Your Councillors

Agenda item

Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan

Decision:

Issue for Decision

 

To consider the report of the Head of Planning and Development - Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan - dated 9 February 2016 constituting the formal response of the Council to the consultation on the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan according to Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012.

 

Decision Made

 

That the Committee approves the report to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee dated 9 February 2016 as the basis for the Council’s formal representations on the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan (July 2015), attached to the report as Appendix A, according to Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Plan regulations 2012, and approves the Council’s consultation responses to the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan (July 2015) described in more detail in paragraphs 2.11 and 2.48 of the report to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee dated 9 February 2016, subject to the amendment to paragraph 2.13 to refer to paragraph 69 of the NPPF, the removal of paragraph 2.37 and with the addition of a specific reference to the Committee’s concerns regarding the cap of 90 dwellings for the period of 2022-2031 of the Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Minutes:

The Spatial Policy Team Leader explained to the Committee the process that Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan (HNP) had been through to date.  The Borough Council was responsible for the conduct of the pubic consultation which was required by Regulation 16, and the Council could also make its own representations on the HNP as part of the consultation process.  Comments may be made with regard to the extent to which the council believes the HNP had satisfied the basic conditions of the Neighbourhood Plan Regulations and these are passed to the Independent Examiner at the next stage of the process.

 

The Committee were provided with an overview of the report and it was explained that the HNP’s main area of divergence was in relation to the emerging Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which should both be considered when preparing neighbourhood plans.  The main concerns were that no specific sites had been allocated and the plan did not take account of the Borough’s objectively assessed housing needs, as required by the NPPF.  This meant the plan failed at the first step in conformity with the NPPF and the emerging Local Plan because appropriate provision for housing had not been made and did not provide the certainty of plan led development.

 

The Committee were informed of two changes to the report: 

 

1.  The reference in the report to paragraph 9 of the NPPF should read as paragraph 69, which referred to the significance and role of neighbourhood planning as noted in paragraph 2.13 of the report; and,

 

2.  Paragraph 2.37 be removed as it no longer reflects HNP policy.

 

Councillor Round addressed the Committee.

 

The Committee went on to consider the report of the Head of Planning and Development - Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan (HNP) - dated 9 February 2016 constituting the formal response of the Council to the consultation on the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan according to Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012.

 

The Committee heard that the Officer’s specific concern with the HNP was the cap of 90 dwellings for the plan period 2022 to 2031. The Committee heard that it was the Officer’s view that this did not demonstrate positive planning as Headcorn was considered a sustainable location for development.  This meant that the HNP was not in conformity with the NPPF or the emerging Maidstone Borough Local Plan. The Committee asked that the concern regarding the cap of 90 dwellings in the HNP be made specific in the Council’s consultation response.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  That the Committee approves the report to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee dated 9 February 2016 as the basis for the Council’s formal representations on the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan (July 2015), attached to the report as Appendix A, according to Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Plan regulations 2012, and approves the Council’s consultation responses to the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan (July 2015) described in more detail in paragraphs 2.11 and 2.48 of the report to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee dated 9 February 2016, subject to the amendment to paragraph 2.13 to refer to paragraph 69 of the National Planning Policy Framework, the removal of paragraph 2.37 and with the addition of a specific reference to the Committee’s concerns regarding the cap of 90 dwellings for the period of 2022-2031 of the Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Voting:  For – 9  Against – 0    Abstentions - 0

 

2.  That the Committee note the Headcorn Neighbourhood Development Plan (July 2015) has been assessed at this stage, to not require a Strategic Environment Assessments or Habitats Regulations Assessment.

 

3.  That the Committee notes the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan policies are in general conformity with the adopted Maidstone Borough Wide Local Plan policies with the exception of those identified in paragraphs 2.16 to 2.38 of the report.

 

4.  That the Committee notes that the Headcorn Neighbourhood Plan is not in general conformity with the National Planning Policy Framework or the Local Plan (Regulation 19) in respect of not being positively prepared and making provision for objectively assessed need for housing and employment; specifically regarding the cap of 90 dwellings for the period of 2022-2031 of the Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Voting:  For – 9  Against – 0    Abstentions - 0

 

Supporting documents: