Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Ian Ford  01255 686584

Items
No. Item

9.

Chairman's Opening Remarks

Minutes:

“Good evening fellow Members, Officers and to our public.

 

Welcome to the second meeting of the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee.

 

Since our last meeting in July a lot has happened.

 

The first part of that meeting was to discuss and agree the new Sustainability Appraisal and other evidence for the Garden Communities. This is known as Section 1 of the new District Plan. The Committee did agree the report and then went onto Full Council to ratify. I am pleased to tell you that our first report went through Full Council without any amendments and all in favour. Unlike our neighbours Colchester Borough Council and Braintree District Council, who did ratify their sections, but with amendments and dissenters.

 

Those amendments were in relation to the Housing Infrastructure Fund. The bids made to this fund by another partner Essex County Council were successful. The bids that are important to Tendring are £69m for a link road between the A133 and the A120 and a further £30m for a Rapid Transport System to join up the proposed Garden Community with Colchester. A date for the Public Consultation on routes and the type of Rapid Transport System will be made by Essex Highways very soon. The date and a link will be available on our Planning website.

 

The rest of that agenda was for Housing Land Supply with an update. There is still a major point of discussion between the Examining Inspector and his colleagues. This is to be resolved in the New Year, when the public examination of the emerging District Plan will recommence on the 14th January 2020. It is to consider the 1000+ responses the North Essex Authorities have received to the final 6 week consultation on the Sustainability Appraisal, other evidence and suggested amendments for the section 1 Local Plan.

 

The last report we saw for RAMs, Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy. This has appeared in every appeal decision I have read and it is a stopper on development where land has not been allocated for building. There will be a Public Consultation starting in January. I will ask the Officers for the date, links and contacts to be placed on the Planning website.

 

On tonight’s agenda we have before us five reports, four of which we will decide. Item nine is for comments to go to Cabinet, that is the Heritage Strategy and it forms but one part of a larger over reaching Policy.

 

Before I start the meeting, do any Members have any queries or comments that they would like to make?”

10.

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 Bush (with Councillor M E Stephenson substituting) and I J Henderson (with Councillor Davidson substituting).

11.

Minutes of the Last Meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee, held on Tuesday 16 July 2019.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on Tuesday 16 July 2019 be approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman.

12.

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.

13.

Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 38

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:

On this occasion no Councillor had submitted notice of a question.

14.

Public Speaking pdf icon PDF 185 KB

The Council’s Public Speaking Scheme for the 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 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 raising his concerns in regards to the 6 week Public Consultation not being advertised. Mr Marshall also raised concerns in regards to Section 1 and Section 2 and stated that further work and evidence was required prior to consideration.

 

It was agreed by the Chairman that Mr Marshall could address the Committee on items A.2 to A.5 on the agenda at the time the Committee started to consider them during the meeting.

 

15.

Report of Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.1 - Employment Land pdf icon PDF 367 KB

a)     To report the findings of the latest ‘Employment Land Review’ for Tendring which updates the evidence base in support of the employment land policies in the emerging Local Plan;

 

b)     To seek the Committee’s endorsement for suggested amendments to the employment land policies aimed at ensuring that they are up to date, address some of the constructive criticisms raised during public consultation and are as robust and effective as possible; and

 

c)     To seek the Committee’s agreement for the suggested amendments to be put forward for the Planning Inspector’s consideration when they come to examine Section 2 of the Local Plan in 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

a)           reported the findings of the latest ‘Employment Land Review’ for Tendring which updated the evidence base in support of the employment land policies in the emerging Local Plan;

 

b)           sought its endorsement for suggested amendments to the employment land policies aimed at ensuring that they are up to date, addressed some of the constructive criticisms raised during public consultation and were as robust and effective as possible; and

 

c)           sought its agreement for the suggested amendments to be put forward for the Planning Inspector’s consideration when they come to examine Section 2 of the Local Plan in 2020.

 

The Committee recalled that one of the objectives of the planning system, both at a national and local level, was to build a strong, responsive and competitive economy. The Council’s emerging Local Plan sought to support economic growth and job provision through a variety of means, including through the protection and future provision of ‘employment land’ – i.e. land for business and industrial use in classes B1 (Business), B2 (General Industry) and B8 (Storage and Distribution).  

