Minutes for Local Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Developing a Dynamic Local Economy) meeting, Mar 11 2009, 10.00AM official page
Venue: Old Restaurant, Town Hall, WakefieldItems No. Item
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence submitted prior to the meeting on behalf of Councillors Mrs Broom, Walsh and Wilson were accepted.
Minutes - 21 January 2009 PDF 67 KB
Resolved â€“ That the Minutes of the meeting of the Local Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 21 January 2009 be approved as a correct record.
Co-opted Member Vacancies
Subject to approval by Full Council on 18 March 2009, appointments had been made to the two Co-opted Member vacancies on the Committee.Â The two names put forward for Full Council approval were Mrs Jayne Rawlins and Mrs Janice Power.
Co-opted Member Expenses
Co-opted Members were reminded to ensure that any claims for expenses were submitted in the financial year in which they were incurred.
Wakefield Market Hall
The Chair informed the Committee that following ongoing consultation on issues associated with Wakefield Market Hall, he had agreed that this matter be deferred to a later date, subject to the Chair undertaking a site visit of the Market Hall with Andrew Wallhead, Corporate Director for Regeneration, Culture and Sport and Lisa Dodd, Service Director for Culture and Sport, to examine what was being done to improve the current situation.Â The visit had been scheduled for 20 March 2009 and the Chair agreed to report back to the next Committee meeting on the outcome, enabling the Committee to make a decision as to the appropriate action to take.Â It was agreed that Councillor Mrs Rhodes, as a Local Ward Member, would join the Chair on the site visit.
Wakefield City Renaissance â€“ Kirkgate Development Area
Through the Chair, Members highlighted a number of concerns regarding the Kirkgate Development Area.Â In response Ian Thomson, Service Director Planning and Property confirmed that the physical condition of the Kirkgate Station, operation at the Station, security issues and other long term issues, were amongst issues currently being discussed. Â Ian Wiper, Service Director, Transportation and Highways highlighted that Andy Wallhead, Corporate Director, Regeneration, Culture and Sport had arranged a meeting with representatives from Network Rail, Metro and other organisations regarding future initiatives in the area. Â In addition, Mr Wiper explained that due to safety issues a decision had been taken to temporarily remove Kirkgate Station from the Citybus route.Â Discussions were being held with Network Rail to resolve the safety issue.
Trinity Walk Development
The Chair explained that it would be inappropriate to discuss the Trinity Walk Development until further information had been made available, but was sure that the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive would ensure that Members were kept informed of progress.
Members' Declarations of Interest.
Members are reminded of the requirement to make an appropriate verbal declaration at the meeting on any item(s) on this agenda in which they have an interest.Â Having done so, Members are asked to complete a form detailing the declaration, which will be available from the Committee Services Officer at the meeting.
No declarations of interests were made.
Planning & Highways Co-ordination PDF 93 KB
Ian Thomson â€“ Service Director for Planning and Property and Ian Wiper â€“ Service Director for Transportation and Highways will be in attendance.
The Overview and Scrutiny Officer submitted a report which sought consideration of the relationship between Highways and Planning in respect of large regeneration schemes in the District.
At a previous meeting Committee Members had questioned to what extent there was joint working and communication between Highways and Planning on new developments.Â Ian Thomson, Service Director for Planning and Property and Ian Wiper, Service Director for Transportation and Highways were in attendance at the meeting to explain to Members the relationship between the two services and to answer membersâ€™ questions.
Mr Thomson explained that both the Highways and Planning Service Areas were part of the wider Regeneration, Culture and Sport Directorate, and both Service Directors worked closely together.Â With regards to the planning process, Mr Thomson explained that both service areas were involved at various stages in the process, often at the initial application and occasionally prior to the formal submission of applications.Â Officers from both Planning and Highways attended the Planning and Highways Committee for all planning developments.Â Both service areas also learnt from any Appeals lodged in connection with planning decisions.Â
Mr Thomson drew the Committeeâ€™s attention to the existing infrastructure and future development in the District, highlighting that Wakefield had recently been granted Growth Status by the Government and additional funding was available.Â Preliminary work on growth and infrastructure was focusing on road and other transport infrastructures.Â Â Â Â Â
Mr Wiper explained that both service areas were forward thinking, explaining that a solution to further development is altering the ways of moving people around, taking people from the existing network enabling it to be freed up as adding to the networks was not the long term solution.Â Meetings were being held frequently between Ian Thomson, Ann Pittard, Service Director Strategic Housing and himself.Â Mr Wiper explained that both service areas remained positive and would say to each other or developers that the proposed developments were unsuitable, if necessary.Â However, Highways continued to seek solutions to problems rather than barriers.Â Officers from the Highways Department also engaged in regular discussions with local planning agents to ascertain their views, as it was recognised that building was a key part of economic development locally without compromising Highways professional position.
