Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 11 July 2022 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Malton  01954 713000 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Announcements

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive Apologies for Absence from Cabinet members. 

Minutes:

There were Apologies for Absence from Councillor Peter McDonald, Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Brian Milnes, Lead Cabinet Member for the Environment, declared an interest in item 7, Lynton Way, Sawston, as a Member of Sawston Parish Council.

4.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To authorise the Leader to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, 13 June 2022 as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet authorised the Leader to sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, 13 June 2022.

5.

Public Questions

The deadline for receipt of public questions is 23:59 on Tuesday, 5 July 2022.

The Council’s scheme for public speaking at committee meetings may be inspected here:

Public Speaking Scheme

 

Minutes:

Cabinet received five requests to speak from the public ahead of the meeting.

 

a)    From Mrs. Elizabeth McWilliams

 

In the news currently are two issues totalling nearly £33m of ‘funding shortfalls’ between developer promises and what can be achieved in the S106 agreements - significant projects that were originally going to be paid for by the developer, but that now require public monies in order to be completed:

 

i) the request to the Greater Cambridge Partnership for £20m to relocate the railway station from Waterbeach to the New Town;

ii) South Cambs District Council investing £12.85m in Northstowe for a sports pavilion and other community facilities.

 

My question (in 3 parts) is about how South Cambs District Council is going to avoid any more such large projects requiring public funding, specifically:

 

1) What risk assessment has been undertaken on other developments currently between outline planning stage and finalisation of S106 agreements?

2) Has that risk assessment process identified any other projects at risk of funding shortfall?

3) What lessons has the Council learned about how to do this better in future?

 

Response from Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning:

 

The delivery of strategic development sites requires careful consideration of development viability – because such projects over a long period of time often require very significant up front infrastructure investments that have to be made before any new homes can be sold - to help repay the borrowing etc. The Council has, in recent year, routinely undertaken viability assessments to help it to determine what infrastructure of other planning objectives the “development value” created by the planning permission should be directed towards. Recent S106 planning agreements have also sought to move away from placing obligations upon the District Council for delivery of new infrastructure – precisely to manage the risks upon the Council. The County Council also have their own risk management approach.

 

The Waterbeach funding decision does not impact the District Council or the planning outcomes envisaged by the planning application. The obligations arising in phase 1 of the Northstowe Development are not repeated in the most recent phases 3A or B. The agreements for other, more recently consented strategic sites also do not include the option for the developer to invite the District Council to deliver new infrastructure. The circumstances at Northstowe are not therefore repeated elsewhere

 

Recognising the changing circumstances over the 20+ year life of a development, the Planning Authority nevertheless maintains a continuing relationship with the lead developer on all major sites – to ensure that risks and issues surrounding delivery and viability can be explored alongside solutions. Strategic sites form a central plank of the Council’s growth strategy (and 5 year land supply) and ensuring continued delivery of new homes on these sites is therefore important, if we are to avoid the risk of unplanned growth taking place elsewhere. 

 

The current inflation rates mean that build costs and development viability may be adversely impacted on both small and large development sites. S106  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Issues arising from the Scrutiny and Overview Committee pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet noted the Scrutiny and Overview report summarising the meeting held on Thursday, 23 June 2022, relating to the following agenda items:

 

·       Greater Cambridge Local Development Scheme and Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals Representations

·       Delivery at Northstowe

 

Councillor John Batchelor, Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, clarified a comment within the report relating to Delivery at Northstowe, the Council intends to purchase 60 affordable homes, instead of 80.

7.

Lynton Way, Sawston - Recreation Ground pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

Agreed to implement a new 99-year lease with Sawston Parish Council relating to land owned by South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) at Lynton Way, Sawston.

Minutes:

Cabinet received the lease agreement for the recreation ground on Lynton Way, Sawston. Councillor Bill Handley, Lead Cabinet Member for the Community introduced the report, commenting on the plans from Sawston Parish Council, and the process as part of the Asset Transfer Policy.

 

Councillor Brian Milnes, Lead Cabinet Member for the Environment, was supportive of the project, and noted, as one of the local Members for Sawston, the improvement in local community facilities.

 

Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, mentioned the support from the local community.

 

After a short discussion, Cabinet:

 

Agreed to implement a new 99-year lease with Sawston Parish Council relating to land owned by South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) at Lynton Way, Sawston.

8.

