Please note that, whilst this response is addressed to Mr. Parham, the 13 other signatories to the letter did not receive any reply and I have requested individual email replies.
Date: 19th May 2020
RE: HAYLING ISLAND TRANSPORT ASSESSMENT ADDENDUM.
I am writing in response to your letter received on the 8th April 2020 regarding the
approval of the Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum. Your letter alleges
inappropriate action in respect of one of Havant Borough Council’s elected members,
namely Cllr Tim Pike. This matter has been passed to our Monitoring Officer for response.
The matter in question is the approval, call in and subsequent confirmation of the decisionto publish the Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum. The need for the piece of work originated in the Full Council’s resolution on 30 January 2019 which “Delegates authority to the Planning Policy Manager, in consultation with the Cabinet Lead for Communities, Development and Housing, to publish version two of the Hayling Island and Mainland Transport Assessments, in order to clarify the mitigation packages needed to accommodate development, prior to the submission of the Havant Borough Local Plan 2036 to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.” The Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum was then published on 20 February 2020 and called in for consideration at the Operations and Place Shaping Board on 10 March 2020. The matter was referred back to the decision maker, in this case the Cabinet Lead, to reconsider on four specific matters. The decision was subsequently confirmed by the relevant decision maker on 16 March 2020.
You suggest that Cllr Pike is not the only individual with the experience and knowledge in order to consider such matters. However Cllr Pike is the relevant Cabinet Lead for this
matter – namely the production of the Borough Council’s Local Plan. It is relevant in this
respect that the resolution made on 30 January 2019 is specific in terms of delegating the decision to the Cabinet Lead rather than any other decision making body of the Council.
The Operations and Place Shaping Board scrutinised the decision that the Cabinet Lead
made on 10 March. In opening that meeting, the chair of the Board made it clear that the
Board itself is not a decision making body. As such, whilst it was incumbent on the
decision maker to take note of the Board’s recommendations, there is no necessity for the decision itself to follow the Board’s recommendations nor for any minimum length of time in reaching such a decision. In confirming the decision, I note that due consideration was had to the Board’s recommendations.
I also note that the report that was produced by yourself and Dr Nick Hounsell regarding
the Hayling Island Transport Assessment Addendum was considered as part of the
decision making process as it is included within the documents which were considered by the Cabinet Lead in reaching his decision. I can also see from those reports that yourself and members of the Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Group were given early sight of the addendum, which is not necessary in order for the Council to comply with the regulations pertaining to the preparation of a Local Plan.
I do appreciate that you disagree with the decision that was made. Nonetheless in
considering the above, there is no instance of any act made by Cllr Pike that is not in line with the decision making policies and procedures of Havant Borough Council.
The remainder of the commentary of your letter relates to matters of soundness of the
Council’s emerging Local Plan. In consulting with colleagues, should any consultation take place on changes to the Local Plan, your letter or any other document could be submitted in support of any representations you choose to make during that consultation. This will then be considered by the Local Plan’s Inspector. As you are no doubt aware, the Local Planning Authority is duty bound to determine planning applications within statutory timescales in line with the National Planning Policy Framework. You would be free to submit your letter or any other document as a representation on any planning application the Council receives so that it considered as part of the decision-making process.
Councillor Michael Wilson
Leader of Havant Borough Council