Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Neighbourhood Planning powers were introduced
under the Localism Act 2011 and implementing through the Town and
Country Planning (General) Regulations, 2012. Local authorities
under these new legislative provisions are required to consider the
designation of Neighbourhood Area and Neighbourhood Forum
applications from the community where submitted. Decisions on
Neighbourhood Area applications must be made within 13 weeks.
The Tulse Hill Neighbourhood Area and Neighbourhood Forum Applications have been prepared in working partnership with Lambeth Council.
Councillor Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth, endorsed bringing communities into decision-making, as shown by this third neighbourhood area and forum application which sat alongside the borough’s Co-operative Local Investment Plans (CLIPs). The Cabinet Member added his thanks to officers for this proposal which was more complicated than previous plans, and also to the Tulse Hill Forum’s (THF) engagement and added the following points:
· as expected for London, there were contested areas reflecting multi-forum use, but the plans only decided on primary roles and in future would require cross-forum input;
· Brockwell Park was omitted on officer recommendation;
· the Tulse Hill gyratory and station were omitted as an appropriate area for the Tulse Hill Neighbourhood Area as it was predominantly economic or transport related and so more closely fitted with the Norwood area;
· St. Matthews Estate was challenging, but it better matched the character of the THF which also had strong local community links with the estate;
· the decisions were made taking into account National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG); and,
· the areas and forums were designed so people could shape their own areas outside the Council without binding to another bureaucratic structure.
The Cabinet heard the following representations from Erica Tate (Chair of the THF), Richard Moore (Safer Neighbourhood Panel Chair), and Graham Pycock (Norwood Action Group’s Localism Lead):
· the THF was committed to cooperating with other current and potential neighbourhood forums and had canvassed the local area for a definition of the identity of Tulse Hill;
· the removal of the station or gyratory from THF would seem to be losing identify and sent out the wrong message to collaborators;
· that some boundaries were more workable others (citing the failed attempt to join Thurlow Park and Tulse Hill wards);
· that St. Faith’s Road should be within the Norwood boundaries but since plans had not been well publicised they had not inputted;
· that the gyratory was a minor periphery matter that had been taken out of proportion;
· there were concerns around Norwood’s bid being uneconomic if the gyratory and railway station were included in the THF’s plan;
· that it made sense for a third tier of planning for towns and villages (underneath city and borough planning) to better integrate services and sectors; and,
· it was asked why the incompatible £140,000 Council masterplan had proceeded when the Council was statutorily obliged to support neighbourhood planning, particularly since the latter would provide additional Government funding.
Sandra Roebuck, Programme Director; and, Alan Vinall, Delivery Lead, commented that:
· the Council was obliged to continue other planning and these did not conflict with the neighbourhood forums, whilst they provided an evidence base for further engagement;
· the THF had undertaken an enormous amount of engagement as detailed in the report;
· there had been no representations on St. Faith’s Road;
· it was difficult for the Council to resolve issues and keep community groups satisfied, but that the report provided balanced outcomes; and,
· led by the THF, local groups had compiled a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to alleviate tensions and as cross-group working would be needed in future.
The Leader of the Council asked for Cabinet’s views:
· the THF’s attitude was exemplary and there was no reason why persons could not participate in neighbouring plans;
· the Tulse Hill Station and the gyratory better fitted with the Norwood Forum Neighbourhood Plan and were not included in the Tulse Hill Neighbourhood Area;
· St. Matthews Estate was felt to be part of the THF due to its residential character and strong community links; and,
· the policy represented the Council’s flexibility and whilst these areas were not mutually exclusive in the real world, an area could not be part of two plans.
The Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth provided an amendment for recommendation 3, which was seconded and agreed by Cabinet.
The Leader of the Council thanked the THF, the community, officers, and ward Councillors for their work and cooperation over boundaries, and noted her hopes for future collaboration.
1. To note the responses to the publication of the Tulse Hill neighbourhood area and forum applications as set out at Appendix 1.
2. To refuse the application by the Tulse Hill Forum for designation as a neighbourhood area for the whole area for the reasons set out in the report.
3. To designate the Tulse Hill neighbourhood area as show in map (b) at Appendix 2 as the neighbourhood area with the Neighbourhood area (North) covering St. Matthews Estate and Brixton Water Lane to be included.
4. To approve the application by the Tulse Hill Forum as the neighbourhood forum for the part of the area recommended to be designated in recommendation (2).
5. That Cabinet instructs officers to publicise its decisions in relation to recommendations (2), (3), and (4) in accordance with the statutory requirements.
Report author: Alan Vinall
Publication date: 15/01/2016
Date of decision: 11/01/2016
Decided at meeting: 11/01/2016 - Cabinet
Effective from: 23/01/2016