Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall - Bridge Street, Bideford, EX39 2HS. View directions

Contact: Kirsty Brown Dem Services 01237 428768  Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


Apologies were received from the Chief Executive and Councillor C Bright. Councillor C Wheatley substituted for Councillor C Bright.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Confirmation of the minutes held on 7th November 2023


It was proposed by Councillor S Inch, seconded by Councillor C Hodson and –




That the minutes of the meeting held on 7th November 2023 be agreed as a correct record.


(Vote: For – 8, Against – 0, Abstention - 1)


Action List pdf icon PDF 126 KB


The Action List was discussed and updated.


Public Contributions

A 15-minute period for public contributions.  (The deadline for registering to speak is by 2pm Friday 8th December. To register please email



There were no public contributions.


Declaration of Interests

Members with interests should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is considered.



Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.



Urgent Matters Brought Forward with the Permission of the Chair


Agreement of Agenda Items Part I And II


There were no Part II items.


Environmental Enforcement Service

To receive an update from the Public Health & Community Safety Manager


The Public Health and Community Safety Manager delivered a detailed presentation on the Environmental Enforcement Service which included the following:


·         Statutory nuisance

o   An explanation of statutory nuisance was given along with the number of complaints, duties under the Environmental Protection Act and enforcement activity.


·         Antisocial behaviour

o   Antisocial behaviour was explained as well as the number of complaints received, other work carried out and duties under the legislation.


·         Private sector housing

o   The definition of private sector housing was provided along with duties under the Housing Act, hazards and current notices.


·         Empty homes

o   The number of empty properties in the area were detailed as well as regulatory options and planning enforcement.


Members were invited to ask questions.


Following a question regarding how TDC’s empty home figures compare to neighbouring authorities, the Public Health and Community Safety Manager referred to an article published which showed how TDC compared with other authorities and advised he would provide exact figures following the meeting.


The number of empty properties was not a massive concern, and the amount is not increasing.


Work is being carried out with the GIS Officer on mapping of services which could identify empty properties.


If a property is left empty for a number of years it does not mean it automatically becomes classed as derelict. The Public Health & Safety Manager explained the powers they would have in this situation. If a property became uninhabitable this may then fall to Council Tax. 


In response to a query regarding animal welfare and powers in open spaces, the Public Health and Community Safety Manager explained areas where his team could get involved and duties of investigation. Powers of Public Space Protection Orders were explained regarding dogs on leads and fouling.


Any specific individual cases would not be discussed only the principle however if Members wanted to speak to the Public Health and Safety Manager following the meeting, they were welcome to do so.


Enforcement action can be taken on properties that are in poor condition even if the owner/landlord cannot be located.


Following a query regarding frivolous complaints, the Public Health and Community Safety Manager advised not many are received however being clear in communication addresses issues. All complaints would receive a response.


The Public Health & Safety Manager advised the service currently provided is performing well however he would like to see more investment in private sector housing issues.


Planning Enforcement Service pdf icon PDF 437 KB

To receive the report of the Planning Manager


The Planning Manager presented the report, the purpose of which was to update Members on the Council’s Planning Enforcement Service.


Following the presentation of the report Members were invited to ask questions.


A discussion took place.


In response to concerns raised regarding monitoring, the Planning Manager advised that planning applications are monitored through legal agreements and detailed procedures followed.


Following a recent audit other areas that need attention were identified and this will be worked on.


The Planning Team do rely on Members, Parish Councils and the public to make complaints however Officers do note irregularities when out on site. On a whole developers and owners do comply with conditions as it is in their best interest to do so.


Reference resources, the Planning Manager advised she will be looking at the service area collectively and to see where improvements can be made around enforcement. Planning fees have increased however this would not cover the resources required. Revenue from applications is limited and it was thought retrospective applications could be charged a double fee, but this was not brought in.


The Chair confirmed he would welcome an update report in the spring of 2024 on the capacity and backlog.


Following a query regarding charging a double fee on retrospective planning applications being a nationally policy, the Planning Manager advised of a consultation that Central Government conducted for this, but the decision was made not to double the charges.


It was suggested that this report be distributed more widely to Town and Parish Councils. 


Affordable Housing Delivery pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To receive the report of the Planning Manager


The Planning Manager presented the report, the purpose of which was to update Members on affordable housing delivery levels across Torridge District. The report focused on the affordable housing delivery, policy context and data. If Members felt topics were missed the Planning Manager advised, she would be happy to report back in the future.


Following the report Members were invited to ask questions and a discussion took place.


The Planning Manager advised the committee of guidance from the National Planning Practice surrounding viability appraisals and the requirements needed.


The overage clause is routinely used.


It was confirmed that if a scheme is not policy compliant then Ward Members would be consulted. More recently affordable housing had been given priority. The Planning Manager advised of the process for affordable housing applications and the mechanisms that are put in place to ensure they are determined in a timely manner. It was also confirmed that what is being secured is beneficial to communities.


