Venue: Ground Floor Committee Room - Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG. View directions
Contact: Zena West 0115 8764305
Apologies for Absence
Declarations of Interest
Minutes of the meeting held 8 December 2017
The minutes of the meeting held 8 December 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Air Quality Presentation
James Ashton, Transport Strategy Manager at Nottingham City Council, gave a presentation on air quality monitoring in Nottingham and Nottingham’s approach to the Clean Air Zone (attached with the original distribution of the minutes), highlighting the following points:
(a) Nottingham City Council has been working on an approach to improvement in air quality for the last 2 years. Problems of air quality affect everybody throughout life, disproportionately young people. It is important to try to tackle these issues;
(b) levels of all pollutants have been decreasing but nitrogen dioxide levels remain stubbornly high, and regulations don’t cover all emissions sources;
(c) the UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations, published by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department for Transport named 33 local authorities with exceedances, set out pollutant limits, and gave options such as clean air zones. Detailed modelling was used to create the plan, using the government’s pollution climate mapping model. The area which are predicated to be over the limits are around crown island and the ring road, which does not match actual monitoring conducted by Nottingham City Council;
(d) air quality monitoring conducted by Nottingham City Council shows the city centre has greater pollution problems, so there is an ongoing issue reconciling the government’s modelling of air quality problems with the City Council’s measurement of air quality problems;
(e) Nottingham City Council has provisionally decided upon a Clean Air Zone type and a geographical area to be covered. Data has been collected regarding the types of vehicles currently using Nottingham’s roads. As Nottingham already has a number of options to discourage car use and encourage public transport, it is not necessary to target cars any further, and only minor changes will be required to fall within acceptable emission limits;
(f) as data for the last 16 years has shown traffic levels dropping and public transport use increasing, we can assume that the government’s future modelling (which shows an increase in traffic volume) is a worst case scenario. Even given the worst case scenario traffic growth assumptions and no changes introduced, Nottingham would be on target to be compliant with emissions standards by 2024;
(g) Nottingham has introduced a number of measures to encourage greater public transport use already, such as the introduction and extension of the tram, electric buses, gas buses, integrated ticketing systems, the workplace parking levy, a taxi and private hire strategy, a cycle ambition programme, a behaviour change programme, and using Go Ultra Low to encourage greater use and take-up of electric vehicles. Proposed additional measures being investigated include bidding for funding to retrofit older buses to the highest emissions standards, greater cycle infrastructure, introduction of an ultra-low emissions taxi project, and ensuring the fleet of City Council vehicles are switched to electric vehicles or those with the lowest emission levels possible;
(h) the outline plan was completed at the end of February 2018, demonstrating how Nottingham City Council would bring emissions levels into compliance. The preferred ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
Reports of the Joint Officer Steering Group
Stephen Pointer, Planning Policy Officer at Nottinghamshire County Council, presented a report on the Nottinghamshire Minerals Local Plan and the Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Waste Local Plans, highlighting the following points:
(a) public consultation on the plan has been completed, and comments are still being considered. Individual representations were received from approximately 800-900 people. Some of the key issues debated in the issue options stage are highlighted in the report;
(b) a level of provision will be made for sand and gravel aggregates, which is a key controversial issue. As expected the industry has said the proposed basis for provision is artificially depressed due to the recession, with industry not being in the same position to open new quarries over the last decade, whilst local residents think the level is too high;
(c) whilst there are benefits to extending existing quarries rather than building new ones, each project has to be assessed on its own merits. There is a clear preference for a spread of geographical mineral sites across the county;
(d) 24 sites have been submitted from a range of potential mineral sites. These sites are now being considered, which includes carrying out flood risk assessments, and transport and landscaping assessments;
(e) there is no change to the position on the waste planning, both councils have agreed to defer planning, and have jointly agreed timescales to recommence work in 2019.
RESOLVED to note the report and thank Stephen Pointer for the update.
