Agenda and minutes

Regeneration Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday 11th October, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Spencer Room

Contact: Susan Lightwing 

No. Item


Welcome and Evacuation Procedure


The Chair welcomed all present to the meeting and read out the Building Evacuation Procedure.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Regeneration Scrutiny Panel - 6 September 2023 pdf icon PDF 130 KB


The minutes of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 11 October 2023 were submitted and approved as a correct record.



Planning Capacity - Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 774 KB

The Head of Planning will be in attendance to provide an overview of Middlesbrough Council’s Planning Service as an introduction to the Panel’s new topic: Planning Capacity.


Recommendation: that the Panel determines what further information will be required for this scrutiny investigation.


The Head of Planning provided an overview of Middlesbrough Council’s Planning Service as an introduction to the Panel’s new scrutiny review topic.


Planning was a statutory function of the Council.  The Planning Service supported economic growth and the Council’s aspirations as well as fostering and helping new development.  The aim was to create the right development in the right location and not every application was accepted.  Planning Officers endeavoured to remove hurdles to development and ensure that appropriate infrastructure was in place.  The Planning Service also ensure that Section 106 funding was utilised appropriate to mitigate the impact of new developments. 


Middlesbrough Council’s Planning Services were organised into two key areas: Strategic Policy (which included Planning Policy, Conservation and Strategic Housing) and Development Control (which included Building Control).


With regard to the statutory basis for Planning, there were numerous pieces of legislation which included:



           The Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

           The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

           The Planning Act 2008.

           The Localism Act 2011.


Statutory Instruments

           The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

           The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010 (and subsequent Amendments).

           The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.


It was highlighted that neither list above was exhaustive.


The Statutory functions of the Council’s Planning Service included:


           To produce a Local Plan.

           Neighbourhood Planning.


           Brownfield Register.

           Self-build Register.

           Planning Applications.


           High Hedges.

           Habitat Regulations.

           Enforcement of Building Regulations.

           Dangerous Structures.

           Local Land Searches.

           Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests.



Non-Statutory functions included:


           The Local List.

           Housing Strategy.

           Supplementary Planning Documents/Development briefs.

           Pre-planning Application Advice.


           Article 4 Directions.


The Local List identified buildings, structures, parks, gardens and open spaces in Middlesbrough which were of special local architectural and/or historic interest and did not have statutory protection.  It was particularly important in Middlesbrough which was a relatively young town but had some significant structures that needed protection.  


Supplementary Planning Documents/Development briefs helped the planning process and informed design.  Examples were given of the masterplans for Nunthorpe and Stainsby.  Masterplans had been used to refuse and dismiss appeals.


Whilst there was no statutory requirement to provide pre-planning  application advice, the Planning Service preferred to talk to applicants before they submitted their application.  In 2017, the Planning Service dealt with about 500 pre-applications and by 2021 that number had risen to 1,000.  In 2022, due to capacity pressure, that service was withdrawn.  It was later re-introduced but the Council now charged a fee.


Enforcement was a discretionary function but also a necessary one.  The Council needed to be seen to enforce to preserve its reputation.  An example was given of the Pybus Brothers Building in Linthorpe when heritage elements had been removed without permission and were later reinstated at the Council’s request.


Whilst there was a procedure document for determining when enforcement action should be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23/16


Terms of Reference - Planning Capacity pdf icon PDF 312 KB

Recommendation: that Panel Members consider, discuss and agree the terms of reference for the scrutiny review of Planning Capacity.


Draft Terms of Reference for the scrutiny review of Planning Capacity had been circulated with the agenda.


AGREED that the terms of reference for the Planning Capacity Scrutiny Review were approved as follows:


A)    To understand the current position in terms of Middlesbrough Council’s present planning capacity, building control and enforcement provision.


B)    To examine any non-statutory functions currently provided by Middlesbrough Council’s planning service.


C)    To consider measures, including joint working with other local authorities, that could be put in place to mitigate any gaps in the current service.


D)      To investigate what additional resources, if any, can be accessed from Central Government or other bodies to assist with improving planning capacity.


E)    To consider any potential implications/impact/challenges of the Regeneration and    Levelling Up Bill on planning services.




Overview and Scrutiny Board Update

The Chair will provide a verbal update on matters considered at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 20 September 2023.


The Chair provided a verbal update on the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board which was held on 20 September 2023.  The Regeneration Scrutiny Panel’s Work Programme 2023-2024 was approved by the Board.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 1 November 2023 at 10.00 am.


The next meeting of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel was scheduled to take place at 10 am on Wednesday 1 November 2023.


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.