MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee
Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 10 November 2015
Councillor Burton (Chairman), and Councillors Chittenden, English, Mrs Gooch, D Mortimer, Paine, Paterson, Mrs Ring and Springett
Councillors Perry and Sargeant
127. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors:
· Mrs Grigg
· Mrs F Wilson
· de Wiggondene
Councillor Springett arrived at 6:39pm.
128. Notification of Substitute Members
The following substitute members were noted:
· Councillor Chittenden for Councillor F Wilson
· Councillor Paterson for Councillor Grigg
· Councillor Ring for Councillor de Wiggondene
129. Notification of Visiting Members
The following Visiting Members were in attendance reserving their right to speak:
· Councillor Perry – on item 17
· Councillor Sargeant
130. Disclosures by Members and Officers
There were no disclosures by Members of Officer.
131. Disclosures of Lobbying
It was noted that all Committee Members had been lobbied on item 17, Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan.
It was also noted all Committee Members, with the exception of Councillor Gooch, had been lobbied on item 15 – Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders – point 5.24 – The Mallows.
132. Exempt items
RESOLVED: That the items on the agenda be taken in public as proposed.
133. Minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2015
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2015 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
A point of order was raised with regard to whether or not a member of the public or external bodies were allowed to speak at Service Committee meetings and whether it was a matter for the Chairman’s discretion.
RESOLVED: That the Strategic Planning and Sustainable Transport Committee make reference to the Democracy Committee to clarify the position on members of the public or external bodies speaking at Service Committee meetings and whether or not the decision to allow this was at the discretion of the Chairman.
134. Urgent Items
There were no Urgent Items.
135. Presentation of Petitions (if any)
There were no petitions.
136. Questions and answer session for members of the public
Mr Trevor Puckett, a Maidstone resident, asked the following question of the Chairman regarding the recommendation of the Joint Transport Board to refuse the installation of limited parking restrictions along part of ‘The Mallows’, Maidstone, under item 15, Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders, paragraph 5.24:
“I note that the agenda for the Strategic, Planning Sustainability and Transportation Committee item 15 is recommending refusal of the proposal to install limited parking restrictions along part of ‘The Mallows’. The reason that the parking restrictions are necessary is that the tops of the gully gratings at the bottom of 400m of Highway, forming part of Moncktons Lane and The Mallows, are regularly blocked by silt and leaves and need regular cleaning. Unfortunately these cannot be cleaned on a regular basis when the streets are mechanically cleaned as they are obstructed by cars during the day time preventing access by machine and by hand. As a result we suffer regular flooding the last occurring last Tuesday 4th October. The proposals for parking restrictions as detailed in the papers will be the simplest resolution of the problem, but if not agreed what urgent action will the chairman take to ensure that this serious on-going problem is resolved by Maidstone Borough Council as quickly as possible?”
The Chairman responded as follows:
“I understand why inadequate clearing of the drains is causing difficulty for local residents, and Members have all received your email and photographs, and some of us have been to have a look. However, I am sure that you will appreciate that parking restrictions should only be considered as a last resort due to the wider negative effect on residents and their visitors and only then to manage vehicle and pedestrian highway safety and/or levels of parking availability. The views of local residents were considered as part of the formal consultation process which identified a significant level of objection to the proposals to introduce parking controls. This led to the recommendation to the Joint Transportation Board on 14 October 2015 to not proceed with the proposal as there remained substantial objections to the scheme. Also, I am aware the next planned deep cleansing of this particular area is on 1 December 2015 and I am also aware that the cleansing officers are actually making a further investigation to see what measures can be taken to address the fundamental problem that you raise via that route.”
Mr Puckett asked the following supplementary question:
“Do we have a further timetable for this yet?”
Councillor Burton responded as follows:
“I do not have the timetable for that to hand, during the debate we probably will have and you may hear some more information. I believe that the investigation is probably underway already, but I am not in a position to absolutely confirm that. Thank you for your question”
a) That the Committee note the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report to Council 2014/15.
b) That a report on Active Frontages with a recommendation on revised policy wording for Active Frontages be presented to the Committee at their meeting of 14 December 2015 when the Regulation 18 Consultation results are presented.
c) That Councillor Paine be confirmed as the Committee’s approved representative, to be co-opted onto any of the Task and Finish groups when required for specific tasks relating to the Strategic.
138. Committee Work Programme for noting
RESOLVED: That the Committee’s work programme be noted.
139. Medium Term Financial Strategy 2016-17 Onwards
The Committee discussed the proposals for savings and growth pressures considered at an informal briefing session held on 15 October with representatives of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee which had been recommended in the report for inclusion in the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2016-17 onwards.
