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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Swale House. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

No. Item

Audio Recording


Emergency 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. Nobody must leave the assembly point until everybody can be accounted for and nobody must return to the building until the Chairman has informed them that it is safe to do so; 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 outlined the emergency evacuation procedure.



To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 June 2019 2018 (Minute Nos. 34 - 38) as a correct record.



The Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 June 2019 (Minute Nos. 34 – 38) were taken as read, approved 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 (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 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 Monitoring Officer, the Head of Legal or from other Solicitors in Legal Services as early as possible, and in advance of the Meeting.




The Chairman declared a Disclosable Non-Pecuniary Interest as he sat on Borden Parish Council, who had submitted comments regarding the draft Car Parking Supplementary Planning Guidance.


Draft Car Parking Supplementary Planning Guidance pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Draft for discussion prior to working-up into a full public consultation draft.

Additional documents:


The Development Manager introduced the item, explaining that the Panel was asked to consider and comment on an early draft of the Vehicle Parking Supplementary Document (SPD) and agree the way forward for public consultation.  Once formally adopted, the SPD would provide bespoke parking standards for Swale.  Pursuant to Policy DM7 of the Adopted Local Plan, the document would carry significant weight in the determination of planning applications.  He drew attention to the comments submitted by Borden, Bobbing, Iwade and Tunstall Parish Councils, which had been circulated, and summarised the points they had made.  He also drew attention to comments from the Council’s Parking Services Manager regarding controlled parking zones as Members had already formally agreed to exclude new/converted properties from the residents parking scheme.


The SPD had been prepared by consultants, following a Member workshop in February 2019, and Hannah Atkins and Paul Lulham of DHA Consultancy gave a presentation to outline the key issues and the reasons behind their proposals in the draft version.  This covered examples of what they considered worked well and not so well in Swale and from wider research; and how their findings had been input into the draft SPD presented.


Members were then invited to ask questions and give feedback on the draft SPD.  A summary of the points made are set out below:


·        The need to encourage use of bicycles in residential areas not just non-residential, and to ensure that bicycles would be easily accessible for use;

·        The need to consider provision of charging points for electric vehicles;

·        Why the suggested width of 2.5 metres was proposed, when an example of what worked well was 3 metres; 

·        How to encourage people to use their garages for parking and making them accessible when a car was parked on the drive, without overhanging on the pavement;

·        The need to consider parking requirements where there was business and residential use;

·        The need to provide solar panels on structures such as car ports/garages;

·        The need to consider environmental damage and have greener walkways and encourage biodiversity;

·        Appendix A - many Members considered that the number of spaces proposed per house was inadequate; there was some support for a ratio of one parking space per bedroom;

·        The need to ensure that there was not a limit on maximum parking and to reconsider the proposed standards;

·        The need for proper design rather than just a minimum standard;

·        Levels of car ownership and how realistic the averages set out on page 18 of the report were, which had been compiled from census data;

·        The need to increase provision for charging of electric vehicles and to future proof developments;

·        Whilst on-street parking could be controlled by permits, the need to ensure that the number of permits issued was not more than the number of spaces;

·        Developers should consider using roller-shutter garages to maximise space, and provide a disabled access pathway from the car to the building;

·        The need to be realistic about how many car spaces were needed, given that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 165.


Housing Delivery Test Action Plan pdf icon PDF 69 KB

A new responsibility arising from National Planning Policy Framework changes and new Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Housing Delivery Test.  This is required to be submitted to MHCLG by mid-August 2019, outlining reasons for housing target not being achieved and any actions the Council is taking to redress the situation.

Additional documents:


The Principal Planning Officer introduced her report, which explained why a Housing Delivery Action Plan was needed, and presented a draft plan for the Panel to consider.  The Chairman drew attention to the covering report which had been circulated separately to the agenda.


There was some discussion regarding the recommendations, in terms of the process and timing of the item, given that the next scheduled Cabinet meeting was on 25 September 2019.


There was also discussion regarding the purpose of the report, and suggestions were made to make the document more robust and to make it clear that there was also a chronic social infrastructure deficit. 


In response to questions, the Chairman confirmed that delivery of the SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment) was still on target for consultation in the Autumn and that many documents which formed part of the LDS (Local Development Scheme) needed to be revisited.


In response to questions, the Principal Planning Officer advised that there were no sanctions if Members chose not to submit the plan; that there were no penalties if the document was submitted at a later date; and confirmed that a holding response could be sent.


Further discussion ensued during which Members made comments around the time lag between the building of houses and the provision of social infrastructure; the need to ensure that the sustainable development argument took account of issues such as air quality and landscape sensitivity; the constraints faced in the Borough in terms of limited land supply; and the need for provision of affordable housing.


The Chairman clarified that the purpose of the document was to explain why the Council had not met the Government’s target on house building, and to outline the efforts that had been made.


In response to further comments, the Principal Planning Officer undertook to look at the self-build register and how that could be promoted/reviewed.  She also clarified that the next set of results on the Housing Delivery Test would be available in November 2019 and there would be a further opportunity at that stage to submit another Action Plan in the light of those results.


Members agreed that a response should be submitted on time, and that the Cabinet Member should be given delegated authority to agree an updated plan for submission, but that this should not be normal practice.  The Chairman advised that the individual Cabinet decision-making procedure would give Members the opportunity to comment on the updated version.



(1) That the Action Plan be updated to reflect the comments made by the Panel.

(2) That the Cabinet Member for Planning be given delegated authority to agree a revised version of the Action Plan, prior to its submission.


(POST MEETING NOTE – an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet has been convened to consider this item on Wednesday 7 August 2019).



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