Agenda item

Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item

 

Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to scrutiny@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5pm on Friday 23rd September.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 28th September.

 

Minutes:

The Members noted the following Public Forum that had been received as follows.  Copies of all public forum submissions had been circulated to Members and relevant officers in advance of the meeting. They had also been published on the meeting webpage alongside the meeting papers here: Growth & Regeneration Scrutiny Commission Public Forum

 

Public Forum Questions:

 

Ref

Name

Topic

Q1

Mo Dymond (Cllr Plowden in attendance)

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

Q2 – Q4

Vassili Papastavrou - Bristol Tree Forum

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

Q5

Martin Rands

Metrobus AVTM 2014 planning consent and Avon Crescent - Item 12 enforcement

 

 

Public Forum Statements:

 

Ref

Name

Topic

PFS1

Martin Rands

Metrobus AVTM 2014 planning consent and Avon Crescent - Item 12 enforcement

PFS2

Cllr Richard Eddy – in attendance

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

PFS3

Cllr Ed Plowden – in attendance

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

PFS4

Mark CD Ashdown Chair - Bristol Tree Forum – in attendance

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

PFS5

Peter Wall – in attendance

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

PFS6

Cllr Tom Hathway

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

PFS7

Cllr Philippa Hulme

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

PFS8

Stephen Barrett

Item 12.  Planning Enforcement

PFS9

David Redgewell

Bus Tenders

 

 

Mark Ashdown, Chair of Bristol Tree Forum was in attendance and asked supplementary questions to each of his original 3 questions as follows: 

 

Supplementary PFQ2:

Mr Ashdown said that the provided written answer had been rather vague. For example, it was unclear what the phrase "secured additional planting" means. It is not stated whether any trees were actually planted, nor how numbers of replacement trees were calculated and there is no means of verifying whether any of these trees were ever planted or still exist. Are any of these 28 cases ones which we reported or formal planning enforcement cases, the details of which we can examine?

 

Reply: Officers said they would need to follow-up on this and would provide a written reply in due course. The written reply will be published with the Public Forum agenda item on the meeting webpage.

 

 

Supplementary PFQ3:

The tree removal was not linked to other unauthorised works as it was on a different location on the site. Why was the decision taken not to take action on the tree removal as a separate matter?

 

Reply: Officers said they were still in discussion with colleagues on that particular point but that the question was also part of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and would be responded to via that process.

 

Supplementary PFQ4:

Sections 210(4A) and (4B) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 state that authorities may bring an action within six months beginning with the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to justify the proceedings came to the prosecutor’s knowledge. Given the provided answer to Q3 above, it would appear that any action the authority might want to take to enforce the law is now time-barred. Why was legal action not commenced before this six-month deadline had expired given that you had ‘established early in the process that this is a high-profile case that the breach had occurred’?

 

Reply: Officers said in their view that if action had been taken, even within 6-month period, it would not have passed test of public interest or likelihood of a successful prosecution.

 

Mr Ashdown commented on the amount of frustration there was with what he described as a lack of tree protection. He said the Council keeps saying it’s still investigating long after perceived breaches and even though there is a clear time limit.  He suggested this was just a ‘stock answer’ that things are still being investigated and in the meantime many trees were still being removed and this was very frustrating.

 

Supporting documents: