Venue: Meeting will be held in accordance with Statutory Instrument 2020/392. Link to live stream will be available via https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/livemeetings
Contact: Ian Ford Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone on 01255 686584
Chairman's Opening Remarks
The Chairman of the Committee (Councillor Turner) made the following opening remarks:-
“Good Evening Fellow Members, Officers and the Public. May I wish you and yours a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year?
It is a good New Year for this Committee. I have pleasure in offering for our 7th meet since being Chairman, the last Agenda for Part 1 of our Local Plan. In this we agree or not agree the Garden Community for west of Elmstead Market, a joint venture with CBC and ECC. More importantly if we agree this agenda and the recommendations as written on page 11 we will have set in stone, subject to the agreement of Full Council on the 26th of January our housing numbers at 550 dpa and our 5 year land supply figure at 6.5 years. That means that we can refuse applications outside of the development locations as suggested in Part 2.
More good news we have been given provisional dates for the Public Examination of Part 2. That will be over a 2 week period starting on the week beginning the 22nd February.
We will be first of the three North Essex Authorities at the trough, out of the trap, first in line for Public Examination of Section 2. Meaning, I hope we will be able to offer Part 2 to Full Council, after due consideration by this Committee, any further Public Consultation as required and more recommendations from the Inspector, in the latter part of 2021.
This can only have been achieved by us. We have had to read and inwardly digest some 2250 pages of reports over 7 meetings in 17 months. We represent a cross section of our Council that is made up of 8 differing political Groups and Parties. We have been unanimous. We have been given and shown a successful path forward by our Officers, lead at every step by Gary Guiver the Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Place. He and his team have been only one word for it, wonderful. A pleasure to work with and an inspiration to all of us and his cross border colleagues.
I have invited the Chairman of the Planning Committee Cllr. John White, his Deputy Cllr. Jeff Bray and any members of that Committee to join us. After our deliberations and before we go to the vote I will invite Cllr White to raise any questions he and his Committee would like to ask. If the Planning Committee Members have any questions please inform Cllr. White to ask them. I will only take comments from Cllr. White and only before we go to the vote.
Finally on a very sad note I would like to offer our condolences to Joy Broderick’s Family on their sad loss. Whilst she could she was a stalwart of this Committee from its inception in 2015. Joy brought Holland-on-Sea’s views to our attention. I miss her. Joy has been replaced by Cllr. Colin Winfield, who ably substituted for her. Now ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.
There were no apologies for absence or substitutions on this occasion.
To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee, held on 14 October 2020.
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 14 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.
There were no Declarations of Interest made at this time.
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 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.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Council’s public speaking scheme for the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee, Bill Marshall, a resident of the District, asked the Chairman of the Committee (Councillor Turner) in relation to item A.1 of the Report of the Corporate Director (Place & Economy) the following question:-
“What facilities are in place in the new development plan to take into account any new developments that may arise from the COVID and Brexit outcomes?”
Councillor Turner replied as follows:-
“The facilities available to the Council or any other Local Planning Authority to respond to any changes in economic or other circumstances, Brexit, Covid or otherwise are:
1) the ability to review the policies and proposals in the Local Plan; and
2) the ability to depart from policies in the Local Plan when determining planning applications - if and when other material considerations require it.
In other words, if the plan turns out to be wrong, we fix it through a future review; or if there are good reasons to do so, we can make planning decisions that depart from its policies. It is however very important that these choices are within the Council’s control and adopting this Local Plan will ensure it is us in the driving seat.
Whilst no Local Plan is perfect and no Local Plan can possibly cover every possible scenario, eventuality or permutation of circumstances, it is nonetheless essential to have a plan to provide a direction for future growth and protection against unwanted, unplanned and potentially harmful development.
