Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.

 

Minutes:

            Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Broderick (with no substitute) and G V Guglielmi (with Councillor Coley substituting).

 

2.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee, held on 29 January 2019.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on 29 January 2019, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were none on this occasion.

4.

Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 37

Subject to providing two working days’ notice, a Member of the Committee may ask the Chairman of the Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the Tendring District and which falls within the terms of reference of the Committee.

Minutes:

There were none on this occasion.

5.

Public Speaking pdf icon PDF 184 KB

The Council’s Public Speaking Scheme for the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee gives the opportunity for members of the public and other interested parties/stakeholders to speak to the Council’s elected members on the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee on any specific agenda item to be considered at that public meeting.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited the following persons to address the Committee:

 

Bill Marshall, a resident of the District, made a statement relating to item A.1 of the report of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) in which he urged Councillors not to approve the recommendations in that report.  He referenced the publication of the report and appendices on 25 July and considered that there was too much information to digest in too short a period.  He invited Members to delay, defer and reconsider the detail in the report.  He expressed the view that residents had been excluded from the proposals and those residents did not want the proposed Garden Communities.  He drew attention to the £2 billion borrowing and that this would, in his view, burden local residents for generations.  As an alternative, Members were advised that he had submitted a proposal which he referenced as being DRPP, which had then been identified as Alternative 7 and E4 in the Assessment.  He also drew attention to a model he had displayed at the meeting of a rapid transport floating train.

 

Ted Gittens, a resident of the District, made a statement relating to item A.1 of the report of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) in which he considered that the Local Plan process was at a crucial point and he referenced the words of the Local Plan Inspector on the issue of promoting all three Garden Communities across North Essex at the same time and the difficulties with justification for this simultaneous development the Inspector had outlined.  He considered the west-Tendring Garden Community was little more than a Colchester overspill with transport links westward rather than into the rest of Tendring.  Instead he spoke in support of development in the area where the A120 and A133 diverge of which he described as Tendring central and linked it to the Metro Plan proposal referenced in the report.  This he considered would redistribute development eastward and be more sustainable for the District.

 

Carol Bannister, a resident of the District, made statements relating to items A.1, A.2 and A.3 of the Report of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) in which she outlined that she supported Garden Communities, although not on the scale proposed.  She described the District of Tendring as being a rural, tourist and retirement area and she spoke strongly about the need to retain this character.  She did not believe organisations such as CAUSE represented the views of local people in Tendring.  She was of the view that the Metro Plan proposal referenced in the report would destroy the villages identified in that proposal due to the huge growth the proposal envisaged.  In respect of the report at A2, she advised the Committee that she considered the housing supply proposals should be accepted.  She also spoke on the report at A3, and referenced her support for measures to protect local habitats and, in this regard, quoted Weeley Wood.

 

The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the above persons for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Report of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.1 - Section 1 Local Plan Examination: Additional Sustainability Appraisal, Evidence and Proposed Amendments pdf icon PDF 476 KB

a)     To recommend to Full Council approval of the Additional Sustainability Appraisal and to report to the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee the findings of the additional evidence base having been prepared in response to the Planning Inspector’s concerns about the new Garden Communities proposed as part of the Section 1 Local Plan for North Essex.

 

b)     To seek the Committee's recommendation to Full Council that a series of proposed amendments to the Local Plan be submitted to the Inspector for consideration as minor and major modifications. 

 

c)     To seek the Committee’s recommendation to Full Council that six weeks public consultation is undertaken on the Additional Sustainability Appraisal, additional evidence base and proposed amendments before they are submitted to the Secretary of State to then enable the Local Plan Inspector to resume and conclude their examination.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a comprehensive report (and appendices) of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) (A.1) which sought:-

 

a)      the Committee’s recommendation to Full Council that the Additional Sustainability Appraisal be approved and to inform the Committee of the findings of the additional evidence base having been prepared in response to the Planning Inspector’s concerns about the new Garden Communities proposed as part of the Section 1 Local Plan for North Essex;

 

b)      the Committee's recommendation to Full Council that a series of proposed amendments to the Local Plan be submitted to the Inspector for consideration as minor and major modifications; and

 

c)      the Committee’s recommendation to Full Council that a six weeks public consultation be undertaken on the Additional Sustainability Appraisal, additional evidence base and proposed amendments before they were submitted to the Secretary of State to then enable the Local Plan Inspector to resume and conclude their examination.

 

            Background

 

The Committee was aware that Section 1 of the submitted Local Plan (‘the Section 1 Plan’) set out an overarching strategy for future growth across Braintree, Colchester and Tendring (the ‘North Essex Authorities’ (‘NEAs’)). As well as including policies setting the overall housing and employment requirements for North Essex up to 2033, the Section 1 Plan proposed three new cross-boundary ‘Garden Communities’ along the A120 corridor with the potential for longer-term and comprehensively-planned growth. In contrast, ‘the Section 2 Plan’ for each of the three authorities  contained more specific local policies and proposals relevant only to their individual area. 

