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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Email:  01622 602899

No. Item


Apologies of Absence


There were no apologies.


Notification of Substitute Members


There were no Substitutes Members.


Urgent Items


The Chairman stated that there was an urgent update to Item 10 – Maidstone Borough Local Plan Review Adoption 2021 – 38 Adoption which contributed to the item’s consideration.



Notification of Visiting Members


There were no Visiting Members.


Disclosures by Members and Officers


In relation to Item 10 – Maidstone Borough Local Plan Review 2021-38 Adoption, Councillor Jones stated that she was the former chair of Against Lidsing Garden Development and was attending the meeting with an open mind.


Disclosures of Lobbying


All Committee Members had been lobbied on Item 10 - Maidstone Borough Local Plan Review Adoption 2021-38 Adoption.


Exempt Items


RESOLVED: That all items on the agenda be taken in public as proposed.


Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 March 2024


RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2024 be approved as a correct record and signed.


Forward Plan Relating to the Committee's Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 141 KB


RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan relating to the Committee’s Terms of Reference, be noted.


Maidstone Borough Local Plan Review Adoption 2021-38 Adoption pdf icon PDF 174 KB


The Cabinet Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development introduced the report, outlining the timeline associated with the Local Plan Review (LPR) following the adoption of the Council’s Local Plan in 2017 and the numerous public consultations held at Regulations 18 and 19 of the process, and the public examination of the plan. The LPR had been found sound by the Planning Inspector, subject to a series of Main Modifications to improve the plan and associated policies.


The Cabinet Member outlined the risks associated with the Council not agreeing the LPR, including that; there would not be the policies in place for the betterment of the borough; development would continue at an increased annual rate; the Council would be unable to rely on infrastructure provisions contained within the plan, instead relying on Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy monies. The examples given included the Council’s proposal to require a biodiversity net gain of 20%, instead of the 10% required nationally, that there would be no requirement to produce the Supplementary Planning Documents for the large strategic developments proposed, which may still take place without the added safeguards provided by those policies, and a projected increase in residential dwellings required from 1157 to 1226 annually.


During the debate, several Committee Members expressed support for the LPR stating it had been produced with cross-party consensus and significant member engagement, and it was a comprehensive document supported by multiple appraisals and assessments. It was emphasised that the Planning Inspector had declared the LPR sound, and that not having an approved plan in place would mean less control on the location and type of development proposed, and less power if planning decisions were appealed by developers. It was acknowledged that the plan would not be supported by everybody, but that the Council had to provide housing in accordance with government mandated figures. If agreed, the LPR would guide and support development in the borough.


Some Members expressed opposition to the LPR as proposed, particularly in relation to the Lidsing Garden Community proposal generally as well as specific matters, such as public transport.


In response to the comments made:


The Cabinet Member stated that:


  • The Inspector’s report included a section on the viability of garden communities being increased where the settlements were near to existing urban populations, and that actions had been proposed relating to some of the proposals within the Main Modifications. The allocations within the LPR could be subject to speculative applications from landowners if the LPR was not adopted;


  • If the LPR was not approved, the Council would have to revert to the National Planning Policy Framework definition of sustainable development in assessing planning applications, and that the Council’s housing land supply would fall below 5-years;


  • Whilst Medway Council have been opposed to the Lidsing Garden Community proposal, the Inspector had found that the Council had met its duty to co-operate with the authority; and



Duration of Meeting


6.30 p.m. to 7.23 p.m.