APPEAL REF: APP/N4720/W/20/3250249
SITE: DEMOLITION OF  EXISTING DWELLINGS AND ERECTION OF 70 DWELLINGS - WORDSWORTH CLOSE & SUGAR HILL CLOSE, OULTON, LEEDS, LS26
The Planning Inspector has confirmed at the preliminary part of Day 1 of this appeal inquiry that no objections have been raised with regards to us ("Judicial Domicide") live tweeting the Planning Inspectorate Appeal Inquiry. We, ("Judicial Domicide") must state that this is not intended to be an official, accurate, nor verbatim transcript, but it is recorded here by us to serve the purpose as a true record of the inquiry hearing(s) as we observed and recorded. We have compiled the below from live tweets and our fast notes taken during the observation of the hearing. There are also areas where we did not observe and/or we had connection issues which resulted in the loss of being able to observe.
This is Day 6 of the Appeal inquiry of Pemberstone v. @SaveOurHomeLS26.
Inspector: Just a couple of things before we get underway. Firstly the point raised from Mr White concerning how closing submissions should be dealt with and I said I’d give thought to that overnight.
Ms Bell: I’m in your hands. Appreciate that the closing statements can be made available by core documents list perhaps makes them accessible but also appreciate that people have been logging in to the inquiry process and they may want to see things draw to a conclusion as they otherwise would. Im in your hands to best assist you in the circumstances.
Ms Wigley: Sir, I take same position, I have no strong views. I can see both sides. I will do whatever best assists.
Inspector: Thank you. My own view as I said last night we should as closely as possible reflect a conventional inquiry. That leads me to suggest they should be read out in the usual way. Although I understand that documents are being made available there may be a delay in everybody who is following the inquiry getting access them to in that way. That confirms my view. I would like to see closing submissions read out. Obviously there is no point in reading lengthy extracts from supporting documentation, but in terms of the arguments in the submissions I would like them read out as usual please.
Mr White: For first time in this inquiry, your screen is very blurred and image of you is incomprehensible. Difficult to see your face.
Ms Wigley: I’m finding you pixelated Mr White.
Ms Bell: It is a little more blurry than usual sir.
(Advocates are having blurring issues on the visual appearances, inquiry adjourned to attempt to resolve the problems)
Inquiry adjourned until 09:55am
Inspector: Morning everyone I've had a message to say the Mr White's systems are now working.
Mr White: Thank you very much. As I raised it yesterday I take the exact same position as Ms Bell and Ms Wigley and I am delighted to have your view and we will all follow your protocol.
Mr White: Can we see where we are on Friday, I might see if we can have a 10am start on Friday and can I raise the cost position and what your preferred route would be on that. I hope you received from Ms Zia the costs via Mr Alford. The revised costs.
Inspector: I've got those.
Mr White: If you have a moment if you could cast your eyes over it as it is quite lengthy and I dont particularly want to read it out but I will if you would like me to. Obviously Ms Bell I think because she has had time is likely to put something in writing for you to consider. Please have a think on how you would like to do the cost session.
Inspector: Yes, if there is time, I would like to do it in the same way, but if short of time on Friday and appreciate the point of 10am start I am less concerned to doing that verbally. Inclined that that part could be done in writing.
Ms Bell: Written response is in hand sir.
Inspector: Good, with matters being dealt with in that way there would be opportunity for both the application and the written response to go on the public access website so that people are aware of exactly what is being said by both parties at that stage of the inquiry.
Ms Bell: I'm sure that could be done sir, Yes.
Mr White: Can I raise just two other matters. 1. In relation to the 106, can I via you give Ms Bell a nudge to Mr Hills, after our debate about the local lettings policy we are waiting for Leeds to formally reach a view and to tell us what their position is on that. Obviouslly we want to get the excuted verison to you by close of play today or first thing tomorrow so we can deal with it tomorrow afternoon, in case there is further discussion needed.
Inspector: Ms Bell, you have heard that
Ms Bell: I heard and understood and relay that across.
Inspector: Id like to be updated tomorrow on how things stand on that.
