Agenda and minutes

Planning and Transportation Cabinet Advisory Board - Monday, 4th September, 2023 6.30 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

Contact: Louise Kellam  Democratic Services Officer


No. Item


Apologies pdf icon PDF 28 KB

The receive any apologies for absence.

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Apologies were received from Councillors, Barrass, Pound and Rogers.


Declarations of Interests pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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

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It was noted that Councillor Barrington King, through the Kent County Council Members Grant, had supported the Kent High Weald Partnership with funding at a couple of sites.


It was further noted that Councillor Barrington King did not partake in any discussion related to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with KCC. 


Notification of Persons Registered to Speak pdf icon PDF 29 KB

To note any Visiting Members or members of the public wishing to speak, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rules 18 and 19, and which items they wish to speak on.

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There were no visiting persons registered to speak.


Minutes of the meeting dated 10 July 2023 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To approve the minutes of a previous meeting as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

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No amendments were proposed.


RESOLVED -  That the minutes of the meeting dated 10 July 2023 be approved as a correct record.


Forward Plan as at 14 August 2023 pdf icon PDF 299 KB

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Members considered the Forward Plan. 


Items on the Forward Plan were those that required a Cabinet decision.  The timing of when items appeared were therefore a matter for Cabinet.  In respect of a particular issue, such as John Street car park, it would be for Cabinet to liaise with the relevant officers as to when it was appropriate for it to be included on the Forward Plan. 


RESOLVED – That the Forward Plan as at 14 August 2023 be noted.


Biodiversity Action Plan and Biodiversity Net Gain pdf icon PDF 295 KB

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David Scully, Landscape and Biodiversity Officer introduced the report set out in the agenda.


It was noted that the recommendations had been slightly updated since the agenda had been published. Details of those amendments were given to Members, both verbally and in hard copy and would be reflected in the report that went forward to Cabinet.


Discussion and questions from Members included the following:


-       Any land could be put forward for Bio Diversity net gains, including the Commons Conservators.

-       It was quite a costly exercise as any land owner would first need to establish what the existing Bio Diversity units were.  Once this was known, the land owner would then have to work out how to achieve the uplift in Biodiversity.

-       TWBC were able to undertake this work for Council owned Woodland as there was confidence there were some easy gains to be made.  The Council was then able to draft the s106 agreement accordingly.

-       There was a risk associated with land owners putting themselves forward as TWBC could not prescribe where developers got their Biodiversity gains from.

-       The money collected so far for Biodiversity gains (approx. £50k), must be spent in accordance with the s106 agreement.  Further money was expected, but even if all the money was collected, it would only give the Council approximately £6k a year to maintain the Biodiversity net gain over the next 30 years.

-       It was difficult to get the uplift in Biodiversity in some of the Borough’s parks where there was pressure on amenities. 

-       The work undertaken must also be genuinely additional and not already occurring. 

-       The report was not about the future management or ownership of the Woodlands. The Woodlands were reviewed in 2016 as part of the asset disposal programme.  Members at the time decided to retain the Woodlands.  The 2019 report to Cabinet was specifically about this Woodland and associated s106 agreements. It was further noted that if the Council did not use the s106 money for this purpose, it would have to be returned to the developer. 

-       The Woodlands were important to the local community, providing amenities, as a local wildlife site, and as part of a much more strategic group of woodlands that provided eco system services across a large part of the Borough. 

-       The Council had worked with the Commons Conservators, and had provided advice on Biodiversity. They had also recently received s106 funding of about £50k. 

-       Biodiversity net gain projects, help with the important delivering of housing, including affordable housing..

-       It was noted there would be a change in the report.  It currently stated that TWBC would give £15k to KCC.  The figures were not yet known so the figure would be removed from the report going forward to Cabinet but the principle would be retained.

-       TWBC currently does not have the capacity to undertake this work and would have to consider employing an additional specialised member of staff if the Council decided  ...  view the full minutes text for item PT16/23


Kent High Weald Partnership Service Level Agreement 2024-2027 pdf icon PDF 241 KB

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David Scully, Landscape and Biodiversity Officer introduced the report set out in the agenda.


Discussion and questions from Members included the following:


-       The work of the Kent High Weald partnership was very valuable and should be supported.

-       The funds being offered was very good value for money.

-       The work of the volunteers was a very important.  They managed about 120 events a year and the ability to volunteer was open to all.  There was no requirement to make a commitment, you could just turn up and offer to help. 


RESOLVED – That the recommendations to Cabinet set out in the report be supported.



Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

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There was no urgent business.


Date of the Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To note that the date of the next scheduled meeting is Dddd DD Mmmm YYYY, at 6.30pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Tunbridge Wells.

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The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 9 October 2023 at 6:30pm.