SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)
Minutes of a meeting held on 8th October, 2013.
Present: Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman); Councillor E. Hacker (Vice-Chairman); Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, Mrs. P. Drake, P. King and A.G. Powell.
Also present: Councillors L. Burnett, R.L. Curtis, C.P.J. Elmore, G. John, Dr. I.J. Johnson and N. Moore.
465 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
These were received from Councillors Mrs. M. Kelly Owen and C.J. Williams.
466 MINUTES –
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd September, 2013 be approved as a correct record.
467 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
The Chairman took the opportunity to remind all Members of their obligations under the Councils Code of Conduct. Councillor G.A. Cox stated that he had a dispensation that had been granted by the Standards Committee to speak and vote during any debate in connection with matters involving the draft Local Development Plan, save for the Evan Jenkins Charity Candidate Site.
468 PRESENTATION ON THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN DEPOSIT DRAFT PLAN 2011-2026 (DDS) –
Prior to the Director presenting the report the Chairman advised all present that as the matter was before the Committee for the first time she had considered it important that the meeting be given up entirely for its consideration.
The Director of Development Services then commenced by advising of the proposed timetable for the plan. Cabinet had on 7th October 2013 approved the process that would be undertaken and had referred the report to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration with any initial comments being requested to be reported back to Cabinet for its meeting on 21st October 2013. The Director confirmed that the statutory consultation period if the draft Plan was agreed by Council on 23rd October would commence from the first week of November 2013 to the end of December 2013 as it was subject to a six week public consultation period. The Director also advised that a number of pieces of correspondence had been received by Members and officers of the Council which would be dealt with during the consultation process.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation stated that she was delighted that the LDP was before Members and that she was keen to hear any comments that the Committee had about the process and, in particular, any aspects that they may consider had been missed.
Mrs. Emma Reed, Operational Manager (Development Services), then provided the Committee with a PowerPoint presentation of an overview of the draft Deposit Plan and the timetable for its presentation to Council Committees as detailed below :
· Cabinet – Monday 7th October 2013
· Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) – Tuesday 8th October 2013
· Community Liaison Committee – Wednesday 16th October 2013
· Special Planning Committee – Thursday 17th October 2013
· Cabinet – Monday 21st October 2013
· Special Council – Wednesday 23rd October 2013.
Informal sessions with the public had also been arranged, with the planned dates being as follows:
· 7th October – Penarth
· 10th October – Barry
· 14th October – Cowbridge
· 15th October – Llantwit Major
· 22nd October – St. Athan.
Mrs. Reed informed the Committee of the reason why an LDP was produced, advising that it set out the Council’s proposals for its future development of land for the years 2011-2026. The Draft Deposit Plan and all relevant maps had been placed on the Council website and further copies were available during the meeting if required.
Pre - deposit plan consultation and research had been undertaken and considerable evidence gathered which had all been fed into the development of the Plan. The Plan covered a number of areas including background and supporting documents, strategy and strategic policies, managing growth policies, managing development policies, monitoring framework and proposals and constraints maps
In identifying key issues for Members, Ms. Reed referred to the fact that the Plan required 9,950 houses to be constructed by 2026 and an affordable housing target of 2,694 dwellings, with key housing sites identified in Barry Waterfront (1,700 dwellings), six sites in and around St. Athan (1,300 dwellings), land to the north and west of Darren Close, Cowbridge (390 dwellings), land at Upper Cosmeston Farm, Lavernock (235 dwellings) and land to the east of Bonvilston (120 dwellings). A pie chart detailed on the presentation clearly identified these issues with Members requesting they receive a larger version of the copy via email.
Other key policies included land for a gypsy and traveller site at Hayes Road, Sully, the allocation of 366 (net) hectares of employment land including St. Athan, Cardiff Enterprise Zone and the M4 at junction 34 at Hensol.
With regard to transport proposals these were listed as
· Barry Island link road
· Northern Access Road, St. Athan
· Improvements to Five Mile Lane and Gileston Old Mill
· Bus, rail and cycle schemes
· Tourism and leisure development.
Throughout the presentation Mrs. Reed provided Members with the opportunity to focus closely on specific areas throughout the Vale via the use of an interactive map. Members were informed that following the consultation process and including any consultation on any alternative sites identified the document would then, having been approved by Council, be submitted to an Inspector who would fully consider the evidence and agree a report which the Council would have to adopt.
Following the presentation the Director of Development Services then took Members through the report, it being noted that the purpose of the report was to consider and approve the Deposit Plan as a basis for the statutory six week public consultation exercise commencing November 2013.
It was further highlighted that since the approval of the draft Strategy in early 2010 and the Council’s decision to prepare a Replacement Deposit Plan in January 2013, there had been a number of significant changes to the Deposit Plan, for example, the designation of St. Athan to Cardiff Airport as an Enterprise Zone, extensive developments in national and regional policy and the change in the housing requirement figure to 9,950. Perhaps one of the most significant facts was that the Deposit Draft Plan comprehensively identified and allocated land for the services and facilities that would be needed to support the additional residential and employment growth to 2026. The current Deposit Plan also contained significantly more detail and evidence than its predecessor on where new educational facilities, new community facilities, new health facilities, new transport proposals and new open space allocations were required as a result of the additional housing and employment allocations. The Director also advised that it was important to note that the structure of the Plan largely reflected the guidance that was contained within the Welsh Government’s LDP manual.
In referring to the briefing sessions that were taking place around the Vale, the Director advised that further sessions would also take place during the consultation period if approved by Council on 23rd October 2013. In referring to the previous night’s public briefing meeting in Penarth he stated that, from his point of view, most people had been grateful for the opportunity to ask questions and for the opportunity to consider the document before the formal consultation process commenced in November.
A Member stated that he was aware that there were a number of planning applications that were being made by developers which were in areas that were not currently candidate sites and asked that if any of these applications received planning approval would the housing figures within the LDP be amended accordingly. The Director responded by stating that it was anticipated that some sites would come forward that had not already been allocated.
Other questions and comments raised were as detailed below :-
We have disbanded the bus services in the rural Vale but we are looking for more developments in those areas. Why has Cowbridge moved from 2% to 7%.?. Cowbridge Town Centre is full now !!!.
Why has the Theatre Royal Site in Barry not been listed?
Director - The strategy is the same as previously but the change is 'a slight shift in emphasis'. We have taken into account transport infrastructure from the old Plan and other Candidate Sites and comments made by Welsh Government and Welsh Government have said that Cowbridge should and could take more development for a town of its size. Darren Close had also been included because of its proximity to amenities e.g. schools and road links.
This had not been included because the department had to be mindful of windfalls.
The lack of adequate provision in relation to traffic issues in the Dinas Powys area.
What was the procedure with regard to alternative sites ?.
Dinas Powys currently had two railway stations, was on a bus corridor and had a significant number of facilities for a settlement of its size, which the department had been mindful of when allocating sites in the area. The Director also advised that pages 82 to 83 of the document would assist Members in this regard.
The Director further explained that In considering the LDP the department had had to consider all the facilities and transport links it currently had within all areas throughout the Vale.
Following the six week consultation period any alternative plans that were proposed would also have to be consulted upon and advertised by the Council as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the six week period, with the specific dates being confirmed in due course.
A number of Members agreed that although they were aware any draft Deposit Plan would be contentious, the Council was obliged to produce one and in their opinion it had been considered and dealt with as sensitively as possible.
The Chairman took the opportunity to thank all for coming, in particular the officers for their hard work in the production of the Plan and for the briefing sessions for the Members of the public that had been arranged.
With no further comments it was subsequently moved, seconded and
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the proposals as contained within the report in order for the statutory six week public consultation exercise to commence in November 2013 be agreed and the Deposit Draft Plan commended to Cabinet and Council for approval.
Reason for recommendation
Having considered the presentation, the report and the Deposit Draft Plan and the arrangements for the public consultation exercise.