Agenda and minutes
Venue: Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3HT
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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 8 July 2021 (Minute Nos. 140 - 143) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 July 2021 (Minute Nos. 140 – 143) 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 advised that the report was a summary of the responses that the Council had received, and the full responses made at the Regulation 19 consultation could be seen on the Council’s website.
The Planning Policy Manager introduced the report and informed Members that the Council had received responses from 568 contributors, making 2,550 representations. She informed Members that Appendix I drew-out the ‘headline’ issues raised during the Swale Borough Council (SBC) Local Plan Review (LPR) (Regulation 19) Pre-Submission Consultation, which took place between 8 February 2021 and 30 April 2021. Appendix II showed the summary of ‘headline’ issues given from Statutory Consultees and neighbouring authorities. She told Members that all comments would be considered for the LPR.
A Member thanked officers for getting the information ready so quickly and available for the Local Plan Panel to consider. He was happy to hear that the Council were moving back to Regulation 18, but sought clarification on some of the comments made in the report. He was disappointed to hear that it was considered that the Habitat Regulations Assessment provided insufficient evidence to rule out likely significant effects in the Faversham and Rushenden areas. He asked when the traffic modelling reports were expected so that Highways England (HE) could provide specific comments as it seemed the evidence had not been provided to HE yet.
The Chairman explained that the traffic modelling information had only just been received and the team were going through the data collected to get the evidence together.
The Planning Policy Manager clarified that officers did not share the same views regarding the Habitat Regulations Assessment. She informed Members that her team were working with consultants to agree the final position.
Councillor Alastair Gould proposed the recommendations in the report, and seconded by Councillor Mike Baldock.
(1) That the summaries of main issues raised in respect of the Swale Borough Local Plan Review (Regulation 19) Pre-submission Consultation be noted.
The Chairman introduced the report which set out a revised programme for the LPR. He considered that the report showed the Council had listened to the responses received and responded to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) change made in July 2021. He said that the change to the NPPF had introduced lots of new tasks and had given the Council a chance to reflect on the Covid-19 Pandemic and the impact it could have on the policies in the short, medium and long-term.
The Planning Policy Manager added that the detail of the proposed programme was set-out in the report. She explained that SBC were looking to undertake a consultation on the issues raised and options available, and that this would be brought to the next meeting. She anticipated that a consultation on the draft LPR document would take place in early 2022 and would be submitted in May 2022 to the Planning Inspector.
A Member felt the feedback received from residents and organisations was positive and thought it would be a step in the right direction to move back to Regulation 18. He said that going back to Regulation 18 would give the Council a chance to hear the thoughts of everyone involved in the Borough and pull all the information together to make it right for everyone. However, he had concerns with the timetable set out as it would be too tight to collate all the reports and evidence needed and sought clarification on what other Councils were doing. Also, whether any guidance had been issued that outlined any implications that might be faced.
In response, the Head of Planning informed Members that there had been one or two Councils that held their plans up and he gave Horsham District Council as an example.
The recommendation was proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Councillor Alastair Gould.
Councillor James Hunt asked that it be noted that he was against the timetable set-out in the report but not against going back to Regulation 18.
(1) That the Local Development Scheme (LDS) at Appendix I to the report be adopted as the current programme for the Swale Borough Local Plan Review.
The Senior Conservation & Design Officer introduced the report and advised that the development of Local Heritage List was part of Action Plan 1 of the Heritage Strategy adopted in April 2020 and adopting a listing criteria for the Local Heritage List was the first step before nominations are invited for Local Heritage List. She informed Members that 13 responses had been received and these had been incorporated into the report. She added that there was one late representation from the Faversham society and their representation had also been taken on board. She drew Members’ attention to some of the changes that needed to be made to the document and went through the changes one-by-one.
Members raised the following points on some of the changes:
· Concerned that landscapes with an historic past rather than historic views would be missed off the listing criteria;
· Concerned that if wording around landscaping was removed then green spaces would also be missed;
· the listing criteria seemed to be heavily reliant on buildings being in the landscape view;
· understood that some ‘views’ could be overlooked for a long distance so it was important the view did not become distorted from buildings;
· important to protect buildings that were over 100 years old as well as those that were younger;
· could gatehouses be added into the list of examples of buildings with historic architectural style?; and
· asked if Member could view a list of individual nominations rather than a summary.
In response, the Senior Conservation & Design Officer, explained to Members the difference between landscape and the local views in the Borough. She explained that local views were different to landscape as they did not have any heritage criteria and were largely defined by their scientific geological beauty. The local views normally did not become a part of the heritage list and required a different set of policies. She wanted to clarify that she had the individual responses collated in a spreadsheet and these would be circulated to the individual Members for their ward area. The Head of Planning agreed to discuss in detail with the Cabinet Member for Planning ‘Local Views’ and the way forward. The Head of Planning would give a verbal update at the Cabinet meeting on 22 September 2021.
The Senior Conservation & Design Officer explained to Members that once listing criteria was adopted, the Council would be undertaking pilot studies for selected urban and rural areas within the Borough, to start the listing process. She hoped that the study would be rolled-out Borough-wide to complete a Local Heritage List by September 2023. Currently, approximately 200 assets had been identified from the HER & old ‘Greenbacks’ as potential candidates for the Local Heritage List. It was estimated that the final Borough-wide list might have around 500 entries. Once the pilot scheme had finished, an assessment group would be created to review all the sites and determine which sites would be placed on the Heritage listing criteria.
The recommendation was moved by the Chairman and seconded by Councillor ... view the full minutes text for item 249.