Agenda item

To receive the report of the Planning & Economy Manager.


The Chair took the report attached to the agenda as read.


It was proposed by Councillor Watson and seconded by Councillor Cottle-Hunkin –




The Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee endorse the Community & Resources Committee resolution of 4 March.


Councillor Inch proposed an amendment to the recommendation –


That the park be transferred to The Westward Ho! Group for a peppercorn rent with the provision that the group fund raise and bring the park to a standard acceptable to TDC and which met Health & Safety regulations by May 2022.  


The Chair clarified that the park would not be given away but that the market value would be sought.


There was no seconder. 


A vote was taken on the substantive motion –




The Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee endorse the Community & Resources Committee resolution of 4 March.


Clarification was given by the Head of Paid Service that Members were voting to revisit the application from Northam Town Council and start the discussion.


(Vote: For 10, Abstentions 1)


Councillor Laws thanked the Committee for their decision. Members of the public left the meeting.


Mr Harper raised 2 concerns about protocol:


·         That the 4 people who had called in the decision had not given a reason

·         That the business plan submitted by Northam Town Council and the review thereof by the independent person should have been presented to the Community & Resources Committee and then to the Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee.


The Head of Paid Service explained that at the Community & Resources meeting it was not the application from Northam Town Council that was being considered but approval of the principle of the original decision which was to proceed with development.  Mr Dengate referred to the minutes of the Internal Overview & Scrutiny meeting held on 28 May where it said the business plan will be addressed when the call-in is examined.  The Head of Paid Service reiterated that the call-in process required that the Committee look at the decision and no new information.


Councillor Hames claimed it was undemocratic that the reason for a call-in did not have to be made known and asked if this could this be reviewed. The Head of Paid Service responded that the constitution was going to be reviewed and that there would be a Constitution Working Group as well as experts from the LGA being brought in. 


Councillor Laws asked that the independent person’s report on the business plan be made available for the negotiations with Northam Town Council together with a report on the state of the building on the site which is a state of disrepair. However, if this were not going to be made available, Northam Town Council should be told so that they can have their own surveyors look at it.


The Head of Paid Service replied that the application should have been returned to Northam Town Council with the comment that TDC Members had resolved to continue with the plans to develop the site.  However, because of the petition and representations made, this had not happened. To ask for an independent evaluation was not the usual procedure.  Going forward, it was felt it was better to start negotiations afresh and to talk to Northam Town Council about the business plan, raising any issues which had become apparent.


Councillor Pennington voiced his concern that the meeting continued to discuss the matter after the public had left.


The Chair confirmed that no further debate would take place.

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