Agenda and minutes
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To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 October 2021 (Minute Nos. 355 - 360) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 October 2021 (Minute Nos. 355 – 360) were taken as read, agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
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 Interests (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 Manager introduced the report which set-out the Sittingbourne Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), and she explained that once adopted the SPD would be pursuant to the Council’s Local Plan. The Planning Policy Manager advised that Members were asked to comment on the SPD prior to it being published for a six week public consultation commencing in January 2022.
The Principal Urban Designer/Landscape Officer gave a presentation which centred around the following themes: Sittingbourne was one of the most resilient small towns in England; Sittingbourne Town Centre and wider context; Sittingbourne Spatial Strategy; the key moves; the compilation of proposals for each district of the town; and the next steps. She explained that an SPD was a planning document that added further details to the policies in the Council’s Local Plan and once approved was a material consideration in planning decisions.
The Chairman invited Members to comment on the document.
In response to queries from a Member, the Planning Policy Manager reported that Network Rail were currently looking at different design options for the railway bridge near the Eurolink estate and then costings. The Principal Urban Designer/Landscape Officer agreed to look at including guidance in the SPD which set-out the parameters for provision of awnings for shopfronts in the High Street.
Post Meeting Note
SBC have guidance for shop frontages called ‘The Design of Shopfronts, Signs and Advertisements’ 2011 and can be found https://services.swale.gov.uk/assets/Planning-Forms-and-Leaflets/The-Design-Of-Shopfronts-Signs-Advertisements-feb-2011.pdf . There is no guidance on awnings in this existing shopfront design guide however as it is ten years old it is due an update and will form part of the programme of works for the future.
A Member asked that the word ‘biodiversity’ be used instead of the word ‘greening’ within the SPD and referred specifically to pages 25, 45, 62 and 66 of the Agenda pack. The Member considered that by specifying biodiversity it would be clearer to developers that the Council wanted to promote this and also assist the Council in applying for any available environmental grants. He drew attention to the last bullet point on page 30 of the Agenda pack and considered it should also include reference to how the green infrastructure along the High Street could also link all the biodiversity opportunities the High Street had. The Member also referred to page 53 of the Agenda pack and considered that the open space at the Bell Road East Street junction could be a good biodiversity link to St Michael’s churchyard and the trees planned for St Michael’s Road. The Chairman said that he thought that green spaces had a legal context in planning.
A Member referred to the delivery of approximately 850 additional dwellings in the town centre as set-out in paragraph 2.2 on page 5 of the Agenda pack which he welcomed but did not consider it should be included within the SPD until it was confirmed. He considered that the SPD was premature and should be looked at after Members had considered the Regulation 18 ... view the full minutes text for item 507.