Agenda, decisions and draft minutes
Venue: Video-conference via Zoom meeting software
Note: The meeting can be viewed by pasting https://youtu.be/s6REUjUA09c into your web browser.
Minutes of previous meeting
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous virtual consultative meeting held on 08 April 2020.
The minutes of the Informal meeting of Area South Committee members held on Wednesday 8th April 2020 copies of which had been circulated, were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Kaysar Hussain, Graham Oakes and Gina Seaton. It was noted that Councillor Nicola Clark would join the meeting later.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.
Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest. Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council.
Planning Applications Referred to the District Council’s Regulation Committee
The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council's Regulation Committee:
Councillors Peter Gubbins, Tony Lock, David Recardo and Andy Soughton.
Where planning applications are referred by this Committee to the Regulation Committee for determination, Members of the Regulation Committee can participate and vote on these items at the Area Committee and at Regulation Committee. In these cases the Council's decision-making process is not complete until the application is determined by the Regulation Committee. Members of the Regulation Committee retain an open mind and will not finalise their position until the Regulation Committee. They will also consider the matter at Regulation Committee as Members of that Committee and not as representatives of the Area Committee.
There were no declarations of interest made by Members.
Public Question Time
There were no questions from members of the public present.
There were no announcements from the Chairman.
(Voting: unanimous in favour)
The Specialist for Development Management introduced the report and advised that following an enforcement complaint at a property being converted into an HMO at College Green, Yeovil, a number of concerns were expressed by local residents at the Area South Committee meeting in March 2020 regarding parking, refuse storage and access for emergency vehicles. The enforcement case was subsequently closed as it accorded with the relevant regulations. The property was inspected by housing and environmental health officers who were content the works had taken place to a good standard and a HMO license was therefore granted. The residents had requested that consideration be given to extending the existing Article 4 direction which restricted any HMO with more than 3 people in the designated area. If agreed, it would become Zone 6. There were 3 proposed options for Members to consider.
In response to questions from Members, the Specialist for Development Management advised:-
· The consultation period for the extension to the Roping Road and Mitchelmore Road HMO sites had taken longer than anticipated but they were progressing and they would be in place by the end of the year.
· The concerns expressed by housing officers at the proposed designation were not particularly related to the College Green area, but, for the supply of single bed properties in the whole of Yeovil and the potential investment by HMO landlords.
· No compensation had been paid to a developer for any for abortive expenditure resulting from the designation of an Article 4 direction.
· The aim of an Article 4 was to spread the conversion of properties into HMO’s across the town and not to intensify them in any one area.
· An Article 4 would not prevent further HMO properties within the area but they would require planning permission if housing more than 3 people.
· The local MP wrote in support of the local residents request for a HMO designation in the area.
One of the Ward Members, Councillor Andy Kendall, said that parking in the College Green area was already an issue for residents and more HMO properties would increase this.
The Committee were then addressed by two local resident of College Green. Their comments included:-
· The existing conversion in College Green was to a high standard for high earning tenants and would not address homelessness in the area.
· The existing conversion was having an adverse impact upon local residents.
· The builders at the site had dropped a kerb and removed a tree and the waste and recycling issues had not been addressed.
· The car parking issues were being exacerbated by the HMO residents.
· The estate was not designed for conversion to HMO’s.
The Chairman, as Ward Member, advised that HMO accommodation was required within the town but it had to be in the correct area. By imposing an Article 4 direction, any future proposal to convert properties in that area would be considered by the Area Committee. He did not feel that it would discourage potential HMO landlords, ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
The Locality Manager introduced the report and advised that it provided an overview of the progress of projects within the Area Chapter 2019/2020. He said Appendix A provided detail of the projects and there had been a numbers of learning points for future years. Officers were in attendance to answer questions.
In response to questions from Members, the Locality Manager, Leisure and Recreation Manager, Specialist (Economic Development) and the Locality Officer advised that:-
· enabling and partnership working was key as resources were finite but the delivery of Section 106 projects was a priority.
· Some of the projects were delayed due to the availability of other external funding.
· Progress of projects needed to be measured in milestones as some projects were delivered over 2 or 3 years and others even longer.
· Yeovil Athletics Club had to change their legal status in order to enter into a new lease for the Joanna Frances Pavilion but this was now progressing.
· SSDC were supporting Brympton Parish Council in their work at the Higher Ream play area when requested. It was an evolving project which would taken longer than one year.
· Yeovil town centre events were being affected by the restrictions in place for coronavirus but future events were being planned. A written response on their new project work would be provided.
· Planning permission had been secured and the budget was almost in place for the extension to the café at Ninesprings. The park was important for public exercise during the current virus restrictions.
· The Milford adventure play ground agility trail was replaced and enhanced in the toddlers area.
· The conveyancing of the land at Lufton had been on hold but it was now being progressed by legal officers. The adoption of the MUGA land was progressing.
· It was hoped that contractors could re-start work on certain sites within the next 2 weeks.
It was requested that legal work on the play area at Lufton be progressed as there were no play facilities in that area.
At the conclusion of the debate, the Chairman thanked the officers for attending and responding to their questions.
The Chairman noted that the report on the Yeovil Crematorium report may be delayed from July due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
Members requested that the report to be presented in June on support for communities and Town and Parish Councils during coronavirus be expanded to include general business support as well. It was noted that officers were now working on a recovery plan for SSDC and there would be an impact on the Area Chapter, the Area Priorities and the Council Plan. It was agreed that this be a monthly item at future meetings.
During discussion, it was noted that Somerset as a whole was responding well to the coronavirus crisis.
Members noted the Forward Plan.
Members noted the Planning Appeals.