Supplementary Information in Relation to Agenda Item No. 4
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
PLANNING COMMITTEE: 22 OCTOBER 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 19 OCTOBER 2015
C2942 PROPOSALS RELATING TO STRATEGIC PLANNING PANEL REGULATIONS: COMPOSITION AND FINANCIAL MATTERS (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
Cabinet was advised of the Welsh Government’s consultation regarding the gender composition and financial matters relating to future Strategic Planning Panels. Following the analysis of the consultation, the Welsh Government would consider bringing forward regulations with a view to bringing them into force in spring 2016.
The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 amended Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and introduced Strategic Development Plans which were to be produced by a Strategic Planning Panel. The plan making Panel would have corporate body status and would be formed of both local planning authority (LPA) members and nominated members from social, economic and environmental groups. Only the LPA members would have voting rights.
A Strategic Development Plan was a development plan for a strategic planning area, such as South East Wales, and would include issues which cut across a number of LPAs such as housing, employment, transport, infrastructure, minerals and waste. It was considered that addressing these issues in the Strategic Development Plan would ensure that they were planned in an integrated and consistent way.
The Strategic Planning Panel was a plan making body and would make decisions on the governance arrangements of the Panel, such as nominating members, agreeing standards, finance, appointment of technical staff etc. The Panel would also be required to make decisions on the production of the Strategic Development Plan including whether a Strategic Development Plan was ready for independent examination. The report noted that the Panel did not require agreement from the constituent LPAs.
The consultation document was issued on 10 August, 2015 and responses were required by 2 November, 2015.
The report considered the composition of Strategic Planning Panels under The Equalities Act 2010, as Welsh Government sought to increase equality and diversity on public bodies. The consultation paper proposed that the Strategic Planning Panel should be made up of a minimum percentage of 40% female and 40% male LPA members. The report supported this approach, but was of the view that consideration should also be given to other equal opportunity matters such as race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation.
The report also considered Financial Matters related to the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 as the proposed Strategic Development Panels would involve considerable qualifying expenditure which would have to be funded by constituent authorities which could not be estimated, but which could be considerable.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T the report and the completed consultation response form attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be endorsed as the Council’s formal response to the Welsh Government consultation on ‘Proposals relating to Strategic Planning Panel Regulations: Composition and Financial matters’.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to Planning Committee for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To endorse the response submitted to the Welsh Government consultation on ‘Proposals relating to Strategic Planning Panel Regulations: Composition and Financial matters’.
(2) To advise Planning Committee of the public consultation.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 19 OCTOBER 2015