Agenda and draft minutes

Growth and Development Scrutiny Group - Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford. View directions

Contact: Tracey Coop  0115 9148277

Items
No. Item

12.

Apologies for Absence

13.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest reported.

14.

Minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 342 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2020 were approved as a true record.

15.

Open Spaces pdf icon PDF 253 KB

The report of the Executive Manager – Communities.

Minutes:

The Executive Manager – Communities delivered a presentation on the Future Maintenance of Public Open Space on Housing Developments, which accompanied the report already circulated with the agenda.

 

The Executive Manager – Communities provided a brief history to explain how housing and housing estates have developed over the years using West Bridgford as an example. Starting in the 1900’s, where plots were large with generous rear gardens and the street layout was linear, and there was more often than not a large municipal park in close proximity to serve the leisure needs of its residents. Moving to the 1930’s -1940’s and still building on earlier principles, with front and rear gardens and largely linear in layout. From the 1950’s - 60’s plot sizes start to reduce as density rises and the developments move out from the centralised park. There was no local parks or open space provision in this era, although some larger areas feature a local parade of shops and small play parks. In the 1960’s -70’s, plot sizes continue to reduce, more cul-de-sac roads start to emerge with the loss of the linear layout, developments were either on the edge of town or on smaller infill plots. During the 1980’s – 2000’s, developments moved further out of towns, plots were much smaller as densities increase again. The developments during this time tended to be close to larger roads, on river floodplains and previously industrial land. The requirement for small shopping areas, community centres, parks and play areas became an integral part of the design.

 

The Executive Manager - Communities informed the Group that pre 2000 Rushcliffe adopted all open spaces with no funding. The period of 2000 -2010 commuted sums were introduced to address the pressure on Council budgets in order to manage and maintain open spaces on new developments. However, in some instances developers never provided the commuted sum or transferred the land to the Council resulting in issues of open spaces not being managed or maintained.

 

The Executive Manager – Communities explained that since 2011 the Borough has sought to address these issues and no longer adopts, maintains or inspects any open space provided as part of a new housing development. The current position is that the housing developer(s) are responsible for payments towards the maintenance of open space on Strategic Sites, Local Plan Part 2 Sites and major windfall sites. Adding, that the developers then pass the cost and responsibility onto residents of the development through a management company as a monthly/annual charge. This charge, which can typically be around £200 per annum, is then payable for the entire time that each property on the development is occupied. Based on the Borough’s Local Plan and approximately 13,000 new homes being built, this could equate to £2.6m per annum paid in management fees.

 

The Executive Manager – Communities explained that on the Boroughs Strategic Allocations, most include large scale community areas to mitigate the harm of the development examples of these can be seen at Bingham,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

The Council's Wider Approach to Assisting Economic Recovery in Rushcliffe pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Report of the Executive Manager – Transformation.

Minutes:

The Service Manager – Transformation, delivered a presentation to support the report of the Council’s Wider Approach to Assisting Economic Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Council’s and Partner’s plans to mitigate its impact on the local economy.

 

The Service Manager – Transformation, informed the Group that the D2N2 Growth Hub had carried out a survey in April 2020, asking businesses how they had been effected by Covid-19. To date they have received 780 responses and from these, 98% of businesses said Covid-19 was affecting their business, this included a decrease in sales/bookings, cash flow and staff in isolation or furloughed. Those businesses reporting the worst impact tended to be new and smaller businesses who operate in a business to consumer environment, and those that operate at a local level. The sectors experiencing the greatest impact are hospitality, arts and entertainment, recreation, wholesale and retail.

 

The D2N2 Survey asked businesses, what would be of most help to their business; the top answers were financial support and business planning. The respondents were also concerned about furloughed staff where in some cases this was over 50% of their employees.

 

The Service Manager – Transformation, provided statistics from the Midlands Engine report on the retail sector, stating that footfall had fallen to 20% of its 2019 levels and remains below 40%. A research by AL Marketing found that people were nervous about shopping again and were less willing to go to a city and therefore local town centres may benefit from the change in shopping habits.

 

The Economic Growth Officer continued with the presentation and provided the Group with an update of the support the Council and its Partners had provided to businesses so far.

 

The Economic Growth Officer informed the Group that a dedicated web page had been set up providing support and advice to local businesses, the page has seen over 12,178 visits since it was set up at the end of March. In addition, a separate page on the Rushcliffe Business Partnership (RBP) website has been created, which has seen over 3084 visits since early April. The Communications Team and Economic Growth Intern, using Social Media platforms have played an active role in promoting what information is available to help support businesses quickly. This included:

 

·       Small business, retail and hospitality grants

·       Discretionary Grant Scheme

·       Virtual networking sessions with Rushcliffe Business Partnership and local trading groups

·       Ask the Expert webinars

·       D2N2 Growth Hub webinars

 

The Economic Growth Officer continued to explain what support the Council has provided as the release of lockdown and Government guidelines have progressed. These include, the grant finding portal which has enabled businesses to search for funding and support available to them. Support for reopening of our local markets at Bingham and West Bridgford, which have opened successfully and are doing well. The Council has also provided resources on the website including signage and Covid-19 secure guidance.

 

The Economic Growth Team have also emailed many businesses in the Borough, asking whether they require any  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Report of the Executive Manager – Finance and Corporate Services.

Minutes:

The Group considered its work programme and suggested potential items for future scrutiny. These included:

 

·       Planning Enforcement, in two stages.

·       Customer Services and Digital Transformation

·       Cashless consultation with parishes

·       Open Spaces – to bring this item back to a future meeting with an update and progress report

 

The Executive Manager Communities suggested that Councillors complete a Scrutiny Matrix for items they wish to consider at future meetings, explaining

that items they wish to consider would need to be approved by the Corporate

Overview Group of which the Chairman and Vice Chairman attend.

 

It was RESOLVED that the Work Programme as detailed below be approved.

 

25 August 2020

 

·       Abbey Road Developer Presentation

·       Planning Enforcement – Part 1

·       Work Programme

 

14 October 2020

 

·       Planning Enforcement – Part 2

·       Customer Services and Digital Transformation

·       Work Programme

 

20 January 2021

 

·       Management of Open Spaces on New Developments – Part 2

·       Town Centres Update - Cashless Society

·       Work Programme

 

21 April 2021

 

·       Work Programme

 

Actions

 

Minute No.

Action

Officer Responsible

15

Officers to pull together a summary table of items included in management agreements and provide members with a list of developments where there is a known Management company operating

Executive Manager - Communities

16

Members requested details of the Nottinghamshire and Districts plan for dealing with a local lockdown – Link to Nottinghamshire County Council Webpage

Executive Manager - Communities