Agenda Item No.











Cabinet, on 1st September, 2010, received a report which followed on from an earlier report to Cabinet on 20th June, 2007 advising of the receipt of a Consultants’ report into Conservation Area Management in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The report had included consideration of options for administering the Council’s Conservation Area Advisory Group and which made recommendations as to the remit and workings of that Group.


Conservation Area Advisory Groups had been meeting in the Vale of Glamorgan for a period in excess of 30 years.  In June 2007, the Directorate of Environmental and Economic Regeneration had reported on the submission of a document entitled “Valuing Distinctive Places” produced by consultants (The Conservation Studio) on behalf of the Council.  One of the recommendations from the Consultants was to seek to revitalise the role of the Conservation Area Advisory Group and this was the issue which was the subject matter of the report before Cabinet.  Various recommendations were made by the Consultants, including the development of a forum with a broader remit and membership, seeking greater professional involvement and national representation.  Whilst the recommendations and suggestions of the Consultants had been noted, it was felt that they were extremely aspirational especially at a time of budget constraints and conflicting priorities for the delivery of statutory services within certain timescales.  Increasing the involvement of this “wider community” in land use planning matters, including matters relating to the historic environment, had been an important issue for the Council.  It was therefore particularly noticeable that many initiatives had already sought to involve the wider community in the planning system.  Consulting with all sections of the community in relation to a Local Development Plan, Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans, and facilitation of several opportunities for liaison and discussions with Community and Town Councils were examples of the aim to increase involvement with the wider community.


Given the need to consider priorities in the delivery of services across the Council, under the above initiatives and commitments, it was recommended that the focussed Group acting as a consultee on applications impacting on the Council’s Conservation Areas was the most appropriate way of taking this work forward.  It was, however, still considered appropriate and reasonably to refer relevant policy matters to the Group for consultation purposes.  It was therefore considered appropriate to seek a “core membership” by inviting representatives of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Society of Architects in Wales.  It had also been suggested that invites be sent to the “six groups” namely:


·                    Ancient Monuments Society

·                    The Georgian Group

·                    The Victorian Society

·                    The Council for British Archaeology

·                    The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and

·                    Royal Commission of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.


Other members from local interest groups, local historical societies and Town and Community Councils would be invited to meetings in the event of applications of policy matters being reported that related to their specific areas, and who would be in a position to attend and participate in the discussions and vote on items that were relevant to their areas of interest.  The Council’s Democratic Services Group would provide administration, while the Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of the Group would remain unaltered.  Suggested Terms of Reference were attached to the report. 


Cabinet had resolved


(1)       That the content of the report be approved and that the report be referred to Planning Committee for consideration and to the Conservation Area Advisory Group and Community Liaison Committee for information.


(2)       That, subject to consideration of the views of Planning Committee, the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration and the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation be authorised to implement the changes to the Conservation Area Advisory Group as outlined in paragraph 10 of the report.


(3)       That a review of the effectiveness of the new arrangements be undertaking in 12 months with the finding reported back to Cabinet following the undertaking of that review.


(4)       That this matter be reported to Council for approval if required by the Constitution.


A Town Councillor requested that the Town / Community Council representatives be offered an opportunity to improve their understanding of the issues via relevant training. 


Following discussions, and having considered the decision of Cabinet, it was




(1)       T H A T the decision of Cabinet be noted.


(2)       T H A T the Planning Committee be requested to arrange suitable training for the Town and Community representatives who would sit on the new body.”

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