Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee
Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX

Contact: Stephanie Davis
020 8726 6000 x84384  Email: stephanie.davis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1/18

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2017 as an accurate record.

Minutes:

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2017 were agreed  subject to minute number 42/17 being amended to read:

 

Following the Cabinet meeting on 22 November 2018 there were two amendments proposed to the recommendations from the meeting of 7 November 2017. The first one was related to ensuring residents received notifications following reporting of flytips which can be found in the conclusions to the item.

Leaflets on the bulky waste collections be clarified to include an additional line regarding the cost of white goods collection and the number of items that can be collected.

2/18

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

Minutes:

There were none.

3/18

Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

4/18

Cabinet Member Question Time - Cabinet Member for Homes, Regeneration and Planning pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Question Time with the Cabinet Member for Homes, Regeneration and Planning, Councillor Alison Butler.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Alison Butler, Cabinet Member for Homes, Planning and Regeneration, provided a presentation to the Sub-Committee outlining the work that had being undertaken within her portfolio.

 

The Sub-Committee was advised that some of the highlights included the following:

-Brick by Brick programme, development work was now underway

-The redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre, which has received sign off by the Mayor of London

-Completion of Phase 1 of the Growth Zone

-The Draft Local Plan has been determined as ‘sound’ by the Government appointed inspector

-Successful Gateway programme on Universal Credit

 

Members were also informed of areas that presented continuous challenges, such as:

-Provision of affordable homes, managing the housing crisis

-Meeting the targets set by the Mayor of provision of housing which has doubled

-The Delivery of Westfield within the set time frame

-Recruitment and Retention of staff to deliver services

-Concerns from residents on growth

-The aftermath of Grenfell, duty to ensure works carried out in blocks.

 

The Sub-Committee was further advised that the Council had been proactive in addressing these challenges. There had been extensive work carried out to ensure that all fire risks were up to date, programme of visits and works had been carried out with residents kept up to date on progress. Safety measures were also being looked into, such as the upgrading of alarm systems.

 

The Council had been working to determine its response to the requirements of the Draft London Plan whilst working to meet the housing demand.

 

There was also planned maintenance work and major renovations taking place on Council stock.

There had been improvements in engagement with private landlords as part of the Landlord licensing scheme and there had been a rise in the number of landlords registered with the scheme.

 

The Sub-Committee learned of the preventative work undertaken by the Gateway Service to prevent homelessness, which had helped many households and resulted in savings to the Council, with long term leases taken on properties to be used as temporary accommodation.

 

Members questioned the work around the provision of sprinkler systems in tall buildings and the safety of cladding, and enquired as to who would pay for any works. The Sub-Committee was informed that the Council had decided to meet the full cost of works in Council owned buildings in order for the work to commence without delay.  None of the Council’s buildings had been identified as requiring cladding replacement. 

In the private sector, the government had implied that the responsibility was to fall on the residents, The Cabinet Member had written to the government minister to dispute costs being passed onto residents.

 

The Sub-Committee was further informed that all Council blocks had been certified by the Fire Brigade as safe and issued fire safety certificates.

 

In response to Members’ request for an update pertaining to ‘choice based lettings’, officers advised that this had only been implemented in the last 9 months and although it was still in the early stages, the number of people using the service had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4/18

5/18

Evolution of the Suburbs Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 268 KB

The emerging Local Plan contains policies and designations that facilitate sustainable growth within the suburbs and refer to supplementary guidance (in the form of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)) to steer this. The project team would appreciate and value Scrutiny’s view on the issues outlined in the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Spatial Planning introduced the item to the Sub-Committee by advising that the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is being produced as guidance to steer the policies and designations that facilitate sustainable growth as set in the emerging Croydon Local Plan 2018.

This report and presentation had been brought to Scrutiny as part of the development and process of producing the draft Supplementary Planning Document to ensure that discussions take place to examine, discuss and dissect the guidance.

The Sub-Committee was advised that there was increased pressure for Croydon to meet the demands of London’s growth and deliver at least 1677 homes per annum to 2036. This document would act as a guide and steer how sustainable growth of the suburbs can be achieved.

The document would provide guidance and certainty to communities, officers, applicants and their agents to steer proposals for developments to enable sites to achieve their potential as part of a holistic long term vision for Croydon.

