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					Ask for:       Andrea Hussey
Direct Line:   01258 484042
E-mail:        Ahussey@north-dorset.gov.uk



16 September 2004


TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

Dear Member

COUNCIL MEETING

Your attendance is requested at a meeting of North Dorset District Council to be
held in the Council Chamber, Nordon, Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum on
Friday, 24 September 2004 at 10.00 am for the transaction of the following business.

Yours sincerely




Elizabeth Goodall
Chief Executive

                                      Note for Councillors

     Please note that there will be an Improvement Plan presentation and workshop
              for councillors immediately following the Council meeting.
                                  Lunch will be provided


                                         AGENDA


1.    APOLOGIES

2.    PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

      Fifteen minutes will be set aside to allow members of the public to ask questions
      relating to the work of the Council. (If no questioners are present at this point, the
      meeting will proceed to the next item.)

3.    DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

      Councillors and Officers are reminded of their obligations under the Codes of
      Conduct to declare any personal or prejudicial interests.




                                              1
4.   MINUTES

     To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 30 July 2004
     (previously circulated) as a correct record.


5.   CHAIRMAN’S NOTICES AND URGENT BUSINESS


6.   APPLICATIONS REFERRED FROM DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE
     AS DEPARTURE FROM THE LOCAL PLAN

     6.1     Application 2/2004/0537: Skinners Farm, Woolland

             Report by Planning Case Officer attached.

     6.2     Application 2/2003/1072: Sandley Stud, Sandley

             Report by Planning Case Officer attached.


7.   REVISION TO OFFICER SCHEME OF DELEGATION – DEVELOPMENT
     CONTROL MANAGER

     Report by Planning Officer attached.


8.   VARIATIONS TO CONSTITUTION AND RESOLUTION TO REMOVE POLITICAL
     BALANCE PRIMARILY AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE LICENSING ACT 2003

     Report by Solicitor to the Council attached.


9.   REPRESENTATION OF LYDDEN VALE CONSTITUENTS

     Cllr Campbell, the Chairman of the Political Management Working Party, will
     propose interim arrangements for the representation of the Lydden Vale ward.


10. MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN

     Report by Financial Services Manager attached.


11. SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH FORUM CONSULTATIVE FORUM –
    APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES

     Report by Policy Manager (Housing & Community Safety) attached.




                                            2
12. MOTION

   The following motion has been proposed by Cllr D Milsted and seconded by
   Cllr A Pemberton:

   “This Council is proud to number among its residents 220 officers and soldiers of
   the The Queen‟s Gurkha Signals at Blandford Camp.

   Council notes that the Home Office is currently undertaking a review of the
   citizenship status of some 3,000 Gurkha personnel on their retirement from service
   with the British Army. At present all Gurkhas who retire after a minimum of 15
   years‟ service do so as Nepalese citizens and are discharged to Nepal.
   Commonwealth citizens who serve in our Armed Forces are granted UK
   citizenship after four years‟ service.

   Council believes that Gurkhas should be granted British citizenship, on request, as
   a right of service.

   Therefore this Council urges the Home Secretary to grant all Gurkhas, and their
   families, the right to obtain British citizenship on retirement from service.”


13. CABINET REPORT

   The Leader of the Council to present a report on Cabinet activities during the
   period July to September 2004 (attached). Members may question individual
   Cabinet members on the contents of this report.


14. GENERAL QUESTION TIME

   Members may question any Chairman or Cabinet Member on any matter,
   providing the Chairman agrees that it relates to the North Dorset district.
   Members are encouraged to submit their questions in writing in advance to the
   Democratic Services Manager.




               DATE OF NEXT MEETING – Friday, 29 October 2004




                                         3
NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

COUNCIL

Date of Meeting:                24th September 2004.


REPORT TITLE:                   PA 2/2004/0537 SKINNERS FARM, WOOLLAND.

Chairman of Development         Cllr Batty-Smith
Control Committee:

Report Author:                  David Randles. Planning Officer.

Purpose of Report:              To determine the above planning application.

Statutory Authority:            T & C Planning Act 1990.

Financial Implications:         None.

Consultations required/         All completed.
undertaken:

Recommendations:                Approval of (full) planning permission (with conditions)



BACKGROUND AND REASON DECISION NEEDED

1. The Development Control Committee resolved, on 10th August 2004, to grant planning
   permission for the proposed development described on the attached report. Officers
   believe that a literal interpretation of Local Plan policy 1.10 would not render the proposal
   contrary to policy. However, in order to ensure that the resolution is entirely secure, it is
   offered to Full Council for endorsement by all elected members. This will also assist
   officers and members in their consistent and impartial interpretation of planning policy
   relating to buildings on other sites in the countryside (which will inevitably continue to
   come forward), by ensuring that Skinners Farm is not quoted “out of context” as an
   inappropriate precedent.

OPTIONS.

2. To endorse the above resolution and confirm the grant of full planning permission in
    accordance with the attached report.
3. To decline to do so and refer the case back to Development Control Committee to debate
    what material grounds might be applicable.




                                                 4
COSTS.

4. There are no direct costs implications for the Council. The proposed development could
   reasonably be expected to make a modest positive contribution towards the local
   economy.

RISK MANAGEMENT.

5. With all recommendations which are, or as in this case, might be interpreted as being,
   contrary to the policies of the Local Plan, there is the possibility that further planning
   applications of a similar nature could be difficult to deal with in accordance with these
   policies. The setting of a precedent has a tendency to be a strong element in planning
   matters. However, Officers believe that the planning merits of this case are such that
   sound reasons could be put forward to counter any future “inappropriate” precedent claim.

RECOMMENDATION AND REASON. See attached full report.

Author: David Randles. Planning Officer.
Date: 10 / 09 / 2004.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PARISH          Woolland.

Location: Skinners Farm.                                                             Ref.No: 2/2004/0537

Applicant: John and Jean Heath.                                                      Case Officer: D Randles

Application Type: Full.

Proposal. Change of use and modification of agricultural buildings to form 4no. 2 bed units of
disabled persons holiday accommodation, 1no. 2 bed managers dwelling, hydrotherapy pool,
games / activities room, treatment room, stores and office.

Conservation Area: No.                                                               A.O.N.B. No (but close to)

Description of Site: Approx. 0.35ha of land, and several farm buildings, comprising part
of Skinners Farm within the village of Woolland. The site has a frontage to the main
street which is a C class county road (the C 86).

REASON FOR COMMITTEE DECISION: Recommendation contrary to parish council
comments.

Planning Policy:

Structure Plan: SI / ENF / IC / ID / IE.
Local Plan:     1.1 / 1.5 / 1.6 / (1.8) / 1.10 / 1.13 / 1.14 / 1.33 / 1.40 / 3.5 / 3.7
PPG Notes       1, 6, 7, and 17.


                                                             5
Relevant Planning History: None.

Consultations:

Parish Council: Objections.
Grounds:
a) safety concerns re. proximity to working farm,
b) safety concerns re. “excess” traffic,
c) lack of local facilities,
d) lack of revenue to the village,
e) no benefit to local employment,
f) the proposed dwelling is contrary to policy,
g) (alleged) ulterior motives?
h) viability of project questioned.

NDDC. Tourism Officer: (Officer‟s summary).
This would be an important development in North Dorset‟s tourism provision. It would fill a
geographical gap in provision, and be one of the few that would be purpose built for the
disabled sector of the market. I understand that the accommodation / facilities are designed
to meet the highest accessibility grading, and the applicants are clearly committed to running
a top quality tourism business. This is in line with the District Council‟s commitment to
encouraging and promoting a quality visitor experience.
NDDC. Policy Manager – Rural Economy:
I support this application which makes use of existing buildings to provide a useful facility
targeted at the specific needs of disabled persons. It combines leisure and health facilities to
improve their quality of life, whilst at the same time contributing to the local economy.

Highway Authority: Recommendation to defer for more information and further consideration
of the need for highway improvements, in particular, visibility improvements the point/s of
access to the C98 County road. Also need information to assess the net effect upon the
nature and extent of traffic generation. Better plans are required to show, more clearly, the
access, turning and parking proposals.
Environment Agency: No objection in principle subject to recommended informative notes.

Wessex Water: No objection in principle. There is a water main in the vicinity, but no mains
(foul) drainage is available. The proposed septic tank system is acceptable in principle.

County Archaeologist: The site is within an area where earthworks have been recorded, but
considering the nature of the proposed development I see no reason for archaeological
concern, provided that an appropriate condition (as recommended) is applied to any
permission.

Rights of Way Officer:

Trees and Landscape Officer:




                                                6
Dorset Wildlife Trust: The buildings should be checked for Bats, (all species of which are
protected) and for nesting birds (incl. Barn Owls), and the appropriate measures taken to
ensure that any such animals are protected from harm. With regard to any new planting, only
native species should be used.

Representations: In Favour.

Written declarations of support have been made by:

The Lady Hoare Trust For Physically Disabled Children.

The Royal British Legion.

Care For The Family.

National Children‟s Homes.

Disability Action Group:
We applaud the way in which the applicant has considered the accommodation needs of all
disabled users. We also sincerely hope that there will be on-site assistance to help visitors.

DEFRA. Has acknowledged the under-provision of holiday accommodation for disabled
visitors to the south-west of England and stated that the proposed development would fall
within the scope of the Rural Enterprise Scheme.


The Rev‟d Robin Hungerford, The Rectory, Winterborne Stickland.
The applicants are committed members of the church and have a concern to provide for a
special need borne of a sympathetic attitude to the less fortunate in our society. The Heaths
are a couple with integrity and I have no hesitation in supporting their endeavours knowing
that they only seek the best for others.

Number of Individual letters of support: 3

Representations: Against. Number of individual letters of objection and / or concern: 7

1. Nothing, and certainly no institutionalised development, should be permitted which
   compromises the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
2. Unduly close proximity to a working farm – ecological, environmental, and health and
   safety concerns.
4. Adverse traffic and road safety implications
5. Doubts over the financial viability of the proposed business, and it ability to attract
   tourists throughout the year.
6. Lack of detail re. proposed accommodation and landscaping.
7. This a large development relative to the small size of the village.
8. Such development would be better located closer to a town with facilities such as shops
   and medical care.
9. Proposed managers accommodation is contrary to policy.


                                               7
10. Woolland already has several holiday cottages.

Applicant‟s Planning & Design Statement. (Officers Summary).

The proposed four units of holiday accommodation are intended specifically for people with
disabilities , in particular, people with hearing, mobility, and visual impairments and their
carers / companions. One building, which was a dwelling until 1998, would be utilised as a
dwelling for occupation by the manager/s (only). With one exception, the buildings would be
retained, and repaired. The building in the centre of the yard would be demolished and re-
built (as the hydrotherapy unit). All but one of the buildings are of single-storey height.
Skinners Farm would continue to operate from other buildings on the existing 80ha (200 acre)
holding as a working farm. The buildings the subject of this application are redundant for
modern farming purposes.

Dev. to be known as “The Ellwood Centre” will meet the English Tourist Board‟s National
Accessible Scheme Standards with all the facilities etc. necessary to comply with the
Disability Discrimination Act (and the Building Regulations).

The applicants and their representative/s have consulted widely with the various Authorities
and relevant (care) organisations, and sought specialist advice over the nature, extent,
design and operation of the proposed facility.

Planning Appraisal:

1. Although Skinners Farm is within Woolland, the village itself is not identified in the Local
Plan as a recognised settlement. Thus, it has no settlement boundary, and for planning
purposes, the application site is in the countryside. For the most part therefore, the proposal
is to be assessed, primarily, against Policy 1.10, which concerns the re-use and adaptation of
buildings in the countryside.

2. Officers, having carefully assessed the proposal, including the structural report submitted
with it, and are satisfied that it meets the above stipulations in the following respects.

a) The buildings are not unduly neglected. With the possible exception of building no.7, they
appear reasonably structurally sound and in need of only limited repair, and some
underpinning to strengthen parts of the foundations.

b) They are a traditional and quite attractive range of buildings. In architectural terms, the
proposed alterations and conversion works are sympathetic and not extensive. The least
worthy building (no.7 on the site plan) is the only one for which a replacement is sought. The
applicants state that this building is repairable, but that its present configuration is less than
ideal for the intended use for hydrotherapy. The proposed replacement is of similar height
and length but 2.75m wider (at 7.25m).

c) Notwithstanding some local opinion to the contrary, Officers consider that in overall
objective planning terms the proposal is, in fact, a relatively modest one comprising four
single-storey holiday cottages, one small two-storey managers dwelling, and little more than
the necessary minimum ancillary facilities.


