Venue: Remote Meeting
Contact: Sally Gabriel Member Services Manager
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors: Mrs E M Andrews S J Penny and J Wright.
To note the protocol for remote meetings.
The protocol for remote meetings was noted.
Public Question Time (00-08-57)
To receive any questions relating to items on the agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Mr Byrom referring to Item 6 (Local Plan Review – Inspectors Report on Adoption) on the agenda stated that: I truly hope the new Local Plan will be adopted this evening and speak in favour of Cllr Norton’s proposed amendment.
In 2016 this Council gave three promises of protection when site SP2 was allocated at the very last minute.
This Council has abandoned its first two promises. The third is in serious danger. That is why we need one further minor-modification. I gave my reasons in your Appendix A and I backed them up in the paper that I sent you last Friday.
Cllr Norton’s amendment would strengthen that third promise of protection by leaving all SP2’s highest ground as Green Infrastructure in the countryside, as is done in nine other locations. I believe my two papers show that this is simple, lawful and necessary.
The Head of Planning and Regeneration assured Cabinet that Policy SP2 provides all the protection that is needed. You may hear this again today.
I will be frank: I do not believe those assurances. As part of an on-going appeal, an officer has already signed (but not sealed) an agreement with a would-be developer of the SP2 site. The map in that ‘Section 106’ agreement clearly allows development on land that both the 2013 SHLAA assessment and Policy SP2 say must remain undeveloped. The S106 agreement breaks the third promise of protection.
Members, a leading QC has suggested that Policy SP2 is a strong enough basis for reaching a section 106 agreement to protect the highest ground at the site. But was he shown how the officers who wrote Policy SP2 have already signed a S106 agreement that gives away that promised protection?
This Council meeting is not entitled to discuss the merits of the appeal. But it is entitled – and has a duty – to assure the public that the long-awaited Local Plan will be fully respected in practice. This is about trust.
So, in conclusion, I have two questions for the Head of Planning and Regeneration -
Members, please support the change proposed by Cllr Jo Norton.
Mr Quinn referring to Item 7 (Part 2 Business – Minutes and Drafting Conventions) stated that: In this report, the Monitoring ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct (00-15-55)
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest, including the type of interest, and the reason for that interest, either at this stage of the meeting or as soon as they become aware of that interest.
All Members present declared that they had received correspondence with regard to Item 6 (Local Plan Review – Inspector’s Report on Adoption) on the agenda.
To receive any announcements which the Chairman of the Council may wish to make.
The Chairman had the following announcements to make:
a) This was the first meeting of the Council following the sad passing of Honorary Alderman Mrs Susan Meads. He referred to her long service as a councillor, her commitment to the residents of Mid Devon and he sent his condolences to her family.
b) Urgent Item of Business – he had agreed to allow an urgent item of business to be considered, it was an item arising from the new Business and Planning Act 2020 which had received Royal Assent the previous week and although the Cabinet had agreed delegations for Pavement Licenses at its meeting on 9 July, a last minute change to the Bill took the function away from the Cabinet and it was therefore necessary for the delegations to be reconsidered by the Council. He proposed to take the urgent item at the conclusion of the remainder of the business that evening.
To receive and consider an extract from the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting that took place on 9 July 2020 which includes recommendations to the Council.
At its meeting on 9 July 2020, the Cabinet considered a request from a member of the public to modify the policy map for policy SP2 (Sampford Peverell). A copy of the document in support of that request is appended at Appendix A. The Cabinet asked that a briefing note be prepared in relation to this for consideration by Council. Given the potentially significant implications of any misstep in the adoption of the plan and the introduction of late changes, the advice of Paul Shadarevian QC has been obtained and it is in the public interest that this advice be put into the public domain to enable a full understanding of the issues by all. It has been drafted and provided on that basis. Accordingly, the advice is appended at Appendix B.
The Council had before it an *extract from the Cabinet meeting of 9 July 2020 with regard to the Local Plan Review.
