Agenda and minutes
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Declarations of interest
Purpose: to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 27 March 2018.
The Board confirmed as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Oxfordshire Growth Board held on 26 April 2018.
Growth Board: Chair's Announcements
Purpose: to receive communications from the Chair.
The Chair welcomed South Oxfordshire District Council’s new Leader, Councillor Jane Murphy, to the Growth Board.
He noted this was the last meeting for him and for the Vale of White Horse District Council’s Leader, Councillor Matthew Barber, and for OxLEP representatives Richard Venables and Andrew Harrison.
Members of the public may ask questions of the Chairman of the Growth Board, or address the Growth Board on any substantive item at a meeting, subject to the restrictions set out in the public participation scheme.
The total amount of time allowed for public participation at a meeting shall not exceed 30 minutes unless the Chairman consents to that in the interests of the proper conduct of the business of the Board.
A person speaking to the Board may speak for up to 3 minutes. The Board members may ask questions for clarification.
Asking a question
Questions (in full and in writing) must be received before 5pm on Friday 20 April 2018.
A written or verbal answer will be provided by the Chairman at the meeting. The questioner may ask a supplementary question directly related to either the original question or the reply received.
Addressing the Board
Notice of a wish to address the Board must be received before noon on Wednesday 25 April 2018.
Petitions on matters directly relevant to matters in which the Board has powers and duties must be received before 5pm on Friday 20 April 2018. The representative of the petitioners may speak. Petitions are referred without discussion to the next meeting.
Questions, petitions and notice of addresses must be submitted to the committee secretary at email@example.com or delivered/ posted to the Chief Executive at Oxford City Council, c/o Committee and Members Services (Law & Governance), Oxford City Council, St. Aldate’s Chambers, St. Aldate's, Oxford OX1 1DS.
In accordance with the public participation scheme the Chair invited those who had submitted questions or registered to give an address to speak to the Board.
The Board had before them a written question submitted by the Oxford Civic Society and a written response from the Chair
Ian Green, Chair of the Oxford Civic Society, read the submitted question, and the Chair read the response.
Councillor Emily Smith read an address submitted by Councillor Debbie Hallett (Vale of White Horse District Councillor) on agenda item 8: Statement of Common Ground, particularly addressing the issue of affordable housing. The address was taken into account during the debate on Minute 85.
Sue Haywood, representing Need Not Greed Oxfordshire, gave an address on agenda items 8 and 10 asking for consideration of accountability, transparency and openness in setting up the proposed sub-groups.
Full details of the written questions and addresses, summaries of the supplementary questions, and the responses are in the supplement to these minutes.
Purpose: to consider and discuss a presentation from the Chief Executive of OxLEP.
Nigel Tipple introduced the developing Oxfordshire Energy Strategy.
Tim Allen (Peter Brett Associates) gave a presentation on the Energy Strategy, its objective being to ensure that a shortage of clean, reliable, low cost energy does not constrain the delivery of growth, and its links with other industrial and infrastructure projects in Oxfordshire and beyond.
In speaking to the presentation (attached) and in answer to questions he said:
1. Objectives would be refined as the strategy developed;
2. Clean energy and low-carbon dioxide producing energy could halve damaging emissions in the county, but there was a considerable challenge to deliver this: opportunities to increase low-carbon and clean generation would be included in the strategy.
3. Generating capacity compared to energy needs within the county was low compared to the national average and there was a low diversity of sources. The county’s energy production and use should however fit within a national strategy of generation and usage.
4. The capacity requirements to support planed growth to 2030 were considerable; the configuration of the grid was under pressure from the change to two-way and distributed generation; and suitable locations for clean energy generation, employment or housing could not be utilised because of lack of grid capability or connectivity.
5. Changes to energy usage (eg rising numbers of electric cars and increasing demand from technology including ‘always on’ and ‘intelligent’ devices) posed significant challenges. If all cars were electric, electricity demand for charging batteries would quadruple and the domestic supply network would be unable to handle the load.
6. Neither energy consumption nor cost would decrease on current trends.
7. Lack of suitable energy supplies and connections was becoming a factor when commercial and research enterprises chose their location or considered expansion.
8. The strategy highlighted opportunities for scalability, efficient energy use through passive house building, better building standards, increasing generation through local energy-from-waste schemes and photovoltaics. However some solutions may be unfeasible in certain locations or in combination with others, or be impossible to use in the county: for example the topography meant large-scale hydropower was not feasible.
9. Energy suppliers SSE were building models to allow them to plan the capacity needed to support economic and domestic growth, and this strategy, the developing industrial strategy and the plans for housing growth needed to be built into this.
10. More pro-active energy capacity planning was required, and a different regulatory framework which did not (as now) discourage energy infrastructure and capacity installation during the initial planning stages of major developments.
11. Key conclusions were: make planning more innovative as a route to change; get the information flows right; scale existing technologies; major investment is required; develop a coalition of key partners and community support for change.
The Board noted in comments:
· The final report should contain an evidence base for the current and future energy needs of Oxfordshire to enable the Growth Board and OxLEP to lobby for investment.
· Investment strategy should recognise potential investments into the energy network from other sources ... view the full minutes text for item 82.
NPPF consultation briefing
Purpose: to consider and discuss a presentation from officers.
The Draft revised National Planning Policy Framework can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-revised-national-planning-policy-framework
Giles Hughes (Head of Strategic Planning, West Oxfordshire District Council) and Adrian Colwell (Cherwell District Council) gave an overview of the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the published consultation documents, reporting:
1. Consultation closes on 10 May 2018
2. There was an emphasis on policies permitting speedy delivery of housing but an under-emphasis on the relationships between housing, infrastructure and economy.
3. A standardised methodology of calculating housing need was proposed; with the ‘presumption for sustainable development’ remaining in the absence of a 5-year land supply.
4. The need for a 5-year land supply was retained, with the addition of an annual update and performance and position statement.
5. Development was still a plan-led process, with a continual review process and scope for Statements of Common Ground between planning authorities, and with viability being determined as a whole as part of making the plan rather than site by site – so once the local plan was agreed, each site was deemed to be viable.
6. Policies on Green Belt, town centre protections, and pooling developer contributions on larger sites were amended.
7. The direction generally supported the Growth Deal, including the outline of likely freedoms and flexibilities for local authorities, but care should be taken in individual and joint responses to coherently reflect the wider common issues.
8. Health is included as a key issue; there is a strong emphasis on design; and on the role played by neighbourhood plans.
9. Government reports would form material considerations for both developments and local plans.
The Growth Board agreed that Giles Hughes should send on behalf of the Board a collective response to the consultation including views on new flexibilities and freedoms.
Purpose: To outline the draft Statement of Common Ground that has been prepared in line with the commitments made by the Oxfordshire partners through the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
That the Growth Board note the report and the attached draft Statement of Common Ground.
The Board considered a report setting out the submitted draft Statement of Common Ground.
Giles Hughes introduced the report, noting that it would be finalised after the new NPPF was published and it would be subject to at least annual review.
The Growth Board noted the report and endorsed the attached Statement of Common Ground.
The Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal contained a commitment from Government to explore the options for time limited planning flexibilities, subject to consultation where appropriate. Following discussion with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) a package of proposed freedoms and flexibilities has been developed.
This report sets a consultation paper on one part of this proposed package and provides an update on progress of discussions with MHCLG.
That the Growth Board approve the publication for public consultation of the attached paper on the proposed Oxfordshire planning freedoms and flexibilities: specifically the introduction of a three year housing land supply requirement.
The Board considered a report setting out a proposed consultation paper on planning freedoms and flexibilities.
The Growth Board approved the publication for public consultation of Appendix 1 to the report (proposed planning flexibilities consultation paper) on the proposed Oxfordshire planning freedoms and flexibilities specifically the introduction of a three year housing land supply requirement.
The Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal included a commitment to review the Growth Board Terms of reference by April 2018 to reflect new responsibilities for oversight of delivery of the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal (the Deal).
This report sets out the key changes that result from that review and the revised Terms of Reference.
That the Growth Board endorse the revised Terms of Reference for the Oxfordshire Growth Board (the Joint Committee) contained in the report.
The Growth Board considered a report setting out the revised terms of reference including the new structure for sub-groups and scrutiny, and arrangements for delegation to the Executive Officers Group to provide resources for the new structures and the delivery plan.
Details of the three advisory sub-groups and the formal Growth Board Scrutiny Committee would be presented to the June meeting, by which time councils would have filled their allocated seats. Changes to officer structure would be made to support these groups.
Councillor Mills asked and was assured that the Board would continue to press Highways England to use data and evidence from Oxfordshire as a whole in its work on the Ox-Cam corridor.
The Growth Board endorsed the revised Terms of Reference for the Oxfordshire Growth Board (the Joint Committee) contained in the report with the following changes:
· To amend 4.4 to allocate the Environment Agency a non-voting place on the Board;
· Redraft some sections of the terms of reference to improve clarity of expression;
and asked that the final terms of reference be circulated for confirmation.
Matters arising from OXLEP including implementation of productivity strand and LIS
Purpose: to consider a presentation and update from the Chief Executive of OxLEP.
Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP, reported that:
· Work on the Local Industrial Strategy was continuing as planned, including work with government ministers on strategy and budget requirements;
· The Local Industrial Strategy was taking account of government guidance documents on clean growth and environmental strategy;
· OXLEP were seeking senior officers’ input into the strategy and would take account of the JSSP as it developed;
· It was intended to be a dynamic strategy reviewed periodically to reflect progress and activity.
Oxfordshire and cross corridor Transport update
Purpose: to consider a verbal update from officers.
Bev Hindle (Strategic Director, Oxfordshire County Council) informed the Board that there was no report for this meeting but there would be an update at the June meeting on the HIF bids, cross-corridor work and the rail connectivity study.
Cllr Mills reminded the Board that, in his view Highways England needed to ensure that when considering the impacts of the growth corridor that they considered the impacts upon Oxfordshire as whole and not just those districts through which the Corridor could potentially travel.
The Chairman asked officers to write to Highways England on this matter to state this point.
Updates on matters relevant to the Growth Board
Growth Board members and officers may verbally update the Board on progress on matters previously before the Board for consideration, listed in the work plan, or relevant to the Board’s future decisions.
This is for the sharing of information and no decisions will be taken.
Dates of next meetings
Dates for future meetings are:
From 2.00pm to 4.00 pm in the Old Library in Oxford Town Hall.
11 June 2018
Then hosted by South Oxfordshire District Council – venue to be confirmed
Dates provisionally set as:
31 July 2018
25 September 2018
27 November 2018
29 January 2019
26 March 2019
4 June 2019
The Growth Board noted the dates of future meetings as set out in the agenda.