Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Monday 14 September 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, London, SW9 7PH

Contact: David Rose, Democratic Services Officer, Tel: 020 7926 1037 Email: drose@lambeth.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

Under Cabinet Rule 1.5.2, where any Cabinet Member has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

There were none.

2.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 144 KB

That the minutes of the previous meeting be signed and approved as a correct record of proceedings.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 29 July 2015 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record of the proceedings.

3.

Lambeth Local Plan pdf icon PDF 134 KB

    • View the background to item 3.

    Report 65/15-16

     

    Key Decision

    All Wards

     

    Cabinet Member for Business and Growth: Councillor Jack Hopkins

    Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods and Growth: Sue Foster

     

    Contact: David Joyce, Director of Planning and Development, Business Growth and Regeneration

    Email: djoyce@lambeth.gov.uk Telephone: 0207 926 1109

     

    Contact: Alan Vinall, Lead Planning Strategy and Policy, Business Growth and Regeneration

    Email: avinall@lambeth.gov.uk Telephone: 0207 926 1212

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, welcomed attendees and invited the Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth, Councillor Jack Hopkins, to introduce the Lambeth Local Plan which would form the bedrock of future planning policy in the borough.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth, Councillor Jack Hopkins, noted his thanks to officers, the Planning Committee and civic groups for their input into a considerable body of work; and noted that it was going to Council on 23 September 2015 for ratification.  Lambeth was a growing borough and the Council was meeting manifesto commitments by building houses, whilst implementing other policies such as healthy high streets (citing preventing hot food takeaways near schools).  This plan provided more powers, more social and affordable housing; and showed the administration was pro mixed communities, was meeting commitments across locations in the borough, and cultivating the proceeds of growth into heritage.

     

    Report authors added that the key point of this policy were getting control over the destiny of planning, with Lambeth one of first local authorities to begin a local plan.  A key element was in delivering social infrastructure and transport.  Council officers involved in the work were commended for the examination process and had successfully defended every single one of the policies against questions raised by changes in government policy.

     

    Cabinet Members made the following comments:

    ·           The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Jackie Meldrum, drew attention to the huge body of carefully crafted work and commended the team, noting that planning was one of the most important areas of Council work.  Design was fundamental for those with disabilities, particularly for those with mobility issues; referencing the dangerous conditions posed by the white marble outside Brixton Library in bad weather.  A focus on disability design would be helpful with the social care challenges faced by the borough and asked how this might be incorporated into the policy or whether a supplementary planning document could be used.

    ·           The Deputy Leader (Finance and Investment) , Councillor Paul McGlone, enquired as to the next steps and evolution.

    ·           The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, enquired about tempering legislation around commercial to residential conversions, shaping town centres, using powers to good effect, key industrial business sites; and how the Council could publicise planning powers. 

     

    Officers responded that:

    ·         Design was really important, especially for disabled persons.  There were no further supplementary plans, although it would be useful to publish practices and guidance online and across other media. 

    ·         There would be a perpetual revision of the Local Plan as London evolves and pressures for housing become greater, and it would also need to respond to the expected changes to housing targets.  This would necessitate a partial review instead of looking at it again in full. 

    ·         On shaping town centres, there were constraints and controls over key industrial and business areas, and the Council was encouraged to restrict transfer of industrial land and to protect reservoirs of science; whilst emphasising the demand for different kinds of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

New Alterations and Extensions Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 142 KB

    • View the background to item 4.

    Report 69/15-16

     

    Key Decision

    All Wards

     

    Cabinet Member for Business and Growth: Councillor Jack Hopkins

    Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods and Growth: Sue Foster

     

    Contact: Doug Black, Lead Planning Strategy and Policy, Business Growth and Regeneration

    Email: dblack1@lambeth.gov.uk Telephone: 0207 926 4065

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth, Councillor Jack Hopkins, commended the good work of the SPD, but noted that a few typographical errors remained and needed correction.  This policy balanced the needs of growth whilst retaining a commitment to heritage, and was generally more permissive of areas for development, going beyond requests of civic groups. He noted that the Council, civic groups and residents had worked positively together to come to healthy compromises, citing growing houses internally instead of forcing residents to relocate.

     

    Officers commented that this was an important piece of work, and met the desire of residents to grow families and homes, not having to move – usually to the south of, or out of, the borough due to increasing house prices.  These residents wanted to stay in their chosen locations and the Council felt that this was important.  This was balanced with other opinions, and had involved much work and high levels of involvement (noting the Ferndale area).  Officers concluded by extending their thanks to local groups in reaching this agreement.

     

    Cabinet Members made the following points:

    ·         The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, echoed these statements and commented upon the community interest in her ward, whilst noting the constraints and effects of previous policies.

    ·         The Deputy Leader (Finance and Investment), Councillor Paul McGlone, thanked officers and residents for delivering a pragmatic and consistent planning policy, which would hopefully resolve development guidelines; but enquired whether this could be used to force bad examples of conversions.

    ·         The Deputy Leader (Policy), Councillor Imogen Walker, noted that the plan represented a common-sense balancing act and enquired whether planning applications could be backdated.

    ·         The Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, enquired around issues of wrap-around extensions and whether it related to single storeys and on which floors.

     

    Officers replied that:

    ·         The only time that new policy would be retrospective was in enforcement matters as it was about going forward. 

