Planning Committee – 11 March 2005
Chairman: Councillor Wardle
Venue: Council Chamber, Pittwood House, Scunthorpe
2. Declarations of Personal or Personal and Prejudicial Interests.
3. Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) 13; Wind Energy Development – Revised Consultation Draft.
The Wind Energy Development – Revised Consultation Draft can be found on the Development Plans – Action Planning Pages.
4. Brigg North Development Brief – Public Consultation: Revised Draft.
The Brigg North Development Brief – Public Consultation Revised Draft can be found on the Development Plans – Action Planning Pages.
5. Draft Development Brief for Falkland Way, Barton-upon-Humber – Public Consultation.
The Draft Development Brief for Falkland Way, Barton-upon-Humber – Public Consultation can be found on the Development Plans – Action Planning Pages.
6. Draft Development Brief for Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe.
The Draft Development Brief for Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe can be found on the Development Plans – Action Planning Pages.
7. Planning Policy Statement 1 – Delivering Sustainable Development.
8. Planning Applications – Scheme of Delegation.
9. Good Practice Guide For Members And Officers Dealing With Planning Applications and Related Matters – Joint Report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and the Head of Planning and Regeneration.
10. Charging for Public Path Orders.
11. Public Rights of Way Enforcement Policy.
12. Any other items, which the chairman decides are urgent, by reasons of special circumstances which must be specified.
Note: Reports are by the Head of Planning and Regeneration unless otherwise stated.
PRESENT: – Councillor Wardle in the chair.
Councillors Long (vice-chairman), Bunyan, Eckhardt, Delaney, England, Fordham, Grant, Kirk, Whiteley and Wood.
Councillor Appleyard and Briggs attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 37 (b).
The committee met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.
672 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL AND PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL PERSONAL INTERESTS–There were no declarations of personal interest.
673 (87) SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE (SPG) 13: WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT – REVISED CONSULTATION DRAFT – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report informing Members of the issues raised during the second consultation period and to approve the finalised document as Supplementary Planning Guidance to the adopted North Lincolnshire Local Plan.
The revised consultation draft SPG had been issued between 22 November 2004 and 7 January 2005 for public comment.
The consultation had attracted 138 representations from 19 groups and individuals. These were summarised in an appendix to the report, together with officer comments and the finalised draft SPG.
Recommended to Council – That Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) 13: Wind Energy Development be adopted as supplementary planning guidance to the adopted North Lincolnshire Local Plan
674 (88) BRIGG NORTH DEVELOPMENT BRIEF – PUBLIC CONSULTATION: REVISED DRAFT – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report informing the committee of the issues raised during the public consultation on the Brigg North Development Brief – Revised Draft and seeking approval of the finalised Development Brief.
The Revised Draft Development Brief had been available for public consultation between 22 November 2004 and 7 January 2005 and had attracted representations from seven groups and individuals. Where appropriate the Brief had been amended accordingly.
Recommended to Council – (a) That the Brigg North Development Brief be adopted as supplementary planning guidance to the adopted North Lincolnshire Local Plan, and (b) that the Brief be adopted for Development Control purposes
675 (89) DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF FOR FALKLAND WAY, BARTON UPON HUMBER – PUBLIC CONSULTATION – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report informing the committee of the issues raised by the public consultation on the Draft Development Brief for Falkland Way, Barton upon Humber.
The public consultation had taken place between 22 November 2004 and 7 January 2005 and had attracted 22 representations from various groups and individuals. Having examined and addressed all the representations received during the public consultation, it was considered that only a small number of detailed issues, required to be resolved. These would be addressed through the reserved matters planning application.
Recommended to Council – That the Development Brief be adopted for Development Control purposes.
676 (90) DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF FOR DONCASTER ROAD, SCUNTHORPE – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report seeking approval of the Draft Development Brief for Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe for public consultation purposes.
