Broads Authority planning committee proposal opposed

PUBLISHED: 15:09 02 August 2017

Vic Thomson Picture: Norfolk Conservatives

Vic Thomson Picture: Norfolk Conservatives

Norfolk Conservatives

A proposal that all district council appointed members of the Broads Authority should be included on the planning committee was thwarted after some members opposed it.

Lana Hempsall. Picture: Denise Bradley Lana Hempsall. Picture: Denise Bradley

South Norfolk District Council member Vic Thomson made the proposal at the annual meeting of the Broads Authority on July 28.

Planning applications for areas that fall under the Broads are considered by the Broads Authority’s planning committee, rather than committees of the district councils.

Broadland District Council member Lana Hempsall was removed from the planning committee last year following disagreements over a village phone box and never reappointed. Since then the district council has not been represented in any planning matters.

Mr Thomson said local authority members represented districts that were also influenced by Broads Authority planning. He said there were villages where one side of the road was subject to Broads Authority planning and the other district council planning.

Andrew Proctor. Picture: Broadland Conservatives. Andrew Proctor. Picture: Broadland Conservatives.

He said: “It does cause some angst in the community and I think we can be a valuable asset on the planning committee.”

He was supported by North Norfolk member Paul Rice.

However, some members spoke strongly against the proposal.

Secretary of State Appointee Bill Dixon said he failed to see the “rationale” behind it.

“The appointments to the planning committee are decided by members making judgements about who are the most appropriate, right and proper individuals to a particular role. It’s nothing about which organisation should have a seat at the table. Members aren’t appointed to the planning committee to represent particular interests or areas.”

Sarah Mukherjee, another Secretary of State Appointee, proposed an amendment saying the matter should form part of the overall governance review.

She said: “My real concern is that if we have a precedent for one committee, why not have it for others?”

The amendment was later passed.

Broadland District Council leader Andrew Proctor said it was important that all “relevant” members were appointed to the planning committee. He said district council members had valuable experience that could benefit the committee.

Planning committee members

A Broads Authority Duty to Cooperate Statement document reads in part:

“Direct links at member level: Each district and county council appoints one of its councillors to Membership of the Broads Authority. Each of the six districts and two county councils have representation at the planning committee by virtue of one of their Broads Authority appointed Members.”

The current planning membership is:·Mike Barnard, Waveney District Council; Gail Harris, Norwich City Council; Paul Rice, North Norfolk Council; Haydn Thirtle, Great Yarmouth Borough Council; Victor Thomson, South Norfolk District Council; John Timewell, Norfolk County Council; Brian Iles, Norfolk County Council; Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, Suffolk County Council; Jacquie Burgess, Secretary of State Appointee; Bill Dickson, Secretary of State Appointee; Peter Dixon, Secretary of State Appointee. There is no Broadland District Council representative.

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