Agenda and minutes

Housing, Economy and Business Committee
Tuesday, 8th October, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices - St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA. View directions

Contact: Matthew Stickley, Committee Services Team Leader  Tel.: 020 8770 5122, Email:  committeeservices@sutton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

11.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Jayne McCoy, welcomed those present, including representatives of Extinction Rebellion in the public gallery.

12.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received from voting members of the committee.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Jillian Green, Ward Councillor for Beddington North, who had been invited to the committee regarding Item 6.

 

Apologies for absence were also received from Mr Phil Piddington, Viridor Managing Director, who had also been invited to the committee regarding Item 6.

13.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of 2 July 2019 were agreed as an accurate record.

14.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Jayne McCoy declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 6 as she is a trustee of the Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust.

15.

Establishment of Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 94 KB

It is recommended that the committee agree to establish a Task and Finish Group to consider the upcoming Homelessness Review and to report its findings to the next suitable meeting of the committee.

Minutes:

Members discussed the importance of the upcoming Homelessness Review and that representation from both the Housing, Economy, and Business Committee and the People Committee would allow for consideration of a broad range of causes of homelessness, including mental health difficulties. It was noted that mental health difficulties may cause and exacerbate the issue of homelessness in the borough and that representation from the People Committee would allow for mental health to be adequately represented in informing the review. 

 

RESOLVED:

·         that the Housing, Economy and Business Committee would establish a Task and Finish Group to consider and inform the upcoming Homelessness Review;

·         that Councillors Allen, Bartolucci, Crossby, Heron, Hicks, McCoy, and Short would form the Task and Finish Group;

·         that the Chair would write to the Chair of the People Committee to invite two members of said committee to join the group to ensure the mental health of those affected by homelessness would be considered by the review; and

·         that the Task and Finish Group will meet on at least one occasion prior to its recommendations being presented to the 10 December 2019 meeting of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee for agreement.

16.

Petition - Beddington Farmlands pdf icon PDF 157 KB

This report considers a petition from the Wandle Valley Forum, submitted to Council on the 8 April 2019, which the Council believes demonstrates strong public support for the Council in ensuring Viridor deliver the restoration to time, and highlights the aspirations of the project being co-owned by all stakeholders.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered a petition from the Wandle Valley Forum, submitted to the council on 8 April 2019, relating to the enforcement of planning conditions in the restoration of Beddington Farmlands. The petition was presented by Ms Lysanne Horrox, representing the Wandle Valley Forum, and Mr Peter Alfrey, representing Beddington Farmlands Group.

 

The chair invited the petitioners to address the committee for up to five minutes. The petitioners raised issues including:

·         The importance of Beddington Farmlands to nature conservation;

·         That planning permission for the Beddington Energy Recovery Facility was conditional upon the nature reserve being developed;

·         The Local Government Ombudsman’s 2015 advice regarding development of the nature reserve; and

·         The need for Sutton Council to undertake enforcement action prior to the completion date of the nature reserve works.

 

The Chair thanked the petitioners for raising this issue and invited Mr Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning, to address any points referenced in the petition.

 

Members noted that the council had considered both formal and informal solutions to the restoration of the nature reserve, including enforcement action on the basis of the planning conditions. However, it was noted that because the planning conditions require restoration of the reserve by 2023, formal enforcement action could not be taken until such a time as this condition was broken; namely, if the reserve were not to be restored by 2023.

 

Mr Dan Cooke and Mr Adrian Frost, representatives of Viridor, addressed the committee, acknowledging both the importance of the matter to the local communities and that whilst progress on restoration of the reserve had fallen behind schedule, there was confidence that the works would be completed by the 2023 deadline. It was acknowledged that whilst not every aspect of the work thus far has gone entirely to plan, the company did recognise its commitments and responsibilities and would continue its hard work to complete the work as scheduled.

 

The Chair invited Councillor Tim Foster, Chair of the Conservation and Access Management Committee (Beddington Farmlands), to comment. Councillor Foster noted that whilst his committee had faced initial difficulties in undertaking its work, recent improvements to its governance and resourcing had improved its performance and that the committee would continue to scrutinise the ongoing works.

 

Members discussed that the petition claimed the works to restore the nature reserve had been delayed by several years but that it was not in the gift of the Planning Authority to take enforcement action prior to the conditions being broken, but that negotiation and working closely with Viridor and other stakeholders should avoid any conditions being broken.

