Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Anglia Room, Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham NR19 1EE

Items
No. Item

55.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 31 May 2011.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 31 May 2011 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

56.

Declaration of Interest (Agenda Item 4)

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests they may have in any of the following items on the agenda. The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a personal or prejudicial interest.

Minutes:

Mr Kybird declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 11 (TAAP Submission Version) by virtue of being a member of the Town Council, Moving Thetford Forward Board and the Thetford Society and a local builder.

57.

Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.

Minutes:

Mr G Bambridge, Mr P Cowen, Mr R Goreham, Mrs D Irving, Mrs E Jolly, Mr R Kybird, Mrs L Monument, Mr R Richmond, Mr W Richmond and Mr M Wassell were in attendance.

58.

Redevelopment of Sweyn Close/Fulmerston Road, Thetford - Release of Restrictive Covenant (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 19 KB

Report of the Executive Member for the Assets and Strategic Development Portfolio (Mark Kiddle-Morris).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development introduced the report which sought the release of covenants which might impede redevelopment.

 

Mr Kybird, speaking as a Thetford Member, supported the scheme as an exemplar regeneration project and a key element of Moving Thetford Forward.

 

Mr Goreham asked for a brief outline of what the restrictive covenants said.

 

The Land Management Officer advised that the covenants were imposed on all right-to-buy properties.  They restricted development and maintained specific boundaries.  The restrictions would prevent the layout of the redevelopment scheme.

 

Mrs Monument urged Members not to keep the restrictions which were very good when they applied to the original site, but not for the new layout.  The question was on what terms should they be parted with?

 

The Vice-Chairman said that housing was a major priority for the Council and Cabinet should do what it could to assist more homes being built.

 

The Chairman agreed.  The release of the covenants amounted to a gift of £100,000 towards the scheme but he did not want to jeopardise its progress.

 

Options

 

(1)     To agree to release each and every restrictive covenant (insofar as the Council has power to do so) contained in the relevant Conveyances in respect of the properties identified in the report, at nil consideration, as per the request from Flagship Peddars Way.  Please refer to paragraph 3 of the letter attached, as to the reasoning the Housing Association feels the covenants should be released at no premium; or

 

(2)    To agree to release each and every restrictive covenant (insofar as the Council has power to do so) contained in the relevant Conveyances in respect of the properties identified in the report but negotiate with the Housing Association as to an appropriate market value and/or a claw back arrangement.

 

Reasons

 

1.            To deliver 67 affordable dwellings of which 33 will be additional to the re-provision of 34 cross-walled properties; and

 

2.      The development of Sweyn Close forms part of the regeneration of the Barnham Cross Estate.

 

RESOLVED to release each and every restrictive covenant, (insofar as the Council has power to do so) contained in the relevant Conveyances in respect of the properties identified in the report, at nil consideration.

59.

Active Land Management - Tranche 3 (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Report of the Executive Member for the Assets and Strategic Development Portfolio (Mark Kiddle-Morris).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development outlined the background to the Active Land Management programme.  Each piece of Council land was being investigated for potential uses, using a ‘top down’ approach which provided a clear audit trail and ensured that the Council’s assets achieved their best value.

 

Members received a presentation on each of the ten sites in the third tranche and were advised of the options available.

 

The following comments were made with regard to each site:

 

Attleborough – Blenheim Drive

In response to representations received from Ward Members, the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development suggested that the site should be retained for consideration in the wider planning context of the ASHAAP.

 

It was clarified that the Open Space had been provided as a condition of the initial planning permission but noted that the Council had given the Town Council an additional 22 acres of Open Space.

 

Snetterton – North End

Snetterton Parish Council supported Option 4.

 

Thompson – Tottington Road

Thompson Parish Council preferred affordable housing with a degree of openness retained.

 

The Chairman was pleased that the proposal was for the authority to build its own houses to rent as there was a huge need across the district for rentable accommodation.

 

Watton – Mill Road

Mr Wassell noted that Watton was already densely populated.  He supported the Town Council’s view that the land should remain as Open Space.

 

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development said that to ensure best value the development potential had to be looked at first.

 

Gressenhall – Rougholme Close

The Parish Council were in support of the development of starter homes – preferable three bedroomed so that families would stay in the village.

 

Whissonsett – Church Close

The Parish Council were keen for open market housing for local people.

 

Bintree – Cubitts Close

Mr Cowen suggested that there was clearly value in the site which could be developed for a single dwelling as the access was adequate for that.  The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development agreed and modified the recommendation to investigate that option.

