Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Housing and Planning Panel
Thursday 12th January 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Campus East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE. View directions

Contact: Gurdip Paddan 01707 357349 Email: democracy@welhat.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

69.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

To note any substitution of Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.

 

Minutes:

The following substitution of Panel Member has been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.

 

Councillor R Basch for M Cowan.

70.

APOLOGIES:

To note apologies.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Cowan.

 

71.

MINUTES:

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2016 (previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2017 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

72.

NOTIFICATION OF URGENT BUSINESS TO BE CONSIDERED UNDER ITEM 10:

Minutes:

An urgent late item had been received on an issue relating to the Gas Heating Contract with TSG manged by the Housing Trust on behalf of the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

 

73.

LONGCROFT LANE AND SURROUNDING ROADS, HANDSIDE, WGC - PROPOSED RESIDENT PARKING PERMIT SCHEME AND WAITING RESTRICTIONS: pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out the results of the formal consultation, the informal consultation and the recommended course of action for the proposals for a resident parking permit scheme and waiting restrictions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Reportofthe ExecutiveDirector (Public Protection, Planning & Governance) setting outthe resultsof theformal consultation,theinformalconsultationand therecommendedcourse ofactionforthe proposedresident parkingpermitschemeandwaiting restrictions. The purpose of the consultation was to prevent long term parking by non-residents.   A total of 402 properties were consulted on the proposals and the Council had received ten letters of objection to the formal consultation.

 

In 2015, Parking Services carried out a general parking survey in Handside Welwyn Garden City.  The initial results from the general survey suggested that a number of roads in the Longcroft Lane area would consider the implementation of a resident parking permit scheme (RPPS).  In June 2016, a further consultation commenced in this area, based upon the findings of the 2015 survey.

 

In the survey letters of June 2016, residents were asked to confirm their original choice for a RPPS, together with their preferences for operating times.  Of the roads consulted, Parkfields, Fordwich Road and Rooks Hill in the survey of 2015 had shown no interest in a permit scheme.  In the 2016 survey they voted to retain their existing restrictions and not be included in a RPPS.  The majority of residents voting for the permit scheme had opted for the Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm operating time.  The table within the report illustrated the replies received from total number of properties.

 

The report noted that no objections had been received during the consultation process by any of the statutory consultees.  These included, but not limited to Hertfordshire County Council, Ward Councillor or the Police.

 

Members considered the objections, including an objection which was circulated at the meeting in respect of Parkfields.  The objections noted that residents had voted to retain their existing restrictions and not be included in the RPPS.

 

There had been a number of comments from residents who live in Longcroft Lane.  The comments related to the proposed double yellow line protection around the areas of Longcroft Lane in the centre currently ‘stopped’ up. Citing loss of on-street parking.  To satisfy those residents, the double yellow lines have been removed from the proposals.  The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) has been amended together with the submission of a new drawing, as shown in Appendix B within the report.

 

Members noted that ten letters of objection (Appendix C) to the proposed TRO and a summary of grounds for their objection were considered.  The reasons for moving forward with the proposals were also deliberated.

 

The people most likely to benefit from these proposals would be residents.  Only a RPPS would provide residents and their visitors to park on the road during the hour(s) of the restriction.  The removal of yellow lines would reduce maintenance costs.  Parking Services were confident that in their opinion this was the best option for residents.  All monies accrued would be channelled into both the enforcement and operation of the scheme and were designed to be self-financing.

 

A small error was noted on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

LOCAL PLAN - ANNUAL MONITORING REPORT: pdf icon PDF 192 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning & Governance) recommends approval of the Annual Monitoring Report for publication.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the ExecutiveDirector (Public Protection, Planning & Governance) was considered which acts as a record of the information on the Borough’s population, performance and development which took place over the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.  This Annual Monitoring (AMR) also sets out progress against the Local Development Scheme, which specifies when and how the Council will produce new planning documents and policies, and reports on the Council’s efforts under the ‘duty to cooperate’ with other public authorities.

