Agenda and minutes

Growth and Development Scrutiny Group - Wednesday, 20th April, 2022 4.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford

Contact: Tracey Coop  0115 9148277

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor J. Cottee and Councillor L. Howitt.



Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest recorded.



Minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2022 pdf icon PDF 322 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2022 were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman informed the Group that he had invited Councillor Upton as Chairman of the Planning Committee and Councillor Combellack as author of the Scrutiny Matrix to attend the meeting as he felt that it would benefit the discussion on Planning Communications. He had also invited Councillor Edyvean, as Portfolio Holder, although he had been unable to attend.



Planning Communications pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Report of the Director of Development and Economic Growth


The Service Manager - Planning delivered a presentation to support the report of the Director - Development and Economic Growth concerning the planning service standards, particularly in response to the increased workload that had been experienced recently, and the various concerns raised regarding some procedural issues, principally in terms of communication and consultation on planning applications.


The presentation to the Group covered:

·       Service Standards

·       Planning Communication

·       Interpretation of Planning Policy

·       Consultation process

·       Procedures for determination of planning applications

·       Conservation areas.


Following the presentation, the Service Manager - Planning explained that the Service Standards had been developed to bring about improvements in service delivery in response to a significant increase in workload and to provide a more structured approach for communications with applicants, agents and councillors. He added that the number of planning applications received in the last year had risen by 40% compared to the previous year and some improvements in service delivery had already been delivered.


Members were informed that the Service Standards aimed to bring greater transparency to the process, to ensure that applications were processed efficiently and within the timescales expected by the Government and to improve communications with applicants, agents and Councillors. Changes in process had been made to the notification of decisions as a result of the introduction of the Service Standards.


The Service Manager explained that, following the recent changes to the Standards, officers would now notify Ward Councillors and Parish and Town Councils/meetings of appeal decisions and non-material amendments, provide an update on progress at 4-5 weeks following receipt of the application and would also notify when an enforcement notice had been served. He added that, the taking of enforcement action was discretionary; officers aimed to resolve a breach issue by negotiation, with the formal enforcement action being taken as a last resort. Again, those who had made the complaint would be kept informed of progress.


Regarding consultation, the Service Manager informed the Group that the Regulations required that letters be sent to addresses which adjoined the application site allowing 21 days for comment, which would be extended if the timeframe included a Bank Holiday. Additionally, a site notice would be displayed, and a notice entered in the newspaper if required. As per the Regulations, consultation would be undertaken with relevant statutory bodies, Councillors, Town and Parish Councils. Although the Regulations did not require consultation with Parish meetings, the Council did consult with them; it was often the case that the Council exceeded the minimum requirements of the legislation.


Councillor Combellack asked that adjoining Parish Councils also be notified and cited the planning application for the poultry farm at Owthorpe and her request to notify Cropwell Bishop Parish Council. The Service Manager assured the Group that this had been done and the Chairman added that the application had been discussed at a Parish Council meeting.


The Service Manager explained that non-material amendments were when an applicant had changed their mind about what they wished to do. There was no statutory requirement for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services



The Chairman presented the report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services, which detailed the proposed Growth and Development Scrutiny Group Work Programme for 2022/23.  Members suggested that they would like to receive a report on ‘Alternative energy’ at a future meeting, possibly in September 2022. This would be discussed by COG at its meeting in May.


It was RESOLVED that the Growth and Development Scrutiny Group consider its Work Programme and the following items for scrutiny at future meetings were agreed :


27 July 2022 (provisional date)


·       Conservation Areas – Part Two

·       Work Programme


21 September 2022 (provisional date)


·       Covid-19 Business Recovery – Update

·       Work Programme


4 January 2023 (provisional date)


·       Work Programme


8 March 2023 (provisional)


·       Work Programme






Minute Item


Officer responsible


Letters to Consultees to be revised to include a link to the website where the planning process was fully explained.

Service Manager – Planning


Officers to investigate and address issues with the document web links contained in the Planning Portal

Service Manager – Planning