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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Planning Committee: 12th March, 2015

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Public Rights of Way - Procedures

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek Members’ approval to a revised procedural note to be used at future meetings of the Public Rights of Way Sub-Committee.

Recommendation

That the procedural note attached as Appendix A to the report be approved for use at future meetings of the Public Rights of Way Sub-Committee

Reason for the Recommendation

To assist determination of matters by the Public Rights of Way Sub-Committee.

 

Background

2.         Members will note that the current procedural note was adopted in May 2010.

3.         Officers have now undertaken a thorough review of the procedures to be followed by the Sub-Committee to ensure that all applications considered by the Sub-Committee continue to be dealt with in a just, timely and efficient way.

4.         The main issues considered are as follows:-

i)                        the procedure in relation to receipt of late representations and public speaking;

ii)           specific considerations in relation to applications made under section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981; and

iii)          notifying the public of the agenda and associated reports;

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Following the review of the current procedure, it is considered that the most appropriate procedure for dealing with late representations is to amend the time period for making representations to 12pm on the day before Committee in line with the current procedure for Planning Committee.

 

6.         The only exception to this relates to applications made under s.53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It is considered that the current procedure whereby late representations are only accepted if received no later than three clear working days prior to the meeting is justified and should be retained.

7.         Reports relating to s.53 applications are often very complex and can run into hundreds of pages including an investigation report which is produced by officers. The report commonly deals with historic evidence which has to be thoroughly investigated and any conclusions justified in detail in the report. Under normal circumstances, a draft report will already have been prepared and circulated to landowners affected by the application who will have been given the opportunity to comment. Any comments received by the PROW officer would then be taken into consideration prior to preparation of the final report.

8.         The proposed amended procedure seeks to ensure that officers are given sufficient time to consider any additional evidence or information which is submitted prior to Committee in order to avoid the need to defer decisions unnecessarily. However, to allow the public to have sufficient notice of the consideration of the report and to enable those who may wish to submit representations to Committee, it is proposed that all agendas and associated reports be publicised at least 5 clear days prior to Committee.

9.         The proposed amended procedure introduces a protocol for public speaking following the introduction of similar provisions relating to  Planning Committee

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      The amended procedural note, if approved, will govern the procedure of future meetings of the Public Rights of Way Sub Committee.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.      Not applicable.

Policy Framework and Budget

16.      The amendment to the current Procedural Note is a matter for Public Rights of Way Sub-Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.      Consideration and review of the Procedural Note is an internal matter and therefore no external consultation procedure is necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Bob Guy

(01446) 704623

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager (Legal Services)

Gwyn Teague – Public Rights of Way Officer

Geraint Davies - Legal Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas

Director of Development Services