Your Councillors

IDP Report - FINAL

Strategic Planning, Sustainability & Transportation Committee

13 January 2016

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?

Yes

 

Maidstone Borough Local Plan: Infrastructure Delivery Plan

 

Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning, Sustainability & Transportation Committee

Lead Director or Head of Service

Rob Jarman: Head of Planning and Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Andrew Thompson: Principal Planning Officer

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

 

That the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee is recommended to:

 

1.   Approve the Infrastructure Delivery Plan for publication as supporting evidence to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Regulation 19 version), recognising that the Infrastructure Delivery Plan is a “living document” and may require further updating prior to its publication.

2.   Approve the Infrastructure Delivery Plan for submission to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as supporting evidence to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan, with any necessary amendments required to take account of consultation responses, factual updates and/or further evidence being made available by infrastructure providers.

 

 

 

This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all and Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough

 

·         Securing provision of and improvements to infrastructure in our Borough

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Strategic Planning, Sustainability & Transportation Committee

13 January 2015



Maidstone Borough Local Plan: Infrastructure Delivery Plan

 

 

 

1.         PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1      The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) identifies the infrastructure schemes necessary to support the development proposed in the Local Plan and outlines how and when these will be delivered. The IDP is therefore a key evidence base document and infrastructure planning tool which will support the examination and implementation of the Local Plan.

 

1.2      An initial draft IDP was published alongside the Regulation 18 consultation on the Local Plan in spring 2014. The IDP has been comprehensively reviewed and updated in readiness for publication of the Regulation 19 version of the Local Plan, and has been informed by up-to-date input from infrastructure providers and the latest available infrastructure evidence base such as the Integrated Transport Strategy and Kent School Commissioning Plan. No “showstopper” infrastructure items have been identified, and the IDP demonstrates that the necessary infrastructure can be delivered alongside development to accommodate the growth proposed in the Local Plan in a sustainable manner. The IDP is attached at Appendix A. 

 

1.3      This report seeks approval to publish the IDP as supporting evidence alongside the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Regulation 19 version) and also seeks approval to submit the IDP to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to support the Local Plan at examination. The IDP is a “living document” and its contents must be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the document is kept up-to-date. In light of this the report also seeks approval to make amendments to the IDP as schemes progress or in response to new evidence or consultation responses prior to submission of the document to the Secretary of State.

 

 

 

2.         INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

          Context

 

2.1      Sound infrastructure planning is central to the success of the Local Plan, as it helps to demonstrate that the Council’s strategy for growth can be delivered, and that development can be accommodated in a sustainable manner. In line with best practice, the Council has developed an IDP which identifies the infrastructure required to support the growth proposed in the Local Plan. The IDP is therefore a key component of the Local Plan evidence base as it will demonstrate, at a relatively high level, where, when and how infrastructure will be delivered.

 

2.2      The IDP is very much a collaborative document, and infrastructure providers play a critical role in assessing the implications of proposed development and identifying appropriate interventions. Dialogue with infrastructure providers is an ongoing process and regular discussions and liaison meetings are held to ensure the IDP content is up-to-date. In readiness for the publication of the Regulation 19 Local Plan, however, the IDP has been subject to a comprehensive review to ensure it provides a robust and up-to-date evidence base to support the Local Plan at Publication stage.

 

2.3      As one of the key evidence documents to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate alongside the Local Plan, the IDP will be subject to rigorous testing as part of the Local Plan examination in public anticipated later this year. It is critical therefore that each scheme identified in the IDP is based upon robust evidence and so the IDP reflects only the schemes where there is sufficient evidence available at this point in time to justify their inclusion. In some instances there is a need for further studies to identify schemes to address more long term objectives and, as a “living document” it is clear that circumstances will change over time leading to the inclusion of new schemes and the exclusion of others as they are completed or superseded.

 

2.4      The updated IDP (Appendix A) therefore reflects the very latest input from infrastructure providers and other evidence documents, and takes account of both the individual and cumulative impacts of development proposed in the Regulation 19 version of the Local Plan.

 

2.5      Many of the infrastructure providers approached for input have provided detailed responses, based on robust assessments of the impacts of proposed growth on their service provision. A number of responses remain outstanding however, including detailed responses on elements of Kent County Council service provision, from Kent Police and from the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. Discussions with these providers remain ongoing and further detail will be added to the IDP as sufficient information becomes available. Joint work with the County Council on the Integrated Transport Strategy provides the basis for many of the schemes identified in the Highways and Transportation schedule, whilst the recently published School Commissioning Plan 2016-2020 supports many of the schemes identified in the Education Provision schedule.

 

2.6      The IDP is arranged by infrastructure type and, where appropriate, by settlement or area, within the schedules identified below. This report sets out a summary of the contents for each schedule and highlights the key schemes and outputs. Where infrastructure providers have responded to confirm that there is no requirement for additional infrastructure these comments are reflected below but will be incorporated into an IDP Topic Paper for submission of the Local Plan, rather than incorporated within the schedule itself. Similarly, for longer term aspirational infrastructure projects where there is currently insufficient evidence to justify their inclusion in the IDP, reference to the objective or scheme can be made within the IDP Topic Paper, rather than within the schedule itself.

 

2.7      Engagement with infrastructure providers has indicated that significant new infrastructure is likely to be required to accommodate the broad locations, identified for growth in the latter part of the Local Plan period. These requirements are not considered to be a constraint to delivery of the broad locations. However, necessary infrastructure will need to be planned and delivered in a coordinated manner. Further work on infrastructure requirements will be developed through the broad location masterplanning exercises and can be accommodated more comprehensively in the IDP later in the Local Plan period.

 

Summary of IDP contents

 

Schedule A: Highways and Transportation – Such as schemes relating to walking, cycling, public transport, road network or strategic road network.

 

2.8      Highways and Transportation is comfortably the most extensive schedule in the IDP, and provides an overview of the site specific and strategic transport interventions identified through various studies including the Integrated Transport Strategy, junction specific modelling work, land availability assessments and developer Transport Assessments. Many of the schemes identified in the schedule are therefore also set out in the Integrated Transport Strategy. Similarly, many of the schemes have been subject to detailed modelling and design work, and some have already been committed or developer contributions have been secured towards their delivery through planning permissions. The schedule brings this evidence together to justify the inclusion of each transport scheme, identifies which development in the Local Plan generates the need for the intervention and outlines how and when the scheme will be delivered. The schedule is arranged by area so that the packages of measures identified for each key development area are grouped together.

 

2.9      Key measures for the M20 Junction 7 development area include capacity enhancements at the New Cut and Bearsted Roundabouts, together with the duelling of the Bearsted Road and improvements to the motorway junction. Many of these schemes have already been committed through existing planning permissions. Measures identified for the North West Maidstone development area include works to key junctions and roundabouts, the provision of a bus loop and a new cycle lane on Hermitage Lane. Again, contributions have already been secured through existing planning consents for many of the schemes. A significant number of schemes are identified for the South East Maidstone development area including works to key junctions, capacity enhancements on Sutton Road and Gore Court Road, and a range of site specific interventions such as the Langley Park roundabout. Given that many of the sites in this area have already received planning consent, contributions have already been secured towards many of the improvements identified.

 

2.10   In addition to the Bridges Gyratory improvements, which is to be delivered using funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership together with MBC funding, a number of schemes are identified in Maidstone Town Centre including works to the pedestrian environment and public realm identified through various town centres studies, improvements at Maidstone East rail station and the cycle scheme at the River Medway towpath. Elsewhere within the Maidstone Urban Area, key schemes include improvements to Boughton Lane and at its junction with the Loose Road, and improvements on the A20 associated with the Woodcut Farm employment allocation.

 

2.11   Transport interventions are identified to mitigate the impact of development in the rural areas of the borough, including in each of the Rural Service Centres. In Coxheath, the works to improve the operation of Linton Crossroads are identified, together with a number of more site specific interventions. The key scheme in Harrietsham is the A20 improvement works, whilst in Headcorn a series of interventions are already committed at Oak Lane, Grigg Lane and Wheeler Street, in addition to the signalisation of the Kings Road/Mill Bank junction and other site specific measures. Improvements associated with the Tanyard Farm development are identified for Lenham, however it is anticipated that further interventions will be required to support the broad location, and these will be developed in detail later in the Local Plan period following further work.

