Agenda and minutes

Economic Development Committee - Wednesday, 12th September, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, Castle House, Great North Road, Newark, Notts NG24 1BY

Contact: Helen Brandham  Email: 01636 655248

No. Item


Declaration of Interest by Members and Officers and as to the Party Whip


NOTED       that no Member or Officer declared any interest pursuant to any statutory requirement in any matter discussed or voted upon at the meeting.



Declaration of Intention to Record Meeting


NOTED       that the Council would undertake an audio recording of the meeting.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Additional documents:


AGREED      (unanimously) that the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



List of Committee Decisions (June 2016 to Present Day) pdf icon PDF 446 KB


NOTED       the decisions of the Economic Development Committee between June 2016 and the present day.



Forward Plan - September 2018 to August 2019 pdf icon PDF 263 KB


The Committee considered the Forward Plan of some of the items that would be submitted to the Economic Development Committee over the course of the next twelve months.


AGREED      (unanimously) that the Forward Plan be noted.



Ollerton & Boughton Neighbourhood Study pdf icon PDF 509 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Strategic Housing which provided Members with the final draft of the Ollerton & Boughton Neighbourhood Study.


The report provided general information about neighbourhood studies, the 3 key steps to their development, governance arrangements, responsibilities for all stakeholders and the specific proposed strategic priorities and objectives for this particular study.  Paragraph 3 of the report listed the scope of the study; the appointment of a qualified consultant, the preparation of the final draft of the study and the proposed stakeholder event scheduled for 2 October 2018.


In considering the report Members commented on the viability of the scheme, the percentage of affordable housing included therein and queried whether they could be provided with the financial appraisal that had been undertaken.  The Business Manager advised that the financial information could be provided and that there was an opportunity for Members to learn more about the scheme at the aforementioned stakeholder event.


The Local Ward Member, who was in attendance at the meeting, addressed the Committee stating that he would wish to receive more information as to the viability of the scheme and suggested that the report be noted rather than endorsed at this time until the further information had been provided.  In response, the Chairman stated that the Committee were not being asked to endorse a decision rather the findings of the Study. 


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)          the findings of the Ollerton & Boughton Neighbourhood Study as detailed at paragraph 4.1 and in Appendices A and B of the report be endorsed; and


(b)          a report be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee detailing feedback from the Stakeholder event on 2 October, finalising the ‘Phasing and Next Steps’ section of the Study and prioritising the ‘People’ action plan.




Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan - Consultation pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Planning Policy which set out the details of the Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan Consultation.  The report also sought Members’ approval for the Council’s response to the Consultation.


The report set out the background to the development of the Plan and that of the previous Draft Plan in 2017 which was submitted for Examination and subsequently withdrawn.  The relevant issues to the current document being consulted on were listed at paragraph 3.2 and stated that significant archaeological potential had been identified in South Muskham.  The Council’s proposed consultation response was reported in paragraph 4.0 of the report.


In considering the report Members welcomed the changes that had been made from the Plan that had been withdrawn and endorsed the proposed response to the consultation.


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)     the report be noted; and


(b)     Appendix A be approved as the District Council’s response to the Draft Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan.



Local Development Framework - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 264 KB


The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Planning Policy in relation to updating Members on the progress of the various elements of the Local Development Framework (LDF) contained within the Local Development Scheme (LDS) timetable.  The report also sought to propose amendments to the timetable to address the issues that have arisen as part of the Amended Core Strategy Examination. 


The report set out that the current LDS was adopted by Full Council and became active in July 2017.  It was subject to examination in September 2017 with the Amended Core Strategy DPD (ACS) being submitted for examination in September 2017 in line with the LDS.  The examinations were undertaken in February 2018 with a small number of issues being identified that required modification in order to make the Plan sound.  At that time, the Inspector concluded that a new Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) would need to be undertaken.  Consultation of the main modifications were undertaken between August and September 2018 with the proposed amendments to the LDS being reported in paragraph 4.0.  It was further reported that consultants had been appointed to carry out the GTAA with the likely date for the initial Issues paper being January 2019.  Paragraph 4.3 highlighted that two Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) required updating and that an additional SPD required development.


In considering the report a Member queried why the Inspector had concluded that a new GTAA was required.  The Business Manager advised that the initial assessment had been development using secondary data.  This had not been perceived as an issue and had progressed to the submission stage unchallenged.  However, following its submission an individual had made representations and rather than the ACS being lost in its entirety it was decided that the GTAA should be repeated. 


