Appointment to Enforcement Sub-Committee Established by a Memorandum of Understanding in Relation to the Developments at Brunswick Street and Union Street
Mr Mark Green, Director of Finance and Business Improvement, introduced his report concerning the appointment of an independent person to the Enforcement Sub-Committees established pursuant to Memorandums of Understanding to oversee the delivery and implementation of the planning mitigation required for the Council’s proposed developments at Brunswick Street and Union Street.
It was noted that:
· The Council would shortly be commencing two developments to provide a mix of affordable homes, homes for sale and homes for rent at Brunswick Street and Union Street. It was therefore landowner, developer and local planning authority in relation to these developments.
· The law allowed a local planning authority to grant planning permission to itself. On 19 December 2017, the Council’s Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for the Council’s proposed developments at Brunswick Street and Union Street subject to conditions and a legal agreement.
· In such situations where the Council was landowner, developer and the enforcing planning authority, the Council was unable to secure the required planning mitigation in the same way that it would be by a third party landowner/developer who had entered into a planning obligation with the Council pursuant to Section 106 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. Leading Counsel had advised that a solution which best fitted these circumstances was to have a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) secured pursuant to other statutory powers which reflected the protections envisaged by Section 106 and was made between the landowning function and the planning decision making function of the Council. Two such MoUs had now been drawn up for the proposed developments at Brunswick Street and Union Street respectively.
· As part of the Council’s requirements to be open, transparent and accountable each MoU proposed the establishment of an Enforcement Sub-Committee that would ensure that the planning mitigation secured by the MoU was realised.
· It was a requirement that an independent person who was neither an employee nor an elected Member of Maidstone Borough Council be appointed to sit on each Enforcement Sub-Committee. It was considered appropriate, given the remit of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee, for it to appoint the independent person.
· The Enforcement Sub-Committees would be stand-alone, created purely for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the respective MoU, resolving any disputes or differences and confirming the discharge of the planning obligations created by the MoU. They would not therefore report into any other Committee and would not form part of the wider Maidstone Borough Council committee structure.
1. That the requirement to appoint an independent person to the Enforcement Sub-Committees established pursuant to Memorandums of Understanding to oversee the delivery and implementation of the planning mitigation required for the Council’s proposed developments at Brunswick Street and Union Street be noted.
2. That Councillor Peter Coulling, Parish Council representative on the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee, be appointed to serve as the Independent Person on the Enforcement Sub-Committees.
3. That, in the event of any conflict of interest in the roles becoming apparent, the Director of Finance and Business Improvement be given delegated powers to implement the process for making an alternative appointment.
Note: Councillor Coulling left the meeting whilst the appointment was discussed.
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