Report of Director of Regeneration and Planning
The Committee considered the report which detailed the proposed Newhaven Local Employment and Training Technical Guidance Note (TGN).
The Head of Regeneration summarised the contents of the report. He highlighted that the TGN was a pilot programme to assist in securing local labour agreements as part of development proposals in Newhaven, and that the TGN enabled training and employment initiatives at both the construction and operational stages of development.
The Head of Regeneration further highlighted that the purpose of the TGN was to assist in maximising the benefits of development, particularly larger development proposals that come forward in the Newhaven area, as Newhaven was a focus of regeneration for Lewes District.
The Committee emphasised the importance of the TGN being specifically tailored to the Newhaven area and other local areas throughout Lewes District, not copying that of initial pilot programme of Eastbourne Borough or other local authorities, but acknowledging that Officers should take Best Practice examples of what has worked elsewhere. It further emphasised its support of small, local businesses, as well as employing local people where possible.
The Committee expressed its gratitude to officers for the inclusion of the provision that candidates who complete a pre-employment training programme would be guaranteed an interview by the prospective employer associated with the development. The Committee requested that armed forces be included in any such programmes to support ex-service personnel.
The Committee queried whether or not Newhaven Town Council would lose CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) fees as a result of the pilot programme. Officers responded that despite Eastbourne Borough not being permitted to collect CIL fees for flats during its TGN pilot programme, local authorities within Lewes District would not lose CIL fees as a result of the programme.
The Committee sought clarification on details surrounding the stakeholders as mentioned in the report. Officers clarified that the stakeholders who were consulted included the Newhaven Enterprise Zone Employment and Skills Task Group, which comprised of a variety of representatives within Lewes District. Representatives included officers from the Job Centre Plus in Newhaven, the East Sussex College Group as a local FE College, Sussex Community Development Association and East Sussex County Council. Newhaven Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce and a social housing provider were also consulted on an informal basis.
The Committee enquired whether areas just outside the Newhaven boundary could be included in the TGN. Officers explained that the proposed TGN covered development sites within Newhaven wards only, but that did not preclude a resident outside of the Newhaven boundaries gaining employment within the areas covered by the TGN.
The Committee queried how long officers anticipated the pilot scheme to be in place before the effectiveness could be measured before being rolled out to other areas within Lewes District, and requested that officers provide further briefings as to the progress of the pilot programme. Officers agreed to provide local employment and training progress updates at future meetings of the Committee.
The Committee enquired as to whether the pilot programme could be applied retrospectively to previously approved planning applications within Lewes District. The Council’s Solicitor explained that it was not possible to retrospectively apply standards of the pilot programme to applications which had already been granted planning permission.
The Committee queried whether it would be possible to retrospectively impose employment conditions of the pilot programme to planning applications which had already been granted planning permission, yet sought amendments to the original applications. The Council’s Solicitor clarified that the Council would not impose additional s.106 requirements following a section 73 application to vary planning permission as a matter of law, the principle of development had already been established. A TGN and employment training plan could only be required in connection with new planning applications received following the implementation of the pilot programme.
The Committee thanked officers for all of their hard work in bringing the pilot programme forward and the consideration given to various communities within the District, including the armed forces and those furthest from the jobs market. It further expressed its support of increasing the skill sets of local people and ensuring residents of Lewes District continue to benefit in the future from the programme.
That the Committee endorse the Newhaven Local
Employment and Training Technical Guidance Note (TGN), as set out
in Appendix 1 and subject to:
a) local employment and training progress updates as and when appropriate to the Planning Applications Committee
b) a review of the CIL and local employment and training monitoring fees to be undertaken during the Local Plan Review to ensure monies requested from developers do not deter development in Newhaven; and
2) That Cabinet be recommended to adopt the Newhaven Local Employment and Training Technical Guidance Note (TGN) in accordance with Resolution 1 a) and b) and as set out in Appendix 1.