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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

1.

Chairman's Introduction

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J Burrell, C S McLean and R S L Perfitt.

3.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

4.

Items Reserved for Debate

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members that the following agenda item had been drawn down for debate:

 

10.      Acacia Hall Redevelopment Proposal Public Consultation Results and Next Steps

 

Accordingly, Members endorsed the Officer recommendations in respect of the following items:

 

11.      Grounds Maintenance Contract

 

12.      Corporate Plan - Performance Indicators

 

13.      Report of Delegated Action taken under Standing Order 38: Short Term Leasing for Temporary Accommodation

 

14.      Minutes of the Policy Overview Committee Meeting held on 13 December 2016

5.

Declarations of Interest on Items Reserved for Debate Only

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

6.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from Committees.

SD (ES)

7.

Response to Kent Freight Action Plan Consultation pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Summary:

 

Kent County Council is currently consulting on a draft Freight Action Plan for Kent.  This report summarises the content of the Plan and recommends that the Council respond to the consultation on a number of matters, particularly with regard to freight impacts at the Dartford Crossing.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the response to the consultation on the draft Freight Action Plan, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be submitted to Kent County Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report summarised the content of Kent County Council’s (KCC’s) draft Freight Action Plan for Kent and recommended that the Council respond to the consultation on a number of matters, particularly with regard to freight impacts at the Dartford Crossing.

 

  • The Planning Policy Manager noted that this was a non-statutory strategy and was one of a number of transport related documents produced by KCC. He said that its content was generally supported but advised that the Council’s response had suggested that a number of areas, in particular those referring to the rail freight interchange, Dartford Crossing, lorry parking and traffic routing required additional emphasis and expansion. He also noted how the response had highlighted air quality as an important issue for Dartford and how the construction of a Lower Thames Crossing would help address the key issues that had been identified.

 

  • Members referred to the information that had just been released which had advised that the road approaching the Dartford Crossing had mistakenly been classed by the Government as ‘rural’ rather than ‘urban’ and asked that the responses be reviewed in light of this reclassification. It was suggested that the particular response to KCC relating to air quality be enhanced to highlight this and that the Council’s own air quality readings taken in areas near to the Dartford Crossing approach road could be referenced.

 

  • Members then referred to responses that had been prepared by Parish/Town Councils and suggested that their concerns also be reflected in Dartford Council’s response if not already. Particular reference was made to lorry parking and the fact it was having noise and littering impacts on areas other than those highlighted in the proposed response. It was also felt that the option of locating rail/freight interchanges at other locations in Kent should be explored to reduce the volume of heavy goods traffic that would have to pass through Dartford/Junction 1a to reach the proposed Howbury Strategic Rail Interchange.

 

  • In response to a question relating to the fact that the Freight Action Plan was not going to be considered by the Joint Transportation Board (JTB) Members were advised that the JTB was an advisory body and that this consultation required the response of the Council (via Cabinet) as a consultee.

 

  • The Advisory Panel asked that Cabinet consider enhancing the proposed response relating to air quality, lorry parking and rail/freight interchanges as described in the above minute.

SD (ES)

8.

Community Infrastructure Levy Governance Arrangements pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Summary:

 

1.         This is a Key Decision as it is of such significance to the locality, the Council, or the services which it provides that the Managing Director is of the opinion that it should be treated as a Key Decision.

 

2.         This report proposes governance arrangements for the funding and delivery of infrastructure which is required to support planned development in Dartford, following the implementation of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) by the Council.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.         That the governance arrangements for decision-making and monitoring of CIL monies, as set out in paragraphs 5.1 to 5.8 and Appendices A, B and D of this report be agreed.

 

2.         That a CIL Steering Group be set up, in accordance with the proposals in paragraph 5.5 - 5.6 of this report.

 

3.         That proposals for liaison with Town and Parish Councils on joint infrastructure priorities, as set out in paragraphs 5.11 - 5.12 of this report, be agreed.

 

4.         That detailed proposals for engaging with local communities on spending of local CIL funding in unparished areas are developed and reported to Cabinet.

 

5.         That, for the reasons outlined in para 5.17, a CIL exemption policy not be introduced at the current time and that the situation be kept under review.

 

6.         That the updated online CIL guidance set out in Appendix E to the report is noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report proposed governance arrangements for the funding and delivery of infrastructure, which is required to support planned development in Dartford, following the implementation of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) by the Council.