 

Employment Land Review

 

Members were reminded that the ‘Employment Land Review’ was part of the evidence base to inform the Local Plan’s employment land policies and to help determine which sites to protect or allocate for business and industrial use.

 

An Employment Land Review had initially been undertaken by consultants on behalf of the Council in 2013 and had been updated in 2016 and again in 2019. Key findings from the latest 2019 update included the following:

 

·          Projected demand for additional employment land (over and above existing sites already in employment use) was forecast to be low for the period to 2033 (between 0 hectares and 9 hectares), based on market trends and analysis of different scenarios.

 

·          Sites with extant outline or detailed planning permission already accounted for over 27 hectares of future employment land and an additional 17 hectares were allocated for employment use in the emerging Local Plan and were available to the open market.

 

·          A further 53 hectares of land across a variety of additional sites had been assessed for their potential suitability for business and industrial use and those might provide options for further development in the longer term (potentially through a future review of the local Plan).

 

·          The existing range of operational employment sites across the District continued to play an important role in meeting the needs of existing businesses and most should continue to be protected, however, some sites had been identified as not suitable for further business activity beyond the specific requirements of their current occupiers and could be considered for alternative forms of development if current operations were to cease.

 

Overall, the Employment Land Review had demonstrated that there was already more than enough employment land available in Tendring to meet projected demand for business and industrial floor space up to 2033 and there was consequently no need  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Report of Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.2 - Draft Housing Strategy and Planning Policy for Affordable Housing pdf icon PDF 400 KB

a)     To present the draft Housing Strategy to the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee for consultation and invite Members’ comments for Cabinet’s consideration;

 

b)     To report, to the Committee, the current position in respect of delivering affordable housing and the practical issues that have arisen in the application of the Council’s emerging Local Plan policies;

 

c)     To seek the Committee’s endorsement for suggested amendments to the emerging Local Plan’s affordable housing policy aimed at maximising the delivery of affordable housing in light of weak delivery in the past; and

 

d)     To seek the Committee’s agreement for the suggested amendments to be put forward for the Planning Inspector’s consideration when they come to examine Section 2 of the Local Plan in 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

a)           presented the draft Housing Strategy for consultation and any comments for Cabinet’s consideration;

 

b)           reported the current position in respect of delivering affordable housing and the practical issues that had arisen in the application of the Council’s emerging Local Plan policies;

 

c)           sought its endorsement for suggested amendments to the emerging Local Plan’s affordable housing policy aimed at maximising the delivery of affordable housing in light of weak delivery in the past; and

 

d)           sought approval for the suggested amendments to be put forward for the Planning Inspector’s consideration when they come to examine Section 2 of the emerging Local Plan in 2020.

 

The Chairman invited Bill Marshall to address the Committee:-

 

Bill Marshall, a resident of the district, made a statement relating to item A.2 raising his concerns in regards to National Planning Policy Framework Paragraphs 34 and 64. Mr Marshall urged Officers to rethink affordable housing viability and the taxing nature on the developer and ordinary market home purchasers.

 

Members were informed that the Council’s draft Housing Strategy 2019-2024 had been developed in order to guide the future of new homes within the District to meet local needs and to guide the future management and direction of the Council’s housing service. The Council retained its own housing stock and currently had 3,134 homes in its ownership. The Council was the largest landlord in the District and remained fully committed to this role and would consult with and continue to support its tenants to ensure that they all had a decent, affordable home in an area that they felt proud of. One of the strategic housing priorities set out in the Strategy was ‘delivering homes to meet the needs of local people’ which was highly dependent on the implementation of policies and proposals in the emerging Local Plan. Many of the specific actions in the Housing Strategy linked directly to policies in the emerging Local Plan.

 

The Committee was made aware that the Council’s draft Housing Strategy had been developed at a time of major actual and proposed changes to the national housing landscape and financial constraints for the Council. In 2018, three separate opinion polls published by Kantar, Survation and lpsos had highlighted that only Brexit and the NHS were issues of greater concern to the UK population than housing. Recent years had seen the introduction of neighbourhood planning and the Localism Act 2011, changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), welfare reforms, increased regulation in the private rented sector, the tragedy of Grenfell Tower and the most fundamental change in homelessness legislation in many years, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. Whilst local authorities were not required by Government to have a formal housing strategy, they were expected to adopt a strategy approach to housing in their local areas to deliver a thriving housing market and to address local needs.

 

In order to meet the challenges facing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Report of Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.3 - Town Centre Planning Policies and Regeneration Schemes pdf icon PDF 1 MB

a)     To report progress on the Council’s regeneration projects for Clacton and Dovercourt Town Centres and their implications for policies and proposals in the emerging Local Plan;

 

b)     To suggest possible amendments to the planning policies in the emerging Local Plan relating to town centre uses aimed at allowing a more flexible range of activities in response to the changing role and function of town centres, the decline of traditional retail on the high street and government changes to the Use Classes Order; and

 

c)     To seek the Committee’s agreement for the suggested amendments to be put forward for the Planning Inspector’s consideration when they come to examine Section 2 of the Local Plan in 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a detailed report (and appendices) of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) (A.3) which:-

 

a)           reported progress on the Council’s regeneration projects for Clacton and Dovercourt Town Centres and their implications for policies and proposals in the emerging Local Plan;

 

b)           suggested possible amendments to the planning policies in the emerging Local Plan relating to town centre uses aimed at allowing a more flexible range of activities in response to the changing role and function of town centres, the decline of traditional retail on the high street and Government changes to the Use Classes Order; and

 

c)           sought the Committee’s agreement for the suggested amendments to be put forward for the Planning Inspector’s consideration when they come to examine Section 2 of the emerging Local Plan in 2020.

 

The Chairman invited Bill Marshall to address the Committee:-

 

Bill Marshall, a resident of the district, made a statement relating to item A.3 and made reference to the Government white paper ‘Fixing our broken Housing Market Feb 2017’, ‘New Town Act 2018’ and ‘Revised Permitted Development Legislation’ and urged the Committee to delay any recommendations until after Section 1 re-examination has taken place.

 

Members were aware that it was one of the Council’s corporate priorities to maintain vibrant town centres and Clacton and Dovercourt Town Centres in particular had been identified as ‘priority areas for regeneration’ where, due to their complex economic and social challenges, it would be essential to create the conditions for vitality, economic growth and a sustainable long-term future whilst addressing some of the problems and challenges that affected those areas on a day to day basis. 

 

Members were further aware that following a successful application from this Council and its partners, Clacton Town Centre had been shortlisted by the Government as one of 50 town centres across the country to bid for a share of the £1billion ‘Future High Streets Fund’ aimed at delivering transformational changes. Having developed a bold vision for the town centre through a dedicated Clacton Town Centre Working Party, Officers were now working with Government officials, Essex County Council, local businesses and other partners to draw up detailed proposals for key sites in the town centre to be submitted to Government for its consideration in 2020. In the meantime, Officers were progressing a number of short-term actions aimed at improving conditions for town centre trading, including changes to parking and access arrangements, the creation of a purpose-built performance/events area and measures to positively promote the town through the ‘Love Clacton’ brand. Those actions had been approved by the Cabinet in September 2019 with a fund of £250,000 set aside to deliver certain projects with further funding expected from government. 

 

The Committee also recalled that Dovercourt Town Centre was the subject of a new Master Plan that had been approved by the Cabinet in July 2019 and which articulated its own vision for the regeneration and transformation of the town. It included targeted interventions focussed on vacant, derelict and rundown  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Report of Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.4 - Draft Heritage Strategy pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To consider the contents of the draft Heritage Strategy and agree feedback to the Cabinet.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a report (and appendix) of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) (A.4) which enabled it to consider the contents of the draft Heritage strategy and to agree its feedback to the Cabinet.

 

The Chairman invited Bill Marshall to address the Committee:

 

Bill Marshall, a resident of the district, made a statement relating to item A.4 raising his concerns that this strategy should be put on the back burner in order for Officers to focus on Section 1 and Section 2.

