Agenda and draft minutes

Regulation Committee - Thursday, 1st July, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Andrew Tait  03000 416749


No. Item


Election of Vice-Chairman

Additional documents:


(1)       Mr D Jeffrey moved seconded by Mr R Love that Mrs S Hudson be elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee.



(2)       RESOLVED that Mrs S Hudson be elected as Vice-Chairman of the Committee.


Terms of Reference of the Committee

Membership: 15 Members - Conservative: 12, Labour:1, Liberal Democrat 1, Green/Independents: 1.


1             This Committee is responsible for the Council’s functions in relation to the enforcement of the control of development under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and related statutory instruments and may exercise any of the powers of the County Council so delegated as set out in the Delegation Table. The Committee also considers:


(a)          appeals against refusal to approve premises for the solemnisation of marriages (or the attachment of a condition to such an approval),


(b)          all Commons Registration functions under Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 and the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2008,


(c)          the creation, stopping up, diversion of any footpath or bridleway or restricted byway or the reclassification of any public path where substantive objection has been raised or a political party or the Local Member requests,


(d)          appeals by pupils and parents against school-related decisions that are not considered by an external appeal Committee, including transport, education awards and religious education. Such appeals to be dealt with by ad hoc Sub-Committees of Members (Panels) chaired by and including at least one member of the Regulation Committee. All Panel members must have received appropriate training before taking up their positions,


(e)          the making, variation or revocation of Gating Orders under the Highways Act 1980 (Gating Orders) (England) Regulations 2006,


(f)           the discharge of persons who are subject to guardianship, pursuant to Section 23 of the Mental Health Act 1983 on the recommendation of the Director of Disabled Children, Adults Learning Disability and Mental Health.


1.1         The Council agreed on 20 September 2001 that functions (a)-(c) could be delegated to Sub-Committees.


1.2         The Council agreed on 19 June 2008 that function (e) could be delegated to Sub-Committees.


1.3          The Council agreed on 13 May 2010 that function (f) could be delegated to a Sub-Committee (the Mental Health Guardianship Sub-Committee) of at least three Members, one of whom should be a member of the Regulation Committee and the others to be Members of the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee (who must not also be members of an NHS Foundation Trust).  The decision to discharge must be agreed by at least three Members or where there are more Members on the Sub-Committee by a majority of the Panel.


1.4         Political Groups should only nominate Members as regular Members or substitutes on the Regulation Committee (and on Panels of the Committee) if they have had training in the relevant procedures.


1.5         The Regulation Committee may permit members of the public interested in their decisions to address their meetings, in accordance with the principles of decision-making contained in paragraph 8.5 of the Constitution.


Additional documents:


The Committee noted its Terms of Reference.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

(a)  Committee: 28 January 2021;

                    27 May 2021

(b)  Member Panel: 24 February 2021

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Committee meetings held on 28 January 2021 and 27 May 2021 and of the Regulation Committee Member Panel on 24 February 2021 are correctly recorded and that they be signed by the Chairman.


Introduction to Education Transport Appeals: Presentation

Additional documents:


(1)          The Principal Democratic Service Officer briefly explained the role of the Committee‘s Transport Appeals Panels.  He said that parents whose children attended Primary, Secondary or Special Schools could appeal against the Authority’s decision not to provide free transport to the school they were attending.  The Panel had to assess whether the Authority’s School Transport Policy had been correctly applied but that it could not consider the Policy’s merits.  The Panel then had to consider whether the case presented by the parents was sufficiently strong for it to make an exception in this instance.


(2)       The Principal Democratic Services Officer then informed the Committee that a Panel had to meet physically but that the parents could choose whether they wished to attend physically, virtually or to rely on a paper-based appeal. 


(3)       The Principal Democratic Services Officer said that a full virtual training session would be held on 28 July 2021 after which all those who had attended would be eligible to sit on the Panels.


(4)       The Chairman strongly recommended that all Committee Members should attend the training session.


(5)       RESOLVED that the report be noted.  


Update from the Public Rights of Way and Access Service

Additional documents:


(1)          The Definition Officer gave an oral report in which she said that 5 new village green applications had been received since the January meeting of the Committee.  17 applications relating to Public Rights of Way had been received in 2021, a significant proportion of which were proposed diversions which had been prompted by greater public footpath use during the pandemic. 


(2)       The Definition Officer said that the Public Rights and Access Service had been able to adapt successfully during the lockdown, although those cases which had been referred to Public Inquiries had experienced delays.


(3)       The Definition Officer then said that training for Members in respect of Village Green and Public Rights of Way cases was in the process of being arranged. 


(4)       The Definition Officer informed the Committee of the Supreme Court judgement in the T W Logistics Ltd (Appellant) v Essex County Council and said that this judgement would be circulated separately to Members of the Committee.


(5)       RESOLVED that the report be noted.



Update on Planning Enforcement Issues pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Additional documents:


(1)       The Team Leader Planning Enforcement introduced the report, explaining the work of the Planning Enforcement Team and highlighting the strengthening of partnership working arrangements with other enforcement agencies which had developed in response to the covid-19 pandemic.  He said that this was an essential aspect of meeting the challenges posed by the organised criminal nature of many of the cases identified.


(2)       In response to a question from Mr Chittenden, the Team Leader Planning Enforcement agreed to inform Members of the Committee of the composition and purpose of the cross-party group on Environmental Waste Crime referred to in paragraph 23 of the report.


(3)       RESOLVED that the report be noted.




































(Open Access to Minutes)

(Members resolved under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded for the following business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 5 and 6 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act)


Update on Planning Enforcement cases


(1)       The Team Leader-Planning Enforcement gave an update on unauthorised planning enforcement matters setting out actions taken or contemplated at Raspberry Hill Park Farm, Iwade; Warden Point, Eastchurch; Surf Crescent, Eastchurch; Foxdene, Stockbury; Chetney Marshes, Iwade; Springhill Farm, Fordcombe; Water Lane, Thurnham; Hoads Wood Farm, Bethersden; Ringwould Alpine Nursery; Double Quick Farm, Lenham; Woodside East, Nickley Wood Road, Shadoxhurst; Chapel Lane, Sissinghurst; Worth Centre, Jubilee Road, Worth; East Kent Recycling, Oare Creek, Faversham; Blaise Farm Quarry, Kings Hill; Dungeness Borrow Pit, Dungeness; Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate, Ashford; Courts Lodge Farm, Stack Road, Horton Kirby; R S Skipps, Apex Business Park, Shorne; Flisher Energy, Fernfield Lane, Hawkinge; Sall Haulage Ltd, Unit 2, Katrina Wharf, Wharf Road, Gravesend; Cube Metals, Unit A, Highfield Industrial Estate, Folkestone; and Wrotham Quarry (Addington Sandpit), Addington, West Malling.  


(2)       The Team Leader Planning Enforcement drew the Committee’s attention to the practice of operators applying to the Environment Agency for an Exemption from their controls for recycling purposes, or for the seeking of a Permit to allow the carrying out of waste-related activities).   He said that this was encouraging the establishment and escalation of activities which the County Council (as waste planning authority) was forced to seek to correct under extremely difficult circumstances.   He informed the Committee that the LGA was requesting Local Authorities to contribute to its lobbying in respect of the nationwide problem of slow response to planning enforcement cases.


(3)       Mr H Rayner moved, seconded by Mr R Love that the Team Leader Planning Enforcement in consultation with the Chairman write a response on behalf of the Committee to the LGA with the aim of stopping the Environment Agency from issuing Permits on sites which do not have the benefit of planning permission.

                        Carried Unanimously


(4)       RESOLVED that:-


(a)          the enforcement strategies outlined in paragraphs 5 to 130 of the report be noted and endorsed; and


(b)          the Team Leader Planning Enforcement in consultation with the Chairman write a response on behalf of the Committee to the LGA with the aim of stopping the Environment Agency from issuing Permits on sites which do not have the benefit of planning permission.