Agenda and decisions

Venue: The Oculus, Buckinghamshire Council, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury HP19 8FF. View directions

Contact: Ian Hunt 

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

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2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 March 2024

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3.

Declarations of interest

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4.

Hot Topics

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5.

Question Time

Written Question from Councillor Stuart Wilson to Councillor Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration and Councillor Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing

 

Today, Cabinet is reviewing the Joint Select Committee Review into Planning for Future Primary Healthcare in Buckinghamshire. An example of the past and present failings of the planning and primary care estates planning system are clearly illustrated in the Bourne End and Wooburn case study in the Appendix to the report.

 

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan of the Wycombe Local Plan made it clear that the delivery of up to 800 new dwellings (now closer to 1100 dwellings with windfall infill and office conversions) created additional demand on transport, primary education and primary healthcare which requires new infrastructure and/or appropriate mitigation. Policy BE2 (Hollands Farm) included clauses relating to a new link road through the site and the provision of a single form entry primary school on the site. Policy BE3 (new medical facilities) committed the local planning authority to work with the Clinical Commission Group (now Integrated Care Board) to deliver new medical facilities on BE1 (Slate Meadow), BE2 or existing employment sites. Please note that local primary schools and local elected Members do not consider a new single form entry primary school to be necessary given local capacity and falling birth rates. Education Services have contrived to include out-of-area schools to support their claims. This is potentially worth approximately £2.3m in s106 contributions and the provision of land that could be better used towards new primary care facilities.

 

The development subject of Policy BE1 received full planning consent in 2023 without any reference to medical facilities in land or financial commitments. The development subject of Policy BE2 is at outline planning stage and has received a very limited and wholly undeliverable consultation response from the ICB on only one out of the three outline planning applications. The supplementary planning document for BE2 provides for both financial contributions to an appropriate healthcare facility for the area and/or the provision of land for a new healthcare centre with modern facilities to attract General Practitioners. The opportunity for a meaningful delivery of Policy BE3 linked to development at Hollands Farm is at serious risk of being missed by both Buckinghamshire Council and the ICB. In line with one of the Joint Review report recommendations, Wooburn & Bourne End Parish Council is more than willing to consider CIL support to deliver new medical facilities in line with the Infrastructure Delivery Plan requirements but cannot do so on its own.

 

What action will the Cabinet Members for Planning & Regeneration and Health & Wellbeing take with the ICB and the GP Practice to ensure that Bourne End & Wooburn will receive the new primary care facilities it requires as legislated in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan of the adopted Wycombe Local Plan, including the commitment of additional CIL support for healthcare facilities (5% of CIL was previously allocated to healthcare by the former Wycombe District Council), s106 payments,  or the deployment of land  ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

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6.

Forward Plan (28 Day Notice) pdf icon PDF 188 KB

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7.

Planning for future primary healthcare in Buckinghamshire - Joint Select Committee Review pdf icon PDF 118 KB

 

here

 

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Decision:

Cabinet were asked to consider the recommendations made by the Health & Adult Social Care Select Committee and the Growth Infrastructure & Housing Select Committee to Cabinet and the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board.

 

RESOLVED –

1. That the Joint Select Committee Review Group, as well as the supporting Officers, be thanked for their work and subsequent recommendations.

2. That Cabinet’s responses to the Joint Select Committee Review report and recommendations, as detailed at the meeting, be agreed.

 

Note: a complete breakdown of the scrutiny recommendations and Cabinet’s responses can be found here

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8.

Cost of Living Support for Buckinghamshire Residents pdf icon PDF 883 KB

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Decision:

The fifth tranche of Household Support Fund grant from the Department for Work and Pensions had been allocated. This new allocation would cover the period from April to September 2024, and would be used to continue to provide essential support to residents across Buckinghamshire. Previous allocations of the Household Support Fund had been used to provide support for residents in need of help with food, fuel and other essential household costs. For the period April 2023 to March 2024, Buckinghamshire was allocated £4.8m of the Household Support Fund.

 

The fifth tranche of the Household Support Fund was intended to provide crisis support to vulnerable households in most need of support to help with the cost of essential items. Local Authorities had discretion on exactly how this funding was used within the scope set out by the Department for Work and Pensions. The fund must be used to meet immediate needs and help those who were struggling to afford household essentials including energy and water bills, food, and wider essentials; and Local Authorities should prioritise support which offered an immediate impact to those in need.

 

Table 3 in the report set out the proposed allocation of Household Support Fund for April to September 2024 as follows:-

 

·         Helping Hand Scheme

·         Food support

·         Voluntary and Community organisations providing free support to residents e.g. foodbanks

·         Grant and/or Direct Support for Utility arrears

·         Digital Voucher e.g. Discretionary Housing Payments

·         Administration and promotional activity

 

This item was taken under the General Exception rule as the grant received was for use between April and September 2024 and therefore time critical.

 

RESOLVED -

 

1.                   the range of support provided by the Council for individuals experiencing hardship across the county be noted. 

2.                   the arrangements for deploying the new Household Support Fund allocation (1stApril to 30thSeptember 2024) from the Department for Work and Pensions be approved. 

9.