Orwell Beacon - Asset Transfer pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

Agreed to the transfer of ownership of the Orwell Beacon (‘the Beacon’, also known as the Orwell Millennium Beacon) from South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) to Orwell Parish Council.

Minutes:

Cabinet received the transfer of ownership for the Orwell Beacon. Councillor John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member for Resources introduced the report, and commented that Orwell Parish Council would take ownership of this land.

 

After a short discussion, Cabinet:

 

Agreed to the transfer of ownership of the Orwell Beacon (‘the Beacon’, also known as the Orwell Millennium Beacon) from South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) to Orwell Parish Council.

9.

Biodiversity Net Gain pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

Endorsed the Biodiversity Net Gain proposal as an interim approach of guiding principles for siting biodiversity net gain for developments within South Cambridgeshire, with delegated powers given to the Joint Planning Director of Planning and Economic Development to make minor changes to the technical note.

Minutes:

Cabinet received the Biodiversity Net Gain proposal. Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning, introduced the report, and commented on the interim approach.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam thanked Officers for bringing the policy to Cabinet, and was pleased with the use of maps within the report but asked about the land between Landbeach and Waterbeach. The Natural Environment Team Leader said that these were indicative maps, based on the current evidence from the published Local Plan. Councillor Anna Bradnam responded on the increase in visitors to Milton Country Park during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Joint Director of the Shared Planning Service highlighted the difference between the country park and the biodiversity net gain land highlighted within the report.

 

Councillor Brian Milnes, Lead Cabinet Member for the Environment, commented on the interim report coming to the Climate and Environment Advisory Committee and Cabinet and allowing Members to review the interim approach.

 

Councillor Judith Rippeth, the Deputy Leader, appreciated the scope of the report, ensuring the Council was forward planning ahead of future developments.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, Leader of the Council, commented on the emerging Nature Recovery Strategy. The Natural Environment Team Leader clarified this interim strategy was a toolkit for Officers to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain across all developments.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, closed the item, thanked Officers for their work, and Cabinet:

 

Endorsed the Biodiversity Net Gain proposal as an interim approach of guiding principles for siting biodiversity net gain for developments within South Cambridgeshire, with delegated powers given to the Joint Planning Director of Planning and Economic Development to make minor changes to the technical note.

10.

Greater Cambridge Local Development Scheme and Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals Representations pdf icon PDF 405 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

a)    Noted the representations made to the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals (Preferred Options) consultation and the report on the consultation at Appendix A.

b)    Agreed to adopt the updated Local Development Scheme for Greater Cambridge included at Appendix B of the report, to take effect from Monday 1 August 2022.

c)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in consultation with the South Cambridgeshire District Council Lead Cabinet member for Planning and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure (in consultation with chair and spokes), to make any minor editing changes and corrections identified to the updated Local Development Scheme for Greater Cambridge included at Appendix A of the report prior to publication.

Minutes:

Cabinet received the Greater Cambridge Local Development Scheme and Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals Representations. Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning introduced the report, and remarked on the current progress of the plan. The Lead Cabinet Member also thanked the Scrutiny and Overview Committee for their work in developing the current draft of the Local Plan.

 

Councillor John Batchelor, Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, commented on the new sites put forward through the consultation.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith, Leader of the Council, remarked on the status of the originally proposed sites that were not part of the draft local plan, noting that they did not have any planning status, and asked if these new sites would be required to go through the full consultation process if they were to be included. The Planning Policy Manager responded that new sites would be subject to the full testing process, and any changes to the plan would be subject to consultation as the plan moved forward.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith closed the item, thanked Officers for the clarity of the report, and Cabinet:

 

a)    Noted the representations made to the Greater Cambridge Local Plan First Proposals (Preferred Options) consultation and the report on the consultation at Appendix A.

b)    Agreed to adopt the updated Local Development Scheme for Greater Cambridge included at Appendix B of the report, to take effect from Monday 1 August 2022.

c)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in consultation with the South Cambridgeshire District Council Lead Cabinet member for Planning and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure (in consultation with chair and spokes), to make any minor editing changes and corrections identified to the updated Local Development Scheme for Greater Cambridge included at Appendix A of the report prior to publication.

11.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan: Draft Plan Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 306 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

a)    Agreed the proposed response to the draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan consultation as set out in Appendix A.

b)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development to consider and agree any material changes to the response to the draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan consultation proposed by Cabinet, in liaison with the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, and in consultation with the Chair and Spokes of the Cambridge City Council Planning & Transport Scrutiny Committee.

c)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in liaison with the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet member for Economic Development and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, to make any minor editing changes to the response to the draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan consultation.

