Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

7 January 2020


Maidstone Authority Monitoring Report


Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

Lead Head of Service

Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development.

Lead Officer and Report Author

Anna Ironmonger, Planning Officer – Strategic Planning



Wards affected



Executive Summary


The Council is required to publish an Authority Monitoring Report on an annual basis. The Authority Monitoring Report 2018/19 (AMR) (Appendix 1) monitors the progress of the Local Plan Review, outlines activity relating to the duty to cooperate, and provides information on the implementation of policies in the Maidstone Borough Local Plan. The report provides a summary of the main issues reported in the AMR.

Purpose of Report


For noting



This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   That the Authority Monitoring Report 2018/19 be noted






Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

7 January 2020

Maidstone Authority Monitoring Report







Impact on Corporate Priorities

We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities.  However, they will support the Council’s overall achievement of its aims as set out in section 3.

[Head of Service or Manager]

Cross Cutting Objectives

The report recommendation(s) supports the achievement(s) of all four cross-cutting objectives as the Local Plan Review (which is monitored through the AMR) has consideration for the cross-cutting objectives.

[Head of Service or Manager]

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk section


[Head of Service or Manager]


There is provision in the budget for preparation of the Local Authority Monitoring Report and, more generally, for work on the Local Plan, so there are no additional financial implications arising from this report.

[Section 151 Officer & Finance Team]


We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.

[Head of Service]


Accepting the recommendations will fulfil the Council’s duties under the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. 

Cheryl Parks Mid Kent legal Services (Planning)

Privacy and Data Protection

No impact identified

Equalities Corporate Policy Officer


The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment

Equalities Corporate Policy Officer

Public Health


We recognise that the recommendations will have a positive impact on population health or that of individuals.

[Public Health Officer]

Crime and Disorder

There are no implications for Crime and Disorder.

[Head of Service or Manager]


There are no procurement requirements

[Head of Service & Section 151 Officer]




2.1   The Council is required to publish information that outlines the progress
made on local plan preparation, activity relating to the duty to cooperate, and information on the implementation of policies in a local plan (monitoring indicators). Regulation 34 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 sets out exactly what an Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) must include. The Council must publish this information at least annually.


2.2    The Authority Monitoring Report 2018/19 has been published on the website.


2.3     The format of the AMR has changed since last year. The Maidstone Profile section has been reduced, although some of this data has been incorporated into the monitoring indicators and a new section has been added which looks at the sustainability appraisal significant effect indicators (Section 5 of the AMR). A variety of internal and external data sources have been used to inform the indicators. This is a corporate document with input from a range of Council departments. Key findings of the AMR 2018/19 are outlined below.


Maidstone Profile


2.4     This section provides information on the demographic structure; economic structure; and built and natural environment of the borough. Between mid-2017 and mid-2018 there has been a 1.3% increase in population. In 2018, the population was 169,980. House prices in the Borough have continued to rise, with an 5.1% increase between 2017 and 2018. The house price to earnings ratio has increased from 10.30 in 2017, to 11.20 in 2018. The AMR outlines the many built and natural designations within the Borough. 


Development Plan Progress


2.5     Work on the Local Plan Review (LPR) is in the early stages. The adopted Local Development Scheme (LDS) outlines the timetable for delivering the LPR, highlighting key milestones. The Council has completed a Call for Sites exercise between February and May 2019. The Regulation 18 – scoping/options consultation also took place between July and September 2019. Paragraph 3.3 of the AMR explains that the Regulation 18 consultation extended beyond the proposed July to August 2019 date in the LDS to accommodate the summer holiday period.


2.6     There are now three made (adopted) neighbourhood plans following the adoption of the Loose Neighbourhood Plan in September 2019. The Marden Neighbourhood Plan has now concluded its examination and is expected to move to referendum shortly. 


2.7     The Community Infrastructure Levy took effect on 1 October 2018. The AMR outlines that the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) will be used when prioritising infrastructure and the Council has committed to an annual review of the IDP. 


2.8     Over the year, the Council has engaged with other authorities on cross boundary matters under the Duty to Cooperate. Appendix 2 to the AMR provides a summary of the engagement that has taken place.


2.9     Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) provide further detail to a policy or group of policies set out in a local plan and once adopted they are a material consideration in development decisions. The Maidstone Borough Local Plan includes a commitment to produce an Affordable and Local Needs Housing SPD. The SPD will provide advice on how the housing policies in the Local Plan are to be implemented. 


Local Plan Performance – Maidstone Borough Local Plan Monitoring Indicators


2.10 Key monitoring indicators (KMI) enable the Council to understand the progress being made towards its local plan objectives and targets. Key points are highlighted below.


2.11 There have been two departures from Local Plan granted in 2018/19. One application did not accord with Policy H1(54) and another proposed residential development in the countryside. Since 2017/18 there has been a rise in the number of appeals allowed. The main reasons given by the planning inspectors were because of disagreements with the Council’s planning decisions on character and landscape matters. All critical and essential projects, except HTNW4b[1], remain on track to be delivered within the time frames identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.  


