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Agenda item

Report of the Head of Planning and Development - Maidstone Borough Local Plan - Publication (Regulation 19)

Decision:

Issue for Decision

 

The Committee considered the report seeking approval to undertake ‘Publication’ consultation on the Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2016 (Regulation 19) and submit the plan to the Secretary of State for examination (Regulation 22) under section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

 

The report also sought the re-classification Coxheath as a rural service centre in the Local Plan.

 

The Committee also considered an urgent update requesting approval for the insertion of the Indicative Housing Trajectory into Appendix A of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Publication) 2016 document.

 

Decision Made

 

That the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee:

 

1.  Does not approve the re-classification of Coxheath as a rural service centre and that it remain classified as a larger village in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan settlement hierarchy.

 

2.  Notes the Officer responses to the balance of representations on the draft Maidstone Borough Local Plan, attached at Appendix B.

 

3.  Approves the insertion of the Indicative Housing Trajectory, presented to the Committee as an urgent update, into Appendix A of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Publication) 2016 document (agenda dated 13 January 2016 page 567).

 

4.  Agrees to recommend the following to Council:

 

a.  That Council approves the Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2016 (attached as Appendix A of the report to Committee dated 13 January 2016, revised to reflect (i) the insertion of the words ‘community and’ at line 1 of Policy H1 paragraph 2 on page 78, before the word ‘strategic’ and (ii) any previously agreed site-specific infrastructure criteria not covered by (i) which were agreed by this committee or its decision making predecessor) for Publication (regulation 19) and submission to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Regulation 22) for examination under section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

 

Voting:  For – 7  Against – 2  Abstentions - 0

 

b.  That Council grants delegated powers to the Committee to submit a schedule of proposed changes/main modifications to the pre-submission Publication version of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2016, arising from representations made (Regulation 20), to the Secretary of State.

 

Voting:  For – 9  Against – 0  Abstentions - 0

 

c.  That Council confirms the Borough’s full objectively assessed housing need of 18,560 dwellings as the council’s Local Plan housing target.

 

Voting:  For – 7  Against – 0  Abstentions - 2

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report seeking approval to commence consultation on the “Publication” Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2016 (Regulation 19) and thereafter submit the plan to the Secretary of State for examination (Regulation 22) under Section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

 

The Committee was reminded of the process the Local Plan document had been through to date and the detailed process that each site that came forward for inclusion had been through in order to ensure consistency, to direct growth to where it was most appropriate and to stop growth where it was inappropriate.  The Plan had been verified through regular legal advice, advice from the Planning Advisory Service and from an independent Government inspector.

 

The Committee heard that the Regulation 19 version of the Local Plan should be considered for its legal compliance with the duty to co-operate and the four tests of soundness (positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Policy Guidance).  Should the Plan be agreed, it would go out to public consultation during February and March 2016 with representations made brought back to this Committee in April 2016.

 

The report also sought the re-classification of Coxheath as a Rural Service Centre in the Local Plan. Officers considered, because of its size, its transport provisions, of the services it provided and its proximity to Maidstone, Coxheath should be reclassified as a Rural Service Centre.

 

The Committee also considered an urgent update requesting approval for the insertion of the Indicative Housing Trajectory as Appendix A of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Publication) 2016 document.

 

The Committee was informed by Officers that the Borough could meet its full objectively assessed housing need and this figure should be agreed as the housing target for the Local Plan.

 

Councillors B Mortimer and J Wilson addressed the Committee as visiting members regarding the re-classification of Coxheath as a Rural Service Centre.

 

Councillors Garland, Blackmore, Munford, Round, J Wilson, Perry, Stockell and Chittenden addressed the Committee regarding the Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2016 (Regulation 19).

 

The Committee heard that the criteria on individual site policies that was generic, had been moved to a new cover-all policy, H1 (page 362 of the agenda/page 78 of the Local Plan).  It was explained that Local Plan policies should provide the broad parameters.  Site specific detail was provided when developers put forward planning applications and the decision-making process was invoked.

 

Concern was raised that some site specific criteria was missing from the policies in the Local Plan attached at Appendix A when compared with the agreed Regulation 18 version of the Plan.  Previous decisions to accept sites for inclusion in the Local Plan had been made based on very specific criteria for several sites and no decision by the Committee had been made to remove those criteria.

 

Concern was also raised that Policy H1 made no mention of contributions towards community infrastructure, it only mentioned strategic infrastructure. Members were concern that there would be no mechanism in place to ensure developers made contributions toward specific “community” infrastructures.

 

The Committee agreed that Officers should be asked to go through the Local Plan on a site by site basis to ensure that any missing site specific criteria was re-instated and that the improvements that had been made to the Plan were not lost.

 

The Committee adjourned for a short break between 21:22 and 21:39

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee:

 

1.  Does not approve the re-classification of Coxheath as a Rural Service Centre and that it remain classified as a Larger Village in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan settlement hierarchy.

 

Voting:  For – 7  Against – 2  Abstention - 0

 

2.  Notes the Officer responses to the balance of representations on the draft Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2014, attached at Appendix B.

 

Voting:  For – 8  Against – 0  Abstention – 0

Note:  Councillor English had temporarily left the meeting at the time of the vote.

 

3.  Approves the insertion of the Indicative Housing Trajectory, presented to the Committee as an urgent update, into Appendix A of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Publication) 2016 document (agenda dated 13 January 2016 page 567).

 

Voting:  For – 7  Against – 0  Abstentions - 2

 

4.  Recommends that Council approves the Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2016 (attached as Appendix A of the report to Committee dated 13 January 2016, revised to reflect (i) the insertion of the words ‘community and’ at line 1 of Policy H1 paragraph 2 on page 78, before the word ‘strategic’ and (ii) any previously agreed site-specific infrastructure criteria not covered by (i) which were agreed by this Committee or its decision making predecessor) for Publication (Regulation 19) and submission to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Regulation 22) for examination under section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

 

Voting:  For – 7  Against – 2  Abstentions - 0

 

5.  Recommends that Council grants delegated powers to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee to submit a schedule of proposed changes/main modifications to the pre-submission Publication version of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2016, arising from representations made (Regulation 20), to the Secretary of State.

 

Voting:  For – 9  Against – 0  Abstentions - 0

 

6.  Recommends that Council confirms the Borough’s full objectively assessed housing need of 18,560 dwellings as the Council’s Local Plan housing target.

 

Voting:  For – 7  Against – 0  Abstentions - 2

 

Supporting documents: