Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Thursday, 25th April, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Link: This meeting will be livestreamed

Media

Items
No. Item

109.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies made at the meeting.

110.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest advice attached to this Agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete the Declaration of Interest Form

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

111.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To approve the summary of recommendations and decisions of the Cabinet meeting held on 14 March 2024, copy attached.

Minutes:

Councillor Everitt proposed, Councillor Albon seconded and Members agreed the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 14 March 2024.

112.

Sport England Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF) Ramsgate Leisure Centre Solar photovoltaics (PV) pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In March 2024, TDC was awarded £674,740 in capital costs for Phase II for the installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels (PV) and variable speed filtration pumps for Ramsgate Leisure Centre. There was a delivery deadline to meet to install the solar panels and variable speed pumps, which was 31 March 2025. Cabinet was asked to note the progress achieved so far and the outcome of the SPSF grant and approve the use of the grant to fund the installation of Solar PV and variable speed filtration pumps at Ramsgate Leisure Centre.

 

Councillor Davis and Councillor Austin spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:

 

Cabinet agreed to consider the Overview and Scrutiny recommendation that “consideration be given by the Cabinet that all new buildings in Thanet should have solar photovoltaics (PVs) installed on them as a planning condition where physically possible,” during the local plan review process through the Local Plan Cabinet Advisory Group and at Climate Change Cabinet Advisory Group meetings.

 

Councillor Duckworth proposed, Councillor Yates seconded and Cabinet agreed the following:

 

1.  To note the progress achieved and the outcome of the SPSF grant funding award;

 

2.  To approved the use of the Swimming Pool Support Fund capital grant of £674,740 to fund the installation of Solar photovoltaic (PV) installation and variable speed filtration pumps at Ramsgate Leisure Centre.

113.

Purchase of Section 106 Affordable Housing Units pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered proposals for the purchase of Section 106 affordable housing units. As part of the Council’s accelerated housing delivery strategy, Cabinet had adopted a policy of purchasing viable Section 106 properties that had been turned down by registered providers, in order to ensure that the Council did not lose the affordable housing that should be the key foundation of any large development. Council was contacted by Bellway, owner of the development of Section 106 properties at Nash Road, Margate, who were legally required to deliver 18% affordable housing on site. The developer had been unable to secure a registered provider.

 

As per policy, 70% of the affordable delivery was required to be affordable rent, which allocated 31 units to the Council. The remaining units would be delivered as shared ownership. The Council had offered 31 new affordable rent homes, as they had been unable to secure an affordable housing provider to deliver these homes. The Council were facing many complex and interwoven issues when it came to affordable housing. These were linked to planning, central plans for housing delivery and the reliability of external markets to deliver sustainable affordable housing.

 

Responding to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel recommendation that “Cabinet further explore the liabilities for stamp duty land tax (SDLT) to ensure that the correct liability is assessed,” the Portfolio Holder advised the meeting that Cabinet was hugely limited in amending Planning requirements and the affordable housing delivery model, which relied on the external market. Cabinet would be more satisfied if Government policy was for Councils to be funded directly to produce the housing needed for each local area, as Thanet District Council had an excellent record of delivery and of multi organisation working. TDC also knew exactly what was required within its housing list. However, the current central delivery model delivered affordable housing via the private sector and ensuring that the Council did not lose affordable housing was essential, especially for the 1907 households on the housing register.

 

At the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, a concern was raised that the Cabinet approach only benefitted developers; in actual fact, this strategy not only saved affordable housing that would be lost, but also allowed for direct and forward planning and influence of our housing quality, energy rating via our specification design. The approach also afforded specific planning to aid those on the housing list who may require more specialised provision. Combining the knowledge contained in the Council’s housing list with long term development plans for these sites via providers potentially allowed for very specific provision, both in terms of mapping and providing specialist and accessible housing needs, which was a continuing issue for the Council.

 

The Council built from a Home for Life perspective when the housing development was directly done by the Council, to try and ensure maximum accessibility within the design of housing units. The ability to produce via direct central funding was limited, which meant that even within Band A, for highest medical need, residents may be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113.

114.

Mini-woodland Tree Planting Scheme pdf icon PDF 7 MB

Minutes:

Cabinet discussed proposals for locations for mini-woodlands around the district following an independent assessment. Thanet District Council had agreed a carbon reduction plan which laid out the steps the Council would take to reach net zero by 2030. Any emissions the Council was still producing in 2030 would need to be absorbed by carbon sequestration projects such as mini-woodland creation to reach net zero. The Council had investigated what land it owned that could be used for mini-woodland creation, to absorb these left over emissions. A total of 6 sites had been identified as suitable locations for the Mini-Woodland Tree Planting Scheme. The total size of the land to be used was 4 hectares, spread across the 6 locations.

 

There were funding opportunities available to the Council for progressing mini-woodlands but they often had short turnaround times to submit an application. In order to make these applications the Council needed to have confirmed the land being allocated for these projects. The proposed mini-woodland sites were as detailed below:

 

  • Dane Valley Road;
  • Garlinge Recreation Ground;
  • Memorial Recreation Ground;
  • Northdown Park;
  • St Peter’s Recreation Ground;*
  • Tivoli Park (0.5 hectares).

 

Site 1: Dane Valley Road This comprises two areas of plantable space. The proposed planting locations total 1.2 ha. It is currently a grassland buffer between agricultural and residential land.

 

Site 2: Garlinge The Garlinge site is situated in the eastern corner of Garlinge Recreation Ground, proposed planting totals 0.5 ha. It was currently open grassland, neighbouring several football pitches, and lent itself well to community engagement for planting.

 

Site 3: Memorial Recreation Ground This site has the potential to host 3 small mini-woodland planting areas, totalling 0.4 ha. It was situated in a high density residential area.

 

Site 4: Northdown Park Northdown Park could host 0.84 ha of mini-woodland across two planting areas. It was open space bordered by tree cover and interspersed with mature tree specimens.

 

Site 5: St. Peter’s Recreation Ground Planting at St. Peter’s Recreation Ground could cover 0.6 ha. The land was currently open green space bordered by existing tree cover. The larger compartment fell between private gardens and an existing row of trees.

 

Site 6: Tivoli Park This site was currently open green space. Mini-woodland creation here was designed to enhance the existing woodland on each side of existing service access. In total, it would create 0.5 ha of mini-woodland.

 

The Portfolio Holder recommended that cabinet approve that Council land in the following locations was used for Mini-Woodland Tree Planting Schemes, subject to external funding being identified and secured.

 

The following Councillors spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:

 

Councillor Matterface;

Councillor Austin;

Councillor Kup.

 

*Members were asked to note an amendment to the report that St Peter’s Recreation Ground is in Beacon Road Ward and not St Peter’s Ward.

 

Councillor Albon proposed, Councillor Keen seconded and Cabinet approved that Council land in the following locations is used for Mini-Woodland Tree Planting Schemes, subject to external funding being identified and secured:

 

1. Dane Valley Road (1.2 hectares);

2.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.

115.

Tourism Scrutiny Review Report pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the scrutiny review report that was forwarded to Cabinet by the Overview and Scrutiny Panel. The report looked at the impact of tourism on Thanet with a focus on the additional costs that the Council incurred when it came to cleaning up litter and attending to other antisocial incidents that the Panel feels were caused by visitors coming to Thanet. The report further looked at traffic management issues, particularly in Summer and the operation of AirBnBs.

 

Cabinet felt that it was important to mention the positive contributions that tourism brought to the district. Many local businesses benefitted from the inflow of visitors to the area and these businesses created employment for the local communities. There were costs associated with some of the activities that came with the district hosting visitors, it seemed that, overall, the benefits outweighed the costs.

 

Cabinet acknowledged the important role Scrutiny played in pointing out issues that Cabinet should consider when making decisions and drafting policies. That was why Cabinet wanted to take time to consider these findings and recommendations and get further officer advice on the budget implications for each of those recommendations in the context of the Council’s limited resources.

 

The Portfolio Holder recommended that Cabinet deferred its response to the Scrutiny report findings and recommendations in order to get officer advice on the cost implications of those recommendations. A detailed response would be brought back to Cabinet before the end of the third quarter of this year. Cabinet noted that the suggestion of a 'tourism tax' was not viable as Thanet is not a Business Improvement District.

 

The following Councillors spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:

 

Councillor Fellows;

Councillor Rogers;

Councillor Bayford.

Councillor Davis;

Councillor Austin;

Councillor Kup.

 

Councillor Duckworth proposed, Councillor Yates seconded and Cabinet agreed to defer providing a response to the Scrutiny report findings and recommendations in order to get officer advice on the cost implications of those recommendations. A detailed response will be brought back to Cabinet before the end of the third quarter of this year.