Maidstone Local Plan Review Regulation 18 Preferred Approaches Public Consultation Document and Item 15 Amendments and Item 15 - Appendix 2 - Sustainability Appraisal of Spatial Approaches
- Meeting of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, Monday 9th November, 2020 6.30 pm (Item 243.)
- View the background to item 243.
Prior to the report’s introduction, several speakers addressed the Committee; Gail Duff, Save Our Heathlands Action Group; Claudine Russell Chair of the Marden Planning Opposition Group; and Chris Hawkins, Countryside Planning; Councillor Tippen, Vice-Chairman of Marden Parish Council; Councillor Brown, Chairman of Yalding Parish Council; and Councillor Britt, Chairman of Lenham Parish Council.
The Interim Local Plan Review Director introduced the report. The Committee and full Council had agreed in September 2020, to an accelerated Local Development Scheme (LDS) timescale through a consolidated Regulation 18 consultation. The aim was to achieve Regulation 19 in June 2021 and submission of the plan in December 2021.
In relation to Garden Communities, the three proposed sites of Heathlands, Lidsing and North of Marden had undergone a second stage of assessment by Stantec, on the schemes’ sustainability, deliverability and viability. All three were found to be acceptable in principle and it was highlighted that for projects of this scale, it is not uncommon for further work to be required at this stage of the Local Plan process. Heathlands and Lidsing had been included in the spatial strategy presented to the Committee. The development focus during the early years of the plan would be within the urban areas, town centre, larger villages and the rural areas to a smaller degree. The town centre had a separate planned development document that would focus on the provision of employment opportunities to maximise flexibility and choice to aid economic recovery.
The Highways Authority felt that the Leeds Langley corridor had not passed the cost-benefit tests as a lone infrastructure project. The Council would undertake further exercises with developers and Kent County Council to ascertain whether there was a level of development which could justify a suitable road alignment, with the necessary funding. This would take place in between Regulations 18 and 19.
The Strategic Planning Manager highlighted that the public consultation proposed would provide increased certainty to the public, consultees and key stakeholders on the preferred approaches and reasonable alternatives on matters considered within the Local Plan Review (LPR). The nine chapters within the Regulation 18 Preferred Approaches Public Consultation Document were outlined.
It was noted that the comments received on the evidence base would be considered. There was further work on the strategic land availability assessment (SLAA) that concerned sites submitted after the original call for sites deadline, and alternative sources of sites which would be published at the same time as the public consultation. The deadline for sites to be submitted to the final call for sites process would be 22 December 2020 and those submitted afterwards may not be assessed for the current LPR.
A sustainability appraisal had been undertaken on the reasonable alternative spatial approaches which included the green sites that were initially considered through the SLAA. It was confirmed that the appraisal process was subject to a separate legislative process than that of the LPR, with comments from statutory consultees as a minimum requirement. The consultation on this would occur at the same time as the Preferred Approaches consultation, from the 1 December 2020 to 22 December 2020, with Parish Councils, infrastructure providers, statutory bodies and developers consulted.
The Committee expressed concern with some of the proposals within the document but acknowledged the speed within which it had been prepared. To avoid the process being delayed by not agreeing the document for consultation, several Members confirmed that they would make individual representations to the consultation. Following the consultation period, the document could be updated in line with the comments received.
In response to comments on the strength of non-spatial policies, the Head of Planning and Development confirmed that an up-to-date viability assessment was integral to progressing the evidence base and providing the increased strength desired.
1. The Local Plan Review Preferred Approaches Document (Appendix 1 to the report) and Sustainability Appraisal of spatial approaches and sites (Appendix 2 to the report) be agreed for public consultation between the 1 December 2020 to the 22 December 2020; and
2. The Head of Planning and Development, in conjunction with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee, be authorised to make subsequent minor amendments and factual alterations to the consultation document.
- Local Plan Review Regulation 18 Preferred Approaches Public Consultation, item 243. PDF 173 KB
- Appendix 1 - Local Plan Review Regulation 18 Preferred Approaches Consultation Document, item 243. PDF 11 MB View as HTML (243./2) 2 MB
- Urgent Update - Item 15 Amendments, item 243. PDF 38 KB View as HTML (243./1) 6 KB