Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Link: Video recording

Items
No. Item

36/18

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Councillor Frost was replaced by Councillor Sherlock

Councillor Rhatigan was replaced by Councillor Miller

Councillor Parker was replaced by Councillor G James

37/18

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

38/18

Urgent matters

To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

39/18

Minutes of the meeting held on 10 January pdf icon PDF 250 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

The Chair reported that he had spoken to the Chair of Scrutiny and it had been decided that a review of the work of the LEP in economic and funding terms would return to the EPH committee work programme.

 

It was noted that the conservation local list and outstanding Horizon 2050 information had been circulated to all committee members.

 

Cllr L James commented that the committee had failed to receive: - a breakdown of the net completions in the 2017/18 monitoring year, identifying the proportion of windfall sites; information about the housing mix of new homes in each ward; or an explanation of why fewer homes were rated as ‘good’ by Building for Life in 2017/18 than in the preceding year.

 

Responses to each had been compiled by the Planning Policy Manager and circulated to the committee by Democratic Services on 31st January.

 

Outstanding issues:

·         Chair to discuss scrutiny of risk assessment and equality impact assessment at next joint chairs meeting;

·         Democratic Services to ascertain whether the council tax department would assume the role of writing to new owners of listed buildings to inform them of planning restriction relating to their property.

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th January were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

40/18

Cycle Strategy Update Report pdf icon PDF 351 KB

Contact Officer: Mark Lambert

 

The Borough Council adopted the Cycle Strategy (the Strategy) in March 2016 following consultation and engagement in summer 2015, informed by advice from the national cycling group, SUSTRANS.  The strategy was intended to provide a framework that supports the development of new cycling measures and facilitates an increase in cycling. 

 

This report provides an update on the actions set out in the strategy and provides commentary on where measures to improve cycling have been implemented and other areas of focus including those scheduled for future implementation.

 

Minutes:

The Cycling Strategy Update Report was introduced by the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure.

 

The Chair invited Heather Rainbow of Cycle Basingstoke to speak.

 

Heather Rainbow welcomed the report and commented that cycling was clearly integrated into the planning process. However, it was noted that new housing developments lacked cycle connections to the town centre. It was stated that there were no routes along the A340 corridor, and poor quality routes along the A30, A33 and B3400. Further, it was stated that a crossing of the northern arm of Thornycroft roundabout was required.

 

The committee made a range of comments.

 

Whilst the strategy was broadly welcomed it was felt that the borough was being let down by a lack of support from Hampshire County Council.

 

It was agreed that the title on page 3 should read ‘Physical improvements agreed and made’.

 

There was criticism that the strategy appeared town centric with little mention of rural wards.  In response, it was reported that where possible support and allocation of LIF funds had been provided to neighbourhood planning schemes improving rural cycling routes.

 

It was agreed that officers would prepare a case study illustrating how a recent new development had failed to provide full cycle access. It was requested that any national accepted standards or benchmarks be included within the study, in addition to a brief overview of the work of the Development Management officers in relation to planning cycle access. 

 

It was agreed that the original cycle strategy would be re-circulated to the committee.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure suggested preparing an analysis of recent building developments and cycle access implementation for review in the Autumn. Heather Rainbow was asked to forward three recent housing development examples whereby cycle links and access had not been sufficiently robust.

 

Generally, there was dissatisfaction at retro fitting cycle access and routes, and there were calls for BDBC to adopt improved standards within its design codes and policies.

 

The Design Environment and Infrastructure Manager was asked to provide a note to committee members regarding the planned improvements to Vyne Road.

 

Resolved:     The Committee

 

·         Note the report; and

·         Request that the views expressed be noted by the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure.

 

 

41/18

Update on Implementing Changes to Mandatory Houses In Multiple Occupation Licensing pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Contact Officer: Darren Chant

 

This report provides a progress update in relation to implementation of the new mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation statutory provisions that took effect in October 2018, as requested by members at the EPH Committee meeting on 15th March 2018.  

Minutes:

The Update on Implementing Changes to Mandatory Houses in Multiple (HMO), Occupation Licensing report was introduced by the Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services and the Environment. 

 

It was noted that whilst there were 140 HMOs within the borough, only 37 inspections were undertaken during 2017/18.

 

It was clarified that all HMOs were risk assessed, which determined the inspection frequency. High risk HMOs would be inspected every 6 months and low risk HMOs every 5 years.  

 

The Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services and the Environment agreed to submit a request for further publicity to raise awareness amongst landlords of the new licensing requirements in the next issue of Basingstoke & Deane Today, and to initiate a social media campaign.

