Report of the Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits
The Committee received the report as set out on pages 34-39 of the agenda and pages 166-172 of the agenda update, which asked it to note the overall provisional outturn positions for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account and to approve the Budget carried forward requests.
A Member of the Committee expressed concern regarding the compensation payment of £42,000 made in respect of a planning claim related to a tree preservation order. The Member recalled that legal advice was received when the item was originally debated at the Development Control Committee which stated that a decision to refuse the application represented low risk to the authority.
The Director of Finance and Transformation explained that the legal advice provided at the time was based on case-law which was felt to support the Council’s position, however a subsequent change in national policy appeared to contradict this advice and is currently the subject of an appeal. Should the appeal result in the policy change being reversed, the authority remained hopeful of being able to recover compensation money paid out in relation to this claim.
The Committee requested that a report be submitted to a future meeting of the Development Control Committee clarifying the current legal position, to advise Members of the correct approach and to reduce the risk to the authority of similar compensation claims being lodged in the future.
It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice Chair and
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:
(i) The report and overall provisional outturn positions for both the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account be noted; and
(ii) The Budget carried forward requests be approved.