Mr White: One other thing for Ms Wigley, do you recall I asked Mr Lawton in his appendix 1, if he could give some fat on the bone to the number of properties and cost. He did come back, orally, the next day and give evidence to two I think. If that is the extent of the information, but it may be subject to confidentiality but could Ms Wigley confirm, whether Mr Lawton's evidence is sticking or twising on that. If sticking so be it. I am not making a point. I just want to know if there is further information.
Ms Wigley: My understanding is that there isn't going to be any further information. I will check that if I can get in touch with them as Mr Lawton and Mr Rogers are busy working elsewhere now. I will see if I can get anything we can immediately provide but I suspect not.
Dr Buroni - (Evidence-in-Chief for Pemberstone)
Inspector: It is your witness Dr Buroni.
Mr White: Order to Documents to save time. 1. Dr Buroni evidence, RPS badge making complex easy 2. Mr Teasdale proof, his appendices and his rebutal. 3. Mr Teasdale's note entitled supplementary note with blue orange and green table we debated at some length. I think that is the evidence that you need.
Mr White: I'd like to do follow the lead as Ms Bell and Ms Wigley did so beautifuly with their witnesses. Can take their evidence as read and I've got supplementary questions which will cover the evidence of Dr Buroni. If at the end if you feel I've left anything out I will get him to read his summary proof.
Inspector: Content to continue in that way.
Mr White: Formally introduce you to the inquiry. You are Dr Andrew Buroni, you are a Director of RPS, you are a lead and planning environmental consultancy that has 5000 staff in 125 countries.
Dr Buroni: Thats correct.
Mr White: You personally you effectively have a degree in Biological / Biomedical Sciences.
You did a Masters in Environmental Impact assessment at Brighton University. You then were offered a PhD at Brighton University and you selected research Health and Equality impact assessments within the regulatory planning process.
Dr Buroni: Yes.
Mr White: Part of PhD you did formal training in environmental health impact assesment. Work in Caribean Environmental Health Institute and Health Canada.
Dr Buroni: Thats right
Mr White: On completion of PhD you were recruited by ERM who I'm sure most of us have heard. You led the first fully integrative health and inequality impact assestment team within the UK on mainstream planning and environmental consultancy.
Dr Buroni: Yes.
Mr White: During that you lead quality impact assessments on the the London Olympic bid in 2012.
Dr Buroni: The bid was prior to 2012 but yes.
Mr White: You're absolutely right I remember being in Trafalgar Square in 2005 when the win was announced. You did that work in the early 2000s, you also worked on crossrail at Stanstead, and you completed in 2006 your PhD, and its your belief that you are one of two people with a PhD on International Health Impact Assessment Methods and Best Practice.
Dr Buroni: To my knowledge, yes.
Mr White: Your also a fellow at the Royal Society of Medicine and a fellow at the Royal Society of Public Health.
Dr Buroni: Yes
Mr White: You also have HIA framework advisor to Public Health England, and offer health and equality support on major infrastructure projects, you are also are public health technical advisor to the Eden Environmental protection agency in Ireland.
Dr Buroni: Yes
Mr White: You are also the health and equality technical advisor to Public Health Wales and the Wales HIA support unit. What does HIA stand for?
Dr Buroni: Health Impact Assessment Support Unit they develop the HIA and equality guidance for Wales.
Mr White: You also sit as independent technical advisor to their policy and international health and the WHO collaborating centre on investment for health and well-being.
Dr Buroni: Thats correct yes.
Mr White: You are also tempoary advisor to WHO on the health effects of Waste Management.
Dr Buroni: Yes.
Mr White: Finally, you also sit on the Institute of Environmental management assessment health and EIA working group.
Dr Buroni: Yes thats correct.
Mr White: Finally, last week on Thursday you were giving evidence in relation to the DCO relating to Sizewell the Nuclear Power project were you?
Dr Buroni: Thats correct we are finishing the DCO now and agreeing matters relevant to the issues of a specific hearing.
