Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth - Wednesday, 22nd January, 2020 7.00 pm

As of May 2021, decision making of meetings of the Council have returned to in-person sessions. A number of meetings remain virtual, with appropriate Councillors attending via remote video link. Public access to these meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: COUNCIL CHAMBER

Contact: Email: committees@midsussex.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

To note Substitutes in Accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4 - Substitutes at Meetings of Committees etc.

Minutes:

Councillor Gibbs substituted for Councillor Hicks and Councillor Dabell substituted for Councillor Mockford.

 

2.

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors M Belsey, Coe-Gunnell White, Hicks, Marsh and Mockford.

3.

To receive Declarations of Interests from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Phillipsdeclared a personal interest in Item 7: Site Allocations Development Plan Document - Response to Draft Site Allocations DPD Consultation (Regulation 18) as he had submitted an objection in the consultation in relation to SA4 - North A264, Copthorne.

 

Councillor Brown declared a personal interest in Item8: Mid Sussex Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document - Outcome of Public Consultation as he had submitted a number of comments in the consultation.

 

4.

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth held on 23 October 2019. pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Minutes:

As indicated in the Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 October, the Chairman confirmed that the Council’s work with Homes England on the Northern Arc is not a matter for the Scrutiny Committee at this time. He understood that if Member wanted to become more familiar with the Council’s work with Homes England on the Northern Arc then officers will provide briefings.

 

Cllr Brown sought clarification on who would be the contact for questions on that matter.

 

The Chairman confirmed that it would be the Assistant Chief Executive, Judy Holmes.

 

 

5.

To consider any items that the Chairman agrees to take as urgent business.

Minutes:

None.

6.

Parking Strategy pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Minutes:

Claire Onslow, Business Unit Leader for Parking Services, introduced the report which provided the Scrutiny Committee with an update on the work of the Parking Strategy Member Working Group. She highlighted that the report provides a summary of the ‘Discovery’ and ‘Challenge’ phases of this work. The ‘Discovery’ phase involved a review of all aspects of the existing service and benchmarking against other services; the ‘Challenge’ phase built on the findings of the Discovery work to start challenging current policy and operations and to develop a future strategy and action plan.

 

She noted that next stage is the ‘Design’ phase which will be discussed later this quarter; and that a draft Parking Strategy report will be presented to the Committee in March 2020.

 

A Member felt that the report was absent of any information and that they therefore could not approve the recommendation.

 

Robert Anderton, Divisional Leader for Commercial Services & Contracts, confirmed that when the Parking Strategy Member Working Group was created, it was stated that their work would be reported back to the Scrutiny Committee. He added that the report is just an update which sets out the high-level work the Working Group has been carrying out and that the Committee are only being asked to note the report.

 

A Member enquired whether the ‘design phase’ will explore employing more technology into the car parks to make them more interactive and improve the customer experience.

 

The Business Unit Leader for Parking Services stated that the Draft Parking Strategy report will set out the strategic position, potentially exploring the implementation of further technology and will be a key part of the work to meet the Economic Growth Strategy.

 

The Chairman then moved to the recommendation to note the contents of the report which was agreed unanimously.

           

RESOLVED

 

The Committee noted the contents of the report.

 

7.

Site Allocations Development Plan Document - Response to Draft Site Allocations DPD Consultation (Regulation 18) pdf icon PDF 389 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman invited the Solicitor, Franca Currall to provide legal context and advice for Members whom sit on the Committee and have made representations on the Site Allocations Development Plan document.

 

Franca Currall, Solicitor, highlighted that Members are welcome to make representations. She noted that the Committee is not a decision-making committee however she reminded Members to be aware of their roles when participating in the discussion as it can preclude them from taking part in the meeting and potentially cause them to be pre-determined. She asked that, in the spirit of openness and transparency, Members indicate where they have made representations before they make comments.

 

Andrew Marsh, Business Unit Leader for Planning Policy, introduced the report which provided a summary of the representations received during the Site Allocations DPD public consultation and set out the next steps in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD. He noted that there were just over 1,300 respondents to the consultation. Objections were predominantly from residents to the proposed sites however there were no objections to the site selection methodology and indeed no objections from neighboring authorities. He stated that the next stage is Regulation 19 which will be presented at the Committee on 11 March 2020 and then, subject to Council approval, will go through a minimum six-week consultation before being submitted to the Secretary of State for examination by an independent Planning Inspector.