 

Dereham – Waples Way

Mr Goreham, speaking as Ward Representative, said that both this and the following site were on the Moorgate Estate which had already been extensively developed.  This site had drainage issues and also formed part of a nature walk.  It was a long way from the town centre and residents would have to use a car to access services which would add to the traffic burden.  He suggested that the land should be retained as Open Space by the Council and asked why that was not an option.

 

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development advised that the option to retain the sites had been removed due to cost implications and that if land was transferred to town or parish councils there would be no commuted sum for maintenance.

 

Mr Goreham accepted that all Councils had to maximise their assets but said that sometimes, in terms of amenities to the ratepayers, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Community Car Schemes (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Report of the Executive Member for the Localism, Community & Environmental Services Portfolio (Lynda Turner).

Minutes:

The Deputy Chief Executive introduced the report which recommended setting a deadline for car schemes operating in the Breckland area to sign up to the new governance arrangements for funding.

 

Mr Cowen, Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission advised that Scrutiny Members supported the recommendation to set a deadline.

 

The Community Development Officer advised that following further meetings it had been agreed to produce a template letter for GPs and to introduce a grace period of six months, to comply with requirements, for those that signed up by 1st October.  The Council’s Commercial Solicitor noted that the grace period had been introduced after the report had been written.  He requested an addition to the recommendation to make its terms clear.

 

Mr Goreham understood the need for governance but did not want to negate the usefulness of the schemes, the vast majority of which were well run.  He didn’t want legal red tape to get in the way of a valuable service.

 

The Chairman agreed that he was absolutely right but said that litigation was the key word.  It was a sad state of affairs but it was necessary to have a scheme to protect drivers.

 

Mr Bambridge said he had been involved with the scheme since day one.  He congratulated the officers on the work they had done and fully supported the recommendation.

 

Option 1

To continue to discuss the issues with each car scheme individually without a time constraint – this will cause further delays and continue to expose Breckland Council.  This option is not recommended as all the community car schemes have had more than enough time to reach agreement as to whether or not to accept Breckland Council’s funding under the new conditions. 

Option 2

 

Keep the funding agreement as originally formatted and set a deadline of 1st October to sign the agreement, after which time Breckland Council funding will be suspended.  This option is recommended.

 

Reasons

 

The new governance procedures demonstrate best practice, and implementation should be a matter of priority to protect all parties

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)         to set a deadline of 1st October 2011 for the car schemes operating in the Breckland area to sign the funding agreement, after which time Breckland Council funding would be suspended; and

(2)         to allow six months, from 1st October 2011, for those schemes that signed up to the agreement to implement the changes required.  If they remained non-compliant after six months, funding would be withdrawn.

61.

META: Healthy Thetford (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of the Executive Member for the Localism, Community and Environmental Services Portfolio (Lynda Turner).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Commissioning introduced the report.

 

Funding had been allocated to the Council from the Area Based Grant Settlement 2008-2011 and release of £32,000 was requested to provide match funding to NHS Norfolk in support of the META Scheme which was part of the Healthy Town: Thetford project.

 

A detailed breakdown of the figures was provided in the appendix to the report.

 

Options

 

(1)         to approve funding of £32,000 from the Area Based Grant Settlement 2008-2011 to NHS Norfolk for the META scheme (part of the Healthy Town: Thetford project); or

 

(2)         not approve funding of £32,000 from the Area Based Grant Settlement 2008-2011 to NHS Norfolk for the META scheme (part of the Healthy Town: Thetford project).

 

Reasons

 

Thetford: Healthy Town is a significant project within Breckland – aligned to Council priorities – and is addressing the health inequalities that exist within the district.  The META scheme has and continues to be an integral part of the project’s success.  Breckland Council funding for this project will be an important contribution to the overall match funding required to satisfy the Department of Health.

 

RESOLVED to approve funding of £32,000 from the Area Based Grant Settlement 2008-2011 to NHS Norfolk for the META scheme (part of the Healthy Town: Thetford project).

62.

Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP) (Submission Version) (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of the Executive Member for the Planning and Environmental Services Portfolio (Paul Claussen).

 

To save on paper costs all appendices to this report will only be available on the Council’s website (please click on the appropriate Cabinet meeting agenda link and this will take you to where the electronic versions of the documentation are contained).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development introduced the report and handed over to the Principal Planning Policy Officer and the Planning Policy Officer (Growth Point) to present the details.

