Agenda item

Corporate Performance Update: Quarter Four 2020-21

Minutes:

The Assistant Director (Planning) and Assistant Director (Communities) provided the Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter Four 2020-21 (January to March).

 

The Assistant Director (Planning) highlighted the following:

 

  • PI 15 – there was a significant amount of affordable homes delivered during this period, the biggest provider being Cable Wharf. Cable Wharf provides a mixture of Affordable Rent and Shared Ownership homes. Overall, there was a total delivery of 135 new affordable homes during 2020-2021.
  • In regards to PI 36, the Planning Department are concerned about the increasing amount of ‘Non Major’ planning applications as they have been greatly in excess of that of previous years. This is a result of residents having more money due to not being able to go abroad and more residents have been evaluating the functionality of their homes after spending an increased amount of time indoors over the past year.
  • In regards to the SPD for residential extensions, the SPD has not formally been issued as there were concerns expressed about the quality of the drawings included in the document. An artist has now been commissioned to produce the drawings in order to make it easier for residents to understand the information included within the document.

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) highlighted the following:

 

  • The update focuses on the period of January to March 2021 and therefore the statistics do not reflect the relaxation of restrictions, it is anticipated that the footfall in the town centre has increased following the relaxation of restrictions.
  • Defrayment of Additional Restrictions Grant has increased to £2 million and a requirement to defray 100% of the allocated ARG has been postponed from 30 June to 30 July. This will give the council extra time to allocate the grant accordingly. 
  • In relation to PI 34, there continues to be concern over increasing youth unemployment. There is a new Job Centre Campus in the town centre which offers a work coaching service particularly aimed at young people receiving universal credit.

 

The Assistant Director (Planning) and Assistant Director (Communities) fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:

 

  • A Member requested an update on the progress of major upcoming developments, the Assistant Director (Planning) informed Members that in regards to Clifton Slipways, the Section 16 has been signed. However, the Planning Department have not received a signal to suggest that physical works are about to commence on site. In relation to the former Maternity Block, the Section 16 has not yet been signed and the form is with the Solicitors of the Applicant, the Planning Department has made contact on multiple occasions to find out what the delay is.
  • The borough has not met the target for new affordable homes delivered in order to receive the New Homes Bonus.
  • The housing developers will have a local lettings plan in place which will use the council’s Housing Register as a key component. The Housing Strategy Development Team work closely with the Housing Department in order to ensure that the lettings plans put in place are secure in order to ensure that the residents of Gravesham benefit from the new affordable homes that are built.
  • Members noted that 8 of the affordable homes built are directly council owned houses, these are located at Nansen Road. 
  • The Assistant Director (Planning) explained that in the 2012 Core Strategy there were assumptions made that Gravesend had an excess of smaller units and did not have enough big units. Since 2012, the retail horizon has changed drastically and there has not yet been additional commissioned technical work as the council feel that the retail market is still significantly influx. A lack of provision of units of a particular type is leading to out-of-centre and edge-of-centre locations becoming more attractive to potential retailers, the new Lidl opening on Coldharbour Road was used as an example.
  • The units in the town centre are constructed in a way which makes it difficult to quickly adapt their size or the way they are internally configured or serviced.
  • The Senior Economic Development Officer highlighted that some sectors are increasingly struggling to hire staff, the Construction sector in particular are struggling to hire, across the trades and professional disciplines.

 

The Committee thanked the officers and noted the Corporate Performance Update for Quarter Four 2020-21.

Supporting documents: