Agenda item

Pre-decision scrutiny


The Committee scrutinised the following Cabinet Board items:


Neath Port Talbot Local Development Plan (LDP) – consideration of: the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the third LDP Annual Monitoring Report (AMR)


Members received an overview of the circulated report.


Officers explained that the Council was required to prepare an Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) to be submitted to Welsh Government by 31 October.  The report provided the basis for monitoring the effectiveness of the Local Development Plan (LDP).


Officers stated that information on the review of the LDP would be available at an all Members Seminar on 28 November, Members were urged to attend the event.


Discussions took place regarding delivery of housing at Coed Darcy.  Officers explained there had been challenges with the development, but negotiations are continuing and would continue as part of a review.


It was highlighted that the LDP contained an economic-led strategy, and that certain areas of economic activity had improved, and progress had been made towards achieving the economic-led strategy.


In response to Members queries officers emphasised that it was important for Members, local businesses and developers to support and be involved in the LDP review process.  It was highlighted that landowners and all other interested parties will have the opportunity to put forward sites to be considered for inclusion in the Replacement Plan.


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


Welsh Government Consultation:  National Development Framework 2020-2040 - Consultation Draft


The Committee received information on the Welsh Government Consultation on the draft National Development Framework (NDF).


Members were pleased that the towns of Neath and Port Talbot had been identified as part of an area of national growth. 


It was noted that the NDF policy framework requires a Strategic Development Plan (SDP) to come forward from each region, the implication being that informal regional arrangements or commitments to work collaboratively will no longer constitute the form of regional planning required by the NDF. 


Officers explained that work on the SDP will now need to gather pace and will build upon the collaborative work already completed and underway. Officers also highlighted that given the fact that the current adopted LDP will expire in 2026, the review of the LDP will be progressed in parallel with the emerging SDP. Although the SDP will not have any weight until it is formerly adopted, the review of the LDP will need to ensure that the document will align with the emerging regional framework.


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


Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council – 2019 Air Quality Progress Report


Members received an overview of the 2019 Air Quality Progress report.


A discussion took place on the location of the Air Quality Management Area at Taibach/Margam, officers explained that this was the most suitable place and would continue to remain in force. 


Officers explained that the Council works with Tata, Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government in a joint working group, in order to manage air quality.


In response to concerns raised with regard to the limited number of Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) Officers explained that AQMAs are declared when air quality is close to or above an acceptable level of pollution, therefore it is good news that we have just one AQMA.


Officers went onto explain that air quality in the county borough is improving and that we have no issues of serious concern.  We do continue to monitor PM10s and they continue to decline.  Measurements at Port Talbot Fire station have decreased and continue to easily comply with air quality objectives.


It was highlighted that there are various stations for various pollutants throughout the county borough.  It was explained that previously stations that were no longer recording air quality problems had been withdrawn as they were no longer problem at these area.  It was highlighted that a report had been taken to a previous Committee with recommendations to close the stations, these had been agreed by Members.


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


Wales Audit Report – Environmental Health


Councillor S.Rhaman made a declaration of interest and left the room before the commencement of this item.


Members received information on the Wales Audit Office’s (WAO) findings from their follow-up work based on the national report “Delivering with less – the impact on Environmental Health Services and Citizens”.


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