Agenda and minutes

Venue: Kaposvar Room - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  01225 394458

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.



The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.





Councillor Fiona Darey had sent her apologies to the Panel, Councillor Geoff Ward was present as her substitute.



At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:

(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officer or a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.


There were none.




There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.



Members of the public had registered to make a statement to the Panel relating to agenda item 9 (HMO Supplementary Planning Document). These statements would be heard at the beginning of this item.


MINUTES - 2nd May 2017 pdf icon PDF 84 KB


The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chairman.


Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member(s) will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update(s) provided.



Councillor Bob Goodman, Cabinet Member for Development addressed the Panel, a summary is set out below.


He wished to thank Liz Richardson for her work over the last 2 years. He said that Liz had been an admirable Cabinet Member and Advocate for Homes & Planning. 


Joint Spatial Plan


The Joint Spatial Plan is for both Planning and Transport Strategy and I think it is important that we realise that and indeed our residents do because, without the infrastructure, it is not going to be possible to develop some of the sites which have been put forward within the Plan.


The two major areas are Whitchurch and North Keynsham which will give 1,400 and 1,600 houses respectively within the planned period. 


The biggest challenge and one which I suspect people know is close to my heart, is the Affordable Housing need which is anticipated to be 32,500 and will be made-up of Social Housing and Shared Ownership.

We have to ensure these numbers are built and I have already been in conversation with the Mayor of the West of England, Tim Bowles, to let him know I want to work with him and other Members of the Combined Authority to achieve these targets. 


I want to also highlight the potential trading off of land at Hicks Gate whereby the existing Park & Ride could be made into housing and B&NES could take part of the Park & Ride in the adjoining area.  This is currently being looked at by officers.


The final agreed version will go out to consultation in November with a view to the adoption of the Joint Spatial Plan in early 2019.


Place Making Plan


We have been given the green light with the Place Making Plan from the Inspector with what I think is fair to say fairly minor alterations. The Place Making Plan will be going to Full Council in July.


We will then be looking at a review of our Core Strategy in what is now to become the new Local Plan.




I hope there will now start to be a rebalancing of houses for the residents but, of course, we still have to take into account that HMO’s are needed for key workers etc. and I have one or two ideas how that can be achieved which I hope to bring to you in the months to come. 




Both Councillor Richardson and I have had meetings with the Universities to discuss various matters including how they can develop on their own sites and how we can be supportive of their aspirations in relation to ensuring the right type of mix in the community as a whole.




I thought I would just finish up with some positive news on housing.  Firstly, I do have to mention the tragic events of Grenfell Tower a few weeks ago.  Following a thorough investigation, it has been found there is no cladding on buildings Social Housing providers have in the Authority and indeed, as you can expect,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


HMO Supplementary Planning Document pdf icon PDF 5 MB

The Panel is asked to consider and comment on the options for the review of the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Supplementary Planning Document.

Additional documents:


Joy Burt addressed the Panel, a copy of her statement will be placed on the Minute Book and can be seen online as an appendix to these minutes, a summary is set out below.


She said that she had responded to the consultation paper on HMOs in Bath Supplementary Planning Document Review in May 2017 and thanked Councillor Bob Goodman for leading the review into HMO Policy.


She said that in West Avenue the figure was now over 30%. She said that a reduction to 10% would go some way to address the student issue, but that this figure must apply to purpose built student accommodation as well as private HMOs.


She stated that it should be recognized that Bath cannot support the ever increasing expansion of student numbers at both of the universities. She said that she believed that a saturation point had now been reached and that a cap should be applied.


She said that by allowing developers to continue to turn family homes into HMOs for students as not only is it decreasing the housing stock, but as neither landlords nor students pay Council Tax, the income to B&NES is decreasing.


She said that she did have faith in the Council to do right by the residents of Bath so that those of us who live in Westmoreland and Oldfield Park wards can, in the future, say in truth we are proud to live in these communities.


Councillor Colin Blackburn asked if there was a site for potential purpose built student accommodation that she was concerned about.


Joy Burt replied that the recent proposals for a 126 bedroom facility on the site of the current Wansdyke Business Centre were a real concern. She said that local residents were pleased that it had been refused. She added that the issue of garages being converted into living accommodation was also a concern.


Simon Lock addressed the Panel, a summary of his statement is set out below.


He said that rubbish production is of a high volume at HMO properties and that he had written to Councillor Martin Veal on the matter, but had not received a reply.


He said that there were limited parking opportunities in areas containing a high percentage of HMOs and that noise emanating from regular late night parties was difficult to live with. He added that anti-social behaviour is a real problem and that the cause was alcohol being consumed in excessive amounts.