 

The AMR also reported in detail on the preparation of the Draft Local Plan and the wider Local Plan process through to adoption in 2017.  It set out the new evidence studies which have been produced during the year, the new evidence currently being produced and will be reported on next year.

 

The main headlines from each chapter of the AMR were summarised within the report.  A presentation was received which reported on the following:

  • The Borough’s population – estimated to be just over 119,000, among the very largest estimated increases in the UK at a growth rate over the year of 2.6%.
  • Monitoring of current District Plan Policies.
  • Retail and Town Centres – Noted that the Galleria shopping centre was not included, this was because the Galleria is not designated as a centre in the Council’s retail hierarchy. Growth of out of town centre floor space to be an indicator in future reports.
  • Housing – during the year 408 (net) new dwellings have been completed, including student housing.  During the year, 116 new affordable homes were brought to the market. This equates to 36% of new completions.  There was also an increase in new homes in the green belt during the year.
  • Concern expressed regarding villages and the Affordability ratio in Brookmans Park being 19.7 and the Affordability ratio for the whole Borough was 9.9.
  • The Borough has a 5.03 year supply of housing land – slightly in excess of the five year requirement, the housing target was only recently set as part of the publication of the Draft Local Plan and with the intention that a five year supply would be achieved once the Local Plan was adopted.
  • The Economy – loss of employment premises to other uses during the year. However, noted that job figures are above the national average.
  • Environmental Assets – no change to the number of heritage assets. Highlighted that CO2 emissions are now monitored.
  • Infrastructure and Movement – WHBC received £164,000 in Section 106 funds from new developments, whilst HCC received £1.4 million. Major S106 expenditure included the Hatfield Interchange project.
  • Site-Specific Monitoring – The Draft Local Plan now includes site-specific criteria for a number of mixed-use and strategic development sites throughout the Borough.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the Cabinet Housing and Planning Panel recommends to Cabinet that the AMR be approved for publication and that the Head of Planning be given delegated powers to agree any minor alterations to finalise the AMR following consultation with the Executive Member for Planning, Housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

PROGRESS REPORT ON THE RE-INTEGRATION OF THE HOUSING SERVICE:

Verbal report from Executive Director (Housing and Communities) on the progress of the re-integration of the housing service.

Minutes:

Members received a verbal report of the Executive Director (Housing and Communities) on the Reintegration of Housing Service.  The following points were covered:

 

  • Update on progress staffing – TUPE consultation with housing Trust staff. All staff will be transferred to the Council on 1 February 2017. No pension deficit on Trust side.  Staff will migrate to Council’s pension arrangements.
  • Contracts and suppliers – Suppliers have been notified of the changes.  All legal contracts held by the Trust will be novated to the Council.  Leases and grant funding arrangements are being transferred to the Council.

·         Governance arrangements - The annual review of the Council’s constitution will take into account the new operating arrangements.

  • A new Cabinet Housing Panel will be set up, to specialise in housing issues.
  • Other matters – Areas of duplication such as the Safeguarding and Equality and Diversity Steering Groups will be merged.
  • Welcome packs for staff are being produced.  It was suggested that a copy of the welcome pack be made available to all members.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)  That the report be noted.

 

76.

SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS, IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIRMAN, IS OF SUCH URGENCY TO WARRANT IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION:

Minutes:

Members received a verbal report on an issue relating to the Gas Heating Contract with TSG, who service, repair and maintain the gas central heating system for over 9,000 houses and flats managed by the Housing Trust on behalf of the Borough Council.

 

The Director of Property Services, Liam Good clarified an issue which had occurred in December 2016 pertaining to a boiler/heating failure and the steps taken to rectify the situation during the Christmas period to reinstate heating for the tenant.  It was noted that the costs incurred would be met by TSG.

 

Members enquired whether the heating system had been flushed before the boiler had been replaced.  The Director advised that a power flush had been undertaken accordingly.  The cost of replacing a boiler was also discussed together with the service cost of £55 per boiler, which was felt to be reasonable.

 

The Chairman thanked Liam Good, Sian Chambers for the report and officers for the work they had carried out to date.