Venue: Meeting will be held remotely in accordance with the provisions of SI 2020/392. Link to live stream is found here: https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/livemeetings
Contact: Ian Ford Telephone: 01255 686584 Email: email@example.com
Chairman's Opening Remarks
“Good Morning Fellow Councillors, Officers and Members of the Public.
Strange times call for strange responses. We will all do as best as we can to make this a productive and successful meet using Skype business.
I will shortly invite my fellow Councillors on the Committee to confirm they can hear the meeting and preferably see it too. I will then ask the appropriate Committee Officer to confirm that the live stream of this meeting is active. The purpose of both of these actions is to ensure that we meet the legal requirements for remote meetings of Councils.
Following this, I will move through the agenda for the meeting. This agenda is available on line at the Council’s website following the links to ‘Council and Democracy’, ‘Committees’ and then the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee. A link to the live stream of the meeting is also available from there and in the next few days there will be a copy of the recording of the meeting.
My fellow Councillors on the Committee are being asked to keep their video feed on during the entire meeting. Officers of the Council and Councillors who are not on the Committee are respectfully asked to keep their video feed off while they are not contributing to the meeting. Everyone is asked to mute their microphone unless they are contributing. When contributing everyone is asked to say their name so that those listening in can follow who has said what.
At relevant times during the meeting I will check that Members of the Committee can hear the meeting, and preferably see it too. I would ask that where possible Members of the Committee contribute at those times so that we only have one person talking at a time. If a Member of the Committee does need to contribute at other times, for instance to declare an interest not already declared, then they should alert me as Chairman by interrupting briefly and then allowing me to invite them to make their point. Something like ‘Chairman, it’s Councillor XXX, I wish to make a point’ will be sufficient.
As we move between items on the agenda, if there are members of the public who are to be invited to speak on the next item, I will pause after the end of the one item and before starting the next one. I will ask the Committee Officer to confirm if we have the members of the public invited in so that, when ready, they can make their contribution. Once this is confirmed I will start the item concerned. The same will apply to Councillors who are not members of the Committee and who are to contribute.
For the purposes of managing the meeting I will ask the Committee Officer to confirm that all members of the public who no longer have a contribution still to make under our public participation schemes have either left the meeting or will be removed. I will await that confirmation before moving on. ... view the full minutes text for item 1.
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Broderick (with Councillor Winfield substituting).
To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee, held on 29 October 2020.
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 29 October 2020 be approved as a correct record.
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.
Councillor Scott declared a personal interest in relation to Agenda Item 9 – Report A.3 – Update on Neighbourhood Plans for Ardleigh and Alresford insofar as he was both a Ward Member and a parish councillor for Alresford.
Councillors Allen, Bush and Chapman each declared interests in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Report A.1 – Updated Housing Supply Position and Housing Trajectory insofar as there were development sites mentioned in the report and/or its appendices for which they were a Ward Member and/or a parish/town councillor.
Councillor G V Guglielmi declared an interest in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Report A.1 – Updated Housing Supply Position and Housing Trajectory insofar as Site SGG9 (Land off Colchester Road, Lawford) in Appendix 5 (Assessment of Alternative Sites) of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) was opposite his dwelling.
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.
On this occasion no Councillor had submitted notice of a question.
The Council’s Public Speaking Scheme for the Planning Policy and 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 and Local Plan Committee on any specific agenda item to be considered at that public meeting.
Frances Grant made a statement in relation to item A.1 in which she stated the environmental and historic rural character grounds for maintaining the strategic ‘green gap’ between Lawford, Manningtree and Mistley and urged that Sites SGG9 and SGG 10 should be removed from the schedule of Alternative Sites in the SHLAA.
