Venue: Bromley Civic Centre
Contact: Philippa Gibbs 020 8461 7638
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS
Apologies were received from Cllr Michael Turner. Apologies for lateness were received from Cllr Terry.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no additional declarations of interest.
QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting – by 19th October.
Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda. Please ensure that questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5 pm on Wednesday 27 October 2021.
No questions were received.
CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 31 AUGUST 2021 PDF 528 KB
The minutes of the Developmental Control Committee held on 31 August 2021, were agreed and signed as a correct record.
DESIGNATION OF THE COVERT CONSERVATION AREA, THE THRIFTS CONSERVATION AREA AND THE EXTENSION OF THE CHISLEHURST ROAD CONSERVATION AREA PDF 352 KB
Petts Wood and Knoll and Cray Valley West wards
The report recommended the designation of the Covert Conservation Area, the Thrifts Conservation Area and the extension of the Chislehurst Road Conservation Area. The proposed boundaries were informed by an independent assessment and were subject to public consultation between October and December 2020. Details of the representations received and how these representations had been addressed were set out in the report.
Cllr Fawthrop opened the debate as local Ward Member and proposed an additional recommendation that the Article 4 Direction be progressed in accordance with the ‘BEAMS’ report.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Owen, put to the vote and CARRIED.
Cllr Fawthrop asked about the status of existing Article 4 Directions if the proposed Conservation Areas come into force. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy confirmed that existing Article 4 Directions would remain in force.
Cllr Fawthrop highlighted that the purpose of the proposal was to preserve one of the few remaining garden suburbs in London. In the last few years, it had become apparent that there was a lack of consistency with the decisions of Planning Inspectors. At a meeting with the then Minister for Housing attended by Petts Wood Ward Councillors and the Chairman of the Development Control Committee, a recommendation was made by the then Minister for Housing that a Conservation Area should be pursued so that appeal decisions might be more consistent in future.
Cllr Fawthrop requested that the Article 4 Directions across the Conservation Areas and ASRCs be looked at to ensure they were consistent.
Cllr Fawthrop proposed that in order to enhance the Conservation Area in the future and protect against inappropriate development, the four houses in The Covert with no architectural merit that were currently excluded from the proposals be included. Cllr Fawthrop asked whether this would require further consultation. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy considered that re-consultation would not be required but noted that any proposed areas to be added to the proposed Conservation Area must be justified in line with legislation.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Michael from the Chair, put to the vote and CARRIED.
BROMLEY HOUSING TRAJECTORY 2021 PDF 291 KB
National planning policy requires Local Planning Authorities to identify a supply of housing to provide a minimum of five years’ worth of housing against their housing target. Bromley’s current five-year housing land supply (FYHLS) position was agreed by the Development Control Committee in September 2020. The report set out an updated housing trajectory, split into projections for years 1-5 (the FYHLS, covering 01/04/2021-31/03/2026), years 6-10 and years 11-15. The report concluded that the Council could not demonstrate a FYHLS, although the supply position had improved since publication of the last FYHLS position. Where a minimum of five years housing supply could not be demonstrated, the presumption in favour of sustainable development (set out in paragraph 11 of the NPPF) was triggered.
In opening the discussion, the Chairman confirmed that the Council was now able to demonstrate 3.99 years and the figure was heading in the right direction but still fell short of the 5-year supply. Until such time as this figure was reached there would remain a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Members expressed concern that the current position left the Council vulnerable in terms of fighting appeals relating to large inappropriate developments.
The Vice-Chairman suggested that the Committee should receive an update every six months until a five-year housing land supply could be demonstrated. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy confirmed that six-monthly updates would be possible, although completions were derived from an annual survey so any mid-year update would not provide the full picture.
In response to a question concerning practical measures that could be taken to improve the trajectory, the Head of Planning Policy and Strategy confirmed that there were a number of sites in the pipeline that could come forward to bridge the gap. However, the trajectory was based on sites with planning permission. There was a need to meet the definition of ‘deliverable’ and that essentially meant planning permission was required to include a site in the five year housing land supply.
In response to a question about using past over-supply of housing to compensate for future under-supply, the Head of Planning Policy and Strategy noted that there was no provision in national planning policy to factor in over- supply in previous years. Some Boroughs had unsuccessfully attempted to put forward that argument.
A Member read out the definition of Sustainable Development which was: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It was noted that future generations with families were likely to want houses with gardens and space to grow. Without offering this provision, the definition of sustainable development would not be met. It was suggested that the housing targets were arbitrary and unless there was some lobbying of Central Government, the resources available to future generations would be greatly diminished. It was recognised that the issue was not necessarily one of planning and that it was likely that political lobbying would be required. However, the report before ... view the full minutes text for item 64.
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING STATEMENT PDF 230 KB
The report sought the Committee’s agreement to publish the second annual ‘Infrastructure Funding Statement’ for the 2020/21 financial year as required under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended) by 31 December 2021. Under the Regulations the Council was designated as a ‘contribution receiving authority’ and was required to publish certain information in respect of S106 and CIL amounts collected.
The Infrastructure Delivery Team Leader briefly introduced the report, explaining that the London Borough of Bromley adopted the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on 15 June 2021. Consequently, CIL was not included in the report before the Committee, which covered the period up to April 2021.
Members noted that Section 106 funding was generally spent in accordance with legal agreements which specified how funds were spent. The CIL was more fluid and could be applied to current need.
In response to a question, the Infrastructure Delivery Team Leader confirmed that he had developed a good working relationship with the Clinical Commissioning Group and had engaged with the CCG to regarding use of S106 funding.
Cllr Joel requested that following the meeting further information concerning Farnborough Primary School be provided to him by email.
