SHDC Draft Derelict and Untidy Sites Policy
Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Strategic Projects which asked that the Cabinet consider the draft South Holland District Council Derelict and Untidy Sites Policy.
The following points were raised:
· The document was welcomed however, it was important that progress on addressing derelict and untidy sites in line with the Policy was reported – some sites had been problematic for a long time and it was essential that sufficient resource was given to addressing the problems. It was agreed that an update on progress would be provided to Cabinet on a six-monthly basis.
· It was not felt appropriate to include within the Policy a list of current sites being looked at however, a list of sites was held within an information plan and updates on assets were regularly provided at fortnightly Assets Portfolio Group meetings.
· The draft Policy and good practice would be shared between the authorities within the S&ELCP.
· It was important to manage public expectation around how quickly derelict and untidy sites could be dealt with – delays were often related to issues around money and ownership of properties.
That the draft Derelict and Untidy Sites Policy be approved.
(Other options considered:
· Do nothing – the Council could decide not to adopt a policy and manage issues on a site-by-site basis based on good practice. Whilst it would continue to do this, having a wide-ranging policy with actions set out would provide a clear and concise reference point for officers, ward councillors, residents and business owners when seeking to address matters relating to derelict and untidy sites;
· To adopt an enforcement only based policy rather than a policy document that covered wider issues. A more comprehensive policy setting out a wide range of matters in addition to enforcement was considered by officers as a good way of setting out, in a single document, a broad range of options for dealing with derelict and untidy sites. This included process for reviewing assets, monitoring sites, liaison with landowners and also how officers could approach the acquisition of certain assets if there was a viable business case to do so;
Reasons for decision:
· The recommended policy is founded on having an informative, meaningful, consistent and flexible approach to seek to deal with derelict and untidy sites to compliment traditional enforcement action).