 

  • The Planning Policy Manager reminded Members how developers were required to pay a levy on certain developments based on financial viability, which is then pooled and used to deliver wider local infrastructural improvements. He noted how the funding gathered would not cover all requirements and that governance arrangements were required to manage how the funding is released to enable identified projects to be delivered. He noted how the arrangements in the report focused on management of the Council’s proportion of CIL but also drew Members’ attention to the paragraphs which described how the neighbourhood portion was to be managed and the intention to provide updated CIL guidance on the website. He then referred to the parts of the report which described the roles of those involved in the governance process and the involvement of Cabinet and the General Assembly of the Council in the decision making process. He then noted how a Steering Group was to be established and the fact that it would bring in advice from public sector service providers. He said that this was a rolling programme and that the timescales involved should allow for the delivery of infrastructure to be planned alongside future developments, with Dartford guiding which projects should be brought forward for delivery.

 

  • Reference was made to the Steering Group that had been proposed and whether it would be working to defined ‘Terms of Reference’. The Strategic Director (External Services) advised that the report was asking Members to agree that a Group be established and noted how it would be operating in an advisory capacity only with no decision making powers, in a similar way to other steering groups, and that it was yet to be decided whether defined Terms of Reference were required. The inclusion of members of the public on the Steering Group was discussed and it was noted that the membership, as defined in the report, did not prohibit participation by other bodies if considered appropriate.

 

  • Members discussed the management of the 15% of CIL funding that will be passed to Parish/Town Councils and unparished areas to deliver local projects and emphasised the need to engage with members of the local community when making spending decisions to ensure that the funding is being spent on those areas with the most public support. It was noted how Stone Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan, which included input from residents, could, once approved, be used to help decide how the available funding should be allocated. Members also felt that existing public engagement channels should be used when proposed uses for Parish/Town Council CIL funding are considered.

 

  • It was also suggested that the annual update of Parish/Town Council and unparished area spending may not be enough to ensure that the funds are being spent wisely and that stronger governance procedures should be considered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

SD (ES)

9.

Consultation on Dartford Town Centre Framework pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Summary:

 

1.            This report sets out the purpose and content of the Draft Dartford Town Centre Framework which sets out a clear vision for the town centre with the aim of delivering a step change in the environment and overall experience of using the town centre.  The Framework identifies actions and interventions for the improvement of public space and the town’s built environment.  It also provides guidance for development proposals so that maximum benefit for all users of the town centre is achieved through this private investment.

 

2.         It is recommended that the Framework is brought into immediate use to assist in guiding the design of public realm schemes as well as in informing planning decisions on development in the town centre.  However, to have the full weight of a formal planning document, the Framework must go through the required planning procedures and be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) by the Council.  It is, therefore, recommended that public consultation is undertaken on the document, with a view to adopting it is an SPD.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.         That the Draft Dartford Town Centre Framework at Appendix A, be approved as a document for guiding investment and as a material consideration in planning decisions in the town centre, with immediate effect.

 

2.         That the Draft Dartford Town Centre Framework at Appendix A, and the Consultation Document (Early Stage Input) Statement at Appendix B, be approved for public consultation as a prospective Supplementary Planning Document.

 

3.         That the Head of Regeneration be granted delegated authority to make minor editorial changes and to finalise diagrams and graphic material to the Draft Framework prior to public consultation as a prospective Supplementary Planning Document.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report described the purpose and content of the Draft Dartford Town Centre Framework, which sets out a clear vision for the town centre with the aim of delivering a step change in the environment and overall experience for those using the town centre.  The Framework identified actions and interventions for the improvement of public space and the town’s built environment.  It also provided guidance for development proposals so that maximum benefit for all users of the town centre is achieved through this private investment.

 

The report also recommended that the Framework be brought into immediate use to assist in guiding the design of public realm schemes as well as informing planning decisions on development in the town centre.  However, to have the full weight of a formal planning document, the Framework must go through the required planning procedures and be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) by the Council.  It was therefore recommended that public consultation is undertaken on the document, with a view to adopting it as an SPD.

 

  • The Development Manager explained how the Framework was to be used from a planning point of view and how it can also be used by those outside of the planning process to publicise the assets of Dartford Town Centre, encourage investment and provide a context for public realm projects. She said that the Framework promoted high quality developments and noted how stakeholders and developers had been involved in discussions and a workshop which had fed into the development of the Framework. She then advised that a formal consultation exercise, proposed for May 2017, would seek to continue engagement with these stakeholders and also seek to include residents and small businesses in the town centre.

