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Declarations of Interest and Party Whip
Members are asked to declare any personal or prejudicial interests and the nature of that interest, including the existence and nature of the party whip, in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Councillor Leake commented that he attended the GP Practice in Binfield as a patient, but this was not a reportable personal interest.
Apologies for Absence/ Substitute Members
The Committee noted the attendance of the following Substitute Member:
Councillor Baily for Councillor Mrs Birch.
The Chairman has agreed to take this as an urgent item in order to comply with the requirements of the Council’s Constitution.
The Chairman introduced the Call-In requested by four councillors of the second part of the Executive’s decision I030320, concerning the implementation of the Older Persons Accommodation and Support Services Strategy, relating only to the Binfield Nursery Site, which was agreed at its meeting on 6 September 2011.
An additional map of the Binfield Nursery Site and adjoining area was circulated to members of the Commission. It was noted that the map showed a concept plan which was indicative of a possible development proposal for the site. It was noted that the map had been circulated to Ward Members prior to the Executive briefing on 23 August.
Councillors who had requested the Call-In of the Executive decision made it clear that they welcomed what the Older Persons Accommodation and Support Services Strategy was trying to achieve and were not concerned with the basic aims of what the decision was trying to achieve.
However, the Members who had requested the Call-In expressed their concerns relating to the Binfield Nursery Site which were that the site did not adequately define important parameters of any proposed scheme in relation to; density of housing, protection and future use of the preserved wall area, an indication of a suggested percentage of affordable housing or extra care units, reference to provision to relocate the loss of existing nursery provision or funding of the proposed new GP surgery.
Members felt that, notwithstanding the role and remit of the Planning Committee, further guidance and should be given to developers and assurance of their commitment for the provision of services should be secured to ensure that best use of the land was made. Members also sought confirmation about whether the land had been disposed of and the basis for the numbers of housing units in the Executive report.
Vincent Paliczka, The Director of Environment, Culture and Communities said that Members’ concerns were understood, and assured Members that no decision had been made to dispose of the land at the Binfield Nursery Site. The Director stated that the Executive’s decision I030320 was an ‘in principal’ decision, the decision to dispose of the land would be subject to further research by officers and subsequent decisions by the Executive. The Decision to dispose of the land would require a decision by the whole of the Executive in addition to a decision by the Executive Member for Environment that the land was surplus to requirement which would require her to be satisfied that there was a viable alternative solution to the nursery available.
It was highlighted that any proposals submitted by any developers would be subject to the Council’s planning policies which included guidance relating to issues of density and preservation of local character. It was stated that the wall outside of Binfield House was not listed.
The Council were bound by law to obtain best consideration of the land. The Director stated that at this early stage it would be counter productive to place constraints on the site as ... view the full minutes text for item 34.