Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday 12th October 2023 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item



To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 July 2023 (previously circulated).

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The minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2023 were agreed as a correct record.


Minutes Silence

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Full Council participated in a minutes silence for people around the world suffering.



To receive apologies for absence, if any.

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Apologies were received from Cllrs Scott, Kingsbury, Smith, Thusu, Ganney, Lass, Pace,  McNamara and Mitchinson.



The Mayor will receive petitions (limited to the first three petitions presented).

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No petitions were received.



A period of thirty minutes will be made available for questions to be put by Members of the public to Members of the Cabinet on matters for which the Council has a responsibility or which affect the Borough.

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No questions from the public were received.



To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.

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Councillors J. Bond, S. Boulton and P. Zukowskyj each declared as Members of Hertfordshire County Council.



To receive any announcements from the Mayor, Leader of the Council, Member of the Cabinet or the Head of Paid Service.

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Announcement from the Mayor


“Thank you to those who attended my first couple of charity events, an Afternoon Tea in August and a Curry night earlier this month. 


Amazingly, we raised £916 and £881 totalling to £1,797 for my two extremely worthy local charities, the Hatfield Food Bank and the New Zion Christian Fellowship Foodbank, both help with providing emergency food to the people in crisis. 


I sincerely hope that you will be able to come along to my next event, which will be a charity quiz night on Friday 1st of December at Campus West. More details on how to book will be sent out shortly. 


Following on from the successful Youth Awards in March and the Mayors Civic Awards in May, I am delighted to launch the new One Welwyn Hatfield Community Awards 2024.


Welwyn Hatfield has some amazing residents who all contribute to improving the lives of other residents and their communities. The new awards will recognise the breadth of talent and commitment across the borough and will acknowledge and thank the people in our communities that go above and beyond in providing an atmosphere of celebration and pride.


The award categories will cover sport, youth, culture, environment, climate, health, business and many more and we hope that residents will get involved by nominating these local heroes whether they be stars of their local neighbourhood or quiet heroes.  The deadline for the nomination will close on Friday 15 December and the winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony held at Campus West on Wednesday 28 February 2024.

Full details could be viewed on our website.”


Announcement from Leader of Council regarding bus service provision in the borough & knife crime


“We note the recent announcement of the £2 cap on bus fares have been extended to the end of 2024.  But we also note that the residents of this borough may not benefit much from it as there is simply not a decent bus network serving our communities.  I have recently been told that the Bus Service Improvement Plan for Hertfordshire does not identity our borough as an area of focus.  This is extremely concerning, and we know other colleagues from the Joint Administration have also raised concerns previously about the lack of bus service provision in the Borough.  We will therefore be writing to Hertfordshire County Council and the Department of Transport asking for a commitment that the bus network in Welwyn Hatfield will benefit from future rounds of Bus Service Improvement Plan funding and we will invite the Leader of the Opposition to also sign the letter.


I’m sure all involved with this council were as shocked and saddened as I by the death of Elianne Andam on the 27th September, the 15th young person to lose their life through violence this year in London alone.


Just a few days ago, on 4th October, a knife-violence incident in Hatfield resulted in the wounding of a victim and earlier this week  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.



For a period of up to thirty minutes, a Member of the Council who has given prior notice in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15, may ask (a) the Mayor, (b) the Leader of the Council or (c) a Member of the Cabinet a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Borough.


A Member asking a question may ask, without giving notice, one supplementary question of the Member to whom the first question was asked.  The supplementary question must arise directly out of the reply.

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No questions were received by Members.



To consider recommendations from the meetings of the Cabinet on 10 October 2023 following the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel held on 5 October 2023.



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The Council considered a recommendation from the meeting of Cabinet on 10 October 2023.


Local Plan pdf icon PDF 11 MB

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Following consideration at the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 5 October 2023, and Cabinet on 10 October 2023, the Council were asked to consider the adoption of the Local Plan and delegate authority to the Assistant Director (Planning) to make any further minor amendments.


The Planning Policy and Implementation Manager provided a presentation to Full Council to highlight the context set out in the report.


The proposals were moved, and seconded, by Councillors Quinton and Chesterman.




Council noted the content of the Inspector’s Report on the Examination of the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan (2016) alongside the appended Schedule of Main Modifications (Appendix 1 and 2 to this report) and his conclusion that the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan (2016) provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the Borough provided that a number of Main Modifications are made to it.