 

It was clarified that the Environmental Health team should be the first point of contact for HMO related queries.

 

Resolved:     the Committee note the report.

 

42/18

Housing Investment Strategy: Improving Access to Home Ownership pdf icon PDF 673 KB

Contact Officer: Pam Wharfe

 

EPH is asked to review the report and provide its views on a borough ‘Help to Buy’ scheme and beyond that, an investigation into further opportunities and partnerships  that may be available in relation to affordable housing options. The council’s joint ownership of the largest planned development in the borough at Manydown provides significant potential.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Property & Development and the Deputy Leader introduced the paper.

 

As a general comment it was requested that any comparisons in reports should be restricted to CIPFA near neighbour authorities.

 

Expanding event days and approach to awareness

 

Concern was raised at promoting the government ‘Help to Buy’ scheme when it was due to be phased out in 2023. It was clarified that whilst the events run by the council were called ‘Help to Buy’, they were holistic events aimed at offering a broad range of options and advice relevant at that particular date. 

 

Equity Loan Scheme

 

Concern was voiced that the scheme was limited to those on the council’s housing register, and did not include those in private rented accommodation.

 

Whilst it was recognised that there needed to be an element of initial prioritisation, it was suggested that the final recommendation to Cabinet include a cascaded list of potential loan beneficiaries.

 

It was queried whether a referenced comparable scheme had experienced any delinquent cases. The Interim Housing Improvement Lead stated that there was no record of any delinquency but that confirmation of such would be obtained.

 

Members queried why s106 monies set aside for affordable homes were being proposed as a mechanism to fund the scheme. Whilst the proposed product found support, the funding mechanism raised concerns.

 

It was stated that some funds were time limited and it had proven difficult to find suitable schemes or developments in which to invest to stimulate rented housing either through affordable or social rent. It was further clarified that whilst approximately £746,000 of the funds had originally been earmarked towards 40% affordable accommodation for older persons, this was only for the first 5 years since receipt and had now reverted to general needs. 

 

It was clarified that the proposed scheme formed just one option in a range of alternatives being developed and supported by BDBC to assist with home ownership/rent.

 

There was commitment voiced that any uplift deriving from the scheme would be redirected back to assist with social and affordable housing. 

 

It was proposed that the scheme’s funding facility and any associated uplift income be ascribed a recognisable name which could then be monitored by Audit & Accounts Committee in the future.   

 

The Chair proposed that due to the confidential nature of information contained within the presentation, the committee pass a resolution that by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting.

On resumption of the open session the Chair summarised that the committee had discussed the funding mechanism for the proposal, and the need to ensure equality and fairness when assessing the eligibility of scheme beneficiaries.

 

The Chair proposed a vote in favour of supporting the scheme on the basis of funding achieved from a range of sources other than via s106 monies:

 

7 in favour

3 against

1 abstention

 

A further vote was taken in favour of supporting the scheme, as proposed,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42/18

43/18

Review of work programme pdf icon PDF 183 KB

The Committee is asked to note and review its Work Programme and to receive updates from the Lead Members of Task and Finish Groups.

 

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed its work programme and made the following comments:

 

·         Update to Infrastructure Delivery Plan and proposals for CIL spend: it was requested that the paper include a section explaining the rationale for transferring a large proportion of monies from the New Homes Bonus to an infrastructure reserve account. The Chair would seek officer’s advice as to whether the subject justified a separate report or could be included within the proposed update;

·         Draft Golf Course Development Brief: advice was sought as to whether those members of EPH who also sit on Development Control Committee could safely debate the draft brief when they were due to consider a planning application;

·         Management Companies task & finish group: a report had been sent to the lead member and feeback was awaited;

·         SS9 task & finish group: it was noted that work was ongoing. The Chair reported that the planning element had been satisfied, but that the group would now be exploring property issues;

·         The Chair agreed to investigate the potential for EPH to review the allocation policy;

·         The Chair agreed to investigate the potential for EPH to review the housing register and large number of listed single people;

·         The Chair commented that no date had been set for an economic review of the LEP, but that a date would be arranged following the forthcoming member workshop;

·         The Chair reported that Hampshire County Council Education had not attended a committee meeting, as they had been concerned at the prospect of discussing various school issues in a public forum. It was noted that officers were in the process of arranging a future all member event with HCC representatives for a date in May following the elections; and

·         The Chair to discuss with fellow chairs the potential for reviewing offsite contributions.