Venue: Council Chamber, Bury Town Hall
Contact: Julie Gallagher Democratic Services
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any matters on the agenda and, if so, to formally declare that interest.
Councillor C Birchmore declared a personal interest in item OSC.6, Submission of the places for everyone plan as a member of the group Bury Folk Keep it Green.
The minutes of the meeting held on 25th March 2021 are attached.
Responding to a query from Councillor Bernstein, the Monitoring Officer reported that she had ruled out a request for a Call-in in relation to Cabinet Minute CA.100 Future of the Civics Venues reporting that call in should not be used as a mechanism for voicing objections or dislike for a particular decision and should only be used in exceptional circumstances.
It was agreed:
That the minutes of the last meeting, held on 25 March 2021, be approved as a correct record.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
A period of 30 minutes has been set aside for members of the public to ask questions on matters considered at the last meeting and set out in the minutes or on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.
The following questions from members of the public were received in advance of the meeting:
Question one: Taken the Places For Everyone plan is before the council, over the next 3 years exactly how many social and affordable to rent homes will the council be building on brownfield land/sites owned by the council, either as the master developer or under a joint venture with an external social and affordable to rent housing developer?
Supplementary question: As the leader of the council has previously stated that the council would enter into joint ventures for the development of social and affordable to rent homes in the borough, exactly how many joint ventures regarding social and affordable to rent homes are the council exploring as of today, and will these new social and affordable to rent homes be constructed to the Passivhaus Standard?
In response Councillor O’Brien, Leader of the Council reported there are a number of Council owned brownfield sites coming forward for development, including land at School Street in Radcliffe, the Wheatfield site in Whitefield and William Kemp Heaton and Fletcher Fold Road in Bury, all of which will be expected to provide at least 25% affordable housing, and some of these are likely to be developed for 100% affordable housing, including affordable rent and shared ownership.
We are also exploring opportunities to provide specialist accommodation in conjunction with Adult Social Care. These proposals will be subject to sign off by Cabinet in due course.
We are working in partnership with Homes England to bring forward the East Lancashire Paper Mill Site in Radcliffe, which will include the provision of affordable housing.
Through our Joint Commissioning Partnership, we are working with Registered Providers of affordable housing to facilitate joint working and increase the delivery of affordable homes.
We have had strong interest from Registered Providers in delivering affordable housing in Bury, including on some of the sites that the Council is disposing of, and this will help to increase delivery of a range of tenures of affordable homes.
Affordable housing for rent is just one form of affordable housing, and there is a clear ambition from Government, both through planning policy and Affordable Homes Programme funding to increase opportunities for affordable home ownership, including shared ownership and discount sale.
The Housing Strategy proposes the development of a Bury Eco Standard which will reflect a fully retrofitted home with a renewable energy source. In order to meet the targets for all new homes to be carbon neutral by 2028 and all existing homes by 2038, a significant step change is needed. This will require high standards to be achieved and Passivhaus is seen as the level we need to be aiming for. In developing the Bury Eco standard all options including Passivhaus will be considered and we will certainly include the principles of quality installation which Passivhaus embodies.
Question Two: The Council's Climate Strategy and Plan contain several statements and actions which are in conflict with elements of Places for Everyone ( ... view the full minutes text for item OSC.3
MEMBER QUESTION TIME
A period of up to 15 minutes will be allocated for questions and supplementary questions from members of the Council who are not members of the committee. This period may be varied at the discretion of the chair.
The following questions from members of the public were received in advance of the meeting:
Question One: The Crostons Road junction, at which traffic from Brandlesholme Road, Tottington Road and Walshaw Road, the three main arteries for traffic going into and out of Bury, converge, already experiences significant delays during rush hour. Has the Council carried out a full assessment of potential impact on traffic levels at the junction with over a thousand houses to be placed in Walshaw under the revised Places for Everyone plan?" Cllr J Rydeheard
In response the Leader reported; All the PfE allocations are supported by a Transport Locality Assessment. These assessments examine the likely local impact of the development of the allocation on the transport network and identifies where mitigation is needed.
The Crostons Road junction was included within the transport modelling for the Walshaw allocation and mitigation for the junction has been identified. It is a requirement of the Walshaw allocation policy that off site highway works are provided to ensure acceptable travel movement.
Responding to Cllr Rydeheard supplementary question, Councillor Quinn reported that the places for Everyone submission has taken into account proposed increases in traffic.
How many independent and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will the clean air charge impact in Bury and what engagement has there been with these stakeholders. Councillor N Jones
In response Councillor Quin reported that Across Greater Manchester, we’ve been meeting and engaging with key stakeholders including bus, freight transport, taxi and private hire industry bodies, for some time (before the GM Clean Air Plan conversation in May 2019) to raise awareness and get their feedback on the measures in place.
Marketing and communications activity has taken place during the 2019 conversation on the GMCAP and the 2020 consultation on the GM CAP. This has included extensive marketing, using radio ads, local press, digital advertising, social media and local authority channels.
Prior to its consideration at Cabinet, Members are asked to review the attached report from the Leader of the Council, Councillor O’Brien.
The Leader of the Council attended the meeting to present an overview prior to publication of the Places for Everyone Joint Plan.
Documents had been shared with Members prior to the meeting which contained information in respect of the rationale for the proposal. The Leader reported that continuing to work collaboratively on a joint plan across the nine districts brings significant benefits to Bury including a stronger local economy; reduced impact on the Green Belt; an up-to-date plan; significant infrastructure investment and affordable housing.
The reports circulated in advance of the meeting provided information in respect of:
• Publication plan and consultation
• Plans for Homes
• Plans for the environment
• Plans for jobs
• Plans for the greenbelt and a brownfield land preference
Questions and comments were invited from Members of the Committee and the following issues were raised:
Following a commitment from the Leader at the meeting a summary of the questions and responses received are appended to the minutes; the responses will also be made available on the Council’s website
1. Councillor Birchmore raised concerns in respect of the criteria used to select the sites including concerns in relation to Radcliffe/Elton Reservoir and the effect on green belt.
Responding The Leader reported that the criteria was developed using national planning policy principles and the wider strategic context of Greater Manchester’s ambitions to boost the competitiveness of northern districts, create more opportunities for employment and improve the housing offer and market.
The Elton Reservoir site meets criterion 6 as it is in close proximity to the existing tram line and has the potential to provide a comprehensive public transport hub as part of a new tram stop. This is proposed to include a park and ride facility as well as well as active travel facilities (e.g. cycle hub / electric vehicles etc).
2. Councillor LJ Dean sought clarification in relation to previously undertaken consultation and also whether the Council could choose to have a local plan
The Leader reported without an up-to-date plan in place we would be at serious risk of:
• Planning by appeal - rather than development being planned and managed properly, we would be likely to get inundated by smaller-scale ad-hoc planning applications on Green Belt land with developers appealing against any refusal of planning permission - with a greater likelihood of success given the recent appeal decision in Welwyn.
• Government intervention - Government has indicated that it will use sanctions for districts that do not have an up-to-date plan by December 2023 meaning that Bury's planning powers could be removed and for us to have a plan produced for us - which could mean higher housing targets than currently set out by the PfE.
3. Councillor Lucy Smith asked for clarification in relation to the number of houses that may be required if Bury Council, like Stockport chose to develop a local plan rather than partake in the GM PfE report
The Leader reported that the Council would be in a ... view the full minutes text for item OSC.5
· A report from Councillor Alan Quinn – Cabinet Member Environment, Climate Change and Operations in respect of Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan is attached.
· A report from Councillor Alan Quinn – Cabinet Member Environment, Climate Change and Operations in respect of Climate Strategy is attached.
SUB GROUP MEMBERSHIP
Julie Gallagher, Democratic Services will provide Members with a verbal update:
Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair agrees may be considered as a matter of urgency.