a) Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party – 15 August 2022
THE GLAVEN VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA APPRAISAL & MANAGEMENT PLAN 2022
Recommended to Cabinet:
That the draft
appraisal, as set out within the body of the report, be recommended
to Cabinet for approval for public consultation.
2. That following consultation, the amended appraisal be brought back to Working Party for consideration and subsequent adoption by Cabinet.
b) Cabinet Working Party for Projects – 18 May 2022
To receive the draft minutes (attached)
Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party – 15 August 2022
The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Chairman of the Working Party, Cllr Brown, introduced this item. He explained that it was the second part of a two part appraisal which focussed on the surrounding landscape of the Glaven Valley. The appraisal report was available in full on the Council’s website. He said that it was a very rare designation as there were few rural conservation areas in the country. He thanked the Planning Policy team and the consultants, Purcell, for all their work.
It was proposed by Cllr A Brown, seconded by Cllr V Gay and
1. To approve the draft appraisal for public consultation
2. That following consultation, the appraisal is brought back to Cabinet for adoption.
Cllr C Cushing referred to the draft minutes of the Cabinet Working Party for Projects meeting held on 18 May, which were included in the agenda for noting. He asked about the Fakenham Roundabout project and said that he had been asking for an update for several months. He said that he was aware that the project was in jeopardy due to the cost escalation and he asked when a further update would be provided. The Chief Executive replied that the costs had risen beyond the 2019 estimate prepared by independent consultants, which had been £1.8m. The costs were now estimated to be £2.8m, with a 30% contingency. This meant that there was not a full funding package in place to resource the project. He said that he had written to County Council colleagues to see if there was an opportunity to use the underspend from any other projects so that work on the roundabout could commence in the Autumn – to avoid any impact on summer tourist traffic.
Cllr Cushing said that it seemed very unlikely that the project would be able to commence by the start of November, given the need for pre-planning requirements and the securing of materials. The Chief Executive said that he could not provide a further update at this time. It was a complex project that required upfront investment. It was an integral part of the large housing development in Fakenham and if the scheme was not fully funded, then there would have to be further discussions with the landowner and developer as to how it could be funded to allow it to proceed. Cllr Cushing asked when a decision would come to Cabinet. The Chief Executive replied that if there was a full funding package in place, the necessary authority was already established so that it did not need to come back to Cabinet. He added that he was not able to advise on a timetable and said that he would notify local members of any developments as soon as he was aware of them. The Leader acknowledged Cllr Cushing’s concerns and said that the Council would continue to press for action on this project.
Cllr L Shires also referred to the roundabout and the 30% contingency and asked about the level of the contingency for the original estimate. The Chief Executive replied that he was not the project manager but would provide a response after the meeting. He added that it was in the interests of the District Council, in terms of housing delivery to see the roundabout constructed.
Cllr J Toye said that he was concerned that if funding could not be secured for the roundabout, then the Council would not be able to deliver the affordable housing that was part of the wider project. The Leader agreed that it was a priority.
Cllr J Rest referred to section 5 of the draft minutes of the Cabinet Working Party for Projects meeting and asked whether a consultant had been appointed to assess the carbon impact of the Council’s assets. The Chief Executive said that a written reply would be provided after the meeting.