To consider responses to the representations received during the public consultation exercise (enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the South East Lincolnshire Joint Policy Unit Manager which sought approval of the recommended action in response to representations received as a result of the recent public consultation on the Combined Preferred Options and Sustainability Appraisal Report.
At the South East Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee meeting on 5 April 2013, members resolved to approve the contents of the Combined Preferred Options and Sustainability Appraisal Report (Committee Version [April 2013]) for the purpose of public consultation subject to making a small number of amendments. At the same meeting, members also approved a Consultation Strategy for guiding the public consultation exercise on the Combined Preferred Options and Sustainability Appraisal Report (the Preferred Options document). The public consultation period commenced on 3 May 2013 and ran until 28 June 2013.
Members addressed the representations received in response to the public consultation exercise on the Preferred Options document, which were categorised under the following headings:
· Whole document;
· Spatial Portrait;
· Vision and Strategic Priorities;
· Community, Health and Well-being;
· Key Diagram;
· Glossary of Terms; and
Appendix A within the report set out all the representations that had been received from various individuals and organisations which had been categorised under the above headings. The representations included comments in support of the contents of the Preferred Options document and other observations as well as objections. In total, Appendix A listed approximately 540 individual representations.
Members noted that the recommendations to the Joint Committee had been
categorised under the following headings:
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager reported on comments received from the Head of Built Environment and Development for Boston Borough Council.
The Head of Built Environment and Development Steve had advised that this was a large document to be presented and would be difficult to consider by the Joint Committee. He had wondered whether it might have been considered by the Steering Group first.
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager expressed the view that the public could expect that their comments should be considered by the democratically accountable Joint Committee first and foremost. However, it was the intention of the report (that the Joint Committee considered) to recommend that the substantive issues that came out of the consultation would be taken back to the Steering Group for more detailed work. Officers would be guiding members through the report to identify those substantive issues and a discussion would be initiated at the end of the meeting to assess whether an alternative approach should be taken for the next Joint Committee.
The Joint Policy Unit Manager reported on comments received from the Planning Manager for Breckland and South Holland District Councils.
The Planning Manager had indicated his satisfaction that thorough consideration had been given to the representations received and that he was happy with the route taken in presenting them to members.
The Joint Policy Unit Manager also reported that the Monitoring Officers for South Holland District Council and Lincolnshire County Council, had both indicated that they had no comments to make on the report.
Consideration was given to each heading in turn:
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager (Deputy Manager) advised that there were 23 representations relating to the whole document. Officer recommendations for those were classified as follows: 14 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 1 was Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 8 were Objection - no change to the approach required. The last representation thought that more care had to be given to how documents were presented and the language that was used. In response, the Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager agreed that vigilance was required in these respects.
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager advised that there were 2 representations on the section, both of which were classified as Objection - no change to the approach was required. The first one was concerned that the combined approach was difficult to navigate and expressed a preference for separate plan and Sustainability Appraisal (SA) documents. However, given that it was the only representation that criticised the approach, it had been recommended that no change to the approach was required. At the ‘submission stage’, there was a requirement to prepare separate plan and SA documents.
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager advised that there were 42 representations on the section, classification of which was as follows: 21 were Support - no change to the approach is required; 1 was Representation beyond the remit of the Local Plan or to be addressed in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD; 6 were Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 14 were Objection - no change sought to promote the area’s suitability for cycling in the spatial portrait. It also requested a specific paragraph on cycling that it had drafted. However, it was considered that this level of detail would lead to demands for more detail on other aspects and that such issues would be better represented in the policy sections themselves.
Vision and Strategic Priorities
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager noted that there were 82 representations on the section, classification of which was as follows: 47 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 16 were Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 18 were Objection - no change to the approach was required. Typically, objections related to the view that the vision/strategic priorities were rather vague and generic and could be more representative of South East Lincolnshire e.g. what characterised the area. It was noted that the Local Plan Steering Group had discussed the matter in detail and had decided certain specific elements were to be removed, particularly in respect of concerns over deliverability. The recent Planning Advisory Service (PAS) ‘Review of the emerging local plan’ indicated that the vision for the plan area was distinctive to South East Lincolnshire but informal comments by the PAS representative had suggested that the vision could provide more detail on where the area expected to be by 2031. It was in this respect that officers felt there was scope for some minor tweaking to the vision.
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager reported that another representation had noted the reference in the spatial portrait to 14,000 seasonal workers in the area and that the housing implications of the issue had warranted a policy approach. It was explained that this fact had been mentioned in the portrait in order to emphasise the importance of horticulture in South East Lincolnshire. At the present time, it was not known whether this would result in a change in approach as there was no awareness of any planning issues created by that number of migrant workers. Further work would be undertaken in respect of the matter.