In response to a question regarding the Leeds City Region, Mr Thomson explained that Wakefield had suggested that they would be able to stretch the number of new houses allocated to the District to help meet the national need.Â Concerns were expressed regarding the additional housing and the need to re-allocate land previously identified for industrial use.Â Mr Thomson explained that this provided an opportunity for Wakefield to align with their areas in terms of housing provision, ensuring Wakefield was in a strong position for the future.Â Both the Core Plan and Local Development Framework looked at both housing and industrial land use.
It was noted that the additional monies were primarily aimed at the feasibility studies.Â In response to a question about how the infrastructure works would be funded, Mr Wiper explained that funding had been set at Â£2.5m over the next 2 years, which was aimed at preparatory work.Â Long-term funding would come from various sources including Section 106 monies, Stakeholder funding and Growth Initiative monies.Â It had been recognised that major infrastructure works could not be funded from one funding source alone.Â Both Mr Thomson and Mr Wiper explained that each development site would be considered on its own merits, as not all sites required infrastructure works.Â The views of Highways, Yorkshire Water and other statutory consultees were taken into account and action taken as necessary, which could enable some development work to commence.
Mr Thomson confirmed that any proposed development on previously identified greenbelt land would be subject to further consultation.Â The Regional Spatial Strategy had set a target of 1600 new homes in the Wakefield District, and in the previous 12 months 1900 new homes had been built.Â To continue to meet the need for new housing a number of greenbelt sites had been identified as potential development areas, although it was anticipated that the majority of future development sites would be on brownfield sites, without the need to consider greenbelt sites.
Mr Wiper explained that when a developer suggested that a full review of the road network had been undertaken as part of the planning application, Highways would require the developer to demonstrate that sufficient measures were in place. Â If it was felt that this was not sufficient developers would be required to suggest alternative solutions.Â Mr Thomson confirmed that although developers may meet Planning and Highways Officers prior to the submission of a planning application, no guarantees as to the outcome of the application were ever given.Â Additionally, it was recognised that although both Planning and Highways Officers worked closely together during the planning process, both areas remained objective and were able to present constructive views, which could result in different recommendations from the two sets of Officers.Â
Mr Wiper confirmed that Highways Officers would seek a demonstration of the impact new housing developments would have on the traffic infrastructure as a part of the planning application, and if needed further information would be requested prior to Highways Officers making recommendations.Â Highways Officers would challenge and investigate submissions rigorously and robustly. Highways Officers, including Senior Engineers and Clerks to the works checked every site throughout the development process.
The Chair thanked Mr Thomson and Mr Wiper for their attendance at the meeting.
Resolved â€“ That the report be noted.
The Chair explained that he had requested summary details regarding the range of enforcement measures available to the Council for the purpose of controlling and reducing litter and generally cleaning up the environment, which it was hoped would be provided in time for the Committeeâ€™s meeting in April 2009. Â Â
Resolved â€“ That appropriate representatives from the enforcement bodies (West Yorkshire Police, Anti-Social Behaviour Unit etc) be invited to attend a future Committee meeting to discuss enforcement measures. Â
Forward Plan of Key Decisions PDF 101 KB
Consideration was given to a report of the Overview and Scrutiny Officer which detailed the Forward Plan of Key Decisions for the period 1 March to 30 June 2009.Â The following key decisions had been identified as being relevant to the Local Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee:
- Castleford Interchange â€“ Agreement with Metro
- Bretton Hall Estate â€“ Future Use
- Adoption of Local Development Framework Document: Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document
- Wakefield City Renaissance â€“ Kirkgate Development Area
- Rural Strategy Report: To be developed as part of the Economic Regeneration Strategy 2007 â€“ 2015
- Wakefield Highways Implementation Plan
It was highlighted that the proposals within the future use of Bretton Hall, included conference facilities.Â Members suggested this resource was needed within the District as existing venues did not have sufficient parking facilities.Â Â The Overview and Scrutiny Officer was requested to obtain further details on the proposed educational facilities at Bretton Hall.
Resolved â€“ (1) That the report be noted.
(2) That relevant Officers be invited to a future meeting regarding the Wakefield Highways Implementation Plan and that a prÃ©cis of the plan be provided to Members beforehand.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
Resolved â€“ That the next meeting of the Local Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee be held at 10.00 am on Wednesday, 8 April 2009 in the Old Restaurant, Town Hall, Wakefield.