Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Robert Sutton  Email: robert.sutton@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5134

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received for Councillor Cherry Parker.

2.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There were no matters of urgent business for consideration at this meeting.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

 

Resolved –

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school Governing Bodies be noted.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2015.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Regeneration, Transport & Culture Scrutiny Panel, held on 12 April 2016 be confirmed and signed as a true and accurate record.

 

5.

Cabinet Member's Report - Regeneration and Transport pdf icon PDF 132 KB

This report provides an update on the key priorities for the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport and sets out the scope of the priorities for the year ahead. 

Minutes:

Councillor Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, presented the report advising that affordable housing was a major and challenging concern.  Starter homes are often not set at real affordability level for many of the Boroughs residents and it was felt that the Council should have a greater role in terms of the mix and balance as starter homes in new developments.  Further, the Council had to look at the allocation of its available land, for redevelopment.

 

Councillor Thorpe advised that there was no Government grant funding for social housing and different approaches were being considered. Further, Greenwich Council was working with the Peabody Trust in bringing forward the cross-borough working development housing zone on Thamesmead which should provide 25% actually affordable homes with no starter homes  

 

In terms of regeneration, Councillor Thorpe advised that there was a new focus and fresh approach to the renewal of the Abbey Wood Area of the Borough.   That Cross Rail (The Elizabeth Line) was progressing well and there was a strong focus on it being delivered to deadline though, he noted, that there was still no information being provided in respect of the design of the Woolwich Station including cycle access and provision which, given cycling was increasing there was a need to ensure there was adequate spaces, not just at the new Woolwich Crossrail Station but across the borough, generally 

 

In considering the report Members raised concerns regarding the Crossrail works at Abbey Wood Station as the construction crew constantly used the limited parking in the area, which was prohibiting resident from parking.  Members also noted that the establishment of a resident’s liaison had not been affective as it was reliant on Crossrail’s participation, which appears to be limited and development seemed to be based entirely on use of the Crossrail Act.


Further Member raised concern that despite complaints to Crossrail regarding the new bridge allowing direct view into resident’s bedrooms, there had been no co-operation in addressing the issue.

 

Councillor Thorpe confirmed that he had also had concerns regarding the design of the bridge, which was a blight on the landscape and confirmed his frustration that the design and design and delivery of the station was by Network Rail and with Crossrail running alongside it, with each party failing to engage with each other or the Council.

 

The Panel considered the feasibility and benefit of asking Crossrail to attend a future meeting of the Panel to look at design and look at joint working.

 Action: Senior Corporate Development Officer

 

Members raised concern at the continued lack of urgency, by TFL to address the need for an express bus route and greater bus transport links within the Borough.

 

Councillor Thorpe advised that this was a matter that the Council had been pursuing for over a year and there was an acknowledgment that there was a need for an increase in buses from the east and west of the Borough to Woolwich.  However, TFL had be unresponsive as there was an awareness that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Community Infrastructure Levy - Update pdf icon PDF 73 KB

The Panel is requested to consider an update on the collection of the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in Royal Borough of Greenwich and the progress made in implementing a local CIL for Royal Borough of Greenwich and the amounts collected to date.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Regeneration, Enterprise & Skills presented the report advising the Panel that the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced in 2012, to help finance Crossrail, but there was an expectation that this will now become a permanent charge.  She advised that Local Authorities had no discretion on collections of the Mayoral CIL.

 

She continued that in April 2015 The Royal Borough of Greenwich introduced its own CIL Charging Schedule the aim of which is to allow Local Authorities’ to raise funds, from developments, to help deliver infrastructure improvements.  Currently, these monies would be directed to the Woolwich Crossrail Station.

 

The Director informed the Panel that the CIL was separate to S106, which was collected for specific developments within the Borough.  She confirmed that it was an audit requirement that CIL and S106 monies were not combined and spent separately.

 

In response to members questions the Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills confirmed that 2% of the CIL could be retained to meet the cost of employing officers to facilitate assessment and financial collection.     

