5 December 2017


Authority Monitoring Report 2016/17


Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning Sustainability and Transport


Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Stuart Watson, Planning Officer, Strategic Planning




Wards affected



Executive Summary


This report outlines the new structure and provides a summary of the main issues that are reported within the Authority Monitoring Report 2016/17.



This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   That the Authority Monitoring Report 2016/17 attached at Appendix 1 be noted.






Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee

5 December 2017

Authority Monitoring Report 2016/17




1.1     Local Plan guidance states that local planning authorities must publish information at least annually that shows progress with Local Plan preparation, reports any activity relating to the duty to cooperate and shows how the implementation of policies in the Local Plan is progressing and are encouraged to report as frequently as possible on planning matters to communities.


1.2     The Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) is prepared in accordance with Regulation 34 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (“the Regulations”). It is also has a broad remit not exclusive to planning, highlighting a number of important contextual matters such as deprivation, crime, and housing delivery.


1.3     Maidstone’s AMR 2016/17 has been structured differently to the previous year’s AMR to reflect the monitoring indicators recommended in the Sustainability Appraisal 2017 and the indicators within the Local Plan 2017. Reference to the Adoption of the Local Plan 2017 has been made within the AMR even though it did not occur during the 2016/17 monitoring year to provide clarity on the status of the Local Plan and the monitoring of its policies.


1.4     The AMR 2016/17 focuses on monitoring indicators that help to illustrate the key features of the borough and monitors the policies set out within the Local Plan 2017. The AMR comprises:


·         An introduction to the Authority Monitoring Report;

·         A Maidstone Profile which demonstrates the wider demographic, social, economic and environmental characteristics of the borough;

·         Development plan progress which includes a review of the Local Development Scheme (LDS), Local Plan review, Neighbourhood Development Plans, Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Duty to Cooperate;

·         Local Plan performance, monitoring the policies set out in the Local Plan 2017. The key indicators monitored in AMR focus on General/Whole Plan, Housing, Employment, Retail, Gypsies Travellers & Travelling Show people Accommodation, Heritage, Natural Environment – Biodiversity, Agricultural Land, Good Design and Sustainable Design, Open Space, Air Quality, Infrastructure and Transport.


1.5     The AMR 2016/17 draws on a extensive range of data from the following sources:


·         The 2011 census and updates

·         The Office for National Statistics (ONS)

·         Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

·         Department for Communities and Local Government

·         Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

·         Department of Education

·         Department for Transport

·         Kent Police

·         The Environment Agency

·         Historic England

·         Kent County Council

·         MBC’s Strategic Planning team, the wider Planning department and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) department.


1.6     The Key findings from the AMR 2016/17


Maidstone Profile


1.7     Maidstone’s population continues to grow and in 2016 was 166,360 persons.  The largest residents age group has changed over the last 10 years from the 40-44 to 45-49.  Net annual migration to Maidstone has continued to rise since 2011/12 and was 1,386 persons 2014/15.


Economic Structure


1.8     In 2017 there was 69,210 dwellings in Maidstone, the average house price has steadily risen between 2011 and 2017, and terraced houses have formed the highest percentage of household sales since 2014.  There has been a 34% fall in vacant dwellings in Maidstone between 2011 and 2016.


1.9     Professional occupation workers (resident population) are now the largest employment group for Maidstone (19%).  Maidstone continues to have a low wage economy and there is a disparity between resident earnings and work place earnings. 


1.10 Maidstone has shown steady growth in the number of businesses from 2011 to 2016, micro businesses (0 to 9 employees) had the largest growth during the period, rising from 5,355 in to 6,306 a change of 18%.


Social Profile


1.11 In 2016 44% of Maidstone residents over the age of 16 years have been educated to degree level or above,  schools in Maidstone continue to perform well with students gaining 5 or more subject at GCSE grade A* to C and achieving English Baccalaureate.   However, there has been a 30% fall in persons taking up a trade apprenticeship in Maidstone between 2015 and 2016.


1.12 Between 2011 and 2015 the average speed on the main 5 A roads that run through Maidstone has decreased by 12.4% during peak times.  In 2015 the average journey time to key services in Maidstone was slightly better than the County and the South East average.


1.13 The average ranking for the top five most deprived Lower Super Output Areas on the indices of multiple deprivation in Maidstone are 16 times higher on the table than the average rank of the bottom 5 least deprived areas in Maidstone.