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)     progress towards meeting the timetable of the adopted Local Development Scheme be noted;


(b)     the Local Development Scheme be amended to reflect the proposed approach as set out in Section 4 of the report; and


(c)     the amended Local Development Scheme would come into force on 13 September 2018.




Conservation Area Review pdf icon PDF 261 KB


The Committee considered the report presented by the Conservation Officer which sought to advise Members of the Conservation Team’s proposals to review the District’s Conservation Areas (CAs).  The report also highlighted that a future project to develop online access to items at the resource centre at the Brunel Drive depot was to be progressed at a later date.


The report set out the background to the designation of CAs and the affects they had on property owners and/or businesses.  The report noted that the Council had a legal duty to review existing CAs from time to time in accordance with the relevant legislation.  Paragraph 3.0 of the report set out the proposal to fully review the district’s CAs and, in due course, to amend/designate CAs and publish associated CA Appraisal documents.  It was intended to review the Newark, Ollerton, Edwinstowe and Southwell CAs during the following 3 year period.  It was reported that it was also intended to publish designation statements for all 47 CAs which would enable a schedule of priorities to be produced. 


Paragraph 3.4 of the report highlighted that there was currently a limited resource to progress a more comprehensive and audience focused digitisation project of the museum’s collection and that this would be taken forward in the future including, where appropriate, funding bids.


In considering the report the Members sought clarification on a number of issues. 


In relation to the consultation period, the Conservation Officer advised that this would extend past the statutory minimum requirement of 6 weeks.  The Council’s website would be update to reflect the consultation and it was the Team’s aspiration to have a rolling programme of updates for the CAs going forward. 


The Conservation Officer confirmed that there would be significant involvement with Parish and Town Councils and it was hoped that they would encourage their residents to participate in the process. 


Having regard to the formal process of adopting a CA it was reported that it was a legal requirement for the Committee to consider any draft amendment to a CA, together with information gathered from the consultations and the subsequent proposal prior to them being adopted. 


In response to whether the information gathered during the review could be used as a marketing tool for tourism, the Conservation Officer advised that there would be many opportunities for sharing the information with other Business Units at the Council.


In considering the implications of a CA, a Member sought clarification on issues relating to Tree Preservation Orders (TPO).  The Conservation Officer advised that if a tree required work carrying out on it and was in a CA the Conservation Team would need to be notified.  They would then assess the situation and whether the tree was worthy of having a TPO.  He added that trees would form part of the CA review.

AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)     the Conservation Team be given delegated authority to undertake the Conservation Area review work.  Updates to be given to the Committee bi-annually, as well as reports at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Think Big Loan Fund pdf icon PDF 270 KB


The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Economic Growth which sought to update Members about the Growth Investment Fund.  The report also recommended that the Loan Fund be closed.


The report set out that the fund was introduced during 2012/2013 with the purpose of providing financial support to small businesses in the district that could not, because of the reluctance of traditional lenders to lend to small businesses, which was partly due to the outcomes of the economic crisis.  Information as to the number of loans awarded and the amounts loaned and repaid were contained within the report together with the monitoring process undertaken and the further developments in the regional funding market. 


In considering the report all Members agreed that the establishment of the fund had been a success and had achieved its original purpose.  It was also agreed that following increased lending by traditional lenders and the establishment of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund it was timely to close the Council’s fund. 


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)     the Think BIG Loan be closed to new applications and existing loans be monitoring by the Economic Growth Team;


(b)     the Economic Growth Team signpost small local businesses to the Midlands Engine Fund and other sources of financial and business support and, wherever possible, support businesses to submit applications for funding;


(c)     the Officers and Panel Members involved in the initiative be thanked for their work in making it a success.



Newark Gateways Feasibility Study pdf icon PDF 592 KB


The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Economic Growth which advised Members of the outcomes of the Newark Gateway First Stage Masterplan that had been completed in July 2018. 


The report set out that the funding for the Masterplan was received through the Nottinghamshire Pre-Development Fund with support being received in relation to Feasibility Studies for Ollerton Hall, the Buttermarket in Newark and the Newark Gateway First Stage Masterplan.  The aim of the Masterplan was to provide a framework for the development of the area of Newark, extended from Newark Castle State to the Cattle Market Island in the longer term.  Potential road development in the area had been considered and it was reported that further work could be undertaken relating to specific recommendations within the report with any proposals being reported to a future meeting.  The Masterplan sought to establish a flexible framework which provided for the redevelopment of the key land parcels in the important gateway to the town.  Paragraph 4.0 of the report set out the proposals for consideration. 