 

She clarified that the CIL charges were a set financial rate per square metre of the development.  Whereas S106 charges were an agreed amount negotiated between the developer and the Council to mitigate the impact of development.

 

The Director advised members that the definition of Local Neighbourhood’s still required clarification and she confirmed that she would feedback to the Panel the legal definition of ‘local neighbourhoods’ following the receipt of Counsel’s opinion.  There was also a requirement to publish, by the end of each financial year, details of what S106 monies would be spent on. 

Action: DRES

 

The Director confirmed that it was her understanding that the governance powers and charging schedule for the Boroughs CIL was to be presented to Council for agreement, but she would confirm this directly with the Panel. 

Action: DRES

In respect of the Examination in Public’s (EIP) inspectors’ proposal that ancillary car parking for retail developments be zero CIL, the Director assured Members that this was challenged at the time and the EIO inspectors were reconsidering this.  However, a balance needed to be maintained so as not to undermine retail sustainability in the Borough.

 

The Director confirmed that S106 monies could be saved and combined for a specific development, but it was reserved for Members to decide on how S106 money was to be spent

 

The Director clarified that a new development was, generally, considered to be a development established from the ground up, rather than a conversion.

 

Resolved –

 

1. That the update on the collection of the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in the Royal Borough of Greenwich be noted.

 

2.  That the progress in implementing a local CIL for the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the amounts collected to date, be noted.

7.

Quarter 3 Performance monitoring - Directorate Regeneration, Enterprise & Skills pdf icon PDF 101 KB

The Panel is requested to scrutinise the Business Critical Indicators that are monitored by the Directorate together with the latest performance outcomes.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills presented the item taking Members through the Appendix and explaining the ‘Red, Amber, Green’ (RAG) indicators. Further, that an Amber indicator did not mean that the project was cancelled or in danger of such but was an indicator of protracted or on-going discussions.

 

The Director accepted that that Spary Street development had been in negotiations, with the preferred bidder, for some time.  Further, that the land sale had been agreed but there were indemnity issues that needed to be agree upon and the development would not be processed until these were agreed, in order to protect the Council.

 

Councillor Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport added that there was the possibility of using Spray Street for street food and pop up markets, and farmers market, whilst negotiations continued.  Further, there was a place for the Council to be involved in the changes and restoration of this area.

 

The Director responded to Members that the Eltham Centre was showing as Amber as the final stages of negotiations with the Cinema provider and one of the restaurant operators were still in process and the Council was looking to sign agreements with all three parties at once.

 

In respect of the Woolwich Leisure Centre and Wilkinson store Councillor Thorpe confirmed that conversations were taking place with Wilkinson’s over another site in Woolwich, which it was anticipated would be resolved shortly.  Further, Councillor Thorpe confirmed that the new Woolwich Leisure Centre would have the same facilities as the current Leisure Centre.

 

Councillor Thorpe responded to the Panel that officers were in discussions as to how best to use the Charlton Riverside area; the requirements needed to develop additional industrial space to ensure industries stay as waterfront develops and maintain and increase job opportunities.  Further, the Chancellor had indicated that development should not just provide housing as business development was crucial to London wide development but combined residential/industrial areas needed to be carefully managed.

 

The Assistant Director, Transportation responded to Members that there were a number of historical issues around parking, particularly in the Eltham area on the boundary with Bexley Borough.   He noted Member’s concern as to whether the parking budget could be achieved and if a more realistic budget project should be consider and confirmed that some efficiency savings had been made and assured members that the budgetary position was stable.   


The Director added that budgetary reviews may need to be undertaken dependant on the outcome of the EU referendum, in June, as EU funding made up a proportion of income. 

 

Members were aware that there were areas of the Borough not producing income and used by people who were not Borough residents.  Further, that officer’s had advised that there were plans to deal with these issues for some considerable time, which had not advanced and asked that officers moved forward on these areas as soon as possible. 

Action: DRES

 

The Director confirmed to Members that there were no plans to reduce the number of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.