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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 04/07/2005
Appendix



WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – 4TH JULY 2005
EXECUTIVE – 12TH JULY 2005


CONSIDERATION BY THE MODERNISING PLANNING SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP – 29TH JUNE 2005



1. The Modernising Planning Special Interest Group (SIG) considered the following reports at its meeting on 29th June 2005:- 2. These reports have been distributed to all Members of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their consideration [Appendices B-E of the agenda for the Special Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 4th July 2005].

3. The areas for consideration by the SIG were:-

The proposed modernisation of the Area Sub-Committee System;
The resource options in managing the case load issues within the Planning Department; and
The Proposed allocation of the Planning Delivery Grant.

4. The considerations of these reports by the Modernising Planning Special Interest Group and their conclusions in light of these are set out below: -

A PROPOSAL FOR MODERNISING THE AREA SUB-COMMITTEE SYSTEM

5. The Modernising Planning Special Interest Group agreed in principle, that the current Development Control Committee and its four Area Sub-Committees be discontinued in favour of a Development Control Committee with Development Management Sub-Committee 1 and Development Management Sub-Committee 2 system as proposed in the report (The scheme agreed in principle by the SIG is set out in the diagram below). It was agreed that if an application is of major significance then this could be referred to the new Development Control Committee which would be made up of Members of the two Sub-Committees. The Solicitor to the Council advised that the delegation scheme should have a hierarchy and two Committees at the same level were unable to refer decisions to each other. Detailed terms of reference would be considered at a later stage.

Development Control Committee
40 members
(made up of Members of Development Management Sub-Committee 1 and 2)



Development Management Sub-Committee 1 Development Management Sub-Committee 2
(replacing Area Sub-Committees) (replacing Area Sub-Committees)
20 Members 20 Members


6. The SIG agreed that membership of the Development Management Sub-Committees should be around twenty, although some Members did express concern that this could be ‘unwieldy’. The SIG confirmed the importance of ‘local representation’ that existed under the existing scheme of Area Sub-Committees. It was therefore agreed that membership of each Committee should be representative and be taken from the four areas currently covered by the four Area Sub-Committees (for example this could be five members from each area). It was agreed that there should be a meeting of one of the Sub-Commitees every three weeks (alternately) with each Sub-Committee meeting once in each six week period.

7. It was agreed that the Development Management Committee could have a membership of 40 members, which would allow a significant number of Members to be involved in the process (including those with the greatest interest in planning). Members agreed that the ability to refer applications to Council should be removed.

8. The SIG agreed that details of the proposal needed further consideration and clarification and that this be considered at future meetings. The SIG agreed in particular that the issue of site visits and how and when these should be arranged needed to be looked at further. Members did emphasise that presentations at Committee needed improving which would reduce the need for site visits. Members agreed that further planning meetings under the new scheme should be held in the Council Offices in Godalming where better facilities were available.

resource options in managing the case load issues

9. Members of the Modernising Planning Special Interest Group agreed that the resource options to manage the case load issues within the Planning Department needed to be looked at further and it was agreed that this would be considered at future meetings.




PROPOSED ALLOCATION OF THE PLANNING DELIVERY GRANT


10. A proposed allocation of the Planning Delivery Grant (PDG) monies was approved by the Executive at its meeting on 7th February 2005. This has since been refined. The SIG agreed to the current ‘refined’ allocation of PDG as set in the report which is also detailed below:-



PDG Revenue Proposed PDG Capital Proposed
Enforcement Team
78,865
Capital Costs of new staff (PCs etc)
23,500
Development Control Staffing
37,553
Positional Accuracy Work- mapping
6,000
Planning Enquiry Team
56,982
Premises/alteration/furniture etc
48,000
Policy Staff - LDF & Urban
Designer
59,524
Equipment and services for Image
Processing
14,000
Consultant-Performance Improvement
25,645
Software - omplaints/enforcement
3,000
High Hedges legislation
10,000
Web site
4,000
Section 106 work
10,000
TPO equipment and services
5,500
Other Staffing Costs (recruitment
etc)
11,390
Section 106 consultants
15,000
Total Revenue
289,959
Total Capital
119,000
PDG Allocation
Unallocated Resource
360,300
70,340
PDG Allocation
Unallocated Resource
120,000
1,000


11. The SIG agreed with the recommendation that the remaining sum of 70,340 which remains unallocated, be used for a Compliance Officer (26,800) and Local Development Framework Officer (19,909), which were identified by the Executive as necessary, but were reliant on further PDG funding. The SIG agreed with the proposal that the remaining sum of 23,631 be used towards relieving the case load pressures, particularly in relation to a number of major applications that are expected in the next few months.

Comms/executive/05-06/070