- Meeting of Planning & Development Policy Development Advisory Group, Thursday, 8th March, 2018 10.00 am (Item 32.)
· Local Plan Review
An update on the issues and options consultation on the Local Plan Review, which will focus on a review of the rural and economic strategies. Feedback from the PDAG is sought prior to consideration by Cabinet on 22 March.
· Gypsy and Traveller Site Allocations Development Plan Document
An update on the comments received on the current consultation, which ran from 1 December 2017 to 26 January 2018.
Local Plan Review – Issues and Options Consultation Draft
The Head of Strategic Planning reminded the group that the first stage of the Local Plan Review focussed on issues relating to employment, tourism and sustainable rural development. The draft consultation document included amendments that took into account the views of the PDAG which had been sought at previous meetings.
Key Employment Sites and sites put forward for employment use: The document included proposed amendments to existing KEAs, new KEAs and an assessment of sites that have been put forward for employment use. Although some sites were outside the built-up area, they were in sustainable locations close to infrastructure. It was noted that the area of land included in the consultation exceeded the anticipated area of employment land needed to fulfil the required targets.
Rural Strategy: Changes to Built-Up Area Boundaries were included in the document as well as a new suggested policy for ‘secondary settlements’, which were identified on plans. These are hamlets with limited services and facilities that have a sense of place. The policy would not propose development but it would allow for very small scale development when in accordance with all other policies. The need for some organic growth in smaller settlements, currently within the defined countryside emerged from the community when developing their Neighbourhood Plans. Members were advised that plans would be shared with relevant Ward Members and relevant Parish Councils notified before being considered by Cabinet.
Conversion of agricultural buildings to other uses: The Local Plan Review included a new draft policy regarding the conversion of unused agricultural buildings with a view to allowing conversion into other uses including commercial use and housing. The draft policy had been amended in the light of previous comments from the PDAG.
There was still concern that the policy could be too restrictive and officers agreed to review the draft policy in the light of this.
The group agreed that the draft Local Plan Review should be considered by Cabinet on 22 March prior to a seven week public consultation from 6 April 2018 to 25 May 2018.
Gypsy and Traveller Site Allocations Development Plan Document
The Head of Strategic Planning advised the group of the outcome of the six week public consultation on the draft site allocations document, which had ended on 26 January 2018. There had been 323 responses, a large majority of which were objections from members of the public to the proposed sites at Smithers Rough and Bromeliad Nurseries. Members noted details of these objections and other comments received, including six from statutory consultees.
Members were advised of the actions being taken by officers following consultation, and the proposed timetable for adoption, which included further consultation in the summer once the draft proposal had been agreed by Cabinet on 24 May and Council on 13 June 2018.
Members were assured that the proposed site allocations were anticipated to provide the 10 year requirement of pitches. The Cabinet Member highlighted the importance of the document in securing authorised sites.