DELEGATED POWERS TO OFFICERS OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS BOROUGH COUNCIL

Report of Borough Secretary and Solicitor
was presented to Councillors / Members of the WESTERN AREA PLANNING COMMITTEE on 11 September 2002 (WAP meeting)


Executive Summary

This report (WAP/02/09/04 = 4 Sep 2002) recommends that Members formally agree the scheme of delegation to officers, as set out in the Appendix.

FOR DECISION

Introduction

  1. The Council, at its meeting on 23 April 2002, formally adopted the Constitution with the effect that it should come into force on 21 May 2002. One of the matters covered by the Constitution was the proposed scheme of delegation to officers.
  2. Set out in the Appendix to this report is the proposed Scheme of Delegation with respect to the functions that have been assigned to the Officers or Western Area Planning Committee by the Local Government Act 2000. The authority to exercise these functions needs to be formally delegated by the Western Area Planning Committee, which is the purpose of the report. <
  3. As officers may have purported to exercise a number of these delegated authorities since the date of the Annual Meeting of Council on 21 May 2002, it would be prudent to authorise retrospectively all actions taken to date.

RECOMMENDED

  1. That the Scheme of Delegation to Officers, as set out in the Appendix to this report, be formally agreed; and
  2. That, insofar as may be necessary, any decision taken by officers under the scheme of delegation since 21 May 2002 be authorised retrospectively.

Contact Officer: Martin Harris

MARTIN HARRIS
Borough Secretary and Solicitor

Appendix: Part 3 (4) of the Council's Constitution - Scheme of Delegation



DELEGATION TO OFFICERS OF COUNCIL FUNCTIONS

The following officers are authorised to exercise the functions listed below as delegated by the Eastern and Western Area Planning Committees.

    Chief Executive

  1. All delegations to Officers shall be subject to the overriding proviso that the Chief Executive may -

    • require the Officer concerned not to exercise the power, but to report to the Area Planning Committee for instructions; and
    • require the Officer concerned that, on any particular matter, the Chief Executive will exercise a reserve power to take the appropriate decision himself (carrying the responsibility for such decisions likewise).

  2. To incur reasonable expenditure on behalf of the Council on hospitality connected with the activities of the Committee.

  3. Instructing the Borough Secretary and Solicitor to take immediate legal action, including Court proceedings, necessary to protect the interests of the Council or take the opinion of Counsel on any point of law which it is necessary to determine in the interests of the Council.


    Director of Operational Services

  4. To exercise any of the functions delegated to the Area Planning Committee between meetings of the Committee or, in his/her absence, the Chief Executive, with the concurrence of the Chairman, or in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairman subject to the provisos below.
    Provisos
    • a report is made to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee;
    • the decision is recorded in writing;
    • where there are financial implications exceeding 1,000 the Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive is consulted; and
    • the parties making or consulted about the decision are satisfied that the decision could not reasonably have awaited a schedule meeting of the Committee concerned or justified the calling of a special meeting thereof.

    Head of Planning and Building Control Services

  5. To exercise, between meetings of the Committee, those functions delegated to the Area Committee which fall within the parameters of his/her post with the concurrence of the Chairman or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairman subject to the provisos below. Without prejudice to the generality of this paragraph, such functions will include:-
    Planning Applications
    Statutory Functions Relating to Tree Preservation
    Statutory Functions Relating to Conservation
    Statutory Functions Relating to Hedgerows

    Provisos

    • the Head of Operational Services or, in his/her absence, the Chief Executive concurs;
    • a report is made to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee;
    • the decision is recorded in writing;
    • where there are financial implications exceeding 1,000 the Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive is consulted; and
    • the parties making or consulted about the decision are satisfied that the decision could not reasonably have awaited a scheduled meeting of the Area Committee concerned or justified the calling of a special meeting thereof.

    Director of Operational Services

    General Planning Matters

    • Authority to serve directions or notices under the following power or under any statutory re-enactment of the same:-
      • The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995;
      • The Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995;
      • Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (maintenance of land);
      • Section 54 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (repairs to Listed Buildings);
      • Section 171C and 171D of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Planning Contravention Notices);
      • Regulations 5(1 )b(i), 5(2) and 5(8), and 8(1) and 8(2) of the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 (retention and replacement of hedgerows).
    • Authority to undertake informal discussions and consultations in connection with planning matters.
    • Authority, subject to the financial limits set by the Council's revenue budget and compliance with the Council's Contract Procedure Rules Relating to Contracts, to employ consultants in connection with planning applications or appeals.
    • Authority to enter into planning agreements in connection with any matter coming within the terms of his/her delegated authority.
    • Authority to lodge responses to notifications for telecommunications, agricultural development, demolition and other notifications under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

    Trees

    • Power to approve or refuse permission to fell or carry out work on individual or small groups of trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order.
    • Power to respond to any consultation in connection with felling licences, woodland grant schemes and similar forestry applications.
    • After appropriate consultation with the Chairman of the Area Committee, to confirm Tree Preservation Orders where there have been no objections lodged within the statutory period.
    • A general authority, after consultation with the Chairman of the Area Committee, or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairman, to instruct the Borough Secretary and Solicitor to prosecute under sections 210 or 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for contraventions of a Tree Preservation Order or for failure to notify the Authority of the intention to cut down, top or lop a tree in a Conservation Area.
    • Authority to lodge responses to notifications to carry out works to trees within a Conservation Area, made under Section 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

    Conservation

    • To refuse applications for Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent or to approve applications where there is delegated authority to grant planning permission or the development is permitted.
    • To approve or reject grants for Listed Buildings, environmental improvement and similar matters.

    Hedgerows

  6. A general authority, after consultation with the Chairman of the Area Committee or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairman, to instruct the Borough Secretary and Solicitor to prosecute under Regulation 7 of the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 and for any other contraventions thereof.

    Planning Applications

  7. The applications in the categories set out below under the headings "residential", "non-residential", "development by other authorities" and "general" can be determined subject to the following: -
    • Any Member of the Council may, in writing, require an application to be referred to the appropriate Area Planning Committee;
    • When a representation is received from a Town/Parish Council that is contrary to the Officer's provisional decision, the application will be referred to the Area Planning Committee;
    • The Council does not undertake to take into consideration any observation received more than 21 days after registration of the application, unless:
      • it is submitted as a result of statutory procedures
      • It is the result of re-notification following submission of revised plans (such comments to be received within 14 days of notification).
    • All categories can be refused on grounds based on the Development Plan policies but not in the absence of such grounds.
    • Any categories of application which could be approved will be identified as "Designated" in the weekly plans list.

    Residential

      • Not more than six dwellings as a net gain, either as new development or by conversion and including flats, within a residential allocation in the adopted Local Plan or within the approved limits to built development of a town or village.
      • An agricultural dwelling or mobile home.
      • Outline applications for the development of not more than 0.25 hectares within a residential allocation in the adopted Local Plan or within the approved limits to built development of a town or village.
    • Extension or alterations to residential property, including garages, walls or other work within the curtilage.
    • The extension of a residential curtilage by not more than 0.25 hectares.
    • Single caravans or mobile homes.

    Non-Residential

    • Extensions or alterations to existing non-residential premises by not more than 25% of the volume of the existing building.
    • Advertisements
    • Shopfronts
    • Small agricultural buildings, but including those marginally larger than are permitted by the General Development Order (area not more than 25% greater).

    Development by Other Authorities

    • Consultations by Government Departments under Department of the Environmental circular 18/84 or any substituting Circular and minor works by the National Health Service subject to consultations with the Chairman of the Area Planning Committee where delegated authority is not given elsewhere.
    • Electricity sub-stations, low voltage overhead lines, transformer poles, pumping stations and other minor works in connection with public or privatised utilities.
    • Approval of applications for deemed consent by the Kent County Council and Borough Council where similar authority is given elsewhere.

    General

    • Change of use when not conflicting with the Development Plan.
    • Temporary buildings and renewal of temporary consents.
    • Arrangements for vehicular access and parking.
    • Reserved matters, limited, in the case of design and external appearance, to residential buildings or other buildings not exceeding a gross floor area of 1000 square metres.
      • Applications for development of a similar size and character to one already permitted on the same site.
      • Approval of amended plans where alterations are minimal and do not require a new application.
    • To determine applications under Sections 191 - 193 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 or under any re-enactment of the same.
    • Applications under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 or 19 to 74 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to remove conditions.
    • Matters arising from planning conditions, such as landscaping, samples of materials etc.
    • Power to determine applications for hazardous substances consent and related powers under sections 9(1) and 10 of the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990.
    • Authority to determine planning applications in accordance with Section 70A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

  8. Authority to confirm Public Footpath and Bridleway Orders when there has been no objection lodged within the statutory period.

    Borough Secretary and Solicitor

  9. A general authority to institute proceedings, after consultation with the Chairman or in his/her absence the Vice-Chairman of the Area Planning Committee, against any person or organisation for breaches of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992.

  10. To exercise legal action relating to any power delegated to the Area Planning Committee between meetings of that Committee, with the concurrence of the Chairman or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairman, subject to provisos (i) to (v) below.
    Provisos
    • the Director of Operational Services, or in his/her absence, and as appropriate, the Head of Strategy and Development, the Head of Planning and Building Control Services or, in their absence, the Chief Executive concurs;
    • a report is made to the next scheduled meeting of the Area Planning Committee;
    • the decision is recorded in writing;
    • where there are financial implications exceeding 1,000, the Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive is consulted; and
    • the parties making or consulted about the decision are satisfied that the decision could not reasonably have awaited a scheduled meeting of the Area Planning Committee or justified the calling of a special meeting thereof.

  11. Authority to take immediate legal action, including Court proceedings, necessary to protect the interests of the Council or take the opinion of Counsel on any point of Law which it is necessary to determine in the interests of the Council.

    Head of Strategy and Development

  12. To exercise, with the Director of Operational Services, certain functions which are set out in
    • paragraph (6) (a) (IV), (b), (c), (f) and
    • paragraph (8) (b).

    Head of Planning and Building Control Services

  13. To exercise, with the Director of Operational Services, the following functions set out as indicated below: -
    • paragraph (6) (a) (I) - (III) and (V) - (VI) and (b) - (f).
    • paragraphs (7),
    • paragraphs (8) (a),
    • (9) to (14).

    Development Control Manager

  14. To exercise, in the absence of the Head of Planning and Building Control Services, all his/her delegated functions referred to in paragraph (20).

    Transportation and Highways Services Manager

  15. To exercise, with the Director of Operational Services, the functions set out in paragraph (15).


-- END: Delegations to Officers of Council Functions



Comments by the THNA on the TWBC Internal Report: Telephone House Enquiry

TWBC Internal Inquiry into the Telephone House Debacle

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the controversial high density development on
Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells.