Your Councillors


Agenda item

Question and Answer Session for Members of the Public

Minutes:

There were five questions from Members of the Public.

 

Question from Mrs Geraldine Brown to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

 

‘On 16th July, the Chief Executive and the Interim Local Plan Review Director met the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s Head of Planning. We understand that this Maidstone delegation did not receive any assurances about reducing the very large requirement for additional houses in out Borough during the Local Plan Review Period. Is that your understanding?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Question from Mr Peter Coulling to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

 

‘The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s proposed revision of methodology to calculate Housing Needs implies, for our borough, a 35%, and across Kent as a whole, a 25% increase in annual Housing Needs, when comparted with current methodology; that is almost 6000 further homes in the period to 2037. Will you require Maidstone’s Members and Officers to take the lead in collaborating with other Kent Authorities to put forward an appropriate submission to the Ministry’s consultation, presumably strongly objecting to the implications for our Borough?’.

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Coulling asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘Do you think that it’s a pity that your constitution or rules do not allow this Committee to require officers to put in such a consultation submission?’.

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

Question from Mr John Horne to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

 

‘The current Local Development Scheme indicates Regulation 19 consultation in December 2021, with two prior regulation 18 consultations. Word on-the-street is that, in order to expedite the situation, Regulation 18 consultation will be dropped. Is that right?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Horne asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘If Regulation 18 is altogether dispensed with, then surely there’s a slight problem because it is generally considered a condition precedent to the submission of the submission to the Secretary of State under section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act. How is that going to be met?’

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

Question from Mr Peter Titchener to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

 

‘The Local Plan Review Update submitted to this meeting fails to indicate a sense of urgency in determining when and how the Local Plan Timeframe might be expedited to adjust the timetable for Regulation 19 to avoid the impact of the Department’s proposed change of methodology – the preferred option A would report back to this committee on 22nd September. Are you confident that the Local Plan Review team will give this matter its urgent and can-do attention?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Titchener asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘To maintain your comfort level, you have said that Maidstone needs to act quickly, will you require brief Local Plan Review status reports more frequently than the scheduled meetings of the Committee, especially over the critical next few months, where there’s greater uncertainty at the moment as to whether the government’s housing need for Maidstone could in fact eventually turn out to be more than double the present level and be 34,000?’

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

Question from Mr John Hughes to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

 

‘Given that the Borough faces high or now even higher rates of housing growth, and experiences longstanding and significantly worsening transport problems, what is the current strategic thinking by the Local Planning and Highway Authorities to rapidly put in place an effective transport strategy to deal with the high levels of growth, catch-up with 30 years of under-provision and reduce congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Hughes asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘Isn’t the integrated transport study, which you referred to in your last Local Plan Review update, at a very early stage and doesn’t this need to progress, particularly in the current context, much more quickly?’

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

 

The full responses were recorded on the webcast and were made available to view on the Maidstone Borough Council.

 

To access the webcast recording, please use the below link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI1muW_65Oc