committee cost approximately ten times as much as if it was delegated to Officers, so it had been agreed as a priority within the action plan to address this through the Scheme of Delegation. The suggested amendment, which would remove safeguard 5(i) in relation to objections from Town and Parish Councils being automatically referred to Committee, would help to ensure there were resources available within the Development Management team to improve the service. The Planning Scheme of Delegation had last been reviewed in 2015 with a majority of applications delegated to the Head of Development Services, subject to safeguards. Parish and Town Councils were not statutory consultees to planning applications but could be notified of applications within their areas, therefore their comments carried no more weight than any other third party. As with any person that made comments, if material planning considerations were raised those would be fully taken into account by the decision-maker.

47.3          A Member proposed that the matter be deferred to the next Council meeting in order to allow the Council to communicate with Parish and Town Councils and explain its reasons and the implications behind the amendment to the Scheme of Delegation. The proposal was seconded and the Mayor welcomed questions on the deferral. A Member asked for confirmation that, under the current scheme, all Parishes were aware that if they objected the application would go to Committee; whether Parishes had been informed of the costs of taking applications to Committee; of the applications that went to Committee how many had provided valid planning reasons; and whether Parishes were informed of the date that an application would go to Committee. In response, the Borough Solicitor advised that she did not know the level of awareness of Parish Councils about the Borough Council’s process for any application to which a Parish Council had objected. In terms of the cost of taking applications to Committee, this was not something Parishes were advised of. No application would go before the Planning Committee if there were no material planning reasons to do so as that was part of the Scheme of Delegation already. A Member indicated that he did not currently receive notification of planning applications made within the three Parishes he represented, and the Head of Development Services explained that for Members to receive this information automatically they had to request it;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Recruitment of Chief Executive pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To agree the proposals for the recruitment of a new Chief Executive.

Minutes:

48.1          The report of the Borough Solicitor, circulated at Pages No. 56-59, set out proposals for the recruitment of a new Chief Executive following the current Chief Executive’s announcement of his intention to retire. Members were asked to consider the report and agree the proposed way forward.

48.2          The Chief Executive explained that it was not often that a Council needed to change its Chief Executive but since he had announced his intention to retire on 30 June, Tewkesbury Borough Council now had to agree the process it wished to take to do this. He had been appointed in 2009 and since then it had been his honour and privilege to serve on behalf of the Council so there was a degree of sadness for him that this was coming to an end but with that he felt the Council could get a really good Chief Executive to take it forward on its journey. In responding, the Leader of the Council offered his thanks to the Chief Executive on behalf of the Council for the outstanding work he had done during his time with the Council and he felt the authority owed him a huge vote of thanks for everything he had done. The organisation was vastly different now than when he had been appointed and the Chief Executive had gained influence not only within Tewkesbury Borough Council but across Gloucestershire as a whole which had been very helpful. The Chief Executive left the meeting for the remainder of the debate.

48.3          In introducing the report, the Borough Solicitor explained that it set out the proposed process to get the Council to the stage of appointing a new Chief Executive. This was a statutory role which must be appointed by Council but the report suggested the remainder of the work was undertaken by a Chief Executive Appointment Working Group and Committee. The report set out the role of each of those bodies and the intention that all Members would have some interaction with the shortlisted candidates and be able to provide feedback to the Chief Executive Appointment Committee. The Committee would be politically balanced, as set out in the report, to ensure the recommended candidate had cross-party approval. There was a need to agree the process at this evening’s meeting to enable the post to be advertised early in the New Year. A Member questioned whether it was likely the Council would be able to recruit someone by June. In response, the Borough Solicitor felt it was possible but would certainly be tight as it largely depended on the notice period of the successful candidate. The role at Tewkesbury Borough Council was a fantastic opportunity for someone and it was hoped the post would attract some really good candidates so it was worth waiting to get the right person.

48.4          Accordingly, it was

                 RESOLVED           1. That the Council recruits a Chief Executive.

2.   That a Chief Executive Appointment Committee be established with the composition and Terms of Reference as set  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.