Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Parish Council Liaison Forum Minutes

Monday, 24th January, 2011
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr David Coleman (Chairman); Cllr Mrs Jennie Beaumont and Cllr Terry Laing (SBC); H.Atkinson (Billingham T.C.), G.Colling, J.Walker (Egglescliffe & Eaglescliffe P.C.), T Bowman (Ingleby Barwick P.C.), T.Hampton (Kirklevington P.C.), G Rees (Grindon Parish Council), J Wills, J Lithgo (Stillington Parish Council), G Smith (Long Newton Parish Council).
J Dixon, I Nicholls, R Wren (DNS); P K Bell (LD).
In Attendance:
No other person was in attendance.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Miss Barbara Inman, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley and Cllr Barry Woodhouse.
Item Description Decision
There were no interests declared.
The minutes of the meeting held 20th September 2010 were agreed as a correct record.

1. The report be noted.

2. The presentation be received.

1. The report be noted.

2. The presentation be received.

1. The report be noted.

2. The presentation be received.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
7.00 pm 8.30 pm


Members considered a report and received a presentation on the Environment Development Plan Document Issues and Options. Members were advised that the consultation would be taking place between 31 January and 14 March 2011.

In 2004, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act introduced major changes in the way decisions about the long term planning and development of areas were made. The Act required local authorities to prepare and maintain a "Local Development Framework" to replace existing local plans.

The Local Development Framework was an umbrella term and would actually comprise a number of planning documents otherwise called "Local Development Documents" which together would set out the Council's long term planning policies and proposals.

The Environment DPD was a key Local Development Document, which would provide site-specific designations and guidance regarding the natural, historic and rural environment. The Environment DPD would add more detail to the strategic policies, set out in the Core Strategy.

Issues and Options was the first stage of the consultation process. The issues and options report detailed issues affecting the natural, historic and rural environment of Stockton-on-Tees Borough and invited the public and stakeholders to make comments on which options they felt were most appropriate for dealing with these issues. The issues and options paper presented the chance to consider how different policy options might deliver or hinder those broader local community priorities and test whether those choices fit well with national policy and guidance.

The report detailed an overarching approach to delivering green infrastructure and mitigating against and adapting to the affects of climate change. With the following four main themes providing the main content of the report:-

THEME 1 Natural Environment - planning policies on the protection and enhancement of the natural environment
THEME 2 Historic Environment - policies on the conservation and, where appropriate, enhancement, of the historic environment and heritage assets within the Borough.
THEME 3 Rural Environment - policies on rural character and diversification
THEME 4 Urban Open Space - policies on the strategic management of green spaces throughout the Borough

A consultation period of 6 weeks would be given for people to make formal representation on the Issues and Options Report. The 6-week period was from 31 January to 14 March 2011.
Members considered a report and received a presentation on Supplementary Planning Document 3: Parking Provision for New Developments (SPD3) that was first adopted by the Council in 2006. Since then, it had provided guidance for applicants for planning permission on the parking standards associated with various types of development in the Borough and had been a material consideration in the determination of applications. In addition to being part of the Local Development Framework, SPD3 also constituted a chapter of the Tees Valley Design Guide and Specification for Residential and Industrial Estate Development.

Supplementary Planning Documents provided guidance on local planning matters and was reviewed on a periodic basis to ensure they remained relevant and up-to-date, particularly when development plan policies were modified. Since SPD3's adoption in 2006, there had been a number of changes to Government guidance on parking standards. Further to this, the Council's first Development Plan Document, the Core Strategy was adopted in 2010. SPD3 had therefore been reviewed and updated to reflect changes in Government guidance and local policy since its adoption. The document had also been retitled ‘Parking Provision for Developments'.

Revisions to the SPD's content were largely related to the context and guidance contained in the document, rather than the standards themselves, although these had been altered where appropriate. The main changes to the document included:-

• Clarification and standardisation of terms (for example, Practitioner replaces Doctor), and the inclusion of a glossary;
• Expansion of the role of travel plans in developments to ensure sustainable development is encouraged;
• Clarification of the Stockton Town Centre boundary and standards in other areas of the Borough;
• Addition of guidance on electric charging points;
• Updated guidance on some aspects of car and cycle parking to reflect the latest research;
• Introduction of a section on safer car parking
• Guidance on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and the adoption of car parking within the highway where relevant has been expanded.

