Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions
Contact: Katie Mogan Member Support
To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the Strategic Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 10 January 2017 were confirmed by the members present and signed by the Chairman
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from
Councillors Adshead, Ashbourn, S Hearn, Matthews and C
Councillor R Sutton substituted on behalf of Councillor Adshead.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest
There were four speakers for item 6 – Markyate GP Surgery Development (see minute number 016).
Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to Call-In
Councillor Anderson asked the committee if the order of the agenda could be changed and the committee hear the Luton Airport report first. The committee agreed.
A presentation will be given to the committee in relation to Luton Airport.
Councillor Anderson asked Councillor Timmis to make her presentation. He said she was here tonight as a member of the London Luton Airport Consultative Committee who has played a part in lobbing the airport on behalf of Dacorum.
Councillor Timmis statement:
Luton Airport is in Bedfordshire and owned by Luton Borough Council, who get a cool annual rent of £29 million. Over the last five years it has been getting rapidly busier and continues to do so. There are now approximately 75,000 aircraft flying out of Luton Airport a year; 70% of these planes depart on the Westerly flight path between Flamstead and Markyate. The noise pollution, especially during the summer months, affects a large number of those living in both villages both day and night and will only get worse as passenger numbers increase from the present 13.5 million to an estimated 18 million by 2020.
The airport has used new technology to ensure planes keep to a more precise flight path, but rather than mitigating the noise it has tended to concentrate it. The sheer increase in the number of flights and the low climb of the aircraft counter any benefits. At present there is a very complicated system of flight control in our skies as Heathrow, Stansted, Northolt and City airports share the skies around Luton. It is very busy up there. To keep safe, Air Traffic Control keeps planes separated by height, and so Luton planes have to take off at a lower angle to remain at a lower level until they are out of the area. They are trying to achieve better coordination in the near future so that Luton planes can take off at a steeper angle, resulting in them being higher over the villages and therefore less intrusive; provided of course this does not increase our noise burden due to increase throttle settings. There is a longer term aspiration for slightly quitter aircraft, and in another 15-20 years the possibility of a complete review of the London airspace.
Presently, the financial benefits of the airport accrue to Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Council, whilst the noise and air pollution impacts falls largely on Hertfordshire.
My hope in bringing your attention to the noise and air pollution suffered by those living in Markyate and Flamstead is to persuade you that we must do all we can at present to apply pressure for change, and in the long term we must consider pressing for a complete re-think of the westerly departure routes to avoid Dacorum altogether so that our communities are not blighted for years to come.
Councillor Anderson then invited Andrew Lambourne from LADACAN to give his presentation.
A Lambourne introduced his presentation by saying that LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) was a residents association involving residents all around the airport. He said his presentation was to give members some background information and to help apply pressure on the airport on behalf of the residents.
Key points of the ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
Councillor Anderson advised members that as the site included Council owned land, the committee must be careful not to stray into commercially sensitive information.
Councillor Timmis made a statement:
This is a story about a broken promise and no accountability.
The broken promise is one made to Markyate residents when as part of the planning agreement for 80 new houses in the village in 2012, a new space would be provided for a Doctor’s surgery. The accountability or lack of it, arises from the failure of the development company to deliver a space fit to be a doctor’s surgery and it would appear the failure of the planning department of Dacorum Borough Council (DBC) to inspect and oversee the construction of the surgery.
The square footage was delivered but not the surgery bit, e.g. no disabled access, no disabled parking, a dark alley way access to the rear door and stairs to the first floor, no lift space, low ceiling height on the upper floor and a massive frontage of glass like a car showroom.
The additional aspect to this collection of failures is that the development company went bust (twice) during and after the build and the planning officer concerned as long left DBC.
The questions that we have come here tonight to explore are why, when the promised surgery space was not suitable, was it allowed to be signed off without proper planning oversight, why has it not been under investigation for so long, nearly two years with little progress, and can we hold you account for a solution and a timeline for its delivery?
Councillor Anderson invited the members of the public to speak:
The report states that the surgery made no comments and I can confirm it was quite the contrary. The visions presented by the developer worked on the basis of making Markyate beautiful and they asked the surgery what they could do to help. They held meetings with the surgery and the patients practitioner group. The agreement was that none of the houses were to be occupied until the surgery was built and functioning. The surgery that was built is inadequate and the current surgery is being burdened by the new residents. In March 2014, I questioned the plans and the building was not built to specifications and the NHS were not consulted. NHS England have the funds available to build the surgery but this money is only available for two years. The planning department have failed and neglected the village. There are no bus services to the local hospitals making the surgery even more important. I look forward to greater cooperation.
I would like to bring to your attention the feelings from residents. We have set up a Facebook page about the surgery and I would like to present to you some of the comments. The current surgery is not fit for purpose and having it over two floors is unsuitable for elderly and disabled residents. People are happy ... view the full minutes text for item 16.