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Local Plan Review Update
The Strategic Planning Manager introduced the report and stated that significant progress had been made on the Local Plan Review (LPR) Regulation 19 ‘draft for submission’ documents. The various studies and topic papers that would form part of the wider evidence base were highlighted, alongside the viability assessment and Sustainability Appraisal, which required additional work.
The complexity of the Garden Community proposals and changes to Central Government policy such as the introduction of ‘First Homes’ and changes to the Use Class order were referenced.
The Committee would be briefed on the latest information and proposals available prior to the Regulation 19 document’s public consultation process. The importance of the evidence base was reiterated, due to the tests of soundness and legal compliance that the Regulation 19 document would have to meet.
To reduce the likelihood of further evidence collection or consultation having to take place after the initial Regulation 19 document public consultation, an amended Local Development Scheme (LDS) would be presented to the Committee at the July 2021 meeting. In the meantime, a note would be placed on the Council’s website setting out that the LDS was under review.
The Committee expressed concerns at the delay proposed and requested that it be as short as possible, to minimise the likelihood of the Council’s adopted Local Plan expiring before the new Local Plan was adopted. In response, the Strategic Planning Manager stated that an exact time frame could not be provided, but that a short delay was likely. The Interim Local Plan Review Director stated that the significant amount of responses received to the Regulation 18b public consultation had affected the timescale, due to the importance of working through all of the responses.
The Strategic Planning Manager confirmed that the Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment was ongoing, with a Development Plan Document to be undertaken. In referencing the previous decision made by the Committee to accelerate the LDS timescale, it was noted that the new standard methodology proposed by the Government had been discarded. It had been decided however to continue with the LDS timescale as previously agreed by the Committee.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.