The Committee agreed that the saving proposals for the medium term financial strategy 2016-2017 onwards set out in Appendix A of the report be included in the report to Policy and Resources Committee for consideration at its meeting on 16 December 2015.
Voting: For – 9
140. Second Quarter Budget Monitoring 2015-16
The Committee noted the details of the Second Quarter Budget Monitoring 2015-16 report set out in Appendix A of the report.
141. Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders
The Committee considered the recommendations of the Joint Transportation Board in relation to Waiting Restrictions Variation No 30 and Designated Parking Places Variation No 11.
It was agreed, for clarity, the paragraph:
“Joint Transportation Board Recommendation: To recommend to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee to proceed with the proposal.”
Should be entered after paragraph 5.19 of the report at the end of the section titled “Orders not receiving objections to Waiting restrictions variation No 30 and Designated Parking Places Variation No 11.”
It was requested that a report be presented to the Committee at a later date investigating the introduction of restrictions on the western side of Farley Lane from Tonbridge Road to Glebe Lane to alleviate some of the problems with bus routes being restricted by cars parking inappropriately.
1. The Committee agreed the Joint Transportation Board’s recommendations, in relation to Waiting Restrictions Variation No 30 and Designated Parking Places Variation No 11 and agree to make the Orders, where recommended, save for the restriction at The Mallows, Maidstone (paragraph 5.24 of the report).
Voting: For – 9
2. The Committee agreed the Joint Transportation Board’s recommendation in relation to The Mallows. However, should a solution via Maidstone Borough Council’s and Kent County Council’s Street Cleansing Services not be found, proposals for parking restrictions are to be returned to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee for further consideration.
Voting: For – 8 Against – 0 Abstentions – 1
3. The Committee agreed to recommend to Kent County Council as the Highway Authority that the various Orders be sealed as agreed.
Voting: For – 9
4. That a referral be made to the Joint Transport Board requesting that a recommendation be made to Kent County Council Highways authority investigating the introduction of restrictions on the western side of Farley Lane from Tonbridge Road to Glebe Lane to alleviate some of the problems with bus routes being restricted by cars parking inappropriately.
142. Maidstone Joint Transport Board - verbal update
Councillor Burton provided the Committee with a verbal update from the Joint Transport Board.
The Board’s support had been given to Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Officers to work jointly to provide a report with further detail on the results of the VISUM modelling on DS4, which would give consideration to transport mitigation measures to support development. This should include consultation with bus and rail operators alongside methods to increase multi occupancy car use and the phasing of new developments.
The Board would reconvene on 7 December 2015 to consider the report.
143. Staplehurst Neighbourhood Development Plan
The Committee considered Maidstone Borough Council’s formal response to the Consultation on the draft Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan in accordance with regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012, which would be passed on to the independent Examiner at the next stage of the Neighbourhood Planning process.
The Committee heard that Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) was required to let the examiner know where the draft Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan was different to the adopted MBC Local Plan policies. The draft Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan was mostly compatible with the MBC policies or silent. Where the plan was not in conformity with these policies the specific areas were outlined in the proposed representations in the report.
The Committee discussed that the supporting text for some of the policies in the draft Neighbourhood Plan were not in conformity with the MBC policies and did not reflect the text of the policy in the draft Neighbourhood Plan. The recommended representations reflected this. It was agreed it was the role of Staplehurst Parish Council to make comment to the examiner on the representations made by MBC.
The Committee agreed that an informative would be added to the representations noting that MBC Local Plan policy ED2 was inter-related with policy H6 of the draft Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan and should not be read in isolation of each other.
1. The Committee approved the formal representations on the Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan (July 2015) according to Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012 as set out in the report.
Voting: For – 7 Against – 0 Abstentions – 2
2. The Committee agreed that an informative be added to the representations set out in the report explaining that during its deliberations of its representations to the Examiner on the Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan, the Strategic Planning Sustainability & Transport Committee noted that Local Plan Policy ED2 (Retention of Employment Sites) and Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan Policy H6 (Land for Employment and Housing) were inter-related and should not be read in insolation of each other.
144. Local Development Scheme 2014-2017
The Committee considered the revision of Maidstone Borough Council’s Local Development Scheme 2014-2017 as set out in the report with a view to recommending that the Scheme be adopted by Council at its meeting on 9 December 2015.
The Committee agreed to recommend that the Local Development Scheme 2014-2017 be adopted by Council at its meeting on 9 December 2015, at which date it will come into effect.
Voting: For – 9
145. Duration of meeting
6:30pm to 8:20pm