Agenda and draft minutes

No. Item


To approve the notes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To approve as correct the notes of the meeting held on 3 November 2016.


The group approved the notes of the meeting of 3 November 2016.


Planning Compliance

A general update on the team, including priorities for the upcoming year and key investigations over the past 12 months.



The Director of Planning, Economic Development & Property updated the group on compliance priorities for the forthcoming year and key investigations over the past 12 months. The Chairman of the group urged members to understand that due process had to be followed when dealing with compliance matters, many of which were sensitive.


Building Control LATC

Update from the Director of Planning, Economic Development and Property.


The Building Control Manager briefed the group on the business case for creating a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) for Building Control. The group heard that local authority Building Control had to be adaptable in a commercial environment and an appropriate business structure was needed. The drivers for change were:


·         Improved resilience

·         Commerciality

·         Skills to deliver

·         Reducing costs of delivery; and

·         Meeting client needs


An options appraisal had been undertaken with partner authorities to consider four options:


a) Retain the existing LABC service of two councils

b) A shared service (equal shares)

c) A shared service (host authority)

d) Local Authority Trading Company


The project board considered that the preferred option was a wholly owned LATC which would be put to the decision makers of each of the partner authorities. The potential benefits of the LATC approach were:


·         An opportunity to create an internal market for many support services

·         The sharing of resources would enable the service to target a lower allocation to non-fee earning activities and reduce the cost charged to each authority

·         The service could target additional income streams outside of the chargeable activities; and

·         Enables a means to generate sufficient income to cover all operating costs and reduce the level of support provided by the owning authorities


At the invitation of the Chairman of the group, Members queried:


·         Any risk to changing an already successful model of delivery

·         How decision makers would assess the future model

·         Staffing and resource matters


Officers responded that:


·         The commercial environment necessitated the council to put forward a business case to remain competitive, and that the benefits offered by a change in approach would offset risk

·         The business case would set out the robustness of the future operating model, and the staffing and resource considerations.


Three partner districts had agreed to develop a Business Case which was timetabled on the Forward Plan for Cabinet decision in September 2017.


Local Development Scheme

This is the timetable for the preparation of Development Plan Documents, which includes the Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule, the Site Allocations Document and the Horsham District Planning Framework Review. The Cabinet Member wishes to seek the advice of the group on the timetable and focus of the Site Allocation Document.


The Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainability outlined the timetable for the preparation of Development Plan Documents, including the CIL Charging Schedule, the Site Allocations Document and the Horsham District Planning Framework Review.


The group heard that the Site Allocations Document will focus on Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople.  Evidence gathering was underway to assess the need for provision for the plan period to 2031 and to identify potential sites. 


The group spoke of their preference that the consideration of options to address the shortfall not be limited to one area in the district. Officers explained the timetable for the preparation of a draft document for consultation in May/June 2017 and that an additional meeting of the group would be scheduled in March to provide the Cabinet Member with advice on the content of the consultation document.


Turning to the Local Development Scheme review, the Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainability gave an overview of the timetable to meet the Inspector’s requirement that the Horsham District Planning Framework (HDPF) Review be underway by November 2018. The HDPF Review is going to be called the Horsham District Local Plan and a consultation document, is likely to be published in the autumn, which will focus on policy areas such as employment and countryside protection. In response to a question, the group heard that the review was not required to specify a date by which it would end.


The Chairman thanked Officers for their summary and reminded Members that the Neighbourhood Planning Conference was scheduled for 25 January in Billingshurst.



Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) Update

This document sets out how and when the Council will involve the community and other interested people and organisations in the preparation of our policies and guidelines, including those related to planning and development. It also discusses community involvement in relation to planning application decisions and explains the role of the Council and that of applicants and their agents. The SCI is being amended to simplify the explanation of the different stages in the preparation of planning documents and the opportunities to participate and so that it reflects the Council’s constitutional changes and changes in the title of the Cabinet Member. It is not a policy document. The Consultation Draft SCI was discussed at PDAG at its meeting on 8 September 2016 and was agreed for consultation at Cabinet on 22 September. A summary of the comments received and the revised document circulated with this agenda will, subject to the advice of PDAG, be presented to Cabinet on 26 January 2017 for adoption.


The Principal Planning Officer - Policy reminded the group that the Consultation Draft SCI was discussed by the group at its meeting on 8 September 2016 and was supported for discussion at Cabinet on 22 September, when it was agreed for consultation.  A summary of the fifteen comments received and the revised document, which took those comments into account, had been circulated and subject to the advice of the group, would be presented to Cabinet on 26 January 2017 for adoption.


At the invitation of the Chairman, Members asked that the wording of the section called ‘making a decision’ be amended to reflect that the name of the Development Committees had changed to Planning Committees and that the reasons for referral had been clarified in the revised constitution agreed by Council on 7 December 2016.


Further, Members felt that reference to who would be consulted on Planning Policy should also include how by adding reference to appropriate public consultation and that consultations should also be appropriately advertised.



a)         Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – 17 comments were received on the Proposed Modifications consultation, eight of which were ‘no comment’. No substantive changes were requested in response to the Proposed Modifications and no respondents asked to appear at an Examination Hearing. The independent Examiner will confirmation shortly if a Hearing session will be necessary.


b)         Incinerator Planning Application



a) Community Infrastructure Levy


Officers explained that:


·        the Examiner had confirmed that no Hearing session was necessary

·        the wording relating to distribution of CIL funds to parish and neighbourhood councils had been prepared to seek to address comments received by parish and neighbourhood councils who had commented on the Proposed Modifications. These had been shared with the communities and sent to the Examiner for his consideration.

·        subject to a successful outcome of the CIL Examination, the anticipated timetable was for adoption in April 2017 with implementation likely in September 2017.


b) Incinerator Planning Application


Officers explained that Horsham District Council was a consultee to the application, and that a response to the consultation was being prepared by the Council’s Environmental Health and Landscape Officers.


The group unanimously urged that the council’s response should be to object robustly.