 

2.12   A number of schemes are identified in Marden including improvements to the rail station and a series of local sustainable transport improvements already secured through existing planning consents. One of the key schemes in Staplehurst is the crossroads junction improvements. However, packages of sustainable transport measures have already been secured through the development management process, and the IDP identifies the need for improvements to passenger facilities at Staplehurst rail station. A number of site specific schemes have also been identified at Yalding including improvements to the level crossing and local highways works associated with the former Syngenta site.

 

2.13   The Highways and Transportation schedule therefore sets out a comprehensive set of site specific and strategic measures, identified as necessary to mitigate the impact of the development proposed in the Local Plan. The transport evidence base is unlikely to “stand still” however and further work on the delivery of Integrated Transport Strategy and Walking and Cycling Strategy objectives may identify additional schemes which would merit inclusion in the IDP at a later date. To date, only limited information has been made available by South Eastern in regards to schemes to improve rail infrastructure, and further work in this area may identify additional schemes to improve the quality and/or patronage of services in the borough. The adoption of Neighbourhood Plans may also provide sufficient evidence to justify inclusion of additional schemes in the future.

 

Schedule B: Education Provision – Such as schemes relating to primary education, secondary education, further education or higher education;

 

2.14   Kent County Council published its new School Commissioning Plan in December 2015 and this document provides much of the underpinning evidence required to identify the specific primary and secondary school schemes outlined in the IDP. The education schedule is arranged by urban/rural and, for the urban area, the IDP identifies a number of new two form entry primary schools in Maidstone, including on land at Langley Park and at East of Hermitage Lane, provided for through existing planning consents. Contributions have already been secured towards the construction and land acquisition costs for these schools and, in the case of Langley Park, the school is due to open in 2016-17.

 

2.15   The County Council has advised that, even taking account of the additional school places provided through the Langley Park primary school, there will be insufficient capacity in the south eastern area of Maidstone to accommodate additional housing developments. It is considered that Land south of Sutton Road is well placed to meet any residual need for primary school places in this area and, indeed, the developer of the site is proposing provision of a new primary school within the site. Although this school is not identified in the Commissioning Plan itself, the need for additional capacity is established, and it is necessary to identify sufficient mitigation within the IDP.

 

2.16   Elsewhere in the urban area, the County Council has identified that South Borough Primary School will be expanded by one form of entry for 2016-17, and contributions towards this project have already been secured from developments within the urban area.

 

2.17   In terms of secondary education in Maidstone, contributions have been secured towards an additional form of entry at both Maplesden Noaks and Maidstone Grammar, with the latter identified for delivery by 2018-19. Significantly, however, the Valley Invicta Academy Trust are currently preparing a planning application for a new six form entry secondary school on land adjacent to the Invicta Grammar School and Valley Park, having received approval from the Department for Education for a new Free School. The last iteration of the IDP identified the need for a new eight form entry secondary school within Maidstone although it was unclear where and how this would be delivered. The Free School proposal effectively removes the need for a new County Council led secondary school, with the residual need being mitigated through extensions to existing schools. The Valley Invicta Academy Trust has indicated an intention to deliver the first phase of the school by 2017-18.

 

2.18   In the rural areas, the County Council has identified that the Cornwallis Academy will be expanded by one form of entry by 2018-19. Contributions towards the scheme have already been secured from a number of development sites identified in the Local Plan. Similarly, both Headcorn Primary School and Marden Primary School are identified for expansion in the Commissioning Plan for delivery by 2017-18. Again, contributions towards these schemes have already been secured through the development management process. The County Council has identified a need for an additional one form of entry at either Harrietsham Primary School or Lenham Primary School. However, the timing and location of this scheme is currently under review pending the outcome of feasibility studies. Contributions have also been secured towards the expansion of Coxheath Primary School.

 

2.19   In the longer term it is recognised that development in Staplehurst will generate the need for an expansion at Staplehurst Primary School, and the School Commissioning Plan identifies that the broad locations at Lenham, and at the Invicta Barracks in Maidstone, will each require a new two form entry school. Work will continue with colleagues at the County Council to ensure that infrastructure required in the longer term can be delivered in a coordinated manner.

 

2.20   Discussions have been held with Mid Kent College and the University of the Creative Arts who have both advised that they have no plans for significant development or expansion in response to the growth proposed in the Local Plan. Mid Kent College is due to complete a major scheme to refurbish and reorganise the campus in spring 2016. However, these works have been undertaken to improve the “offer” for students, and the College anticipates that student numbers will remain relatively stable in the short to medium term. Both Mid Kent College and the University of the Creative Arts will keep this position under review however, as the situation may change later in the Local Plan period.  

 

Schedule C: Health Provision – Such as schemes relating to GP facilities, hospital provision or specialist facilities;

 

2.21   Responsibility for health infrastructure planning is overseen by a number of organisations including the NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and NHS Property Services South East. Some of the most direct impacts on health infrastructure are likely to be felt in local GP surgeries. However, we are still awaiting a full response from NHS Property Services, who are responsible for this type of provision, and this is anticipated by the end of January Contributions towards improvements or additional capacity at a number of GP surgeries in the borough have already been secured from various Local Plan sites which have gone through the development management process. It is anticipated that NHS Property Services will shortly provide details of any additional schemes required to support the remaining development sites in the Local Plan, and the IDP is likely to require updating in order to reflect this information.

 

2.22   The CCG is currently developing a series of initiatives in the West Kent area but is yet to identify specific schemes required to support development in the Local Plan. There is an anticipated need for a rehabilitation centre at some point during the Local Plan period. However, the timing and location of the facility remains uncertain. The Council will continue to work collaboratively with the CCG to determine how, when and where this centre might be delivered, and on other initiatives as appropriate. 

 

2.23   Discussions with the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, which has primary responsibility for the Maidstone Hospital, are at an early stage and the Trust is still assessing the potential need for improvements or additional capacity to accommodate the patient numbers generated by planned growth in the borough. The Trust are currently undertaking a comprehensive strategy review, due for completion in spring / summer 2016, and the IDP may require updating to take account of this review.

 

 

 

 

Schedule D: Social and Community Infrastructure - Such as schemes relating to community facilities, community learning, adult services or youth services.

 

2.24   Kent County Council is responsible for many of these services. However, the County Council is yet to provide any evidence of the impact on these services of growth identified in the Local Plan, or to identify specific schemes required to mitigate any impact. The County Council has recently advised that much of this work has been completed but a response will not be available until later in January. Similarly to health provision, contributions towards these services have been secured from various Local Plan sites which have gone through the development management process; however, there is a need to plan more strategically for infrastructure provision through the IDP and the Local Plan. When the County Council provides a response in respect of community learning, adult services and youth services, there may be a need to update the IDP.

 

2.25   With regards to new community facilities, new buildings have been secured through planning permissions at Langley Park and at East of Hermitage Lane, the latter being a multi-functional community centre measuring approximately 600 sqm. At this point in time there is insufficient evidence to justify the inclusion of additional community facilities in the IDP. However, it is anticipated that the broad location at Invicta Barracks may generate the need for another new facility. More detailed infrastructure planning work for the broad locations will be completed later in the Local Plan process, and it may be the case that Neighbourhood Plans could also develop work in respect of community facilities which could lead to additional schemes being included in the IDP in the future.

 

Schedule E: Public Services – Such as schemes relating to libraries, police services, fire services, waste management or ambulance services;

 

2.26   The South East Coast Ambulance Service has advised that a number of the proposed development sites would not be covered by their Community First Responder scheme and has identified a series of proposals to ensure adequate coverage, generally in the rural parts of the borough.

 

2.27   The Kent Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed that the development proposed in the Local Plan does not generate the need for any additional infrastructure.

 

2.28   A response from Kent Police is still awaited, pending the outcome of a strategic review of its services. It may be the case that updates to the IDP are required when the outcomes of the review are known.

 

2.29   Kent County Council is yet to provide any evidence of the impact of growth identified in the Local Plan on libraries or waste management, or to identify specific schemes required to mitigate any impact. Similarly to social services, the County Council has recently advised that much of this work has been completed but a response will not be available until later in January. When the County Council provides a response there may be a need to update the IDP.

 

 

Schedule F: Utilities – Such as schemes relating to waste water treatment, sewerage infrastructure, fresh water supply, gas network, electricity network or broadband provision;

 

2.30   South East Water has identified a number of schemes required to support the development proposed in the Local Plan, including new mains from Charing to Headcorn, and from Loose to Linton. A series of mains transfers are identified together with localised reinforcement works. However, the schemes identified by South East Water can be partly funded by anticipated revenue and/or business plan funding.