In relation to report A.1 – Updated Housing Supply Position and Housing Trajectory, John Hall asked:
“URB13, Land off Grange Road, Lawford, continues to remain on the list and map of Alternative Sites even when:
The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) needs to be made clearer in respect of sites like URB13. It is misleading to policy makers, landowners, land promoters and the local community to continue to include a site which has been discounted. This perpetuates anxiety for the many local residents of Lawford, Manningtree and Mistley who are already having to come to terms with over 30% increase in housing stock resulting from over 1500 new homes which have recently received Planning Permission.
Can you therefore remove URB13 from your list of Alternative Sites or at least put sites like URB13 on a separate Table and Map because they have been discounted?”
The Chairman of the Committee (Councillor Turner) replied as follows:-
“Thank you Mr. Hall for your question.
Firstly I would like to congratulate the Lawford Tye Action Group for their professional and very effective participation in the Grange Road planning appeal which helped to see off an unpopular and unwanted development in an area that has seen more than its fair share of planning applications in recent years.
The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment is not, in itself, a plan or a planning document identifying where development should go – that is the job of the Local Plan. It is however an important piece of the ‘evidence base’ which demonstrates how the Council has assessed a range of sites in determining which sites should, and indeed should not, form part of the Local Plan.
Whilst I appreciate Mr. Hall and other residents’ concerns about the depiction of the Grange Road site on the maps accompanying the assessment and potential confusion this might cause, it is absolutely essential that the site is shown as an ‘Alternative Site’ on the map and assessed for its suitability, availability ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Chairman's Update - Formal Outcome of Examination-in-Public of Part 1 of the Local Plan
The Chairman of the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee (Councillor Turner) will give a statement on the Local Plan Inspector’s letter dated 15 May 2020.
The Chairman of the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee (Councillor Turner) made a statement on the contents of the Local Plan Inspector’s Letter dated 15 May 2020 as follows:-
“I am very pleased to report that Tendring District Council offered for Examination Section 1 of its Local Plan. It was found to be ‘sound’.
It was offered in conjunction with Colchester Borough Council and Braintree District Council’s Section Ones and the examination was considered to be the largest for any Local Plan in England. Together, the 3 authorities are known as North Essex Authorities, NEAs for short. The combined Plan was found to be ‘not sound’ by the Inspector.
The examination was held at Colchester Football Club over 7 days in January. I managed to attend for 5.5 days as an observer. The level of detail and information offered and received was intense. Some days there were 4 Queens Counsels in attendance, representing various bodies, Companies and the North Essex Garden Communities Ltd.
Mr Guiver was one of the spokespersons for the North Essex Authorities. He held his head up in the highest company, not only as the mouthpiece but also as one of the main authors of our Section One.
He was not found wanting.
Thank you Gary and your team. Very, very well done.
An important part of the Inspector’s Letter received three weeks ago last was that he upheld upheld our Dwellings per Annum target of 550. That is wonderful news, although we will still have to take into account the standardised formula as shown in the 2019 edition of the NPPF. The figure of 865 dpa will only go away, when we ratify this part of the plan in Full Council. A lot more on that in the next item.
Our idea of a Garden Community on the Tendring and Colchester Borders for upwards of 7,500 houses over the next 30 to 40 years is also found to be viable and sound. That means Tendring’s extra growth can all be accommodated for this Local plan period and probably for most if not all of the succeeding Plan, i.e. 2033 onwards.
Finally, the successful bid, made by Essex Highways to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) has granted £65m to build a link road between the A133 and A120 and a further £34m to supply a rapid transport system from the Garden Community into and beyond Colchester. This is contingent on 50 houses and the road being built plus the RTS being in place by March 2024. To that end the Cabinet at County have agreed to the route of the proposed road and plans are being drawn up to be submitted for Planning Permission by Christmas this year. The road builders will then be able to start in 2021. Preparation on the Master Plan for the Garden Community has begun so that we can start work on that first 50 houses and have them completed by March 2024.
