Procedures Committee - Thursday, 14th October, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX. View directions


No. Item


Apologies for absence

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Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To approve as correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting on 21 July 2021.


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Declarations of interest

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Member Development Strategy and Training Programme pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To consider and note the Member Development Strategy and Training Programme 2021/2022.


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Recommendation from Full Council 20 September 2021

To consider the following recommendations referred back to Procedures Committee from Full Council 20 September 2021.


(1)            All Councillors be reminded that the deadline for submission of new  information on planning applications being considered by the Planning Committee is midnight Thursday prior to the meeting and no later; and


(2)            Any new information or submissions regarding planning applications should be submitted to the planning email address by midnight Thursday prior to the meeting.




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Notice of Motion on variations of conditions on major planning applications

To consider Cllr Eden Notice of Motion referred to Procedures Committee by Full Council on 20 September 2021.


Planning is a process tied up in legislation, including the committee decision making element. Councillors are, when an application comes to committee, presented with recommendations accompanied by detailed reports and are expected to adopt an open mind when deciding on the merits of that application. Often, the officer presenting the report has anticipated where concerns might lie and along with technical aspects listed conditions that will apply should the application be passed.


On large sites those conditions might relate to aspects such as the street art, number of affordable homes and so on. Thus, typically, the committee members make a decision based on what is no more than a promise. Unfortunately often the delivery of the finished development falls short of those conditions. Usually one of the first aspects to be reduced in number is the affordable housing, then extras, like street art etc. The finished development then looks like every other homogenised estate around the country and far short of what was actually approved.


Despite developers and estate agents telling us this is what people want, and officers telling us the conditions need to be ‘varied after the fact’ , the problem remains that we continue to be asked to make a decision on an outcome we know will not be delivered.


The claim that there are hundreds of variations is simply not the case. There may be several, but the most important ones are those related to large developments across the district. These variations might well be on the website under the planning portal against the original application, but it is my view that variations to conditions on all large developments should be presented to committee with an explanation as to the application to vary and the decision. This is not to stop officers from making the decision, based on the technical nature of the variation and their expertise.


The motion calls for additional transparency by ensuring that on all major developments (over 20 homes) where variations to conditions are applied for, to be brought to the planning committee.


For the decision on the variation to be explained in detail to the planning committee members. To highlight the resulting outcome to planning committee members to explain why, if viability is used as a justification, that this wasn’t covered at planning application stage when conditions were applied.


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