Issue - meetings

Neighbourhood Planning Update

Meeting: 03/11/2014 - Planning, Transport and Development Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 93)

93 Neighbourhood Planning Update pdf icon PDF 41 KB

An update from Sarah Anderton, Principal Planning Officer, Spatial Planning on the progress being made with Neighbourhood Plans in the borough and the measures being put in place to improve the support being given to parish councils and neighbourhood plan groups by the Council. 


Additional documents:


The Chairman introduced the purpose of this item and explained the item was solely focussed on the progress of the Neighbourhood Plans received by Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) to date.  It was noted that land allocations in the Draft Local Plan would not be discussed.


The Chairman also explained that parish councillors in attendance would be permitted to make representation to the committee once the committees’ discussions were completed, provided the point had not already been made.


Jillian Barr, Principal Planning Officer, Spatial Policy presented the report in the absence of Sue Whiteside, Team Leader, Spatial Policy Team.


Also present for this agenda item were Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development, Rachel Elliott, Planning Officer, Spatial Planning and Tony Fullwood, Planning Consultant, Spatial Planning.


The committee agreed there needed to be a step included in the Neighbourhood Plan decision making framework, that allowed the council to make a formal response to plans submitted at a formal stage.  This would inform the examiner if the council, as the local planning authority, was in agreement or not with the plan as it had been submitted or if the council recommended changes.


During lengthy discussion the committee made the following points:


·  All parish councils were aware of the progress of their Neighbourhood Plan as detailed in Appendix A of the report.


·  Neighbourhood Plans did not need to have the same sites included in them as the Local Plan.  However, parish councils would need to provide sufficient evidence to back up their plans.


·  Emerging Neighbourhood Plans were taken into account when determining planning applications.  The degree of weight given was dependent on how far advanced the plan was, the extent of objections to the plan and its consistency with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).


·  Parish councils wanting to benefit from the financial support in developing their Neighbourhood Plans should make their application in writing to the MBC Planning Team to ensure there was a proper audit trail.


·  Extensive Borough wide evidence was available to all parish councils to use on the MBC web site, Neighbourhood Plan pages[1].  Parish councils were advised to familiarise themselves with this evidence base for the Local Plan.  When Neighbourhood Plans went before the Inspector parish councils would be expected to justify their position if the evidence based used conflicted with that underpinning the Local Plan.


·  Documents such as the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, Integrated Transport Strategy and the Local Plan were all evolving documents and parish councils were further advised to keep abreast of changes to these documents when developing their Neighbourhood Plans.


·  The Landscape Quality Survey was close to completion as was the Agriculture Lane Survey.  Both would be freely available for parish councils to access.  As further evidence became available this would be published on the web site.


·  Any new pieces of evidence found in the Landscape Quality Survey would be reported to the committee at their meeting of 20 January 2015.


·  MBC Planning officers were on hand to meet with parish councils  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93