Agenda and minutes
To approve as correct the notes of the meeting held on 8 September 2016.
The group approved the notes of the meeting of 8 September 2016.
Site Allocations - Employment Sites
The Inspector at the HDPF Examination concluded that additional land was required for employment. A call for sites was undertaken in spring 2016 and these sites are being assessed for their suitability for this use. The Cabinet Member wishes to seek the advice of the group on the next steps in this work.
The Inspector at the HDPF Examination concluded that additional land was required for employment. A call for sites was undertaken in Spring 2016 and those sites were being assessed for their suitability for that use. The Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainability explained that 130 sites had been identified, most north of the A272. Consultation on those sites would be undertaken in the same way as with housing sites and with those parishes directly affected. The Chairman invited the views of the group.
Members’ views included:
The Chairman noted the views of the group and asked that they be duly considered by officers.
Scheme of Delegation
Discussion on amendments to the scheme of delegation to remove some items from an automatic referral to determination by Committee. Potential changes to be discussed are:
· Applications where the proposal is contrary to policy, but if refused does not result in an actual departure from the Development Plan policy;
· Applications to amend proposals that have previously been approved by Committee
· Increasing the number of letters of a contrary view to the recommendation to 10
· Section 106 amendments
· Removing non planning HDC staff applications
The right for a Councillor to call an application to committee will not be altered and are to remain as existing. This ensures that any application where there is public or Member interest, will be brought to Committee.
The Development Manager explained that, consequent to Members’ feedback, some amendments to the scheme of delegation were required to remove some items from an automatic referral to determination by Committee. Potential changes that were discussed were:
a) Applications where the proposal was contrary to policy, but if refused does not result in an actual departure from the Development Plan policy;
b) Applications to amend proposals that have previously been approved by Committee
c) Increasing the number of letters of a contrary view to the recommendation to 10
d) Section 106 amendments
e) Removing non-planning HDC staff applications
The right for a Councillor to call an application to committee would not be altered and would remain as existing. The Development Manager explained that the proposed changes would ensure that any application where there was public or Member interest, would be brought to Committee.
The Chairman invited the views of the group. Members’ views included:
a) Support for the proposal described in a) above
b) Support for the proposal described in b) above
c) Support for an increase in the number of letters of a contrary view from 5 to 8 letters, not 10; and understanding the safeguards built in to the existing process
d) Support for the clarification of d) above
e) Not supporting a change to e) above due to their being enough safeguards in the existing process and the small quantity of any such applications per year.
The group better understood how matters came before committees and endorsed the proposed changes (a-d) which would be considered by the Constitution Review Group, prior to Full Council on 7 December 2016.
Neighbourhood Planning Update
Horsham district has over 90% coverage of parishes or Neighbourhoods progressing Neighbourhood Development Plans. The latest position on these plans may be viewed on the Council’s website here:
The Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainability explained to the group that the HenfieldNeighbourhood Plan had been quashed by a High Court judgement on the basis of a technical challenge by developers whose site was not included in the plan. The Henfield judgment was of national significance because it indicates the level of detail required in the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans. A neighbourhood planning conference will be organised in the New Year, which will focus on the lessons learnt and launch a revised offer of support. Two representatives of each Parish/Neighbourhood Council and Horsham Blueprint will be invited together with local Members.
Members valued the council’s approach and felt that the pressure placed on local people who prepare Neighbourhood Plans on a voluntary basis was too great; with the level of evidence being required now being akin to the preparation of a local plan which is undertaken by professional officers. The Chairman felt that she would express the strong views of the group in a letter to the Minister and to local MPs.