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This meeting is to be webcast and Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Chairman will read the following announcement:
‘I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being made available for those that request it.
By being present at this meeting, it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in your image becoming part of the broadcast.
You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.
Please could I also remind Members to activate their microphones before speaking.’
The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.
Appointment of Vice-Chairman
The Chairman asked the Cabinet Committee for nominations for a vice-chairman, Councillor G Mohindra nominated Councillor N Avey which was seconded by Councillor H Kane.
That Councillor N Avey be vice-chairman of the Asset Management and Economic Development Cabinet Committee for the duration of the municipal year.
To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.
The Cabinet Committee noted that there were no substitute members.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any items on the agenda.
(a) Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor G Mohindra declared an interest in agenda item 7, Economic Development Report by virtue of his role as Vice-Chairman of the Essex and Herts Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ). The Councillor had determined that his interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the item.
(b) Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor G Mohindra declared an interest in agenda item 8, Asset Management Development Projects – Progress Report, item 6, Hillhouse Development, by virtue of being an Essex County Council Cabinet Member. The Councillor had determined that his interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the item.
(c) Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor J M Whitehouse declared a personal interest in agenda item 9, St John’s Road Update by virtue of being a member of Epping Town Council and living in St. John’s Road. The Councillor had determined that his interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the item.
(d) Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor N Avey declared an interest in agenda item 9, St John’s Road Update by virtue of being the Chairman of Epping Town Council. The Councillor had determined that his interest was non-pecuniary and would remain in the meeting for the consideration of the item.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet Committee held on 25 October 2018.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider the attached report AMED-005-2018/19 and presentation by Lichfields.
The Chairman introduced Mr Peter Wilks, Senior Director of Lichfields who gave a presentation of an impact study that they had produced regarding The Broadway, Debden.
P Wilks advised that Lichfields were commissioned to look into the impacts of the Epping Forest Shopping Park (EFSP) which was opened in December 2017, specifically looking back at how that application was determined in 2012. An impact assessment was prepared at that time which predicted the trade diversion and reduction in trade resulting from the shopping park. This had been established in the Council’s own town centre study in May 2010 which had been based on:
· Visitor and household surveys;
· Land use survey; and
· Town centre health checks.
The historical evidence provided an opportunity to do a before and after comparison and we have looked at that data to see if there was any evidence of actual levels of impact on The Broadway.
In terms of the methodology and looking at the trading performance of centres proved to be very difficult as there had been no national published data since 1971. Therefore, we could only go on what changes had happened with the land use within the centre and how the health check undertaken in October 2018 compared with the same exercise done in 2010. Therefore if the visitor and household surveys were re-run, this would enable us to estimate the turnover and trading performance of the town centre the same way it was estimated back in 2010.
Measure of vitality and viability
The Central Government Planning Guidance set out what the measures of vitality and viability were:
· Diversity of uses;
· % of vacant street level property;
· Commercial property rents/yields;
· Retailer representation;
· Pedestrian flows;
· Perception of safety / occurrence of crime; and
· State of town centre environmental quality.
Looking at The Broadway it was found to be a relatively small centre servicing local people. There were 55 purpose built Class A units which were easy to access and navigate around. The Javelin Group rank over 3,500 retail destinations in the UK including town centres, malls, retail parks and factory outlet centres. In the Epping Forest district The Broadway was ranked third and compared favourably with other smaller centres in the district.
The number of units had reduced since 2010, this was due to the units in Torrington Drive being empty and derelict as Sainsbury’s wanted to modernise and enlarge their store and utilise the units around the store to expand and become part of their car park. Therefore on balance the number of vacancies have predominantly stayed the same.
The representation in The Broadway in 2009 was largely the same as it was in 2018:
The Broadway have the lowest rents in the district at £235 per sq.m with Loughton being the highest at £700 per sq.m.
The visitor and household survey ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
To consider the attached report AMED-006-2018/19.
The Economic Development Officer (EDO) presented a report to the Cabinet Committee and updated them on projects and issues being explored by the Economic Development Team.
1. Digital Innovation Zone
The Economic Development team recently organised, on behalf of the Essex & Herts Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ), a highly successful Smart Places Seminar on the subject of future-proofing new garden communities. The event was held at Chesterford Research Park in December 2018 and sponsored by Uttlesford District Council. The event attracted around 70 delegates representing eight local authorities and a number of voluntary community groups, health and education organisations plus local businesses and national organisations.
Officers were planning the next smart places seminar which was planned for Friday 5 April 2019. The seminar would explore issues around digital inclusion and the potential impact of moving to new digital platforms for public service delivery.
Officers were currently working with colleagues at Essex County Council on a multi-million pound bid to the DCMS Local Full Fibre Network programme, to boost connectivity in areas across the DIZ from hubs based at GP surgeries. The Council have now been asked to bring forward a full proposal to the scheme by the beginning of February 2019 and work was ongoing to meet that date.
