Agenda and minutes

Response to Government Consultations on Planning Reforms, Scrutiny Board - Tuesday, 29th September, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting

Contact: Julia Cleary  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Wolverhampton Response to Government Planning Consultations pdf icon PDF 390 KB


Scrutiny Board received a report requesting comments on the proposed principles for a City of Wolverhampton Council response to the current Government Planning consultations.


Scrutiny Board provided general support for the proposed consultation responses, subject to the points highlighted below:


a)       The 2nd bullet point of para 4.8 provides support for streamlined approval processes for minor / simple proposals.  It is not clear what types of proposal this refers to, and it is felt that streamlined approval processes are inappropriate for all scales of development as minor proposals can be of great significance to local people.

Proposed Response: Re-word 2nd bullet point of para 4.8 of the Cabinet Report to read:

‘Streamlined and simplified approval processes are inappropriate for all scales of development proposal, as local planning authorities need to retain the power to control poorly designed development and it is important that the public retain the ability to comment. …’

b)       The 2nd bullet point of para 4.8 puts too much emphasis on requesting more resources for planning departments to speed up the planning process.

Proposed Response: Re-word 2nd bullet point of para 4.8 of the Cabinet Report to read:

‘…  There are more effective ways of speeding up the planning application process, including greater use of delegated authority powers and enhanced resourcing of local authority planning functions, for example…’

c)       There are key links between Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire in terms of Local Plan preparation.  It is important to be aware of the views of South Staffordshire Council on the consultation proposals.

Proposed Response:  South Staffordshire have not published a response therefore it is not possible to take their views into account.  Re-word 7th bullet point of para 4.8 of the Cabinet Report to read:

‘Strongly oppose the removal of the Duty to Cooperate, unless it is replaced by a similar or stronger mechanism to ensure that local authorities work together across appropriate geographies to deliver strategic planning of growth and infrastructure.  In particular, removal of the Duty to Cooperate would undermine the significant progress made by CoWC through the Black Country Plan review to move towards agreement with neighbouring authorities, including South Staffordshire Council, on cross-boundary matters.’

d)       The response should emphasise the support of City of Wolverhampton Council for a ‘brownfield first’ approach, the robust nature of existing evidence on urban land supply, and the importance of protecting the Wolverhampton green belt and valuable green spaces across the City from development.  This is particularly important given the small proportion (11%) of Wolverhampton which is green belt and the densely developed nature of the urban area.

Proposed Response: Amend 2nd bullet point of para 3.6 of the Cabinet Report to read:

‘Concern that other proposed changes to the method would increase the national target to a potentially unsustainable level, with particularly severe impacts on authorities, such as Wolverhampton, which may not reflect local environmental and delivery constraints.  Wolverhampton is a densely developed urban area with a constrained boundary and limited areas of green belt, most of which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.