    ·         On wrap-around extensions, these would be resisted around conservation or heritage areas, but would be considered acceptable on ground floors.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1)      To note the summary of consultation responses at Appendix 2.

    2)      Subject to the adoption of the Lambeth Local Plan 2015 to agree to adopt the final draft Building Alterations and extensions SPD at Appendix 3.

    3)      To note that the Building Alterations and extensions SPD would supersede the Residential Alterations and Extensions SPD (2008).

     

5.

Revised Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 135 KB

    • View the background to item 5.

    Report 62/15-16

     

    Key Decision

    All Wards

     

    Cabinet Member for Business and Growth: Councillor Jack Hopkins

    Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods and Growth: Sue Foster

     

    Contact: Alan Vinall, Lead Planning Strategy and Policy, Business Growth and Regeneration

    Email: avinall@lambeth.gov.uk Telephone: 0207 926 1212

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth, Councillor Jack Hopkins, commented that the SCI was part of measures agreed in the last year’s budget and related to Council communication on planning, such as residential extensions; cutting down on the thousands of letters sent out, but that notification went out to the necessary persons.

     

    Officers added that the Council was moving to cheaper channels of communication to implement savings, relying more on notices near properties and included work on e-notices, language used, follow-ups and databases.

     

    Cabinet Members made the following representations:

    ·         The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, commented that the databases lacked necessary or important persons and groups, and that more accuracy was needed.

    ·         The Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Councillor Jane Pickard, asked if the Council was to evolve a new approach to written notices as they tended to be overly bureaucratic and lacked information.  She also raised concern of major planning applications and consultations, with persons, including councillors, often unaware of subsequent alterations or implications.

    ·         The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Jackie Meldrum, reiterated that letters were often not read, but raised issues with the database, with little notice provided to the Council of changing contact information – it was imperative to improve this if Lambeth was to be a successful cooperative council, a with a mechanism needed to keep these up to date across locations and policy.  Notices also needed to be better designed and more visible, whilst tying to lampposts also had issues, especially if they were not seen or fell off.  It was noted that it was licensee’s duty to advertise applications, and asked how this could be utilised.

    ·         The Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Jane Edbrooke, commented that she had had a number of conversations around the stakeholder management databases, and wanted further improvement.

     

    Officers commented that:

    ·         They had updated databases, and would further work with councillors for their input. 

    ·         One of the SCI’s features was to put a duty on developers to advertise planning.

    ·         There was a commitment to improve the wording of notices which was being worked through with Lambeth’s Communications team. 

    ·         On the issue of subsequent applications; this represented a challenge as descriptions of development might not sufficiently capture significant changes, and this needed resolution. 

     

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, passed on her thanks to the team on their work.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1)      To note the representations received on the Statement of Community involvement consultation, and council response as set out at Appendix 1.

    2)      To agree to adopt the revised Statement of Community Involvement, at Appendix 2.

6.

Resolution of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Call-In: Investing in better neighbourhoods and building the homes we need to house the people of Lambeth - Cressingham Gardens Estate pdf icon PDF 185 KB

    • View the background to item 6.

    Report 71/15-16

     

    Non-Key Decision

    All Wards

     

    Cabinet Member for Housing: Councillor Matthew Bennett

    Interim Strategic Director, Corporate Affairs: Jackie Belton

     

    Contact: Elaine Carter, Lead Scrutiny Officer

    Email: ecarter@lambeth.gov.uk Telephone: 0207 926 0027

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett, noted that the Cressingham Gardens regeneration (Cabinet, 13 July 2015) had been called-in by Councillor Scott Ainslie, and had gone to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) on 11 August 2015 for the Council to go through the reasons for the decision.  It had been a very thorough meeting in a difficult environment, but had been well-chaired and answered many of the queries raised by residents.

     

    The Chair of the OSC, Councillor Edward Davie, commented upon a useful and constructive meeting; it had been heated, but all attendees had conducted themselves well. However, the exchange of opinions had allowed further information to be disseminated, whilst the OSC Panel observations were quite similar to Cabinet’s which showed that the two bodies had raised similar issues and come to similar conclusions.  This represented a process and not a one-off policy, as it was to be repeated at other estates around borough and for future proposals. 

     

    The Chair of the OSC, Councillor Edward Davie also noted that the people often missing from the debate were those who were homeless and who the Council hoped to support with these developments.  There were a number of issues raised at the committee including the importance of communications (that residents felt they were not being listened to and what the Council felt it could communicate – with problems around commercial sensitivity raised), inadequacy of information, and the long process of the development.  The Chair of the OSC also noted that some officers could be risk averse, and that Councillors needed to push to maximise information and clear language.  There were also concerns over the test of opinion; but the Council had knocked on a lot of doors and delivered many leaflets.  Councillor Davie summarised his discussion by reiterating that the Council needed to further listen to and work with residents on Cressingham and other estates to deliver.

     

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, commented that the Council was testing the capacity of the Council by undertaking large regeneration projects, noting that many of the issues raised were around timeliness and communications.  The criticisms received were very fair and that it would be difficult for any person placed in residents’ positions, praising their input during what was a difficult time, but was optimistic for the future, with lessons being learnt and taken on board, which would show in future work.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1)      To receive the resolution and report of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Call-In: Cressingham Gardens Estate.

    2)      To agree the response to be provided to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.