Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr USK. View directions
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were made.
Pre-decision scrutiny of policy on designating three new Archaeologically Sensitive Areas (ASA’s)
The committee were presented with a policy which proposed extensions to the boundaries of existing Archaeologically Sensitive Areas (ASA’s) in Abergavenny, Monmouth and Trellech and designated a new Archaeologically Sensitive Area in Tintern. Members heard that Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust (GGAT) is the council’s archaeological advisor and that the conservation of archaeological remains is a material consideration in determining a planning application. The ‘Planning Advice Note’ will outline how the Council would exercise its duty through its Development Management function.
· How do we support applicants currently? Will we signpost people to this advice?
Currently, GGAT provide advice to applicants on this. We will need to signpost via the usual social media channels and through architects and agents.
· Why did you feel the need to produce the guidance? What problems were you trying to address?
The need for guidance has arisen following experiences where constraints have been raised late in the planning process which has resulted in time and cost implications, where applicants would have benefited from knowing restrictions much earlier in the planning process. There has been an inconsistent approach to protecting and managing archaeology with general confusion around the level of information needing to be provided at an early stage.
· Will this increase survey work for applicants?
Survey work will increase, but the Council will be able to give much clearer advice to applicants and will be able to make more informed decisions.
· Will this restrict development?
We do not anticipate that development will be restricted. The proposed extension to the Monmouth archaeological boundary is due to a high potential for medieval finds ~ given that most of Monmouth is a historic area, this isn’t likely to further restrict development. In Trellech, there have been a number of finds and there is much to learn about the development of Trellech historically, however, there are no implications for development. Tintern was not a defined archaeological area and there are strong arguments why it should be. The boundary around the ASA in Tintern is large, but this is justified due to archaeological finds in the area.
· Who will be consulted on this?
Town and Community Councils, agents and architects will be consulted and we will ensure awareness via the website, Twitter and Facebook. All responses will be analysed and taken on board and reported back to this committee.
· We understand the need for balance, so that we protect areas but we do not hinder development. Are you confident you can provide clarity and transparency?
We feel that the guidance will assist applicants through consideration much earlier in the planning process.
· What process have you used to identify a new one area around Tintern?
GGAT analysed information and concluded there were more finds in this areas and the academic work in Trellech also identified the need for the extensions. If we find surveys are not suggesting a need for the extensions, we would review the boundaries.
· We understand how ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Museums Review: Scrutiny of progress on delivering the Museums Forward Plan following the previous review. Consideration of the remaining actions in the new context of MonLife, including linked issues / actions with attractions in respect of visitor experience; marketing; retail and events coordination. PDF 108 KB
Performance Report on delivering the Museums Forward Plan
A performance report was brought to the committee in order to scrutinise progress on delivery of the remaining actions outlined in the Museums Forward Plan, in the light of the establishment of MonLife. The 2017-22 forward plan was approved by Cabinet in December 2016 and was informed by a review undertaken by consultants Amion in June 2015. A detailed presentation attached as Appendix A to the minutes outlines the progress made to date on each of the recommendations made by Amion. The progress against the recommendations is also discussed in detail in the appendices of the performance report.
The forward direction proposed for the service is to undertake a comprehensive feasibility study to clarify the options, costs and phasing, together with the Heritage Strategy project to inform future funding opportunities. Discussions with funders have confirmed that the ‘collection review process’ will need completing to inform any future funding bid for the centralised store. Members heard that the costs of the feasibility study are not yet known and there will be a need to explore any sources of external funding.
· Why has it taken so long to address the recommendations since the completion of the review by Amion in 2015 and the report to Cabinet in 2016? Why are you reviewing this now?
Most of the core actions were addressed in 2017. This is an action outlined in the Council’s Corporate Plan and the work on the Alternative Delivery Model did cause some delay. Now that MonLife is in place, it is timely that we move forward. The core action around buildings and centralised store was an enormous action and it was set in slightly different funding scene. There is a new strategic plan for heritage lottery funding, which has made the bidding more competitive, hence we’ve broken this recommendation down into specific projects. Now that museum sits within MonLife, it doesn’t need to do these things on its own. Some of the delay is reflecting on the experience.
· What recommendations from Amion aren’t being taken forward?
The recommendations from Amion suggested a closure of some museums and this wasn’t taken forward as it was felt important to have a presence in all 3 towns. Amion also suggested that some displays could be via non museum locations in other towns, however, we explored practicalities of working with retailers to set up mini museums and we concluded that the 4 towns are very distinctive and that whilst the link is important, so is the local story. The final recommendation was to set up a separate development body which was superseded by MonLife.
· Caldicot, unlike the other towns has no set location to display its finds and whilst recognising that the castle is not the most suitable venue to display artefacts, there is still a missing opportunity to display Caldicot’s collection and to tell the story of the Gwent Levels and the roman inhabitation and bring visitors into the area. Have you any thoughts ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Economy and Development Work Programme
· Deferred items for today’s meeting will be chased and programmed
· The Chair, Vice Chair and Scrutiny Manger will meet officers to discuss the scope of future scrutiny around the Investment Strategy.
· The scheduled LDP workshop on 14th October has been cancelled, however future programmed workshops will continue as planned.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5th September 2019
The minutes of the previous meeting held on the 5th September 2019 were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.
To confirm the date and time of the next meeting as 14th November 2019