                                                 8
d) The site is considered unsuitable for more intensive business / commercial use/s by
reason of its somewhat isolated rural location, and the unsuitability of the country lanes in the
area for goods vehicles. Given Its proximity to existing dwellings in the village, it is considered
that such uses would have the greater potential for amenity loss, noise, traffic generation and
general nuisance.

e) The nature and extent of the proposed holiday use and the level of activity likely to be
associated with it, the proposed development is unlikely to harm the essential character of the
buildings or the quiet rural ambience of the area. The future of the buildings would be
safeguarded by bringing them back into use.
f) The proposed residential conversion (i.e. the managers dwelling) is part of the proposed
scheme for business re-use. Appropriately, it is a minor part therefore, comprising 20% of the
accommodation, and less than 10% of the footprint area of the buildings.

3. With regard to Policy 1.8 (Standard Assessment Criteria), the most relevant concerns are
those of the amenity implications (only) arising from the proximity of the site a working farm,
and the suitability of the vehicular and pedestrian access provision in highway safety terms.

a) Proximity to the farm from a Health and Safety point of view is not a legitimate material
planning matter. Such matters are addressed by other Offices under separate, quite
stringent, legislation, for example by the L.A. administered Building Regulations, and the
Health and Safety Executive.

b) With regard to the amenity implications, Officers consider that there could be a degree of
nuisance at times due to odours from the farm, the slurry pond for example is within 100m or
so, but both the pond and the livestock facilities are to the north east and thus best placed for
any odours to be dissipated by the prevailing south westerly winds.
4. As the site is a farm site, it is possible that there could be some residual contamination of
present in the ground which, if found, would have to be removed before the land could be
safely utilised for residential purposes. It would be necessary to apply an appropriately
worded condition to any planning permission to address any such eventuality.

5. In order to preclude the possibility of any further or more permanent residential
accommodation it would be essential to apply conditions sufficient to ensure that the cottages
could only be occupied as holiday units, and to “tie” the managers accommodation to the site,
and only for the duration of its use for this specific holiday facility.

Conclusion:

Officers consider that this is a well-conceived and appropriate scheme for the adaptation and
alternative use of a range of farm buildings in Woolland, which falls within the scope of Local
Plan policy (in particular Policies 1.10, 3.5 and 1.8, for the reasons set out above. On this
basis, it is considered that none of the reservations expressed over the nature and extent of
the proposal are sufficiently material to the objective planning merits of the case to justify a
refusal of permission. It is relevant for the Committee also to have due regard to the wider
social, economic, and community benefits that the proposal would be likely to secure.



                                                9
Recommendation:

1.1.1 Approve subject to:

A satisfactory undertaking to pay the requisite financial contribution (for one dwelling only)
towards community infra-structure provision.

A satisfactory amended plan re. highway (access / parking / turning) design details.



Conditions:

1. FR01
2. OC02 specific to the 4no. holiday units.

3. The managers accommodation unit hereby approved shall, at all times, be occupied
    only by the person (incl. his / her immediate dependants) most directly responsible for
    the day to day operation of the holiday accommodation hereby approved.
    Reason. To preclude the establishment of an unrestricted new dwelling in the
              countryside.
4. Notwithstanding the above, this permission shall remain valid only for the period during
which the development hereby approved remains operational specifically as a holiday centre
for disabled persons (incl. their personal carers / companions / partners) only. Upon the
cessation of such specific use, the managers accommodation, shall, within a period of twelve
weeks, be permanently vacated and such accommodation left vacant (unless planning
permission has by then been granted for an appropriate alternate use). In the event of any
dispute, the LPA shall conclusively determine the above.
Reason. To preclude the establishment of an unrestricted new dwelling in the
          countryside.
4. MT01 Materials
5. MT05        “
6. ME01        “
7. ME02        “
8. DR01 Drainage
9. LS09 Landscaping
10. LS12       “
11. PD01 Removal permitted development rights - buildings
12. PD02                        “                    - curtilage
13. BS08 External lighting
14. Highway condition/s (in consultation with DCC).

Informative Notes as appropriate.

The applicant shall make arrangements for archaeological recording to take place during
groundworks. Details of these arrangements shall be submitted to and approved in writing by
the LPA, at least 28 days before any works (incl. any demolition works) commence.



                                                10
Plan numbers:

AEB / 161 – 01 – 02 – 03 – 04 – 05 – 06 – 07. 1:1250 scale site / location plan.
All received 20/05/2004.

This recommendation is consistent with the above statutory Development Plan policies.




                                              11
NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

COUNCIL

Date of Meeting:               24th September 2004


REPORT TITLE:                  2/2003/1072(20) SANDLEY STUD, SANDLEY – ERECT
                               ADDITIONAL STABLES, OUTBUILDINGS,
                               OFFICE/RECEPTION BUILDING AND CONVERT BARN
                               TO MANAGER’S ACCOMMODATION

Chairman of Development        Councillor Batty-Smith
Control Committee:

Report Author:                 Planning Case Officer

Purpose of Report:             To determine the above planning application which is a
                               Departure from policies in the Local Plan

Statutory Authority:           Town & Country Planning Act 1990

Financial Implications:        None

Consultations required/        Statutory consultees – Gillingham, Kington Magna,
undertaken:                    Buckhorn Weston Parish Councils, Environment Agency,
                               County Highway Authority

Recommendations:               At its meeting on 15 June 2004 the Development Control
                               Committee recommended that planning permission be
                               granted.
                               Council recommended the insertion of a Section 106
                               Agreement to tie existing dwellings within the applicant‟s
                               ownership to the equestrian business.
                               It is now recommended an alternative Agreement be
                               pursued.



BACKGROUND AND REASON DECISION NEEDED

1. This application was brought before Council at its meeting on 25 June 2004. Council
   resolved to follow the recommendation of the Development Control Committee that the
   application, which involved the erection of a new residential unit of manager‟s
   accommodation and major development in the countryside as a departure of policy from
   the Local Plan be approved. However, Council imposed the additional requirement that all
   existing dwellings within the applicant‟s ownership should be tied to the equestrian
   business by means of a legal obligation under the provisions of Section 106 of the Town &


                                             12
   Country Planning Act 1990. Council resolved to include this requirement due to the belief
   by some Members that some of the existing residential accommodation had been sold off
   separately whilst the applicant was seeking additional residential accommodation as a
   departure from policy.

APPLICANT’S RESPONSE

2. The applicant advises they bought the Stud in November 2003. The business plan
   forecast the Stud being operational within the next season (summer 2004). The intention
   is to invest £3 million into transforming Sandley Stud into one of the foremost UK breeding
   establishments. However, it is claimed the requirement sought by Council would devalue
   the Stud by over £1 million making the investment impossible. If the Section 106
   Agreement is imposed the applicant indicates he will be unable to develop the Stud as
   proposed, forcing either a planning appeal or the sale of the Stud forthwith.

3. The agent advises that in 2003, the Sandley Stud was placed on the market in eight lots.
   Each of the residential properties was intended to be sold off separately. In Autumn 2003,
   the main house, a part of lot 1, with approximately 50 acres was sold away to a private
   buyer with the remainder of lot 1 and other lots remaining on the market. The applicant
   bought all the remaining lots including part of lot 1.

4. Reference is made to paragraph 56 of Circular 11/95 which states “any condition which
   would put a severe limitation on the freedom of owners to dispose of their property or
   which would obviously make it difficult to finance the erection of the permitted building by
   borrowing on mortgage should be avoided on these grounds……..” Circular 1/97 also
   endorses this approach and the need to avoid onerous requirements. The applicant claims
   he had to pay the full market value of all of the individual lots and, as indicated above, that
   the Council‟s requirement would significantly devalue the property by tying all of the
   residential properties to the land, and would make an investment impossible and hence
   prevent development taking place.

5. The applicants have suggested a tie on the occupancy of the manager‟s house with the
   other new buildings. They are prepared to offer to tie all of the new buildings together with
   a substantial area of land so that no part could be sold off separately. This area covers
   approximately 174 acres (70.42 hectares). The agent considers that such an agreement
   would ensure that all the new buildings will remain in one ownership, hence ensuring that
   the viable Stud holding is retained.

OFFICER’S FURTHER COMMENTS

6. None of the existing dwellings within the applicant‟s ownership are restricted or tied by
   virtue of any planning conditions or other obligations imposed under the Town & Country
   Planning Acts. They have full market value. It is clear to Officers and to the Council‟s
   independent professional adviser that there was a need for the manager‟s accommodation
   to be located in a particular location, and that there is no other suitable residential
   accommodation within the applicant‟s ownership.




                                                13
7. The applicants are now offering to tie the dwelling to the new buildings and 174 acres of
   land. This was not originally offered and is not within the officer‟s original recommendation
   of approval. This would give some assurance that this area of the Stud, and the
   manager‟s accommodation, could not be sold off separately from each other.

8. In light of the above comments from the applicants and the lack of any very clear planning
   justification for the Section 106 proposal, it is respectfully recommended that Council
   reconsider its resolution that all existing dwellings are tied, and substitute it with another
   requirement that:

      the area of 174 acres, all new proposed buildings, and the new manager's
       accommodation is tied within one ownership and shall not be sold off, let or leased
       separately.

   And that any permission be subject to the same obligations and conditions as originally
   recommended by the Development Control Committee.

9. Since the Council resolution in June, representations have also been received from the
   occupiers of Furze House, who purchased the property from the applicants between the
   time the application was made and considered by the Development Control Committee
   and then Council. They state that they were unaware of the planning application and are
   concerned that sick animals may occupy the Foaling/Isolation Unit, which will be located
   close to their land on which they graze horses. Additionally that there are no details of
   how horse waste will be disposed of and that there may be a concentration of waste
   around their property and land in their ownership as a consequence of this development.

10. The agent advises that areas around this property have always been used as manure
    storage. Most of the manure will however be stored in specialised manure clamps which
    are located adjacent to the main mare unit. They also confirm that the unit close to Furze
    House will be a Foaling Unit.

   To overcome some of the above concerns Officers also recommend the following
   additional condition:

      Details of disposal of animal waste and horse manure shall be submitted to and
       approved by the Local Planning Authority;

RISK MANAGEMENT

11. A Section 106 Agreement is a bilateral agreement between two parties, one being the
   Local Authority, and accordingly if agreed by those parties carries little risk to the Local
   Authority. If the recommendation to “withdraw” from the original Section 106 Agreement
   proposal is confirmed again in management terms there is no risk involved.

Author: Andrew Williams, Planning Case Officer
Date: 14 September 2004
Background papers:
Report to Development Control Committee 15 June 2004


                                               14
GILLINGHAM (20)

Location: Sandley Stud, Sandley,                Ref No: 2/2003/1072
GILLINGHAM/BUCKHORN                             Case Officer: Mr A Williams
WESTON/KINGTON MAGNA

Applicant: Sandley Stud Ltd

Application Type: Full planning permission

Proposal: Erect additional stables, outbuildings, office/reception building and convert
barn to manager's accommodation

Conservation Area: No

REASON FOR COMMITTEE DETERMINATION: Major development in the
countryside. Objections from Buckhorn Weston Parish Council

Description of Site: The Sandley Stud was originally built in the 1880s and was formerly
the National Stud until post-war years. It comprises 117 hectares (290 acres) of post and
railed grass land, fenced paddocks accessed by a network of internal drives and tracks,
mature woodlands which provide shelter belts for the paddocks, buildings comprising a
principal yard (with 33 loose boxes, 3 foaling boxes, 3 stallion boxes and stud offices), and
a new barn to the north of the main yard where there is a stable yard with 10 loose boxes,
with associated 2 blocks of stabling and ancillary feed stores and barns for storage of hay
and straw. The residential accommodation associated with the stud comprises 8 cottages
across the estate which it is intended will provide accommodation for employees. The
main house associated with the former stud and 2 cottages were sold off as one lot in
advance of the applicant‟s interest.

The Planning Application
The planning application is for the erection of a range of new buildings which include:
 erection of a new mare stabling complex;
 a stallion enclosure complex;
 a reception building;
 an isolation unit and a foaling unit.
The isolation unit is the complex of buildings known as New Barn, (which is located
alongside the Class B road leading from West Stour crossroads towards Bourton). Here, It
is also proposed to convert the existing two storey traditional stone tiled barn into a
Manager‟s dwelling.

A significant amount of new planting, including screen planting is also proposed in
connection with this development.

Planning Policy:
Most of the following policies are appropriate only for guidance in this instance . This is for
two reasons. The first is that the application, by virtue of the area covered and the amount
of new build, comes clearly within the category of Major Development as described in the
Local Plan. Whilst it will be appreciated that the proposals by their nature are most suited
to a rural location, nevertheless the Local plan, Policy 1.1, (Sustainable Development)




                                              15
suggest all major developments should be in one of the four larger towns. Hence the
policy is not met. Secondly a number of “lesser” Local Plan policies are not met by the
development for example 1.10 the reuse of buildings in the countryside.

Accordingly if Members are mindful to consider the application in the positive, then they
will have to refer it to full Council as a departure from the Development Plan.

1.1 Sustainable Development Strategy encourages the larger forms of development
to be located in the larger towns and well related to existing forms of development and
public transport network.
1.6 Development in the Countryside seeks to resist most forms of residential and
commercial development for general needs unless required in connection with
development which includes countryside tourism and recreation and employment for local
needs. (Equestrian uses fall within commercial)
1.8 Standard Assessment Criteria includes: Character, amenity, design and external
appearance of buildings, views of the countryside, suitability of vehicular access, suitability
of transport network.
1.10 Re-use and adaptation of buildings in the countryside.
1.33 Landscape Character areas – development should be situated and designed so as to
integrate with the distinctive landscape character of the area.
1.14 Landscaping of new development includes: schemes for good quality hard and soft
landscaping should be submitted as an integral part of any development proposals in order
to help integrate the development into its surroundings.
2.16 Agriculture and Forestry workers Dwellings (not strictly applicable to dwellings
required for equestrian purposes) will only be permitted where essential.
3.5 Employment Development within the Countryside. This policy relates to small- scale
development which is to be encouraged subject to strict criteria, provided there is no
adverse affect on the countryside with regard to scale, character and appearance of new
buildings and minimal generation of additional traffic.

Relevant Planning History: Sandley Stud was the National Stud up until approximately
50 years ago, originally built in the 1880‟s. Subsequently, the Stud has been associated
with the breeding of thoroughbred stallions and the more recent use for their thoroughbred
mares and youngstock. In 1999, planning permission to convert part of the main stable
block to offices and to erect extensions to the stables was granted in the main principal
yard.

Consultations:

INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE COMMISSIONED BY COUNCIL

   Proposed development appears to be well thought out. The stables and associated
    buildings are designed to a top quality specification, which will complement the existing
    yards.
   Due to the number of proposed horses it is more practical to locate the new mare and
    stallion complexes on a site away from the existing stables. It is not possible, due to
    the topography of the land, to locate them nearer the road. The proposed site while in
    a slightly elevated position appears well screened by a number of tree belts.
   Further consideration should be given to the siting of the foaling unit. It is right for this
    unit to be located away from the main yards and stallion complexes. Foaling mares
    require a quiet area. However, the site proposed is away from any of the existing



                                               16
    dwellings. It would be sensible to build the foaling stables in a field adjoining Furze
    House rather than several fields away in an isolated position.
   The business is fortunate to have been able to acquire a number of dwellings. These
    properties will provide a valuable source of housing for staff. However, it is not felt that
    any of them would be suitable to house the stud manager. This position will be a key
    role in the success of the business. They will not only be required to take responsibility
    for running the site but will also be required to market it as well. It is not practical to
    house them in one of the small estate cottages or bungalows.
   The conversion of the traditional barn at New Barn provides an ideal solution to the
    absence of a manager‟s dwelling. It is located near the entrance to the new stable
    complexes, it fulfils its own function of being located adjoining the isolation boxes but
    the real advantage is that it will provide the prestigious dwelling to enable the manager
    to market the business from. This can be achieved from the conversion of a redundant
    building thereby saving the need to build an additional building.

Conclusion of Advisor:
 The proposed development has been well thought out and will provide a significant
  stud to be reintroduced to the area.
 The proposed foaling unit should be located nearer/adjoining Furze House so as to
  provide better security and surveillance. This will also avoid any further application for
  an additional dwelling should the need ever arise for a dwelling to be located next to
  the foaling mares.
 There are no suitable dwellings on the Estate to house the stud manager. The
  conversion of the traditional building at New Barn would provide a suitable dwelling for
  this role.

Policy Manager for Rural Economy – Supports the application.
Gillingham Town Council – two concerns:
 The reception building is not in keeping with the rest of the development and is unduly
    prominent.
 Concern that the existing footpaths and rights of way might be prejudiced.

Buckhorn Weston/Kington Magna Parish Council – Concerns regarding:

   The impact from the hospitality suite reception building which is out of keeping, concern
    that if business does not continue to be sustainable or viable, that the proposal could
    become housing development by stealth.

County Highways Officer – Is satisfied with the applicant‟s assessment comparing the
historic vehicular use of the site with the proposed use with regard to trip generation,
frequency of movement, vehicle types etc that the proposals are acceptable in highway
terms.

Representations: One letter expressing concern about the inappropriate design and
overall appearance of the reception building.

Planning Appraisal:

It is proposed to develop this existing established stud as an extension to the applicant‟s
significant stud in Northern Ireland. The stud runs a fleet of lorries, each which can pick up



                                               17
between 6 to 10 mares on route for transportation to Sandley. Together with other
suppliers lorries, movements would amount to an average of 1 lorry per day. The
application gives a detailed explanation and justification as to why the proposed
development of building is so sited and designed. The design of the new mares stable
complex built on traditional lines of brick with tiled roofs, the reception building is a two-
storey building with reception area and first floor offices and terraces, which the applicants
see as being an essential element of the overall scheme where visitors are welcomed and
where business takes place. The isolation yard and new manager's house (converted
barn) is within existing stables and buildings where the manager can keep a vigil on the
horses in isolation. The foaling unit is proposed to be located away from other buildings so
that the animals due to foal are kept in a tranquil environment.

The proposals comprise significant development in the countryside. All existing buildings
in the applicant‟s ownership, which comprise most of the former Sandley Stud, will
continue to be used. However, the intention is to greatly expand on existing facilities. A
significant amount of new building is proposed. Some of the development is required to be
separate from other (existing) buildings. Most of the new development is required as
stables/stallion enclosure complex, directly in association with equestrian use, for horses,
which have to be in the countryside. The proposals also include the conversion of an
existing barn to Manager‟s accommodation, which, following the independent advice
received by the Council would appear to be a reasonable requirement. They also involve
the erection of a reception building – for the applicant‟s clients, which is separate from
other proposed (and existing) development.

The applicants have made a detailed argument for the justification of the buildings in the
locations proposed. Apart from the precise siting of the Foaling Unit this justification is
supported by the Council‟s agricultural advisor. The applicants consider that they are
making the most effective use of the land in their ownership, in accordance with the
proposed business‟ functional requirements. This requires some of the buildings to be
separated from each other (so that the buildings will not be in one single group). However,
in recognition of this, they are also proposing significant landscaping and pre planting, so
that in due course, the visual effect on the landscape will be mitigated against.

Following the independent advice received, Officers recognise that this development has
to be in the countryside and for functional reasons, it cannot be grouped together. This
scheme envisages the expansion of an existing equestrian establishment which uses open
land and cannot take place within a settlement or otherwise built up area.

The key issues are therefore considered to be:

Does the proposed development have to be in the countryside?
Officers are satisfied that the buildings proposed cannot be located within an established
settlement. However, they do include reception and office accommodation in separate
buildings, away from other development and in a relatively prominent position.
Nevertheless, Officers are aware that such building has to be sited somewhere on land
within the applicant‟s ownership, rather than away from the establishment. The applicants
are submitting an amended scheme and siting for a less conspicuous building. Subject to
satisfactory detail the proposed development is considered to meet policies 1.1and 1.6.

Will the impact of the proposed buildings be acceptable?




                                             18
The significant volume of building will be on several different sites. The applicant‟s case is
that business cannot operate if the buildings are together. Independent advice confirms
this to be the case. Significant landscaping is proposed which will mitigate the visual
impact, although this will take several years to establish. All buildings are to a high
standard of design and external appearance. They will not be sited close to residential
property, so that detriment to residential amenities is not considered to be an issue in its
own right. Their visual impact in the landscape will be minimal.
The proposals therefore can accord with policies 1.33 and 1.8.

Is the proposed Residential accommodation essential and in the right location?
The new dwelling, required to accommodate a manager, will also assist in the constant
supervision of horses in the isolation unit but it does not accord strictly with any of the
Local Plan Policies such as 1.10 – the Conversion of Buildings in the Countryside or Policy
2.16 – Agricultural & Forestry Worker Dwellings. Whilst it cannot be deemed as essential,
the professional advisor argues that it will be a crucial part of the whole and enable a
suitable manager to be recruited and receive visitors from overseas in an appropriate
manner.

What would happen if the business failed?
Officers have no reason to believe that the established business is likely to fail. If the
buildings were no longer required for equestrian purposes an alternative use would have
to be considered in accordance with countryside policies (currently 1.10). This does not
include general provision for residential use. The Committee may wish to take the unusual
step of imposing an obligation seeking to restrict its alternative uses.
It could be a requirement that the residential accommodation, which is sought as a special
case for a specific need, is not occupied until the buildings hereby approved are erected
and are ready for their intended use and thereafter that its occupancy is strictly controlled.

Summary/Conclusion: The substantial development proposed is an expansion of the
existing equestrian business. All existing buildings within the applicant‟s ownership are
already in full use.
All of the buildings would appear to be sited in locations where they would not be unduly
prominent in the landscape. They will be of good quality and impact will be mitigated by
substantial landscaping. Subject to receipt of satisfactory detail regarding amended siting
and design of the reception building, so it moves closer to other buildings and of a less
domineering design, it is considered that the proposed new buildings are acceptable.
The manager‟s residential accommodation would appear to be a reasonable requirement,
which will fulfil a special local need that cannot be met by other means. However, it is
considered that its occupancy should be tightly controlled.

Recommendation: That the Committee recommend the Council to approve the
application as a departure from the Development Plan subject to the applicants entering
into a legal obligation that:
 the manager‟s accommodation shall not be occupied until the other buildings hereby
    approved have been erected and are available for their intended equestrian purposes;
 the occupation of the manager‟s accommodation shall be limited to a person solely
    employed on land at Sandley Stud within the applicant‟s ownership, including any
    dependants of such person residing with him, or a widow or widower of such a person
    and shall not, at any time, be sold or let separately from the stud;
 contribution towards community infrastructure in accordance with the Council‟s
    Supplementary Planning Guidance.



                                              19
And subject to the following conditions:

1. FR01 COMMENCEMENT (FULL PERMISSION)
2. The manager's accommodation shall not be occupied until the other buildings hereby
   approved have been erected and are available for use for equestrian purposes,
   thereafter it shall be occupied by a person solely employed on land at Sandley Stud
   within the applicant's ownership, including any dependants of such person residing
   with him, or a widow or widower of such a person and shall not, at any time, be sold or
   let separately from the Stud.
   Reason: This permission is only granted with regard of the need for this dwelling to
   house a worker who is specifically required to manage the equestrian business and
   look after horses in the specific location approved, in accordance with Settlement
   Policy I and Implementation Policies A and B of the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole
   Structure Plan and Policy 1.6 of the North Dorset District Wide Local Plan (First
   Revision).
3. MT03 MATERIALS (NOTWITHSTANDING DETAILS SUBMITTED)
4. LS01 FULL LANDSCAPE SURVEY
5. LS11 LANDSCAPE DESIGN PROPOSALS
6. LS12 NEW PLANTING
7. Before the development commences a scheme detailing the means of foul surface
   water and drainage from the land including the means of dealing with surface water
   running on to, through or off the site, shall be submitted to the Local Planning
   Authority. Any such scheme shall require approval to be obtained in writing from the
   Local Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall be implemented before the
   dwelling(s) is/are occupied.
   Reason: To minimise flooding and the risk of pollution in accordance with Environment
   Policy M and Implementation Policies C and D of the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole
   Structure Plan and Policies 1.14, 1.15 and 1.16 of the North Dorset District Wide Local
   Plan (First Revision).

REASONS FOR DECISION / POLICY CONSIDERATIONS

In reaching this decision the policies in the Development Plan for the area, which currently
comprises the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Structure Plan 2000 and the North Dorset
District Wide Local Plan (First Revision) 2003, were taken into account and whilst many
were not applicable, it was deemed in the wider interests of the community in particular the
economic benefits that the application be approved.

Decision:




                                             20
NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

COUNCIL

Date of Meeting:                24th September 2004


REPORT TITLE:                   REVISION TO OFFICER SCHEME OF DELEGATION –
                                DEVELOPMENT CONTROL MANAGER.
                                POWER “i”

Portfolio Holder:               Cllr. Peter Webb

Report Author:                  Ian Hutchison

Purpose of Report:              To seek consideration of amendments to the Scheme of
                                Delegation to Officers in particular in relationship to
                                determining which planning applications are dealt with by
                                the Development Control Committee.


Statutory Authority:            Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Financial Implications:         Possible Increase in Planning Delivery Grant

Consultations required/         Town and Parish Councils have been given advance
undertaken:                     copies of the proposal and asked for any comments. Also
                                as this is principally an internal administration issue it has
                                been discussed with relevant staff.

Recommendations:                To adopt the new scheme of delegation for a trial period of
                                12 months.



BACKGROUND AND REASON DECISION NEEDED

1. A report was submitted to the Development Control Committee in June 2004 entitled “One
Way to Improved Development Control Performance”. That report indicated the attempts
being made to speed up the processing of Section 106 Agreements (w.r.t. Planning
Obligations) regarding contributions towards community infrastructure. The main reason
behind the speed up was to improve performance in meeting Development Control targets,
which in turn can bring the Council an increase in Planning Delivery Grant.

2. A further way towards improved performance, (and hence more money) is to lessen the
number of planning applications that are considered by the Development Control Committee.
This is, because if an application has to go to Committee, it means it virtually always goes
over the basic target of being dealt with in eight weeks by the time it gets to the Committee.


                                                21
3. However, there are other issues to be considered as regards a lessening of the number of
applications considered by Development Control Committee.

At a recent meeting of the Committee there were 32 applications to be considered and the
Committee with a prompt start at 10 am did not finish until just after 6.30 pm. At the next
Committee the meeting was adjourned to be continued at a later date due to the number of
applications. This long day potential is caused in part by the new system of encouraging
public speaking on planning applications but this is good practise and must be retained. The
Chairman ensures that all persons who wish to speak to an item can do so but there must
also be questions as to (a) whether the more important applications merit even more time
than they can be given (b) whether some applications considered towards the end of the
meeting are being given the appropriate level of attention and (c) whether there are
applications being submitted to Committee unnecessarily.

4. It is considered that there are applications having to be submitted to the Committee under
the present scheme of delegation which could be dealt with “under delegated powers”. This
matter has been slightly aggravated by the Council‟s decision in January this year to require
applications which Town and Parish Councils suggest should be approved be submitted to
the Committee if the Development Control Officer is proposing refusal.

5. Accordingly attached as an appendix is a suggested revised Scheme of Delegation. The
main alterations to the scheme compared to the present one (also attached for comparison
purposes) are as follows:

  The involvement of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee in discussions with
    the Development Control Manager in assessing as to whether certain categories of
    applications should be delegated for officer decision or be put to the Committee. In this
    respect it is important to stress that the discussions are about delegation and not about
    planning decisions.
  The requirement on Town and Parish Councils and Members to put forward planning
    reasons why they consider an application should be determined by the Committee and
    this is to be in writing!
  The insertion of a new requirement with regard to planning obligations that if they are
    proposed “to be less”, either for example by a reduced payment towards community
    infrastructure or fewer affordable houses than earlier envisaged then the Committee‟s
    authority be sought.
  The removal of the specific reference to applications where a decision is contrary to the
    views of a statutory consultee, other consultee, neighbour or other interested party. It is
    considered that such representations can be suitably covered by “catch all clause” at 10
    on the proposed scheme.
  The insertion in the “automatic reference to Committee list” (items 2 to 9) of major
    commercial/recreational developments.

6. Members will appreciate the proposals change the manner that Town and Parish
Councils and Members have items referred to Development Control Committee. It is
appreciated this change will require good feedback to advise parties as to the reasons why a
request has not been complied with.



                                              22
7. It should be noted that the approach suggested has not been developed in isolation but
after consideration of several schemes of delegation from other authorities.

8. Members should note that the revised scheme has been debated and recommended for
approval by the Development Control Committee and the Political Management Working
Party. The latter group made some minor amendments to the scheme and these are now
incorporated in the document attached. The Working Group also consider that the scheme
should come into effect on the 1st November 2004. This date will be after a training event
provisionally scheduled to take place on this scheme, should Council agree to it, for
representatives of Town and Parish Councils. The training event will incorporate
presentations on Licensing and the new Development Plan Arrangements.

OPTIONS

9. (i) Approve as suggested for a trial period of a year, (ii) retain the present scheme or (iii)
make amendments to the proposed revised scheme. One other option, of a different ilk, is
(iv) for the Committee to meet on say a fortnightly basis, which could overcome some of the
identified problems!

COSTS

10. The minor costs of one off adjustments to certain standard forms and the ongoing
proposal to advise Town and Parish Councils and Members as to the reason(s) why their
request for consideration by Committee has not been complied with.

RISK MANAGEMENT

11. With all amendments to protocols there is the risk that flaws will be found. However the
scheme is basically one of internal administration, albeit that it relies on the co-operation of
Town and Parish Councils and Members to make it work well, so it can be changed relatively
quickly and adapted to meet circumstances.

RECOMMENDATION AND REASON

12. It is recommended the revised scheme be recommended to Council for approval and that
Members give consideration to introducing it, in the first instance, for a trial period for one
year. The introduction of the new scheme to be on 1st November 2004.

13. In summary the reason for the proposal is it one of a series of possible changes which
are geared towards improving the performance of the Council‟s Development Control duties
which in turn may be rewarded by an increase in Planning Delivery Grant.




Author: Ian Hutchison
Date: 15th Sept 2004

Background papers: Other District Councils Schemes of Delegation

                                                23
                         Scheme of Delegation (Development Control), Proposed Revision

The new arrangements are being proposed with a view to increasing the number of applications dealt with
by Officers in accordance with Government guidelines and targets.

To determine any application (insert legislation as per existing) provided that the power to determine an application
does not apply to any application:

1 which in the opinion of the Development Control Manager, in consultation with the Chairman and
Vice Chairman of the Development Control Committee :

(a)    has been the subject of a request by a member of the Council to refer the application to the Development
       Control Committee and that request is (i) in writing (ii) contains a material planning reason(s) relevant to the
       application which is assessed to be of significance and (iii) is received by the Development Control Team
       within 21 days of the circulation of the weekly list of planning applications or,
(b)    has been the subject of a request by a town or parish council, in whose area the application would wholly or
       partly situate, to refer the application to the Development Control Committee and that request is (i) in writing
       (ii) contains a material planning reason(s) relevant to the application which is assessed to be of significance
       and (iii) is received by the Development Control Team within 21 days of the date of consultation on the
       application (extensions to the consultation period not to be unreasonably refused) or,

2 where, in the opinion of the Development Control Manager, the decision/recommendation
proposed would both be in conflict with the Development Plan and is of sub-regional and/or District wide
significance,

3 which, in the Development Control Manager‟s judgement, is wholly or partly on the Council‟s own
land or,

4     that is an application submitted by a member of the Council (or their partner) or,

5     that is an application submitted by a officer of the Council (or their partner) or,

6     where the application is for a major residential development defined as over 10 dwellings or,

7 where the application is for a building for industrial or business use which is greater than 10,000 square
metres or, as regards buildings for office or recreational use, the building is greater than 1,000 square metres or,

8 where, in the opinion of the Development Control Manager, the determination would conflict with
a decision previously taken by the Development Control Committee on the same matter including variation of a
condition specifically imposed by the Committee or,

9 where it is proposed to modify a planning obligation and where, in the opinion of the Development
Control Manager, there is a reduction in benefit to the local community or,

10 which, in the opinion of the Development Control Manager, in consultation with the Chairman and
Vice Chairman of the Development Control Committee, particularly taking into account the views of consultees
and/or other representations, ought to be considered by the Development Control Committee.

Note    Items under 1(b) above would normally only be referred to the Committee, subject to not being so required
by items 2-10 above, where there was conflict between the Town or Parish Council‟s recommendation and the
eventual draft decision of the Development Control Manager.

                             Note as Regards the Development Manager’s Consultation

The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Development Control Committee can each be substituted by any other
member of the Development Control Committee and the Development Control Manager by a planning officer
nominated to deputise. The consultation process is to enable the Development Control Manager to seek member
level advice on whether to use any of his/her delegated powers, it is not the function to be involved with the
determination of planning applications.




                                                                 Page 25
                                       r.report – constitutional changes – licensing act – 13.8.04 – v1
                          Revision to Officer Scheme of Delegation

                                             DC Manager – “I”

Existing power (as amended by Full Council):

To determine any application (including Reserved Matters applications) submitted pursuant to
the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990, the
Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations 1992, the Planning (Listed Buildings and
Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and/or Department of the Environment Circular 18/84 (including
the determination of any conditions, obligations, limitations , or any other restrictions or
requirements necessary in respect thereof), provided that the power to determine an application
does not apply to any application:

1. Which in the opinion of the Development Control Manager, in consultation with the Chairman
   of the Development Control Committee, would both be in conflict with the Development plan
   and is of sub-regional and/or district wide significance, or
2. is, in the Development Control Manager‟s judgement, wholly or partly on the Council‟s own
    land, or
3. is an application submitted by a Member (or their partner); or
4. is an application submitted by an Officer (or their partner); or
5. the application is for MAJOR residential development defined as over 10 dwellings or 0.5 ha
    residential site; or
6. the application has been the subject of a request by a member of the Council to refer it to the
    Development Control Committee for decision, the member having made the request during
    the consultation period; or
7. the decision taken under the delegated powers would conflict with a decision previously
    taken by the Development Control Committee on the same matter, including variation or
    removal of a condition specifically imposed by the Committee; or
8. in the case that this decision would conflict with the view of the relevant Town or Parish
    Council, as expressed during the agreed consultation period. Extensions to the consultation
    period will not be unreasonably refused; or
9. in the cases of a decision which is contrary to the view of a statutory consultee, other
    consultee, neighbour or other interested party, the approval is in consultation with Chairman
    (or in his absence the Vice Chairman) and the ward member(s); or
10. that in the opinion of the Development Control Manager ought to be considered by a
    committee of the council.




                                                       Page 26
                             r.report – constitutional changes – licensing act – 13.8.04 – v1
NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

COUNCIL

Date of Meeting:                24 September 2004


REPORT TITLE:                   VARIATIONS TO CONSTITUTION AND RESOLUTION
                                TO REMOVE POLITICAL BALANCE PRIMARILY AS A
                                CONSEQUENCE OF THE LICENSING ACT 2003

Portfolio Holder:

Report Author:                  Solicitor to the Council

Purpose of Report:              To amend the Constitution to address issues arising as a
                                result of the Licensing Act 2003

Statutory Authority:            Local Government Act 1972; Licensing Act 2003

Financial Implications:         None

Consultations required/         Licensing Section; General Manager – Community
undertaken:                     Services;

Recommendations:                1. That the membership of the Licensing and Orders
                                   Committee be fixed at 15 members;
                                2. That all members be eligible to sit on the Licensing and
                                   Orders Committee;
                                3. That there be no restriction or limitation on the ability of
                                   the Licensing and Orders Committee to create and
                                   empower sub-committees;
                                4. That neither the Licensing and Orders Committee nor
                                   its sub-committees need be politically balanced;
                                5. That the role, delegated powers and powers of
                                   recommendation of the Licensing and Orders
                                   Committee be revised as provided for in Appendix 1;
                                6. That the delegated powers of Officers be revised as
                                   provided for in Appendix 2;
                                7. That the Constitution be amended to reflect the
                                   changes as identified above (see Appendix 3); and
                                8. That a copy of the Council‟s Constitution incorporating
                                   the amendments are placed on the Council‟s website.


BACKGROUND

1.On the 7th July 2004, the Department of Culture Media and Sport issued a press release that
an order was being laid before Parliament which would result in the transitional period for the
Licensing Act 2003 commencing on 7th February 2005 (the first appointed day).


                                                      Page 27
                            r.report – constitutional changes – licensing act – 13.8.04 – v1
2. This report seeks to amend the Constitution to reflect the needs and requirements of the
   legislation.

REPORT

Enlargement of Licensing and Orders Committee

3. Section 6 of the Licensing Act 2003 requires that the Licensing and Orders Committee that
   is created must have “at least ten, but not more than fifteen, members of the committee.”
4. Part 4, Meeting Procedure Rules, paragraph 12, of the Constitution provides that the normal
   size of a committee should be set out in the relevant article.
5. When assessing resource issues relating to the transitional period (that is the nine month
   period within which all existing licensees to whom the Act relates must apply for a license
   under the new regime), it was guestimated by officers that within that time, up to 170
   hearings involving members might need to take place. Furthermore, it was not considered
   likely that these would be evenly spread, but would probably arise in large batches.
6. In order to achieve such a turnaround and minimise the burden for members, it is considered
   sensible for the Licensing and Orders Committee to consist of the maximum fifteen members
   so that the workload can be more fairly spread. This should be identified with appropriate
   changes being made to the Constitution.

Removal of restrictions to any member sitting on Licensing and Orders Committee

7. At the time when the requirement for having a Constitution was first being introduced,
    national guidance was produced that provided:
    “2.11 The council will be able to appoint any member of the local authority (whether or not
    they are a member of the executive), including an elected mayor, to committees or sub-
    committees which take decisions on functions which are not the responsibility of the
    executive, such as development control and licensing.”
8. In certain circumstances there is the potential for the roles of the Executive (Cabinet) and
    regulatory committees to conflict, and perhaps for this reason, it is understood that
    historically North Dorset District Council has not appointed Executive (Cabinet) members to
    either the Development Control Committee or Licensing and Orders Committee.
    Furthermore, it would appear that members of Development Control Committee have not
    also been appointed to Licensing and Orders Committee.
9. The Constitution (article 9 paragraph 4) currently expressly provides that members of the
    Standards Committee should not sit on the Regulatory Committee, however that committee
    no longer exists.
10. It is a matter for members if they wished to limit the scope of appointment to the Licensing
    and Orders Committee, however restrictions will inevitably reduce the pool of members who
    would be available to be appointed.
11. If it is decided to make the Licensing and Orders Committee consist of fifteen members,
    excluding members of Cabinet, Development Control Committee and the Standards
    Committee from being appointed to it would make achieving this number impossible. For
    this reason it is suggested that the Constitution provide that there be no restriction as to the
    members who may be appointed to the Licensing and Orders Committee.



Creating and empowering sub-committees



                                                    Page 28
                                  r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
12. Part 4, Meeting Procedure Rules, paragraph 16 provides that no standing sub-committee
    may be set up by a committee (except Cabinet) without the agreement of Council.
13. Section 10 of the Licensing Act 2003 expressly provides that a Licensing and Orders
    Committee may arrange for the discharge of functions exercisable by it by a sub-committee
    established by it or, subject to various exceptions, by an officer. Section 11 identifies that
    such arrangements may be discharged by more than one sub-committee or officer
    concurrently.
14. The Secretary of State has produced guidance to which the Council must have regard in
    carrying out its licensing functions (section 4(3) of the Licensing Act 2003). In this guidance
    (paragraph 3.63), the Secretary of State has identified a number of functions that he
    recommends should be delegated to a sub-committee (an extract of that guidance is
    reproduced in Appendix 4).
15. It has already been identified above that the Licensing and Orders Committee may have to
    process a large number of hearings in a comparatively short space of time. In order for this
    to be facilitated and to minimise the workload of members, the view is taken that it highly
    desirable for the Licensing and Orders Committee to be able to create sub-committees and
    to empower them to undertake appropriate licensing functions. The Constitution should be
    amended to provide for the Licensing and Orders Committee to have the power to create
    sub-committees and to delegate to those sub-committees and also to officers such powers
    as it considers appropriate (and insofar as the law allows).

Political balance

16. Section 17 Local Government And Housing Act 1989 enables a Council to resolve that a
    committee / sub-committee need not be politically balanced. This requires that notification of
    the proposal be given to all members (this can be satisfied by the relevant summons
    indicating that an approval for an alternative approach to political balance is to be
    considered at the meeting and a copy is sent to every member), and that no member votes
    against the proposal.
17. The need for an enlarged Licensing and Orders Committee and for the existence of sub-
    committees has already been addressed above. The Licensing and Orders Committee and
    its sub-committees should exercise the licensing functions in a quasi-judicial capacity.
18. This requires a natural justice and impartial approach to determinations. Political objectives
    are not appropriate in such situations.
19. Furthermore, if it was decided that there was a need for political balance, this could impact
    upon the flexibility that is being sought in the creation and empowerment of the Licensing
    and Orders Committee and its sub-committees.
20. Consideration should therefore be given to a vote on whether political balance is required for
    the Licensing and Orders Committee and its sub-committees.

Delegations

21. The Constitution currently provided that the Licensing and Orders Committee has power to
    determine “all applications for licences, footpath variations etc” and to be consulted by the
    Cabinet and any scrutiny committee when matters of policy relating to its responsibility are
    under consideration.
22. Part 3, schedule 1 of the Constitution identifies, amongst other things, various Licensing and
    registration functions (part B functions) and various public right of way functions (Part 1 of
    part I functions) that cannot be exercised by the Executive.
23. Part 3, schedule 2 of the Constitution identifies, amongst other things:



                                                    Page 29
                                  r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
   that the Passing of a resolution that schedule 2 of the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act
    1993 should apply in the authority‟s area should rest with Licensing and Orders Committee
    (item 13); and
 that Cabinet should not have power to determine any appeal against any decision made by
    or on behalf of the Council, without identifying the body who should have such power (item
    2). In the absence of further delegation, any appeal (where the right for such an appeal
    exists) would have to be dealt with by Full Council.
24. The Officer scheme of delegations provides (part 1(vi)) that an officer with a delegated
    power can refer a decision to a council body also possessing the power to make the
    decision, where that officer considers that it would be inappropriate for the officer to make
    the decision.
25. The Licensing Act 2003 contains a number of licensing powers. As already indicated,
    guidance issued in this respect makes recommendations as to the manner in which such
    powers should be delegated (Appendix 4).
26. Guidance issued pursuant to the Licensing Act 2003 indicates that the approval of Full
    Council will be required for the Statement of Licensing Policy which the Council is required
    to adopt prior to the commencement of the transitional provisions.
27. There is a very tight time scale for consulting on the draft policy and undertaking
    amendments thereto prior to final consideration by Full Council. It is therefore desirable that
    power be given to Licensing and Orders Committee to consider consultation responses to
    the draft policy and make appropriate recommendations to Full Council. In turn, Licensing
    and Orders Committee would be recommended to form a small sub-committee to initially
    undertake this function.
28. An officer review of the Constitution is already in progress. Objectives of this exercise
    include trying to minimise ambiguity within the Constitution and to ensure appropriate cross-
    references. The need to address the licensing function as a consequence of the Licensing
    Act 2003 provides an opportunity to amend the Constitution in relation to licensing in
    general.
29. It is therefore considered appropriate for the Licensing and Orders Committee to have the
    role/delegations as set out in Appendix 1 that also sets out the overall proposed changes to
    Article 8 of the Constitution.
30. In accordance with the recommendations of the government‟s guidance on the issue, there
    is a need to revise the Officer Scheme of Delegations. Proposed wording is set out in
    Appendix 2. The Licensing Act 2003 also contains various ancillary powers, for example
    rights of entry. The existing Officer Scheme of Delegations already contains provision
    addressing such issues. At this stage, further changes to address these ancillary issues are
    not considered necessary.

Changes to the Constitution

31. A number of issues above have identified the need for changes to the Constitution.
    Appendix 3 identifies what are considered to be the key changes.
32. Article 14, paragraph 2 of the Constitution provides that changes to the Constitution should
    be widely publicised. Detail relating to changes that are approved will appear on approved
    Council minutes. In order to secure wider publicity however, it is suggested that a copy of
    the Council‟s Constitution should be made available on the Council‟s website, incorporating
    all the changes that are approved.


Author: Solicitor to the Council
Date: 16th August 2004


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                                  r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
Background papers:
  Licensing Act 2003; guidance issued under s182 of the Licensing Act 2003; guidance
           issued under s38 of the Local Government Act 2000; Constitution




                                                Page 31
                              r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
                                                 Appendix One

      Proposed revised Licensing and Orders Committee powers and duties in the format of
            suggested variation to Article 8, paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Constitution

                             Role of Licensing and Orders Committee

To be primarily responsible for the discharge of the Council‟s non-executive functions in relation
to licensing, rights of way and appeals against decisions of the Council (save to the extent that
such power is expressly delegated or referred elsewhere).

The Licensing and Orders Committee shall have power to appoint one or more sub-committees
and determine any powers of delegation and/or recommendation that any such sub-committee
shall possess.

The Licensing and Orders Committee, or any sub-committee created by it shall have power to
authorise an officer to exercise powers of delegation or recommendation on behalf of the
Licensing and Orders Committee.

The Licensing and Orders Committee shall consist of [fifteen] members.

All members of the Council shall be eligible to be appointed to the Licensing and Orders
Committee.

                                   Delegated and referred powers
Interpretation

i.        Unless otherwise expressly provided, references to primary legislation include any
          secondary legislation (including regulations, order and directions) made thereunder and
          to any amendments that may be made in respect of such legislation.

ii.       Where a power of determination or recommendation rests with both the Licensing and
          Orders Committee and an officer then such powers are concurrent and may be exercised
          by either the Committee or the officer. In such circumstances however, it will normally be
          expected that the exercise of the delegation or recommendation will be undertaken by
          the officer, unless that officer considers it would be more appropriately dealt with by the
          Licensing and Orders Committee (or one of its sub-committees as the case may be).

iii.      Where a power of determination or recommendation rests with both the Licensing and
          Orders Committee (or a sub-committee of the Licensing and Orders Committee) and the
          Executive (Cabinet), another Committee of the Council and / or another sub-committee
          (other than a sub-committee of the Licensing and Orders Committee) then such power
          shall only be exercised by the Licensing and Orders Committee (or any sub-committee of
          the Licensing and Orders Committee) if the matter is expressly passed to the Licensing
          and Orders Committee for determination or recommendation (as the case may be) by the
          other body possessing the relevant power.

Delegated powers

1.      To consider and determine any application or other matter, including procedural issues,
        arising pursuant to those functions as set out in:


                                                       Page 32
                                     r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
     (a) Part B (licensing and registration functions) of schedule 1 to the Local Authorities
         (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended); and / or
     (b) Part 1 of Part I (functions relating to public rights of way) of schedule 1 to the Local
         Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended.

2.   To consider and determine any appeal against a decision made by, or on behalf of the
     Council, provided that:
     (a) a right of appeal exists by virtue of legislative provision and/or any extant policy of the
         Council (as amended from time to time);
     (b) the appeal does not relate to a personnel issue; a town and country planning issue or a
         matter in respect of which Full Council or the Constitution expressly provides should be
         dealt with elsewhere; and
     (c) in the case of any determination that relates to the award of a grant there is both prior
         consultation before any final decision is taken with the person or body with budgetary
         control over such expenditure, or who otherwise has the power to authorise such
         expenditure and, no decision will result in expenditure for which there is not existing
         budgetary provision.

3.   To consider and determine whether to pass a resolution that schedule 2 to the Noise and
     Statutory Nuisance Act should apply in the Authority‟s area.

4.   To consider and determine all matters arising pursuant to the Licensing Act 2003.

Powers of recommendation

5.   To consider and make recommendations in respect of any representation received in
     response to any consultation undertaken by the Council on its Statement of Licensing
     Policy (as amended from time to time);

6.   To consider and make recommendations on any other policy matter relating to those
     matters identified in delegated power 1 above, but for which the Licensing and Orders
     Committee does not have the power of determination.




