Your Councillors

Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Urgent Update Report

 

Item 17: Authority Monitoring Report

 

Following feedback from the Senior Management Team meeting on the 6 September 2016, Councillors are recommended to approve the proposed additions and amendments to the Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) 2016; as listed below.

 

Amendments:

1)   Amendment to the Economic Structure section on Housing stock, prices and sales on page 5 of the AMR to include a table showing the average household sizes across Maidstone borough, the county, the region and nationally and a reference to the table included within paragraph 2.5.

Recommended table:

 

Maidstone

Kent (including Medway)

South East

England

63,477

711,847

3,555,463

22,063368

2.4

2.4

2.4

2.4

Table reference Number of households and average size 2011 (source: KCC demography 2011 Census data)

 

 

2)   Amendment to the Social Profile section on Education, paragraph 2.12 on page 10 of the AMR , to include an additional bullet point highlighting the take up of trade apprenticeship schemes in Maidstone Borough and an additional table included in this section showing the apprenticeship take up over the 5 year period; January 2011 to December 2015 for Maidstone, Kent (including Medway), South East and England.

 

Recommended bullet point:

         The number of persons undertaking a trade apprenticeship in Maidstone has more than doubled over the last five years to 5,400 persons, a trend not reflected across Kent, the South East and England. (table reference).

 

Recommended table:

 

Maidstone

Kent (including Medway)

South East

England

January 2015-December 2015

5,400

43,500

173,500

1,060,900

January 2014-December 2014

4,500

45,600

182,300

1,109,800

January 2013-December 2013

3,400

41,400

182,200

1,128,500

January 2012-December 2012

1,300

34,400

177,900

1,156,000

January 2011-December 2011

2,300

33,700

184,600

1,162,600

Table reference Number of persons taking up trade apprenticeships (source: ONS 2016)

 

 

3)   Amendment to Social Profile section on Education Figure 2.7 page 12 of the AMR, to allow comparison of the highest qualifications data for Maidstone, Kent (including Medway), South East and England.

Recommended revised Figure 2.7:

4) Amendments to the Social Profile section on Benefits Claimants and unemployment, paragraph 2.13 and table 2.8 on page 13 of the AMR, to clarify that Job Seekers Allowance is the type of benefit being claimed.

 

Recommended amendment to paragraph 2.13 in italics:

The percentage of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance(1) in Maidstone is comparable to the South East but is lower than in Kent and Great Britain (Table 2.8). Maidstone has a consistently lower unemployment rate than the Kent average (Table 2.9). In April 2016, Maidstone's unemployment rate was comparable to the South East (3.7%) but was lower than the national average (4.9%). Youth (18-24 year old) unemployment in Maidstone is 2.2%, lower than the Kent (2.5%) and national (2.7%) averages.

 

Amendments to Table 2.8:

 

 

Maidstone Borough

Kent (including Medway)

South East

Great Britain

Number of Claimants April 2016

1,215

18,824

59,440

732,835

% Rate of Claimants

1.2

1.7

1.1

1.8

Number of claimants changes since 2015

-30

-485

-4,170

-52,010

% Change in claimants since 2015

-2.4

-2.6

-6.6

-6.6

Table 2.8 Job Seekers Allowance claimants (source: KCC 2016, figures taken from NOMIS Claimant Count)

 

 

5) Minor technical amendment to the Built and Natural Environment section paragraph 2.23 on page 18 of the AMR to reflect that three local nature reserves are being considered at the moment and not planned for.

 

Recommended amendment to paragraph 2.23 in italics:

 

There are three formally adopted Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) in the borough: Vinters Valley Park, Boxley Warren and River Len. LNRs are places with wildlife or geological features that are of special interest locally, and they offer people opportunities to study or learn about nature or simply to enjoy it. Additional Reserves are being considered for Fant Wildlife Area and Cross Keys, Bearsted. Sandling Park/Cuckoo Wood offers further potential for designation as an LNR.

 

6) Amendment to Key Monitoring Indicator (KMI) 7: Economic Development Delivery on page 37 of the AMR, to include a table showing completions of Office, Industry and Warehouse (Class B use) developments from 2014 to 2016 and supporting text. These additions show the progress of class B completions against targets indicated within KMI 7.

 

Recommended paragraphs:

 

         Table (reference to be included) shows there was an overall gain in B class floorspace of some 23,866sqm in this period. There was a net gain across all use classes, other than for offices (B1a). The loss of office floorspace was primarily as a result of schemes for the residential conversion of offices but there were also significant gains, the largest of which were at Maidstone Studios, New Cut, Maidstone (1,000sqm gain) and at the town centre St Faiths Street library site (1,443sqm gain).

 

         Significant completed developments within the identified Economic Development Areas include 5,247sqm of mixed B class floorspace at Aylesford Industrial Estate, Forstal Road, Maidstone, some 11,072sqm of mixed B class floorspace across 3 sites on the Parkwood Industrial Estate, Maidstone and 1,766sqm of B2 floorspace at Brooklyn Park, Sandling near Maidstone. Also a 3,044sqm new light industrial unit (B1c) was completed at Station Approach, Staplehurst. This modern standard floorspace compensates for the loss of some 6,400sqm of older, underused stock in B2 and B8 use which will be redeveloped when the planning consent for a new Sainsburys supermarket on an adjacent site is implemented.

 

Recommended Table:

 

 

B1a

B1b

B1c

B2

B8

Total

Gain

6,863

1,351

7,025

12,215

9,604

37,058

Loss

9,922

0

326

1,723

1,221

13,192

Net

-3,059

1,351

6,699

10,492

8,383

23,866

Table reference Class B completions in 2014/15 and 2015/16 (sqm) (source: Maidstone Borough Council 2016)

 

7) Minor technical amendment to the glossary description for the Local Plan on page 48 of the AMR, to reflect the change in adoption date of the Local Plan from 2015 to 2017.