Agenda and minutes

Strategic Planning & Environment Overview & Scrutiny - Tuesday, 3rd December, 2019 9.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item



To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillors Hearn, Rogers, Timmis and Woolner.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Participation


There was no public participation.


Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to Call-In




Budget Preparations 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Additional documents:


James Doe presented the report for his Service.


J Doe explained that it has been difficult to put proposals forward this year because of the pressures on the Service.  He said that the main efficiency being proposed is to raise our target level of income for the planning fees that we receive by a further £50,000 -over the last three to four years we have been exceeding our targets by about 10% each year.  J Doe added that the review of the Planning Performance Agreement was nearing completion, the process has been reviewed and the income levels and this would be a further source of income.

Cllr Birnie asked if this would put extra pressure on DMC.

J Doe replied that it would not, if anything it would relieve pressure by giving a further resource.  It would not level or complexity of applications, but would just enable the Council to deal with them more effectively.

J Doe went on to say that the second area of saving was in the Local Plan, where he thinks there may be some savings in the totality of the cost of the Local Plan.  It would need to be kept closely under review to make sure that there is enough resource moving forward to ensure that the plan can be progressed effectively. He pointed out that there are risks as external factors and government policy can change and we would have to respond to make the plan compliant.

J Doe also spoke about a software investment to do 3D modelling of our town, he explained that other councils already use this and it enables planners to see what is on the ground on the computer and when a developer comes in they can model how they are going to put their development in and suggest improvements etc., it is a one off cost of around £60,000, and there is a modest revenue each year.

Cllr Beauchamp asked about Hemel Garden Community and wanted to know if would have an impact on budgeting.

J Doe said that it was not mentioned today as they have some resource to take this forward through the Government grant awarded in March and when we see the next bidding window to obtain more funding we will move on that straight away. In the event of no Government funding coming forward we would have to review the financial strategy.

J Deane added to this that there is a local development framework reserve that will have a million pounds in it by the end of next year as we recognise that within the local plan there could be new requirements, so we have funding in reserve that we can draw down from if we need to.

Cllr Taylor asked if it would be possible to share the business case for the 3D software at some time.

J Doe responded that they would be developing one which is going through the internal budget proposals at the moment, and that he would share  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 97 KB


The Work Programme is being updated at present.