Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham

Contact: Email:  Direct Line: 01403 215465

No. Item


Election of Chairman


In the absence of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, it was




            That Councillor Andrew Baldwin be elected Chairman for the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To approve as correct the minutes of the meeting held on 20th November 2018

(Note: If any Member wishes to propose an amendment to the minutes they should submit this in writing to at least 24 hours before the meeting.  Where applicable, the audio recording of the meeting will be checked to ensure the accuracy of the proposed amendment.)


The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 20th November 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declaration of Members' Interests

To receive any declarations of interest from Members of the Committee


There were no declarations of interest.



To receive any announcements from the Chairman of the Committee or the Chief Executive


There were no announcements.


Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To receive the report of the Chief Executive

Additional documents:


The Committee received the report of the Chief Executive on the outcome of the consultation on the Council’s draft proposal to amend the southern boundary of Southwater Parish to encompass the whole of the development at Mulberry Fields.


One response to the consultation had been received from Southwater Parish Council, who agreed with the proposal put forward by this Council.


One local Member, Councillor Claire Vickers, spoke in support of the proposal.


The Committee agreed to recommend the proposal to Council for approval.




(i)         That the draft proposal to amend the southern boundary of Southwater Parish Council with Shipley Parish Council to encompass the whole of the development at Mulberry Fields, as published for consultation and set out in the attached map, be agreed for implementation with effect from the parish council elections in May 2019.


(ii)        That a Reorganisation of Community Governance Order be made to give effect to this decision and all relevant bodies be advised that the order has been made.


(iii)       That the Local Government Boundary Commission for England be requested to give effect to the consequential changes to the West Sussex County Council electoral divisions of Southwater & Nuthurst and Billingshurst, arising from the amended boundary between Southwater and Shipley parishes.


(Note: The Chairman of the Committee arrived at 17:48 and took the chair for the remainder of the meeting)


Summary of Findings of the Review of the Functions, Responsibilities and Constitution of Planning Committees at Horsham District Council

Briefing from the Monitoring Officer. Finalised report of the Planning Advisory Service to follow when available


The Monitoring Officer presented a summary of the findings of the Committee’s review of the functions, responsibilities and constitution of the Council’s planning committees.


At the outset the Governance Committee had agreed that it should undertake a genuine, fair and professional review, with no preconceptions.


Initially four possible Planning Committee options were put forward for consideration:


  • Status quo (i.e. all Members sitting on one of two area-based committees);
  • Two area-based committees with number-limited membership;
  • Two committees – one for strategic/major applications and one for all other applications – with number-limited membership;

·         One committee for all applications with number-limited membership.


In undertaking the review the Committee had:


·         looked at whether the current structure, scheme of delegation and processes were efficient and effective and whether they met the needs (current and future) of the Council and its customers;

·         looked at how decision making might be improved whilst allowing for democratic input, together with good relationships between officers and Members;

·         visited and undertaken telephone interviews with five other local authorities in order to review and compare practices and procedures;

·         engaged the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) to undertake an independent peer review which included observing both the North and South Committees;

·         listened to the views and observations of the Director of Place and the Head of Development regarding the current operation of planning committees at the Council;

·         considered a number of documents relevant to the review, including:


o   Best Practice Protocol for the Operation of Planning committees - Department of Environment

o   HDC Constitution Extract - Scheme of delegation of responsibilities to Committees of the Council – Functions of Planning Committee

o   HDC Constitution Extract – Planning Protocol

o   Extract from the Productivity Review of Strategic Planning & Development Management June 2018

o   Review of Planning Decision Making Processes and Procedures – Havering Borough Council

o   Training Session Extract –14th September 2016

·         listened to the views of non-Committee Members at an all-Member seminar.


All the Councils visited or spoken to had undergone a change from running two or more geographical area planning committees to having a single planning committee with limited membership.  Using observations and comments received from the visits and telephone interviews, the advantages and disadvantages of a single committee were considered.


Whilst the final report of PAS was awaited, its initial observations and recommendations were reported.  The final report would be circulated to all Members when available.


Members discussed the summary of findings in detail.  Issues raised for further clarification included a request for a definition of undertaking of site visits by other authorities (e.g. organised whole committee visits/informal visits etc.) and whether any of the authorities operating a single planning committee with limited membership paid a Special Responsibility Allowance to members of the committee.


Members strongly agreed that mandatory training must be provided for members of planning committees and that, once provided, section 11 of the existing Planning Protocol should be enforced (i.e. Members who did not undertake the mandatory training would not be permitted to participate in decision making at meetings  ...  view the full minutes text for item GO/33


Urgent Business

Items not on the agenda which the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as urgent because of the special circumstances


There was no urgent business.

Proposed_Revision_Parish_Bndry_Nov18_Southwater pdf icon PDF 733 KB