That the current progress and work programme of the Council’s Economic Development Section were noted.
Reasons for Decision:
To appraise the Committee on the progress made with regard to Economic Development issues.
Other Options Considered and Rejected:
None, as this monitoring report was for information not action.
To consider the attached report AMED-007-2018/19.
The Acting Chief Executive (ACE) presented a report to the Cabinet Committee and updated Members on further developments to the report since the agenda had been published.
(1) Epping Forest Shopping Park
The Epping Forest Shopping Park was now fully let and trading well. Some issues had been identified with parking and were being looked at with a view to improving access to the car park. It had been recognised that some people who worked in the area were covering their number plates upon exiting the car park and others were exiting via the entrance. Parking enforcement officers were now patrolling the site and issuing Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) to anyone that was parked longer than 3 hours.
There were also concerns with the build up of traffic which, at times, was sitting across the junction from Oakwood Hill waiting to enter the Shopping Park. This had been reported to Essex Highways with a view to them looking at a scheme to improve the flow of traffic and stop the queuing across the junction.
Councillor CC Pond advised that the entrance and exit to the shopping park was causing the traffic to build up and at times block the A1168 and stated that this should now be a priority. He asked how effective had the issuing of PCNs been and had this freed up some space in the car park.
The Chief Estates Officer advised since the introduction of PCNs the car park had been freed up of parking spaces. On the first day of Parking Enforcement there had been 28 PCNs issued and it would appear most of these were commuters or people that worked in the area. It had been noted that a car company that traded in Langston Road was known to be using the charging bays to charge their electric cars so that they could be test driven by clients. The car company had been advised that the car charging points were for the sole use of the clients of the Shopping Park and they were not to be used. Local businesses had also been advised to inform their staff that they should not park in the Shopping Park and that PCNs were now being issued.
(2) Pyrles Lane Nursery
Following a successful marketing campaign the site was now under offer to Durkan Estates and solicitors have been appointed to progress the sale. Durkan Estates have carried out site investigations and we were waiting for the results. The access road, which is not part of the EFDC land, but has substantial existing rights was being assessed. The existing Nursery was due to relocate to the Town Mead Depot in Waltham Abbey in early 2019 following a successful planning application to refurbish premises on the site.
(3) St John’s Road Redevelopment
There was a separate report on the agenda.
(4) North Weald Airfield
An internal Officer project team had been set up to provide strategic direction in line with the requirements of the submission version of the ... view the full minutes text for item 24.
To consider the attached report AMED-008-2018/19.
The Acting Chief Executive (ACE) presented a report to the Cabinet Committee and updated Members on further developments to the report since the agenda had been published. He advised that following the failure to conclude the tri-partite agreement between the District and Town Council and their development partner, the Cabinet had agreed that the Council should proceed with an alternative scheme in accordance with the previously adopted Development and Design Brief and that EFDC should seek to enter into a partnership with Epping Town Council as part of any new scheme. Furthermore that in the event of a partnering arrangement not being possible with Epping Town Council, the District Council should proceed with the St John’s Road Redevelopment project, on land within its ownership.
In addition, it was agreed that the site should become the preferred site for the re-provision of Epping Sports Centre and that it should be delivered by the existing contractual arrangements with the Council’s Leisure Management Partner, Places for People.
Following the decisions made by Cabinet in December 2018 a meeting was convened between officers of the council and representatives of Places Leisure (including Pozzoni Architecture and the Sports Consultancy).
As a result of this meeting and recognising that Pozzoni Architecture were developing the brief for the Leisure Centre (the anchor building on the site) officers made the decision to appoint Pozzoni Architecture as consultants to produce a master plan for the whole site, which incorporated the elements of the previous brief agreed by Full Council and the Submission Version of the Local Plan. The cost of this would be in the region of £10,000 which given that they were already undertaking work on the site was heavily discounted.
There had also been contact with two cinema operators who had both expressed an interest in the development and a future meeting would be set up to discuss options.
Councillor Avey asked when would discussions take place with Epping Town Council.
The ACE advised that he had recently spoken with the Town Council to establish the values and a formal meeting would be arranged within the next 2-3 weeks.
That the Committee noted the current position regarding the St John’s Road site.
Reasons for Decision:
To appraise the Committee on the current progress of the project.
Other Options Considered and Rejected:
None, as this monitoring report was for information only not action.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, together with paragraphs 6 and 25 of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution require that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.
The Cabinet Committee noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration.
Exclusion of Public and Press
Exclusion: To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):
The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Background Papers: Article 17 - Access to Information, Procedure Rules of the Constitution define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:
(a) disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based; and
(b) have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.
The Council will make available for public inspection for four years after the date of the meeting one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers.
The Cabinet Committee noted that there were no items of business on the agenda that necessitated the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting.