Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions published

10/11/2021 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 13th October 2021 (attached) ref: 1907    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2021 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 25/11/2021

Effective from: 10/11/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2021 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair subject to reference to “David Johnson, Herbert Cromack and David Winter (Supporters)” in minute 62 being amended to the following:

 

“David Johnson, Herbert Cromack and David Winter (Objectors)”.

 


10/11/2021 - 73835: Land to the east of Frankmarsh Farm Barnstaple, Devon. ref: 1909    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2021 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 25/11/2021

Effective from: 10/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Lead Planning Officer (North) (circulated previously).

 

The Service Manager (Development Management) addressed the Committee and advised that the application was for the creation of a permissive path on land owned by the District Council.

 

RESOLVED (unanimous) that the application be APPROVED.

 

Wards affected: Barnstaple Central Ward; Barnstaple with Pilton Ward;


10/11/2021 - 72675: St Johns Garden Centre, Roundswell, Barnstaple, EX31 3FA ref: 1910    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2021 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 25/11/2021

Effective from: 10/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Service Manager (Development Management) (circulated previously).

 

The Service Manager (Development Management) addressed the Committee and advised that:

 

·       The application was a hybrid application covering a site of 1.44 hectares which included the provision of a garden centre, carpark and associated infrastructure.  The full application included a petrol filling station,shop and ‘drive-thru’ coffee shop.

·       The extant planning was for a garden centre.

 

The Service Manager (Development Management) provided the Committee with the:

 

·       Location plan- the site was on the eastern side of Roundswell, with the employment hub to the west side of the roundabout.

·       Proposed site plan in relation to the full application and the outline application.

·       The scheme elevations, floor plans, canopy elevations, street scenes and landscaping mitigation.

·       Photos of the site and its access to the B3232

·       Views of the site and the surrounding boundaries.

 

The Service Manager (Development Management) advised that:

 

·       The application should be considered as a roadside services facility.

·       Highway safety for pedestrians was a key issue for the site’s use. There was an existing uncontrolled crossing which would become controlled through this proposal.

·       The applicant had previously made arrangements with Devon County Council (DCC) and paid £200,000 for the provision of a toucan crossing by DCC. This had not been provided.

·       Paul Young of DCC was in attendance, but it was noted that although DCC had expressed concerns over the safety of the access, no written evidence had been provided to the Planning Authority.

·       There would be little impact on neighbouring residents as there were fair distances between the site and the nearest neighbours, however, acoustic screening would be installed.

·       If the application was successful, additional conditions would be required.

 

Richard Fritter (supporter) addressed the Committee.

 

The Corporate and Community Services Officer read a statement from Sarah Newton (objector) to the Committee.

 

David Onions (agent) addressed the Committee.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Senior Planning Officer (SM) advised the crossing area included dropped kerbs. There would be a crossing within the site boundary but that none was required on the B-road. She confirmed this would be outside of the ownership of this application.

 

Paul Young of DCC addressed the Committee.

 

The Service Manager (Development Management) advised that:

 

·       There was an existing uncontrolled crossing in situ across the B-road. It was not within the control of the applicant to provide a controlled crossing.

·       Works had taken place on site and it had been deemed extant. This had been scrutinised extensively with the legal team and the Chief Executive.

·       The application was being considered under exceptional circumstances. The need for services along that stretch of the A39 had been considered and plans would be required to provide such facilities.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Service Manager (Development Management) confirmed:

 

·       The preference was to achieve biodiversity onsite where possible. Although a project was in progress with the Biosphere and AONB to select sites to be used to mitigate adverse effects on the environment.

·       The design focus for this site was of ‘green/nature’.  

·       Increased emphasis was required on the green energy provision of the fuel station, with more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations rather than petrol pumps.

·       The location of the site along the A39 was key in the consideration of the application with access to an electrical supply.

 

RESOLVED that it being 11.48 a.m. the meeting be adjourned for a five minute comfort break and reconvene at 11.53 a.m.

 

RESOLVED, that it being 11.53 am the meeting continue in order for the remaining business to be transacted.

 

In response to a request from the Committee, the Service Manager (Development Management) reconfirmed the planning proposal (in brief) as per page 77 of the agenda report.

 

RESOLVED (8 for, 4 against) that the application be DEFERRED for two cycles for the following reasons:

 

a.    To see if there was appetite to resolve the highways issues with Devon County Council.

b.    To seek to improve sustainability on site, including compliance with the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), and

c.     To look at the character and identity of the proposals.

Wards affected: Instow Ward;


10/11/2021 - 70467: Land off Southley Road, South Molton, EX36 4BL ref: 1911    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Made at meeting: 10/11/2021 - Planning Committee

Decision published: 25/11/2021

Effective from: 10/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Senior Planning Officer (DB) (circulated previously).