In considering the report a Member suggested that it would be advisable to choose some specific areas for further research rather than agreeing and accepting the full Masterplan and that this may also open up other sources of funding.  In response it was stated that the recommendation was worded to allow flexibility.


A Member stated that he welcomed the report and that the presentation given in relation to the matter had been informative.  He noted that there may be projects of development in the location covered that were not within the control of the Council e.g. the former Highway’s Depot and that adoption of the Masterplan would enable the Council to challenge or resist unsuitable applications.  The Member added that the Council should lobby Network Rail to construct a pedestrian and cycle link over the tracks at Castle Station and that if that was not accepted then a means of crossing the tracks, in the event of a barrier failure, should be established. 


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)     the Newark Gateway First Stage Masterplan report be accepted;


(b)     the proposed approach to integrating the findings into the Local Development Framework as set out at paragraph 3.2 be approved;


(c)     further research proposals may be presented to the Committee relating to specific elements of the Gateways to Newark proposals; and


(d)     Officers approach Network Rail to explore options for installing a pedestrian and cycle link across the railway line at Castle Station.



Newark Beacon Business Innovation Centre pdf icon PDF 236 KB


The Committee considered the report presented by the Business Manager – Planning Policy in relation to progress made towards the transfer of the Newark Beacon Business Innovation Centre to ‘in-house’ management on 1 October 2018.


The report set out that following the decisions taken by this Committee and the Policy & Finance Committee in June 2018 the Centre would be brought back under ‘in-house’ management following the conclusion of the existing contract with Oxford Innovations.  It was reported that due to vital information to setting a future pricing policy not being available the Business Plan would be presented to the November meeting of the Committee.  All other areas of work had progressed to ensure that the proposed changes would be managed successfully. 


Members expressed concern that they had not had the opportunity to consider the Business Plan.  The Business Manager advised that they considered it prudent to delay this until November to ensure that Members were presented with a robust document for consideration.


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)     the report be noted; and


(b)     the Newark Beacon Business Plan be presented to the November meeting of the Economic Development Committee.



Promotion of Tourism Social Media Update pdf icon PDF 293 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Business Manager – Economic Development in relation to an update on the utilisation of social media since the Promotion of Tourism budget was introduced in April 2017.


Appendix A to the report provided detailed statistics on the progress of social media activity since April 2017.  Information listed related to: Facebook; Twitter; Reach; and weekly blog posts with paragraph 3.3 providing information on the 2018 campaigns.


A Member stated that he would wish to see the budget provision for social media adding that it was a relatively inexpensive way to advertise.  The Business Manager advised that it was a lengthy process to develop such a service from scratch.  Another Member stated that there was a visible improvement in the number of views and queried whether it was possible to see what the returns were against the number of views.  The Business Manager agreed that going forward the number of views would be recorded.


AGREED      (unanimously) that the report be noted.



Commercial Projects Update pdf icon PDF 385 KB


The Committee considered the report presented jointly by the Strategic Development Manager and the Policy & Projects Officer which sought to update Members on the commercials group’s projects and their progress. 


The report set out that it was the Council’s ambition to be financially self-sufficient by 2020/2021 through commercial aspirations to meet the funding challenges identified in the Medium Term Financial Plan.  This ambition was being led by the Commercial Project Team, details of which were included in Appendix A to the report.


Paragraph 3.2 listed the current 5 projects in progress with paragraph 3.3 listing the 2 strategic projects that were being supported by the Commercial Project Team. 


Appendix A also provided a list of commercial projects and included details of project aims, timescales, progress to date, reporting deadlines and projected savings or income generation. 


In considering the report it was noted that there was a shortfall of £124K against projected savings with Members querying if this would be met.  In response the Strategic Development Manager stated that whilst this could not be guaranteed it was considered likely.  In response to the query of how the projects were chosen, the Strategic Development Manager advised that there was a set criteria with the Corporate Management Teams having reviewed all those chosen to-date.  The Deputy Chief Executive/Director – Resources added that the Terms of Reference were set out in the Council’s Commercial Strategy which had been approved by Full Council. This Strategy also set out the methodology of how projects were progressed.


AGREED      (unanimously) that the report be noted.