Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, - Swale House. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

No. Item


Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the Municipal Year 2016/17.


Resolved:  That Councillor Gerry Lewin be elected Chairman for the Municipal Year 2016/17.


Election of Vice-Chairman

To elect a Vice-Chairman for the Municipal Year 2016/17.


Resolved:  That Councillor Bryan Mulhern be elected Vice-Chairman for the Municipal Year 2016/17.


Fire Evacuation Procedure

The Chairman will advise the meeting of the evacuation procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. This is particularly important for visitors and members of the public who will be unfamiliar with the building and procedures.


The Chairman will inform the meeting whether there is a planned evacuation drill due to take place, what the alarm sounds like (i.e. ringing bells), where the closest emergency exit route is, and where the second closest emergency exit route is, in the event that the closest exit or route is blocked.


The Chairman will inform the meeting that:


(a) in the event of the alarm sounding, everybody must leave the building via the nearest safe available exit and gather at the Assembly points at the far side of the Car Park; and


(b) the lifts must not be used in the event of an evacuation.


Any officers present at the meeting will aid with the evacuation.


It is important that the Chairman is informed of any person attending who is disabled or unable to use the stairs, so that suitable arrangements may be made in the event of an emergency.



The Chairman ensured that those present were aware of the emergency evacuation procedure.


Declarations of Interests

Councillors should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves or their spouse, civil partner or person with whom they are living with as a spouse or civil partner.  They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.


The Chairman will ask Members if they have any interests to declare in respect of items on this agenda, under the following headings:


(a)          Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI) under the Localism Act 2011.  The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared.  After declaring a DPI, the Member must leave the meeting and not take part in the discussion or vote.  This applies even if there is provision for public speaking.


(b)          Disclosable Non Pecuniary (DNPI) under the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council in May 2012.  The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared.  After declaring a DNPI interest, the Member may stay, speak and vote on the matter.


(c)          Where it is possible that a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts would conclude that there was a real possibility that a Member might be predetermined or biased the Member should declare their predetermination or bias and then leave the room while that item is considered.


Advice to Members:  If any Councillor has any doubt about the existence or nature of any DPI or DNPI which he/she may have in any item on this agenda, he/she should seek advice from the Director of Corporate Services as Monitoring Officer, the Head of Legal or from other Solicitors in Legal Services as early as possible, and in advance of the Meeting.



No interests were declared.


Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan - Examiner's Report and next steps pdf icon PDF 212 KB

The purpose of the report is to formally receive the report of the Independent Examination into the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Development Plan, to endorse and make the recommended minor modifications to the Plan, to agree to publicise the Council’s decision (a decision statement) and approve the organisation of a local referendum


Tabled papers uploaded 20 May 2016.

Additional documents:


The Senior Planner introduced the report which formally received the report of the Independent Examination into the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Development Plan following the public hearing held in October 2015, and to endorse and make the recommended modifications to the Plan as requested by the Examiner, to agree to publicise the Council’s decision, (a decision statement), and to approve the organisation of a local referendum.  The Senior Planner stated that the referendum area was the town of Faversham. 


The Senior Planner reported that the main findings of the Independent Examiner’s report were that he was satisfied that Faversham Town Council undertook the public consultation seriously and that sufficient consultation resulted.  She further reported that the Examiner thanked all those that had participated in the hearing and considered they had done so in a courteous and intelligent manner, and he was impressed with their knowledge and dedication to the project.  He also commended the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for being well written, logical, clear, appropriately concise and intelligible.


The Senior Planner reported that the Examiner proposed 27 modifications to the plan.  The most significant modifications were the addition of an Archaeology Policy in the creek-wide section, and changes to the site-specific policy for site 5, Swan Quay.  The Senior Planner advised that Officers were content with the proposed modifications and that this was a significant step in the NP’s journey.


The Senior Planner explained that Swale Council were responsible for the arrangements for the referendum, and officers had been liaising with colleagues in Democratic Services and a provisional date was Thursday 20 October 2016.  The Senior Planner advised that if more than half were in favour, the NP must be brought into force as soon as practical.


The Senior Planner drew attention to the tabled paper from the planning agent for the Swan Quay site who had taken Counsel advice about the Examiner’s report.  The Senior Planner stated that their Counsel suggested that the examiner had acted unlawfully and outside the scope of the provisions of the act.  The Senior Planner stated that officers had taken legal advice from Counsel which was that there were no issues that should prevent the LDF Panel agreeing the recommendations set out in the report.  The Senior Planner stated that as Counsel’s opinion was covered by strict legal privilege it could not be made public.


Members welcomed the report.




(1)  That the modifications to the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan as set out in the Examiner’s Report (Appendix I) be accepted;

(2)  That the Neighbourhood Plan meets the basic conditions and complies with the provision made by or under Sections 38A and 38B of the Planning and Compulsory Act 2004 be agreed;

(3)  That the decision to accept the Examiner’s recommendations be publicised; and

(4)  That the organisation of a local referendum to cover the Faversham Town Council area be approved.


Local Plan Proposed Modifications pdf icon PDF 4 MB

The Local Plan Inspector’s interim findings and recommendations for modifying the Plan are now complete.  The purpose of this report is for Members to agree the main modifications which are necessary to make the plan sound and thereby adoptable.  The report and appendices outline the modifications proposed to the Plan for Members comment and agreement.  In particular, the report deals with the additional allocations necessary to meet a housing target of 13,192 dwellings to 2031 (776 dwellings per annum) and a 5-year supply of housing land as required by the National Planning Policy Framework.  The report takes Members’ through the context and rationale for the proposed approach toward allocating sites and the alternatives open to them.  The report also highlights the other main modifications being proposed to the Plan, whilst officers will report at the meeting on the findings and way forward following the recent consultation on proposed Local Green Spaces.


Please note Appendices 2 and 3 are maps so it has not been possible to include these in hard copies of the agenda.  However, these appendices are available to view online at:


Appendices 2 and 3 will also be available to view at the meeting.


Tabled paper uploaded 20 May 2016.



Additional documents:


The Chairman reminded Members that they were being asked to recommend modifications to Cabinet in respect of Bearing Fruits which accord with the findings of the planning examination, following the Examination in Public last November and December 2015.  The Planning Inspector had approved the Council’s plan-making approach and methodology but had asked the Council to increase its housing targets and re-consult on green spaces.  The Chairman considered that if the Council varied from the Planning Inspector’s guidance on housing targets, the Council risked the Plan being found unsound which would result in developers proposing unallocated sites that only satisfied National Planning Policy Framework sustainability criteria. 


The Chairman explained that Members were being asked to allocate 16 additional sites following the recent call for sites.  He explained that if agreed by the Panel, and then Cabinet, the proposed Local Plan modifications would then be put out to consultation and any representations received would be forwarded to the Inspector.


The Spatial Planning Manager introduced the report and stated that the Council needed to consider the Planning Inspector’s recommendations and that the Council needed to deliver a five year housing supply.  She explained that the Inspector’s interim findings were available to view on the Council’s website. 


The Spatial Planning Manager drew attention to appendices 1 to 5 of the report, and also the tabled paper which detailed the submissions previously made (LGS01-LG31), plus additional sites submitted, in response to the Call for Sites which closed on 22 April 2016.  She advised that further updated evidence was available in the Members’ Room and would be available on the Examination website. 


The Spatial Planning Manager reported that a briefing on the Local Plan for Members and Parish Councillors was arranged for 16 June 2016.  The public consultation would commence 24 June and end on 5 August 2016, and a leaflet would be included with the June edition of Inside Swale.  The results of the consultation would then go back to the Inspector for consideration and she would use the responses to form an agenda for the examination which officers expected to reconvene in December 2016.


The Principal Planner gave a presentation on the report and focused on the following four key points:


1.     Swale was not in a unique position.  Councils across the south east were faced with increased housing targets and he advised that both the Inspector and officers appreciated that Members needed to make difficult decisions in this regard.  He explained that the Council were being required to move from a place where it, and local communities, had had genuine concerns over levels of housing needed and that Members now needed to balance the risks of the recommendations outlined in the report, with the risks of having an unsound Local Plan.


2.    It was not that there was no manoeuvrability and flexibility open to the Council, but that the Council had some pre-set parameters which severely limited it.  He added that these included the Inspector’s interim findings following the Examination.  These included: the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 684.


Suspension of Standing Orders


Members agreed to the suspension of Standing Order in order that the Local Development Framework Panel could complete its business.