Report of the Cabinet Member for Planning.
Please note that due to the size of the appendices to this report, they are available to view on the Council’s website at http://moderngov.southkesteven.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=261&MId=3822&Ver=4 or via the modern.gov app. If you require a hard copy of these documents, please contact the Democratic Services Team.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning explained that it was a legal requirement for every Local Planning Authority to set out the development policies of an area in its Local Plan. Adopting the plan would bring assurance and transparency and provides an indication of how the Council intends to ensure high quality and affordable housing within the district and balancing sustainable growth and protecting heritage.
Members’ attention was brought to the report published by the Planning Inspector, which confirmed that the draft Plan satisfied the requirements of s25 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the criteria for soundness that were set out in the National Planning Policy Framework provided that modifications were made. The required modifications were attached to the report provided with the agenda for Members’ information.
Members were advised that the Plan had been subject to rigorous consultation. The Cabinet Member stated that during the Plan period 18,846 dwellings should come forward. He explained that at the heart of the Plan was a desire to make the district a better place to live, work and invest. He cautioned that if the Council decided not to adopt the Plan, then the Council would be forced to start the process again, losing the work of the last few years.
The Cabinet Member concluded his speech by thanking the Members and officers who had been involved in the development and preparation of the plan over the years and proposed the recommendations that were in the report circulated with the agenda. The proposition was seconded.
Other Members who spoken on the Plan praised the work that had been put into its development, recognising members across the Council, including the Cabinet Members who had overseen the work, together with the officers.
During debate, other points that were raised included:
· The removal of Kettering Road, Stamford as an allocated site and subsequent clarification that this had been removed because there was already a live planning consent for the site
· Concern about proposals for affordable housing, noting specifically the 20% requirement for Grantham and site-specific requirements that were below the 30% requirement elsewhere in the district
· Support that a ‘one size fits all’ approach for affordable housing would not provide any flexibility
· The climate emergency that had been declared by the Council and a desire to see measures that would help the Council combat climate change through development
· The potential impact of Rutland County Council seeking to take 650 houses that formed part of the Stamford North development back into its allocation
· Projections for growth and the need for appropriate health infrastructure and public services to support that
· Training on the Local Plan for members of the Planning Committee, to which all members of the Council would be invited
· Concerns about a lack of provision of social housing that was affordable for Grantham people with below-average incomes
· The implications of not adopting the Local Plan as presented
· The early review of the Local Plan that would begin to which the Council had committed
In summing up, the Cabinet Member addressed points that had been raised during debate. For Members’ information, he clarified that the position with Rutland had not changed. Whilst a proposal was in the process of being considered there was no material fact that would prevent the Council adopting the Local Plan today. He added that if Rutland County Council did decide to reclaim the allocation of 650 homes, the Council would look to encompass this as part of the early review. The Cabinet Member also made reference to the assistance the new Plan would provide to the Planning Committee in the assessment and determination of applications.
On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:
1) That the Council notes the conclusions of the independent Inspector who was appointed to examine the Council’s submitted South Kesteven Local Plan
2) That Council resolves to adopt the South Kesteven Local Plan (Appendix 1) and associated appendices (Appendices 2 to 4), incorporating modifications as recommended by the Inspector (‘Main Modifications’ – Appendix 5); and other minor editorial modifications (‘Additional Modifications’ – Appendix 6)
3) That, in adopting the Local Plan, the following Council documents are removed and must not be used for decision-making:
a) Core Strategy DPD (2012)
b) Site Allocations and Policies DPD (2014)
c) “Saved” Council adopted planning policies for the South Kesteven Local Plan (1995)
4) Council endorses the updated ‘Policies Map’ (Appendix 2) in line with draft maps provided via the agenda report, in order to reflect the policies of the new Local Plan, and the deletion of policies from the above listed revoked documents
14:10 to 14:30 – the meeting adjourned