Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House
Contact: Ainsley Gilbert 01473 432510
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for Absence were received from Councillor B Rudkin.
To consider the Minutes of the meeting of the meeting held on 1 October 2019.
It was RESOLVED:
that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2019 be signed as a true record.
To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business
It was RESOLVED:
that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.
Declarations of Interest
There were no Declarations of Interest.
Portfolio Holder – Councillor Carole Jones
This report explains the changes arising from the Preferred Options draft Local Plan reported to Executive in November 2018. These proposed changes result from responses to representations received from the consultation of the Preferred Options draft Local Plan (Regulations 18) (held earlier this year) as well as additional changes made to reflect changes to Government policy, including updates to the National Planning Policy Framework and the Planning Practice Guidance.
This has resulted in the Final Draft Ipswich Local Plan for publication under Regulation 19.
If supported by Executive this draft Plan will be considered at the next Full Council meeting – and if then agreed – would be the subject of public consultation.
This report seeks authorisation to publish the Final Draft Ipswich Local Plan (Regulation 19 version) for public consultation and then for it to be formally submitted it to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination. These formal stages of plan making are covered by the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 as amended in 2017and 2018. Public consultation will be carried out in accordance with the Ipswich Statement of Community Involvement Review March 2018. It is proposed that the public consultation would start on 22 November 2019 and conclude on 20 January 2019 (thereby running for 8 weeks).
71.1 Councillor Jones introduced the report, highlighting the importance of the Local Plan to the future development of Ipswich. Councillor Jones noted that an addendum had been circulated which included updates to the Council’s development management policies which had been made after an informal meeting of interested Councillors.
71.2 Councillor Jones reported that new version of the Local Plan had been influenced both by changes to the National Planning Policy Framework and by local studies, assessments and information. Councillor Jones also noted that some sites which had previously been allocated for housing had been removed from this list owing to a change in the definition of deliverability.
71.3 Councillor Jones noted that, if the recommendations of the report were agreed by Executive, the draft Local Plan would be considered by Council, and then submitted to a public consultation and consideration by a planning inspector.
71.4 In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following questions were asked:
Question 1 – Councillor Holmes
Given that 55% of traffic in Ipswich comes into the town from neighbouring authorities, causing significant congestion and pollution for local residents, is the Portfolio Holder confident that the aligned local plans will address problems caused by development of housing in these authorities close to the Ipswich Borough boundary?
71.5 Councillor Jones explained that whilst better aligned local plans would help with reducing traffic and pollution, the key factor was the decisions made on planning applications and the conditions and obligations attached to these. Councillor Jones noted that decisions were guided by Suffolk County Council’s Transport Mitigation Strategy which applied to Ipswich Strategic Planning Area authorities. Councillor Jones explained that the Council had a number of strategies to reduce congestion and improve air quality but that Central Government needed to take a proactive approach to make a real difference.
Question 2 – Councillor Holmes
As the actual delivery of completed housing in the first years of the current plan is substantially below the housing need of 445 units per annum, are not the figures for projected completions in the plan period hopelessly optimistic?
71.6 Councillor Jones commented that the figures in the plan were not, as Councillor Holmes had suggested, hopelessly optimistic. Councillor Jones noted that the figures were the minimum arising from the Government’s methodology that Ipswich must provide, and explained that the plan sought to deliver that requirement in an appropriate way. Councillor Jones reported that the plan used a phased delivery target in order to reflect the projected completions through the plan period, including those from the Ipswich Garden Suburb. Councillor Jones confirmed that legal advice had been taken on the Council’s approach and it had been confirmed that the housing numbers were realistically deliverable. Councillor Jones noted however that the Council was dependent on private developers to implement permissions granted to ensure that Ipswich’s housing needs were met.
Question 3 – Councillor Holmes
Similarly, given the low level of affordable housing in planning permissions granted, with levels of less ... view the full minutes text for item 71.
Portfolio Holder – Councillor Philip Smart
The purpose of this report is to inform Executive of changes to the proposed arrangements for the expansion of civil parking enforcement (CPE) functions and to seek approval to these changes. These include changes to the financial risk and the control of on-street paid for parking.
72.1 Councillor P Smart introduced the report, explaining that it was proposed that Ipswich Borough Council would carry out parking enforcement in parts of Mid-Suffolk and Babergh, following the decriminalisation of parking offences and withdrawal of parking enforcement by the Police. In return for taking this on Ipswich Borough Council would benefit from the income from Cromwell Square car park, which would be available to spend on transport related projects.
72.2 Councillor P Smart noted that there was still some uncertainty about the date on which the required Statutory Instrument would be made, however, the Council would require a minimum of 3 months to prepare for implementation. Councillor P Smart explained that if the recommendations of the report were agreed officers would be empowered to enter into Civil Parking Enforcement Agency Agreements with Suffolk County Council and Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils but that no irredeemable costs would be incurred until after the Statutory Instrument had been laid before Parliament.
72.3 Councillor Fisher asked whether enforcement officers from Ipswich would be diverted from their work in the town to carry out enforcement in Babergh and Mid-Suffolk and if staff working in those areas would wear Ipswich Borough Council branded uniforms. The Head of Culture and Environment explained that staff working in Babergh and Mid-Suffolk would be dedicated to those areas but that they would be Ipswich Borough Council employees and therefore wear branded uniforms.
72.4 Councillor Fisher asked whether the scheme was financially worthwhile as Ipswich Borough Council had historically been able to apply for much of the income from Cromwell Square car park via bids to Suffolk County Council’s on street parking account. Councillor Fisher also noted that there was an element of reputational risk when issuing parking fines. Councillor Ellesmere noted that there was no guarantee that Suffolk County Council would allow Ipswich Borough Council to bid for funds from its on street parking account and that this agreement would secure significant amounts of revenue to be spent in Ipswich. Councillor Ellesmere also noted that residents in some towns in Babergh and Mid-Suffolk were campaigning for better parking enforcement and so the risk of reputational damage was relatively low.
It was RESOLVED:
a) that in accordance with the Local Government Act 2000 and The Local Authorities (Arrangements for the Discharge of Functions) (England) Regulations 2012, the Head of Culture & Environment, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment & Climate Change, be authorised to enter into Civil Parking Enforcement Agency Agreements and Service Level Agreements with Suffolk County Council and Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, to run from 2020 to 2030 in accordance with the terms stated in the report, subject to such minor variations as he sees fit.
Reason: To provide an efficient method of delivering the Council’s parking functions whilst also allowing the Council to have control of effective parking enforcement in Ipswich and ensuring that any surpluses generated from on-street paid for parking in Ipswich are used for the benefit of Ipswich.
b) that ... view the full minutes text for item 72.
Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross
This report deals with a proposal to make minor changes to the way in which ‘skin piercing’ premises and practitioners are registered by Ipswich Borough Council. It seeks approval to change the process and to move to a system of registering premises and practitioners separately.
This necessitates some changes in the structure of fees charged. Executive is asked to approve the new fee proposals.
73.1 Councillor Ross introduced the report, noting that the proposed changes were intended to simplify the administration of ‘skin piercing’ registrations by separating the registers of premises and licenced people. The proposal would also make it easier for customers to chose practitioners.
It was RESOLVED:
a) that the minor changes to ‘skin piercing’ registration processes as per Option 2 in paragraph 4.2 of the report be approved, allowing separate registration of skin piercing premises and practitioners and amended fees;
b) that the revised set of fees & charges set out in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.
Reason: To enable the Council to operate the registration of ‘skin piercing’ activities in a more efficient and transparent manner.
Portfolio Holder – Councillor David Ellesmere
4 College Street is a recently acquired Council owned heritage asset, which is in need of repair and refurbishment. It is the only property in the Council’s ownership on the Building at Risk Register.
Executive are requested to agree and note the proposed plan of works for bringing the building back into a viable state of repair, in order to enable the property to be removed from the Building at Risk Register.
74.1 Councillor Ellesmere introduced the report, explaining that the Council had bought 4 College Street as part of its acquisition of sites for regeneration at the western end of the waterfront. The building was Grade Two listed and had been placed on the Council’s ‘Buildings at Risk’ register owing to its condition. Councillor Ellesmere explained that significant work was required to protect the building and that various options had been considered as to how best to do this. It was considered that doing additional works to bring 4 College Street into a condition whereby it could be let as offices would provide the best value. A budget had been set aside for the development of the waterfront sites and these works would be funded from that budget.
74.2 Councillor Fisher noted that a Coastal Revival Fund application had been planned when the site had been bought and asked if this had been successful. The Chief Executive explained that approximately £750,000 had been received for the regeneration of St Peter’s Dock with the public realm works having been completed earlier in the year, however, no funding had been allocated for the works to 4 College Street.