 

Members were also aware that before a Local Plan could be formally adopted by a Council, it must be examined by a Government-appointed Inspector whose job it was to check that: (1) the Plan had been prepared in line with various legal requirements; and (2) that the policies and proposals in the plan complied with the ‘tests of soundness’ contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Examination hearings for the Section 1 Plan had taken place between January and May 2018. In June 2018 the Inspector had written to the North Essex Authorities setting out his initial findings. Whilst he confirmed the legal compliance and soundness of some elements of the Plan and praised the NEAs’ innovation and ambition, the Inspector had found some of the evidence and justification in support of Garden Communities to be lacking and had therefore been unable to pass the Section 1 Plan as ‘sound’. The Inspector’s specific concerns had been reported to the former Local Plan Committee at its meeting held on 30 October 2018 (Minute 6 referred).

 

In his letter, the Inspector had offered the NEAs advice and options for how best to proceed.  Having considered his advice, the NEAs in October 2018 had confirmed that they remained committed to using Garden Communities principles to secure the future housing requirements in North Essex and would produce additional evidence to address each of the Inspector’s concerns.  On 10th December 2008, the Inspector had confirmed that he was satisfied that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Report of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.2 - Updated Housing Supply Position, Housing Trajectory and Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) pdf icon PDF 414 KB

To report, to the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee:

 

·           the number of new homes built in Tendring during the 2018/19 financial year;

·           the current housing land supply position (the ‘five-year’ supply);

·           the updated year-by-year trajectory for building new homes over the remainder of the new Local Plan period up to 2033; and

·           the new Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) which provides the detailed evidence base for the above figures.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a detailed report (and appendices) of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) (A.2) which reported:-

 

·         the number of new homes built in the District during the 2018/19 financial year;

·         the current housing land supply position (the ‘five-year’ supply);

·         the updated year-by-year trajectory for building new homes over the remainder of the new Local Plan period up to 2033; and

·         the new Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) which provided the detailed evidence base for the above figures.

 

            Housing Completions

 

It was reported that, in the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, 915 new homes had been completed in the District. This meant that the housebuilding target for the District (550 homes a year as set out in the emerging Local Plan) had been achieved for a third year in succession.

 

            Five Year Supply

 

The Committee was informed that, in February 2019, the Government had made amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which affected the way Councils calculated whether they could identify a five year housing supply. Where a Council’s adopted Local Plan housing policies were more than five years old (as was the case for Tendring District Council), they were required to calculate housing supply against a ‘local housing need’ figure generated using the Government’s standard methodology which, for this Council, meant a housing target of 863 homes a year as opposed to the 550 homes a year target in the emerging (but yet to be adopted) Local Plan. As a result of this change in Government planning policy which affected the way housing supply was calculated, the Council could technically only demonstrate a 4.2 year supply of deliverable housing sites. The implications of this were reported in the main body of the Corporate Director’s report.

 

            Housing Trajectory

 

Members were made aware that the Council could, however, demonstrate that the Local Plan requirement of 11,000 new homes between 2013 and 2033 could be met and comfortably exceeded. This would be through a combination of homes already completed since April 2013, development on large sites with planning permission, sites allocated for development in the Plan and small ‘windfall’ sites. 

 

Having considered and discussed the contents of the Corporate Director’s comprehensive report and appendices:-

 

It was moved by Councillor Fairley,seconded by Councillor Coley and:-

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the Corporate Director’s Report be noted and the new Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (attached as Appendix 1 thereto) be endorsed as evidence to support the deliverability of housing proposals in the new local plan and to demonstrate an up-to-date five year housing land supply position for the purposes of determining planning applications and contesting planning appeals.

8.

Report of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.3 - Essex Coastal Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) pdf icon PDF 742 KB

To provide an update for Members on the Essex Coastal Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) and to describe how this may affect the Council’s planning policies and decision-making in the future.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a comprehensive report (with appendices) of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) (A.3) which provided an update on the Essex Coastal Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) and which described how this could affect the Council’s planning policies and decision-making in the future.

 

Members were informed that twelve Essex local planning authorities were working together on a mitigation strategy in order to protect the internationally designated Essex Coast from the effects of increased recreational disturbance as a result of population growth throughout Essex.

 

The Strategy  sets out the necessary measures to avoid and mitigate the effects from increased recreational disturbance. The RAMS set a tariff of £122.30 per dwelling. This tariff would apply to all residential proposals, even proposals for one dwelling. This was because the whole of the District was within the Zone of Influence and the RAMS sought to avoid and mitigate the in-combination effects from all new dwellings.

 

The Committee was advised that in order to comply with the European Habitat Regulations, this Council was already seeking the said contribution from all new dwellings via legal agreements – but that the consultation on, and adoption of, the Supplementary Planning Document would ensure that this arrangement was formalised in a consistent way across Essex.

 

A number of comments were made by Members in respect of improving the access to designated protected habitats in order to reduce the impact of visitors to those habitats.

 

In response to a question, the Planning Manager confirmed that the proposed Essex RAMS tariff would apply to single dwelling developments as it would to larger developments. In the same way, the current approach to the application of the tariff albeit without the benefit of supplementary Planning Document as now submitted for consultation applied to single dwelling developments and larger developments.

 

Having considered and discussed the contents of the Corporate Director’s comprehensive report and appendices:-

 

It was moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Skeels and:-

 

RESOLVED that –

 

(a)    the Draft Essex Coast Recreational disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) be approved for consultation purposes and that the contents of the RAMS Strategy Document (Technical Report and Mitigation Report)be noted; and

(b)    the Head of Planning be authorised to make minor changes to the SPD should it be necessary prior to the commencement of the consultation.. Any changes considered by the Head of Planning to be more than minor will be reported back to the Committee prior to any such consultation commencing.