Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Planning Committee
Monday, 20th February, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: George Meehan House, 294 High Road, Wood Green, London, N22 8JZ

Contact: Fiona Rae, Principal Committee Co-ordinator  3541, Email:

No. Item



Please note this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method.  Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on.  By entering the ‘meeting room’, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.


The Chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual, or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.


The Chair referred to the notice of filming at meetings and this information was noted.



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Luke Cawley-Harrison.



A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:


(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct



There were no declarations of interest.



The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business.  (Late items will be considered under the agenda item where they appear. New items will be dealt with under item 10 below).


There were no items of urgent business.



To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, paragraph 29 of the Council’s constitution


There were no deputations / petitions / presentations / questions.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 20 October 2022as a correct record.

Additional documents:


It was noted that a list of actions arising from the previous meeting were included as an addendum. In relation to possible member site visits, some members suggested that it would be useful to visit a Greater London Authority scheme. The Chair noted this and commented some proposed site visits in Haringey were set out in the addendum.




To confirm and sign the minutes of the Strategic Planning Committee meeting held on 20 October 2022 as a correct record.



At 7.05pm, Cllr Alexandra Worrell and Cllr Nicola Bartlett entered the meeting.



To receive a verbal update on the membership of the Strategic Planning Committee and the Planning Sub-Committee.


It was noted that, following the decision of the Full Council on 13 February 2023, Cllr Cathy Brennan was now a member of the Strategic Planning Committee in place of Cllr Yvonne Say. In accordance with the Committee’s decision at the meeting on 23 May 2022, it was confirmed that this membership change would also apply to the Planning Sub-Committee.


The Chair expressed thanks to Cllr Say, on behalf of the Committee, for her work on the Strategic Planning Committee and Planning Sub-Committee and welcomed Cllr Brennan.



To consider a report on the work of Planning and Building Control up to December 2022.


The Head of Development Management introduced the report which provided an update on the work of the Planning and Building Control Service for Quarter 3. It was stated that the number of planning applications had reduced slightly compared to 2021-22 and it was believed that these figures had returned to a more normal level following a surge after the Covid-19 pandemic. It was noted that performance in relation to appeals had improved slightly compared to 2021-22.


In relation to overall performance, it was noted that 100% of major applications had been processed in time. It was commented that 84% of minor applications had been processed in time which was a slight decline but was still above the national average; it was stated that there had been some delays caused by the transfer to the new planning system.


In relation to the performance indicators measured by the government, it was noted that the Council had not breached any of the thresholds. The end to end times for major applications had increased from 205 to 287 days but it was noted that all of these had been subject to planning performance agreements or time extensions due to the scale of the required legal agreements. For minor applications, the end to end times had also increased from 72 to 93 days but it was explained that work had been undertaken to clear older applications which could skew the figures. It was commented that the number of applications over 26 weeks was now approximately 170 and there would be a focus on reducing this number.


The Head of Development Management stated that there had been a slight reduction in the number of enforcement complaints compared to 2021-22. It was noted that some recent acknowledgement letters had been delayed slightly due to the implementation of the new planning system but that these cases were now being actioned in line with the normal timescales.


In relation to the new planning system, it was noted that there had been some changes compared to the previous system. In response to feedback received, some enhancements had been made which included configuring the public portal to have more logical search options, providing more key information in search results, and keeping the option to comment open after the 21 day consultation period.


In response to questions from the Committee, it was noted:

·         The Head of Development Management acknowledged that performance had been slightly impacted by the transfer to the new planning system. It was noted that overall statistics were measured over the financial year, from April to March, and it was believed that the figures from 2022-23 would be similar to previous years.

·         In relation to resourcing, the Head of Development Management noted that officer case loads were broadly the same as 2021-22. For major applications, it was explained that officers were working to set deadlines, programme, and project manage to maximise timely processing.

·         Some members noted that it could be helpful to provide the average time period to determine an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.



To receive an update on recent government announcements in relation to planning issues.


The Assistant Director of Planning, Building Standards, and Sustainability introduced the report which provided information and invited comment on the content of the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill (LURB). It was noted that the deadline to respond to the consultation was 2 March 2023; the response would be signed off by the Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Private Renters, and Planning but comments from the Committee were welcomed.


The Head of Policy, Transport, and Infrastructure Planning highlighted that there were two key elements to the consultation: to seek views on the proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and on the government’s overall planning reforms for the longer term.


In relation to the NPPF, it was explained that there were important changes proposed to densities, which would encourage dense development in appropriate areas, to the requirement for local authorities to demonstrate a five year housing land supply, which would be removed, to the assessment of Local Plans, which was designed to be simpler, and to give energy efficiency more weight for non-domestic buildings.


In relation to longer term changes, it was explained that the government was proposing National Development Management Policies (NDMPs) which were intended to avoid the need for local authorities to repeat national policies in their Local Plans. It was noted that additional detail was due to be provided in a future consultation but that the proposed wider changes were set out in the report.


It was noted that officers were currently drafting a response and that the key points were set out in the report. In summary, there was support for the removal of the five year housing land supply requirement, the more proportionate approach to examining Local Plans, and the proposals for energy efficiency. Concerns were due to be expressed about the practicalities of considering applicants’ past behaviour and about having NDMPs and how these would interact with Local Plans that involved local engagement and agreement. It was added that planning policy was currently a key issue and a number of further consultations were anticipated throughout the next few years.


In response to questions from the Committee, the following responses were provided:

·         Some members expressed concerns about the proposals for ‘Supplementary Plans’ which would require examination and which would effectively void existing Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs); it was considered that this would undermine a number of important, local protections. The Head of Policy, Transport, and Infrastructure Planning noted that these concerns would be included in the Council’s response and it would be explained that SPDs which were reasonable and which had been through local consultation and agreement should be allowed to continue. It was commented that, although it would be resource intensive and would take some time, it would be possible to include some of the SPD protections in the Local Plan.

·         In relation to the removal of the five year housing land supply requirement, it was stated that this would allow local authorities to give full weight to their Local Plans. It was explained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.




There were no items of urgent business.