Councillor R Gambba-Jones made a number of points regarding the general approach to the vision and strategic priorities and noted the importance of the seasonal workers issue. He was aware that Boston Borough Council was promoting a review of the 2011 Census figures given concerns about its accuracy in respect of migrant workers.
Councillor Gambba-Jones thought it was important that the historical understanding of the role of seasonal workers was not used to inform planning for the area. One of the striking features of his early experiences of the South Holland District, which involved commuting to the area during the night as well as the day, was the number of mini buses, and occasionally coaches, containing people travelling to work from the West Midlands. This picture had now changed, and on balance had changed for the better but had slipped under the radar. Boston Borough and South Holland District Council considered that there was a hidden body of people out there who were causing pressures on housing, schooling, health, social and leisure facilities, that must be taken into account; and if that generated a need to carry out further work to achieve more accurate assessments of housing need then so be it.
Councillor Gambba-Jones expressed concerns about the information upon which the emerging Local Plan housing provision was currently based. If it was based on 2011 Census data then there could be issues relating to the estimation of objectively-assessed need for housing. A better understanding of what was meant by ‘the settled population’ was required. He noted that there had been a Government view that a lot of migrants would go back home, but a lot of them had come to feel settled, and many of their children were English through birth but with a second language. He hoped that fact would not be ignored.
The Chairman agreed with the points which had been made by Councillor Gambba-Jones. The Deputy Joint Unit Policy Manager stated that further work on population estimates would be undertaken which should address the concerns raised.
That the recommendations contained within the Appendix relating to the headings of Whole Document, Introduction, Spatial Portrait and Vision and Strategic Priorities be approved.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer advised that there were 127 representations on the section, classification of which was as follows: 38 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 8 were Representations beyond the remit of the Local Plan or to be addressed in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD; 6 were Objection - further work required which could result in a change to the approach; 12 were Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 63 were Objection - no change to the approach was required.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer stated that a large proportion of the representations referred to the Spalding Rail Freight Interchange (RFI), which the Joint Policy Unit Manager would discuss in further detail. He focussed on the employment land and retail preferred policy approaches. Overall, there had been general support for those two approaches, but there had been comments relating to expected levels of overall employment growth and the current extent of existing employment allocations, which would be addressed later in the Site Allocations DPD process. One specific area of objections related to a floor-space threshold for determining the need for an impact test in respect of proposed retail floor space outside of town centres. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) identified a threshold of 2,500 sq. m. but it was proposed that it be reduced to 500 sq. m. for the designated Small Town Centres within South East Lincolnshire.
In terms of subject areas on which further work was required, the Senior Planning Policy Officer advised that the Local Plan Steering Group had committed itself to preparing draft parking standards. Officers were also awaiting a draft retail capacity study and consideration needed to be given to specific policies for regeneration and ports.
Councillor Gambba-Jones enquired whether the officers could identify anywhere which might fit the thresholds. The Senior Planning Policy Officer stated that the aim was to protect town centres. Accordingly, there was concern that any proposed retail development of 2,500 sq. m. or more situated outside of a town-centre location could detract from the overall vitality and viability of one or more local town centres.
The Joint Policy Unit Manager added that, as an example, he thought the original Sainsbury’s development in Spalding’s Holland Market would have been in the order of 2,500 sq. m. net retail floor space; and further stated that proposed developments of such a size were not necessarily being ruled out but would need to be supported by a favourable full-impact assessment.
Proposed Spalding Rail-Freight Interchange (RFI)
The Joint Policy Unit Manger introduced this item by asking Mrs Jocelyn Kedzlie, Chairman of the Rally Against Industrialisation of the Landscape (RAIL) Group to address the Joint Committee regarding the objection that she, and a number of other residents of Deeping St Nicholas had, to the proposed broad location for the RFI situated to the north-east of the village. The statement was read as follows:
“The Council consulted upon and allocated the Deeping St Nicholas site in 2010 completely outwith the normal LDC framework planning process in order to hit a planning deadline fixed by Network Rail.
By its actions the Council has constrained its ability to challenge the site selection.
The Council has made it very difficult to consider any application that comes forward with an open mind.
As previously asserted this site breaches a number of national and the Councils own planning policies nor can now revoked regional planning policies be relied upon.
There is no sound business case for this proposal; lessons have not been learned from the complete failure of the Red Lion Quarter venture as a food heritage centre – funded as it was by public funds.