The Inspector has invited the North Essex Authorities ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To report to the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee:
· The Planning Inspector’s latest conclusions on the housing requirement for Tendring;
· The number of new homes built in Tendring during the 2019/20 financial year and the up-dated year-by-year ‘trajectory’ for future housebuilding (taking the impact of COVID-19 into account);
· The current housing land supply position (the ‘five-year’ supply); and
· The implications for Section 2 of the Local Plan and the determination of planning applications.
Councillors Allen, Bush and Chapman each had earlier declared interests in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Report A.1 – Updated Housing Supply Position and Housing Trajectory insofar as there were development sites mentioned in the report and/or its appendices for which they were a Ward Member and/or a parish/town councillor.
Councillor G V Guglielmi had earlier declared an interest in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Report A.1 – Updated Housing Supply Position and Housing Trajectory insofar as Site SGG9 (Land off Colchester Road, Lawford) in Appendix 5 (Assessment of Alternative Sites) of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) was opposite his dwelling.
The Committee had before it a comprehensive report (and appendices) of the Corporate Director (Place and Economy) (A.1) which reported:-
· the Planning Inspector’s latest conclusions on the housing requirement for Tendring;
· the number of new homes built in Tendring during the 2019/20 financial year and the up-dated year-by-year ‘trajectory’ for future housebuilding (taking the impact of COVID-19 into account);
· the current housing land supply position (the ‘five-year’ supply); and
· the implications for Section 2 of the Local Plan and the determination of planning applications.
Members were informed of the key points of the report as follows:
· the Planning Inspector for the Section 1 Local Plan had again confirmed 550 homes per year as a ‘sound’ housing requirement for Tendring;
· 784 new homes had been built in the 2019/20 financial year, meaning that the housing requirement had been achieved for the fourth year running – however, the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak was expected to have a significant impact on the rate of housebuilding in 2020/21 and future years;
· even with adjustments for the impact of the COVID-19, there was still sufficient land allocated for housing development in the emerging Local Plan, or with planning permission, to comfortably achieve the District’s housing requirement up to 2033 without the need for any additional sites; and
· the Council could only demonstrate a 4.45 year supply of deliverable housing sites against the Government requirement to demonstrate a 5 year supply – but this was only because of a technicality within Government planning policy which required Councils to measure housing delivery against nationally set targets until such time as their Local Plan was formally adopted. This had implications for the way the Council currently dealt with planning applications.
In respect of the housing requirement it was reported that, following the further examination hearings for Section 1 of the Local Plan, the Planning Inspector had concluded, in his 15 May 2020 letter, that the ‘objectively assessed housing need’ (OAN) of 550 homes a year, as set out in the emerging plan, was still based on sound evidence and that there was no need to increase the figure in response to objections from some developers and landowners. The housing requirement for the period of the Local Plan 2013-2033 should therefore remain at 11,000 homes. With approximately 3,600 homes already built between 2013 and 2020, the remaining requirement between now and ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To seek the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee’s endorsement for suggested amendments to policies in the Council’s emerging Local Plan that relate to the design, layout and quality of new housing.
The Committee had before it a comprehensive report (and appendix) of the Corporate Director (Place and Economy) (A.2) which sought its endorsement for suggested amendments to policies in the Council’s emerging Local Plan that related to the design, layout and quality of new housing.
Members were informed that the suggested amendments to Local Plan policies set out in this report were aimed at:
· explicitly embracing the Government’s technical housing standards which set minimum requirements for internal space in new housing;
· explicitly setting out the Council’s expectations for minimum garden sizes in Tendring, rather than referring developers to the standards set out in the separate Essex Design Guide;
· promoting the installation of solar panels and vehicle charging points in new residential properties along with other measures to improve sustainability, including water efficiency;
· promoting improved standards of accessibility to ensure homes were fit for purpose and adaptable for older and disabled people; and
· addressing any other policy wording issues either identified by Officers or raised by objectors to the Local Plan during the last formal consultation period in 2017.
