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Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 14/03/2006
SCOPING REPORT – SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL’S HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT INPUT INTO DEVELOPMENT CONTROL DECISIONS



Summary & Purpose
At a meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee in May 2005 it was agreed than an in-depth review be carried out to review the input from Surrey County Council Highways Department into WBC Development Control decisions. The purpose of this report is to establish the perameters of such a review and to propose that it be conducted along the lines of a select committee investigation.

APPENDIX C
Waverley Borough Council

Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee
14th March 2006
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Title:
SCOPING REPORT – SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL’S HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT INPUT INTO DEVELOPMENT CONTROL DECISIONS

[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and purpose:

At a meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee in May 2005 it was agreed than an in-depth review be carried out to review the input from Surrey County Council Highways Department into WBC Development Control decisions. The purpose of this report is to establish the perameters of such a review and to propose that it be conducted along the lines of a select committee investigation.

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Environmental implications:

Part of the review will consider how Surrey County Council’s policy and processes impact on environmental issues within Waverley.

Social / community implications:

The review will examine the social and community implications of Surrey’s Highway and Transportation Policy.

E-Government implications:

Part of the review will be to consider any E-Government implications from Surrey Highways input into Waverley’s planning processes.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct resource and legal implications associated with this report other than the officer time involved in the review. The cost and any legal implications that emerge from the review will be included as part of the final report.

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Background

1. The decision of the Committee to review Surrey County Council Highways Department’s input into Development Control decisions reflects the importance that members place on highways issues that can affect residents of Waverley. Members were concerned to understand the basis of highway and transportation advice in the planning system, and to review whether improvements might be made to reflect the interests of Waverley residents and businesses.

Scope of the Review

2. It is proposed that the review of the highways advice service should examine and focus on addressing the following key questions:
I. What are Surrey’s current policy and procedures on highways issues?
II. What are the processes that Surrey County Council go through when interpreting their policy against development proposals?
III. How do Surrey’s policy and procedures affect decisions made within Waverley?
IV. How do Surrey’s policy and procedures affect recommendations made by officer’s in Waverley’s Planning Department?
V. What are members’ views on the Highways involvement in planning processes?
VI. What input does Waverley have to Surrey County Council’s highways policy?
VII. What is the scope of highway advice on planning applications?
VIII. What is the scope of current and future services from the County Council in respect of highway and transportation advice?

The Review Process

3. It is suggested that the review be conducted along the lines of a select committee investigation. This sort of investigation would see a process and outline timetable as follows:

May/June 2006

i) Officers to gather information from Surrey County Council to establish the considerations that Surrey’s officers use with regard to highways and transportation within Waverley.
ii) Officers to identify any specific issues within Waverley that are influenced by Surrey’s policy – particularly in the Planning and Environment and Leisure Departments.

July 2006

iii) Oral Hearing to which District Officers from Surrey’s Highways Department are invited to attend.

August/September 2006

iv) Consideration of the Committee’s Draft Report

October 2006

v) Publication of the Final Report

Resources

4. The resources necessary to undertake this review will be provided from within existing budgets. Most of the support work will be undertaken by the two Overview & Scrutiny Officers within the time allocated to Overview & Scrutiny work and other officers of the authority will prepare their evidence to the Committee within existing workloads.

Recommendation

5. It is recommended that:
1. the Committee consider the scope of the in-depth review into Surrey’s highways policy and processes and agree the key questions to be addressed by the review, and;
2. the review be conducted in accordance with the process and outline timetable set out above.

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Background Papers

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Peter Driscoll Telephone: 01483 523477

E-mail: pdriscoll@waverley.gov.uk

O&S3/05-06/079