Mr White: Very breiefly at 2.1.2a you formally were instructed and gave advice to Ms Bell's clients the local planning authority you carried out and assisted in an health and equality impact assessment for the Leeds Core Strategy.
Dr Buroni: That was whilst I was with ERM so its a fair few years back but yes.
Mr White: OK, You list there your full experience. Before we look at particulars of this case my second topic I want to ask about
Inspector: Sorry to interrupt at this stage, but I want to understand the scope of Dr Buroni's evidence. There are a nunber of points: 2.3.1 and 4.1.5 and 5.1 where he appears to be considering the overall planning balance and I just want to check whether that is or is not his intention because that would seem to be a matter for Mr Sheppard.
Mr White: 100% and I said and made this criticism of Mr Teasdale in that it cannot be for Dr Buroni, Mr Teasdale or anyone else apart from Sheppard, Lynch or Brooks to reach a view on the overall planning balance. So sir any reference you infer or expressly says that Dr Buroni is reaching a view on planning balance is obviously erroneous and inappropriate.
Dr Buroni: May I add the balance I refer to is the equality balance, what are the issues, what are the opportunities and what the distribution of both is and I do apologise if that wasn't clear.
Mr White: Can we just take up Mr Teasdale appendices Appendix 1 had section 149. Dr Buroni can I just take the point, do say if you need time to get anything but I think there is common ground that the statement of common ground from the Rule 6 party and the LPA that the 149 duty is engaged in this case and the inspector is effectively in law the public authority that must have due regard to little 1 a) b) and c).
Dr Buroni: Agree, wholeheartedly.
Mr White: Thank you so we know the inspector must have due regard, and we know as we discussed with Mr Teasdale last week the requirements under a) to eliminate discrimination, harrassment, victimisation, and any other conduct prohibited by the act. Advance the equality of opportunity between persons who share relevant protected characteristics and persons that don't and foster good relations between those who have protected characteristics and persons who do not share it. There is a lot of agreement between you and Mr Teasdale as to what is a relevant protected characteristic as set out in section 149,7. No disagreement on the starting point, there are in particular in this case age and disability.
Dr Buroni: They were they key characteristics identified by the planning officers during their screening and scoping excercise. Yes. I think all parties can agree they are the key issues.
Mr White: Also I think we can also agree that there is no dispute that there are those who have protected characteristics on the appeal site the debate will then go on to the extent and whether the development effectively what effect it has on them and we come on to deal with that in a moment. In practice and in context of planning what do you say about the 149 duty?
Dr Buroni: Article 149 of the 2010 Equality Act is one of due regard, public authorities in excercise of their functon have to consider what the issues, opportunies and distribution of both are specifically to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and to foster good relations between people with protected characteristics and those that don't.
Mr White: In that context, there is a mechanism (which you have in the appendices) of an equality impact assessment. All of us are familiar with environmental impact assessment which took lead from European Legislation and transposed into British law but what is an equality impact assessment?
Dr Buroni: It's a loose term, it is given to the process where the public sector of equality duty is tested to form that due regard. There is no prescribed format to this, it is tailored to the decision making process intended to form so strategic and project level would look different. They rarely include all the information that forms the conclusion as its often very sensitive if released into the public domain can run a risk of discrimination.
Mr White: In this case, the Inspector has got; your work, Mr Teasdale's work, work carried out by Cindy Readman, that Mr Teasdale has got and hes got the work that Leeds did in consideration of the planning application.
Mr White: First want to ask you on the basis of the information that the inspector has got. In your view is there an adequate material or not for the inspector to have due regard to the section 149 duty?
Dr Buroni: Yes there is sufficient information as you said the Leeds City Council planning officers reports are the primary source of information, the panel minutes provide additional context from recollection. Mr Teasdale's proof is in and Mr Brooks also addresses the equality benefits and the balance to be addressed. There may be some elements in there as well and my own proof on top of that.
Inspector: I have Cindy Readmans work only to the extent I have it from Mr Teasdale.
