Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) - Thursday, 17th February, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR. View directions

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email: Becky.atherton@leeds.gov.uk

Link: to View Meeting Recording

Items
No. Item

53.

APPEALS AGAINST REFUSAL OF INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25 of the Access to Information Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded)

Minutes:

There were no appeals against refusal of inspection of documents.

 

 

54.

Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.

 

2  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.

 

3  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-

 

  RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:-

 

 

Minutes:

There was no exempt information

55.

Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.

 

(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)

Minutes:

There were no formal late items

56.

Declarations of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.

Minutes:

There were no declarations raised at the meeting

57.

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A Hussain and J Goddard.

 

Councillor J Gibson attended as a substitute on behalf of Councillor Hussain, for the duration of the meeting.

58.

Minutes - 19 January 2022 pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2022.  .

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the 19 January 2022 be approved as a correct record.

59.

Flood Risk Management pdf icon PDF 449 KB

To receive a report from the Flood Risk Manager, which examines the implementation of the Flood Risk Management Strategy over the last 12 months and provides a summary of future measures.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board received a report from the Flood Risk Manager, which examined the implementation of the Flood Risk Management Strategy over the last 12 months and provided a summary of future measures.

 

In attendance for this item were:

-  Cllr Helen Hayden – Executive Member

-  Jonathan Moxon – Flood Risk Manager

Following an introductory presentation setting out the context for the Flood Risk Management Strategy along with examples of ongoing activity in the city, the  following points were discussed:

 

·  In future the flood sector will need to consider the impact of a changing climate

·  Major flooding incidents emphasise the need to think and act differently

·  How best to utilise the latest technology and balancing engineering with place making.

·  The need to be innovative in securing funding for interventions which can deliver multiple benefits.

·  Identifying ways in which to manage our impact on the planet, reduce our carbon footprint, whilst also delivering infrastructure changes.

·  The Council’s declared Climate Emergency

·  Catchment wide and regional approaches to flood risk management

·  Nature based solutions and green finance models

Members received an update on several individual schemes including Otley Flood Alleviation Scheme, Potternewton Flood Alleviation Scheme and the Killingbeck scheme within the Wyke Beck programme.

 

Responding to questions and comments from Members the Board was provided with the following information:

 

·  Natural infrastructure is being used to manage flood risk in many communities and is bringing additional benefits for the environment and local people.

·  Residents need to be made more aware of planning guidance in relation to paving gardens and the process for applying for the relevant permissions.

·  Garden guidance has recently been republished by the planning directorate having been updated in the autumn. This will be circulated to Board members.

·  The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) is a planning document – national guidance set out by the Environment Agency determines the strategic assessment process.

·  The council has undertaken a level one assessment of flood risk which has provided a ‘refresh’ in the Council’s understanding of risk. Officers are awaiting confirmation from the environment agency as to whether they deem this compliant.

·  Once feedback is received from the Environment Agency the Council is intending to commission further modelling as part of a level two assessment to consider the impacts of climate change on the city. That would provide representation of risk across the city and a representation of flood risk with the impact of climate change built in.

·  It is anticipated that the impacts of climate change will increase the risk of different areas of the city flooding and increase the potential frequency of flooding in other places already known to be at risk. 

·  It is hoped that the new SFRA will be in place by September. The current published SFRA is a few years old but bespoke updated information is provided to developers to inform the planning process. The new SFRA will put a lot of that information in the public domain.

·  The Local Plan Update is one of the ways in which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Inclusive Growth Update pdf icon PDF 610 KB

To receive an update form the Director of City Development on the approach being taken to continue to deliver Inclusive Growth across the city within the Leeds Economic Recovery Framework.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer for Economic Development provided an update on the Council’s progress on delivering Inclusive Growth.

 

This included an overview of the Leeds Economic Recovery Framework, which outlines the Council’s approach to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and what is happening at a local level to continue to deliver Inclusive Growth.

 

The following were in attendance for this item:

-  Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer, Economic Development

-  Cllr Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member

 

Following an introduction from the Chief officer and Executive Member the following issues were discussed:

 

·  Economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

·  Employment growth trends and vacancy levels.

·  Deloitte Crane survey 2021 recorded development starts in the city centre of Leeds at the highest since 2007 and an 83% increase from 2020.

·  2021 saw a record level of residential construction in the city - Leeds City Council is in the top 1% when it comes to delivering new housing with 4,950 new units delivered in 2021.

·  Members requested 2019 data relating to empty retail units.

·  Good progress is being made in green economy research. The Council is working with the centre for progressive policy and the research will inform a refresh of the Inclusive Growth Strategy.

