Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone. View directions
Contact: Tessa Mallett 01622 602524
The Committee to consider whether all items on the agenda should be webcast
RESOLVED: that all items on the agenda be webcast.
Apologies were received from:
· Councillor Ross
· Councillor de Wiggondene
· Councillor Chittenden
· Councillor Willis
Councillor English was absent.
Notification of Substitute Members
· Councillor Ash substituted for Councillor de Wiggondene;
· Councillor Collins substituted for Councillor Ross;
· Councillor Harwood substituted for Councillor Willis;
· Councillor B Mortimer substituted for Councillor Chittenden;
· Councillor Fran Wilson substituted for Councillor English.
Notification of Visiting Members
Councillors Blackmore, Burton and Newton were in attendance as witnesses for item 7.
Councillors: Grigg, Mckay, Derek Moritmer, Perry, Ring and John Wilson were in attendance reserving their right to address the Committee.
Councillors: Greer and Sargeant were in attendance as observers.
Disclosures by Members and Officers
Councillor Burton declared an Other Significant Interest regarding site H1 (10) – Land South of Sutton Road, Langley, should it be discussed at the meeting.
Councillor Springett declared an Other Significant Interest regarding site H1 (17) – Barty Farm Bearsted, should it be discussed at the meeting.
To consider whether any items should be taken in private because of the possible disclosure of exempt information
RESOLVED: That the items on the agenda be taken in public as proposed.
· The Leader of the Council, Councillor Annabelle Blackmore;
· The Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Development, Councillor David Burton;
· Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development; and
· Steve Clarke, Principal Planning Officer (Policy)
(Please bring papers, report and decision, previously circulated or request copies from Democratic Services)
The Chairman welcomed the visiting public and Members to the meeting and explained the meeting had been called as a result of a Call-in of the Cabinet Decisions dated 4 February 2015.
The Chairman introduced Councillor Fran Wilson, Councillor Gordon Newton and Councillor Eddie Powell to the meeting as the three signatories of the Call-in.
Councillor Wilson presented her reasons for calling in the Cabinet Decision and explained it was not her intention to re-open the entire debate on the new and amended sites for the draft Local Plan.
Councillor Wilson went on to say her concern was a lack of consistency by Cabinet in the weight and reasons given for their decisions. She felt the Planning, Transport and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee (PTD OSC) had taken a consistent approach with their recommendations which included explanations for their recommendations.
Councillor Wilson was concerned the lack of consistency in the reasons for the Cabinet’s decisions could have made the Local Plan unsound and open to challenge. Of particular concern was the decision on site H1(10) South of Sutton Road, where Councillor Wilson suggested the PTD OSC recommend Cabinet removed point (e) of this decision as a reason to reject this site:
‘that development here would not command the consent of local people as reflected in the consultation response’
Councillor Wilson went on to point out that Cabinet had rejected the recommendation from PTD OSC on site H1(20) Postley Road, Tovil and did not give a reason for their decision. Councillor Wilson felt, for consistency, if Cabinet rejected a recommendation from the Committee they should provide a reason for doing so, as they had with other sites.
Councillor Wilson continued to explain that points (a), (b) and (c) of the decision to reject site H1(10) which state:
a) ‘in the opinion of the Cabinet the eastern boundary of site H1(5) forms a natural boundary to the edge of the urban area of Maidstone;
b) ‘there should be no further encroachment of residential development into the countryside which would result in the loss of green space and a leisure facility;
c) ‘there would be an unacceptable cumulative impact on traffic generations in the Sutton Road corridor’.
Should apply to sites H1(7) North of Bicknor Wood, Gore Court Road, Otham, H1(8) West of Church Road Otham and H1(9) Bicknor Farm, Sutton Road, Otham. She went on to state that reasons for refusal should apply to sites on the north and the south sides of the Sutton Road or the points be removed from the decision for H1(10) or a strong explanation for rejecting one site and not others provided.
Councillor Wilson then continued to explain that sites such as H1(25) Tongs Meadow, which have receptor sites, should be protected from development. She considered that an independent organisation, such as Kent Wildlife, should be involved from the design stage of any development of the site.
Councillor Newton explained his reasons for Calling-in the Cabinet decision from ... view the full minutes text for item 160.
17:00hrs to 21:07hrs