Mr White: Absolutely right. Completely fair. I think to be fair to Mr Teasdale he attributed it and was very clear about where he got that information from. I hope Ms Bell won't take offence at this but Mr Teasdale's views on the impact was blended on the information provided by Leeds and a degree of Dr Buroni discssion in August and also the Cindy Readman material. Thankyou.
Mr White: Can we take up Leeds CD702, Minutes for the 3rd October.
Mr White: Lets go through chonology here. Lets start our journey with Mr Teasdale's appendix 2,
Dr Buroni: I have that.
Mr White: Follow chronology. Application was made in Oct 2017, prior to its determination at some stage prior to January 2019, the local planning authority was made aware, became aware or were advised that S.149 applied to that application. Is that fair?
Dr Buroni: Yes.
Mr White: What their response to that was on the 22nd January as we understand it they wrote the letter that is at Mr Teasdale appendices (appendix 2) as we can see they wrote the letter and they sought the provision of that information which effectively was as they said was an equality monitoring form.
Buroni: That is right
We see the Leeds monitoring form required certain questions. Having done this yourself I am looking at Equality Monitoring Form what are your views that it was adequate or not? To inform a 149 judgment.
Dr Buroni: Whenever you do an equality impact assessment its very difficult not to put leading questions to people. In this case they have done a commendable job they have covered all relevant protected characteristics in a way that doesnt prompt. It would be opinions and self determined characteristics. They include wider information and have asked about health conditions as well. Under disability.
Mr White: We note in second sentence in para 2. Before council makes decision we will ensure that impact on the residents particularly those falling in one or two or more charateristics and characteristics protected by legislation, questions relevant to Leeds. Is it good practice or not to tell those why it is being collated or not?
Dr Buroni: Yes it is.
White: 30th May - Appendix 1 at section 9. Main Issues. 1. Principle development. 1b. Public Sector Equality Duty. ("PSED") We note that the council put that duty in the principle development. Section starts at 10.7
Dr Buroni: Not to detract your flow its already on page one of their report. They already highlight equality and diversity
Mr White: fair point, first page theres a box on first page and we note the members have identified two of the three equality and diversity has a cross and community cohesion has a cross. Do you see those?
Inspector: Yes Mr White.
White: back to 10.7. Members told to comply with PSED. 10.8 recites section 1. 10.9 recites the section that deals with little b. from the act.
White: Rather than go through this in turn we note there is reference to what look at 10.17 the members are told about the residents with protected characteristics. Total properties 70, number of residents 34. We then see for example 10.18 reference to tenancy the Assured Shorthold Tenancies ("ASTs"), and at 10.19 in considering those with Protected Characteristics would be disadvantaged its necessary to know what impact of the approval of the development would have. Is that correct or incorrect?
Dr Buroni: Perfectly correct.
Mr White: Those on assured or regualted tenancies the impact would be limited as they would be rehomed to suitable accomodation on site. Is that a consideration in your judgment is material or not in relation to section 149.
Dr Buroni: I believe its material, they have identified the mode of action on the household and they identified that the only modifier is tenancy type and they explored that further.
Mr White: They then switch to ASTs the table shows 21 residents in ASTs. They say loss of existing home and need to find alternative accomodation. Discussion on appropriateness of accomodation in Rothwell at 10.20 and impacts on service provisions on school and employment . Impacts faced by all occupants but disabled and elderly residents in particular impact maybe greater if existing provision can not be transferred. 10.21 make reference to right to ASTs is limited and subject to the end of a fixed term period can be subject to eviction proceedings. In your professional judgment, as officers for Leeds is it relevant to look at nature of tenure or not?
Dr Buroni: It is.
Mr White: Currently no certainty of long term stability and can be served notice regardless of whether planning permission is granted. Tenants will be aware of these rights when entering into tenancy agreement. Notwithstanding the housing team as held meetings to provide advice on options available to them. Team has indicated seek nomination rights for 11 affordable houses that are required as this development. Secured by 106 agreement.
Mr White: The team I assume (Housing Services Team) would seek nomination rights for affordable housing for 106.
Dr Buroni: Thats my interpretation sir.
