Agenda and draft minutes

Local Plan, Strategic Planning & Environment Overview & Scrutiny - Wednesday, 30th June, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes from the meeting of 27th April 2021 have not yet been published and will come forward to the meeting on 7th July 2021 and therefore there are no matters arising at this stage.

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr McDowell

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Cllr Hearn made a declaration of interest with regard to the Tring Market Auctions and if it is discussed at this meeting she will leave the room.

4.

Public Participation

Minutes:

None

5.

Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to Call-In

Minutes:

None

6.

Local Plan Consultation & Emerging Strategy pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

J. Doe presented the Local Plan report.  A consultation event took place between the 27th November 2020 and 28th February 2021 which generated a substantial number of responses which are detailed in the report and the Appendix 1.  JD wished to make Members aware that the Government is proposing to substantially reform the planning system.

A. Robinson then explained some of the emerging issues which have arisen since the consultation took place.AR then explained the changes to Planning Policy that the Government are proposing as provided in the report and Appendices circulated with the agenda together with letters received from the Government.

Cllr Birnie asked when the Government’s letter was received and AR replied that the letter was issued by Government in December 2020 and it was after we had started the consultation but before we had the replies.

Cllr Timmis commented that, as this has such an impact, perhaps Members could have received the documents in advance.

AR replied that he would like to bring Members attention to Section 3 of the covering report (paragraph 3.4) which summarises the Government’s response to the consultation but it doesn’t contain the details of the letters that were provided by the Housing Minister.  This is because those letters at the time were directed to particular individuals and secondly the final update has only recently come to our attention.  

Cllr Ransley asked why since the third letter had been received with insufficient time, the Green Belt has not been noted and the constraints.

AR continued the presentation before replying to Cllr Ransley’s question.

AR replied that this is at heart of the challenge when plan making.  National planning policy sets out clearly that Local Authorities are expected to plan positively for their areas and seek to meet the standard methodology across the area, taking into account unmet needs for neighbouring Authorities.  National policy also sets out that there are instances where the harm is so strong to particular designations that it may not be appropriate for the Local Authority to meet that need.  It is important that the Committee notes that the way Government policies are interpreted at local plan examinations is clear: planning inspectors have set a high bar for Local Authorities and expect LA’s to meet the standard methodology and also unmet needs from other locations.  Officers have no evidence of any local plan that has gone through that has justified a lower target with the only exceptions being those Authorities that include National Parks.  Officer’s advice in preparing the local plan has been sound and that the Government Inspectors do expect LA’s to meet not only their own need but also the unmet needs from adjoining Authorities.

Cllr Birnie asked whether it is correct, as he believes,  regarding the second letter that there was no attempt to justify the methodology behind the algorithm that was used or choosing 2014 as opposed to the ONS surveys of 2016 and 2018.

AR replied that this was correct.  Government policy remains that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 398 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Birnie asked if there were any additions to the Work Programme and there were none.

Cllr Birnie then advised that there has been a late change to the agenda for the next meeting on 7th July and Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Strategy and Action Plan was due to be updated at this meeting but report was not ready so it would not be featuring at the next meeting.  Cllr Birnie also advised Members that the Herts Waste Partnership would be supplemented by an expert from Keep Britain Tidy who would be making a presentation on littering and fly tipping and this would be taken under the same item as the Herts Waste Partnership report.