Formation of the Northfleet Harbourside Steering Group
That the formation of the Northfleet Harbourside Steering Group be approved in line with the draft terms of reference appended to the report.
In addition, the two councillors to represent GBC on the Steering Group were identified as Cllr Lenny Rolles and Cllr Conrad Broadley.
The Cabinet was informed that the proposed Northfleet Harbourside project aimed to provide a new neighbourhood with Ebbsfleet United Football Club at its heart. The vision for the project being to design a new and vibrant neighbourhood with new homes, shops, cafes, offices, medical services and community venues. This will also include over 3kms of new pedestrian and cycle links through the community and along the River Thames improving connectivity to Gravesham Town Centre, and publicly accessible green spaces across the site.
The planning application for the development site had been submitted to the Council however National Highways had now placed a caveat on the application in that it would not be determined for a period of 3 months, expiring on 6 March 2023, to allow time for the applicant to provide additional information requested by National Highways. As such, it was currently anticipated that the application will be presented to the Planning Committee early in the new financial year.
The Cabinet was informed that the project was being delivered in partnership between Landmarque Property Group and Ebbsfleet United FC and it was proposed that Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) becomes an advisory partner in the project as a whole. Therefore, it was proposed that a Steering Group be established, involving representatives from GBC, Landmarque Property Group and/or Ebbsfleet United FC in order to ensure that the Council is actively involved in the project, should it receive the required permissions, and that local views are reflected.
The Chief Executive stated that, for the avoidance of doubt, the creation of the Steering Group was in no way to be seen as a pre-determination of the planning application which will go through the normal consideration processes.
The draft terms of reference of the Steering Group were appended to the report for Members’ consideration. The Steering Group will have no decision-making powers in its own right. If necessary, a report will be provided to the Council’s Cabinet (or other relevant, constituted committee as necessary) for any formal decisions that need to be made.
The Steering Group will be formed as follows:-
· Two Councillor representatives from the Council, one of whom will be nominated as Chair of the Steering Group;
· Two representatives from the developer (Landmarque Property Group and/or Ebbsfleet United FC – development partners); and
· Associate members may be co-opted to the Steering Group during the project as necessary, such as representatives from Homes England, Environment Agency etc. Council officers may also attend to provide support to the Steering Group where this was considered necessary. Additional representatives may be asked to attend the Steering Group as required, with the express permission of the Council’s Cabinet.
The Leader reiterated that Members must be mindful of pre-determination and that the intention will be to appoint two Councillors representing GBC. The intention will be to have cross-party representation so one Member from the Labour Group and one Member from the Conservative Group; the nominations being Cllrs Lenny Rolles and Conrad Broadley. The Leader stated that the nominations would be temporary up until the Borough Elections in May 2023 and will be reviewed by the new administration at that time.
Resolved that the formation of the Northfleet Harbourside Steering Group be approved in line with the draft terms of reference appended to the report. In addition, the two Councillors to represent Gravesham Borough Council on the Steering Group were identified as Cllr Lenny Rolles and Cllr Conrad Broadley.