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Local Plan Review Regulation 18 Preferred Approaches Public Consultation Response

Meeting: 09/03/2021 - Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee (Item 340)

340 Local Plan Review Regulation 18 Preferred Approaches Public Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 162 KB


Prior to the report’s introduction Mr Steve Heeley, Save Our Heathlands Action Group, and Mr Chris Hawkins, DHA Planning addressed the Committee.


The Principal Planning Officer introduced the report and stated that the Regulation 18 Preferred Approaches Public Consultation Document and Sustainability Appraisal occurred from 1 December 2021 to 8 January 2021. The full responses were available to view on the Council’s website.


Approximately 3,200 responses had been received, the majority of which were from the public within the Maidstone and neighbouring Borough’s. A total of 2,300 responses were received in relation to the garden communities proposed in Lidsing and Heathlands, at 1,700 and 500 respectively.


The overall concerns within the responses received from infrastructure providers and statutory consultees related to highway network capacity, the impact of the proposed growth on the strategic road network of the M20 and M2, waste water capacity, gas network capacity of the sites within the vicinity of Marden, level crossing safety due to new development, the provision of GP surgeries, the impact on Kent Downs AONB and protected habitats. It was confirmed that the Council would continue to engage in discussion with the aforementioned bodies to resolve any concerns, with further evidence-based work to take place up until the Regulation 19 consultation.


The main concerns from neighbouring authorities included the impact on infrastructure, impact on protected landscapes and habitats, housing supply and cross-boundary impact of growth. The Council had engaged in discussions with its neighbouring authorities and was in the process of drafting Statements of Common Ground.


In response to questions, the Strategic Planning Manager reiterated that a significant level of Member engagement was undertaken prior to the Regulation 18 public consultation, with further Member engagement to occur leading up to Regulation 19.


It was confirmed that in moving forward towards Regulation 19, further consideration would be given to the overall scope and spatial strategy of the sites proposed.


RESOLVED: That the report be noted.