The Committee was reminded that Section 2 of the Council’s emerging Local Plan contained a number of policies concerned with the design, quality and layout of development as well as renewable energy and water efficiency. Given the time that had passed since the Local Plan had been submitted to the Secretary of State to begin the examination process, Officers had been reviewing the content and specific wording of those policies, taking into account any comments that had been submitted during the last statutory consultation period in 2017, any changes in Government policy and any new evidence or other factors that had arisen. In response to specific local concerns (including those raised by the Council’s Planning Committee when determining planning applications), the Chairman of the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee had also asked Officers to consider, specifically, whether the wording of any of the policies in the Section 2 Local Plan could be strengthened to help improve the quality of new homes, particularly in respect of their internal space, garden sizes, energy efficiency and accessibility. Those matters were considered in this report.
Internal space standards
It was reported that one of the concerns that had arisen both nationally and locally was the size of new residential property, in particular their internal dimensions and the effects they could have on quality of life. For some years, Members of this Council had referred to, and advocated a return to, the 1960s ‘Parker Morris’ housing standards (or a modern day equivalent) as a way of improving the size and quality of new housing in Tendring. In 2015, the Government had introduced optional internal space standards called the ‘Technical housing standards - nationally described space standard’ (often referred to as ‘The Standard’) which local authorities could adopt through their Local Plan policies, so long as they could evidence that they were necessary, economically viable and would not have a negative impact on affordability. Those standards ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
To update the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee on the progress of Ardleigh Parish Council and Alresford Parish Council in producing ‘Neighbourhood Plans’ for their respective areas and to advise on the next steps in the process.
Councillor Scott had earlier in the meeting declared a personal interest in relation to Agenda Item 9 – Report A.3 – Update on Neighbourhood Plans for Ardleigh and Alresford insofar as he was both a Ward Member and a parish councillor for Alresford. He participated in the discussion of this item but took no part in the voting on the Alresford Neighbourhood Plan.
The Committee had before it a detailed report (and appendices) of the Corporate Director (Place and Economy) (A.3) which updated it on the progress of Ardleigh Parish Council and Alresford Parish Council in producing ‘Neighbourhood Plans’ for their respective areas and which advised on the next steps in the process.
· Ardleigh Parish Council had begun the process of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan and was seeking the District Council’s agreement to designating the whole of the Ardleigh Parish as the ‘Neighbourhood Development Plan Area’. Officers had recommended that the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee agrees to this in order to allow the Parish Council to continue work on its plan.
· Alresford Parish Council was at a more advanced stage of preparing its Neighbourhood Plan, having prepared a draft and undertaken public consultation. The Parish Council now had to formally submit its final version to the District Council in order to initiate the next steps including final consultation, independent examination and local referendum.
· Neighbourhood Plans were designed to supplement the policies and proposals in the District Local Plan. Officers work constructively to assist the Parish Councils in preparing their Neighbourhood Plans to ensure this, as well as compliance with the various legal and policy requirements.
Members were informed that Neighbourhood Plans could be prepared by either Town and Parish Councils or other recognised neighbourhood forums in order to set out specific planning policies and proposals for their local area. Neighbourhood Plans must support and not prejudice the delivery of strategic policies in the District Local Plan but they could add an additional level of guidance and could propose additional developments aimed at addressing locally identified needs and aspirations. Once formally adopted, a Neighbourhood Plan formed part of the Statutory ‘Development Plan’, alongside the District Local Plan and became a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
It was reported that there was a formal process for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan that included the identification and confirmation of the ‘Neighbourhood Plan Area’; public consultation; independent examination; a local referendum; and formal adoption by the District Council as the Local Planning Authority. To date, Ardleigh Parish Council and Alresford Parish Council were the only bodies in Tendring that were actively involved in preparing Neighbourhood Plans.
Members were made aware that Ardleigh Parish Council was at the very beginning of the Neighbourhood Planning process having submitted an application to Tendring District Council to agree the proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan Area (NDPA). As was common with many Neighbourhood Plans, the Parish Council had applied for the whole of the Ardleigh Parish to be designated as the NDPA.