He stated that communities are becoming fractured and that the gardens of HMO properties in the main are often very messy.


He said that he felt that the number of registered HMOs was low in comparison to the actual figure.


Councillor Geoff Ward asked if he felt if the new SPD would make a difference.


Simon Lock replied that he thought it might as long as the number of registered HMOs increased.


Councillor Colin Blackburn asked what he thought the Council could do better regarding this issue.


Simon Lock replied that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

Additional documents:


The Implications of Losses of Office to Residential in Bath pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Officers have been asked to explore the benefits and risks of making an Article 4 Direction to remove the permitted development rights to make a change of use from office to residential in Bath. The purpose of this paper is to explain the evidence, enabling a discussion of the issues and next steps.

Additional documents:


The Divisional Director for Community Regeneration introduced this report to the Panel. He explained that this matter was at the early stage of policy development and that officers have been asked to explore the benefits and risks of making an Article 4 Direction to remove the permitted development rights to make a change of use from office to residential in Bath.


The Business Support & Development Manager gave a presentation to the Panel, a copy can be seen online as an appendix to these minutes and on the Panel’s Minute Book, a summary is set out below.


Policy Context


2013: Introduction of new Permitted Development Rights (PDR)


2011 – 2016 in Central Area:

7,000sqm of office space converted to residential

12,000sqm of office space subject to PDR consents


Placemaking Plan 2016


Proposed adjustment to Central Area office policy:

Enable 60,000sqm of new office space

Manage loss of 20,000sqm of “least suitable” space


He informed them that to assess the risk and impact of further losses of office space the Council has appointed Ortus Economic Research to undertake an analysis of the Bath Central Area.


He said that Ortus engaged Lambert Smith Hampton to provide local commercial market knowledge and advice and followed a methodology they have used elsewhere to support authorities considering Article 4 Directions as well as exemptions from the original temporary arrangements.


He explained that given that 80% of B&NES office stock is located within the Bath Central Area, this part of the City has been the focus of the assessment.  He added that the Central Area is as defined in the Core Strategy, with the addition of areas of B1 activity along the Lower Bristol Road. He added that the emerging analysis shows that as an established commercial centre B1(a) premises play an important role in Bath’s local economy; this use class accounts for a greater proportion of economic activity than any other.


Councillor Rob Appleyard asked if there were any key areas to address and what was the current view of officers.


The Divisional Director for Community Regeneration replied that he felt that the value of pursuing an Article 4 Direction should be explored.


The Group Manager for Policy & Environment added that all persons affected would have to be notified and consulted.


The Chairman asked if it were possible to immediately introduce an Article 4 Direction.


The Group Manager for Policy & Environment replied that the Council would have to assess the financial liability of making that decision.


Councillor Barry Macrae said that he welcomed the report and that he hoped the Council could mitigate any future problems.


Councillor Colin Blackburn thanked the officers for providing a good report. He asked what risks would there be in going public with a consultation period of twelve months versus an immediate implementation.


The Divisional Director for Community Regeneration replied that it was his view that starting the application process now would be worth exploring as outside of the work taking place on the Quays it was not certain where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

Additional documents:


Housing & Planning Act pdf icon PDF 265 KB

The Government is proposing changes to the Housing and Planning legislation. A consultation was undertaken in the Spring of 2017. This report sets out for the Panel the key issues and the responses provided by B&NES as part of a West of England response.


The Panel noted the report that was submitted to them.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 110 KB

This report presents the latest workplan for the Panel. Any suggestions for further items or amendments to the current programme will be logged and scheduled in consultation with the Panel’s Chair and supporting officers.



Councillor Rob Appleyard asked whether the Panel should take part in any work relating to the condition applied to HMOs regarding car ownership.


The Chairman reminded the Panel of discussions earlier in the meeting relating to receiving a report on Additional Licensing Enforcement and a refresh of the Culture & Creative Strategy.


Councillor Lisa O’Brien suggested that the Panel receive a report on the Destination Marketing Plan and advised that this could take place in November.


The Chairman said that he would like for them to have a report on progress of the Mulberry Park Development and how that compares with the Foxhill Charter.


Colin Blackburn commented that he would like to hear more information on how the Rate Relief Fund would be administered and details of any key future projects.


Councillor Barry Macrae said that he felt that at some point the Panel should discuss the impact of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) on B&NES.


The Chairman thanked the Panel for their suggestions and said they would be discussed further with the Strategic Director for Place.