Agenda and minutes

Venue: Middelburg Room, Civic Centre, Folkestone

Contact: Kate Clark 

No. Item


Appointment of chairman

The committee must appoint a district / parish councillor to chair the meeting.


Councillor Frank Hobbs was appointed Chairman of the meeting. 


Declarations of interest

Members of the Council should declare any interests which fall under the following categories*:

a) discloseable pecuniary interests (DPI)

b) other significant interests (OSI)

c) voluntary announcements of other interests



Councillor Jenny Hollingsbee made a voluntary announcement in that she owns two properties nearby to Otterpool Park.  She remained in the meeting during discussions. 



To receive and note the minutes of the meetings held on 21 September 2017 and 5 October 2017.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meetings held on 21 September and 5 October 2017 were submitted, approved and signed by the Chairman. 


By-Election costs

Report C/17/42 attached was presented to Cabinet and agreed on 11 October 2017.   


Amandeep Khroud, Head of Democratic Services and Law will present this report to the Committee. 

Supporting documents:


Report C/17/42 was presented to Cabinet and agreed on 11 October 2017. 


Amandeep Khroud, Head of Democratic Services and Law presented this report to the Committee. 


Mrs Khroud advised this had been adopted by Cabinet and attention was paid to Appendix 1 Scale of Fees.


Members expressed concerned with regard to:


·         staffing levels

·         costs to Parishes

·         difficulty in gauging and budgeting for number of by-elections in a year

·         base figure for calling a by-election


Councillor Graham Allison used the recent by-election at St Mary’s Bay as an example with regard to the concerns above. 


Mrs Khroud assured members that a response from the Electoral Services Manager would be forthcoming to Councillor Allison. 




Empty Retail Properties

A presentation to be given by Katharine Harvey, Head of Economic Development

Supporting documents:


A presentation was given by Katharine Harvey, Head of Economic Development.  A copy of this is attached to the minutes. 


Mrs Harvey explained to members that in collating the figures it was apparent that three quarters of empty retail properties are in Folkestone with Guildhall Street, Sandgate Road and Tontine Street being the main empty retail property density. 


In this respect it is important that vitality and interest is brought to Folkestone possibly looking at fringe theatres, pop-up shops and street markets.   


Mrs Harvey said that as a District the empty retail properties rate is 9.5%, with the national rate running at 9.3% although some bodies report a national rate of 11%.


Members were keen to point out that other areas in the District are in the same situation, however were mindful of changing shopping habits which could mean looking at different ways to regenerate high streets. 





Empty Military Properties update

Suzy Tigwell, Leadership Support Manager, will provide an update on behalf of Adrian Hammond, Housing Strategy Manager. 



The Chairman, Councillor Frank Hobbs, advised members that Mr Adrian Hammond, Housing Strategy Manager, had written to Annington Homes, the owners of the properties in Lydd, to see if they are able to work with the District Council to bring the properties into use for local people, if they are empty. 


Councillor Martin Sweeny informed members that an email had been received from Annington Homes with a view to setting up a meeting to discuss this issue.  He is aware there are approximately ten properties in Lydd with potential. 


It was mentioned that there are probably other MOD properties in the district with this potential, however they would need to be released for civilian use before any discussions can take place. 




Otterpool Park update

Suzy Tigwell, Leadership Support Manager, will provide an update on behalf of Chris Lewis, Planning Advisor and Julia Wallace, Masterplanning, UrbanDesign and Viability Manager. 


On behalf of the officers involved with Otterpool Park, Mrs Khroud advised members of the following:



·         The Charter was reported to Cabinet on 11 October 2017 and they considered the comments of the joint parishes meeting along with a wide range of comments from other stakeholders.

·         Cabinet agreed proposed revisions to the document and gave delegated authority to officers to complete the Charter in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

·         Officers have now agreed the necessary changes with the Leader and the final document will be published on the website shortly along with a schedule of the comments received. 


Core Strategy Local Plan Review

·         A first draft of the proposed revisions to the Core Strategy Local Plan are proposed to be reported to Cabinet on 14 December 2017 (subject to change).

·         The main proposed revision to the plan will be an additional strategic policy that allocates Otterpool Park as a new garden settlement. 

·         The recommendation will be for the draft revisions to the Core Strategy Local Plan to be subject to (Regulation 18) public consultation early in the new year (probably February).  This will be the first formal six week consultation on the revisions to the Core Strategy. 

·         The policies in the current Core Strategy Local Plan for Folkestone, Hythe and New Romney are likely to remain largely unchanged.  Some additional growth at Sellindge is likely to be proposed.  No new growth other than Otterpool Park and Sellindge is proposed at the villages. 


Landowner update – Masterplanning

·         The promoters report on the emerging framework masterplan will not now be considered by Cabinet until early 2018 and following the cabinet meeting will be available to view on the Otterpool Park website.  Other additional updates will be included on the website as soon as they are ready.  Further consultation will take place early next year in advance of the submission of the planning application in the Spring. 

·         Cabinet considered a report on the long term stewardship of Otterpool Park on the 18 October and agreed some principles concerning the responsibility for open space, public realm and non-commercial community  buildings.  It is likely that these will be the responsibility of a new body with income from a range of sources.  While a Trust is likely to be the most suitable modal initially, future transition to a town council should be allowed for. 





Poster distribution and circulation with Parishes

Shepway District are keen to display relevant notices at Parish Council sites.  Further details are required with regard to logistics of this task. 


Councillor Hobbs advised members that the District’s Communications team occasionally produce poster/flyers about events or changes to the way Shepway provides services that parishes may wish to place on their noticeboards for residents’ information. 


Members agreed that this was a good suggestion and have asked that posters/flyers are provided as hard copies and posted out.  Parish clerks, initially, would need to be contacted by email to ask the following:


·         How many copies required for each parish.

·         How far in advance of events would the information be required.