Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 26 July 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Council offices at 135 Milton Park, Abingdon

Contact: Candida Mckelvey, Democratic Services Officer  07895 213820 Email:

Note: The public can view the meeting live, at our YouTube channel:  

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence and the attendance of substitute members. 


Apologies were received from Councillor Max Thompson.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  




Urgent business and chair's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chair determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chair. 


Chair briefly explained that as this was a formal meeting, the comments made would be formally minuted for Cabinet to consider.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Scrutiny Committee minutes of the meetings held on 8 February 2021 and 9 March 2021


Additional documents:


The committee reviewed the Scrutiny Committee minutes of the meetings held on 8 February 2021 and 9 March 2021. These were agreed as a correct record, and the chair will sign them as such.


Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 




Vale Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule pdf icon PDF 323 KB

For committee to consider the Cabinet paper and make any recommendations to Cabinet.


Additional documents:


Committee considered the cabinet paper. This paper was introduced by Cabinet Member Councillor Debby Hallett.

The report summarised the work completed by the review so far, which was coming to a close. There was also a revised CIL charging schedule attached. Includes an independent examiner’s recommendations. We advise adoption of this, with implementation of the new CIL charging rates being planned for 1 November 2021.

The council needed to prove that there was an infrastructure funding deficit, in order to justify the levy on CIL without impacting viability of sites.

Prior to public consultation, Cabinet were briefed twice, to explain the rationale and evidence.

The viability assessment carried out showed variation in the potential CIL rate levy across the district. The assessors suggested a green field/brown field split. However, Council agreed that this would be difficult administratively, and agreed on zoning. There will be three zones.

Zone 1 – Eastern parishes – highest CIL rates

Zone 2 – Wantage, Grove, and Faringdon – lower CIL rates

Zone 3 – rest of the district

There will be separate rates for minor developments in all zones. Strategic sites will have nil CIL due to S106 agreements.

Examiner recommends approval of the charging schedule, as there was no negative impact on viability.


Questions and clarifications from the committee:

·       Clarification asked for on determination of how CIL was spent. It was explained that CIL spend was separate to this schedule. Section 123 list was no longer needed but spend will be identified in the Infrastructure Funding Statement. There was also a CIL spending strategy, which was reviewed annually.

·       It was asked what funding we were going to raise now? Cathie Scotting would provide details, but Cabinet Member did add that the new zoning should raise around £6 million over the life of the schedule.

·       It was queried whether lower charging rates factor into the proportion of spend in those low CIL rate areas. Concern that incentivising building on lower rate areas would be unwise if the spend on infrastructure was also proportionately low. It was responded that the spending strategy was accepted in December 2020, and the details will follow. Officer added that the need for infrastructure was identified in the infrastructure funding gap statement. CIL was not tied to particular sites, it was a general pooling mechanism to spend funds wherever the infrastructure was needed. Although the town/parish councils of low CIL areas receive less funding, they will benefit from wider infrastructure. CIL was based on viability in terms of what can be levied.

·       Implementation date details were asked for. It was responded that the software system, Ocella, needed updating, this was planned. We were allowing for some contingency time, in order to get approval from Cabinet and Council – this was the trigger for implementation. It was confirmed that the new schedule applies to any planning applications after this date.

·       Timing of payments – can you borrow from the CIL pot to provide funding for infrastructure upfront? Cabinet Member responded  ...  view the full minutes text for item Sc124


Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - Adoption pdf icon PDF 341 KB

For committee to consider the Cabinet paper, and make any recommendations to Cabinet.

Additional documents:


Cabinet member, Councillor Debby Hallett, introduced the Cabinet paper being presented on Developer Contributions SPD.


This SPD was updated in line with the CIL charging schedule. SPDs are not subject to independent examination but they were subject to public consultation. This SPD was consulted on for 8 weeks in January / February 2021.

The results are presented here, with our responses as a council.

We recommend that this revised SPD is adopted on 1 November 2021, alongside the CIL charging schedule.

Cabinet had been briefed on the rationale behind the reviews, including the changes to CIL regulations from Central Government, which provided the opportunity to claim contributions towards education. They requested more detail on the S106 protocols, especially on the roles for members, town and parish councils on S106 negotiations.

A separate internal protocol was agreed, as it could be updated easier than an SPD.

The SPD has been updated to reflect comments received at consultation.

There will be a joint affordable housing SPD coming forward as well, which will cover financial contributions for that. Work will continue with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for health contributions. Therefore, these are not covered in the SPD presented today. There are no additional requirements to developers in the SPD, as this was set out in our Local Plan.


The SPD has been amended and updated to reflect:

1. Government’s First home scheme.

2. Section 5 amendment – clarity on options for management and maintenance of infrastructure.

3. Section 6 - This was a new section on how S106 agreements and CIL scheme relates to custom build homes.


This SPD is recommended for approval, alongside the CIL charging schedule.


Comments from committee were as follows:

·       An appeals decision on a large leisure application – developer did not want to contribute to affordable housing. Not all of the contributions were obtained due to not all the evidence being presented. Why could we get some sums and not others? It was responded that we have standards, but we have to look at area / site specifics, more depth per application. The provisions were deemed not required in this case. The standards are only a starting point. The SPD cannot go any deeper. Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans are useful for this, identifying infrastructure needs by local communities, Neighbourhood Plan details can support for evidence.

·       Officer explained that the whole suite of documents should be considered. The SPD expands on the policy. The SPD identifies more of the CIL infrastructure as well. The SPD will assist in securing developer contributions. SPDs were a material planning consideration, to support our case.

·       Cabinet Member suggested whether Planning Committee members would like further training on S106. It was explained that officers set out S106 Heads of Terms to Planning Committee in the officer recommendation, for them to consider and determine an application. When the committee resolve to grant consent, it can be delegated back to officers, who complete the detail, and then share it with committee chair, to make sure  ...  view the full minutes text for item Sc125


Work schedule and dates for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To review the attached scrutiny work schedule. Please note, although the dates are confirmed, the items under consideration are subject to being withdrawn, added to or rearranged without further notice.



·       Typo to be amended on the dates for the public consultation item.

·       Heavier workload over September, with an added meeting in October.

·       Potentially add an item on developer S106 enforcement progress. To be confirmed.


Meeting closed at 19.17