Agenda item

Public Questions and Statements

Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice (including the text of the question/statement) to Lily Hamilton of Democratic Services (contact details at the foot of page 2) by midday on Monday 17 July 2023. Each speaker should limit themselves to 3 minutes on any item. Members of the public who have given notice will be invited to speak:


·         At this point in the meeting if their questions/statements relate to matter which are not otherwise on the Agenda (subject to an overall time limit of 30 minutes).

·         When the relevant Agenda item is being considered.


If you are exercising your right to speak at this meeting, but do not wish to be recorded, please inform the Chairman who will instruct anyone who may be taking a recording to cease while you speak.


The Chair informed the Committee that this item would be taken out of numerical order, and it was addressed following the conclusion of Item 5.


There was one public statement from Phillip Tate which was shared by the Chair of the Committee.


" I fully appreciate that this Committee is still feeling its way as part of a new Unitary Authority but I would like to make a suggestion that could transform it from being simply a variant of its original form to something much more exciting and proactive. The suggestion is predominantly concerned with Housing policy but could equally apply to Industrial development.


At present, Planning policy is essentially a wish list of ambitions which is used to determine whether or not an Application should be granted Approval. This is  generally known as Development Control.  Only rarely does a Planning Authority actually initiates Development.  I think the direction of travel should be completely different. I think that a Planning Authority should be the sole purchaser of land for Development and use its power of Compulsory Purchase to acquire land that it has previously determined would be in its region's interest to develop.


When land is Compulsorily Purchased,  the Vendor only receives the value of the land at the time of its sale. This value is not inflated by the intended use of the land. Thus farmland earmarked for Housing Development would be acquired at the going rate for Agricultural land. The land would then be put on the open market for sale and the uplift in value would accrue to the Planning Authority and not the original owner. This money could then be used to subsidise social housing.


The land could also be sold with pre-conditions for such things as the mix of housing  , its density and  the provision of amenity.


Moving towards this model should be attractive to both Councillors and Officers.  The elected members could actively improve their community and the Officers would be able to use their training in Town Planning constructively instead of merely reacting to unsolicited applications.


But there is a warning that comes with this suggestion.  I had originally intended to ask a question about an Application in my own neighbourhood to site a temporary home. This application has been under consideration for eighteen months. Clearly if we are going to move towards a proactive form of Planning and Development , we are going to need a style of management that is worthy of such responsibility.  Decision making is going to need to be fleet of foot and able to evaluate considerations that are genuinely material to a proposed development. Last month in reviewing the scheme for 43 houses in South Kilvington , it was felt necessary to mention that both a fox and a deer had been spotted on the proposed site.  Of the members present, not a single eye was rolled.


I look forward to hearing Members initial thoughts about acquiring land and positively driving an Agenda for Development using powers of Compulsory  Purchase. "


Jill Thompson, Planning and Development Manager gave the following statement which was read by the Chair of the Committee:


“Thank you for your statement and suggestions.

Unfortunately, this is not a matter that the area planning committee can provide a detailed response to. The question will be referred to the Council’s legal and estates teams and the relevant  Portfolio Holders and a full  response will be provided in due course.”