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Council-Led Garden Community Update
Prior to the report’s introduction, Ms Gail Duff addressed the Committee on behalf of the Save Our Heathlands Action Group.
The Director of Regeneration and Place introduced the report and referenced the decision taken by the Committee in December 2020 on the preferred approach to the collaboration agreement with Homes England.
The collaboration agreement allowed for maximum input from the Council up until the fifth year of the project, with Homes England to take the lead upon confirmation of planning permission. The Council would retain its influence on all matters and remain instrumental in the stewardship of the proposed garden community and had secured rights of first refusal for the purchase or affordable and/or commercial properties within the development. Homes England had secured approval to enter into the collaboration agreement with the Council.
The third stage submission would be submitted by the end of the month, with the 18 landowners that had requested that their land be removed from the proposal to be obliged, due to the development’s red line having been moved northwards. The options agreements would be between the Landowners and Homes England, which would likely be entered into by the end of the first quarter of the next financial year.
A representative of Pinsent Masons LLP addressed the Committee to summarise the information contained within Appendix 1 to the report.
In response to questions, the Director of Regeneration and Place confirmed that if the proposed development secured allocation, with planning permission then refused, the Council would have spent circa £1.5 million. It was unlikely however that planning permission would be refused if the site secured its allocation within the Local Plan.
The Director of Regeneration and Place confirmed that contact with some of the landowners and/or their agents had occurred within the last 3-6 months.
1. The Committee agree to enter into the Collaboration Agreement as shown in Exempt Appendix 2 to the report and the Director of Regeneration and Place be granted delegated authority to make minor amendments to the collaboration agreement, prior to its signing, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee.
Note: Councillor Newton requested that his dissent with the resolution and the wider proposal, be noted.