 

2.31   Southern Water has confirmed that growth proposed in the Local Plan would not generate the need for new Environmental Permits for any of its waste water treatment works, other than in Lenham alongside the broad location later in the Local Plan period. Any necessary improvements to its waste water treatment works can be accommodated and delivered through Southern Water’s Periodic Review process, and Southern Water has again confirmed that the provision of waste water treatment capacity is not a constraint to development, provided infrastructure delivery is properly planned and coordinated In respect of sewerage infrastructure, Southern Water has confirmed that connectivity to the existing network and, where necessary, capacity enhancements, can be delivered alongside development to ensure that the need for sewerage infrastructure does not act as a constraint to development.

 

2.32   Southern Gas Networks (SGN) has undertaken a high level review of the development proposed in the Local Plan and has identified that a series of reinforcement works are likely to be required to support development. SGN has confirmed, however, that the precise details of each infrastructure scheme are usually determined after individual sites have received planning permission, where the precise details and expected loads can be more accurately calculated. Given the strategic nature of the assessment, the actual loads are likely to differ from those applied in the assessment, and the results can be considered indicative only. With this level of uncertainty specific interventions are not identified in the IDP schedule and instead, works related to connectivity and, where necessary, reinforcement of the network, should be identified and delivered alongside development.

 

2.33   The County Council is continuing to work with BT Openreach to roll out superfast broadband across Kent and to provide minimum speeds of 2mbps within its project area. The first phase of the roll out sought to provide superfast broadband to at least 91% of premises across Kent by the end of 2015. The second phase, due to commence in January 2016, should improve this coverage to 95% of homes and businesses within Kent and Medway by the summer of 2018.

 

2.34   A response from UK Power Networks is still awaited. However, no concerns have been raised through the formal Local Plan consultation exercises.

 

Schedule G: Green and Blue Infrastructure – Such as schemes relating to new and existing open space and recreation facilities or river enhancement;

 

2.35   The Local Plan identifies a series of open space allocations through Policy OS1, and each of these allocations are incorporated within the IDP schedule as site specific mitigation. Open space provision will also be secured on a number of other sites proposed for development in the Local Plan. However, in these cases, the total quantum and/or location is not yet determined. In many instances, financial contributions are likely to be secured through the development management process instead of, or in addition to, on site open space provision. The IDP schedule therefore reflects this provision in more general terms.

 

2.36   The Environment Agency has identified a number of strategic schemes for river restoration and biodiversity improvements including schemes to remove barriers to fish passages along the River Medway. It is anticipated that the Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy and Action Plan will identify additional schemes which may need to be included in the IDP schedule.

 

Schedule H: Flood Prevention and Mitigation – Such as schemes relating to site specific or strategic flood mitigation schemes.

 

2.37   Major flood defence proposals for the River Medway are identified by the Environment Agency to reduce the risk of flooding in Collier Street and communities from Yalding to Maidstone. The Environment Agency has confirmed that Defra have agreed to supply 50% of the total £25m cost, and they anticipate that contributions will be provided from the County Council, and from Maidstone and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Councils. A smaller scale scheme to protect properties including the primary school is identified for Headcorn.

 

2.38   The Environment Agency has recently provided updated flood zone mapping data which provides the basis for a revised Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, due to be undertaken in early 2016. There may be a need to update the IDP depending on the outcome of this work.

 

Additional information within the IDP

 

2.39   In addition to identifying the infrastructure schemes required to support development proposed in the Local Plan, another key function of the IDP is to outline how and when schemes will be delivered. In accordance with Local Plan Policy ID1, the default approach is to seek funding through planning obligations under s106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for site specific infrastructure requirements, and to use the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for strategic infrastructure. Although there are some instances where s106 may continue to be the appropriate mechanism for securing certain infrastructure projects, such as new schools, government guidance is clear that the use of s106 must be significantly scaled back upon adoption of a CIL Schedule and therefore the CIL will become the primary mechanism for collecting developer contributions towards the provision of strategic infrastructure.

 

2.40   Consultation on a Preliminary Draft CIL Charging Schedule was undertaken alongside the Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation in 2014 and the Draft CIL Charging Schedule is due to be presented to Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee in the spring in advance of consultation and submission later in the year. This timetable should allow the CIL Schedule to “catch up” with the Local Plan to a degree, although it is understood that the Planning Inspectorate would not consider examining the CIL Schedule until after the Local Plan has been through its examination process. It is critical that the CIL Schedule timetable is maintained in order to minimise the delay between adoption of the Local Plan and subsequent adoption of the CIL Schedule, so the objective is to ensure that the CIL Schedule can be adopted in early 2017. The current iteration of the IDP provides a strong indication that there will be a “funding gap”, required to demonstrate that the CIL Schedule should be adopted. However, further work on this will be required to support the Draft CIL Charging Schedule.

 

2.41   Identifying the appropriate funding mechanism for infrastructure projects in the IDP therefore also provides the basis for further work on the CIL Schedule, where it will be necessary to demonstrate that developers will not be charged twice for the same infrastructure; a process which has become known as “double dipping”. The CIL Schedule’s list of relevant infrastructure - “the Regulation 123 List” - must specify which infrastructure types or projects will be funded wholly or partly through the CIL, and will therefore preclude the future use of planning obligations under s106 to seek contributions towards these infrastructure types or projects.

 

2.42   The CIL Regulations 2010 (as amended) do not, however, preclude the use of developer contributions secured through existing s106 legal agreements towards the delivery of infrastructure types or projects. Although there are now significant limitations on the use of s106 though the pooling restrictions (no more than five contributions for identified infrastructure types or projects may be collected, calculated from April 2010), contributions towards more strategic infrastructure will continue to be secured through s106 legal agreements up until the adoption of the CIL.

 

2.43   The timing of delivery of infrastructure schemes is dependent upon a number of key factors including when development comes forward, the point at which an infrastructure project is actually required and the timing of funding being made available. Given this complexity, the IDP breaks down the timescale for delivery into three tranches – short term (<5 years), medium term (5 – 10 years) and long term (10> years). In some instances, the timing of delivery may straddle two of these periods whilst, for other items, the timing of infrastructure delivery could be more variable and may take place periodically throughout the life of the Local Plan. The IDP therefore indicates broadly when schemes are likely to be delivered. However, this will be kept under regular review and will inevitably change over the course of the Local Plan period.

 

2.44   Alongside the identification of delivery timescales, it is best practice to establish the importance of each infrastructure item to the delivery of the Local Plan strategy. For instance, there are some items which are critical to “unlock” development sites, including items which must be delivered in advance of development taking place or being occupied. Other infrastructure items are essential to the delivery of the Local Plan. However, the point at which the need for the infrastructure arises may not be immediate, so there may be a lag between commencement of a development and the need for infrastructure delivery. Finally, some items in the IDP may not be required to accommodate development identified in the Local Plan, but will facilitate the delivery of overall spatial strategy objectives. Broad definitions of each category are outlined below: 

 

Critical infrastructure: Infrastructure that must happen to enable physical development to take place. Critical infrastructure items may be required in order to “unlock” development sites and are most common in relation to transport and utilities infrastructure. Failure to provide these pieces of infrastructure could result in significant delays in the delivery of development.

 

Essential infrastructure: Infrastructure that is required if development is to be achieved in a timely and sustainable manner. Although infrastructure in this category is unlikely to prevent physical development in the short term, failure to invest in it could result in delays in development in the medium or long term. This type of infrastructure needs to be provided alongside development to ensure that the impacts of development are mitigated and to avoid unacceptable overuse of existing facilities, or leaving developments without necessary facilities. The most common type of essential infrastructure is education, health and open space provision.

 

Desirable infrastructure: Infrastructure that is required to deliver the overall spatial strategy objectives but is unlikely to prevent development in the short or medium term. Although infrastructure identified within this category may have a lower level of priority than critical or essential infrastructure, its importance to the delivery of sustainable development and the Local Plan strategy should not be underestimated.

 

2.45   The IDP also identifies, in broad terms, the risk to delivery for each infrastructure item. This information focusses on the risk that the infrastructure will not be delivered, not the wider risk to the Local Plan if infrastructure doesn’t happen and development associated with it doesn’t take place. Broad definitions of each category are outlined below: 

 

High: Fundamental constraints attached to the delivery of the scheme, e.g. no clear funding stream, no site identified, land/site assembly issues.

 

Moderate:  Some constraints or uncertainty attached to the delivery of the scheme.

 

Low: Strong certainty of delivery e.g. costs identified, funding in place, political and community support.

 

2.46   As with much of the IDP content, the level of risk identified is clearly subject to change throughout the Local Plan period, and will need to be kept under review. In identifying the indicative level of risk in the IDP however, the document provides an additional layer of information to inform future decision making on infrastructure delivery and will, alongside the timescale and importance to strategy information, indicate where resources may need to be prioritised or where further work is required.

 


 

3.                        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

Option A: Approve the IDP for publication as supporting evidence to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Regulation 19 version) recognising that the IDP is a “living document” and may require further updating prior to its publication. This option should be selected if the IDP is considered to be fit for purpose.

 

Option B: Reject the IDP for publication as supporting evidence to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (Regulation 19 version). This option should be selected if the IDP is not considered to be fit for purpose.  

 

Option C: Approve the IDP for submission to the Secretary of State as supporting evidence to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan with any amendments required to take account of consultation responses, factual updates and further evidence being made available by infrastructure providers.

 

Option D: Reject the IDP for submission to the Secretary of State as supporting evidence to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan without further consideration of any amendments required as a result of consultation responses, factual updates and/or further evidence being made available by infrastructure providers.

 

 

4.         PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1         Option A is recommended. The IDP is informed by an extensive evidence base and by significant input from infrastructure providers. The IDP is a key component of the Local Plan evidence base and should be made available for consideration alongside the Regulation 19 version of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan.

 

4.2         Option C is recommended. The IDP is a “living document” which requires regular review to ensure it remains up-to-date. Further changes to the document between publication and submission are inevitable, and this option will ensure that the Local Plan programme can be maintained in accordance with the Local Development Scheme.

 

 

 

5.        CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1         Engagement with infrastructure providers has been continuous throughout the development of the Local Plan, both through formal consultation exercises and through more informal engagement and liaison. In preparation for the Local Plan Publication, the IDP has been comprehensively reviewed and many infrastructure providers have provided detailed responses to the request for input to the IDP, taking account of the revisions to the Local Plan.

 

 

 

6.        NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

 

6.1         The IDP will be published as a key element of the Local Plan evidence base, alongside the Regulation 19 version of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan.

 

6.2         As a “living document” the current iteration of the IDP provides only a snapshot in time and consultation and engagement with infrastructure providers will remain ongoing prior to submission of the Local Plan. Amendments to the IDP may be required to take account of consultation responses, factual updates or if new or updated evidence is made available.

 

 

7.        CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The IDP will support the Local Plan and will assist in the delivery of the Council’s corporate priorities

Head of Planning and Development

Risk Management

A key risk to the Local Plan programme relates to the Council’s ability to demonstrate sound infrastructure planning necessary to support planned growth

Head of Planning and Development

Financial

A number of schemes identified in the IDP are to be funded wholly or partly by the Council through its Capital Programme and New Homes Bonus. The IDP will inform the future allocation of CIL receipts, decisions on which will be made by the Council.

Head of Finance & Resources

Staffing

The IDP will need to be regularly reviewed if it is to provide an up-to-date evidence base and infrastructure planning tool.

Head of Planning and Development

Legal

The IDP is prepared as part of the evidence base for the Local Plan, supporting its soundness, required to facilitate its progression through Examination in Public, to adoption.

Team Leader (Planning), Mid Kent Legal Services

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

The IDP identifies the infrastructure necessary to support development in a sustainable manner, and therefore seeks to minimise the potential equality impacts of new development in the borough. Access to new and improved local community infrastructure should benefit those equality groups most in need.

Policy & Information Manager

Environmental/Sustainable Development

The IDP identifies the infrastructure required to minimise the environmental and social impacts of new development, whilst facilitating economic development and growth within the borough.

Head of Planning and Development

Community Safety

The IDP identifies interventions required to mitigate the safety impacts of new development such as transport schemes. Kent Police have been consulted on the IDP.

Head of Planning and Development

Human Rights Act

N/A

Head of Planning and Development

Procurement

Consultants are used to prepare specialist or technical evidence to support the Local Plan and are appointed in accordance with the Council’s procurement procedures.

Head of Planning and Development Section 151 Officer

Asset Management

N/A

Head of Planning and Development

 

8.         REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·               Appendix A: Maidstone Borough Local Plan: Infrastructure Delivery Plan (January 2016)

 

 

9.         BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None