Minutes:

Cabinet received the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport and Connectivity Plan: Draft Plan Consultation Response. Councillor Bridget Smith, Leader of the Council, introduced the report.

 

Councillor Brian Milnes, Lead Cabinet Member for the Environment, commented on the consultation response between the local authorities, and referred to the need to enhance the response to seek amendments to references to the East West Rail link to Newmarket, and to electricity grid enhancements required to support the decarbonisation of both private and public transport across the area. The Principal Policy Planner Officer commented that the report had been approved by Cambridge City Council, and the additions from the Cabinet would be part of an out-of-cycle decision.

 

Councillor John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member Resources, referred to the intended integrated travel network within the district, and the necessity for increased capacity within the National Grid to power the projects currently planned.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam commented on the Cambridgeshire County Council’s use of ‘trip budgets’ and asked whether this had been reviewed within the consultation response. The Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development responded that trip budgets were already used by Cambridgeshire County Council and suggested that no amendments were required to be added to the report.

 

Councillor Anna Bradnam asked if the ‘trip budget’ approach would be incorporated into other developments. The Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development noted that this would be kept under review.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith closed the item, and Cabinet:

 

a)    Agreed the proposed response to the draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan consultation as set out in appendix 1.

b)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development to consider and agree any material changes to the response to the draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan consultation proposed by Cabinet, in liaison with the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, and in consultation with the Chair and Spokes of the Cambridge City Council Planning & Transport Scrutiny Committee.

c)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in liaison with the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet member for Economic Development and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, to make any minor editing changes to the response to the draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan consultation.

12.

Neighbouring Local Plan Consultation Responses pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

a)    Agreed the proposed response to the West Suffolk Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) consultation as set out in Appendix A, and the proposed response to the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040 Plan for Submission (Regulation 19) as set out in Appendix B

b)    Agreed that any material changes to the responses to the West Suffolk Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) and the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040 Plan for Submission (Regulation 19) arising from consideration by Cabinet will be agreed via an out of cycle decision by the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet Member for Planning in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, and in consultation with the Chair and Spokes of the Cambridge City Council Planning & Transport Scrutiny Committee.

c)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in liaison with the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet member for Planning and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, to make any minor editing changes to the responses to the West Suffolk Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) and the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040 Plan for Submission (Regulation 19).

Minutes:

Cabinet received the Neighbouring Local Plan Consultation Responses. Councillor Dr. Tumi Hawkins, Lead Cabinet Member for Planning introduced the report, and commented on the responses to consultations by East Cambridgeshire District Council, West Suffolk District Council and Bedford Borough Council.

 

Councillor John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member for Resources, recalled the current situation with Uttlesford District Council, and requested the Cabinet to note the issues.

 

Councillor Judith Rippeth, the Deputy Leader, thanked Officers for continuing to review the local authorities’ local plans, and responding to any impacts for the Greater Cambridge Local Plan.

 

After a short discussion, Councillor Bridget Smith, Leader of the Council, closed the item and Cabinet:

 

a)    Agreed the proposed response to the West Suffolk Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) consultation as set out in Appendix A, and the proposed response to the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040 Plan for Submission (Regulation 19) as set out in Appendix B

b)    Agreed that any material changes to the responses to the West Suffolk Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) and the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040 Plan for Submission (Regulation 19) arising from consideration by Cabinet will be agreed via an out of cycle decision by the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet Member for Planning in liaison with the Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, and in consultation with the Chair and Spokes of the Cambridge City Council Planning & Transport Scrutiny Committee.

c)    Agreed to grant delegated authority to the Joint Director of Planning and Economic Development, in liaison with the South Cambridgeshire Lead Cabinet member for Planning and the Cambridge City Council Executive Councillor for Planning and Infrastructure, to make any minor editing changes to the responses to the West Suffolk Local Plan Preferred Options (Regulation 18) and the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2040 Plan for Submission (Regulation 19).

13.