Cllr Bennington asked whether councillors could put forward individual projects to be funded by CIL. The Infrastructure Delivery Team Leader noted that it was up to the Council how CIL was spent and work was underway to establish a process for this. He noted that 15% of CIL was encouraged to be used for spending in neighbourhoods (usually aligned with priorities for Wards), with the remaining 85% focused on strategic infrastructure.
The Committee discussed the issue of carbon offsetting, noting that more funds had been received since the end of April 2021. It was suggested that some funds should be directed toward carbon management projects such as better insultation and heating systems. The Council’s Energy Team were actively looking at spending Carbon Offsetting funds and a detailed breakdown of the current measures would be provided to Members following the meeting. The Committee noted that carbon offset was an established policy in the London Plan, although there was an increasing move towards onsite emission reduction. Investigations could be made into establishing a Council Policy through the Local Plan, which would require local evidence.
In response to a question, the Infrastructure Delivery Team Leader explained that Officers did not anticipate significant amounts of CIL coming through until 2023. However, where Members were able to identify specific projects associated with developments, these should be raised with the relevant service department.
RESOLVED: That the Infrastructure Funding Statement at Appendix 1 of the report be approved, noting that it will be published on the Council’s website by 31 December 2021 to comply with the requirements of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended).
SHOPFRONT DESIGN GUIDANCE IN BROMLEY PDF 202 KB
The Beckenham High Street Shop Fronts Design Guide had been submitted to the Council with a view to it being used to assess relevant planning applications in Beckenham Town Centre. The report considered this guide and recommended that it be used to inform the production of the Boroughwide shopfront design guidance in the Council’s forthcoming Bromley Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
A report from the Beckenham Town Centre Team outlining the following amended recommendations from the Copers Cope Ward Members was tabled:
2. AMENDED RECOMMENDATIONS PROPOSED BY COPERS COPE WARD COUNCILORS
2.1 That the Beckenham High Street Shop Fronts Design Guide be adopted forthwith to assess relevant planning applications in Beckenham Town Centre and be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications, providing strong support for planning decisions where needed.
2.2 That the Beckenham High Street Shop Fronts Design Guide be used by the Council to inform the future production of borough-wide shopfront design guidance in the forthcoming Bromley Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document.
The report is attached at Appendix A to the minutes.
The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy introduced the report and recognised the time and effort that had gone into producing the guidance. He confirmed that whilst it was agreed that some guidance was useful, Boroughwide guidance was being developed and consequently the view of Officers was that there was not a specific need for location specific guidance. He also noted that the guidance itself was not specific to Beckenham. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy recognised that in 2014, the Development Control Committee had noted the Chislehurst Design Guide with the intention of using this guide to inform the production of Boroughwide guidance. The intention was to now use the Beckenham Shop Fronts Design Guide and the Chislehurst Design Guide to inform the Boroughwide Design Guide which would be brought forward in early 2022. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy set out the statutory process and Council committee process that adopted planning guidance must follow and noted that it would not be possible for the Committee to formally adopt a document without going through this process, which included six weeks’ public consultation. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy also noted that the Planning Policy and Strategy team are working on a number of other planning documents and that any request to progress a Beckenham-specific guide would not be prioritised above these other documents whose production has been approved by DCC and Executive in the Local Development Scheme which was approved in 2020. The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy considered that once a Bromley Design Guide incorporating shopfront guidance was published, there would be no need for additional documents covering shopfronts in specific areas.
Councillor Michael Tickner addressed the Committee as local Ward Member making the following points:
LOCAL LIST OF VALIDATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PLANNING APPLICATIONS PDF 144 KB
National Government Guidance required Local Planning Authorities to undertake a regular review of their validation requirements for planning applications. It was necessary to ensure that the list remained fit for purpose in the context of changes to National Legislation and Development Plan Policies.
The document set out the level of information required by the local planning authority to support a planning application and was intended to explain clearly what plans and documents were required as part of a planning application to ensure that the Council could make transparent, well informed and robust decisions on planning applications in the public interest.
The intention was to clearly define the minimum amount of information required for proper assessment of an application. Requirements were not intended to be onerous and information would only be requested when it was necessary to enable full and proper assessment of a proposal.
The document was divided into two sections:
1. National and standard requirements for all application types (including householder applications)
2. Technical supporting statements/documents required for more complex applications (could be requested for householder applications if required, this will be determined on a case-by-case basis)
National requirements were set by Central Government and were consistent across all local planning authorities in England. These were set out on the Planning Portal. The local requirements must be prepared by each local planning authority and should be tailored to reflect the material planning considerations that were relevant for that area.
Planning legislation required that the local planning authority must review its local list every two years. As part of that process, the Council was required to consult on a draft local list and then formally publish the document, having taken any representations into consideration. A copy of the final local list must be made available on the Council’s website and the list must be subsequently reviewed every two years.
A formal six week consultation period had been undertaken which ended on 24th September 2021. This comprised a consultation page on the Council’s website. An email was sent to regular agents to advise them of the consultation, a notice was published in the local press and notification text added to the planning application validation letter during that time.
The report set out the updated requirements and sought Members’ agreement to the updated document.
In response to a question, the Head of Development Management confirmed that there was a requirement to update the document every two years, although there were no barriers to updating more frequently if necessary.
Members noted that the purpose of the document was to set out the information required when planning applications were submitted. Requirements around photographs had been strengthened.
It was further noted that details of the consultation process were set out in the report. In addition, the Head of Development Management confirmed that the majority of planning applications were submitted electronically. Where applicants indicated that they would struggle with electronic submission, Officers worked to assist the applicant. Electronic submission was not compulsory but encouraged as ... view the full minutes text for item 67.