Mr White: At 10.22 we see when considering impact of those with Protected Characteristics it is considered that it is not the development rather it is the nature of the tenancy. Do you remember Mr Teasdale, I'm paraphrasing if unfair Ms Bell will intervene. Debate for inspector to resolve on the effect of the tenacy on the impact assessment. What is your judgment on this as a material consideration under 149 or not.
Dr Buroni: As I said previously the mode of action is on the household. It is the tenancy type that modifies how a community or resident might be impacted. Those with assured or regulated have more protection than the AST. It is the principle behind why planning officers when beyond planning mitigation to protect the AST.
Mr White: In May we see 10.7-10.24 in light of what Mr Teasdale says about the survey and the approach. What is your judgment on level of scrutiny that was put before members in May 2019.
Dr Buroni: It is orally to be commended. They identified, they screened the right protected characteristics, they put out a methodology? and escalated that to investigate local community concerns and issues and opportunities and the distribution of those. They further explored distribution of that effect by tenure. They sought mitigation to address that which went beyond planning and looked into tenancy legislation to address the impact of AST members who had least protection. They actively worked with those communities to help and prepare for those issues. I can only commend the planning officers for their efforts and the information that they provided for due regard to be taken.
Mr White: October report 3rd october. South and West panels? Take up Section 4. PSED: Impact on the community and mitigation measures proposed... Reasonably assessed and has discharged its duty effectively. Note at 4.3 Council has considered potential for a local lettings policy which would secure additional 11 families being housed in affordale units which would be additional to the 12 units provided for regulated and assured tenants. Local lettings policy would in order to mitigate identified issues of those with protected characteristics give preference to these tenants. Recommended at 4.4 obligation is inserted to ensure developers and council work together to prevent discrimination. That was view of officers at that time. Under PSED. 4.6 addresses accessibility and adaptabilty. What is your view on accessibility on adaptability on the proposed houses?
Dr Buroni: There is going to be 51% beating accessibility and adaptability dwelling standards. I believe 3% will share user dwellings. In terms of advancing opportunities for equality it goes a long way to doing that. Its in the common statement of common ground with Leeds city council. This provision far exceeds what is currently there. Its not replacement of current housing its bringing it to current standards in terms of accessibility and adaptability and the ability to live independent lives for longer. A whole series of steps of housing renewal underlying the Leeds housing strategy.
Mr White: At 4.9 construction phase have not been settled. Phase 1. Construction of 12 dwellings in order to faciliate rehoming existing regulated and assured tenants. Further protect community cohesion of existing tentants. If you dont know the answer say so but Ms Wigley in opening made suggestion that potentially those with protected characteristics might have to move twice. Is that the intention of the developers or not at 4.9 bullet 1.
Dr Buroni: No 4.9 is very much there to minimise disruption to existing tenants.
Mr White: At 4.11 developers also propose to grant each AST a two year fixed term tenancy from point at which planning permission is granted. That was the offer at that time and allows new accomodation to be found. AST tenants are not being disadvantaged as part of the planning process and it could be a condition it is said.
Mr White: Benefits for the tenants are being put in the balance on PSED. N42 compliance. Accessible and adaptable and wheelchair accessible compliant. In your judgment was it right to bring them matters to the officers in the context of the PSED?
Dr Buroni: Yes, wholeheartedly it goes a long way to advancing opportunities for equality it goes someway to address Mrs Readmans presented yesterday. No doubt that warmer and dryer homes would contribute to increased health benefits as regards respiratory and cardio-vascular disease. Where you have existing conditions it would help prevent exacerbation of those.
Mr White: 4.17 again at second sentence local lettings policy if approved would provide modern quality homes for those residents deemed to be a priority i.e the ASTs with protected characteristics. Does it not? What is your view on that?
Dr Buroni: Priority for that would fall to Leeds to define but I would hazard in this case they would prioritise those with protected characteristics.