 

Members were advised that the document was ready for submission and the six week publication period would provide an opportunity for representations on its soundness.

 

When adopted, the Council would have in excess of eight years Housing Land Supply which would allow greater control over future development.

 

The evidence base was comprehensive and there had been numerous meetings with stakeholders.  The full suite of documents was available on the website.

 

The main changes to the document were pointed out and explained.  A key change was to re-order the document placing town-wide policies, including Town Centre regeneration, at the start of the plan.  Flexible policies would allow estate regeneration and encourage investment in commercial areas.  There had been improvements to the text and maps.  Policies had been strengthened where necessary.  Two new policies had been introduced on Biodiversity Management of Key Sites and Settlement Boundary.

 

The projected timeline was to publish the document for six weeks and following analysis of comments received and any amendments necessary to submit the document around November.  An Examination in Public would be held in early 2012 with the Inspector’s report expected around June and adoption by full Council around July 2012.

 

Mr Kybird noted that there were a significant number of policies and that growth and regeneration went hand in hand.  The contentious issues were Stone Curlews and the Bus Interchange.  He gave support to the detailed consideration of Thetford’s heritage.  He noted that there were no objectors present.

 

Mr Goreham asked how additional GPs would be attracted to Thetford and was advised that services would be competitively commissioned by NHS Norfolk either by existing practices expanding or the introduction of new practices.

 

Mr Cowen suggested that the Draft Masterplan should be amended to show the location of the proposed bus station, academy and additional railway station.  The Planning Policy Officer (Growth Point) Officer said that the Masterplan gave an indicative and strategic indication of proposals and that details would be made clear in the text.

 

Mr Cowen said he had not intended to criticise but wanted to help other people to understand the proposals.  He also raised the subject of Stone Curlews saying that they had created a lot of tension and had a huge impact on the shaping of Thetford.  The Inspectors had been keen for more work to be done as not enough was known about the impact of development on the birds.

 

The Principal Planning Policy Officer acknowledged that the Inspectors had made reference to the need for urgent research on Stone Curlew nesting densities near development.  It was difficult to mitigate until more was known and it would be a two to three year process to carry out the necessary study.  Officers had interpreted the Inspector’s comments to mean an urgent need to get on with the work.  There were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Reference from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda Item 12)

To consider references, if any, from the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 14 July 2011.

Minutes:

No references were made.

64.

Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Report of the meeting of the Joint Committee held on 16 June 2011.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Internal Services presented the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the ARP Joint Committee and noted that Mr Moakes from East Cambridgeshire had been appointed as Chairman and Mrs Gower, from St Edmundsbury, had been appointed as Vice-Chairman.

 

The budget surplus of £189,000 had been distributed to Partners.

 

The Chairman suggested that the changes to Housing Benefit should be included in the Information Bulletin for all Members to note.  The Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services pointed out that the information was changing all the time but that there were a few consistent items that could be shared.

 

The item was noted.

65.

Business Improvement and Projects Sub-Committee (Agenda Item 14)

65/071

Report of the meeting held on 24 May 2011 pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To adopt the Minutes of the Business Improvement & Projects Sub-Committee meeting held on 24 May 2011.

Minutes:

This meeting had been postponed and re-arranged for 7 June 2011.

65/072

Report of the Meeting held on 7 June 2011 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To adopt the Minutes of the Business Improvement & Projects Sub-Committee meeting held on 7 June 2011.

Minutes:

(1)       Introduction to New Business Improvement & Projects Sub-Committee (Minute No 46/11)

 

RESOLVED to add the following clause to the Sub-Committee’s Terms of Reference:

 

§         To identify and promote business improvement opportunities and improving service delivery.

 

(2)       Adoption

 

RESOLVED to adopt the Minutes of the Business Improvement & Projects Sub-Committee meeting held on 7 June 2011.

65/073

Report of the Meeting held on 5 July 2011 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To adopt the Minutes of the Business Improvement and Projects Sub-Committee meeting held on 5 July 2011.

Minutes:

RESOLVED to adopt the Minutes of the Business Improvement & Projects Sub-Committee meeting held on 5 July 2011.

66.

Member Development Panel: 2 June 2011 (Agenda Item 15) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To note the Minutes of the Member Development Panel meeting held on 2 June 2011.

Minutes:

The Minutes were noted.

67.

Next Meeting (Agenda Item 16)

To note that the next Cabinet meeting will be held on 6 September 2011.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting on 6 September 2011 were noted.