Built and Natural Environment


1.14 Maidstone Borough has a range of designated heritage assets, including a large number of Listed Buildings and 41 Conservation Areas, of which six are located in or adjacent to the urban area


1.15 Between 2013 and 2015 Maidstone has seen a sharp decrease in the level of CO2 emissions per capita.  There has been a significant increase in the number of new dwellings with an energy performance certificate lodged in 2016/17, this number closely corresponds with the number of dwellings monitored as complete by the Council.


Local Plan Review


1.16 The Local Plan 2017 was adopted by the Council on the 25 October 2017 and covers the period from 2011 to 2031 and to ensure an up-to-date planning policy framework is maintained, a review of the plan will be completed by April 2021.


Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)


1.17 The CIL Examiner's Report was published in July 2017 and Council formally approved the Charging Schedule (CS) in October 2017. The CS will be implemented from 1 October 2018 to allow a period of transition to the new arrangements.


Local Plan Performance


1.18 There were 62 appeals dismissed and 24 appeals allowed during 2016/17. During the monitoring year the Local Plan 2017 was submitted and completed examination.  Subsequently as the year progressed appeal inspectors attributed increasing weight to the Local Plan 2017 and reasons for appeals being allowed reduced.


1.19 For the past six years a total of 4,005 dwellings have been completed which represents a shortfall of 1,293 dwellings against the six year target of 5,298 dwellings, through the examination of the Local Plan 2017 it was recommended by the planning inspector that this under delivery be addressed over a 10 year period. The Council's five-year housing land supply calculation demonstrates that this shortfall will be delivered over the next nine years 2018 to 2027. The five-year housing supply at 1 April 2017 demonstrates a surplus of 1,403 dwellings which represents 6.3 years' worth of housing land supply.


1.20 The number of households on the housing register in Maidstone has decreased by 2,657 between the years 2011 and 2016, a fall of 77%, however during this period there has been a 26% increase in the number of homeless households.



1.21 There has been a net loss of 3,496sqm in B class floorspace from completed permissions between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017. B1a floorspace has a net loss of 14,742sqm, whilst the other use classes show an increase in floorspace, with B2 increasing by 5,631sqm.  Over the monitoring year 2016/17, 8,965sqm was lost in the town centre from prior notifications for conversion from office to residential. There was a further 13,484sqm of office space in the town centre from consents.


1.22 Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 there has been an increase of 954sqm in net sales area of comparison and convenience retail floorspace from completed permissions. However, consent permissions result in a loss of 2,619sqm (net sales).


1.23 The percentage of those claiming job seekers allowance in Maidstone has increased by 0.5% to 4.4%,  however between 2011 and 2015 there was an additional 6,000 jobs created.


1.24 At 1 April 2017, the Council can demonstrate 5.3 years worth of deliverable planning traveller pitches. This figure is comprised of extant, non-personal planning permissions which have not been implemented, vacant pitches on Local Plan site allocations and a windfall allowance for pitch turnover on the two public Gypsy & Traveller sites in the borough.


1.25 An additional 2.4ha of open space has been secured through planning permissions granted on allocated sites, there have also been a number of allocated sites with open space commitments that were resolved to grant planning permission subject to S106 during the monitoring year 2016/17.


1.26 It is understood that all projects identified in the IDP remain on track to be delivered within the 5 year periods and that the delivery of planned development is not being affected by the non-delivery of infrastructure.




1.27 The new Local Plan indicators were developed by the Council during the Examination in Public through discussions with the Planning Inspector appointed.  This resulted in a number of new indicators that were not monitored during 2016/17 due to there having been no relevant saved policies from the Local Plan 2000.  It is intended that all new indicators will be monitored from 2017/18 onwards and it is clear from the AMR 2016/17 that good progress is being made towards the targets of the Local Plan 2017.



2.       RISK

2.1     This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.




3.1     The AMR 2016/17 will be published on the Borough Council’s website.








Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Authority Monitoring Report

focuses on monitoring those

indicators that help to illustrate

the key features of the borough

and also reports on the

monitoring of polices in the Local Plan 2017.

Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development

Risk Management

Completing the requirement to

produce a authority monitoring report for local people on locally determined issues.

Rob Jarman,

Head of

Planning and




Mark Green Section 151 Officer & Finance Team



Rob Jarman,

Head of

Planning and



No implications are identified

Cheryl Parks, Lawyer (Planning), Mid-Kent Legal Services

Privacy and Data Protection

No implications are identified


Legal Team



Anna Collier,

Policy &



Crime and Disorder


Rob Jarman,

Head of

Planning and




Rob Jarman,

Head of

Planning and


& Mark


Section 151




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

·         Appendix 1: Authority Monitoring Report 2016/17