 

The Senior Planning Officer (DB) addressed the Committee and advised that the outline permission had been granted subject to an agreement of a Section 106 payment of £266,981. This application was now being reconsidered on the basis of a viability assessment and a revised Section 106 agreement.

 

Marc Cornelius (South Molton Town Council) addressed the Committee.

 

The Corporate and Community Services Officer read a statement from the Ward Member, Councillor Worden, to the Committee.

 

Councillor Yabsley declared a Personal interest as a South Molton Town Councillor.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Service Manager (Development Management) advised that:

 

·       The viability assessment had been independently scrutinised.

·       There was guidance within the National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG) in relation to the valuation of the purchase price of land in the viability calculation.

·       The Committee could decide on how the £266,981 would be allocated. However, she advised that there was a 10 year period within which any Section 106 payment would need to be spent, before any unspent funds were returned to a developer.

·       It was preferable to provide any housing on-site, rather than off-site.

 

The Senior Planning Officer (DB) advised that:

 

·       The area on the north east of the site, as indicated on the site plan, was not within the ownership of the applicant.

·       The site was a brownfield site, with some contamination, so development costs could potentially be more expensive than similar sites.

 

RESOLVED (11 for, 0 against, 1 abstained) that the application be APPROVED subject to the following (Option 1) as per the Senior Planning Officer’s recommendations;

a)    The provision of 3x two-bedroomed affordable dwellings to be provided for social rent and to be delivered within the early stage of the development build; and

b)    £20,000 of Section 106 funds.

Wards affected: South Molton Ward;


16/11/2021 - External Audit Progress Report and Sector Update ref: 1922    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The External Auditor (AD) provided the Committee with a verbal update regarding the External Audit Progress report and Sector Update.

 

The External Auditor confirmed:

 

·         Grant Thornton were unable to issue the audit opinion at the time of the last Committee (20th October 2021) when the report was presented, as the Value for Money (VfM) work was still to be completed.  The audit opinion on the 2020-21 financial statements had since been signed off.

·         It was expected that the VfM work would be completed by the end of December 2021. The deadline was the end of January 2022.

·         The Auditors hoped to present the final report to the Committee in January 2022.

·         Although there were challenges to recruiting Auditors nationally they had appointed three experienced audit managers recently. One of which would be assigned to the NDC audit.

 

RESOLVED that the External Audit Progress Report and Sector Update be noted.

 


16/11/2021 - Work Programme 2021-22 ref: 1916    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the work programme for 2021-22 (circulated previously).

 

                        RESOLVED: that the work programme for 2021-22 be noted.

 


16/11/2021 - Appointment of External Auditors from 2023-24 ref: 1920    For Determination

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Appointment of External Auditors from 2023-24 report by the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive (circulated previously).

 

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised the Committee:

 

·         Of the background on the existing arrangement - that the Authority was currently within the national procurement scheme for auditor appointments and that this arrangement was due to expire.

·         That a decision whether to opt into the future national procurement scheme was required by the Authority by March 2022.

·         The decision was whether to choose to opt into the national procurement scheme (for which the Public Sector Auditor Appointments (P.S.A.A.) would be responsible) or to appoint via locally arranged procurement route.

·         The arrangement with the national scheme would stand for five years.

·         The Audit fees were currently cheaper than before the Authority had joined the national scheme. The fee for 2020-21 was less than in 2017-18 (before the Council joined the current arrangement).

·         The current arrangement had held the Authority in good stead.

·         To stay within the national procurement scheme would not guarantee that the same company, or same Audit team, would continue to provide the service. It was noted that Audit teams within companies were generally in place for 3-4 years.

 

The Chief Executive advised that to appoint ‘locally’ meant that the Authority would have to make its own tender arrangements, rather than appoint a locally-based Auditor.

 

The Committee noted that there were few (geographically) local firms who could take on such work, as Audits of Local Authorities differed to audits for private and commercial firms. There was no guarantee that the procurement process would result in a local firm being appointed.

 

RECOMMENDED that North Devon Council opted in to the national scheme for Appointment of External Auditors from April 2023-24.

 


16/11/2021 - Request for Approval to pay Feedback Compensation ref: 1915    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a Request for Approval to Pay Feedback Compensation report by the Customer Feedback and Service Improvement Officer (circulated previously).

 

The Chief Executive advised the Committee that:

 

·         The request had been brought to the Committee for consideration as it exceeded the value allowed under the officer’s delegated powers.

·         The complaint had been in relation to a planning issue where the complainant argued that he had received conflicting advice from the Planning Team which had resulted in him submitting an application which was later refused. The compensation would cover the costs incurred by the applicant for his fees; including planning application fees, architect and agent costs, plus survey costs.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that the payment would be covered from the existing Planning budget.