Mr White: 4.18 LPA has fully considered the needs of residents living on this estate and given due regard to the application with regard to equality. It is a material planning consideration as it relates to members duty to have regard to the PSED as it provides important information relating to mitigating the impact on those with protected characteristics relating to age and disability. Having looked at the two extracts the information they are based upon what is your overall characterisation how Leeds as the public authority under 149 discharged or did not their duty?
Dr Buroni: In terms of discharge. The material in front of me is excellent. The process was followed. In terms of discharging the duty all of this information was ignored.
Mr White: Why do you say that?
Dr Buroni: Because the sole reason for refusal was on equality matters that were never substantiated. This material was put to one side. The reason for refusal was given. No supporting evidence was put in place. No evidence before a party that there has been an equality impact it's still the case now. This information should have been heeded, it wasn't,and thats why I'm bold to say the panel failed to discharge the duty.
Mr White: Lets move to look at what is before this inspector. The chronology and after July 2020 when LPA were instructing a witness to give evidence on PSED there was communication between the two of you. Is that fair or not?
Dr Buroni: Between myself and Mr Teasdale. Yes.
Mr White: Briefly explain nature of engagement.
Dr Buroni: The equality impact aassesment process it does use a lot of sensitive information. The full excercise is rarely captured in full or presented in public domain as you run the risk of idnetifying households with a protected characteristic which could lead to discrimination. It was essential to me to make sure we were using the same data. The data was provided by Leeds City Council so I took it as fact. We had a call.
Mr White: Lets take this slowly as it's important. Once instructed for the appeal. Did you ask Leeds to provide further and better particulars of the Jan 19 survey.
Dr Buroni: I believe we did a Freedom of Information request for the survey, equality impact assessment and any data relevant to this case.
Mr White: Leeds did provide this. You had baseline information. In August you made contact with Mr Teasdale for what purpose?
Dr Buroni: To agree what data would be put forward in the public inquiry. We wanted to make sure it didnt breach the equality act itself or breach any confidential agreement that Leeds had made with people who provided that information.
Mr White: You made contact with Mr Teasdale. What was the outcome of them conversations?
Dr Buroni: We found a discrepancy, we did a spot check chose a row and column. Asked what data he had and what I had, it didnt correspond. He also had more rows and columns than I had. I took it at the time that I may have had a redacted version of the Leeds. I needed to get to the bottom of it and I expressed this to Mr Teasdale. We went back and forth on emails. We went back to Leeds. Leeds confirmed the data provided to us was the only data and the only data before Mr Teasdale. We ccd Mr Teasdale and Mr Brooks in all of this. Having not been able to get to the bottom of the discrepancy. We had no basis to question the information we had and we proceeded on the basis that I had a slightly redacted version and if it was redacted the numbers would be the same but some of the sensitive information would have been filtered out. That wasnt the case.
Mr White: As we know from evidence last week what obviously happened Mr Teasdale was also using new information provided by Cindy Readman. Inspector must make a judgment on that information. On what you heard from Mr Teasdale. Whats your judgment on the weighting of the new survey material and what he should give to that?
Dr Buroni: The weighting is for the Inspector. In terms of the information that was within there. Bare in mind you had a robust equality survey and assesment done by independent impartial expert the planning officer. There was no need to supplement it with a general survey. We havent seen the survey methodology, we havent seen the survey questionnaire, we havent seen survey findings, the analysis or conclusions drawn, we have no notes from verbal accounts taken. No notes how you took an equality impact assessment survey and incorporate a general community survey within it. No information on how the numbers were summed up and there was summing up going on there. No need to update the survey and certainly not in this fashion.
Mr White: What about the argument put to you. You got the survey around the 10th September you didnt pick up the phone and say whats going on? Did Mr Teasdale ever inform you he had additonal information from the Rule 6 party on protected characteristics?
Dr Buroni: No
Mr White: 2nd point, Why when you saw that Mr Teasdale clearly had additional material in his proof why didnt you get on the phone and ask him for it?
Dr Buroni: At that point it was too late. There was no information within his proof of evidence so doing a rebuttal or having a formal conversation about it didnt seem of value. Its worth bearing in mind I gave him the basis for my entire proof of evidence on 20th August on that call. Following email I also shared the tenancy type data and current vacancies to make sure we were using the same data. In principal there really was no point in an additional call.
