Agenda item

Pre-Submission Charnwood Local Plan (2021-2037)

 

A report of the Cabinet to seek approval for the publication of the Pre-Submission (Regulation 19) version of the Charnwood Local Plan (2021-2037) and its supporting documents for public consultation and seek approval for the submission of the Local Plan and its amended supporting documents to the Secretary of State for an Examination in Public. To follow.

Minutes:

A report of the Cabinet to seek approval for the publication of the Pre-Submission (Regulation 19) version of the Charnwood Local Plan (2021-2037) and its supporting documents for public consultation and seek approval for the submission of the Local Plan and its amended supporting documents to the Secretary of State for an Examination in Public (item 6.5 on the agenda filed with these minutes). The following summarises the discussion:

 

Councillor Rollings stated that in voting for the item, members would be agreeing to release the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-2037 into the public realm for examination and consultation, and that following this process, the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-2037 would come before Council again for final approval.

 

Councillor Miah thanked the officers and Lead Members involved in the development of the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-2037. He referred to the pressures that the adoption of the proposed plan would create, and the impact upon services, resources and the environment. He stated that the Eastern side of the Borough would remain underdeveloped if the proposed plan was adopted, whilst other areas would be overdeveloped. Councillor Miah also highlighted the need for more affordable housing through the proposed developments.

 

Councillor Hamilton referred to the need for specific types of housing in specific areas. He echoed that there was a need for more affordable housing across the Borough, as property prices in the Borough were relatively high.

 

Councillor Bolton stated that the area which she represented would be heavily impacted by the proposed plan and stated that she would welcome more control over the new developments proposed. She also highlighted that the consultation period would take place for six weeks over the summer period. She believed that this was not sufficient and that the summer period was not the most appropriate time to hold the consultation. She encouraged her fellow members to engage with residents and promote the consultation.

 

Councillor Poland stated that the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-2037 was a procedural item which would allow the Council to move the process into the next stage. He encouraged members to engage with the process and provide comments as part of the consultation.

 

Councillor Taylor highlighted that the proposed plan would have a significant impact on the ward that she represents. She stated that traffic was already an issue due to the location and existing infrastructure of the ward, as there were attractions close by such as Bradgate Park and Charnwood Forest, which encouraged more traffic. She stated that the plan would create more traffic and additional pressures on services such as doctor surgeries, chemists, dentists and transport. There were additional developments proposed in neighbouring districts, such as Leicester City, which would further add to the pressures within the ward. Councillor Taylor stated that Anstey was full and she encouraged her residents to participate in the consultation process.

 

Councillor Shepherd referred to the importance of the five-year housing land supply which the Council did not currently have. He stated that there were a number of obstacles which had prevented the Council in maintaining the required supply of housing.

 

Councillor Radford stated that the proposed plan would have a significant impact on her ward and that a neighbouring authority was planning an extensive development close to her ward which would also have a significant impact. She encouraged her residents to engage with the consultation.

 

Councillor Snartt stated that he had submitted a question on notice regarding the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-2037, but that it had been rejected by the Monitoring Officer as the Pre-submission Local Plan was already a substantive item on the Council agenda. Councillor Snartt referred to site HA15 and it’s close proximity to Charnwood Forest and other neighbouring settlements. He stated that the area included productive farmland and woodland and that the integrity of this would be compromised. The proposed site would be sizable and Councillor Snartt stated that he would like to know why this was included within the plan, whilst a significant number of sites had not been included within the proposed plan. Councillor Snartt requested a list of reasons why this site had been chosen for development.

 

Councillor Snartt referred to the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan, of which Charnwood Borough Council was a signatory. He stated that as part of this plan, there were a significant number of small areas which had been included in development plans and that some of these areas would be overwhelmed. He referred to Anstey ward, which neighboured his own ward, and stated that there had already been an increase of 21% in dwellings in the area. There would be a further increase in dwellings of 18.4% if the proposed plan was to be adopted and that developments in neighbouring areas would also impact Anstey, creating a suburban environment. Councillor Snartt stated that he would be interested to know how this would fit into the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan.

 

Councillor Goddard spoke on behalf of herself and Councillor Ward, who had sent apologies for the meeting. She stated that there were concerns over the sustainability aspects within the proposed plan despite the comprehensive sustainability assessments carried out. Concerns included the volume of development, the sustainability of some locations in terms of infrastructure and accessible modes of transport. The Council supported low- carbon housing in line with legislative requirements, although Councillor Goddard stated that some other Councils supported this aim further than what was outlined in legislative requirements and she hoped that the Council could be more ambitious.

