Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Michaela Gay  Email:, 01225 394411


No. Item



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The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.




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


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The Chair drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.




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Councillor Oli Henman sent his apologies.



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 4.4 Appendix 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 Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.


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Councillor Moss informed the Panel that he would step down as Chair for item 10 on the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone as he is parish clerk for Farrington Gurney Parish Council. The Vice Chair, Councillor Lucy Hodge will Chair for this item.



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There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.


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Councillor Shaun Hughes made a statement on the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone.


Councillor Sam Ross made a statement on the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone.


Angharad Barber made a statement on the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone.


Margaret Heffernan made a statement on the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone.


Andy Jeffery, Farrington Gurney Parish Council, made a statement regarding SVEZ



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 102 KB

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


Cabinet Member update

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


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Aequus Update pdf icon PDF 496 KB

There will be a presentation on this item. Presentation slides are attached.

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The Cabinet Project Lead for Built Environment and Sustainable Development - Councillor Deborah Collins (with officer support – Simon Martin, Director of Capital and Housing Delivery and also Tim Richens - Aequus) gave a presentation which covered the following:


·  Aequus Group – Company Background

·  Company Achievements 2022/23

·  Company Aims – Updated

·  Pipeline – BANES Housing and Regeneration

·  Pipeline – Partnership Working

·  Meeting the Climate Emergency

·  Efficient Company Structure

·  Sustaining Financial Returns to Shareholder

·  Financials – ACL Forecast P & L

·  Financials – Forecast Returns to Shareholder

·  Draft Company Objectives (Operational)

·  Draft Company Objectives (Financial & Corporate)

·  Business Planning Next Steps

·  And Finally – Examples of Achievements


Panel members raised the following points and asked the following questions:


Councillor Blackburn asked about the risk element of projects such as the impact of the deficiencies regarding the Keynsham Riverside Site and remedial work at Sladebrook. Tim Richens explained that there is a 2-year post completion defect liability which is all within the budget. There is no impact on the Council. There is also 10-year NHBC insurance contract in place.


Councillor Blackburn asked what ‘cost price’ means in relation to social housing. Tim Richens stated that the Council look at the business plan some sites are challenging and costs have to be factored in.


Councillor Blackburn asked where scrutiny would be appropriate in the tendering process. Councillor Moss stated that the Aequus Business Plan is going to the March meeting of the Cabinet where questions can be submitted and the item will be coming back this Panel every 6/12 months.


Councillor Blackburn asked about interest paid on borrowings and the impacts on returns to the Council. He asked about consultancy fees and commissioned services in term of the amount. Tim Richens stated the consultancy fees would cover getting the site ready for delivery. In response to a further question about last years costs, Mr Richens explained that this was considered last November by the Corporate Audit Committee and the information is publicly available.


Regarding Wellington buildings, Mr Richens explained that this is owned by the Council and he could not comment. Simon Martin (Council officer) explained that the site is currently being reviewed to enable us to instruct Aequus. In response to a query from Councillor Blackburn on how long the Council had been aware of the issues, the officer explained that he could not give a direct timeline at present, some properties were tenanted and from an executive point of view, the Council has accountability for the work.


Councillor Treby asked about Aequus’ part in the Council’s objectives. The officer explained that an update on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will be reported to the Panel every 6 months. The Cabinet Project Lead added that the Council will be working on the Housing Delivery Plan.


Councillor Hodge asked if the fixed revenue return of £1m would come forward before 2026/27 and when does the overage profit come through. Tim Richens explained that the cost of sales depends on the development and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Somer Valley Enterprise Zone Update pdf icon PDF 3 MB

There will be a presentation on this item. Presentation slides are attached.

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Councillor Lucy Hodge (Vice Chair) was Chair for this item.


The Cabinet Member for Built Environment and Sustainable Development -Councillor Matt McCabe (with officer support – Richard Holden, Operations Manager, Bath Enterprise Zone) gave a presentation which covered the following:


·  Somer Valley Enterprise Zone (SVEZ) Cabinet Decisions – 1st Feb

·  SVEZ Redline Plan

·  SVEZ LDO Illustrative Masterplan

·  Map - Distance between home and work (2021 census)

·  Map - Mode of travel to workplace (2021 census)

·  Housing within the Somer Valley

·  Ecology and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)

·  Air Quality – Farrington Gurney and Temple Cloud

·  Statutory Consultation (16th Jan – 13th Feb 2023)

·  Revised Statutory Consultation (22nd Sept – 26th Oct 2023)

·  Parish and Town Council Responses

·  Demand within the Somer Valley



Panel member made the following points and asked the following questions:


Councillor Treby asked if commuting times would be reduced or improved. The officer explained that, with the road mitigations, there would be an anticipated improvement to the network. The aim is to encourage active travel (with cycle tracks). There will be a dialogue with First Bus regarding the possible re introduction of services when the SVEZ opens.


Councillor Halsall asked if there are design codes regarding the build and can the Council use enforcement if these are not followed. The officer explained that there are design codes along with planning permission. The design codes are plot specific and set certain parameters for developers. If a plot is not needed for a hotel (for example) then another use can come forward.


Councillor Simon asked what the status of CPO (Compulsory Purchase Orders) are at present and is there an order/phasing for the plot development. The officer explained that the Council do not own the land and have been in negotiations since 2019. The paper going to Cabinet on 1st February 2024 - will enable us to continue negotiations, and a potential future CPO decision to be made. It would depend on funding from WECA for the land acquisition. Regarding the plot development, he explained that the LDO will be in place for 20 years, it is likely the development will take circ 10 years. Ideally the industrial units will be delivered at an early stage as there is demand. Food and beverage units would change if there is no demand.


Councillor Blackburn asked what had changed to cause the postponement. The officer explained that there was statutory consultation in January 2023 but there was not enough time before the elections to get responses back from all the statutory consultees. Development Management have taken a prudent and transparent approach by undertaking the revised consultation (October 2023) in response to adjustments made following the January 2023 statutory consultation.The changes are around dark corridors, increasing the depth of the perimeter (which protects bats) and extended perimeter parking. These are all in response to consultation comments. 


Councillor Blackburn asked what made the site attractive to employers. The officer explained that the aim was to reduce the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 105 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.

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The Panel noted the future workplan