Agenda and minutes

Policy Development Panel - Tuesday, 23rd September, 2014 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Shelley French  01775 764451

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To consider the minutes of meetings held on:


Additional documents:


Members gave consideration to the 8 July meeting of the Policy Development Panel, and the Special Joint meetings of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel held on 29 July 2014 and 19 August 2014. 




(a)       That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Development Panel 8      July 2014 was agreed.


(b)       That the Special Joint Meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel    and Policy Development Panel 29 July 2014 be agreed subject to  Councillor S Slade's apologies being noted.


(c)        The Special Joint Meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and   Policy Development Panel 19 August 2014 was agreed as a correct       record.


Exclusion of the Press and Public




That the meeting recommence with the inclusion of the press and public.



Declarations of Interest.

(Members are no longer required to declare personal of prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in their Register of Interests.


Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.  In the interests of transparency, members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.)   



There were none. 


Questions asked under Council Procedure Rule 10.3.


There were none.


Tracking of recommendations

To consider responses of the Cabinet reports of the Panel. 


There were none.


Items referred from the Performance Monitoring Panel


There were none. 


Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To note the current Key Decision Plan (copy enclosed).  


Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan published on 20 August 2014.




That the Key Decision Plan 20 August 2014 be noted.



Unauthorised Travellers/Gypsy sites

Paul Jackson (Planning Manager) to be in attendance to discuss what South Holland District Council has in place in respect of a policy for Unauthorised Travellers/Gypsy sites. 


The Policy Development Panel at its meeting of 29 April 2014 agreed to add the unauthorised Gypsy/Travellers sites (County Wide) Policy to its work programme. 


Paul Jackson (Planning Manager Breckland and South Holland Councils) was in attendance at the meeting to discuss with members any policies South Holland had in place regarding unauthorised Gypsies/Travellers sites and answer to any questions. 


The Planning Manager explained that South Holland District Council protocol was to be reactive to unauthorised Gypsies/Travellers sites.  No policy as such was in place but there was a protocol that the District Council had signed up to along side Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Police in 2003, to look at unauthorised encampments on a case by case basis. 


Should an encampment be set up the first course of action was to see which authority was the most appropriate to undertake any action.  For example, if the land was owned by Lincolnshire County Council Highways then it would be most appropriate for Lincolnshire County Council, as land owner, to action.


Any encampment of Gypsies/Travellers would be contacted in order to establish what their intentions were, for example if they only intended to stay for a very short period.  This would then be monitored by the District Council. Should they not stay for a short period their needs would then be assessed and further action would be taken. 


Members were advised that the authority had a duty of care to supply sufficient pitches for Gypsies and Travellers.  Should there be a deficit of pitches then any enforcement action against sites that were not causing a nuisance would be hard to progress. 


The South East Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee, as part of its work, assessed need for pitches across South Holland and Boston.  The needs assessment revealed that there was a need for a total of 34 pitches at that current time.  That however would change inevitability with the growth in population, as it would with the need for any type of housing. 


Members of the Panel referred to documentation under the current Local Plan July 2006 – HS19 Sites for Gypsies and Travellers.  There were concerns as to which body determined what was a 'reasonable distance' of a school or shop etc. for a site to be granted planning permission.  The Planning Manager advised that in order to gain planning permission, a site would need to demonstrate as part of its application that it was reasonable for residents of the site to gain access to amenities.  It had been determined that reasonable distance did include the use of personal vehicles, should access to a bus route not be available. 


The Planning Manager advised that the South East Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee comprised of members from both South Holland District Council and Boston Borough Council.  Should members wish to have any input into the matter then they should inform either Councillor Gambba-Jones or Councillor Przyszlak as Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning, who both sit on the Committee.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Caravan Site Licensing - A Briefing Report pdf icon PDF 25 KB

To consider the Caravan Site Licensing – A Briefing Report (Report of the Executive Director (Place) is enclosed).

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director (Place) on the Caravan Site Licensing in South Holland – Briefing Report. 


Matthew Hogan (Strategic Housing Manager) was in attendance to present the report to members and answer any questions. 


The Policy Development Panel had requested that officers provide the Panel with an updated briefing concerning the Council's activity in relation to the licensing and regulation of caravan sites within the district. 


The Strategic Housing Manager advised that there was no active policy in place although it had been listed on the Policy Register. The briefing note included in the agenda advised members on the Council's current position and procedures that were in place for the Licensing of Caravan sites, including: 


1)     The statutory basis to the council’s work in regards to the licensing of caravan sites;


2)     The types of circumstances where a licence was required;


3)     Examples of the conditions that the authority imposed upon caravan site licence holders as part of the licensing process;


4)     Details of how the council monitored compliance;


5)     The relationship between caravan site licensing and the planning system; and


6)     The situation regarding caravan sites within South Holland.


After consideration of the report and briefing note, members raised the following questions:


  • Do all caravan sites need to have the benefit of planning permission before a license could be issued?


-          Yes, all caravan sites had to have planning permission granted before a license could be issued.


  • Was a whole site licensed or the individual pitches?


-          Some sites would have a licence granted to the site manager and in some instances individual pitches would each have their own licence.  South Holland had a mixture of those sites.


  • Why would conditions be imposed upon sites for occupancy?


-          Occupancy conditions were needed to be imposed on planning permissions for some sites, for example if an area was at risk of flooding in the winter, or some had been granted for a view of just tourism need. 


  • Who monitored occupancy of sites?


-          Planning enforcement would monitor occupancy of sites.  The use and need of sites had however changed over time.  


Members agreed that, given the change of use of some sites and the impact that they had on current infrastructures and facilities, a broader policy approach was needed, looking at the licensing of caravan sites and the standardisation of conditions imposed through the planning process (for example, the number of months that the caravans could be occupied).




(a)       That an up to date, broader policy should be put in place for the licensing of caravan sites that took in the need for the standardisation of conditions imposed through the planning process; and


(b)       That the Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services be contacted with      regards to the Panel's proposal, and that any such policy, when drafted       be referred to the Panel for consideration. 


(Paul Jackson, Planning Manager and Matthew Hogan, Strategic Housing Manager left the meeting at 7.43 p.m. after consideration of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Policy Development Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To consider the Work Programme of the Policy Development Panel (Report of the Democratic Services and Legal Manager is enclosed).


Consideration was given to the report of the Democratic Services and Legal Manager that set out the issues that had been identified by the Panel for inclusion in its work programme.  The first appendix to the report detailed the dates for future meetings and the expected agenda items.  The second appendix gave details of the Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel. 


The Chairman advised that she had received a request from the Chairman of the Leisure Task Group requesting that the proposed date for the final report of the Task Group – February 2015 be altered with a further interim report being made at that time. The reason for the requested change was that the current work the Task Group was undertaking was much larger than anticipated and therefore would in turn take longer to achieve.  In order to keep the Panel's informed, a further update be provided. 




That the Panel's receive a further interim report from the Leisure Task Group in February 2015, but request that the Task Group state when they anticipate a final report being available.


Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent.



NOTE:            No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman is of the opinion that the item(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency. 


There were none.






Exclusion of the Press and Public - To consider resolving that, under section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act.



Exempt minutes of the Special Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel - 29 July 2014


Members gave consideration to the following exempt minute item:

Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd.


The Chairman noted that Councillor Coupland wished to make an amendment to the minutes and that this had already been agreed at the Performance Monitoring Panel held on 16 September 2014. 




That the exempt minute of the Special Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel held on 29 July 2014 be agreed subject to an amendment.