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South West Region 240910

Date: 24/9/2010


Council Chamber, Swindon Borough Council

Present:           David Evans (DE), POS Convenor for the South West, West Dorset District Council (Chair); Stephen Tapper (ST), POS President;         David Potter (DP), Swindon Borough Council; Sarah Screen, (SS), Planning Obligations Manager, Swindon Borough Council; Adam Dodgshon, (AD), Planning Advisory Service; Hilary Jordan (HJ), West Dorset District Council; Joanne Witherden (JW), West Dorset District Council; Jonathan Smith (JS), West Dorset District Council; Alison Clothier (AC), West Dorset District Council; Mella McMahon, (MM), Tewkesbury Borough Council; Mike Wilmott, (MW), Wiltshire Council; Claire Cullen-Jones, (CC), Cheltenham Borough Council; Brian Glasson, (BG), South Gloucestershire Council; Richard Kent, (RK), North Somerset Council

Apologies:       John Greenslade - West Dorset District Council, Steve Atkinson - Sedgemoor District Council,  Peter Brown and Stuart Todd - South West Councils, Paula Hewitt - Somerset County Council, Alan Robinson - South Hams District Council, Stephen Thorne - Poole Borough Council, Don Gobbett, Dave Ayre and Maxine Bodell - Dorset County Council, Jane Hart - West Devon Borough Council, Phil Robinson - Bournemouth Borough Council, Sarah O'Driscoll - Bristol City Council, Geoff Cross, Paul Green and Roger Daniels - Retired members.


Agenda item

Item discussed and action agreed

By whom and when




Introduction - Dr David Evans, POS SW Convenor


DE welcomed everyone and thanked SBC for the venue






Current Issues in Swindon - David Potter, Director of Planning and Transport

DP gave a presentation 'From Roof Tax to Capital' (Appendix 1) discussing the future development of Swindon as a major growth point and how planning obligations have helped to raise the role of planning up the corporate agenda. Also highlighted improving relationships with external organisations, such as through developing the 'One Swindon' single plan, being a pathfinder for Total Capital to value its assets, and part funding an officer from the Environment Agency to work within the planning team. Agenda hasn't changed in the light of the new Government - economic growth is important and drives the housing numbers but the timescale for delivery is likely to be longer.






Current Position on Localism Bill measures - Stephen Tapper, POS President


ST gave a presentation on localism (Appendix 2). He shared his experience in Enfield where they are working closely with neighbourhoods to produce truly spatial plans. Communities don't want to talk about development they do want to talk about their needs, such as health, play, food etc. In future Councils will be much more responsible for their own decisions - will be very controversial. On the development management side it will be a move towards master planning by local communities. It is not just about numbers it is about quality - new homes currently do not meet the desires of people looking to buy a home, as only a 1/3 of people looking for a home are looking for a new home.


ST also advised that POS have made representations to the new Government, for example that 'Community Right to Build' is probably not necessary - can achieve same results by just changing policy and funding mechanisms. POS are preparing advice to members on how to proceed. Don't stop producing planning documents - developers will challenge very hard. Create as strong an LDF as possible.


DP commented that in around Swindon they had been working with a parish council that were actively embracing development in the village. However they still needed community leadership from the local authority. Other questions were on fees - on which the Government will be consulting fairly soon and also third party rights of appeal - the view was that this might not go ahead.



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