Delivery at Northstowe pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

Recommended to Council to:

 

a)    Approve additional funding for the Phase 1 community buildings of: 

                      i.        £1.53m for the Sports Pavilion (including an allocation of £300k from the Renewable Energy Reserve) 

                    ii.        £6.5m for the Community Building funded from Capital Receipts. 

b)    Approve an amendment to the Capital Programme to increase the allocation by £1.38m for the Phase 2 Civic Hub funded by the s106 to reflect the total allocation after indexation. 

c)    Approve an additional £2.82 allocated to the Civic Hub programme funded from Capital Receipts.  

d)    Note that the Phase 2 Sports Pavilion is likely to be underfunded, but that delivery is not expected until 18 months after the 500th occupation on Phase 2.  Although an exact amount cannot be estimated at this time, it is proposed an additional allocation of £2m be made in the General Fund Capital Programme, funded from Capital Receipts, for this project.  

e)    Create a further provision of £433,000 (£219,000 plus indexation) for the Phase 1 Section 106 shortfall.  

f)     Create a provision for Phase 2 Section 106 commitments of £1.6m 

g)    Request that officers undertake a further review of infrastructure prioritisation in the S106 agreement for phase 2 in light of this report and report the matter back to the Planning Committee for consideration.    

h)    Agree to the Community Centre and Local Centre being built on Parcel 6 via a Direct Delivery or Development Manager model.  

i)     Pause the wider Enterprise Zone development (on Parcels 1,2, 3 and 4) for an initial period of 12 months.    

j)     Agree the approach to Parcel 5 taking into account the option agreement set out in the exempt section of this report 

 

This is a recommendation to Council, and not subject to call-in.

 

Cabinet:

 

k)    Agreed to establish a Member Governance Board for Northstowe

 

The above decision from Cabinet is subject to call-in.

Minutes:

Cabinet received the Delivery at Northstowe proposals. Councillor Bill Handley, Lead Cabinet Member for Communities, introduced the report, and thanked the Scrutiny & Overview Committee for their work. The Lead Cabinet Member also commented on the draft Northstowe Delivery Board document, and collaborative work with Northstowe Town Council.

 

After a short discussion, Councillor Bridget Smith, Leader of the Council, closed the item, thanked Officers for their work, and Cabinet:

 

Recommended that Council:

 

a)    Approve additional funding for the Phase 1 community buildings of: 

                        i.         £1.53m for the Sports Pavilion (including an allocation of £300k from the Renewable Energy Reserve) 

                       ii.         £6.5m for the Community Building funded from Capital Receipts. 

b)    Approve an amendment to the Capital Programme to increase the allocation by £1.38m for the Phase 2 Civic Hub funded by the s106 to reflect the total allocation after indexation. 

c)    Approve an additional £2.82 allocated to the Civic Hub programme funded from Capital Receipts.  

d)    Note that the Phase 2 Sports Pavilion is likely to be underfunded, but that delivery is not expected until 18 months after the 500th occupation on Phase 2.  Although an exact amount cannot be estimated at this time, it is proposed an additional allocation of £2m be made in the General Fund Capital Programme, funded from Capital Receipts, for this project.  

e)    Create a further provision of £433,000 (£219,000 plus indexation) for the Phase 1 Section 106 shortfall.  

f)      Create a provision for Phase 2 Section 106 commitments of £1.6m 

g)    Request that officers undertake a further review of infrastructure prioritisation in the S106 agreement for phase 2 in light of this report and report the matter back to the Planning Committee for consideration.    

h)    Agree to the Community Centre and Local Centre being built on Parcel 6 via a Direct Delivery or Development Manager model.  

i)      Pause the wider Enterprise Zone development (on Parcels 1,2, 3 and 4) for an initial period of 12 months.    

j)      Agree the approach to Parcel 5 taking into account the option agreement set out in the exempt section of this report 

 

And Cabinet:

 

k)    Agreed to establish a Member Governance Board for Northstowe 

14.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The press and public are likely to be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item in accordance with the provisions of Section 100(a)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act). Paragraph 3 relates to information about the financial or business affairs of any person, including the Authority holding that information.

Minutes:

Cabinet agreed by affirmation that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of item 15 in accordance with the provisions of Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) (exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act). Paragraph 3 refers to information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

15.

Acquisition 18 no. Affordable Homes in Over

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

Approved the property acquisition as specified in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the exempt report.

Minutes:

Cabinet received the exempt report for the Acquisition of 18 Affordable Homes in Over. Councillor John Batchelor, Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, introduced the report.

 

Councillor Bill Handley, Lead Cabinet Member for Communities was pleased with the acquisition within his Ward.

 

Councillor John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member for Resources commented the acquisition offered value for money.

 

After a short discussion, Cabinet:

 

Approved the property acquisition as specified in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the exempt report.