The SPD would focus on three key guidance areas:

(i) Residential Extensions;

(ii) Re-Development – of existing sites, to increase density and provide a quality benchmark; and

(iii) Focussed Intensification – Guidance on evolving character and increased density as a result of development.

The Sub-Committee was further advised that this was borough wide guidance and there was a need to differentiate areas of the borough in the plans. Croydon was a green borough and as a result the guidance would also be relevant in conservation areas, however Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans will take precedence.

It was proposed that the draft Supplementary Planning Document would be ready for formal consultation by July 2018, with adoption of the document anticipated in October 2018.

In response to Members’ comments that the document was not yet ready for public consultation, officers responded that this was one of the reasons why it had been presented to Scrutiny.

The aim of the presentation was to prompt question and discussion, and there were still a number of detailed matters and considerations to be addressed.

The Sub-Committee was informed that the consultation documents would include text and the language used would be universal. The plan would also include a section on policy and be clear on elements that were driven by planning legislation and development plan policy.

The Deputy Cabinet Member for Homes, Planning and Regeneration commented that the document would act as a guidance to deciding the types of developments that would be suitable for specific areas in the overarching context that space must be sought for thousands of new homes and that this must be knitted into suburban areas.

Members commented that the guidance should be clear on issues of subjectivity due to the expected longevity of the document and that the proposal flags up the potential for permitted development rules not to apply on some proposals. Officers responded that the guidance would be nuanced and subjective depending on proposal, location of sites and housing types.

In response to Members’ questions on whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/18

6/18

Brick by Brick Business Plan pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To consider the Brick by Brick business plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Managing Director of Brick by Brick presented the draft annual business plan to the Sub-Committee and stated that the content of the document was changing rapidly, with some of the information now out of date since it was published. New information would be updated prior to the presentation of the draft at Cabinet.

 

The Sub-Committee was informed that the report contained detailed analysis, aims and structure of projected costs beyond a single year. It also included market analysis following Brexit of construction pricing and tendered schemes.

 

The paper further detailed the revenue that was expected to be accrued, how much would be spent, expected levels of borrowing and the delivery of programmes.

 

Members queried the risks to the development and delivery programme such as rises in interest rates, fluidity of the housing market and what contingencies were in place to manage the associated risks.

 

Officers responded that there was a detailed analysis in place due to a property correction expected in the London housing market where it is predicted there would be reduced growth following a period of strong growth in outer London.

 

Officers acknowledged the element of associated risk with all markets but expected that there would be limited effect on the ability to sell the developments proposed for Croydon. The developments were geared towards first time buyers, with demand still high in this group due to the different schemes available to assist them in purchasing their first property.

 

There was also an advantage of being a distinct Council development company as there was the scope to release properties into the market that had an associated commercial element.

 

In response to Member’s questions as to what lessons had been learnt in the last year, the officer advised that  there would be future extensive work undertaken in the following areas:

•Product design

•Robust delivery of schemes as a result of ambitious delivery programme

•More engagement with local residents

•Collaboration with other Local Authorities and across the UK in terms on learning.

 

Members queried the level of consultation and communication with local residents. Officers informed the Sub-Committee that there was a new Head of Communications in post who had reviewed  the process in place to ensure information was being relayed to local residents and that they were kept aware and up to date with proceedings.

 

The Sub-Committee was further informed that with regards to all units, there would be a period of exclusivity for local residents to express and reserve units of interest. Members welcomed this proposal and suggested that residents living in proximity to units be given priority to those units.

 

The Sub-Committee questioned the quality of the materials to be used for the units and asked for assurances that robust, high quality materials would be used for all the proposed units. Members were advised that whilst different materials would be used for different tenures, architects designing schemes had been instructed to ensure that all units had commonality of high specification materials which had gone through a robust consultation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/18

7/18

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To note the Work Programme for the 2017/18 municipal year.

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee noted that the remaining meeting of the Sub- Committee in the 2017/18 Municipal Year would focus on the Tram Network and Transport/Rail, specifically progress on policy, sustainability and environmental considerations.

 

RESOLVED: To agree the Scrutiny Work Programme 2017/2018

8/18

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

Minutes:

This was not required.