The site represented a major urban extension to the Scunthorpe and Bottesford Urban Area and could accommodate an estimated 1,000 new dwellings.
The Development Brief was required under policy H4 of the adopted North Lincolnshire Local Plan and set out the standards that would be expected as part of any new development on the site.
The Draft Brief was appended to the report.
Resolved – (a) That the Draft Development Brief for Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe be the subject of public consultation in April/May 2005, and (b) that the results of the public consultation exercise be reported to a future meeting.
677 (91) PLANNING POLICY STATEMENT 1 – DELIVERING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report informing the committee of the publication of PPS1: ‘Delivering Sustainable Development’ which set out the Government’s objectives for the new planning system.
A copy of the accompanying document to PPS1 ‘The Planning System: The General Principles’ was appended to the report for information.
Resolved – That the report be noted.
678 (92) PLANNING APPLICATIONS – SCHEME OF DELEGATION – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report seeking to review the existing scheme of delegation for dealing with planning applications and associated matters
The current scheme had been in place since December 2002. Applications were decided under the scheme, unless they came under one or more of the exceptions. Ninety per cent of applications had been decided this way in 2004 compared with eighty six per cent under the original scheme.
There were two main areas where further changes would improve the present scheme. The first related to the issue of the need to refer to committee any application where the applicant, agent or objector had requested the right to speak to the committee in person to present their views. It had become apparent that individuals had increasingly used this ‘facility to speak’ as a means of delaying the processing of the application. There had for example been an increase in the number of applications appearing on the agenda for determination by committee solely because of an applicant/agent or third party request to address the committee.
There was a need to ensure that the ‘right to address’ the committee was not confused with the terms of reference under the Scheme of Delegation. These were two different issues. Once an application appeared on the agenda for one of the specified reasons (e.g. application submitted by a council member) then all parties both for and against should still retain the right to speak on that application at that time in accordance with the current rules.
It would also be appropriate to include a specific statement in the scheme to include decisions on screening opinions required under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. These opinions had to be given within three weeks and so there were practical difficulties if they were not delegated to an officer.
Other alterations to the scheme were of a minor nature relating to changes to text, legislation or personnel job titles. Category 1 has been widened to reflect the revised Good Practice Guide.
The final change related to the deletion of the definition of ‘valid planning grounds’ These were advisory notes and it was considered that they should not appear in the scheme because such matters might vary from case to case.
With regard to Item 6 of the existing scheme, members considered that members of the public should retain the right to “call – in” an application for determination by the committee.
Resolved – (a) That Item 1 of the scheme be amended so that it includes a specific reference to applications submitted by the spouse or partner of either a member or officer who resides at the same address or applications made in respect of land in which a member, officer, spouse or partner has an interest; (b) that Item 6 of the exceptions to the scheme relating to requests to address the committee under standing order 35(e) be amended to read “Applications subject to a request from a member of the public that the matter be referred to the committee so that they may address the committee”, and (c) that Paragraph 2 of the scheme be amended so that it includes a specific reference to screening opinions required by the Environmental Assessment Regulations.
679 (93) GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE FOR MEMBERS AND OFFICERS DEALING WITH PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND RELATED MATTERS –Further to Minute 657, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and the Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a joint report advising the committee of the comments made by the Standards Committee.
The Standards Committee had considered the Guide on 28 January 2005 and had welcomed it and had suggested three amendments as follows
“(i) Paragraph 4.5 -To be amended to suggest that, where a member of the Planning Committee has publicly declared a view on an application, he/she should also consider whether they have a prejudicial interest;
(ii) Paragraph 11.1 – That consideration be given to inclusion of an agenda item inviting members to declare any whipping arrangements (if any) in respect of items on the agenda;
(iii) Paragraph 16.1 – That it be the responsibility also of the member or officer concerned to draw the authority’s attention to the existence of such an interest, so long as they have been served with the requisite notice if not themselves the applicant.”
An amended version of the Guide incorporating the amendments to paragraphs 4.5 and 16.1 was appended to the report. It was proposed to implement the proposal regarding declarations of any whipping arrangements on future agendas.
Recommended to Council – That the Guide, as amended, be approved and adopted.
680 (94) CHARGING FOR PUBLIC PATH ORDERS – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report seeking to clarify the circumstances under which the council might consider paying all or part of the costs associated with the making of a public path order under section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 and the advertisement of its subsequent confirmation.
The former Environment Sub-Committee had resolved (minute 454) that, amongst other matters, “the discretion to waive the recovery of costs be exercised only in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Director of Development and Environment in consultation with the chair of this Sub-Committee.” The “exceptional circumstances” referred to were not clarified, nor was the proportion of the overall costs that might be met by North Lincolnshire Council in cases were exceptional circumstances were deemed to apply.
A particular set of circumstances that the National Farmers’ Union believed should be deemed exceptional was one inherited from a previous council. Humberside County Council had seemingly encouraged the unofficial diversion of public rights of way in situations where the enforcement of the true line would displease the owner, lessee or occupier of the land affected. If the alleged approach by Humberside County Council had been so, the effect would also have been effectively to grant the owner, lessee or occupier in question what he or she desired in respect of the path or way without the inconvenience or cost to him or her that a formal order would have entailed.
Since local government reorganisation in April 1996, many of the so-called unofficial diversion have been eliminated. The council as highway authority, had a duty to assert and protect the public’s use and enjoyment of bona fide public rights of way. Action in respect of other routes would be ultra vires.
Unofficial diversions had been eliminated either by reinstatement of the correct line of the public right of way; or by the making of a diversion order under section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 – at the owner, lessee or occupier’s expense.
Previously, only if clear and substantial benefit to the public might also be derived from an order would North Lincolnshire Council consider paying all or part of what otherwise would be the owner, lessee or occupier’s associated costs. Accordingly, such circumstances might be described as “exceptional”.
Where there had been, in North Lincolnshire Council’s opinion, no clear and substantial benefit to the public of an order made to formalise an unofficial diversion, the administration and advertisement costs had been met by the owner, lessee or occupier in full. Consequently, a reversal of this policy now might leave such owners, lessees and occupiers feeling aggrieved.
Resolved – That the policy in relation to orders made under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 be as follows: –
(a) That “the discretion to waive the recovery of costs be exercised only in exceptional circumstances” continue as before; (b) that “exceptional circumstances” in deciding whether to waive the recovery of costs be construed as meaning that from the order will be derived what in North Lincolnshire Council’s opinion is clear and substantial benefit to the public; (c) that in cases where North Lincolnshire Council do not consider there to be clear and substantial benefit to the public, the making of an order be contingent upon the willingness of the applicant to agree in advance to defray in full the cost of making the order, the cost of advertising the making of the order, the cost of advertising the confirming of the order and the cost of advertising the coming into operation or force of the order; (d) that in cases where North Lincolnshire Council do consider there to be clear and substantial benefit to the public, the applicant’s contribution to the overall cost of the making of the order and its advertisement, including that of confirmation and its coming into operation or force, be determined in negotiation with the applicant according to the merits of the case in question as they appear to North Lincolnshire Council; (e) that in cases where the public are the only beneficiaries, North Lincolnshire Council meet all costs in full, and (f) that the concept of a Humberside County Council unofficial diversion be disregarded in future in view of the time to have elapsed since local government reorganisation in 1996.
681 (95) PUBLIC – RIGHTS – OF – WAY ENFORCEMENT POLICY – The Head of Planning and Regeneration submitted a report seeking endorsement of a Public-Rights-of-Way Enforcement Policy.
The policy, which was appended to the report, set out the purpose of enforcement, the difference between duties and powers, and the options available to the authority when problems arose.
Resolved – That the policy be approved and adopted.