2.12 Over the past eight years a total of 6,437 dwellings have been completed which represents a shortfall of 627 dwellings against the target of 7,064 dwellings. This shortfall will be delivered over the next seven years 2020 to 2027. The five year land supply at 1st April 2019 demonstrates a surplus of 1,361 dwellings which represents 6.3 years’ worth of housing land supply. Since the Maidstone self-build and custom housing building register was established in 2016, there has been a sustained low delivery of plots with only six applications permitted. Between 2015/16 and 2018/19 the Council has secured affordable housing from qualifying sites close to the targets set out within Local Plan Policy SP20.


2.13 There has been a net loss of 18,391sqm of B class floorspace from completed permissions. B1a floorspace has a net loss of 11,085sqm. Between 2016 and 2017 there has been a decline in the number of jobs in the borough from 91,000 to 86,000. There has been an increase in the net retail sales area of comparison and convenience retail floorspace of 696sqm from completed permissions. Employment allocations continue to be delivered. However, the delivery of allocations that do not yet have planning permission will be reviewed as part of the LPR.   


2.14 At the 1st April 2019 the Council can demonstrate a 7.7 years’ worth of deliverable planning gypsy and traveller pitches. The delivery of pitches is currently ahead of target.


2.15 There has been no loss of designated open space as a result development during 2018/19. During the monitoring year open space has been secured in accordance with Local Plan policies OS1 (3), OS1 (11), OS1 (17) and OS1(15). Qualifying major sites provided 25.82 hectares of on-site open space provision, and payments for off-site open space provision totalling £833,858.


2.16 In total 11 permissions granted for residential development made provision for air quality as follows; consent conditioned to require a future air quality assessment and mitigation (4 sites),  provision of electric vehicle charging points ( 7 sites), low NOx boilers (1 site), additional landscaping to mitigate for poor air quality ( 1 site) and a requirement for a sustainable transport welcome pack for new residents ( 1 site).


2.17 During the monitoring year there were 27 applications granted planning permission subject S106 agreements. Of those applications, 23 provided all contributions sought for infrastructure and 4 were able to provide some, but not all of the developer contributions sought due to site specific viability issues.


2.18 All the infrastructure projects in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, except HTNW4b, remain on track to be delivered within the five year periods identified. 


Sustainability Appraisal Significant Effect Indicators


2.19 Significant effect indicators monitor the effects of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan. Key points that are raised in the AMR are highlighted below.


2.20 Three wards within Maidstone rank in the top 10% for deprivation in Kent. The least deprived Lower-layer Super Output area (LSOA) in the Borough is located in Bearsted ward and the most deprived LSOA is in Parkwood ward.


2.21 Since 2011 there has been an increase in the number of pupils achieving NVQ 2 or above of 2.3%, and this increase is lower than the rest of the South East (7.6%) and nationally (7.8%).


2.22 The crime rate per 1,000 population has risen from 90 in 2017/18 to 104 in 2018/19. Within the High Street ward specifically, between 2015 and 2018 there has been an increase in reported crimes of 20%.


2.23 Between 2016/17 and 2017/18 there has been an increase in the percentage of adults who walk as their mode of travel at least three days per week of 4.5%. Walking to school statistics indicate that over the monitoring year a total of 25,063 cars were taken off the road as a result of walking to school.   


2.24 Out of the 1,146 dwellings (net) completed during the monitoring year 2018/19 a total of 582 dwellings were completed on previously developed land, a total of 51%.


2.25 Since 2017 speeds have reduced on the A20, A26 and A274, whilst the A229 and A249 has seen an increase in average speeds. A total of 19 highways and transportation schemes from the Infrastructure Delivery Plan have been completed since the adoption of the Local Plan in 2017. All of these measures contribute to reducing congestion in the borough.


2.26 There has been an decrease in the amount of waste collected per capita in the Borough of 2.08%. When comparing the amount of waste collected per person for Maidstone against Kent figures, less waste is collected in the Borough. Between 2011 and 2017, there has been an increase of 1.38% in energy consumption in the Borough.


2.27 It is clear that the Council continues to make good progress towards delivering the targets set out within the Maidstone Borough Local Plan.





3.1     The Local Plan Review (LPR) has been produced with consideration for the strategic plan priorities and cross-cutting objectives. The LPR will be important in achieving those priorities. The Authority Monitoring Report provides an update on the delivery of the LPR. The Council have a duty to produce an annual AMR, so the Authority Monitoring Report 2018/19 has been published on the Council website.

3.2     This report is noting. 





4.1     This report is for noting.




5.       RISK

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





6.1     No relevant consultation





7.1     The Authority Monitoring Report 2018/19 has been published on the website.






·         Appendix 1: Authority Monitoring Report 2018/19