The Chairman requested that the Head of Planning Economy and Regeneration inform the meeting of the history of the Local Plan Review. The officer stated that the process had started in 2013/14 and that the Local Authority was obliged to keep the Local Plan up to date, this was a continual process of assessing development plans. The report before the meeting was the culmination of this process following several stages of public consultation. She outlined the role of the Planning Inspector who provided an independent examination role and considered the representations and heard directly from those interested parties at examination hearings. In December 2019, main modifications to the plan were agreed and consulted upon and then considered by the Inspector. The Inspectors main findings had been received on 26 June 2020; he had accepted the schedule of main modifications, made some minor updates and found the plan to be legally compliant. With the schedule of modifications the plan was now capable of being adopted.
Responding to questions from Mr Byrom posed in Public Question Time, the officer stated that the S106 agreement he referred to formed part of the emerging papers for the planning appeal on the site, the agreement had not been signed or sealed, although it had been signed by the landowner and the appellant. If changes were required they could still be made. With regard as to whether the QC had knowledge of the S106 agreement, the answer was no, he had not see it, he was only commissioned to advise on whether the map could be amended. With regard to no officer doing anything in the lifetime of the plan that would allow development of the highest ground at the SP2 site, this was not an undertaking that she could give, there was no planning application that would affect that area and she didn’t know if any application would be received in the future or what it might be for. If an application was received it would need to be considered on its merits.. The adoption of the Local Plan and the wording of policy SP2 would be a material consideration of any such application.
Councillor Miss J Norton had submitted the following AMENDMENT, seconded by Councillor B G J Warren
At the end of recommendation (b), add the following words:
“save that the amended line of the settlement limit, shown by a broken black line on Plan MM45 (Appendix 10), be further amended so that, for policy SP2 it runs along the line of division between the proposed Green Infrastructure and the Proposed Residential (as illustrated by Figure 4 in Appendix A (page 28), thus placing the entirety of the Green Infrastructure outside the settlement limit of Sampford Peverell.”
Consideration was given to:
· A presentation slide which identified the original settlement limit boundary and that proposed by the amendment
· Members views ... view the full minutes text for item 38.
To consider a report of the Head of Legal Services (Monitoring Officer) presented to Members in light of recent concerns raised with the Monitoring Officer, to provide Members with the opportunity to consider and discuss the drafting conventions for minutes of Part 2 business.
The Council had before it a *report of the Head of Legal (Monitoring Officer) providing members with the opportunity to consider and discuss the drafting conventions of minutes of Part 2 business.
Consideration was given to:
· The importance of transparency and for a Part II minute to have some meaning.
· Referring to the question posed in Public Question Time, the need to separate exempt information within reports and use an appendix for such information, therefore allowing the majority of the report to be made available to the public, the Head of Legal (Monitoring Officer) stated that she would take this forward.
· The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information)(England) Regulations 2012, and the need for the reason for the decision to be published.
Councillor Mrs N Woollatt MOVED seconded by Councillor A White that:
Option 3 (to include a summary plus reasons) be adopted
Upon a vote being taken the MOTION was declared to have been CARRIED.
Note: *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.
Urgent Item of Business - Business and Planning Bill - Pavement Licenses
There was a need to consider an urgent item of business with regard to the Business and Planning Bill, this item was previously considered by the Cabinet on 9 July 2020, however following an amendment to the Bill by the House of Lords on 21 July 2020, there was a need for Council to consider the item.
Therefore the Council; had before it a report* of the Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services providing details of the emerging licensing changes and requesting that the Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services be given delegated authority to enable pavement licences to be properly administered by the service, which included setting the relevant fee.
The Cabinet Member for Community Well-Being outlined the contents of the report explaining the need for the new delegation.
Councillor D J Knowles MOVED, seconded by Councillor A Wilce that:
1. The provisions of the Business and Planning Bill be NOTED
2. Delegated authority be given to the Group Manager for Public Health for the administration and enforcement of the provisions within the Business and Planning Bill on its passing into law. These delegations can then be sub-delegated to relevant officers.
3. Delegated authority be given to the Group Manager for Public Health for the setting of the fee for pavement licences.
Upon a vote being taken, the MOTION was declared to have been CARRIED.
Note: * Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.