 

Councillor McCoy thanked officers and members for their work on the issue and the petitioners for their vigilance in raising their concerns with the committee.

 

RESOLVED:

·         to note that the relevant condition (42), subject to which planning permission was granted in May 2014, does not require the restoration of the land until 2023. As a consequence, there can be no breach of planning control until the period  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Designation of the Sutton Farm Estate Area of Special Local Character and Adoption of its Character Appraisal pdf icon PDF 109 KB

As part of the Ambitious for Sutton pledge to ‘protect the borough’s heritage and working with local community groups’ this report seeks approval to designate the Sutton Farm Estate, a residential area in the south of the borough, as an Area of Special Local Character (ASLC). The Sutton Farm Estate ASLC draft Character Appraisal (the ‘draft Character Appraisal’) has been prepared by a local community group, in consultation with planning officers and local residents, to set out the evidence to justify its designation as an ASLC.  In addition it identifies the characteristics of the area that are desirable to preserve and sets out some design guidelines to achieve this. The draft Character Appraisal would be used as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications within the ASLC boundaries. The Sutton Farm Estate would be an excellent addition to the borough’s rich heritage and will complement existing designations in Sutton.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Dean James, Senior Planning Officer, introduced the report. The officer noted that whilst the recommended designation would not be equivalent to creating a conservation area, it would nonetheless note the character of the area which should be preserved and enhanced.

 

It was noted that the South Sutton Neighbourhood Association had approached the council in 2018 to recommend such a designation and that, through working with the association, the council was supporting this designation. Details of the summer 2019 consultation on the designation were referenced as included in the report and its appendices.

 

At the invitation of the Chair, Mr Mark Randall, Deputy Chair of the South Sutton Neighbourhood Association, addressed the committee. Mr Randall advised that the association had undertaken approximately 130 hours of work but that the valuable support had been forthcoming from the Sutton Council Planning team. He further noted that the examples of similar works in other areas had been particularly useful to the association.

 

Finally, members noted the importance of the Sutton Archives in informing work on the history of the area.

 

RESOLVED:

·         to designate the Sutton Farm Estate as an Area of Special Local Character in accordance with the appended map; and

·         to approve the Sutton Farm Estate Character Appraisal for use as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications within the designated Area of Special Local Character.

18.

Adoption of the Carshalton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan pdf icon PDF 125 KB

As part of the Ambitious for Sutton commitment to protect heritage properties in Carshalton, between May and July 2019, the council consulted on its Draft Carshalton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan. Elements of the document were strongly supported, such as the guideline on new shopfronts, but there were also elements which divided opinion. The document has been revised in the light of the representations received during the consultation. This report requests the committee adopts the character appraisal and management plan as a material consideration in deciding planning applications. Furthermore, in light of the strong support for shopfront improvements, the report requests the Committee to direct officers to introduce extra planning controls to give the council additional controls over new shopfronts.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, presented the report, noting that the committee had given authority to consult on the draft Character Appraisal and Management Plan in March 2019. This report followed the consultation and offered a revised plan.

 

The officer informed the committee that the primary differences between the draft and post-consultation documents were the correction of historical inaccuracies, inclusion of certain buildings as listed-by-association, and that further information regarding the history of the Old Rectory building had been included.

 

Members discussed the ongoing Transport for London proposal for a one-way system, which recommends the re-routing of westbound heavy goods vehicles away from the High Street. It was further noted that Transport for London is currently undertaking a corridor-length study of the A232 and any proposed changes following the study would be put to public consultation.

 

Councillor Short requested that his vote be recorded: he voted to agree with the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED:

·         To approve the amendments made to the Draft Carshalton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan following the consultation;

·         To adopt the Carshalton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan for use in the determination of planning applications;

·         To revoke the Carshalton Village Character Appraisal (adopted 2007); and

·         To direct officers to make the necessary arrangements to designate Carshalton Village Conservation Area an Area of Special Control (for advertisements).

19.

Adoption of the Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan pdf icon PDF 111 KB

As part of the Ambitious for Sutton commitment to deliver the Sutton Heritage Action Zone, between May and July 2019, the council consulted on its Draft Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan. The document received strong support from residents, in particular the developer guideline for new shopfronts. The document has been revised in light of the representations received during the consultation. This report requests the committee adopts the character appraisal and management plan as a material consideration in deciding planning applications. Furthermore, in light of the strong support for shopfront improvements, the report requests the Committee to direct officers to introduce extra planning controls to give the council additional controls over new shopfronts.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, presented the report, noting that the committee had given authority to consult on the draft Character Appraisal and Management Plan in March 2019. This report followed the consultation and offered a revised plan.