 

A Member noted that site promoters have submitted 28 ‘new’ sites that were not in the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). He enquired whether all 28 sites are for housing developments.

 

The Business Unit Leader for Planning Policy confirmed that 9 are employments sites and remainder are housing sites.

 

The Member felt that it would useful to have a quantum of the number of houses in the sites in the report.

 

Judy Holmes,Assistant Chief Executive, explained that the purpose of the report is to present the responses from the consultation and the subsequent steps to be carried out. The next report will detail how the Council will address the sites that have been put forward and outline further work undertaken in response to the representations.

 

A Member questioned what additional transport assessments will be carried out as part of the Site Allocations work.

 

The Business Unit Leader for Planning Policy noted that the Regulation 18 Document contained a strategic transport assessment which assessed the impacts from the sites in the draft DPD. As noted in the Scrutiny report, the next steps section identifies an update to the strategic transport assessment to address comments made during the consultation.

 

A Member noted that the consultation exercise has identified additional sites and enquired whether the site selection methodology used to assess these sites will be different to the methodology previously used.  He feared that the identified sites would not get the same level of scrutiny.

 

Sally Blomfield, the Divisional Leader for Planning and Economy confirmed that the Council will be applying the same site selection methodology which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Mid Sussex Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document - Outcome of Public Consultation. pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alma Howell, Senior Planning Officer, introduced the report which informed Members of the outcome to the public consultation on the draft Mid Sussex Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which took place from 9th October until 20th November 2019. She noted that most of the comments from the statutory bodies and local councils are complimentary of the Guide. The main issues that were raised in the consultation were; Detailed Design Issues, Sustainability and the Structure and Format of the document.

 

A Member referenced Paragraph 26, Point 3 on P.81 and enquired whether that statement means the Council cannot do anything to implement new carbon reduction standards through planning policies.

 

Sally Blomfield, Divisional Leader for Planning and Economy, stated that the Council cannot impose new standards, which might affect costs for developers through Supplementary Planning Documents.

 

A Member highlighted that on P.87 it makes reference to Village Design statements and sought clarification on what they are.

 

The Senior Planning Officer confirmed that the documents have been in place for a number of years and before Neighbourhood Plans were introduced. They set out design details and materials that are locally distinctive for a village.  Some of the Neighbourhood Plans refer to these in their Design Policy.

 

Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, added that Lindfield, Turners Hill and Hassocks have prepared a Village Design Statement.

 

The Vice-Chairman noted that on P.89 in the Appendix summarising comments, it states that the guide lacks any reference to ground source heat pumps and sought guidance as to why.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning made the observation that in many cases, dwellings do not have enough space for a ground source pump. The Design Guide does however refer to both ground or air source heat pumps for heating.

 

The Chairman then moved to the recommendation; to note the responses to the public consultation on the draft Mid Sussex Design Guide SPD, as set out in Appendix 1 to report; consider and agree the Officer recommended actions to address the issues that have been raised and note the next steps as set out in paragraph 31; which was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth:

 

(i)             Noted the responses to the public consultation on the draft Mid Sussex Design Guide SPD, as set out in Appendix 1 to this report;

 

(ii)            Considered and agreed the Officer recommended actions to address the issues that have been raised; and

 

(i)             Noted the next steps as set out in paragraph 31.

 

 

9.

Homelessness Strategy 2016 - 2021 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Emma Shuttleworth, Business Unit Leader for Housing Services, introduced the report which sought the Scrutiny Committee the Committee’s approval to recommend the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025 to Council for adoption. She noted that the recent Homeless Reduction Act requires a review of the current strategy.

 

A Member enquired whether the baseline figures and indicators can be advised, and whether it would be appropriate for the information to be reported quarterly rather than annually.

 

Judy Holmes,Assistant Chief Executive, stated that the baseline figures and indicators are already reported to the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance.  She added that Members can request reports at any time through the Work Programme. She directed the Member’s attention to the volumes of data in Homelessness Review 2019 document which is hyperlinked in the report.

