To receive the updates of the three planning related studies.
The Chair said there were 3 studies that had been temporarily stopped due to Covid related issues and to reduce the burden on Officers.
CouncillorCriscione as the Chair for Planning Obligations Task and Finish Group said he was very keen to progress this report. The report was due at the March Scrutiny meeting.
CouncillorLeCount as the Chair of the Major Planning Applications Task and Finish Group said the group needed 2 new members as Councillor Loughlin had stood down. Councillor Criscione said that Councillor Lemon would be interested and said he would speak to him.
Councillor Dean questioned whether it caused a problem for there to be a representative from the Planning Committee on the task and finish group as they would be scrutinising their own work. He thought there should be some representatives that were not from Planning.
The Chair said this had been discussed at the time of setting up the task and finish group, and as the group looked at the earlier processes of applications and their progression before they went to the Planning committee this had not posed a problem. The Assistant Director – Corporate Services agreed with the Chair’s summary.
CouncillorLeCount said the PAS report would be signed off by the end of January and brought to the next scrutiny meeting.
In response to a question from Councillor Dean, the Assistant Director – Corporate Services explained that the task and finish group had been formed earlier than necessary. The Scrutiny Committee would receive the report first, decide what actions needed to be taken and these would then be passed to the task and finish group.
The Chair thought the Airport related parking task and finish group would be busy once the pandemic restrictions were eased.
Councillor Driscoll said they had not been as busy due to much lower levels of unathorised parking. He said the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) had agreed with the Council to provide funds for zoning and resident permits. The local equivalent of North Essex Parking would remove cars and would take the proceeds as their part of the deal.
Councillor Driscoll said they were working on preventing pavement parking and the relevant legislation required. It is only an offence in London to be parked on the pavement, although if a vehicle had caused an obstruction this could be treated differently.
Councillor Dean said he thought there should be an interim report by now to plan ahead for problems. The air traffic will increase once Covid restrictions were relaxed and this would drive up parking costs in the airport and mean that even more cars could be parked in the district.
Councillor Sell said he had met with the Operations Manager of the North Essex Parking Partnership who was awaiting legislation from government to prevent pavement parking.
Councillor Driscoll agreed that the plans were with the Transport Select Committee, he said it would be countrywide but thought that villages could apply to be exempt.
CouncillorCoote said the driving force behind people parking in the district was the airport and the high parking charges. He thought that the airport needed to take responsibility.
Councillor Driscoll said he would take this up with the airport at their next meeting.