Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Lewes Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham
To approve as correct the notes of the meeting held on 6th June 2017
The group approved the notes of the meeting held on 6th June.
Horsham District Local Plan Review
The early stages of the local plan review will consider the economic development and rural policies together with a review of existing built-up area boundaries. Following feedback on progress to date, the Cabinet Member wishes to seek the advice of the group on a review of the Key Employment Areas, including new designations, the proposed definition of strategic sites for local employment, as well as an employment locational strategy looking at potential sites on the edge of settlements, or on main transport networks.
The Cabinet Member sought the view of the PDAG on the review of Key Employment Areas (KEAs), which was part of the current stage of the Local Plan Review. The Policy Team Leader presented details of existing KEAs and proposals to either retain, amend or expand them.
The Head of Strategic Planning & Sustainability advised that the proposed definition of strategic employment sites, which included sites on the edge of settlements and on main transport networks, would be consulted on. Members noted new potential sites which had been identified. The area of identified potential sites was greater than the area of employment floorspace that is likely to be required, and the Head of Strategic Planning & Sustainability confirmed that the list would be finalised in the light of the consultation.
Members supported the proposed revisions and additions to the KEAs within the district and agreed they should be reported to Cabinet in the autumn.
The current stage of the Local Plan Review also included a review of the rural strategy. An additional meeting of the PDAG in August was proposed so that the issues to be included in the rural strategy could be considered by the group prior to a draft document being prepared for Cabinet in the autumn. If agreed by Cabinet, it was noted that public consultation on this stage of the Local Plan Review was scheduled to commence in November 2017.
Gypsy and Traveller Site Allocation Draft Document
The Cabinet Member wishes to seek the advice of the group on the way forward in the preparation of this document following the period of public consultation, which closed on 2 June.
The six-week public consultation period on the preferred strategy for Gypsy and Traveller site allocations had closed on 2 June. The consultation had included twelve preferred sites, many of which currently included existing pitches, and 375 responses had been received. The Senior Planning Officer who leads this work summarised the consultation responses for each of the sites, which included responses from Parish Councils, members of the public, West Sussex County Council and other statutory consultees such as the Environment Agency. Members were advised of the officer recommendation for each of the sites and the amendments to the draft Gypsy & Traveller Site Allocation document that are proposed in response to the consultation.
The number of potential pitches allocated in the revised draft document was in line with the current and future needs of the district, as outlined in the updated Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs assessment.
Work to assess further potential sites was being undertaken by officers, although an additional consultation would be required should any of these be taken forward, which would delay the submission of the Site Allocations Document for independent examination.
The Cabinet Member emphasised the importance of finalising the document to ensure the Council had the required number of sites to fulfil future needs, and also to protect existing sites from unauthorised expansion.
Members of the PDAG were mindful of the need for the Council to meet its obligations and agreed that the revised draft Site Allocations document be submitted to Cabinet in September 2017.
Consultation Draft Conservation Area Appraisals & Management Plans
A report on Conservation Area Appraisals & Management Plans would be presented to Cabinet on 20 July. Members of the PDAG and relevant local Members have received the draft report inviting Members to comment prior to publication of the Cabinet Agenda. The Cabinet Member will report any further comments arising at this meeting of PDAG at the Cabinet meeting.
The Head of Strategic Planning & Sustainability advised that the Council was legally obliged to review its Conservation Area boundaries from time to time. Specialist consultants had undertaken a review of the five historic settlements outside Horsham town that were subject to the greatest development pressures; Billingshurst, Henfield, Pulborough, Steyning and Storrington. There would be a rolling programme of other Conservation Area reviews in due course.
The Cabinet Member confirmed that comments from Members of the PDAG had been taken into account in the published report, which would be considered by Cabinet on 20 July.
The group noted that Parish Councils had given feedback to officers prior to preparation of the appraisals and management plans, and they would be consulted prior to commencement of the public consultation that was scheduled to start in September.
Members supported the report as published. It was noted that the finalised Conservation Area Appraisals & Management Plans would be brought to a future PDAG and Cabinet before they were agreed for adoption.