Report of the Joint Officer Steering Group
Chris Carter, Head of Transport Strategy at Nottingham City Council, presented a report on transport, highlighting the following points:
(a) the government has announced the results of bids to the Housing Infrastructure Fund. Nottingham City Council’s bid was not successful; however Rushcliffe Borough Council has been awarded £9.9million for the site south of Clifton;
(b) Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have both been successful in bids to the Clean Bus Technology Fund, using a coordinated approach with good cross boundary working. The fund will help to retrofit some of the buses currently in operation which will still be in operation in 2020;
(c) work is taking place relating to future ring fencing of the Road Fund License for improvements to major roads. Councils are required to designate a major route network, and Nottingham City Council has been working closely with all Midlands Councils and Midlands Connect, in order to coordinate a Midlands response. Both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have agreed to use the Midlands response as the basis for their individual responses;
(d) there is an upcoming issue related to the doubling of routes on the Thameslink service south of Bedford. This will result in a greater number of trains on the line south of Bedford, with a potential knock-on effect on the speed or frequency of faster inter-urban Midland Mainline services. Some planned infrastructure works to the route may mitigate the effect, but these improvements will not be completed by the time the new Thameslink services are introduced. As there are only 4 platforms at St Pancras station for East Midlands services, some trains may be split. One possible positive outcome may be a reduction in overcrowding for services south of Bedford on the Midland Mainline. Overall it is not particularly good news, but Councils continue to fight to protect services and fight for improvements;
(e) station improvement works are planned at Derby station over the summer, which will have a knock on effect for Nottingham. This will need appropriate communication to Nottingham citizens and rail users. Once the works are complete there will be journey time improvements, it is a positive scheme overall;
(f) in February 2018, the Secretary of State gave approval for improvements on the Hope Valley line on the route to Manchester and Sheffield. This will allow better connectivity on the line and better connectivity on continued services through to Leeds. Rail North has now formally merged with Transport for the North;
(g) the recent fire at Nottingham railway station was a considerable event with significant disruption. It was a fairly major fire with a large amount of damage. The damage was contained to the toilet block and connecting bridge, so services were running again by the Monday after the fire. East Midlands Trains and the emergency services did an excellent job getting the station up and running again so quickly.
There followed a number of questions and comments from the Committee, and some further information was provided:
(h) a ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
Report of the Joint Officer Steering Group
Matt Gregory, Growth Point Planning and Planning Policy Manager at Nottingham City Council, summarised the meeting of the Greater Nottingham Joint Planning Advisory Board which was held on Thursday 8 March 2018, highlighting the following points:
(a) the most interesting element of the meeting related to the recent publication of a National Planning Policy Framework draft, with a number of changes which will impact strategic planning:
• objective needs of an area have to be met unless there’s a strong reason;
• plans will be tested in terms of containing an appropriate strategy for growth rather than the most appropriate strategy for growth;
• plans will be reviewed on a 5 year cycle;
• objective need will be prepared in line with standard methodology (not yet published);
• duty to cooperate – new tests of soundness will be introduced, with a statement of common ground;
• a more flexible approach to plan making – currently there is one plan per council, the new policy is more flexible about how councils and groups of councils plan for their areas;
• the government is proceeding with delivery test for local plans, with local authorities potentially being penalised if housing isn’t delivered in line with the expectations of the local plan. 75% or less will result in penalties, and a presumption in favour of development will kick in;
• the guidance on green belt land has been amended. Local authorities can change green belt boundaries in exceptional circumstances, as a last resort when all other options have been considered first;
The next step is to delegate a joint response from the Joint Planning Advisory Board to the Executive Steering Group;
(b) work is being commissioned to endorse the current geographic basis for the first step in revising the core strategies. The next milestone is the household projections published in summer;
(c) the Nottingham City Land and Planning Policies Development Plan Document went to the meeting of Council on Monday 5 March 2018 and can now be submitted for independent examination.
There followed a number of questions and comments from the Committee, and further information was provided:
(d) the National Planning Policy framework draft contains very limited powers to discourage land banking by developers. New planning permissions are proposed to be lapsed if development is not started within 2 years;
(e) with a new plan produced every 5 years, colleagues will be implementing existing plans whilst creating new ones. It is anticipated that the preparation timescale will be reduced, with a focus on those elements which have to be joint, delegating all other issues, to result in a more slim line strategic plan.
RESOLVED to thank Matt Gregory for the update and note the contents.
Report of the Joint Officer Steering Group
The Committee requested a further update on air quality closer to the submission of the final business case. Dates for the 2018/19 meetings will be confirmed as soon as possible, and Nottinghamshire County Council will administer the meeting for 2 years during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 municipal years.