Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Item Deferred
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Leader presented a report on the findings of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Employment Commission report, which recommended that the report be treated as a material consideration in the assessment of the planning applications relating to the Gilston area.
Councillor Haysey referred to the sustainability requirements of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town in terms of employment and land use. It was important to have a robust position in relation to securing employment related development. This report had been commissioned, to address the employment requirements of the Garden Town. She proposed a motion to support the recommendations.
Councillor Ward-Booth seconded the proposal.
Councillor Page said he had concerns about the democratic process. The Executive had considered the report by emailed circulation rather than at a meeting, which reduced opportunities for engagement. He questioned why Executive meetings were not being held.
Councillor Goldspink said the majority of her Group felt this was a good report despite the limitations. She understood the reason why Councillor Page had expressed concern, but overall supported the principles of the recommendation.
Councillor E Buckmaster said he understood some of the points Councillor Page had raised. However these were changing times, and adjustments to process were necessary. Council itself had the ultimate scrutiny role, however, and Members had the opportunity to ask questions and debate this report now.
Councillor Buckmaster said the report referred to changing patterns of employment. Due to the Covid-19 crisis there were likely to be further changes, and appropriate flexibility was required so that a planned approach could be taken.
Councillor Haysey responded to the point Councillor Page had raised regarding the April meeting of the Executive. She said at that time, the way in which public meetings would be held virtually was still being considered, and that as this report would be submitted in any event to the full Council, the view was taken that the opportunity for Members to discuss it would take place at this meeting.
Councillor Curtis thanked officers for the report and said it was necessary to retain employment land.
The motion being put to the meeting, and a vote taken, it was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED - that (A) The ‘draft final’ Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Employment Commission Report, as detailed at Appendix A to this report, be agreed as a material consideration for Development Management purposes; and
(B) Authority be delegated to the Head of Communications, Strategy and Policy to agree the final version of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Employment Commission Report, in consultation with the Leader, following any further changes made to the Report.
Report author: Kevin Steptoe
Publication date: 04/06/2020
Date of decision: 13/05/2020
Decided at meeting: 13/05/2020 - Council