 

Members were informed that Tendring’s Heritage Strategy aimed to promote the protection and celebration of the area’s rich history, predominantly contained within its historic environment, and guides its evolution to enhance the positive contribution it makes to the lives of those people living in and visiting the District. The Strategy would form a baseline document, accessible to all, pertaining to the management and promotion of all aspects of the historic environment. An enhanced understanding of Tendring’s Heritage would enable the Council to:

 

·             Recognise and understand the key assets within Tendring which gave it its special character;

·             Create a knowledge hub of existing museums, archives, traditions and local groups which contributed to the protection and continuation of Tendring’s heritage;

·             Provide a platform for collaborative working across Tendring, and encourage a continued joined-up approach to heritage management;

·             Identify key areas and assets which made the greatest contribution to the heritage of Tendring;

·             Identify priority areas where heritage in the form of the historic environment was under threat and the unique issues faced; and

·             Actively engage with and promote heritage opportunities in terms of the wider regeneration and economic development of Tendring to provide a framework for future investment.

 

The draft Strategy was organised into two parts:

 

Part One: The Baseline

 

The Strategy began by giving a potted history of the District from 400,000 years ago, the time at which the oldest wooden implement in England dates from; to its Victorian era when seaside holidays thrived in the District.

 

The Strategy then considered the archaeology and historic landscapes of Tendring with its significant Mesolithic settlements, Neolithic enclosures and monuments, and Bronze Age monuments and cemeteries.

 

The architecture of Tendring was highlighted with illustrations of particular buildings, streets, vistas and building detailing throughout the District. Physical heritage assets were also detailed here. Those included listed buildings, conservation areas and scheduled monuments. Also detailed in this section was Tendring’s heritage at risk.

 

An exploration of Tendring’s museums, societies and heritage-focused groups was given. As tourism and attractions could have an historic basis, those were also examined and covered navigational, piers, military and maritime, arts and culture, industrial and built heritage attractions. 

 

Part 2 – Objectives, Action Plan and Case Study

 

Objectives

 

To inform the objectives of the Strategy, six key themes had been formed. Those are:

 

Objective 1: ConservationEnsure the sustainable management of all heritage assets, including buildings, landscapes, monuments, landscapes and settlements, through the appropriate conservation and preservation of their significance.

 

Objective 2: CollaborationPromote and support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Report of Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) - A.5 - Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To provide the Members with an overview of the Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme, to seek endorsement of the scheme and to outline the next steps for the promotion of the scheme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a report (and appendices) of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) (A.5) which provide it with an overview of the Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme and sought its endorsement of the scheme and outlined the next steps for the promotion of the scheme.

 

The Chairman invited Bill Marshall to address the Committee:

 

Bill Marshall, a resident of the district, made a statement relating to item A.5 raising his concerns in regards to the Act of Essex Scheme, the points award system and bronze housing.

 

The Committee was informed that the Livewell Development Accreditation was based on a two-stage assessment embedding the new HIA (Health Impact Assessment) criteria (as set out within the Essex Design Guide) where developments considered to make a positive contribution to health and wellbeing would be awarded different levels of accreditation. The ‘Livewell’ brand was used on a wide range of the local authority health and wellbeing initiatives and was jointly owned by Essex local authorities.

 

Members were made aware that Officers at both the District Council and Essex County Council considered that there was a need to encourage developers to go beyond policy requirements. In order to incentivise developers to do so, the Livewell Development Accreditation was seen as a means to add value to development schemes and to fully utilise the Active Design principles embedded in the Council’s new Local Plan.

 

Members were advised that this was a voluntary scheme. Developers could express their interest to the Development Management team at the master planning, pre-application or planning application stages.

 

Having considered and discussed the information provided within the Officer’s report and the contents of the Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme and the Livewell Developers Charter which attached as appendices to the report:-

 

It was moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Newton and unanimously:-

 

RESOLVED that –

 

(a)     the contents of the report be noted; and

 

(b)     the Livewell Development Accreditation Scheme be endorsed and promoted by this Council.

 

20.

Chairman's Closing Remarks

Minutes:

The Chairman informed Members that the next meeting of that Committee due to have been held on Wednesday 11 December 2019 would be cancelled.

 

The Chairman’s reasons were twofold. Firstly, Officers needed to focus solely on their preparations for the resumed Examination-in-Public (which would be in January) by the Planning Inspector of Section One of the emerging Local Plan.

 

Secondly, this date would have meant the Committee meeting the evening before the Parliamentary General Election and the primary focus of both Members and Officers would have been elsewhere in the run up to that meeting.

 

The Committee noted the foregoing.