To provide the Local Plan Committee with a summary of the consultation responses received by Tendring District Council and update on the position in regards to the Objectively Assessed Needs.
As detailed in full under Minute 16 above, Councillors I J Henderson, Howard, Turner, M Brown, M J D Skeels Snr., G V Guglielmi, Land, Stock and Bucke had all declared non-pecuniary interests in this item.
The Committee had before it a detailed report of the Head of Planning Services which provided it with a summary of the consultation responses received by the Council and which also gave an update on the position with regard to the Objectively Assessed Needs.
Members were reminded that the Tendring District Council, Preferred Options Local Plan consultation had taken place from 14 July 2016 to 8 September 2016 so that technical stakeholders, businesses, developers and landowners, community representatives and members of the public could comment on the draft policies and the policies maps. The draft Local Plan was supported with Sustainability Appraisals and those had also been out to public consultation, Part 1: 8 August to 19 September 2016 and Part 2: 28 August to 10 October 2016.
It was reported that the representations received varied from suggested amendments to wording, through to full support of policies or full objections to policies. Representations also included proposals for additional sites for housing and/or employment growth or updates to sites already part of Tendring District Council’s Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment document. The representations received could be viewed on the Council’s website.
The Committee was made aware that any proposed changes to the Preferred Options Local Plan to create the Submission version of the Local Plan would be presented to a future meeting of the Committee.
In respect of the Objective Assessed Needs, Members recalled that on 21 January 2016 the Committee had approved the following resolution:
“That the Local Plan Committee:
(b) approves that the range of Objectively Assessed Needs for Tendring District Council is 500-600 dwellings per annum; that the mid-point of 550 dwellings per annum is used as the Council’s provisional housing target for the Local Plan and that officers consider options up to 600 dwellings per annum as the Local Plan refines through its next consultation stage and new data is assessed;”
On 9 June 2016, the Committee had approved the locations for the supply of the Objectively Assessed Needs (OAN) of 550 homes each and the location for the supply of the additional potential needs of up to 600 homes each year for public consultation.
On 27 September 2016, the Committee had been informed that the Office for National Statistics had published new population projections and that the Government had used those to create new household projections. The Committee had been informed that the Council’s evidence needed to be updated to reflect the data and that Peter Brett Associates had been appointed to advise the Council on any changes to Tendring’s housing requirements and that, if available, this would be presented to this meeting of the Committee in November 2016.
It was reported that, whilst the OAN report update had not been finalised at the time of writing the Officer’s report, it had been confirmed by Peter Brett Associates that Tendring could proceed on the basis of the lower of the range of housing requirements, at 550 homes each year.
Summaries of the representations received were reported to the Committee under the following headings:-
(1) Summary of the Local Plan Preferred Options and Sustainability Appraisal Consultation Responses;
(2) Technical Stakeholders Representations;
(3) Businesses, Developers and Landowners Representations;
(4) Community Representatives Representations;
(5) Summary of Sustainability Appraisal Representations;
(6) The Preferred Options Public Consultation Exercise; and
(7) Next Steps
Details of the actual representations received were set out in the Appendices to the report as follows:
(a) Appendix 1 – Representations on the Preferred Options Local Plan: Part 1 and Part 2 – Technical Stakeholders;
(b) Appendix 2 – Businesses, Landowners and Developers (Part 1);
(c) Appendix 3 – Businesses, Landowners and Developers – Part 2 – Sites being promoted for new housing or mixed-use including housing by District Ward and also representations which concerned existing and proposed employment-related sites including tourism;
(d) Appendix 4 – Community Representations (Councillors, Town & Parish Councils, Residents Groups, Other Organisations);
(e) Appendix 5 – Members of the Public; and
(f) Appendix 6 – ‘Post It Notes’ (Comments from Exhibition Attendees).
The Committee had before it a list of “Errata” which minor textual amendments to the contents of the Officers’ report and appendices thereto.
The Planning and Regulation Manager (Simon Meecham) gave a presentation to Members which highlighted the salient issues within his report including:-
(1) OAN Update;
(2) Consultation responses by numbers;
(3) The Consultation Events;
(4) Consultation Responses on the Key Issues – Weeley and the Colchester Fringe;
(5) Consultation Responses from the Technical Stakeholders, Community Representatives, Businesses/Landowners/Developers – No objections from Colchester Borough Council or Essex County Council and no additional sites required at this stage; and
(6) Sustainability Appraisals – Colchester Fringe and Weeley
Councillor Stephenson requested a written response from Officers as to why Royal Mail had failed to distribute many of the consultation information leaflets to households in good time.
Councillor Howard requested that a list of any sites/policies that were removed or added or amended be included as an Appendix to future Local Plan reports. The Chairman undertook to discuss this suggestion further with the Head of Planning Services.
The Committee having considered all of the information provided, it was moved by Councillor Stock and seconded by Councillor Turner and unanimously:
RESOLVED that the Committee:
(a) Notes that the consultation responses for Part 1 of the Preferred Options will be jointly collated by Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Councils to jointly consider whether any necessary changes are to be proposed, which will be presented to the next meeting of this Committee;
(b) agrees that, if the final report, expected in November 2016, from Peter Brett Associates on Tendring District Council’s Objectively Assessed Needs confirms 550 homes each year as the Council’s annualised housing requirement, the Head of Planning Services be authorised to proceed with Option T and not Option W in respect of allocations in Weeley in the draft Pre-Submission Local Plan;
(c) agrees that Weeley be re-designated as a “Rural Service Settlement”;
(d) notes that the representations received in response to the consultation on Part 2 of the Preferred Options Draft Local Plan will be considered by the Head of Planning and any minor changes will be presented in the pre-submission draft to the Local Plan Committee on 19 January 2017 for consideration and approval; and
(e) requests that, when considering the representations received, the Head of Planning Services consults the Local Plan Committee on major changes, or those matters which have been highlighted by the Committee during its debate, such as the wording of Policy LP6 and anything that affects the progress of Option T, prior to presenting the pre-submission draft at its committee on 19 January 2016; this is to ensure that there is no further delay to the timetable.