Agenda and minutes

Planning and Transportation Cabinet Advisory Board - Monday, 19th March, 2018 6.30 pm

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Venue: Committee Room A, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

Contact: Mike McGeary  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were reported from Councillor Rankin.


Declarations of Interests

To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer.


There were no declarations of interest made, within the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Members.


Notification of Visiting Members Wishing to Speak

Members of the Council should indicate which item(s) they wish to speak on and the nature of their concern/question/request for clarification (in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 18).


The Democratic Services Officer advised that Councillor Stewart had registered her wish to address the Board on item PT49/17 below, within the provisions of Council Meetings Procedure Rule 18.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 199 KB

The Chairman will move that the minutes of the previous meeting, dated 8 January 2018, be signed as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.


In accordance with Council Meetings Procedure Rule 16.1, the Chairman will sign the minutes of today’s proceedings at the next scheduled meeting.


The minutes of the meeting dated 8 January 2018 were submitted.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the Board dated 8 January 2018 be agreed.


Planning and Transportation Cabinet Advisory Board - Work Programme pdf icon PDF 189 KB


The Board received its work programme for the period up to 31 August 2018, which was based on the issues set out in the Council’s Forward Plan.


RESOLVED – That the work programme be noted.


Ashdown Forest Air Quality Impact Assessment and Revised Habitat Regulation Assessment Practice Note pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Additional documents:


Visiting member Councillor Stewart, who had registered her wish to address the Advisory Board on this issue, began by saying that she had gained a good understanding of the significance of the issue through a number of briefings at meetings of the Planning Policy Working Group.


Councillor Stewart felt that the issue should be deferred, because key documents referred to were not yet available. Specifically, she advised that there were: (i) the Ashdown Forest Air Quality Impact Assessment 2018; (ii) a summary of the Ashdown Forest discussions on air quality; and (iii) a revised practice note on Habitat Regulations Assessment of planning applications.


Councillor Stewart felt it would be a breach of process for the Advisory Board to be asked whether they supported the recommendations, in the absence of these documents. She also asked that the outstanding documents be presented to the Planning Policy Working Group, as the issue fell within that group’s remit.


In response, David Scully, the Landscape and Biodiversity Officer, asked the Deputy Monitoring Officer, Keith Trowell, to advise on whether it was appropriate for the Advisory Board to comment on the report as it stood.


Mr Trowell, the Interim Team Leader (Corporate Governance) and Deputy Monitoring Officer, said that, while an incomplete report at this stage was not ideal, Mr Scully would be able to explain the background and rationale and why this matter needed to be resolved urgently. He added that, while the Advisory Board would not be able to say whether it supported the three recommendations set out, it would have the chance to do so once the outstanding appendices were circulated, ahead of the Cabinet meeting.


Mr Scully was then invited by the Chairman to explain why this report was being presented at this stage. He began by emphasising how the authority was under pressure to respond to a series of objections from Wealden District Council, due to the stance they were taking to proposed development  within the Tunbridge Wells Borough. He also apologised for the incomplete report, caused by the delays in assembling all of the necessary advice needed to compile a revised practice note.


Mr Scully’s report provided further details on the Borough Council’s procedure in respect of the ‘habitat regulations’ as applicable to ‘European protected sites’; he added that this was relevant in the case of Ashdown Forest, which was both a European Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area.


Mr Scully said that there were two key issues which had caused the authority to re-evaluate its approach. First, he said that, since that procedure had been established in 2013 – set out in a practice note, a copy of which had been appended to the report – there had been a High Court decision. Secondly, Mr Scully advised that Wealden District Council had raised a number of objections to the Borough Council’s policy. He added that the basis of those objections was Wealden’s assertion that any planning application that generated a single additional vehicle movement  ...  view the full minutes text for item PT49/17


Urgent Business

The Democratic Services Officer will advise if there have been any urgent items of business which have arisen for the Board’s consideration since publication of the agenda.


The Democratic Services Officer advised that there were no additional items for the Board’s consideration which had arisen since publication of the agenda.


Date of the Next Meeting and Scheduled Items

The date of the next meeting is Thursday 31 May, at 6.30pm in Committee Room A, at the Town Hall, Tunbridge Wells.


The following item is scheduled on the Forward Plan (which is subject to change) to be discussed:


·       Tunbridge Wells Borough Draft Preferred Local Plan


It was noted that the next meeting of the Board was scheduled to take place on Thursday 31 May 2018, when the following item would be discussed, based on the current Forward Plan:


·       Tunbridge Wells Borough Draft Preferred Local Plan


The above scheduled meeting is in addition to the reconvened one referred to in minute PT49/17 above.