 

The officer informed the committee that the primary differences between the draft and post-consultation documents were the inclusion of Tudor Court and 126 High Street, site of Pearsons, the world’s oldest cycle shop.

 

Councillor Heron noted that although the appendix referenced the northern end of the High Street beginning at Marshall’s Road, Hallmead Road was the true northern limit of the High Street. Officers agreed to correct this in the published document.

 

RESOLVED:

·         To approve the amendments made to the Draft Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan following the consultation;

·         To adopt the Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan for use in the determination of planning applications;

·         To revoke the Sutton Town Centre High Street Crossroads Conservation Area Character Appraisal (adopted 2011); and

·         To direct officers to make the necessary arrangements to designate Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area an Area of Special Control (for advertisements).

20.

Authority to consult on the South London Waste Plan Issues and Preferred Options document pdf icon PDF 128 KB

As part of the Ambitious for Sutton vision to make the borough a great place to live and work, this report seeks authority to consult on the South London Waste Plan Issues and Preferred Options Document (Appendix A). It sets out why waste planning is carried out at a sub-regional level, the requirement to produce a waste plan, the content of the proposed consultation document and the consultation arrangements. Most notably, the Plan is proposing to allocate no new waste sites and thereby Sutton’s industrial estates will be available for other employment generating uses.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, presented the report, noting that the South London Waste Plan had been adopted in 2012 and was due to expire in 2021. Members noted that a waste planning consultancy has been commissioned to undertake an exhaustive survey of existing waste management capacity, which has concluded that the four boroughs which make up the South London Waste Plan (the London Boroughs of Sutton, Croydon, and Merton, and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames) can meet their London Plan targets through the use of existing waste sites only. Thus, the consultation document recommended that several industrial estate sites previously designated as suitable for waste management facilities will have this designation removed and, therefore, be available for more productive and profitable uses.

 

Members further noted that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government had promised two rounds of funding when the Planning Delivery Fund had been opened and then, in summer 2019, confirmed that this had been reduced to one round of funding due to changes in central government funding priorities. Members noted that the 2021-36 plan period would allow the timeline of the South London Waste Plan to be synchronised with the ending of contracts and other agreements. Members noted that the South London Waste Plan was separate to the South London Waste Partnership and that because the plan considers the management of waste across Sutton and other boroughs as a whole. For the purposes of the plan, the South London Waste Partnership is considered in the same way as all other waste providers.

 

Members discussed the strains on traffic caused by the commercial vehicles which access the Beddington Energy Recovery Facility but this was considered to be within the remit of the Development Management team rather than the committee.

 

RESOLVED:

·         To approve the South London Waste Plan Issues and Preferred Options Document for public consultation; and

·         To delegate authority to the Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration, in consultation with the Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee, to approve any non-material amendments to the document prior to commencement of consultation.

21.

Authority to consult on the Draft Affordable Housing and Financial Viability Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 128 KB

As part of the Ambitious for Sutton pledge to deliver more affordable housing to meet the borough’s needs, the council has produced a new ‘Affordable Housing and Financial Viability Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)’. The draft SPD has been prepared to provide further details on how the Local Plan’s affordable housing policy will be applied, how the council will assess financial viability appraisals and the information that applicants should include in submissions. The aim of this is to strengthen the council’s negotiating position in order to maximise affordable housing delivery from private sites, which will complement the council’s own ambitious home building programme. It is proposed that the draft SPD will be consulted on for a six-week period from the autumn, before returning to the earliest available committee to report representations and for subsequent adoption.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Dean James, Senior Planning Officer, presented the report, noting that the document would provide further guidance on the council’s expectations of housing developers and the developments they would hope to build in the borough.

 

Members noted that Sutton Council has achieved 39% affordable housing through its developments over the past decade and that the required tenure mix is established in the Sutton Local Plan. Moreover, if was noted that financial viability assessments that make assumptions regarding inflated costs around affordable housing are vigorously challenged and have been successful in the past.

 

RESOLVED:

·         To approve the draft Affordable Housing and Financial Viability Supplementary Planning Document for public consultation; and

·         To delegate authority to the Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration, in consultation with the Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee, to approve any non-material amendments to the document prior to commencement of consultation.

22.

Any urgent business

To consider any items which, in the view of the Chair, should be dealt with as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances (in accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972).

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.