The following standards had also been revised:-

• Dwellings: Cycle parking has been included
• Flatted Development: Cycle parking provision has been increased
• Parking standard for Houses in Multiple Occupation included
• Sheltered Housing category 1: Included cycle parking provision
• Parking provision has been increased
• Sheltered Housing category 2: Parking provision has been increased
• Residential Care Homes for the Elderly: Included cycle parking for visitors and staff
• Residential Institutions: Cycle parking for visitors included
• Health Centres: Cycle parking standard changed
• Specialist Clinics: Cycle parking standard changed
• Hospitals: Car parking standard removed - to consult Highway Authority
• Primary Schools & Secondary Schools: Cycle parking in conjunction with a school travel plan
• Nursery Schools: Provision of cycle parking included
• Hot Food Take aways: New parking standard included
• All use classes now include parking provision for people with disabilities.

Since the revised SPD was drafted and approved for consultation, Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport, which sets out National level policies, had also been revised. The new PPG 13, introduced on 3 January 2010, included a number of changes regarding parking policy and standards; however, it was considered that these changes would not impact significantly on the content of the SPD.

The revised SPD would undergo its statutory six week public consultation period from 31 January to 14 March 2011. Following this, any comments made would be taken into account where appropriate and necessary changes made. It was anticipated that the document would be adopted as part of the Local Development Framework later in 2011.
Members considered a report and received a presentation on the purpose and draft content of the Sustainable Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document. Members were advised that public consultation would be taking place between 31 January and 14 March 2011.

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) form part of the Local Development Framework, but did not contain planning policy; instead they provided guidance on local planning matters.

Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development sets out the Government policy for the delivery of sustainable development within the planning system and stated that "good design ensures attractive usable, durable and adaptable places and is a key element in achieving sustainable development".

Government Guidance (PPS3: Housing) also considered that "good design is fundamental to the development of high quality new housing, which contributes to the creation of sustainable, mixed communities". It required that Local Planning Authorities encourage developers to provide sustainable and environmentally friendly housing developments. The purpose of the Sustainable Design Guide SPD was to reflect this guidance and to provide advice to developers to improve the design standards and sustainability of new developments.

It was also intended that the document would provide greater detail on Policy CS3 of the Stockton on Tees Core Strategy. The aim of this policy was to reduce the environmental impacts of development and, among other things, requires that 10% of the energy requirement of a major development be provided from on site renewable sources and that developments meet various national standards designed to improve their design and sustainability.

The main objectives of the SPD were, therefore, to encourage energy efficiency and environmental sustainability and to promote high quality design standards, which had a high regard for the surrounding character of the site and create attractive places. In order to assist the Council and private individuals, the SPD included advice on site selection and development settings, design principles for built development, open space and landscaping, ecology, energy generation and renewable technologies, water efficiency and sustainable drainage and waste management.

A consultation period of six weeks would be given for people to make formal representation on the SPD. The six-week period was from 31 January to 14 March 2011.
Consideration was given to a report which gave an update regarding the future of the Standards Framework.

The Standards Board (now known as Standards for England) would be abolished. Primary legislation was needed appropriate provisions had been included in the Localism Bill (the "Localism Bill").

The Localism Bill was introduced to Parliament on 13 December 2010. It was anticipated to receive Royal Assent in July to October 2011. This could result in a closure of the Standards Board sometime between December 2011 and March 2012.

The Standards Board continued to operate, albeit with a much reduced budget. The Board's priorities were to:-

• fulfil its statutory duties

• support Local Authorities in maintaining high standards; and

• assist Government in developing and implementing any new arrangements they may wish to introduce

The Communities Minister, Andrew Stunnell, previously indicated that the following new standards arrangements were likely:-

• Councillors will still have to conform to the highest standards of conduct

• Serious misconduct for personal gain will be a criminal act

• Councillors will have to register certain personal interests in a publicly available register

• This could include anything that could reasonably be regarded as likely to influence or affect their actions, or conduct when on business for the authority, or voting

• Failure to register or declare an interest, or deliberately seeking to mislead the public about an interest, will become criminal offences

• Legislation will make it clear that Councillors can campaign and vote freely on their issues e.g. such as planning matters.

• Local Authorities will be legally obliged/compelled to implement Ombudsman's findings

A statement by the Secretary of State for Communities also indicated that through discussions with the Local Government Association, there could be a (voluntary) code of conduct.

Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Localism Bill had provided more details regarding the proposals heralded by these statements. A statement from CLG and a synopsis of the standards provisions in the Bill were attached to the report.

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