Agenda and draft minutes

Environment Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 13th November, 2023 3.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, District Council Offices, 2013 Mill Lane, Chesterfield S42 6NG

Contact: Tom Scott  01246 217045 Email: thomas.scott@ne-derbyshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

ESC/19/23-24

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

ESC/20/23-24

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or other interests, not already on their register of interests, in any item on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time.

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

ESC/21/23-24

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 299 KB

To approve as a correct record and the Chair to sign the Minutes of the Environment Scrutiny Committee held on 11 September 2023.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Environment Scrutiny Committee held on 11 September 2023 were agreed.

ESC/22/23-24

The Performance Management Framework pdf icon PDF 494 KB

To report progress on the strategies underpinning the Council Plan objective - “A great place that cares for the environment” for the period ending 30th September 2023

 

(Information, Engagement and Performance Manager)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Improvement Officer presented a report whichgave progress on the strategies underpinning the Council Plan objective ‘A great place that cares for the environment’ for the period ending 30 September 2023. Information on what the Council had done for the objective was contained in Appendix 1 to the report and would be presented to the Committee quarterly. This was a new way of reporting progress against the Council Plan, with a wider approach seeking contributions from all departments across the performance framework.

 

Members referred to the mention of the replacement programme for vehicles (74 new vehicles over this year’s programme) and were concerned that this appeared to be a move away from battery powered vehicles and emission reduction. Members asked if the tender with the vehicle company included reference to this step away from electronics. The Assistant Director of Regeneration and Programmes agreed to investigate these points with the officers responsible and report back to the Committee.

 

Members discussed the Clay Cross Rail Feasibility Study and enquired if any progress had been made. Members were informed that a preferred station location had been identified by the study, and this location was being consulted on with the Department for Transport.

 

The references in the Appendix to two posts being advertised (Sustainability Officer and Microsoft Teams Engagement Officer) were considered. Members requested to receive further information on these posts at future meetings.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That progress against the Council Plan ‘A great place that cares for the environment’ objective was noted.

 

(2)  That officers present the Committee at a future meeting with the requested information on the vehicle tender and the two posts being advertised.  

ESC/23/23-24

The Environment Act and Biodiversity Net Gain Requirement pdf icon PDF 311 KB

To inform Members of the implications of the Act for the Council and the District and how we are addressing the Biodiversity Net Gain requirement

 

(Assistant Director of Planning)

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Planning presented a report informing Members of the implications of the Environment Act 2021 for the Council, and how the Council would meet the Biodiversity Net Gain requirement.

 

Members were advised that the Environment Act placed specific requirements on Councils to ensure the delivery of biodiversity net gain. Steps the Council had taken to meet this included:

 

1) Discussions with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust about expanding their remit to include an assessment of the biodiversity value of Council-owned land that would not be suitable for development, but may provide opportunities for ecological enhancement through funding secured from developments where sufficient on-site net gain cannot be achieved.

 

2) Beginning a review of the Asset Management Strategy, which will include joint working between Planning and Streetscene to consider (with the specialist input of DWT) the contribution that Council land can make to the enhancement of biodiversity.

 

3) Officers of the Council and the other Districts/Boroughs in Derbyshire were working with Derbyshire County Council to discharge their Derbyshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy duties.

 

Members discussed instances of developers removing trees from sites without any controls over what they can do. The Assistant Director of Planning stated that the Council was limited in its powers in these situations unless there was a Tree Preservation Order in placeor where the site was within a Conservation Area, but the Planning Enforcement team were able to assess potential breaches of conditions on planning permission which required the retention of trees/hedgerows.

 

The Committee discussed how proposals for larger new developments would be legally required to demonstrate a biodiversity net gain of 10%. Members asked how meeting this target would be monitored and were informed that Section 106 legal agreements (to which planning permissions were tied) would require schemes to be maintained for 30 years.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.

ESC/24/23-24

Cabinet Business pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To inform Committee of recent and forthcoming Cabinet business.

 

A digest of Cabinet decisions taken since 29 June 2023. This information is published by Cabinet meeting on the Council’s web site. Cabinet Agendas, Decisions and Minutes can be viewed at: Cabinet

 

The Forward Plan of Executive decisions. 

 

Plans 

 

These plans are updated to include new business.

 

(Governance Scrutiny Support)

 

 

Minutes:

The Governance Manager presented a digest of Cabinet decisions taken since 29 June 2023. The digest set out key information for each decision.

 

Members discussed the possibility of monitoring decisions taken by Cabinet that related to the Local Plan. The Governance Manager advised that the notes of the Local Plan Review Group would be reported periodically to Cabinet and to Scrutiny. These notes would be on the open side of the agenda.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.  

ESC/25/23-24

Work Programme

To consider future items for the Committee’s Work Programme.

 

(Governance Scrutiny Support)

 

Minutes:

The Governance Manager reminded the Committee that if a Member had a suggestion to add to the Work Programme, they should liaise with the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.

ESC/26/23-24

Additional Urgent Items

To consider any other matter which the Chair of the Committee is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

None.

ESC/27/23-24

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Environment Scrutiny Committee is scheduled to take place on 19 February 2024 at 3.30 pm.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Environment Scrutiny Committee was scheduled to take place on 19 February 2024 at 3.30 pm.