Report number SEG59 of the Cabinet Member for Economy and Development. (Enclosure)
1. Council approves the Proposed Submission Local Plan as set out at Appendix 2 to report SEG59 and amended by the addendum circulated at the meeting, for the purpose of publication for representations in accordance with Regulation 19 of the Local Plan Regulations and then submission to the Secretary of State
2. To agree that any minor corrections to the document can be approved by the Cabinet Member for Economy and Development, so long as these do not substantially affect the substance of any policies or land use allocations
In presenting report number SEG053 and proposing the recommendations therein, the Cabinet Member for Economy and Development drew Members’ attention to an addendum to the proposed submission Local Plan that had been circulated to Members. The addendum related to two changes, which related to self and custom build housing and sustainable transport in Grantham.
The Cabinet Member referred to the work that had been undertaken since 2014 on the revised Local Plan and recorded his thanks to the Planning Policy Team and its Strategic Director for their work during that period. He explained that there was a national imperative on house-building and to this end, there had been a number of requirements issued by the Government, which the Council had to take into account.
The Cabinet Member summarised the changes between the existing Local Plan and the submission Local Plan, which included allocation of land for strategic employment, the incorporation of Spitalgate Heath garden village, new housing sites in Stamford and Deepings and the introduction of a new policy that would allow some homes to be built in the smallest villages. Reference was also made to the housing allocation for Bourne; an allocation of 200 houses had been removed and the neighbourhood plan committee had been asked to suggest where those allocations should be made.
Reference was also made to changes that had been made in respect of the housing needs assessment. A new methodology for calculating housing need increased in the number of houses that needed to be built each year from 625 to 785. A number of councils that were part way through their Local Plan consultation process approached government in response to the changed methodology and agreement was reached that they could continue to use the existing target. This meant that the housing need in the submission Local Plan was 625 properties, plus an additional contingency of 12.9%
A number of changes had also been made since the Plan was subject to informal consultation in 2017. Members’ attention was specifically drawn to a proposed change that would see the affordable housing requirement shift from ‘up to 35%’ to a requirement of 30%. New policies on biodiversity and geodiversity had been added. Members were also advised that the Council had been awarded grant funding to develop a document promoting good design.
Members were advised that if the Council approved the proposed submission Local Plan, it would go for a final round of representation; any responses would be submitted with the Plan to the Secretary of State, who would appoint an Inspector. The Plan would then be subject to examination in public, which it was hoped would happen in the autumn of 2018.
The proposition was seconded.
A number of Members spoke on the item, many of whom expressed their thanks and congratulations to the Cabinet Member, other Members of the Council and the officers who had been involved in the preparation of the document. Some Members referred to specific sites, including the Manthorpe site near Grantham and Kettering Road in Stamford, which had both been the subject of planning applications that had been approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.
A number of questions were posed, to which the Cabinet Member responded in his summing-up. An overview of those issues is outlined below:
· Clarification that there was not an allocation for the development of 400 houses in Corby Glen; the allocation was 250 homes
· Evidence from other councils indicated that decreasing the required percentage of affordable housing had led to an increase in delivery with developers more willing to submit schemes
· Negotiation was underway about the level of affordable housing that might be delivered through Spitalgate Heath garden village taking account the wider infrastructure contributions being made through the development
· Emergency services had been consulted during the Local Plan preparation process; it was hoped that the increased housing numbers would provide a critical mass in Grantham that would support improved services
· A suggestion was made that self-build sites should remain available for the life of the plan and not just for one year; there was an agreement that a year might not be long enough and that the issue could be looked at with the Planning Inspector
· Concerns were raised about traffic travelling through Bourne and its impact on the attractiveness of the town centre as a place to visit; it was suggested that the concerned Member should speak to InvestSK as place-making formed a key part of its work
· Development to the north of Stamford in Rutland with some concern expressed about its impact on Stamford’s infrastructure and services
A vote was taken on the proposition, which was carried.
16:06 to 16:27 – the meeting adjourned