Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3HT
Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330
Election of Chairman
(1) That Councillor Alastair Gould be elected Chairman for this meeting.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 February 2021 (Minute Nos. 451 - 455) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 February 2021 (Minute Nos. 451 – 455) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as correct records.
Declarations of Interest
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 the Member might be predetermined or biased the Member should declare their predetermination or bias and then leave the meeting 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 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.
The Planning Policy Consultant introduced the report which set-out the review of the draft Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan. She explained that the Management Plans were required to be reviewed every five years, jointly with the 12 other authorities in Kent that had AONB area, and she highlighted that the Plan would not come into force until the other authorities had agreed it.
The Planning Policy Consultant pointed out to Members that were are no overall major changes to the Plan and there was an emphasis on climate change and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on landscape. She informed Members that the 12 authorities were looking to adopt the Management Plans in early July 2021.
A member asked the officer about the enforceability Swale Borough Council will have on the management plan, in response the officer explained that the plan will become a material consideration when determining planning applications and following the management plan an action plan will be produced to take issues in the management plan and turn them into actions to deliver.
Other points made were:
· Welcomed the report;
· the report had been well written; and
· thought that the Plan had covered all points well.
Councillor Eddie Thomas moved all three recommendations which were seconded by Councillor Benjamin Martin.
(1) That the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2021-2026 (Appendix I) be adopted;
(2) That adoption of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2021-2026 takes effect on a date to be confirmed by the Kent Downs AONB Unit;
(3) That the Head of Planning Services be given delegated powers to agree minor changes to the Management Plan that may be put forward prior to the Plan’s formal adoption.