The Mayor read the second recommendation as set out below:

“The Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan (2016), which was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination and amended by the Main Modifications (Appendix 2) and Additional Modifications (Appendix 4), be adopted as part of the statutory development plan for Welwyn Hatfield Borough (in accordance with Section 23 (3) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended))”


At this point in the meeting Councillor Michaelides and Sarsons requested a vote was taken on the recommendation.






Full Council agreed the recommendation that the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan (2016), which was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination and amended by the Main Modifications (Appendix 2) and Additional Modifications (Appendix 4), be adopted as part of the statutory development plan for Welwyn Hatfield Borough (in accordance with Section 23 (3) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended))”.


Full Council agreed the recommendations:

1.     That authority be delegated to the Assistant Director (Planning), in consultation with the Executive Member for planning, to make changes to text, graphics and layout of the Plan of a minor or inconsequential nature or in order to ensure consistency with the Main Modifications (Appendix 2) and Additional Modifications Schedules (Appendix 4) to this report, as considered appropriate and necessary prior to the publication of the final version of the adopted Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan (2016) and associated Policies Map in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended)”.

2.     Council note that, on adoption of the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan (2016) the saved policies of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan (adopted 2005) and associated Proposals Maps will have been replaced and will not be used for decision-making thereafter.


Constitution Review pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To receive a report of the Chair of the Constitution Review Group.

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The report of the Executive Director (Finance) set out the proposed amendments through tracked changes to the Council’s Constitution.


The proposal was moved, and seconded, by Councillors Zukowskyj and Chesterman.







The Council agreed the revised Constitution and correction from Estates Management Scheme to Estate Management Scheme.



To consider notices of motions submitted under Procedure Rule 16 in such order as the Mayor shall direct.  The motions received for this meeting are attached.

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The following motion was moved by Councillor A.Hellyer, and seconded by Councillor Lake:


“At a recent meeting of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel it was noted that provisions of the Environment Act 2021 for mandatory minimum Biodiversity Net Gain requirements will soon be brought into force for development under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and that these requirements will stand at a net biodiversity gain of 10%. 


It was also noted that if the Council wishes to mandate increases beyond this minimum or to create a proximity requirement for biodiversity sites this would need to be facilitated by the provision of biodiversity projects. Welwyn Hatfield’s Biodiversity Action Plan was last updated in 2004 ahead of the 2005 District Plan and is therefore not designed to integrate with this recent legislation. 


Provision of such projects is required because it is not always possible to achieve the minimum biodiversity gain within a particular development site – so off-site enhancement projects are a needed alternative to on-site measures. Without such provision by the Council these projects can be located far outside the Borough as it would not be possible to create an enforceable proximity requirement. Creating a biodiversity net gain project register would allow this council to provide and facilitate such projects locally for the benefit of residents of Welwyn Hatfield.


Therefore, in the context of a new Local Plan, which supersedes the old District Plan, and with the need to increase biodiversity in response to loss of valuable greenbelt land, this council moves to:


1.     As a statutory planning authority, create a new Biodiversity Net Gain Project Register with the joint aims of: a. Providing biodiversity projects within the Borough so that a proximity requirement can be introduced for off-site BNG. b. Facilitating a higher net biodiversity gain than the statutory 10% (subject to revision by CPPP) for new developments from the implementation of the Local Plan Review.

2.     As a landowner, put forward potential biodiversity projects that will allow the Council to provide Biodiversity Units.


To these ends, this council will:

·        Put out a call for biodiversity projects from January to March. Nominate potential projects from the Council’s own property.

·        Carry out an assessment of nominated projects (from WHBC’s own land and form private landowners) from the start of the next municipal year.

o   Assessment of a site carried out by Hertfordshire County Council as part of their BNG Site Matching scheme should be regarded as sufficient for this purpose.

·        Revise policies implemented by the 2004 Biodiversity Action Plan to bring them up to date, with such updates proceeding through Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel


To allow for scrutiny of the new BNG Project Register, the responsible committee for the Register as a whole and related policies concerning development will be the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel. Individual projects brought forward by WHBC as a landowner will also sit with this committee until the Cabinet Climate Change Panel has been established to replace the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.



To consider any matters of urgency subject to the agreement of the Mayor in accordance with Procedure Rule 5.1(s).

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There were no urgent matters for discussion.