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Agenda item

Programme of Portfolio Holder Attendance

Report of the Elections and Members’ Services Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee welcomed Councillor Hollingsworth, Portfolio Holder for Growth and Regeneration, to discuss a range of issue relating to her portfolio accompanied by John Robison, Chief Executive.

 

Councillor Hollingsworth provided information on the topics identified by members as follows:

 

Carlton Square

 

·         45 residential units were under construction at the former DBH house building and the council had recently sold an area of land to be used as a car park for the development.

·         Pre-development funding of £30,000 had been secured to investigate the potential of further retail premises being opened in the area. A brief was being drawn up for this work.

·         It was hoped that regeneration would improve the whole area and it was also hoped to work with Gedling Homes to improve their properties in the vicinity.

·         Some artist impressions of how the area could look after development had been commissioned as part of feasibility work and these could be made available.

 

Former Carlton Brass Headquarters

 

·         It was initially hoped that 8 starter homes could be constructed on the site which was in Council ownership. However this scheme was not viable due to the constraints of the starter home scheme. Alternative uses for the site were being identified.

 

Arnold Market

 

·         Cabinet had given officers approval to negotiate a purchase with the site’s owner but this did not commit the council to purchase the site.

·         £25,000 of funding had ben secured from the Nottinghamshire pre-development fund to progress this work.

 

Empty Homes

 

·         150% of the Council Tax charge was levied on properties empty for more than two years which does not seem to have led to a reduction in empty homes across the area.

·         An officer was being recruited on a temporary basis to work on bringing empty homes back into use. This area of work was particularly complex and the Council could consider using compulsory purchase orders in future.

 

Business rates

 

·         Business rate reforms were due to apply shortly and it was becoming clear that there would be some Gedling Businesses paying more rates and some paying less.

·         Business rate relief would apply to a greater number of low rateable businesses although a number of very complicated calculations still had to be made to assess the full picture.

·         There would be transitional relief, as announced in the budget, although it was unclear how this might apply locally.

 

Stalled sites

 

·         This was an increasingly frustrating area and work was constantly ongoing to bring forward developments that had been given planning permission.

·         The Homes and Communities Agency had allocated pre-development funding to bring forward the Rolleston Drive site.

·         The development brief for the Top Wighay site had recently been refreshed and it was hoped that this would bring forward new applications.

·         The site on the corner of Adbolton Avenue and Westdale Lane was shortly to be the subject of a planning application for 12 apartments.

·         The Ashworth Street Medical Centre was likely to be developed soon following a change in ownership.

·         It was hoped that a planning application for 72 dwellings on the former Metalifacture site on Mansfield Road would be submitted in the spring.

·         Final details of layout for the Teal Close development were being agreed with a construction start date imminent.

·         The lack of progress for the Sainsbury’s site in Colwick remained a frustration.

 

Housing Development Company

 

·         The Council was currently investigating the potential to establish a housing development company. It was explained that due to low interest loans available to local authorities it may be financially viable to create an “arm’s length” company to bring forward housing developments which are needed in the Borough.

 

Gedling Access Road

 

·         Various land ownership issues were currently being worked through with an expected construction start date planned for spring 2018. Unfortunately a more precise date could not be given due to the uncertainties associated with land ownership issues currently being worked on.

 

Integrated Transport

 

·         A revised integrated transport strategy for the Borough is expected to be approved through Cabinet shortly. This would set out a strategic outlook including everything from aspirations for a tramline and a 4th Trent Crossing through to improvements to cycle lanes and walking routes. The strategy would aim to connect people with jobs.

·         Members discussed bus routes in particular concern about a lack of connectivity to the new country park and the lack of a bus service that links areas of the Borough east to west. The Chief Executive said that it may be of merit to examine the issue of bus connectively further with the possibility of adding more detail to the integrated transport plan.

 

Future Portfolio Holder Attendance

 

Members were advised that Councillor Gregory would be attending the next to Committee for members to be given an opportunity to examine the Community Development Portfolio which includes:

 

           Community Centres

           Neighbourhood working

           Community Events

           Arts, culture and play

           Community engagement and consultation, including liaison with the voluntary sector and Parish Councils

           Equalities

           Members’ Services including Member training and development

 

Members were reminded to submit ideas for areas to be examined by email to Helen Lee as soon as possible.

 

Requests for additional information

 

Members noted that an article giving information about fly tipping and residents’ duties for disposing of waste was due to be published in the July contacts magazine.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1)    Thank Councillor Hollingsworth for her attendance; and

 

2)    Note the information provided.

Supporting documents:

 


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