Mr White: In light of what you see has the inspector now got the material to have due regard to 149?
Dr Buroni: Yes. ...Outline the evidence I would point to: Leeds City Council officer reports, The panel minutes, Mr Teasdale proof, Mr Brooks. The two are needed as Mr Teasdale on p.2 he says only considers the impacts, no benefits. The benefits are considered by Mr Brooks. You have my own proof. Nothing has been provided with regards Mrs Readman and survey results. It would have to fall back to verbal account of Mr Teasdale proof.
Mr White: Inspector identified 3 references to the benefits. Are you considering the benefits in context of 149 or wider planning balance.
Dr Buroni: Its in respect to equality benefits, so 149.
Mr White: You have been doing this for some years. Is it appropriate in an impact assessment to only look at the impacts? Or is it considered appropriate to consider the benefits of a proposal when doing an impact assessment.
Dr Buroni: The underlying ethos of Equality Act, Mr Teasdale said it was substance, rigour, and of open mind. Let me flip it round, If you only consider the benefits of a project and you ignore the negative impacts how robust is that? You are actively discriminating you are hiding or masking one aspect of the project. You need to consider both, the issues the opportunites and distribution of both. If you fail to do that you are not providing an equality impact assessment.
Mr White: If you are right. In context of 149, what are the effects now the inspector has to consider in granting permission. What prejudice or consequence would it have in your judgment on those with protected characteristics.
Dr Buroni: There is no discrimination, the key mode of action is the housing is coming to the end of its life span. It is blind to discrimination. It does not select or target against any particular characteristic. It is soley a feature of the need for structural intervention.
Mr White: Can I just ask you briefly to look at your appendix integrated health and equality impact assessment your appendix a. page 1.
Mr White: The report evolved over 4 months, page 2 structure, methodology, project profile, health and equality baseline, equality survey analysis, health and equality appraisal. How subjective is that structure or is it an objective one you generally follow irrespective of the project.
Dr Buroni: Its a generic approach to both health and equality assessment. To talk you through it. Project Profile is to get feel for what is proposed. Key health and equality determinants. A screening stage a quick and dirty excercise to work out what issues and opportunities are and any distribution that might lead to disproportionate outcome. From there you can define what baseline you look at. What supporting evidence base you need. You go from a wide focus to an ever decreasing tight focus. Its the basis to ensuring you have a robust but proportionate assessment. The health and equalities baseline is set in the context of understanding local circumstnace priority and need. Start with broad focus, community and wide community often compare to local, regional and national trends, then you look at survey analysis, extension of baseline where we looked at broad community we now look at individual households, as mentioned the survey had not only self identifed protected characteristics, but existing health conditions, burdens of poor health, so we knew individual households and tenants by tenancy type, health burden and whether they considered if they have identified protected characteristics or not. You cannot get more detailed than that.
Mr White: What about Dr Buroni your 5.3.3 we see a total of 72 responses from 37 households?
Dr Buroni: Yes
Mr White: To show equality with Mr Teasdale, there are 56 households occupied. whether it be 19-23 households that didnt respond. What should the inspector note about that? There is not a complete survey across the whole site.
Dr Buroni: Its rare you get a 100% response. I've never come across 100% response. Whilst you can do your best to encourage participation. There will always be people that don't respond. The information we have from the households provided is sufficient to inform equalities assesment.
Mr White: Is there a relationship or not? Do you remember the letter that Leeds sent. Is there any relationship between what the letter sent on 22nd Jan on those with protected characteristics and your judgment. More likely or less likely to submit the survey or do you have no idea on that?
Dr Buroni: Tried to be as neutral as they can be but yes if you send an equality survey out it tends to prime people with a protected characteristic to respond.
Mr White: Health determinant, social, environmental, economic determinant you look at impact, then duration and distribution. Is that correct?
Dr Buroni: Yes
Mr White: You take it forward to 6.2 health and equality determinant at various factors and what you did was look at 3 options, proposed development a do something and a do nothing.