Buckinghamshire Shareholder Committee Annual Report 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

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Decision:

The role of the Shareholder Committee was to ensure that the Council’s companies and limited liability partnerships act in the interests of the Council as shareholder and that best practice was being adhered to in delivering statutory arrangements. In doing so, the Committee contributed to the proper governance of the Council’s subsidiaries. This added level of governance continued to be vitally important in the context of the financial challenges many local authorities and local authority companies have faced over recent years and continue to face. Understanding the risks and performance associated with wholly or jointly owned companies was a key task of the Committee.

 

This was the second year of operation of the Shareholder Committee and producing an annual report to reflect the work and outcomes achieved by the Committee throughout 2023-24 was considered good practice. The Committee had met four times during the 2023-24 period. The Committee had undertaken a number of key pieces of work which included reviewing business plans and the financial positions of each company/joint venture as well as undertaking annual reviews of company Articles of Association and the Committee Terms of Reference.

 

RESOLVED - the Annual Report of the Buckinghamshire Shareholder Committee be noted.

10.

Aylesbury Town Centre Public Realm Scheme pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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Decision:

This report provided a progress update on the improvement works for Market Square, Kingsbury and Cambridge Street and sought authority to transfer the capital funding from the Kingsbury & Market Square public realm scheme to the new Aylesbury Public Realm scheme which progressed the ambitions of the Aylesbury Regeneration Strategy. In addition, authority was sought to advance the demolition of the former Gala Bingo Hall situated on the High Street and progress with the scheme development of a meanwhile use and public realm on the northern end of Exchange Street car park as set out in the report.

 

Following a cost and design review exercise on the former Kingsbury and Market Square public realm scheme, it was determined that the scheme was no longer viable in the current financial climate and did not offer value for money. This new scheme had been developed to regenerate the high street and drive increased footfall to the town centre by creating an exciting new provision whilst addressing the deteriorating former Gala Bingo Hall. It would create a seamless connection with the Exchange area development which had been hugely successful.

 

The strategic positioning of the Exchange Street car park next to the Gala Bingo Hall Site offered the opportunity to deliver a wider regeneration project which included a new walkway connection to the High Street, enhanced public realm and meanwhile use (new business spaces). The proposed new walkway link to the High Street would greatly improve walking and connectivity around the town centre which in turn would enhance economic activity.

 

RESOLVED -

 

1.      the progress of the improvement works for Market Square, Kingsbury (TRO) and Cambridge Street be noted.

2.      the transfer of the remaining capital budget of £4.772m (former Kingsbury and Market Public Realm scheme) to the Aylesbury Public Realm scheme (Gala Bingo Hall and the northern end of Exchange Street Car Park) be agreed.

3.      the recommended preferred option (5) meanwhile use and public realm at the northern end of Exchange Street car park together with long term mixed use development situated on the footprint of the former Gala Bingo Hall be agreed.

4.      the budget of £1,382,400 to fund the demolition of Gala Bingo Hall and professional fees associated with the demolition and the scheme development of the meanwhile use, public realm, walkway and temporary car parking be released.

5.      a future decision will come back to Cabinet once a full business case and design work has been undertaken.

6.      delegated authority be provided to the Service Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration for the following:

·         To procure and undertake all relevant workstreams that facilitate the advanced demolition works and scheme development as set out in the report.

·         To undertake a procurement exercise for a demolition contractor and to then subsequently enter into a demolition contract to advance the demolition works with the preferred contractor and to enter into any necessary agreements with adjoining landowners to facilitate the demolition works of Gala  ...  view the full decision text for item 10.

11.

Old County Offices Aylesbury – Proposed disposal and future re development pdf icon PDF 161 KB

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Decision:

There had been limited interest in the open market for a third party to take on the Old County Offices building due to viability issues. A developer had been identified who was prepared to work collaboratively with the Council to agree a contract with suitable safeguards for the Council to implement the consented planning permission to convert the building to 46 private apartments, the terms of the transaction were considered in the confidential appendices. A decision on whether to accept this offer was required. If the Council did not take this option, the building would continue to remain empty until the wider Aylesbury Town Centre regeneration schemes were enacted.

 

The Council had undertaken a development appraisal and cost plan assessment based on independent Quantity Surveyors and a Preliminary Cost Planning by a Contractor. The conclusion of that exercise was that it was not viable for the Council to bring forward the scheme without significant subsidy. The appraisal had been updated and was discussed in the Confidential Appendix.

 

An application was made via the One Public Estate Programme for Brownfield Land Release Funding (BLRF) to improve project viability. The application was successful resulting in a grant of £690,000 being awarded.

 

RESOLVED that subject to receipt of a satisfactory Best Value Consideration Report as approved by the S151 Officer, delegation be approved to the Service Director of Property and Assets in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Accessible Housing and Resources to finalise terms and pursue disposal of the site to a residential developer pursuant to terms contained in the confidential appendices by granting a long leasehold to convert the building into flats in line with the current detailed planning permission (20/02431/APP). Subsequently to agree contracts, undertake required due diligence and exchange and complete on the transaction.

 

13.

Confidential Minutes

14.

Confidential Appendix Buckinghamshire Shareholder Committee Annual Report 2023-24

15.

Confidential appendices Aylesbury Town Centre Public Realm Scheme

16.

Confidential appendices Old County Offices Aylesbury – Proposed disposal and future re development

17.

Date of next meeting

18 June 2024 at 10am

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