Venue: Committee Rooms A/B - Neath Civic Centre. View directions
To receive any declarations of interest from Members
The following Members made Declarations of Interest at the commencement of the meeting:
Cllr. Leanne Jones – The report of the Head of Planning and Public Protection on Environmental Health and Trading Standards Business Advice, because family members are employed in the Environmental Health and Trading Standards section.
Cllr. Saifur Rahaman - The report of the Head of Planning and Public Protection on Environmental Health and Trading Standards Business Advice, and the report of the Head of Property and Regeneration on Aberavon Seafront Regeneration Update, because family members run a catering business on the Aberavon Seafront.
Cllr. Rachel Taylor – The report of the Head of Property and Regeneration on the Property Performance Report, because she is a trustee of Taibach Library.
Pursey – The report of the Head of Property and Regeneration
on the Property Performance Report, because he is a trustee of
Taibach Library and a member of the
Plaza Community Group.
Members noted the minutes from the previous meeting.
Members noted the scrutiny forward programme for 2017/18.
To select appropriate items from the Cabinet Board Agenda for pre-scrutiny (Cabinet Board reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members).
The Committee chose to scrutinise the following items:
4.1 2 x Supplementary Planning Guidance
Committee received information in relation to the 2 x Supplementary
Planning Guidance (SPG) as contained within the circulated
Members raised concerns that the Compensation Scheme set out in the Biodiversity and Geodiversity SPG made the planning process potentially more bureaucratic and less democratic, limiting the input from local Members and communities. Officers informed Members that the purpose of the Local Development Plan (LDP) policy was to protect important habitats, species and sites of geological interest from the adverse impacts of developments. Officers explained that where harm was unavoidable, effective on-site mitigation measures would be required and only as a last resort, where mitigation was not possible, would off-site compensation be considered. Officers stated that given it was difficult for some developers to find additional land for off-site compensation and that many developers would rather pay the Council for compensation to be addressed, the scheme sought to set out the steps that the Council can take to provide a workable compensation service.
Members queried whether there was a comprehensive list of ‘Sites of Interest for Nature Conservation’ (SINCs) in the county borough. Officers stated that the process of identifying SINCs was ongoing. Officers added that the areas which were likely to generate interest from developers had already been looked at, but the more remote areas were still being assessed.
Members queried whether designated sites (e.g. Sites of Special Scientific Interest) would remain protected under the SPGs. Officers stated that designated sites of European and national importance are already protected by legislation and national policy, whereas the LDP policy and SPGs related more to protecting sites of local interest.
Members queried the extent of the ‘undeveloped coast’ designation set out in the Landscape and Seascape SPG, as it appeared to include an area of the former BP site. Officers confirmed that this was a drafting error and that the LDP designation did not include land that was formerly part of the BP site. The error would be addressed prior to consultation. Members questioned if it was possible to extend the undeveloped coast designation. Officers stated that whilst it was not possible at this stage, all policies would be reconsidered when the review of the LDP commences in 2020.
Members referred to the ‘green wedge’ designations and queried whether they would still be subject to the same protection once the current LDP had expired. Officers stated that the relevance and extent of the green wedge designations would be considered in all future reviews of the LDP which would take place every four years.
Following scrutiny the Committee were supportive of the proposals to be considered at Cabinet Board.
The Committee received information in relation to the Environmental Health and Trading Standards Business Advice as contained within the circulated report.
Members queried how much income would the charge for business advice be likely ... view the full minutes text for item 4.