Agenda and draft minutes
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Emergency Evacuation Procedure
The Chairman ensured that those present were aware of the emergency evacuation procedure.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 June 2021 (Minute Nos. 42 - 45) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 June 2021 (Minute Nos. 42 – 45) 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 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.
Part A Recommendations to Cabinet
The Chairman explained that the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) was not mandatory, but gave the Council a stronger position at planning appeals.
The Planning Policy Manager introduced the report which set-out the Council’s draft HDT Action Plan (AP), a non-statutory report the Council had been asked to prepare as a result of achieving a score of below 95%, in the government’s HDT published in January 2021. The HDT compared the housing required against the actual amount delivered over the previous three years. The latest results indicated a score of 89% for Swale, and as this was below 95% an AP was needed. There was a requirement to explain any non-delivery and to set out what measures would be taken to ensure this did not continue. The Planning Policy Manager said the reasons for housing non-delivery in Swale were complex, and she added that the delivery rates for housing completions were largely in line with what was anticipated by Bearing Fruits. The AP set out the reasons for under-delivery and the proposed actions.
The Chairman referred to Recommendation (2) in the report and suggested an amendment to include the words ‘with any minor amendments’ and Members agreed unanimously with this change. He added that a more up-to-date version of the map on page 18 of the report would be submitted with the final version of the HDT AP.
The Chairman invited Members to ask questions and make comments.
A Member referred to the inclusion of Minster in paragraph 2.2 of the HDT AP, and whether it should be included. He was advised that this section of the AP was setting the historical context on where development was focused and was retrospective.
A Member drew attention to the low GP-to-patient ratio and suggested the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) be invited to a meeting to look into this further. The Chairman said they could be invited to attend the Scrutiny Committee. The Vice-Chairman explained that she had recently attended a meeting with the CCG and said they were currently undertaking a review, and she suggested they would be in a better position to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee in three or four months time, and Members were happy with this approach.
A Member referred to paragraph 1.2 in the AP
and suggested more detail on reasons for the Borough’s
housing delivery rates should be given.
The Planning Policy Manger considered that all the issues had been
covered in the AP. After some
discussion, Members agreed that the wording should be amended to
read ‘…….provides commentary on
The following comments were made:
· Considered there were reasons that had not been looked into for the under-delivery, everything needed to be covered to protect the Council at any planning appeals;
· the lack of a 5-year housing supply needed to be considered and tackled;
· consideration needed to be given to the real difficulty of delivering a new secondary school in the Borough;
· the Council needed to resolve the ... view the full minutes text for item 143.