The Local Plan Manager explained that on page 5 of the agenda, there was a reminder of what the Community Infrastructure Levy actually was and as the charging authority, the Council had an obligation to:
· Prepare and publish the CIL Charging Schedule;
· Determine CIL spend, ensuring it was used to fund the provision; improvement, replacement, operation; or maintenance of infrastructure to support development of the area; and
· Report publicly on the amount of CIL revenue collected, spent and retained each year.
With regards to the Governance Framework, it was noted that:
· Local Projects had consideration by the CIL Spending Panel and sign-off by a Service Manager
· Community projects were again recommended by Officers, but with a scrutiny by the CIL Spending Panel before sign-off by Management Team.
· Strategic Projects were scrutinised and agreed by Cabinet with recommendations from officers and comment from the CIL Spending Panel – Management Team reviewed those recommendations.
· The processes were intended to maximise involvement of Members but allowed for officers to co-ordinate applications and achieve a Corporate focus (this would include reference to spending from other sources considered regularly by Management Team).
The Planning Policy Manager explained that this was the first time that the Council had requested people to make applications for monies from CIL and the first time that the Council had assessed against the criteria from the CIL Governance Framework.
The Task Group also noted the terms of reference of the Task Group.
The CIL Officer gave a brief summary of the criteria as outlined in the Governance document which all the applications were scored against.
Councillor Parish stated that the agenda was 149 pages long and he had thought that the applications would be dripped through to the Spending Panel rather than in one go. He added that some Parish Councils had commented that their applications had been submitted for some time and they were hoping for a swift outcome. He drew attention to the fact that some community projects had been determined as local projects. He also thought that there would be more strategic projects to consider.
The Chair added that he was not aware that the applications would be drip fed through to the Spending Panel. He intended to consider the applications on-bloc unless there had been any changes to the criteria, in which case, he wanted the Task Group to consider it.
The CIL Officer advised that if the local projects were approved today then the applicants would be informed of the decision and the next stage would be for them to enter into a contract with the Council, but they would be notified as soon as possible after the meeting.
The Planning Policy Manager explained that the criteria for the strategic projects had precluded some applications from coming forward.
The CIL Officer explained that as part of the CIL funding process, 57 applications for projects within the Borough had been received: 48 Local Projects, 8 Community Projects and 1 Strategic Project Application. The submitted applications had been reviewed and scored according to the CIL Governance Document and made officer recommendations based on the evidence submitted.
The Spending Panel then went through the applications made the following comments:
Ref no. 6 – Barton Bendish Village Hall.
The CIL Spending Panel agreed with the officer recommendation to approve £5,000.
Ref 13 – North Runcton Flood Alleviation Work – the CIL Officer explained that she had details of the submission which she could share with the Task Group if requested. The Planning Policy Manager made reference to the map.
The CIL Spending Panel agreed with the officer recommendation.
In accordance with Standing Order 34, Councillor Mrs Spiking addressed the Panel in respect of Ref 14 – Upwell Hall – Renovation and Preparation, Ref 45 on pages and Ref 52 page 125 and 126. Councillor Mrs Spikings addressed the Task Group in support of the applications. She provided additional information in relation to the Upwell Hall application regarding unexpected increased costs of the project and whether they were able to apply for more funding. The Planning Policy Manager advised that this was going to be an issue for some organisations and explained that there might be, following a review, some flexibility written into this. If the project came in a number of stages, then perhaps they could apply for further funding in another round of funding requests.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group agreed with the officer recommendation to award £6,062.00 but advised for all applicants that if there was a change in circumstances and they needed additional monies for a particular project, then they would have the opportunity to apply for additional funding in the next round of funding applications.
Ref no 58 – Downham Market High Street Lighting and Bunting.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group agreed with the officer recommendation to award a partial approval of £4,000.00.
AGREED: That the Local Projects be agreed in line with the officer recommendation, but further scrutiny of projects would take place in the future.
Ref no. 21 – North Wootton Parish Council – Wootton Park – All Weather Parking – the CIL Officer explained that this did not meet the criteria for a Community Project and had to be considered as such.
Councillor de Whalley asked whether the Parish Council had been contacted to advise that the application would be refused as a Community Project, but they could have reapplied as a Local Project. The Planning Policy explained that in an ideal world that would be the way forward but there had not been the resource available to do that but in the future the criteria and guidance notes could be made clearer.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group agreed with the officer recommendation to change this to a Local Project and award £10,000.
Ref no. 38 – Burnham Overy Village Hall – New Windows. The CIL Officer explained that this application had been refused and it was invalid as it did not meet the Community criteria. There was also no evidence of local/stakeholder support and there was no evidence that the village hall committee was a constituted body.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group agreed to allocate £10,000 as a Local Project, and they be advised to apply again.
Ref no. 42 – North Wootton Parish Council – Conversion to LED Street Lighting. It was noted that the CIL Officer had recommended refusal as a community project, but award £10,000 as a Local Project.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group agreed with the officer recommendation.
Ref no. 52 – Upwell Parish Council – Upwell Hall Environmental Transformation (PC Asset). The CIL Officer explained that this had been refused as a strategic project as it was not over £50,000 but based on the evidence submitted £50,000 could be awarded as a Community Project.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group agreed with the officer recommendation.
Ref no. 56 – Tilney All Saints – Millennium Green Play Areas. The CIL Officer explained that she was unsure if the project met the pre-application criteria under Environment as not linked to Climate Change. £10,000 could be allocated under a Local Project.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group felt that this did meet the Community criteria and agreed to allocate £36,000 as a Community Project.
Ref no. 64 – Clenchwarton Pre-School – Project Panda – Improve use of outdoor area at Memorial Hall. The CIL Project Officer explained that this application had been refused as a Community Project as it did not meet the pre-application criteria. £10,000 could be allocated as a Local Project.
The CIL Spending Panel Task Group felt that this did meet the Community criteria and agreed to allocate £19,281.00.
AGREED: That in addition to those listed above, the CIL Spending Panel agreed with the officer recommendation for all the other applications.
Cllr Mrs Nockolds declared an interest as an Alive West Norfolk Director and took no part in the discussion for the following item:
Ref no. 32 – BCKLWN – New Lynnsport 3G and Coaching Academy – It was reported that this would have to go to the Council’s Cabinet for approval.
AGREED: That the CIL Spending Panel recommended to Cabinet that the request of £250,000 be approved.
The total amount allocated for Local Projects was £270,934.47 with £233,460.24 in match funding.
The total amount allocated for Community Projects was £305,281.00 with £207,241.80 in match funding.
The total amount allocated for Strategic Projects amounted to £250,000 with match funding of £660,000.00.
The total CIL funding allocated amounted to £826,215.47.
The CIL Fund initially was £1,943,491.59.
The CIL Task Group offered its congratulations to the CIL Officer for the amount of work that had been undertaken.
The Chair suggested that another meeting be held to review the outcome of today’s meeting and to set a timetable for the next round of funding.
The Planning Policy Manager invited the Task Group to send in any comments to him or the CIL Manager on today’s meeting.
It was explained that the results of today’s meeting would be communicated and followed up with some case studies. The results of the Task Group would also be published on the CIL webpages.