Both Section 1 and Section 2 of our Local Plan strike the right balance in being detailed enough to give direction and certainty and flexible enough to be able to respond to future ’unknowns’.”
a) To report the Local Plan Inspector’s final conclusions on the legal compliance and ‘soundness’ of the Section 1 Local Plan for North Essex following consultation on his recommended ‘Main Modifications’ and the subsequent receipt of his final report on 10th December 2020;
b) To report that, by incorporating the Inspector’s recommended Main Modifications, the Section 1 Local Plan meets the tests for legal compliance and soundness - as required for a plan to proceed to formal adoption; and
c) To seek the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee’s agreement that the modified Section 1 Local Plan be recommended to Full Council for formal adoption.
The Committee had before it a comprehensive report (and appendices) of the Corporate Director (Place & Economy) (A.1) which:-
a) reported the Local Plan Inspector’s final conclusions on the legal compliance and ‘soundness’ of the Section 1 Local Plan for North Essex following consultation on his recommended ‘Main Modifications’ and the subsequent receipt of his final report on 10th December 2020;
b) reported that, by incorporating the Inspector’s recommended Main Modifications, the Section 1 Local Plan met the tests for legal compliance and soundness - as required for a plan to proceed to formal adoption; and
c) sought the Committee’s agreement that the modified Section 1 Local Plan be recommended to Full Council for formal adoption.
It was reported that Planning Inspector Roger Clews had issued his final report in December 2020 on the soundness and legal compliance of Section 1 of the Local Plan for North Essex, having considered the consultation responses on his recommended Main Modifications and the latest Government household projections.
Officers were pleased to report that, with the incorporation of the Inspector’s final, slightly adjusted, set of recommended Main Modifications (which included the removal of the Colchester Braintree Borders and West of Braintree Garden Communities), the Section 1 Local Plan was sound and legally compliant. The modified version of the Section 1 Local Plan therefore met the requirements to proceed to formal adoption and the Committee was requested to recommend this to Full Council.
The Committee was aware that for the District of Tendring, the formal adoption of the Section 1 Local Plan would mark a significant milestone in the plan-making process as it would:-
1) formalise the housing requirement of 550 dwellings per annum and thus confirm this Council’s ability to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing sites thereby– strengthening the Council’s defence against unwanted and speculative housing development proposals;
2) set the policy framework for progressing work in partnership with Colchester Borough Council, on a more detailed ‘Development Plan Document’ for the Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community; and
3) provide a strong foundation for the Council to proceed to the Examination-in-Public of Section 2 of the Local Plan in the knowledge that sufficient sites could be identified to meet both the District’s housing and employment land requirements up to 2033 without the need for additional sites.
Members were reminded 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 had originally 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. Before a Local Plan could be formally adopted by a Council, it had to ... view the full minutes text for item 41.
Update - Section 2 of the Local Plan - Public Inquiry
The Committee will receive from the Assistant Director (Strategic Planning & Place) an oral update on the progress made on the preparations for the Public Inquiry due to be held in relation to Section 2 of the Local Plan.
The Committee received from the Assistant Director (Strategic Planning & Place) an oral update on the progress made on the preparations for the Public Inquiry due to be held in relation to Section 2 of the Local Plan.
He informed Members that Tendring District Council (TDC) would be the first of the three North Essex Authorities (NEAs) to have their Section 2 Local Plan examined in public. The Inquiry would commence on 22 February 2021 with the first evidence hearing session taking place the next day. All of the evidence sessions would be undertaken virtually via Microsoft Teams and would be live streamed to the public.
Anne Jordan would be the Examining Inspector for all three NEAs, assisted by James Bridgwater. There were five days allocated for evidence hearing with an additional two days held in reserve. On each day there would be three 1.5 hour sessions to debate the key issues identified by the Examining Inspector which would include:-
(i) the Housing Supply Land identified by TDC; and
(ii) TDC’s already identified proposed changes to Section 2 Policies.
The Committee was advised that the Programme Officer had notified all interested parties who had previously made representations to ascertain if they would wish to speak at the hearings.
Members were made aware that there was a special section on TDC’s website for the Inquiry which contained:-
(1) the timetable for the Inquiry;
(2) TDC’s topic papers and evidence based documents; and
(3) all previously submitted public representations together with the TDC Officer responses thereto.
The Committee noted the foregoing.