 

RESOLVED that the payment of Feedback Compensation be approved.

 


16/11/2021 - Exclusion of Public and Press and Restriction of Documents ref: 1912    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That, under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item as it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of the Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended from time to time), namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

(b)  That, all documents and reports relating to the item be confirmed as “Not for Publication”.

 


16/11/2021 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 8th June 2021 and 20th October 2021 ref: 1918    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 8th June 2021 and 20th October 2021 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 


16/11/2021 - Internal Audit Progress Report 2021-22 ref: 1921    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by Devon Audit Partnership regarding the Internal Audit progress report for 2021-22 (circulated previously).

 

The Internal Auditor (RH) advised of the following in relation to the Internal Audit Progress Report 2021-22:

 

·         The Audit Opinion was that of ‘Reasonable Assurance’ on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s internal control framework.

·         The following opinions had been provided:

o   Substantial Assurance on Treasury Management

o   Limited Assurance opinion for Debt Management

o   Limited Assurance opinion related to Climate Change

o   Reasonable Assurance on Procurement

o   Reasonable Assurance for Management of Covid-19 Grants

o   Reasonable Assurance for Governance.

 

In response to questions, the Committee was advised:

 

·         There was an action plan in place to address the issues raised.

·         The level of debt was £0.560m in 2017/18 but in 2020/21 was £1.386m. The debt recovery team had been reassigned to assist with the delivery of the Covid Grant schemes but were now back on their normal duties in debt recovery.

·         A Sustainability and Climate Officer had been appointed jointly with Torridge District Council (TDC).

·         The increase in the number of waivers issued by senior officers under delegated powers to set aside the requirement to seek at least three quotes was in part due to a number of contracts needing to be procured quickly from a supplier that had stock during the pandemic. Heads of Service had been reminded of the implications of issuing waivers rather than entering into contracts that had been properly procured.

 

RESOLVED that the Internal Audit Progress report be noted.

 


16/11/2021 - Audit Recommendation Tracker ref: 1917    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Audit Recommendation Tracker report by the Chief Executive in respect of actions taken to address internal and external audit recommendations (circulated previously).

 

The Committee noted the following updates:

 

·         22 recommendations had been included in table B  (recommendations completed since the last meeting of the Governance Committee on 8th June 2021)

·         Table C detailed 12 recommendations for which time extensions were being requested. 

·         Table D detailed no outstanding recommendations.

·         The three recommendations detailed in Table E (Annual Governance Statement 2019/20) could not be completed until others had been finished. These concerned Business Continuity.

·         A finalised action plan, following the Peer Review, would be issued to Members in due course. The draft had already been circulated to all Members.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, The Chief Executive confirmed that:

 

·         The Audits on the outstanding list, for which extensions had been requested, had been thoroughly scrutinised by the SMT 

·         The list covered many pages but this was mainly due to the amount of additional detail now provided for each.

·         The new Management Team had been in place since October and those concerned were reassessing the ‘inherited’ audits and realised the importance of completing them promptly.

·         Those audits requiring extensions were justified and that 50% were for short extensions of one month. Of the remaining 6, the longest extension was to March 2022.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)          that the time extensions requested in the Audit Recommendation Tracker be approved;

 

(b)          that the Heads of Service, for any Audit recommendations which were not progressed, following the time extensions given, would be invited to attend a future Committee; and

 

(c)          that the Audit Recommendation Tracker be noted.


16/11/2021 - Update Report on the Conduct of Fraud Investigations ref: 1914    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer provided an update on the Conduct of Fraud Investigations.

 

The Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer advised the Committee:

 

·         At the Committee on 8th June 2021 it was agreed, as part of the Procedure for the Conduct of Investigation Report / Anti-fraud, Corruption and Bribery Policy and Strategy, that periodic reports would be presented to SMT and Members. Those had been agreed for March and September each year. As the September 2021 Committee had not been quorate, the update (due in September) was being provided at this Committee.

·         There were no updates to be made and there were no incidents to report.

 

RESOLVED that the Update Report on the Conduct of Fraud Investigations be noted.

 


16/11/2021 - Corporate Risk Register ref: 1923    For Determination

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021


16/11/2021 - Half Yearly Report from the Chair of the Governance Committee ref: 1919    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Half Yearly Report of the Chairman of the Governance Committee (circulated previously).

 

RESOLVED  that the report be noted and proceed to Council for consideration.

 


16/11/2021 - Annual Review of the Committee's Effectiveness - Update ref: 1913    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 16/11/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 16/11/2021

Decision:

The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that:

 

·         The summary of the findings of the review had previously been presented to the Committee on 8th June 2021

·         The response extracts and comments were now provided in full.

·         As previously advised, the responses would be used to identify any training needs.

 

RESOLVED  that the update on the Annual Review of the Committee’s Effectiveness be noted.