Dr Buroni: That correct.
Mr White: The do something was on the basis of what kind of refurbishment.
Dr Buroni: Erm, It was the encasement option, I forgot the name of the term now Strat, Structherm solution.
Mr White: In terms of colours I imagine if your logical red is a bad thing, green is good thing and orange is neutral. Is that right?
Dr Buroni: Thats right. The key is at the bottom.
Mr White: The darker green you are the more positive, light green moderate, orange is not neutral moderate negative and red is serious negative.
Dr Buroni: Thats right
Mr White: Taking 6.2 as a whole what was your overall conclusion.
Dr Buroni: In terms of 7.1 demography during construction the proposed development results in displacement of the community. It is noted as adverse impact, significant adverse impact. Do minimum or do nothing is of lesser scale largely because duratio and the rate of displacement will be different but it will occur. In all cases the displacement of the community is there. It's picked up in the operational phase. Operation would provide the means to actually build a community. The do minimum and do nothing would see it continue to deteriorate. It looks at each of those health determinants and it provides an overall balance. You can see the operational phase is all beneficial other than housing for do minimum and do nothing and change in displacement of community for the do minimum and do nothing. On balance in equality terms the proposed project offers the means to advance opportunity far greater than the other two options.
Mr White: You have advantage of having heard and read all the material what in your judgment should be the inspector's conclusion in terms of 149? What is your view?
Dr Buroni: It is for the inspector to come to his judgement but there has been no evidence from any party to establish an equality impact. None whatsoever. Planning officers confirm no equality impact to which I validated through my excercise. Statement of common ground says application offers more affordable, accessible and adaptable homes pertinent to elderly and disabled. Demonstrates the opportunity to advance equality. The do minimum do nothing would be the same adverse effects all be it at a slower rate but absent any of the benefits associated to new housing for current standards for current and future tenants. That is the sum I believe.
Mr White: Can we just end on 149 and go back to Mr Teasdale's appendix 1 please?
Mr White: In your judgement if the inspector was to grant consent would it effectively cause discrimination, harrassment, victimisation or any other conduct that is prohibited under this act in your view?
Dr Buroni: No, no evidence has been put before us for that and Mr Teasdale couldnt provide any evidence of discrimination or harrassment either?
Mr White: Secondly, if the inspector is minded to grant consent, would it not advance equality of opportunity between those who have a protected characteristic and those who dont have it in your view?
Dr Buroni: Yes, 51% of the housing is more adaptable more accessible, you have wheelchair access. The statement of common ground again confirms that this is over and above current provision and only and improvement which protected characteristics would wholeheartedly benefit.
Mr White: Lastly, what in your judgment would the grant of consent foster, or not foster good relations between those on the estate who have a protected characteristic and those that don't?
Dr Buroni: Its an inclusive design, there is no discrimination so it would support and foster that inclusivity.
Mr White: Let me ask you this. How does this planning proposal distinguish between those in the survey, whichever survey you take, how does it distinguish in impact between those with a protected characteristic and those without a protected characteristic.
Dr Buroni: It doesn't. The impact is the same regardless of protected characteristic.
Mr White: Thank you that is my evidence in chief.
Inspector: Now is a good moment for the mid morning break. Can I check one thing which may be something Dr Buroni may come back to after the break. Appendix a, Table 5.1 summary of equality results and a version of that table is I think at 3.1 at page 9 in Dr Buroni's proof. Looking at the tables there are some differences in the figures in the tables, may be a simple explanation for it, only small differences but the tables are not exactly the same.
Mr White: I can see that e.g disabled 9 at table 3.1 and 12 in appendices.
Inspector: No that is not the point Mr White. Extra set. Those are by respondents. I'm looking at responses by households which brought forward to proof. If you stay with disabled. Percentage of 45% in 3.1 and 42% with the same number in Table 5.1. I think there are at least 5 differences in the tables.
Dr Buroni: I will have a look at that over the break.
(Inquiry adjourned to resume at 11:35)