Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 24 MARCH 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 26 JANUARY 2015
C2620 SECTION 106 LEGAL AGREEMENTS – PROTOCOL FOR CONSULTATION ON IMPLEMENTATION OF SPEND (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
Endorsement was sought for an updated protocol for Member Consultation on the use of financial contributions received from Section 106 obligations.
The Council had the power to enter into legal agreements with developers under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, seeking contributions from developers to mitigate negative development impacts and facilitated development which might otherwise not have occurred.
The Council's approved Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) set out the Council's policies for seeking Section 106 obligations including financial contributions. This often resulted in financial payments being made to the Council to provide facilities or infrastructure in the vicinity of new developments such as education facilities, sustainable transport or community facilities.
In February 2008 Cabinet and Planning Committee endorsed a protocol for Member Consultation on Section 106 spend following a review by the Ward Member Consultation Task and Finish Group of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources). This was reviewed by Cabinet in 2012 following concerns that financial contributions were not being spent quickly enough once received from developers.
The 2012 amended protocol set out that when financial contributions were received, the relevant ward and Cabinet members and officers from the relevant service areas were notified at the same time and options for spend were considered and proposed by the relevant service area before further consultation was undertaken with Ward and Cabinet Members and a scheme for implementation was agreed.
Following this consultation the Director of Development Services made the final decision. In the event that the local Member was aggrieved with this decision, the decision was called in to Planning Committee to determine. Since the introduction of this protocol, this had only occurred on one occasion, in respect of an 'Education Facilities' contribution from the development of the Former Lower School site, Cowbridge.
Following the above case, the process had been reviewed and an amended protocol was drafted, to reflect the fact that decisions on capital projects funded by Section 106 contributions were a matter for the Executive and not Planning Committee.
The amended protocol was attached at Appendix A to the report.
At its meeting on 14 November, 2014 the Community Liaison Committee considered the Annual Section 106 Review 2013-14 Report. They recommended: (1) T H A T Cabinet be requested to consider the feasibility of including consultation with Town and Community Councils in the Section 106 process and report back to the Committee and (2) That the report, referred to in 1 above, also includes details of the differences between Section 106 and the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy.
At their meeting on 15 December, 2014 Cabinet considered this request and resolved as follows:
(1) T H A T the comments made about consultation with Town and Community Council's be noted, however, it should be for the respective Vale Councillor for the area to liaise with their Community Council in line with the protocol attached as an Appendix A to the report.
(2) T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet in due course to consider all aspects of the Section 106 negotiations.
(3) T H A T a further report be presented to the Community Liaison Committee once it had been considered by the Cabinet.
In this regard, Town and Community Councils could comment on proposals and potential Section 106 agreements at the application stage, particularly as Officers and Members considered the need for mitigation at that stage.
In addition, as Local Ward Members were consulted on proposals for projects once money was received, this provided another mechanism for Town and Community Councils to comment on proposals. This approach was deemed to be an appropriate level of engagement given the need to balance engagement against the timely implementation of Capital schemes to mitigate new development. A letter outlining this process was sent to all Town and Community Council's in 2011, and was attached at Appendix B to the report.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T the updated protocol for Member Consultation on the use of financial contributions received from Section 106 obligations as attached at Appendix A to the report, be approved.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.
(3) T H A T a further report outlining the differences between the current Section 106 system and the impending Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) system, including an update on the Council's progress towards adopting CIL, be reported to Cabinet and referred to Community Liaison Committee in due course for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure the effective future implementation of Section 106 obligations, whilst engaging relevant Members in the process.
(2) To seek the views of Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on the updated protocol.
(3) To inform Community Liaison Committee about the Section 106 and CIL systems and progress to date.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 26 JANUARY 2015