Agenda and draft minutes

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No. Item


Election of a Chairman for the meeting

TO CONSIDER the appointment of a chairman for the meeting.


The Chief Executive advised that the Chairman of the Committee was unable to sit because he had participated in the decision made by the Policy and Resources Committee that was under consideration.


It was proposed by Councillor Butcher, seconded by Councillor Bartley and RESOLVED - that Councillor Clark be elected Chairman for the meeting.


Apologies for absence

The following Councillors Baldock and Glover have given their apologies as they were involved in making the original decision.



Apologies had been received from Councillors Baldock and Glover due to their participation in the decision at Policy and Resouces Committee.  Both were in attendance as observers.


Apologies also received from Councillors Hirst and Williams, both of whom had previously declared that they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the item under review.


Substitute Councillors


The following substitutes were present – Councillor Butcher for Councillor Baldock; Councillor Ian Thomas as a substitute for Councillor Williams and Councillor Wimble for Councillor Hirst.


Vice Chairman for 2015/16

TO CONSIDER an appointment of a Vice-Chairman of the Decision Review Committee for the council year 2015/16.


Councillor Clark was elected Vice Chairman of the Committee.


Declaration of any interests

TO RECEIVE any declarations for the following in so far as they relate to the business for the meeting:-


  1. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
  2. Other Significant Interests (what were previously thought of as non-pecuniary Prejudicial interests)
  3. Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests


Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests not required to be disclosed as DPI’s or OSI’s, ie announcements made for transparency reasons alone, such as:

·        Membership of outside bodies that have made representations on agenda items, or

·        Where a Councillor knows a person involved, but does not have a close association with that person, or

·        Where an item would affect the well-being of a Member, relative, close associate, employer, etc but not his/her financial position.


[Note: an effect on the financial position of a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc; OR an application made by a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc, would both probably constitute either an OSI or in some cases a DPI].


Councillor Ian Thomas made a voluntary announcement that he was a professional landlord but did not own any property within the Article 4 area or let to students. 


Councillor Westgate made a voluntary announcement that he was Vice Chairman of the St Michaels Road Residents Association, which had campaigned for the introduction of the Article 4 Direction.


Public participation

To report any requests from members of the public who have given notice that they wish to speak on any item on the agenda.  The public must give notice to Democratic Services by 12.30pm on the working day before the meeting.



The Chairman indicated that there were 2 speakers for agenda item (8) request for review of the decision regarding Canterbury Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Article 4 Direction.


The Chairman then allowed Ms V Taylor and Mr R Murray to speak on the item at this point in the meeting.


Terms of Reference and rules of procedure for the committee pdf icon PDF 124 KB

TO NOTE extracts from the constitution.


The Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure were both NOTED.


Request for a Review of the Decision at Minute 136 of the Policy and Resources Committee on 15 July - Canterbury Houses in Multiple Occupancy - Article 4 Direction pdf icon PDF 31 KB

TO CONSIDER the request for the review of the decision, and


A petition from Mr J Bailey to Full Council on 23 July 2015 asking the Council to revisit the decision.


AND TO RECOMMEND a course of action in accordance with the section 6 of decision review committee rules set out in item 7 of this agenda.


Set out in this agenda is the:


·        Decision review request

·        Wording of the petition

·        Report which went to Policy and Resources Committee on 15 July 2015

·        An extract of the minutes from the Policy and Resources Committee on 15 July 2015

Additional documents:


The Chairman invited the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee to comment on the decision made by the committee.  He advised that the committee had considered the report and the points raised at the meeting and decided to vote as they saw fit on the day.


The Committee considered the issues set out in the report and the comments of the public speakers.


The Councillors made a number of comments to which officers responded, as follows: -


1.               There was no specific help available from the council for those who wanted to sell their property who lived within the designated area. 


2.               Applications would be considered on their planning merits reflecting material planning considerations.  The Article 4 Direction would be one such consideration.


3.               The proposal was interfering with the free market.   The universities had built significant additional student accommodation in recent years which was resulting in some landlords struggling to get tenants.  The council would also loose income because it cannot charge fees for applications resulting from an Article 4 Direction.


4.               A councillor suggested a balanced community should have a greater proportion of permanent than transient residents.  The areas affected by a high concentration of HMO’s was widening to the edge of the city.    The Article 4 Direction would act as a planning instrument to limit the amount of HMOs in each area.


5.               Adequate reasons were not given for the decision.  Ward councillors in the affected areas supported the proposal to adopt the Article 4 Direction.  The ratio of HMO to residential houses in areas of high HMO concentration had reached a tipping point.  It was better for students to live in a mixed area where they could be supported by local residents.


6.               It was confirmed that the Planning Inspector could confirm, amend or reject Policy HD6 of the draft Local Plan, which was designed to work in conjunction with the proposed Article 4 Direction.


7.               The council had given notice of its intention to confirm the Article 4 Direction, which would come into effect in February 2016.  If the council waited for the Inspector to make his ruling, it could delay adoption by 12 -18 months because a new notice would need to be published indicating the council’s intention to implement an Article 4 Direction if the old one had expired.


8.               Responding to a question about whether the council might be liable to pay compensation for anyone suffering financial loss as a result of any change in decision, it was believed that this was unlikely because the proposal to introduce the Article 4 Direction would have been implemented in good faith and reflected the policy contained in the draft Local Plan.


The Chief Executive clarified that the impact of the Article 4 Direction was that it required planning permission to be sought for change of use from residential to HMO, which was a decision that would be taken either by the Planning Committee or under delegation by an officer.  Planning may still be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 214.