Agenda and minutes

Planning and Transportation Cabinet Advisory Board - Tuesday, 10th April, 2018 2.00 pm, NEW

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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 Councillors Bland, Hannam, Hills, Scholes and Stanyer.


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).


There were no other members of the Council who had registered their wish to address the Board, within the provisions of Council Meetings Procedure Rule 18.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 200 KB

The Chairman will move that the minutes of the previous meeting, dated 19 March 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 19 March 2018 were submitted.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the Board dated 19 March 2018 be agreed.


Ashdown Forest Air Quality Impact Assessment and Revised Habitat Regulation Assessment Practice Note pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Additional documents:


Further to minute PT49/17, which summarised the discussion on this topic at the previous meeting, David Scully, the Landscape and Biodiversity Officer, advised that all of the supporting documentation was now complete and presented to the Advisory Board for their views.


Mr Scully reminded members of the reason for the report, namely to set out and adopt a formal position in relation to Ashdown Forest in the face of changes in circumstances and challenges from Wealden District Council; these were set out in the report.


Mr Scully reiterated that Wealden District Council’s position was not shared by any other authority.


Mr Scully referred members to page 65 of the agenda, which was Appendix E of the consultants’ (AECOM) report. He said that this set out AECOM’s review of reports and comments made by Wealden DC, demonstrating that the Borough Council had taken account of all available information from Wealden.


Referring to Appendix B of the agenda report, which Mr Scully described as a non-technical summary of the issues and recent events, members were reminded of the two issues, namely visitor pressure and air quality, and the reasons behind the need for the Tunbridge Wells study. 


Mr Scully said that the consultants had concluded, as set out in the report at paragraph 7.13 (agenda page 88), that the development proposed by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council would have no adverse effect on the integrity of the SAC, either alone or in combination with other plans and projects. He added that, in coming to this conclusion, the consultants had stated that there could be no reasonable scientific doubt.


As a result of this clear evidence, Mr Scully said that the authority had now prepared a revised Practice Note, intended to inform development management decisions in relation to the application of the Habitat Regulations, with regard to possible adverse effects on Ashdown Forest; a copy of that revised Practice Note formed part of the agenda report at Appendix C.


Mr Scully provided a further update, subsequent to the publication of the agenda. He said that a further meeting had been held with Wealden District Council planning officers the previous week, at which the AECOM report and its findings were discussed. Mr Scully said that, in response to direct questions, officers from Wealden had confirmed that (i) they would not be submitting any further letters of objection; and (ii) it was ‘unlikely’ that they would challenge any subsequent relevant planning decisions that went against their objections.


Members of the Advisory Board considered the report and its recommendations and raised the following issues:


·       Councillor Rankin sought confirmation regarding Wealden DC’s position. She asked if it were the case that, on the basis of the evidence set out in the consultant’s report, they would not now challenge or ask the Borough Council to re-write its updated Practice Note. Mr Scully advised that Wealden DC could not require the Borough Council to re-write the Practice Note but anyone had the right to challenge a decision of  ...  view the full minutes text for item PT56/17


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 items would be discussed, based on the current Forward Plan:


·       Tunbridge Wells Borough Draft Preferred Local Plan