The Head of Communities & Place referred to the Housing Delivery Lead position that is mentioned in the report and how this would assist the team in the work already being carried out for the delivery of affordable housing.


The Planning Manager provided an insight to relationships with Registered Providers.


Following a query regarding Middlemarch, the Planning Manager explained to Members that they provide technical support to Community Land Trusts (CLTs). She informed the Committee she had met with a partner, Steve Watson, from Middlemarch and discussed how best to approach landowners. It was advised that a presentation would be circulated through future Area Advisory Meetings.


In response to a query regarding a loan to help CLTs bring forward developments, the Head of Communities & Place advised there is £600,000.00 available but an application has never been received. It was emphasised that it is a loan and would have to be repaid and could possibly be subject to interest.


The Head of Legal & Governance (monitoring Officer) provided an update on temporary accommodation.


The Planning Manager confirmed that phasing affordable housing alongside open market is a planning requirement. Requests can be made to amend legal agreements however unless there is a justified reason the Planning Team would not accept any changes. 







Strategic Asset Management Plan

To receive a verbal update from the Estates Manager


The Estates Manager attended the meeting to provide an update on the Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP).


An update was given on the following areas:


·         background on the adoption of the current SAMP and the main areas

o   Why it exists, what it is and how is it delivered? How it is delivered was the focus for the meeting

·         there are 30 actions however within the delivery 6 will be concentrated on

·         20% of the portfolio is reviewed by the end of each year which does not align with good market practice or fit in with TDC’s timetable. Moving forward the aim was to look at the SAMP as a whole rather than bit by bit

·         The six-principle action policies were detailed

·         Opportunities and actions were being put in place to understand TDC’s assets

·         the condition survey of 20% per annum was on target

·         the Preventative Planned Maintenance Programme

·         decarbonisation and operational savings would be investigated

·         data

·         other areas of progress included health & safety and compliance

·         costings, clear actions and activities would be reported back to Members and approval required

·         timeline

·         the SAMP has to be clear, contained and capable to be used to manage progress and activities


Members were invited to ask questions.


In response to queries from the Chair, the Estates Manager confirmed that once the SAMP is whole then it can be easily reviewed on an annual basis and costs were being captured within the current budget. Contracts have been put in place and hybrid models have been investigated internally which can be managed appropriately. Capital activities were detailed, how they all prioritise and their specific needs. Funding is a key point for all capital projects. The target for the new management system to be in place is estimated to be quarter 1 of 2024, for data, and then findings from other activities feeding in after that date. Progress would be reported back.


Following a query regarding the state of some buildings, the Estates Manager advised that the aim would be for planned work can be carried out on an annual basis and that immediate priorities are health and safety and compliance. The condition surveys would result in a program of activities that can influence repairs and maintenance. Specific buildings could be discussed after the meeting.





Social Value Policy pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive the draft Social Value Policy from the Task & Finish Group

Additional documents:


The Strategy, Performance and ICT Manager presented this item and reminded the Committee of the terms and conditions the Task & Finish group had agreed previously.


The new policy was based on the LGA Social Value toolkit, and the Task & Finish group had met and debated it in detail along with assistance from the Lead Officer from Exeter.


Councillor J Craigie who was the lead on the Task & Finish group re-iterated what the Strategy, Performance and ICT Manager had said and that the group had followed the national guidelines closely and explained how it fits in with the Council’s new Strategic Plan. It was also emphasised how this policy would support local businesses and be beneficial to the area.


A brief discussion took place.


Following a query on the proxy values indicated in the table of the report, it was confirmed that a national template was used however this was then adapted to each individual authority.


If some elements of the measures in the table of the Social Value Policy were not being utilised, then potentially they could be removed, and additional measures added. The policy would be reviewed in the future and any amendments made. 


In response to concern raised regarding the environmental element, Councillor J Craigie advised that the policy does reflect environmental issues.


It was confirmed that no further input was required from external groups, however if adopted a change to the procedural rules would be necessary. If this Committee adopted the policy, then it would also be presented for approval at Community & Resources. 


At 1pm and in accordance with the Constitution, it was proposed by Councillor S Newton, seconded by Councillor J Craigie and –




That in view of the fact 3 hours had elapsed since the meeting had commenced, that the meeting should continue.


(Vote: For – unanimous)


A brief debate took place regarding the need to change measure NT26 to incorporate mental and physical health interventions. The Strategy, Performance and ICT Manager advised that the meaning of the measures cannot be changed as they are used as part of the national toolkit.


It was proposed by Councillor S Newton, seconded by Councillor T Elliot and –



That the draft Social Value Policy be accepted by Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee and forwarded to Community & Resources Committee for formal adoption.


(Vote: For – unanimous)







Consideration of the Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To review the Forward Plan.



The forward plan was discussed and updated.