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5.30 P.M. – 6.45 P.M. VIA MS TEAMS



Members                                                  Officers

Councillor English (Chairman)                   Democratic Services Officer

Councillor Garten                                     Director of Finance, Resources and Business    

Councillor Jeffery                                     Improvement


Reserve Member

Councillor Springett






1. Apologies

There were no apologies. 

2. Substitute Members

Councillor Springett was present as Substitute Member.

3. Review of Evidence


The group reviewed the draft report circulated, and made the following amendments to strengthen the recommendations included:

·         To change ‘improvement’ to ‘improve’ within the review’s aim in the Introduction and Rationale Section


·         To make reference to the £100,000 in funding required for the proposed feasibility studies (recommendation 1)


Following advice from the Director of Finance, Resources and Business Improvement of the funding required.


·         To change ‘open spaces available to improve biodiversity’ to ‘open spaces in the Borough that enhance wetland biodiversity, flood storage and surface water infiltration’ (recommendation 2)


·         To change ‘multiple improvements’ to ‘holistic improvements’ (recommendation 4)


·         To change ‘water usage across development and in homes’ to ‘water usage reductions across development sites and within homes, such as water saving technologies’ (recommendation 5)


·         To add an additional recommendation (to become recommendation 7)


o   ‘That the policies informing the D&S DPD would be usefully informed if Kent Flood Risk Maps were made available to the Planning and Policy sectors in developing policy documents’


As it was felt that the maps could help shape Council policy.


·         To add the word ‘policy’ to recommendation 8


·         To add the word ‘saving’ to recommendation 11d.


·         To add an additional recommendation (to become recommendation 12)


o   ‘That when developments come forward in the town centre and adjoining areas, obstacles should either be removed or alleviated, to remove unnecessary restrictions on water courses which reduce the flow rate, nutrient enrichment and wildlife corridors’


·         To change ‘flooding hotspots’ to ‘highway and surface water flooding hotspots’ (recommendation 14)


·         To change ‘ability to register with the relevant providers’ to ‘ability to register as ‘priority customers’ with the relevant water utilities’ (recommendation 15)


·         To add ‘supported and’ to recommendation 18.


·         To add an additional recommendation (to become recommendation 19)


o   ‘That any development and/or improvement schemes to the Former Royal Mail Sorting Office demonstrate innovative and efficient water usage mechanisms, be noted’


·         To add an additional two recommendations (to become recommendations 21c and 21d)


o   ‘Investigation of the potential for creation of a new reedbed/wetland at Harrietsham Water Treatment Works to reduce ingress of Phosphates and Nitrates into the River Len’; and


o   Reconsidering the emergency proposal to increase abstraction rates, for example at Hockers Lane Detling and other sites within the borough, to mitigate likely resultant harm to downstream wetlands and to water courses. Where this does take place, monitoring the abstraction increase to take place to ensure the effects are properly understand and can be mitigated if necessary’.


·         To add an additional recommendation (to become recommendation 22)


o   ‘That a second phase review be commenced in the 2023/24 Municipal Year’.


To formally reflect the group’s wish to carry out a second phase review.


·         To make reference to farmland run-off, riparian rights and the receipt of information from National Highways and the Environment Agency as part of the second phase review.


The Democratic Services Officer would amend and then re-circulate the report by the end of day Thursday 30 March 2023, for the group to approve the report ahead of publication on Monday 3 April 2023.

The Chairman stated that any comments not received by that time would have to be provided at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting scheduled for 13 April 2023.

5. Summary of Agreed Actions

Actions: That

1.   The Democratic Services Officer amend the report in accordance with the below recommendations;


2.   The (draft) report of the Water Management Cycle working group be amended in line with the changes outlined in section 3 of the minutes.

6. Duration of Meeting

5.30 p.m. to 6.15 p.m.