·  The administration and distribution of over £296m of business support grants since the start of the pandemic. It was confirmed that the latest Government support grants associated with the Omicron variant had been processed at the earliest opportunity following confirmation of the city’s financial allocation. 

·  Initiatives delivered locally to support and encourage the visitor economy. Members requested the promotional information for the Eat Leeds campaign to share with local networks.

·  Concerns about the impact of the anticipated rising cost of living, particularly for energy costs, on low income households.

·  Footfall figures as compared to 2019 levels, including weekday and weekend trends.

·  The development of the Best City Ambition and its focus on external partnerships.

·  The success of the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair and the development of a new apprenticeship website. Members will be provided with promotional campaign toolkit to enable them to promote the apprenticeship programme.

·  Year of Culture as a catalyst to accelerate economic recovery.

·  The planned submission of the Council’s Future Talent Plan for consideration by Executive Board in March 2022.

·  Future of city and local centres work

·  Use of the Social Progress Index to measure the progress in delivering Inclusive Growth.

·  Significant programmes of work to transform the city centre including work on the Headrow, City Square and the Corn Exchange.

·  Success in securing inward investment and funding via the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for projects, which will drive regeneration and create new jobs.

·  The anticipated continuation of hybrid working patterns.

It was confirmed that the Inclusive Growth Strategy will be reviewed later this year and that a range of stakeholders – including elected members – will be engaged in that process.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the report be noted and that a further annual update be provided to the Board in 2022/23. 

61.

Housing Mix: Recommendation Tracking Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive an update from the Director of City Development on progress made in relation to the recommendations of the Scrutiny Board in its 2016 Housing Mix inquiry. 

 

Minutes:

The report of the Director of City Development updated the Board on progress made in responding to the recommendations arising from the Board’s 2015/16 inquiry into Housing Mix, which focused on the delivery of Policy H4 as expressed in the Core Strategy.

 

The following were in attendance for this item:

 

-  Cllr Helen Hayden – Executive Member

-  Martin Elliot – Head of Strategic Planning, City Development

-  Sarah Hellewell - Principal Planner, City Development

-  Ian Mackey – Team Leeder, Neighbourhood Planning

-  Christa Jolley – Executive Mgr. Regeneration

The Principal Planner provided an update on progress and activity relating to each of the recommendations.

 

Recommendation 3

 

All members were invited to a training session on viability led by the District Valuer in August 2021. Viability training is now part of the annual programme of training for elected members.

 

Viability appraisals are submitted depending on site circumstances with affordable housing the biggest S106 cost for developers. 

 

Members expressed concern that viability may be used by some developers to avoid fulfilling commitments to deliver affordable housing on individual sites.

 

An update was provided in relation to the pipeline for brownfield development. Contrary to previous trends, most housing completions are now in the city centre.

 

The Head of Strategic Planning advised the Board that the current pipeline of development within the city will help to ensure that the council maintains its five year land supply.

 

The Council continues to be successful in securing funding via WYCA to help clean up brownfield sites so they can be released for development.

 

Members sought reassurance that the process for testing viability is robust.

 

Officers advised the Board that national guidance makes provision for viability and the planning inspector asked for a line in the affordable housing policy strategy that specifically stated “subject to viability.”

 

Evidence relating to viability is scrutinised by the district valuer. There are currently a lot of viability appraisals being submitted in relation to the ‘build to rent’ model of housing development, which is a relatively new model for Leeds.

 

The Council is working with partners to interrogate the viability case strategically within the city centre to see if there is a need to look at managing the policy in a different way.

 

It was agreed that Recommendation 3 remains at Position Status 4.

 

Recommendation 4

 

The Council is exploring options to provide further training for officers who carry out Housing Needs Assessments. 

 

Plans Panel often highlight supply as a concern in relation to Housing Needs Assessments.

 

Housing Market Assessments collate data to determine the state of the housing market in specific localities. Recent HMAs have included Lincoln Green, Holbeck and Morley.

 

Holbeck and Lincoln Green assessments are intended to support the Council’s wider priority neighbourhoods approach. The Morley assessment will support the development of the local Town Plan as well.

 

HMAs are very data driven and are used to determine how the Council targets resources in different areas of the city. HMAs can be provided to members on request.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 409 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2021/22 municipal year.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – To note and approve the work schedule for 2022/23.

63.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next public meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place on 6 April 2022 at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meeting for all Board members at 10.15am.

Minutes:

Resolved - To note the date and time of the next meeting as Wednesday 6 April 2022 at 10.30am (there will be a pre-meeting for all Board members at 10.15am.

 

(The meeting concluded at 13:00)