 

  • Members universally welcomed the Framework and wished to congratulate all those involved in its production. They also recognised that it presented an aspiration and that it may not be possible to deliver all of the developments proposed. Members felt that the document could also be used to show that Dartford was open for business and should be presented on the web in a way that allows investors and businesses from outside the region to understand the plans for Dartford Town Centre and encourage them to move into and/or invest in the area.

 

  • In response to a question on the weight that the document will carry when cited in planning application decisions the Development Manager replied that, once fully adopted as an SPD under the Core Strategy, it would be considered with the same high level of importance as other SPDs and would form part of the development plan which planning applications would be determined against. She also noted how the success of the document would be measured by its ability to provide an integrated view of future town centre developments and public realm improvements and the synergy between them, and the successful planned delivery of the projects identified within the implementation section at the end of the Framework.

 

SD (IS)

10.

Acacia Hall Redevelopment Proposal Public Consultation Results and Next Steps pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Summary:

 

This report sets out the results of the public consultation on the Acacia Hall site redevelopment proposals, and requests consent to go to tender at the appropriate time, subject to the capital budget being approved by the General Assembly of the Council as part of the budget making process.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.         That the results of the public consultation at Appendix A to the report, be noted.

 

2.         That the Officer assessment of the responses to the public consultation, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be noted.

 

3.         That the Strategic Director (Internal Services) be granted delegated authority to tender the works at the appropriate time, subject to the capital budget being set by the General Assembly of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report set out the results of the public consultation on the Acacia Hall site redevelopment proposals, and requested consent to go to tender at the appropriate time.

 

  • The Heritage, Events and Projects Manager referred to the positive responses that had been received during the public consultation that had been held in the Dartford Museum and drew Members’ attention to the Appendix to the report which set out the responses from those who had completed a comment card.

 

  • Reference was then made to the consultation process and the use of social media and it was confirmed that tweets on both the ‘We love Dartford’ and ‘Dartford Messenger’ twitter feeds had publicised the consultation exercise.

 

  • A question was then asked about the consultation responses that had been received, several of which were similar in nature, and the way that they would be used when preparing the request for tenders. The Heritage, Events and Projects Manager confirmed that the responses received would be used to influence the final scope of the scheme. He then referred to a number of the responses that had suggested that the Coach House, or another building on the site, be used as an arts/culture centre but said that the current intention was to offer all the buildings on the site as part of the tendered commercial operation in order that it may be financially viable in the long term.

 

  • The Advisory Panel endorsed the report’s recommendations.

SD (ES)

11.

Grounds Maintenance Contract pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Summary:

 

To seek approval for the retendering of the Grounds Maintenance Contract.

 

Recommendation:

 

That subject to compliance with EU procurement rules, the Strategic Director (External Services) be authorised to retender the Grounds Maintenance Contract and enter into a contract with the successful bidder on terms to be agreed with the Head of Legal Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (IS)

12.

Corporate Plan - Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Summary:

 

This report provides the latest set of Corporate Plan performance indicators for quarter 3 of 2016-17.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Members note the contents of the Performance Indicators Monitoring Report attached at Appendix A.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (IS)

13.

Report of Delegated Action taken under Standing Order 38: Short Term Leasing for Temporary Accommodation pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Summary:

 

To report to Cabinet, in accordance with the requirements of Standing Order 38(2)(b), the delegated action taken under Standing Order 38(2)(a) by the Managing Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Chairman, to enter into a 10 year lease for 13 flats for use as temporary accommodation.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Cabinet note the action taken by the Managing Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Chairman, under Standing Order 38(2)(a), to enter into a 10 year lease for 13 flats for use as temporary accommodation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (IS)

14.

Minutes of the Policy Overview Committee Meeting held on 13 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Summary:

 

To present to Cabinet the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 13 December 2016.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 13 December 2016, be considered and noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (IS)

15.

Report of Delegated Action taken under Standing Order 38: Short Term Leasing for Temporary Accommodation - EXEMPT APPENDIX
(Exempt Category SO 46 (1) (b) Annex 1 Paragraph 2)

Minutes:

Members noted the contents of this Appendix.