 

Councillor Fryer spoke on behalf of herself and her co-councillor, Councillor Ranson. She stated that the proposed plan would benefit future generations and that change was inevitable over the period of the plan.

 

Councillor Parton highlighted issues which the Council had experienced in undertaking developments in the Borough. Firstly, Councillor Parton highlighted that in his opinion the plans approved were largely controlled by developers, which meant that the Council had limited control. He also referred to the significant amount of applications for purpose-built student accommodation in the Borough and the way in which the Council was bound by national government policy. He also raised concerns regarding infrastructure, schools, doctor surgeries, shops and green spaces. He highlighted that the consultation would allow for thorough examination of the plan.

 

Councillor K Harris stated that planned developments in neighbouring authorities would have a significant impact upon his ward and that his primary concerns were school places and traffic.

 

Councillor Seaton stated that there was a requirement for the Council to increase the supply of housing and that this should be spread across the Borough. She stated that developments near her ward had been slow to start and that the Council would need to ensure there were enough dwellings in the future.

 

Councillor Grimley stated that he had concerns about proposed developments in and around his ward. He stated that the area had increased significantly in recent years and the developments in neighbouring authorities would have a significant impact upon his ward.

 

Councillor Brennan stated that she was concerned that there would not be substantial changes to the proposed plan following consultation. She stated that there had been significant changes to the previous version of the draft local plan and the proposed Charnwood Local Plan 2021-2037, particularly in and around the ward that she represented. She acknowledged that the proposed plan would be consulted on again but felt concerned that responses would not have a big impact on the final version. Councillor Brennan also stated that she was concerned about the timing of the consultation as it would take place during the school summer holidays. She asked officers to consider an extension of the consultation period into September 2021 in order to encourage more participation.

 

Councillor Barkley stated that the development of the proposed plan had been extensive by professional officers. He stated that the presentation of the plan meant that residents of the Borough had the opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas and that the plan was required.

 

Councillor Morgan stated that the Council was voting to release the proposed plan for consultation and examination to enable the public to engage in the process and debate on matters important to them and that voting against the motion would prevent this process. He highlighted that residents would have an opportunity to present their concerns throughout the consultation and at a later public inquiry with a Planning Inspector meaning it was possible to impact upon the final version of the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-2037.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Morgan, seconded by Councillor Barkley and

 

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Pre-Submission Local Plan, Sustainability Appraisal Report, Habitat Regulations Assessment, Statement of Consultation and the other supporting documents set out in Appendices A, B, D, E and F to the report (attached as an Annex) are approved for consultation and submitted to the Secretary of State for an Examination in Public.

 

2.    That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning and Regeneration, in consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member for Planning and the Leader, to make minor amendments to Appendix A to the report (attached as an Annex) including the insertion of illustrations to aid the interpretation of the local plan, prior to publication.

 

3.    That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning and Regeneration, in consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member for Planning and the Leader, to update the Statement of Consultation in light of the representations received to the Pre-Submission Local Plan and to make amendments to the supporting documents to improve the legibility and/or to respond to factual inaccuracies identified in those representations before they are submitted to the Secretary of State;

 

4.    That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning and Regeneration to submit additional background documents to support the examination of the Local Plan and make any minor factual, typographical or graphical amendments prior to submission.

 

5.    That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning and Regeneration and the Group Leader Plans, Policies and Place Making to accept a request from the Planning Inspector to make main modifications and to propose modifications during the Examination as may be required.

 

Reasons

 

1.    To ensure that the local plan and supporting documents can be submitted to the Secretary of State under Section 20(3) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

2.    To allow minor corrections and amendments to be made in a timely manner prior to publication.

 

3.    To ensure that the Statement of Consultation is updated in light of the consultation undertaken on the Pre-Submission Local Plan and that the supporting documents can be updated in light of the consultation responses before submission in a timely manner before it is submitted to the Secretary of State, as required under Regulation 19 and 20 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

4.    To ensure that the local plan and supporting documents can be submitted to the Secretary of State under Section 20(3) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

5.    To ensure that officers have authority to respond to proposals for main modifications made by the Inspector during the examination under S20(7C) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and propose modifications during the examination hearings to assist the Inspector.

 

Supporting documents: