Meeting documents

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Catherine Mackenzie 

No. Item

At the commencement of the meeting, the Chairman announced that the meeting was being filmed by a member of the public, in accordance with the Council Standing Orders



Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.




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It was noted that in the attendance section, the minutes had stated the incorrect position for Councillor Paul Turner and it was agreed that his position be amended to read Deputy Cabinet Member for Finance.

Also, Members requested that the paragraph reference under minute 31 (i) be amended to read paragraph 44.


RESOLVED: That subject to the amendments above, the Minutes of the meeting of the special Cabinet held on 22 September 2014 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.




Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Consideration of the Petition received - Save Cobbles Farm. Stop the M40 Junction 3a plans.

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Cabinet were asked to consider a petition which had been presented to Council in July 2014. The petition to save Cobbles Farm raised a number of issues relating to the potential for a major business development and motorway junction between High Wycombe and Flackwell Heath. The petition which contained and contained 1,617 signatories had been validated against the Council’s Petition Scheme and referred to Cabinet for consideration.


In accordance with Standing Orders, Councillor Miss Wood had been invited to Cabinet to present and speak to the petition that she had previously presented to Council. Whilst referring to the petition, Councillor Miss Wood emphasised the detrimental impact that potential development could have on Cobbles Farm and the surrounding area. Councillor Miss Wood urged Members to consider other options for the proposed junction.


The Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability had provided a response to the petition which was included in the report. Members considered the petition and agreed that the impact on Cobbles Farm of potential development should be taken into account in future detailed assessments of options for the area.


The following decision was made as the Cabinet was required to consider the petition under the Council’s Petition Scheme.


RESOLVED: That the impact on Cobbles Farm of a potential new motorway junction (‘Junction 3A’) and business development be taken into account in any more detailed assessment of options that may be taken forward for this area.






Reserve Sites and Progressing the Local Plan

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The Leader of the Council explained that the decision Cabinet were being asked to make was extremely difficult and that Cabinet were under no illusion as to the strength of local concern. He emphasised that tough decisions on the reserve sites had to be taken to get the best planning outcomes locally and for the wider interests of the District.


The Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability gave a comprehensive introduction to the report before Cabinet and the processes being undertaken.


Cabinet approval was sought to release the five reserve sites for development to contribute towards the Council’s 5 year housing land supply and so that detailed planning of these sites could be taken forward with public involvement. Members recalled that the five potential options in relation to the "reserve sites" were included in the Council’s adopted Core Strategy. It was noted that the sites had been reserved for future development for over 25 years. The Core Strategy  indicates that the sites would be brought forward for development when needed.


Members noted that, because of the changes to the way the planning system operates nationally, notably since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Localism Act, the development sites were now needed and hence the release of the sites was required.


The Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability confirmed that options to defer decisions in relation to the reserve sites were likely to result in planning applications from developers coming forward on the sites anyway. Therefore it was felt that a proactive approach to release the sites including preparation of development briefs and community involvement would ensure greater control was maintained by the Council over the development of the sites.


The report highlighted that due to the strength of public interest and concerns, the detailed planning of the reserve sites would be taken forward with the involvement of specific liaison groups to consider the wider infrastructure implications.


Cabinet also noted that the Local Plan Task and Finish Group had considered the draft report at their meeting held on 1 October 2014, and the recommendations from their meeting had been presented to Cabinet as appendix 5 of the report. The Chairman of the Task and Finish Group briefly addressed the meeting, presenting a summary of the recommendations to Members.


During consideration of this item, the Leader of the Council allowed non- Cabinet Members to speak for a maximum of 1 minute, and many Members expressed their opinions with regard to the proposals. Many concerns were raised in relation to the reserve sites including surrounding infrastructure, traffic congestion and flooding. Various questions were raised by other Members present in relation to the proposed sites, to which the Cabinet Member responded.


All Cabinet Members present empathised with the concerns raised and explained the pressing need for the decision on the reserve sites to ensure the best outcome for local people and the District.


Cabinet considered the report before it and responded to the questions raised. After a detailed discussion Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.