Agenda item

Draft Local Plan


The Chairman introduced the report advising that it was the ‘draft’ of the draft Local Plan and sites listed as ‘potentially’ suitable for development did not mean that they would be included within the final draft Local Plan submitted to the Inspector.  She urged that once this draft was agreed for consultation, residents and stakeholders should respond with valid reasons as to why or why not a site or policy should or should not be considered.  The Council had to demonstrate to the Inspector at the end of this process, that everything had been considered in full, with sound and evidence based reasons.  Results of the consultation would be considered at the Planning Advisory meeting on 22 November and Cabinet on 6 December 2018, where debate would more likely be site specific.  Within the report there were 19 policies suggested which once adopted would be used during the consideration of planning applications at the development control committee, so feedback was important.

The Planning Policy Team Leader and Senior Planning Officer presented the report which provided a summary of the draft Local Plan, which would be issued for public consultation in the summer. It covered the main elements of the housing, employment, retail and gypsy and traveller strategies, together with an update on the potential housing figure and further information on the potential ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ sites. It was noted that ‘exceptional circumstances’ had not yet been tested.

It also provided an update on the recent member briefings, where Officers had outlined the sites that would be included in the consultation and the proposed public and stakeholder consultation strategy which would run for 8 weeks from Monday 16 July 2018 (which tied in with the publication of ‘InShape’) to Monday 10 September 2018 (extended by two weeks to take into account the school summer holidays).   Consultation events would also be held.

Members took the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification from Officers.  Members suggested improvements to help them and the public navigate the consultation, including: indexing; a ward by ward breakdown; and smaller downloads for those without reliable broadband.  Officers advised that there would be an interactive map, and Members were reminded that this was a committee report and not how the consultation would be finally presented.  All suggestions would be considered as it was hoped to make the consultation process accessible and as transparent as possible.

With regards to the Green Belt and ‘exceptional circumstances’ the Chief Planning Officer explained that part of the consultation process was to test the validity of the arguments being put forward by promotors that a site fell under that remit.  The Council needed consultees to respond on the planning merits and impacts of the sites as the plan had to be evidence based.  Sites currently being promoted as ‘exceptional circumstances’ needed to be tested to demonstrate whether the infrastructure being proposed met an existing social and community need. Within the consultation process all residents and stakeholders were encouraged to respond and let the Council know their views.  Widespread and site specific views were encouraged as well as the evidence to omit as well as include sites.

The Chairman took each of the 19 policies separately for consideration and debate.  There were no objections to anything within them but a few suggestions were made as to further inclusions, enhancements and cross referencing which Officers noted and agreed to look at.


Public Sector Equality Duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.


Resolved:  That it be recommended to Cabinet that the Draft Local Plan 2015 – 2035 document be agreed for public consultation and the Local Plan timetable (LDS) be agreed.

Supporting documents:


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