 

Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, noted that performance information is reported to the Cabinet meeting and through the weekly Member Information Service.

 

Post meeting note: It is not included on MIS

 

A Member noted that on P.99, rough sleepers are assisted through the Turning Tides outreach service and enquired whether the service is commissioned and funded by the District Council.

 

The Business Unit Leader for Housing Services confirmed that the funding is provided by Central Government and is commissioned by both the County and District Councils to reduce rough sleeping.

 

The Member then asked whether the service is totally reliant on the funds provided by the Government.

 

The Business Unit Leader for Housing Services highlighted that it is however, the Government have committed to make the funding available and continue to fund. She explained that if funding were to be withdrawn then the Council would work with partners to explore options. She noted that Turning Tides is a charity and does have a fundraising arm.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning stated that Housing Officers do go out in the District to look for rough sleepers and recently found two who have been taken off the street. He added that the District was very lucky to have very few rough sleepers however he felt that it was tragic to even see a few on the streets.

 

The Chairman then moved to the recommendation to recommend to Council that the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25 be adopted which was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth:

 

(i)         Commented on the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025

 

(ii)        Recommended to Council that the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25 be adopted

 

10.

Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth - Work Programme 2019/20. pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Minutes:

Tom Clark, Head of Regulatory Services, introduced the Committee’s Work Programme for the forthcoming meetings on 11 March 2020 and 25 March 2020.

 

The Chairman noted that no Member wished to comment on the Work Programme and so moved to the recommendation to note the Committee’s Work Programme which was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Committee noted the Committee’s Work Programme as set out at paragraph 5 of the tabled report.

 

11.

Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10, due notice of which has been given.

Minutes:

Councillor Janice Henwood posed a number of questions to the Officers in relation Item 7: Site Allocations Development Plan Document - Response to Draft Site Allocations DPD Consultation (Regulation 18). Firstly, she noted that Systra Strategic Transport Assessment has identified no site-specific issues and enquired who Systra is.

 

Judy Holmes, Assistant Chief Executive, replied that Systra are transport consultants commissioned by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) and West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to produce the Mid Sussex Transport Study (MSTS) and test the impact of proposed development in the draft Site Allocations DPD on the strategic and local transport network.

 

Councillor Henwood questioned how assured the community can be if site-specific Transport Assessments are being carried out by the site promotors.

 

The Assistant Chief Executive explained that where the community has raised specific local transport issues, it is common practice for Councils to ask site promoters to engage in pre-application discussions with West Sussex County Council (WSCC) as the Highways Authority.

 

Councillor Henwood then sought clarification on when the Strategic Transport Assessment will be available for Burgess Hill Town Council and Residents, with reference to its assessment of the present impact of housing, the future impact of additional housing and the mitigations proposed to cope with traffic flows.

 

The Assistant Chief Executive noted that it is available on the Council’s website (Site Allocations DPD – Evidence Library - https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning-building/development-plan-documents/site-allocations-dpd-evidence-library/).

 

Councillor Henwood finally queried how the assessment will address the east-west; north-south traffic flows in Burgess Hill with particular reference to the roundabouts at Keymer Road and Folders Lane: at Hoadleys Corner: Junction Road-Leylands Road.

 

The Assistant Chief Executive responded that the scope of the MSTS and the strategic transport model which underpins the MSTS has been agreed by WSCC in accordance with good practice as set out by the Department of Transports guidelines. The purpose of the MSTS is to assess the impact of the Sites DPD on the highway network, based on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and agreed by WSCC and MSDC. Where junctions are identified as being ‘severely’ impacted as a result of the Sites DPD, mitigation schemes are devised and tested to remove the severe impact.

 

The MSTS concluded that the junction at Folders Lane and Keymer Road even without any mitigation is not identified as being ‘severely’ impacted as a result of the Sites DPD. Impacts at the other two junctions referred to are mitigated by traffic reduction from sustainable measures and highway mitigation elsewhere in the network (namely at the A23/A2300 junctions) and are therefore identified as not severely impacted with mitigation.