Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Executive held on 01/11/2006
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE – 1ST NOVEMBER 2006
SUBMITTED TO THE SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING – 7TH NOVEMBER 2006
(To be read in conjunction with the Agenda for the Meeting)
Miss G B W Ferguson (Chairman)
Mr C H Mansell
Mrs C E Savage (Vice-Chairman)
Mr K T Reed
Mr S D Edge
Mr J E Robini
Mr B Grainger-Jones
Mr V K Scrivens
Mr P Haveron
The following members were also present:-
Mr M H W Band, Mr P Betlem, Mr M W Byham, Mr M A Clark, Mrs C Cokburn, Mr B A Ellis, Mrs P Ellis, Mrs P M Frost, Mr R J Gates, Mr P D Harmer, Mr D C Inman, Mr P B Isherwood, Mrs S R Jacobs, Mrs D M James, Mr J C S Mackie, Mrs A E Mansell, Mrs P N Mitchell,
Mr J M Savage, Mrs J A Slyfield, Mr A E B Taylor-Smith and Mr K Webster
DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
(Agenda Item 2)
Mr V K Scrivens declared a personal interest as a Farnham Town Council representative on the Farnham Swimming Baths Trust.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
(Agenda Item 3)
In accordance with Procedure Rule 10, Mr J Hyman asked the following question:-
“Council Leader. At July 18th Council, the previous Council Leader made it absolutely clear that the option of removing the Bowling Green was not available to competing developers. Nor were competing developers given the option of placing a large and profitable block of luxury flats on the Riverbank, outside the 'area of opportunity' of the Development Brief Site Plan.
Both the Development Brief and the 2003 Conditional Contract made it clear that an Outline Planning Application would not satisfy that Contract, yet Officers have accepted such. The Appendix C to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee agenda for 11.03.03 makes it clear that to competing developers, the longstop date would be non-negotiable, i.e. it would indeed be a longstop date. It is clear that competing developers have considerable grounds for grievance, but my question is:
Why do CNS receive this exceptional treatment?”
The Executive Portfolio Holder for East Street replied as follows:-
“Thank you for your question. I am always concerned that my responses come over negatively, the reason usually being that many of your questions include errors of fact and I need to get the subject back on track. The Development Brief was not, at that stage, 100% explicit about the required items, including the Bowling Green. It was the Council’s decision to include both the Bowling Green and all the other required items in the contract. It was not within the Council Leader’s discretion to include the Bowling Green.
Neither the Development Brief, nor the Conditional Contract, make it clear that an outline planning permission is inadequate; indeed, we have taken legal advice that the grant of an outline consent is sufficient to fulfil the planning condition. Secondly, the large block of flats you refer to, which I assume to be Block D5, is within the area of opportunity, not outside it.
I think it is unreasonable to suggest that CNS have been given exceptional treatment; it is perfectly normal for changes to be negotiated with a selected development partner during the evolution of such a large scheme.”
PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL
EAST STREET REGENERATION, FARNHAM
(Agenda Item 4; Appendix A)
[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]
143.1 The Chairman welcomed all Members and explained that they would have the opportunity to ask questions of officers and Leading Counsel.
143.2 The Managing Director introduced Timothy Mould QC who had been invited to attend the meeting and answer any questions members had on his written advice, circulated as (Exempt) Annexe 5 to the report at Appendix A. Tabled at the meeting was an addition to (Exempt) Annexe 5 setting out the instructions to Counsel. Members present were given time to read this information before the debate commenced. This document is now attached to these Minutes as
(Exempt) Annexe A
143.3 At 7.19 p.m. it was
RESOLVED that, pursuant to Procedure Rule 20, and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded during the meeting during consideration of the following item on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in the following paragraphs of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-
Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) (Paragraph 3); and
Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings (Paragraph 5).
143.4 During the exempt session, a question and answer session was undertaken with Timothy Mould QC on his advice.
[At 9.13 p.m. the meeting was adjourned to allow members a short break. The meeting reconvened (in exempt session) at 9.26 p.m.]
143.5 At 9.36 p.m. the meeting resumed in open session. The Executive reported that it had considered the officer report carefully, along with the Leading Counsel’s advice on the background and history of the conditional contract. It accepted that officers had worked hard to negotiate improved terms with CNS and the Executive recognised that these gave Waverley improved security and financial terms. The Executive wished to reinforce the Council’s commitment to progressing the East Street project and accordingly
88. the Council recognises that the negotiated terms are a considerable improvement, but that Council should not agree to the length of extension to the longstop date requested by CNS;
89. a lesser period of extension and other terms as set out in the (Exempt) Annexe to the report be agreed as an incentive to progress the scheme quickly;
90. the Council re-affirms its commitment to the scheme and encourages CNS to work as quickly as possible to make a start to regenerating this area of Farnham Town Centre;
91. the Managing Director and Director of Planning and Development, in consultation with the Solicitor to the Council, be authorised to prepare any necessary documents to implement the Council’s decision on the revised terms set out in the (Exempt) Annexe; and
92. the recommendations set out in the
(Exempt) Annexe B
to these minutes be endorsed.
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
PARTS II AND III - MATTERS OF REPORT
The background papers relating to the following items in Parts II and III are as specified in the agenda for the meeting of the Executive.
Part II – Matters Reported in Detail for the Information of the Council
Part III – Brief Summaries of Other Matters Dealt With
There were no matters falling within these categories.
The meeting commenced at 7.00 p.m. and concluded at 9.46 p.m.