Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks. View directions

Contact: Email: 01732 227199 

Note: postponed from 1 March 2018 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 23 November 2017, as a correct record.


Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Committee held on 23 November 2017 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.




Declarations of Interest

Any interest not already registered.


No additional declarations of interest were made.


Actions from Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 39 KB


The actions were noted.


Update from Portfolio Holder


In the absence of the Portfolio Holder for Planning, the Chairman suggested a report could be circulated when available.


Action 1: Portfolio Holder’s report to be circulated after the meeting once available.


Referrals from Cabinet or the Audit Committee


There were none.


Local Plan Update pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader, and Senior Planning Officer, presented the report which provided an update on progress with the draft Local Plan. The Issues and Options nine-week consultation had ended in October 2017 and over 15,000 responses had been received to the main survey consultation (30% of households) and over 200 responses covering both technical and site specific issues. These had been reviewed to inform the draft of the new Local Plan and the 400 sites that had been submitted under the ‘call for sites’ were being assessed through the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) process. A number of evidence based studies and work-streams were coming to a conclusion, including Heritage, Biodiversity and Gypsy and Traveller provision, and an update was provided on these areas.  It was highlighted that the sites listed at paragraph 3 to the report were under consideration and assessment and their inclusion in the draft Local Plan had not yet been determined.


In response to a request to clarify what exceptional circumstances meant, it was acknowledged that this query occurred at each meeting.  The Chief Planning Officer stated that the phrase was from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), that the Green Belt should only be redrawn in ‘exceptional circumstances’ but that the NPPF went no further to explain what that meant.  Without a definition, planners were considering at a local level what these might be and were looking at the experience of others, and looking at circumstances presented by others at examinations.  It was clear there would need to be other tangible benefits (in addition to housing) and the social and community infrastructure would need to be examined to understand if it would meet an evidenced need.  It would be up to Members to ultimately decide what qualified as exceptional circumstances in the draft Local Plan. 


The Chairman added that that was why all the data was being collected and examined and urged Members to feedback any comments to the Planning Policy Team.  The final decisions on sites would be decided at Cabinet after being reported to the Planning Advisory Committee. Local Councillors would be informed of sites in their areas before the Advisory Committee stage (meetings in mid-April)


She also advised that the Sustainability Assessment process was being followed so that at examination stage the Council could demonstrate that it had considered sites and give validated reasons as to why were or were not included in the Local Plan.  Site owners were able to approach the Inspector directly to argue for their site’s inclusion, and an evidenced based process would help the Council’s position. 


In response to a question concerning the number of empty homes Officers agreed to find this out and circulate the information.


Action 2:  Figures on the number of empty homes within the District to be supplied.


It was confirmed that site histories are being considered and that all sites are assessed with the same matrices, as part of the Sustainability Assessment process.


In response to questions given to the Chairman before  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.


Local Plan Update - Heritage pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


The Conservation Officer presented the report which updated Members on the progress on the heritage evidence base of the draft Local Plan.  Members took the opportunity to ask questions of clarification. Development of a sound evidence base for the historic environment would inform the draft Local Plan, which would be prepared for a further round of public consultation in the summer. 


Resolved:  That progress on the heritage evidence base of the draft Local Plan, be noted.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 58 KB


The work plan was noted, with Local Development Scheme (LDS) Update added to the meeting in June.  It was also agreed to hold the member training at 7.00pm with the meeting starting at 7.30pm at the next meeting on 25 April 2018.


Back to top