Agenda item



The Committee chose to scrutinise the following items:


Cabinet Board Proposals


4.1     Neath Food and Drink Festival 2017


Members received an update on the success of the 2017 Neath Food and Drink festival.


Members queried how there was a loss of just over £3,000 and how to prevent there being a loss for future events. Officers confirmed that the reason for this loss was due to an extra supply of generators and additional barriers.


Members asked if the timing of the Neath Food and Drink Festival could be changed from September. Officers confirmed that they had previously looked at doing this and having a date earlier in the summer; however, due to there being similar events throughout the country there was no option of having a different date.


Members asked how much is spent on advertising for this event each year as it was noted that there was not as much advertising this year in comparison to previous years. Officers highlighted that due to the cost of traditional advertising it was more cost effective to use.


Following scrutiny, it was agreed that the report be noted.


4.2     Annual Planning Performance report 2016-2017


Members received information on the annual Planning Performance, as detailed within the circulated report.


Officers were asked for clarification in relation to the individual projects that are detailed on page 95 of the report. Officers highlighted that the report had been written in accordance with the format and requirements of Welsh Government. Numerous planning applications are received annually and the report would only provide a brief overview. Officers asked Member’s to speak to them directly if Members had any query or wanted specific information.


Member’s asked for clarification in relation to paragraph 1 on page 95 where it states ‘The Council acknowledge that large areas of land are identified as being at risk of flooding and whilst we are able to refuse applications immediately upon submission if they are within zone C2, we are aware that developers have in the past been able to address the concerns of NRW to ensure that future occupiers are not at risk of flooding nor will there be third party detriment.’  Officers highlighted that we have a number of constraints affecting developments, one of which is flooding. If this constraint can be addressed through the submission of an acceptable FCA then we give applicants the opportunity to do so. We have not approved any developments within a floodzone without discussing and agreeing them with NRW. 


Members asked about the TAN 15 policy and asked what contractual safeguards are put in place for any flooding in the future. Officers informed Members that the Development Advice Maps contained within TAN 15 are now the responsibility of NRW as opposed to WG. Rather than having updates every few years, they are now updated quarterly. They are therefore being kept up to date more regularly and are a more accurate refelectin of the risks in place. These updates are sent to the authority and are kept on the Councils GIS system. This information is also used to feed into the Flood Risk Management Plans that the Head of Streetcare is responsible for producing.


Members were concerned that there was no update included in the report on the Transport Hub. Officers advised that a future report would be coming to committee from the Head of Property and Regeneration which would include updates on the current projects that are taking place within the Neath Port Talbot area as a consequence of the Viable and Vibrant Places Programme. The Transport Hub would be included within this update.


Members asked whether the Authority is using the S106 agreement for Development Sites to the best of its ability. Officers confirmed that they can ask only ask for contributions for S106 to offset the impact of a development. We have secured financial contributions towards community funds in the past but this is secured outside of the planning process as they are not necessary to offset the impacts of a development.


Members asked how the Public are made aware of the ability to speak at Planning Committee. Officers confirmed that this ability is referred to on the Planning notices, on the website and are included on the front of the Planning Committee agenda.


The Chair of the Planning Committee attended the Meeting to hear the views of the Scrutiny Committee. It was noted that if there are any concerns in relation to flooding issues then to direct them to the NRW. It was highlighted that the department was under pressure and commend the work of the officers.


Members of the Committee and the Chair of the Valleys Task and Finish Group highlighted general concerns that may affect the Valleys. Officers confirmed that a significant amount of information is held by the Planning Service which was secured as part of the LDP process, which is available for use by the Task and Finish Group.


Following scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposal to be considered by the Cabinet Board



4.3     Integrated Network Map – Active Travel


Members received information following a consultation on the revised Existing Route Map and Integrated Map for Neath Port Talbot.


Members asked if there were any future development for the cycle route from Cwmllynfell to Cwmtrwch. Officers confirmed that the route from Cwmllynfell to Cwmtrwch has been identified as a priority and the Council would continue to look at the routes moving forward.


Members asked what the timescale would be. Officers confirmed that the plan was aspirational and extended over a period of 15 years although there were short, medium and long term proposals within the plan ie 5, 10 and 15 year projects.


Members queried why there was no Equality Impact Assessment included. Officers confirmed that a screening had taken place and there is no requirement to attach a Screening document.


Following scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposal to be considered by the Cabinet Board.


4.4     Local Development Plan (LDP)


Members received an update on the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the first Local Development Plan Annual Monitoring Report and the submission and publications procedures to be implemented.


Members queried the Green field sites in Pontrydyfen. Officers highlighted that the Green wedge the Member was referring to is still included in the Local Development Plan and that a Green Field is different to a Green wedge.


Members queried why certain areas of land have been removed from the Local Development Plan, when the authorities are trying to develop the Valleys. Officers highlighted that there could be a number of reasons why sites are removed eg, flooding, inability to demonstrate deliverability, ecology etc  Officers highlighted to Members to come forward if they are interested in any particular sites and we will provide them with the information available. Depending on the location of the site and the constraints involved, will depend on the likelihood of it coming forward for development at a future date 


Members asked what the likelihood is, of sites being included back in to the LDP. Officers confirmed that the Local Development Plan has only recently been agreed and unless the Annual Monitoring Reports identified that the plan was not succeeding in achieving its objectives, a review of the plan is not intended to start until 2020.


Members asked if we had met the targets for housing from the Welsh Government. Officers highlighted that the housing completions for this monitoring period were lower than the annual target; officers confirmed that the main reason that this target was not met was due to a lack of progress on Coed Darcy. It was however confirmed that we still have a housing supply of greater than five years and as such it is not a cause for concern at the moment.


The Chair of Planning attended the meeting and commended the officers for their input and work that is involved within the Local Development Plan.


Following scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposal to be considered by the Cabinet Board.