Your Councillors


Agenda item

Question and Answer Session for Members of the Public

Minutes:

There were six questions from members of the public.

 

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

 

‘We note in the paper for Agenda Item 16 that Regulation 18 consultation is proposed to run from 1 to 22 December. Given the immense time pressures to prepare for Regulation 19, what plans do MBC have in place to ensure that work on the input continues intensively throughout the extended holiday period?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question

 

Ms Brown asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘Do you have a timescale by which the appraisal of the consultation responses will be completed?’

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

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

 

‘As evidenced by negative effects stated in the published Sustainability Analysis, why are constraints, such as water (both supply and disposal), not deployed to reduce the assessed Housing Needs figure to a lower, perhaps much lower, Housing Target?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Horne asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘In Hampshire, the concerns of Natural England and the environment agency has resulted in a ceiling on water usage for new builds. As we in Maidstone rely, to a large extent on imported water, will the supply of water now be re-examined with a view to an application possible of constraints on overall development?’

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

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

 

‘Duty to Cooperate – when will we actually see clear documentary evidence of its exercise to-date, suitably redacted as confidentiality dictates?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Hughes asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘As infrastructure such as transport or water are major strategic issues for the Local Plan Review and as Maidstone is committed to give detailed consideration to the Leeds-Langley relief road in the Local Plan Review, and given the potential impact of Brexit and Covid-19 on infrastructure provers workloads, are they committed to making their key inputs by March-April 2021, to allow proper consideration by Officers and Members before the Local Plan Review consultation in June, so that Maidstone will not fail the duty to co-operate test as its examination?’

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

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

 

‘At your last SPI meeting, it was declared that Gypsy & Traveller sites would be carried forward in a separate planning document. We were assured that the same strict sustainability criteria and, presumably, prior classification into red and green, would be applied as they have been for dwellings for the settled community. Assuming proper consultation, that document may not be ready for Regulation 19 submission at the same time as the rest of the Local Plan Review and, if that were the case, a separate Regulation 19 submission and a separate Examination would presumably be required. That G&T document may then not be adopted before the current Local Plan loses validity after five years. Therefore, from October 2022, what policy would apply when considering subsequent G&T site applications?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Titchener asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘Can you confirm that no shortcuts will be taken and that very importantly the same rigorous sustainability criteria that have been used to produce the red and green housing proposals definitely apply to gypsy and traveller sites? As all communities should surely be treated equally’.

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

Question from Ms Cheryl Taylor-Maggio to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

 

‘For windfall dwellings, paragraph 8 of the Housing Land Supply Update Analysis Paper dated 1 April 2020 stated 114 p.a. for small sites and, for large sites, 90 p.a. for 2024/25 to 2028/29 and 180 p.a. for the following two years. If those per annum assumptions are extrapolated through the Local Plan Review period, that would infer a total of 3600 windfall dwellings. Why not use that figure, and reduce future need by almost 900 dwellings, rather than using 2718 as stated in paragraph 5.12 of the draft Regulation 18 document?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

 

 

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

 

‘Paragraph 5.9 of the draft Regulation18 submission states that, on top of the 7741 dwellings, according to the “5-year Housing Land Supply at 1 April 2020”, completed in the Adopted Local Plan period up to 31 March 2020, a further 3214 dwellings will be delivered before  commencement of the Local Plan Review period. That would represent delivery of a surplus of 1242 dwellings over the Adopted Local Plan 883 p.a. requirement up to commencement of the Review period. That means that, of the 5790 to be identified within the Local Plan Review, 1242 would not have been necessary, if delivery had been better shaped. Is there nothing that MBC can do better to align roll-out with requirement and, even now, to get that 1242 removed from the 5790 requirement for the Local Plan Review period, for the benefit of the whole of our Borough?’

 

The Chairman responded to the question.

 

Mr Coulling asked the following supplementary question:

 

‘May I ask that you require officers to once again look at the 5790 for all possible ways, if the government regulations don’t change, to reduce that legitimately perhaps taking a bit more risk?’.

 

The Chairman responded to the supplementary question.

 

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

 

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJR08761LuY