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                                  r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
                                              Appendix Two

                   Proposed amendments to Officer Scheme of Delegations

Insert new delegated power (xii) to Officer Scheme of delegations item 9. ENVIRONMENTAL
HEALTH AND LICENSING TEAM LEADERS (“EH&LT LEADER”):

     i.   To undertake all action (including any determinations necessary in respect thereof) in
          connection with any application for a licence, certificate or statement, any notice
          made or given to the Council, any other applications (including applications to review,
          transfer, vary, remove, cancel or renew), and all other matters arising in respect of the
          Licensing Act 2003 (including, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing,
          power to determine whether a representation is a “relevant representation” for the
          purposes of the Act) provided that power to take such action shall not include the
          power to make an actual final determination only where any one or more of the
          following apply:-

          (a) there is received:
                 (i)    an application for a personal licence; or
                 (ii)   an application to vary a designated premises supervisor; or
                 (iii)  an application to transfer a premises licence; or
                 (iv)   a notice seeking interim authority, and
              a valid police objection is made in respect of it, unless that objection is
              subsequently withdrawn or all parties as provided for in the Licensing Act 2003
              agree that there is no need for a formal hearing; or

          (b) an application is received:
                (i)    for a premises licence; or
                (ii)   for a club premises certificate; or
                (iii)  for a provisional statement; or
                (iv)   to vary a premises licence; or
                (v)    to vary a club premises certificate; and
              a relevant representation is made in respect of it, unless all such relevant
              representations are subsequently withdrawn or all parties as provided for in the
              Licensing Act 2003 agree that there is no need for a formal hearing; or

          (c) an application for a personal licence is received and the applicant has one or
              more unspent convictions; or

          (d) an application to review a premises licence or a club premises certificate is
              received; or

          (e) an application under the Licensing Act 2003 has been received by another local
              authority for which the Council is a consultee, and a determination is required as
              to whether to make any representation, and the nature of the representation; or

          (f) notice of a temporary event is received and a valid police objection is made in
              respect of it unless that objection is subsequently withdrawn or all parties as
              provided for in the Licensing Act 2003 agree that there is no need for a formal
              hearing; or

          (g)   the determination relates to approval of any policy.
                                                     Page 34
                                   r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
                                           Appendix Three

                          Proposed key changes to the Constitution

                Proposed Change                                               Reason
1. Amend Article 9, paragraph 4 of the                       As per paragraph 9 of the report.
   Constitution by deleting last sentence.
2. Amend Article 8, paragraphs 8 and 9                       As per paragraphs 3 to 11 (inclusive) and
   (renumbering the article as appropriate) in               paragraphs 21 to 30 (inclusive) of the report
   accordance with Appendix One.
   Make appropriate amendments to the rest
   of the Constitution to reflect the changes in
   Article 8; e.g. Part 4, Annex A to the
   Meeting Procedure Rules which specifies
   membership number of Licensing and
   Orders Committee and Development
   Control Committee; the plan in Part 1 of the
   Constitution that identifies the Corporate
   Structure etc
3. Amend the existing Article 8 by deleting the              The proposed role of the Licensing and
   heading “Role” above paragraph 4 and                      Orders Committee is now contained in the
   rewording the whole of paragraph 4 to read                suggested rewording to the article identified
   “The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the                    in Appendix one above.
   Regulatory Committees will be appointed by
   Full Council.”
5. Insert at the beginning of Part 4, Meeting                To reflect the proposed changes identified
   Procedure Rules, paragraph 16 the phrase:                 in number 2 of Appendix 3 above.
   “Save where expressly provided for in the
   Constitution”
6. Amend Officer scheme of delegations in                    As per paragraphs 21 and 32 of the report.
   accordance with Appendix 2 above.




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                                 r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
                                                   Appendix Four

  Extract from DCMS guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, paragraph
                       3.63 – Recommended delegation of functions.


      Matter to be dealt with            Full Committee                      Sub Committee            Officers

Application for personal licence                                        If a police objection    If no objection
                                                                                                 made

Application for personal licence                                        All cases
with unspent convictions

Application for premises                                                If a relevant            If no relevant
licence/club premises certificate                                       representation made      representation
                                                                                                 made

Application for provisional                                             If a relevant            If no relevant
statement                                                               representation made      representation
                                                                                                 made

Application to vary premises                                            If a relevant            If no relevant
licence/club premises certificate                                       representation is made   representation
                                                                                                 made

Application to vary designated                                          If a police objection    All other cases
premises supervisor

Request to be removed as                                                                         All cases
designed premises supervisor

Application for transfer of premises                                    If a police objection    All other cases
licence

Applications for interim authorities                                    If a police objection    All other cases

Application to review premises                                          All cases
licence/club premises certificate

Decision on whether a complaint is                                                               All cases
irrelevant, frivolous, vexatious etc.

Decision to object when local                                           All cases
authority is a consultee and not the
relevant authority considering the
application

Determination of a police objection                                     All cases
to a temporary event notice




                                                          Page 36
                                        r.constitutional changes –licensing act – 13.8.04
NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

COUNCIL

Date of Meeting:                 24 September 2004


REPORT TITLE:                    MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN

Portfolio Holder:                Cllr Peter Webb

Report Author:                   Financial Services Manager

Purpose of Report:               For Council to adopt the Medium Term Financial Plan

Statutory Authority:             Local Government Act 1972

Financial Implications:          As outlined in the report

Consultations required/          Portfolio Holder and the Senior Management Team
undertaken:                      Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Recommendations:                 That Council adopts the medium term financial plan




BACKGROUND

1. The Medium Term Financial Plan forms part of the Council‟s Policy and Financial
   Framework. It provides an overview for the Council‟s management of its financial
   resources over the next four yeas and provides a clear financial framework for delivering
   the Council‟s priorities.

OBJECTIVES OF THE MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN

2.(The plan is attached as Annex A)

    1. To provide a financial strategic plan which supports the Council‟s overall objectives
       and priorities.
    2. To provide a framework for managing the Council‟s revenue expenditure and income.
    3. To achieve a balanced budget without the use of reserves or balances by 2008/09.
    4. To finance the Council‟s Capital Programme.




Page 37 of 57
Report to Council Sept 04
Medium Term Financial Strategy
OPTIONS

33. The plan gives two options for using reserves to support Council Tax, but there are many
    other combinations for using reserves within the same constraints.

     1. phasing support for Council Tax over two years and
     2. phasing support over three years.

     It should be noted higher increase in costs for the 2005/06 year is due to full year effect of
     the remuneration review and the effect of staff appointments which deferred in the
     2004/05 budget.

REVIEW

3.      It is intended that the strategy is reviewed annually after the budget round.


RISK MANAGEMENT

4.     A Medium Term Financial Plan is part of good financial governance and is incorporated
       into the Council‟s Policy and Financial Framework. Failure to undertaken this process
       would directly impact on the delivery of Council priorities, as planning outside annual
       budget time frame would become difficult and unreliable. The Council would become re-
       active instead of being pro-active when addressing medium term financial issues.
       Finally we would subject to Audit Commission criticism both in the annual audit and CPA
       process.


RECOMMENDATION

5.     That Council adopt the Medium Term Financial Plan.


REASONS

6.     The medium term financial plan forms part of the Council‟s Policy and Financial
       Framework.



Author:          Barry Marshall
Date:            9 September 2004




Page 38 of 57
Report to Council Sept 04
Medium Term Financial Strategy
                                 MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN

The objectives of this strategic plan, which covers the financial year‟s 2004/05 to 2008/09,
are:

1. To provide a financial strategic plan which supports the Council‟s overall objectives and
   priorities.
2. To provide a framework for managing the Council‟s revenue expenditure and income.
3. To achieve a balanced budget without the use of reserves or balances by 2008/09.
4. To finance the Council‟s capital programme.

To provide a financial strategic plan which supports the Council’s objectives and
priorities.

1. The Council‟s revenue and capital budgeting are initially constrained by general
   environment in which they operate within limitations imposed by statute, politically
   acceptable levels of Council Tax, risk of capping the Prudential Code and the Treasury
   Management Code.

    Within these constraints the budgetary process will be primarily driven by the business
    planning process, which will ensure that resources are linked to unit business objectives,
    which in turn link into the Council‟s strategic objectives. The business planning process
    for this purpose will not just consider the next twelve months resource requirements, but
    take a three to five year view.

    Each project in the capital programme will be identified as supporting a particular Council
    strategic objective, again allowing for effective monitoring of resources.

 To provide a framework for managing the Council’s revenue expenditure and income

2. The Council has set a target to „go live‟ with its new financial management system on the
   1st February 2005. This system is user focussed, and is not just a system for the finance
   team, having as one of its main features powerful budget management and query tools.

    It has been recognised that the level of budgetary management skills amongst non-
    financial staff has required developing, and to this end external training has been provided
    for budget holders and team leaders in budget management. This has provided the
    necessary skills and grounding for getting the best from the new system. Further system
    specific training will be given as the new system is implemented.

    The Council has underspent on budgets for a number of years and 2003/04 was no
    exception; although the major part of the underspend was increased income. The
    underspent expenditure of £248,000 represents less than 2% of the gross budget.

    A rigorous examination of budgets has been undertaken and this resulted in Council being
    able to re-direct funds to meet its priorities. This process of strategically reviewing the
    budget will now form part of the annual budget process.


Page 39 of 57
Report to Council Sept 04
Medium Term Financial Strategy
To achieve a balanced budget without the use of reserves or balances by 2008/09

3.      When setting this objective it is necessary to set a number of supporting objectives,
        these include:

        i.       The level of reserves that are considered adequate
        ii.      What level of realistic cost savings can be achieved
        iii.     What is an acceptable level of Council Tax in relation to possible capping levels
                 and local circumstances.
        iv.      What level of cash balances does the Council wish to retain.
        v.       Over what time scale will the Capital Programme be implemented.
        vi.      What will be the approach to reviewing operational processes in order to lower
                 operational costs.
        vii.     What forms of partnership working and alternative service delivery (e.g.
                 outsourcing) can be used to reduce costs.
        viii.    What impact will inflation have on Council Tax.
        ix.      What are our expectations for government financial support e.g. planning
                 delivery grants and recycling grants.
        x.       What is our approach to increasing fees
                 a)       To be responsive to the market and
                 b)       As an alternative to Council Tax increases
        xi.      How does the Council expect the balance of funding review to impact on its
                 finances.
        xii.     What future demands does the Council expect national government to place on
                 it.

        Adequacy of reserves

        Currently a figure of £ 744,000 is considered to be the minimum level of reserves for
        the Council. This could be expected to fall to £400,000 as the Council implements its
        IT strategy and further develops its risk management. The danger of reducing to the
        minimum level is that it may not be a prudent level e.g. should the reserves have to be
        used there will be nothing left. So for this strategy it is considered prudent to use
        reserves of £800,000, which allows for a one-year buffer for the worst anticipated
        scenario.

1.1.2 What impact will inflation have on Council Tax
      The Council still has a high level of Council tax gearing. Council tax represents 18.1%
      of total income (excluding benefit subsidy). This means for every percentage point rise

                                 Council Income 2004/05 estimates


                                                   Investments
                                    Council Tax       7.0%
                                      18.1%



                                 Reserves                        Fees and Charges
                                  9.0%                                33.7%


Page 40 of 57                       NNDR
Report to Council Sept 04           15.3%
Medium Term Financial Strategy                     RSG
                                                  16.9%
        in expenditure Council tax will have to increase by 6% (nationally the position is 1%
        expenditure increase requires a 4% Council tax rise).
        The Council‟s own inflationary increases run at higher level than the national general
        inflation. The main cause of this being wage inflation ( payroll costs represent over
        50% of the Council‟s operating costs) Increases in salary costs after the annual pay
        award, incremental increases and the employer pension contribution increases will be
        in the region of 7½% per annum. The effect of Council Tax gearing even after allowing
        for increases in fees and charges and a estimated 3% increase in exchequer grants
        (NNDR and RSG) would be an annual increase in Council Tax of approximately 12% to
        13%

        What level of realistic cost savings can be achieved

        It is proposed for the purpose of this strategy that this objective be linked with
        objectives (vi), (viii), (ix), (x) and (xii). The target being that jointly all these will have a
        zero effect on the Council‟s real term cost levels. That funding for additional central
        government requirements and additional service delivery methods should be funded
        from costs achieved by delivering on the above. It is proposed that a cross Council
        officer working party should be set up to identify ways to move forward on all these
        fronts.

        Acceptable level of Council Tax

        It is the opinion of the Financial Services Manager that if Council services are to be
        maintained at their present level the it will be necessary for Council Tax in the medium
        term to move closer to the national average. For 2004/05 this is £137.00 for a Band D
        property, 72% higher than the equivalent North Dorset figure. I would expect this
        average to rise at a rate higher than general inflation as more authorities similar to
        North Dorset use up reserves and are forced to balance budgets with large Council
        Tax increases.

        Comparative Council Tax data is shown below
        Table 1

        Seven lowest shire district council (238 councils) in England, Band D 2004/05


                                 District                 £

                        Breckland                             58.13
                        West Oxford                           63.00
                        Hambleton                             68.00
                        South Cambridge                       70.00
                        Tewkesbury                            76.33
                        South Staffordshire                   79.08
                        North Dorset                          79.50

                        Shire District Average            137.00
Page 41 of 57
Report to Council Sept 04
Medium Term Financial Strategy
        Table 2

        Comparative Council tax (Band D) for Dorset Districts 2004/05

                                 District                                                           £
                       Christchurch                                                                 135.47
                       East Dorset                                                                  147.70
                       1.1.3 North Dorset                                                             79.50
                       Purbeck                                                                      126.32
                       West Dorset                                                                  105.75
                       Weymouth and Portland                                                        213.74

        The distribution of shire district Band D Council tax is shown below.

               Fig 1

                       Distribution of shire district Band D council tax rates 2004-05


                                                80
                                                70
                           Number of councils




                                                60
                                                50
                                                40
                                                30
                                                20
                                                10
                                                 0
                                                     £50- £75- £100- £125- £150- £175- £200- £225- £250-
                                                     £75 £100 £125 £150 £175 £200 £225 £250 £275

                                                                   Council Tax Band D



        Capping

        After a period of relaxation the national government has threatened to use its reserves
        powers to cap councils whose Council tax rises are excessive. The target level the
        Minister was suggesting for an acceptable increase in Council tax was 5%. The
        seriousness of this threat meant that the Council had to take this into account when
        setting budget levels. Subsequently the Minister of State had to revise the capping
        criteria in order to comply with legislation. Finally, setting three criteria on which shire
        district councils would be capped if they exceeded all three.

        i.         a 2% increase in budgetary requirement (less local precepts)
        ii.        an 8½% increase in the Band D Council tax (less local precepts)
        iii.       the council tax for Band D greater than the district mean of £137.00.

        For 2004-05 North Dorset District Council only failed on one of these criteria, a Council
        tax increase greater than 8½%. The position regarding budgetary requirements is
        somewhat special in 2004-05. Although the Council increased its expenditure for the
        year (a budgetary requirement increase measured as 3.7%). The ODPM chose to use
        an unadjusted measure of budgetary requirements i.e. in their calculation of budgetary
Page 42 of 57
Report to Council Sept 04
Medium Term Financial Strategy
        requirement they included the transfer from the RSG, the amount being used increase
        the Housing Benefit subsidy from 95% to 100%. This had an effect, giving most district
        councils a negative budgetary requirement. In North Dorset‟s case the being a 4.5%
        reduction in budgetary requirement.

        If the same model is used for capping in 2005-06 then the level of maximum increase
        at Band D, North Dorset District Council would be £57.50 or 72% increase (this
        assumes no change in the mean shire district council tax for 2005-06)


        What level of cash balances does the Council wish to retain

        As the Council implements its capital programme its cash resources will run down.
        The present capital programme is £14million and we have an investment fund of £16
        million and approximately £5 million in cash flow monies. If the capital programme is
        fully spent over the next five years it will probably use some £2 million pounds worth of
        developer contributions, which form part of the Council‟s cash balances. It is probable
        that the revenue balances will also be used up as the Council runs down its reserves to
        support Council Tax. On this basis estimates suggest that the Council‟s cash balances
        will be negative by the end of 2008/09. One factor that may mitigate this is the £3
        million capital funding provided by the liveability fund, if a percentage of this is used to
        support the Council‟s capital programme. The Council may be able to push its cash
        deficit position to 2009/10 or beyond.

        Balance of Funding Review

        This is at a stage the intentions of national government are unclear and therefore no
        account has been taken of this potential change.

        Five year plan

        Tables 1 and 2 attached provide a framework for the Council‟s revenue finances over
        the period of the financial strategy.

        Assumptions used in the budgetary model

                                                      2005/06 2006/07 2007/08          2008/9
               Wage Inflation*                          7.6%    7.6%    7.5%             7.5%
               General inflation                        2.5%    2.5%    2.5%             2.5%
               Fees & Charges annual                    3.0%    3.0%    3.0%             3.0%
               RSG & NNDR increase                      3.0%    3.0%    3.0%             3.0%

        * The wage inflation figure includes an estimate for an annual settlement of 3½%.


        The models used below for projecting council tax levels assume the delivery of the full
        capital programme

Page 43 of 57
Report to Council Sept 04
Medium Term Financial Strategy
        Table 1 (Tables are at the end of the report) shows the impact of using reserves to
        support council tax over the three-year period 2005/06 to 2007/08. The effect of this
        would be a sharp rise in tax (42.5%) in 2005/06 followed by another significant
        increase in 2008/09 (39.8%) when an upwards adjustment would be needed to
        balance the budget. After this date tax increases would be in the region of 12% to 13%
        due to normal inflationary pressures.

Table 2 uses a two-year period for supporting council tax by the use of reserves. This results
      in a lower level of increases for 2005/06 and 2006/07 with a large increase in 2007/08
      (67.8%) after this the rate settles down to the inflationary driven 12% to 13% increase.


Financing the Council’s capital programme.

4.      The Council has the following funding available for financing the capital programme.

                                                        £‟s millions

        Negative Credit Ceiling                         10.0
        Usable capital receipts                          2.4
        Estimated future usable receipts                 3.0

        Liveability Fund                                  3.2
                                                        -------------
                                                         18.6

        Less expenditure to date                           2.3
                                                              -------

                          1                              16.3


        In addition to the above it is expected that the “Liveability Fund” will make a
        contribution to the Capital Programme, but at this stage it is not possible to say how
        much, as Council sponsored projects will have to bid in the same manner as external
        project. It is expected that there will be pressure to use some or all of the revenue
        services for capital expenditure to support revenue expenditure over the next four to
        five years.

        Given that the Council‟s present capital programme is £14.00 million the funding
        requirements should be adequate.




Page 44 of 57
Report to Council Sept 04
Medium Term Financial Strategy
Table 1

Council Tax increases to produce a
balanced budget using reserves
Summary Council Tax
Projections

                                  2004/05     2005/06     2006/07     2007/08    2008/09

Revenue Costs                    11,163,283 12,067,284 12,744,128 13,458,49 14,220,394
                                                                      1

Fees and Charges                 -3,722,983 -3,834,672 -3,949,713 -4,068,204 -4,190,250

Investment Income                 -773,000    -639,150    -561,300    -483,450   -405,600

RSG and NNDR                     -3,557,000 -3,664,595 -3,775,533 -3,889,921 -4,007,869

Funding Requirement              3,110,300    3,928,866   4,457,582 5,016,915 5,616,675


 Use of balances +               -1,110,508 -1,050,300 -1,030,400 -1,016,000       -24,000
commutation

Council Tax                       1,999,792   2,878,566   3,427,182 4,000,915 5,592,675


Projected % growth in                 9.8%        42.5%      17.9%       15.6%      38.4%
Council Tax

Projected Council Tax             1,999,792   2,878,566   3,427,182 4,000,915 5,592,675
requirement
based on % growth

Band D equivalent                    25,156      25,408      25,662     25,918     26,177
properties

Council Tax Level based               79.50      113.30      133.55     154.37     213.64
on % growth

Revenue balances                  3,735,208   2,757,208   1,779,208    801,208    801,208


Cash & Cash Equivalents          13,290,219 10,852,879    7,418,171 2,978,355     -497,272

Reductions on 2004/05                26,000
Estimates

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Reductions 2005/06                           0
onwards
Use of Balances                   1,000,000        978,000     978,000    978,000              0


Table 2

Council Tax increases to produce a
balanced budget using reserves
Summary Council Tax
Projections

                                  2004/05        2005/06     2006/07     2007/08     2008/09

Revenue Costs                    11,163,283 12,067,284 12,744,128 13,458,49 14,220,394
                                                                      1

Fees and Charges                 -3,722,983 -3,834,672 -3,949,713 -4,068,204 -4,190,250

Investment Income                 -773,000       -639,150    -561,300    -483,450    -405,600

RSG and NNDR                     -3,557,000 -3,664,595 -3,775,533 -3,889,921 -4,007,869

Funding Requirement              3,110,300       3,928,866   4,457,582 5,016,915 5,616,675


 Use of balances +               -1,110,508 -1,539,300 -1,519,400          -38,000     -24,000
commutation

Council Tax                       1,999,792      2,389,566   2,938,182 4,978,915 5,592,675


Projected % growth in                 9.8%           18.3%      21.7%       67.8%       11.2%
Council Tax

Projected Council Tax             1,999,792      2,389,566   2,938,182 4,978,915 5,592,675
requirement
based on % growth

Band D equivalent                    25,156         25,408      25,662     25,918      26,177
properties

Council Tax Level based               79.50          94.05      114.50     192.10      213.64
on % growth

Revenue balances                  3,735,208      2,268,208     801,208    801,208     801,208


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Medium Term Financial Strategy
Cash & Cash Equivalents          13,290,219 10,368,769    6,449,951 2,978,355   -497,272

Reductions on 2004/05               26,000
Estimates
Reductions 2005/06                       0
onwards
Use of Balances                   1,000,000   1,467,000   1,467,000        0          0




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Medium Term Financial Strategy
NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

COUNCIL

Date of Meeting:                    24th September


REPORT TITLE:                       SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH AREA CONSULTATIVE
                                    FORUM – APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE

Portfolio Holder:                   Councillor M Roake

Report Author:                      Policy Manager (Housing & Community Safety)

Purpose of Report:                  To recommend appointment of two members for the new
                                    Social Care and Health Area Consultative Forum

Statutory Authority:                Local Government Act 2000 (Part 1)

Financial Implications:             None

Consultations required/             None
undertaken:

Recommendations:                    Members appoint two representatives to the Social Care
                                    And Health Area Consultative Forum



BACKGROUND AND REASON DECISION NEEDED

1. Following a review of area based consultative arrangements last year the County Council
   decided to replace social care and health Area Consultative Committees with Area
   Consultative Forums (ACFs).

     The objectives of ACFs are to:

     (a)          provide a local community focus for consideration of general social care and
                  health issues

     (b)          enable groups and individuals who have an interest in a particular social care
                  and health service to engage with officers and members

     (c)          enable a degree of scrutiny of local service delivery to take place, and

     (d)          engage a wider audience in consideration of social care and health issues


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2.    The terms of reference of the ACFs are attached as an Appendix. In accordance with
      the terms of reference the Council has been invited to appoint two representatives to the
      North Dorset ACF.

OPTIONS

3.     The Council can agree to appoint up to two members to the ACF.

COSTS

4.     There are no costs.

RISK MANAGEMENT

5.     There are no risks

RECOMMENDATION AND REASON

                   6.    It is recommended that Members appoint two representatives to the
                   North Dorset Social Care and Health Area Consultative Forum. As part of its
                   role in promoting health and well-being the Council should work with its
                   partners in the County Council and Primary Care Trust to maintain and develop
                   high quality social care and health services.

Author: Derek Hardy
Date: 19th August 2004

Background papers: Letter request from Dorset County Council. Dorset County Council
report to Social care Overview and Policy development Committee – 25th March 2004.




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                    AREA CONSULTATION FORUMS

                            TERMS OF REFERENCE

1.      Areas Covered

1.1     There will be one ACF for each area covered by the Primary Care
        Trusts in Dorset i.e. North Dorset, South West Dorset and South and
        East Dorset.

2.      Frequency

        2.1   Meetings will be held twice each year. One of these will
        normally be held during the budget setting period to inform the process
        (October/November)

2.2     Additionally the Chair of a Forum in consultation and by agreement with
        the Director of Social Care and Health may call additional meetings,
        reporting back to the Forum, to discuss/deal with issues of a local
        nature.

3.      Location

3.1     Meetings should be held within the appropriate Primary Care Trust
        (PCT) are in a location accessible to the community. The location of
        the meeting should be varied within the PCT area.

4.      Membership

4.1     The membership of the Area Consultation Forums will be all County
        Council elected members in the area covered by the AFC and co-opted
        members of the Social Care Overview and Policy Development
        Committee

4.2     In addition District/Borough Councils will be invited to nominate two
        elected councillors to be members of the AFC in the area i.e.

        (a) the South and East AFC will have 2 representatives from each of
            Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council, and
            Purbeck District Council.
        (b) The South West AFC will have 2 representatives from each of
            Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District
            Council.
        (c) The North Dorset AFC will have 2 representatives from North
            Dorset District Council.

4.3     The relevant Primary Care Trust will also be invited to nominate a
        representative from members of the Trust Board.

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Medium Term Financial Strategy
4.4     The membership as constituted 4.1 to 4.3 will elect a Chair and Vice-
        Chair of the AFC

4.5     Attendance at the meetings will be open to all interested parties in the
        PCT area including:

            County Council Members
            District Council Members
            Service users
            Carers
            Representatives of voluntary organisations
            Officers/representatives from partner agencies
            Members of the public

5       Agenda Setting

5.1     Agenda for meetings will be set in consultation with the Chair and a
        lead officer of the County Council for each ACF, and staff from the
        relevant PCT. Consideration will be given to:

            National and local initiatives
            Local developments
            Issues raised by local residents, service users, carers and other
             stakeholder groups.

6       Conduct of Meetings

6.1     The meetings will be held in two parts:

        (a) the first part commencing at 5.45 p.m. will be attended by member
            of the AFC and consider:

              (i)      a half-yearly report on development plans and performance
                       issues on social care and health topics in the area covered
                       by the AFC
              (ii)     a report on the overall budget position for social care and
                       health services.
              (iii)    issues covered in the second part of the meeting

        (b) The second part of the meeting commencing at 6.30 p.m. will be
            open to all interested parties and will cover any social care and
            health issues relevant to the County Council area as a whole and,
            more particularly, to the area covered by the AFC. This could
            include:

              (i)     changes in services proposed by social care, health and
                      voluntary agencies (This would support the function of Dorset
                      Health Scrutiny Committee)


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Medium Term Financial Strategy
             (ii)     presentations by appropriate staff on aspects of social care
                      service
             (iii)    obtaining views on aspects of social care provision and
                      policy
             (iv)     consideration of the Corporate Plan, the Social Care and
                      Health Plan and monitoring reports thereon
             (v)      any other relevant issue concerning social care.

        The meeting will aim to be concluded by 8.00 p.m.

6.2     The audience for the meeting will be as described at paragraph 4.5.
        Invitations to specific stakeholders (such as foster carers) will also be
        made, taking into consideration the nature of the agenda proposed.

7.    Outcome of the AFC Meetings

7.1 Outcomes of the AFC meetings will be reported to the Social Care
    Overview and Policy Development Committee and, where relevant to the
    Dorset Health Scrutiny Committee.



Steve Pitt
Director of Social Care and Health

June 2004




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Medium Term Financial Strategy
                         NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

                    CABINET REPORT FOR JULY-SEPTEMBER


LEADER’S REPORT

Great Dorset Steam Fair – Alternative Travellers Site

This year North Dorset District Council, Dorset County Council and the Police
worked hard to reduce potential disruption caused by travellers who are in
North Dorset for the Great Dorset Steam Fair.

This year‟s efforts, led by this Council, dramatically improved the situation
from previous years. Over the years, the Council has been subjected to
hundreds of complaints from the public about unauthorised encampments in
the Blandford area. This year the Council has taken proactive action and
provided a temporary site. Although residents have expressed concern about
the cost of the site, it represents value for money when compared with the
likely costs incurred by the County Council, District Council and Steam Fair in
clearing up the illegal encampments once vacated.

The Council had undertaken an extensive search for sites that would be
suitable for temporary encampment and we are grateful to the farmer who
made the site available in Stourpaine. His careful management of the site
contributed to the success of the operation.

Operation Elder, drawn up in partnership, saw Dorset Police using new
powers under s62a of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to direct
groups of travellers on unauthorised encampments around Blandford to the
temporary designated site in Stourpaine. This is the first time these powers
have been used in the United Kingdom since they came into force earlier this
year. This positive action led to relatively few complaints about traveller
encampments compared to previous years.

The residents of Stourpaine were obviously concerned about the Council
providing a temporary site in their area and the District worked with the Police,
the farmer who owned the site and the County Council Gypsy and Traveller
Liaision Officer, Nia Bailey, to try to keep problems to a minimum.

In response to residents‟ concerns, a reassurance operation was mounted
that saw the Police community contact vehicle in the village each day and
regular high visibility patrols by uniform Police Officers and Police Community
Support Officers.

Inspector Dent led the reassurance operation and he received a very positive
response to the Police presence in Stourpaine where they dealt with only a
few minor incidents. Much of the success of the initiative has come from
ensuring that the whole community was aware of the progress of the
operation and the ability of the Police to respond positively to their concerns.
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The first travellers moved into the district on 21 August and occupied a private
site behind Tesco, they subsequently moved to the Little Milldown. Nia Bailey
visited them on both sites and they voluntarily moved to the site at Stourpaine
when it opened on 25 August.

Further travellers moved onto the Stourpaine site from the Blandford Bypass
and other locations in the District over the following days.

The operation became high profile on Tuesday 31 August, when the Police
were stopping all caravans on the Blandford Bypass to ensure that they were
legal and safe. This targeted all caravan owners, not just the travelling
community.

Police have also recorded a 50% decrease in crime reported in the area that
covers the Steam Fair site and Stourpaine. Thirty crimes have been recorded
over the two week period that includes the event, compared to 46 last year.

As part of the operation to locate stolen caravans, the Dorset Police Road
Policing Unit identified 28 stolen caravans, of which 18 were seized. The
estimated value of the seized caravans was in excess of £300,000. It should
be noted that all of the travellers‟ caravans located on the temporary site were
subject to a detailed examination and none were found to be stolen.

Many of the stolen caravans identified were from apparently innocent
purchases. The Police advised members of the public to ensure that they
carried out some basic security checks prior to purchasing a caravan including
verifying the caravan has the correct serial and chassis numbers.

The temporary travellers site at Stourpaine was well managed with few
problems reported. Dorset Police made it clear that they would take positive
action to ensure that where unauthorised encampments occurred, that were
likely to cause a significant impact on local communities, they would use
powers under Section 61 of the Public Order Act to remove those persons and
vehicles illegally camped. In fact, the Police used their powers to move an
illegal encampment on Ministry of Defence land adjoining the Steam Fair to
the Stourpaine site on 28 August.

The travellers that were moved to the site in Stourpaine enjoyed good
facilities, which took into account their needs and those of their children. They
responded by treating the site and the surrounding area with respect.

The atmosphere on the site on the Tuesday morning when I visited was like a
holiday camp, and it is hoped that the fears of local residents were unfounded.

The Police are appealing to local authorities across the County to provide
similar sites so that Police can effectively use the Powers that have been
provided.

The Council and the farm owner took considerable risk in providing the
temporary site. It has proved to be a successful operation.
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Medium Term Financial Strategy
North Dorset, Dorset County Council and the Police will be working together in
partnership in future years in an attempt to reduce the number of illegal
encampments.

It is important that the District assists Dorset County Council in its search for
permanent, transition sites for gypsies and travellers that can be used
throughout the year, not just during the period of the Steam Fair.

Dorset Strategic Partnership

Verbal report on the DSP Board meeting held on 21 September 2004.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

At the last Full Council meeting the subject of travellers at St James Common,
Shaftesbury was raised. Officers from this Council and the County Council are
currently working with other agencies to resolve the issue of anti social
behaviour and the unauthorised encampment on St James Common.

The Recycling Working Group will be meeting on 28 September, at that
meeting there will be a presentation from Consultants, recommended by
DEFRA, available through the Waste Implementation Programme. The
Consultants have been analysing our proposed kerbside collection scheme.
Early indication is that the Consultants are confident that significant
improvements can be made. They are also taking a more strategic approach,
which is not only looking at our achievements of the Best Value Standards,
but the requirement to divert biodegradable waste under the Landfill Directive.
The outcome from the meeting on 28 September will be for a recommendation
to be put forward to the Cabinet meeting in mid October.

The Gillingham Community Facilities Project Board met on 6 September in
Gillingham, at the meeting there was a presentation from Natural Living
Centre Rural Renewal Company, a social enterprise business. Lois Rose from
Dorset Community Action presented possible sourcing for future funding
options. There were also verbal presentations from the Gillingham Football
Club and Cricket Club.

A draft of the Business Plan was circulated for comment, also circulated was a
„scooping‟ document for the leisure part of the Project for discussion at the
next meeting on the 4 October. The Project Group agreed that it is nearing the
position where specialist assistance would be needed to take the Draft
Business Plan forward.

CUSTOMER FACILITIES

No new items at the moment, verbal updates will be given as appropriate.




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IN-HOUSE SERVICES

No new items at the moment, verbal updates will be given as
appropriate.

FINANCE

The heralding fanfare of publicity for the Government‟s summer „Balance of
Funding‟ review has not been matched following its publication. All last
Winter‟s agonies and distress over Council Tax rises, capping powers, central
funding and alternatives to Council Tax have not, apparently, prompted any
quick changes. The coming year appears to be set to operate under the same
funding rules as last year. By and large that means that central funding will
increase by something near to RPI inflation, (i.e. peanuts), and councils will
have to top up their statutory pension funds as well as fund national wage
awards (not peanuts) at local residents expense, forcing well above RPI
inflation rates of Council Tax in general. The tax collectors (including this
District Council) will then feel the wrath of the public response, and we can all
be happy that life follows an established, albeit neither fair, nor easily
saleable, pattern. In addition the Government‟s Gershon efficiency review has
pointed the finger at local government as having the potential to make
efficiency improvements, e.g. through partnership working. It is a pity that this
came after the Government‟s IEG push, which by now has all the public sector
renewing their working tools based around the current structures. Our
Medium Term Financial Plan is on its passage through Council, and illustrates
the main areas of financial choices facing NDDC over the coming 5 years,
based on current assumptions.

Planning

Guidance for the „Son of Local Plan‟ regime is still awaited from Government.
The delay in spelling out the rules for the new regime has now reached the
point where original timetables are certain to be pushed back into the further
future. Notwithstanding the uncertainties of the new planning regime, new
national policies continue to emerge, and the Planning Policy Panel, followed
by Cabinet, has been considering the Replacement County Structure Plan
(being worked up under the old regime, in the absence of clarity of the new
one). Of particular new relevance is the Renewable Energy Strategy, with its
quantitative targets for renewable energy generation by 2010 for Dorset. This
effectively requires a number of substantial wind farm developments (along
with many other smaller scale technologies) within the County, and soon.

Members will have seen the initiatives in the area of delegated powers taken
by our Development Control function to seek a concentration of planning
applications that are brought to public Committee. Members are encouraged
to support this initiative actively in their local contacts, and to support the
training and refresher programmes that are associated. The changes will
strengthen the value of our democratic processes, by weeding out non-
relevant arguments before applications are considered by Committee, thereby
reducing unproductive delays and helping the Council meet its financially
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Medium Term Financial Strategy
important (and non-negotiable) Government requirements on speed of
planning determinations.

ICT

The newly established ICT Steering Group met for the first time at the end of
August. This is intended as a supplementary communication channel
between Council Management and Members, aimed particularly at overseeing
the very high rate of change the Council is currently working through. It is not
envisaged that it will be a permanent body, and may not be as valued in, say,
two years time. The group‟s initial reaction appears favourable,
notwithstanding the large scale of extra activity involved by the Council.

RURAL REGENERATION

Economic Development

Pam Bacon, seconded from Poole office, SWRDA, is now in place at NDDC.
Pam temporarily replaces Hilary White, with whom she has worked, and
brings    especially her   knowledge       and     experience   of  sourcing
the various grants and other aids available for economic development.

Liveability

At the time of writing, 68 'Expressions of Interest' have been received.
Processing is underway with, so far, some rejections, deferrals and approvals.
Project Board Members have been furnished with details of these and will
have met to decide on the first of the major applications.

ND continues leading in this field. Hilary White speaks at a high profile
Liveability Conference in London and with Alun Michael. I attend as
background support!

Work continues refurbishing Sturminster House which is on course for
completion by end Oct. It is confirmed that Leader+ (Chalk & Cheese) will
move from DCC office to Sturminster.




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