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Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Jones.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 17th January 2024 were approved and signed as a correct record.
(Moved by Councillor B Clarke and seconded by Councillor L Smith)
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
There were no Declarations of Interest.
Update from the Chair
There was none.
Responses to Reports of the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Committee
Update on responses received to Reports of the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Committee:
The Chair update the Committee that they attended Cabinet on the 1st February 2024 to present the recommendation made by the Committee on the 17th January, around ending plastic pollution, to look at the feasibility of a trial to strategically site some dual use bins around the town with ongoing communications to explain and encourage the correct use This was approved. It was be diarised on the workplan to get an update on this.
They also attended Cabinet to share the three recommendations made by the Committee around the Future High Street Fund Project, after consideration of the recommendations it was agreed that a written response would be provided. Once this is received it would be shared with Members. It has been agreed that the Chair can attend the Board Meetings as a non-voting Member.
Consideration of Matters referred to the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Committee from Cabinet or Council
There were none.
(Report of the Assistant Director Assets – Written update)
The Chair introduced the report of the Assistant Director, Assets to provide an update on the Council’s approach to fire safety across its assets. The Assistant Director was unable to attend but the Committee were asked if there any questions that they would like taking away for the Officers. The Chair had a question around the legal/risk implications but would contact the Officer about this.
(Report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning)
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio holder for Housing and Planning, Councillor S Smith, the Planning Policy and Delivery Team Leader, Richard Powell and the Planning Policy and Delivery Officer Laura Massey. The Portfolio Holder introduced the report to seek Committee endorsement of the recommendations to be made to Cabinet for approval for the revised approach to the delivery of a new local plan for Tamworth resulting from Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, and for the publication of associated documents and highlighted the following before handing over to the Officers –
Ø The new system referred to in the report relates to the new rules in place for the local plan which is part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill
Ø The current local plan was adopted in 2016 and covers the period up to March 2031.
Ø In 2018 the Government introduced legislation which requires all local plans to be reviewed every 5 years.
Ø In 2020 Tamworth Borough Council took a review of their local plan and determined that a new local plan was required.
Ø The current timelines stands as - the ‘issues and options’ consultation was undertaken about a year ago. The ‘preferred options’ consultation would be due at the beginning of this year which will be discussed as part of the options.
Ø The submission date for the draft local plan is currently at the end of 2025.
Ø The current transitional arrangements however require the submission to be by June 2025 with the plan being adopted by the end of December of 2026 so our current timeline, means our plan would be submitted after the submission deadline.
The Planning Policy Team Leader summarised the five option that were Identified in the plan noting that option 4, to update the existing plan now and do a new plan under the new system later, was the preferred option of the local Plan Working Group.
Upon further investigation Officers believed that this would require a similar amount of work as creating a new plan, and the updated plan would only have approximately six years left (National Policy states that new local plans should have at least 15 years to run at the point of adoption) and therefore that this was not the best option.
Option 5 was now considered the best option. This option was to get a new plan in place under the current arrangements by condensing the timetable by omitting a non-statutory stage of the process to submit the plan by the June 2025 deadline. Legal advice had been sought and this is not unlawful, however there was a small risk of challenge from the plan not being ‘positively prepared’ but that this unlikely. The Planning Inspectorate also advised that omitting the step would not be an issue as long as the Council is clear that they are not including this stage. It was highlighted that there was a possibility of the Government pushing back deadlines which may give them time for further ... view the full minutes text for item 81.
(Discussion item – link to Forward Plan is attached)
There were no new items identified.
Working Group Updates
To receive updates from any Working Groups
Migrant Travelling Community.
There was no update to share however the Chair congratulated Officers on how recent travellers within Tamworth had been dealt with
Facilities for HGV
(Update and discussion on the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Scrutiny Work Plan)
The Chair confirmed that the next meeting was on the 21st March 2024 and advised the Committee that it was proposed that the next update of the Future High Street Fund be removed from the agenda as it was being considered by all Members at Full Council on the 27th February. The Committee agreed.
The chair confirmed that they were expecting a Community Safety Partnership update, a CCTV update and the Dual Stream recycling Service Update.
It was highlighted to the Committee that the scoping form for the Bulky Waste item had been shared and that any comments could be emailed to add to the form with a view to this being added to the workplan.
It was requested that the Committee look at whether they could add any item to the workplan around Potholes and tress in the Borough and that representatives from County be invited on these issues. The Chair highlighted that Corporate Scrutiny had requested an update from Officers within the Council on trees within the Borough and that these could possibly be looked at together. It was agreed that a scoping document would be circulated for these items for more information before Officers were invited.