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Agenda item

Peterborough Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Principal Strategic Planning Officer which provided the Committee with an update on the proposed changes to the way developer contributions (S106 agreements) would be negotiated in the future.  The Committee were asked to comment on the Peterborough Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) before being presented to Cabinet.

 

Questions and observations were made around the following areas:

 

·         Members asked why the council had decided to adopt a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Director of Growth and Regeneration responded that the current POIS system could not be continued post 2015 as it would not be a legal process. Most councils did not have POIS or CIL in place. Peterborough was one of the few Local Authorities that had collected money towards the cost of new infrastructure. In the future only councils where it would not be viable, in that it would threaten the viability of new development, would not be pursuing CIL.

·         Members referred to the Integrated Development Schedule and stated that members of the public may be interested in the 20 pages of individual projects which the council was spending money on.  Why was this not being consulted on. The Director of Growth and Regeneration stated that CIL could not be charged unless new infrastructure was needed to support growth. The other aspect of CIL was that you had to be able to evidence that you could not afford the infrastructure that was needed to deliver growth.  Therefore the list of projects was there to evidence the gap between what the council had and what the cost of infrastructure would be to enable growth. Many of the individual projects listed sat within other strategy documents which the council had. The strategies were pooled together in terms of capital investment within the list. There would need to be a separate conversation about what projects would be funded, but it would have been confusing to have it as part of the Peterborough Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Elements of the list had been to full public consultation. The Principal Strategic Planning Officer stated that the document was a live document which would be added to and updated over time.

·         Members referred to page 68 of the report for some clarification regarding the Lifetime Homes Standards element of the report. The Principal Strategic Planning Officer stated that for a scheme of 15 or more dwellings there was a target to provide 20% of homes built to Lifetime Homes  Standards, and for a scheme of 50 or more dwellings, 2% of dwellings would be required to be built to a wheelchair home standard, and the figures represented this requirement.

·         Members asked how community involvement was being delivered within these projects e.g. open space development. The Director of Growth and Regeneration stated that councillors could assist with this through the work being carried out by the Community Development Manager which would provide an evidence base for projects being undertaken. Parish plans were however very useful in providing information on local needs. The Principal Strategic Planning Officer stated that the CIL charge required 15% of the funds to go to the local community through Parish Councils and if a Neighbourhood Plan was in place this would increase to 25%.

·         Members asked how decisions on development could be subject to greater community involvement. The Director of Growth and Regeneration stated that this was subject to provisions of the Localism Act. There were provisions in the Act which enabled areas to form local groups which could influence decisions by producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

·         Members followed-up asking if this incorporated the local plan put together by the Community Development Manager. The Director of Growth and Regenerations stated that this was not the case. Local Plans under the Localism Act are a statutory development plan which requires a referendum and independent examination. It was therefore a legal process to which there were clear guidelines which the council was obliged to support.

·         Members asked how non parished areas could get involved in producing a Neighbourhood Plan. The Director of Growth and Regeneration referred to the Statement of Community Involvement advising that this set out the process for producing a Neighbourhood Plan.  Any community wishing to get involved in the process would be given assistance and guidance by a dedicated officer.  There was an incentive to produce a Neighbourhood Plan as 25% of the money generated through CIL would go back to the community.

·         Members felt that the Statement of Community Involvement was a long and complex document.  Two-thirds of the council’s area was un-parished.  Members were concerned that these areas would not be engaged in how the CIL money would be spent in their wards.  Members requested that more thought be given as to how these communities could be engaged with and assisted in determining how the money would be spent in their community.  The Director of Growth and Regeneration stated that the role of Ward Members was to facilitate involvement from communities to generate a list of projects. The role of the Ward Member was pivotal in how the 15% of CIL money was spent in un-parished areas.

·         Members asked if it was a wise decision to put responsibility for such a large amount of money in the hands of a single person. The Director of Growth and Regeneration responded that the money would not be in the hands of one person. The priorities would be decided by the community itself. The Community Development Manager merely collated the list of projects.

·         Members reiterated that there needed to be a strategy in place for engaging with the communities as to how CIL was spent and to make sure there was follow-through on projects. If this was not put in place it could be detrimental to the growth of the city.

·         Members asked if CIL money would go into a city-wide pot. The Director of Growth and Regeneration stated that 85% would go into a strategic pot and 15% would be in a local pot designed to help the local community.

·         Members asked how parish councils would become involved. The Director of Growth and Regeneration stated ward councillors should work with parish councils to prioritise initiatives. The Principal Strategic Planning Officer added that other groups besides Parish Councils would be worked with in un-parished areas.

·         Members congratulated the Principal Strategic Planning Officer on the Peterborough Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which they felt was a well presented and detailed document.

 

ACTIONS AGREED

 

1.    The Committee noted the report and the Peterborough Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

 

2.    The Committee requested that the Director for Growth and Regeneration report at a future meeting to consider the means by which the Council may best involve local communities in the selection and design of projects that form the overall growth strategy for the City.

 

Supporting documents: