Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Environment and Sustainability Committee - Tuesday, 31 January 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames TW18 1XB

Contact: Christeen Abee  Email:

Link: Members of the public may hear the proceedings by tuning into the Council's YouTube channel

No. Item


Disclosures of Interest

To receive any disclosures of interest from councillors in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for members.


There were none.


Ward Issues

To consider any issues raised by ward councillors in accordance with Standing Order 34.2



There were none.


Questions from members of the Public

The Chair, or his nominee, to answer any questions raised by members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 40.


There were two questions from members of the public. These were raised under the relevant agenda item.


Local Plan Update and Implications of Revised National Planning Policy Framework pdf icon PDF 831 KB

To consider the implications of proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework on the submitted Local Plan.

Additional documents:


19:06 – Councillor Brar and Councillor Buttar arrived at the meeting


The Committee considered a report and presentation outlining the implications of proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework on the submitted Local Plan.


Two questions were received from members of the public in connection with this agenda item:


Question One from Lynda Fuller:


“Preamble: The NPPF stresses the need for Local Plans to be community led. The Council’s own constitution requires it “to work in partnership with residents to make Spelthorne a place where people are fully engaged, and to encourage the active involvement of the community in the decisions that affect them”. The well-supported and independently conducted survey of Staines residents in the autumn last year revealed that less than 2% of those who had participated in earlier consultations on the Local Plan felt their views had been listened to, and of the whole sample only 2.74% felt the plan for Staines was ‘fair’, 1.61% ‘desirable’, and 0.97% ‘sustainable’.


Question: Does the Council (or E&S Committee if it is not authorised to speak for the Council) accept these findings from our independently conducted survey, and if not why not and (if the Council decides to make change to its Local Plan or is instructed to do so by the Planning Inspector) will it endeavour to meet the obligations of its constitution and the demands of the NPPF in relation to community engagement in any consultation on revisions to its Local Plan?”


Response from the Chair:

“Community engagement and consultation are integral to the preparation of Local Plans and supplementary guidance documents. Whilst we have fulfilled these obligations and all responses are taken into account, including the survey referred to, this does not mean we can necessarily do everything our communities have asked for. Especially where those communities have competing demands. As we have explained many times, including as part of this evening’s items for discussion, we are bound by national planning policy and this affects what we can and this affects what we can reasonably achieve in sustainable town centres. We have listened to our residents by including the zoning proposals in Staines, where development can come forward with or without an up-to-date Local Plan.


In respect of making changes instructed by an Inspector, an Inspector cannot instruct. They will recommend changes necessary in order to make the plan sound, Spelthorne then chooses whether to do this or not, but if they don’t then it is obviously unlikely the Plan will be found ‘sound’.


I think your comment about listening to constituents goes to the heart of this matter. Spelthorne’s level of public engagement far surpasses the guidelines and goes well beyond the engagement carried out by any other authority I know. All of Spelthorne’s major Residents groups representing many thousands of our residents support the plan. Most of these groups have been in existence for decades and have a wide knowledge base among their members. Most have been involved in these consultations since 2018. They  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13/23


Spelthorne Borough Council's Proposed Response to Government Consultation on Changes to the National Planning Policy Framework pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To consider Spelthorne Borough Council’s proposed response to the government’s consultation on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a draft response from Spelthorne Borough Council to the Government’s Consultation on proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework. The Planning Officer provided a summary of the responses and the points they addressed in the consultation.


The Committee agreed with the draft response to Chapter 6 in relation to beauty which noted that beauty was subjective. The Committee noted the tone of the responses and felt they could be more robust, particularly when addressing the concern of the Council. They recommended that the language in the responses be strengthened, and also address the disparity between communications from government officials and legislation. Some members felt that affordable housing should be at the forefront of the response.


It was proposed by Councillor Fidler, seconded by Councillor Beecher and resolved to suspend standing orders so the meeting could continue until 10.30pm.


Members requested that the amended response be circulated to the Committee for review ahead of submission, and this was agreed. 


The Committee resolved to agree the draft consultation response subject to the proposed changes being incorporated into the final draft.