74.3 Councillor Fisher asked whether a more exciting use could be found for the building, suggesting a visitor centre, as had been mentioned previously in a press report in the Ipswich Star. Councillor Ellesmere explained that a visitor centre would require an ongoing subsidy and so was not a feasible option without additional funding. Councillor Ellesmere explained that the masterplan for the remainder of the site was still being developed and that a permanent use would be determined along with that.
74.4 Councillor Fisher noted that there was the potential for additional money to need to be spent on the building when the new masterplan had been developed and suggested that works on the building could be carried out after a permanent use had been determined. Councillor Ellesmere noted that the building was at risk and so works needed doing quickly and commented that it was sensible to do additional works in order that the building could be used as offices rather than allow it to sit vacant.
74.5 Councillor Jones commented that it was important that the Council took care of the listed buildings in its ownership, not only because it was the right thing to do, but because the Council needed to set an example to other building owners. Councillor Jones noted the cost of the work was significant but that the building was in poor condition.
74.6 Councillor Ross noted that residents valued Ipswich’s historic buildings and that the poor state of the former County Hall was often commented upon. Councillor Ross commented that it would be irresponsible of the Council to delay works to 4 College Street which were in his view essential.
74.7 Councillor Fisher clarified that in his earlier remarks he had meant that the additional works to make the building useable as an office could be delayed until ... view the full minutes text for item 74.
Portfolio Holder – Councillor David Ellesmere
To enable the delivery of the infrastructure works at the Eastern Gateway site to serve the next occupier, Ipswich Borough Council is required to provide a fully serviced site, including a new power supply, new access road and drainage.
This report recommends that Executive grants approval of the quotation received from UKPN for the 1.75MVA supply and an exemption from contract standing orders. It also seeks approval to agree the budget for the next phase of conducting work on the access road and attenuation basin ahead of tender returns and authorises officers to award the contract should tenders be returned within budget and, as the award of this contract is urgent, to exempt the decision from call in.
In addition, it also requests authorisation to award post contract design and project management fees to the existing design team and to award a small three stage contract for groundwater investigations to Geosphere Ltd.
75.1 Councillor Ellesmere introduced the report, explaining that the Council was close to agreeing terms with a second large occupier of the site. Councillor Ellesmere noted that further infrastructure would therefore need to be delivered, to relatively short timescales. The recommendations of the report would enable these works to be delivered.
75.2 Councillor Ellesmere highlighted that it was proposed to exempt some of the decisions from call-in due to the urgency of the works starting and the delays to the Council’s call-in process which would be caused by the likely General Election.
It was RESOLVED:
a) that the acceptance of the quotation submitted by UKPN for the sum of £212,595.00 be approved and that the Head of Development, in consultation with the Operations Manager for Legal Services, be authorized to enter into a contract with the recommended provider as set out in this report.
Reason: To enable the timely delivery of the power supply to meet delivery requirements.
b) that the decision above (a) be exempted from Contract Standing Orders.
Reason: To enable the appointment of a single supplier able to conduct all the work associated with the supply of electricity to the site.
c) that the allocation of the phase 2 roadways project budget as shown in paragraph 8.2 (from existing budgetary allocations) be agreed and that the Head of Development be authorised to enter into a works contract in consultation with the Head of Governance, Leader of the Council, Chief Executive and S151 Officer, subject to the returned tenders being within the project budget above.
Reason: To enable the appointment of a works tender to be made in sufficient time to allow for the necessary work to be completed in accordance with terms agreed with the proposed purchaser.
d) that the above decision (c) be certified as urgent and exempt from call-in.
Reason: To enable the appointment of the contractors to be made in sufficient time to allow for the necessary work to be completed in accordance with terms agreed with the proposed purchaser.
The decision to make the appointments is urgent as the infrastructure for Phase 2 of the site must be completed by 31/03/2020 to comply with the proposed next land sale agreement. If the appointment is delayed it is highly unlikely that these works would be completed in time. There is also the risk of reputational damage to the Council if the infrastructure works are not completed. The impact of any delay in the appointment of the contractor could be considered to prejudice the Council’s and the public’s interest given it could lead to the Council being in breach of contract with subsequent financial consequences.
e) that £1,605,441 of existing budget for the project be brought forward from future financial years into 2019/20 in order to enable the rapid delivery of the next proposed land sale enabling works.
Reason: To enable appropriate resources to deliver the required Project Rio infrastructure contracts.
f) that the award for post contract management (inc. Project management) fees for ... view the full minutes text for item 75.