A proposed development of such magnitude for site allocation for inclusion in a local plan extant until 2031 should be based on something more than research carried out by Intermodality urged the Council to undertake.
I quote from the Intermodality report 2009:
“As the basic interchange activity will itself be unlikely to create a business case capable of private sector funding, any interchanged development will therefore require public-sector funding to “pump-prime” investment.”
Why, when there has been such catastrophic mis-use of public funds previously for RLQ can it be assumed public funding will be forthcoming?
The Council has previously declined to match fund an offer from EEC Growth funds to progress the development.
Other sites were rejected as part of the options appraisal e.g. Surfleet and Gosberton Cheal which are not shown as being in ROY zones in the draft plan – they should be revisited.
RAIL is under no illusion that despite considerable objection to this proposal on environmental grounds, the loss of prime agricultural land (even though the Department of Transport lays out very clear criteria for the location of such facilities – urban areas), the loss of amenity noise and light pollution to name but a few – this proposal will be included in the local plan because of the restricted position in which the Council now finds itself.
It remains for the Planning Inspectorate, to consider this proposal - that same Government body who signed of the Magna Park Peterborough RFI in February 2012.
I leave you with these considerations:
How can an area realistically support two hubs in such close proximity – 15 miles apart?
Is this panel sufficiently confident that the business plan for an RFI in Deeping St Nicholas is viable or will we be facing another ‘fiasco’ in the future.
I urge further review before submission to the Planning Inspectorate.”
The Joint Policy Unit Manager followed the presentation by informing members that he had not had the opportunity to see Mrs Kedzlie’s statement prior to the meeting and therefore he would not be responding directly to it during the meeting. Instead, he proceeded to provide some background to the Spalding RFI proposal and noted that Mrs Kedzlie had rightly commented on Intermodality Ltd’s 2009 feasibility study as identifying the potential for a RFI in Spalding.
South Holland District Council’s Economic Development Team had thought it would be prudent to act upon the study’s recommendations, and had therefore submitted a report to Cabinet which sought approval to develop the idea further and to work towards identifying a ‘preferred site’. The recommendations had been approved by Cabinet at its meeting in December 2009 and, consequently, the Planning Policy section had been tasked with identifying a preferred site for the RFI.
The then (South Holland District Council) Local Development Framework Working Party had been required to consider and advise officers on how a preferred site should be identified. This had led to a public consultation exercise on four potential sites and, having regard to its findings, a report was submitted to Cabinet in June 2011. Cabinet had agreed to identify Option 4 (between Deeping St.Nicholas and Spalding) as the preferred site. It was made clear at the Cabinet meeting that there was no public money available as far as the District Council was concerned and that any development initiative would have to come from the private sector.
At the time there was some urgency attached to the identification of a preferred site, since it was understood that its location had to be incorporated into Network Rail’s plans for the upgrade of the Joint Line. In retrospect, this consideration had not been seen to be as important as originally thought and it had appeared sufficient for Network Rail to be aware of the generality of the proposal insofar as its planning for the Joint Line upgrade was concerned.
The Joint Policy Unit Manager advised that, in light of the previously mentioned circumstances, it had been decided to promote the proposal for a Spalding RFI through the formal Local Plan process. Members noted that as officers were aware of both developer and operator interest in the proposal, there was considered to be sufficient justification to identify a ‘broad location’ for it.
The Joint Policy Unit Manager informed members that 60% of the representations received on the Economy section related to the RFI. Classification of the 77 representations was as follows: 22 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 9 were Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required (as they related to the SA scoring); and 46 were Objection - no change to the approach was required (those included
a petition with 130 names from 98 individual addresses).
The common reasons for objection to the RFI included the absence of a business case for the RFI; the detrimental effect on the character of the area/residential amenity; traffic congestion; inadequate road systems; loss of high-quality agricultural land; and reduction in house prices. Occasionally, the issue of blight was also cited.
The Joint Policy Unit Manager addressed each of the concerns in turn:
It had long been argued that there was no sound business case for the RFI and whilst, as officers, they were not experts in the logistics industry, they were aware of a developer interest in taking forward the proposal and who had been in discussion with site owners. Kilbride Holdings Ltd was the interested party and the Joint Policy Unit Manager quoted from a recent statement made by Peter Frost, its Managing Director, regarding the RFI proposal, which stated that:
‘Kilbride are looking to take forward the rail freight terminal development at Spalding, with further news to be announced and that Kilbride see the project as one of the best rail freight opportunities in the country at the moment.’
The Joint Policy Unit Manager referred to some of the concerns that Mrs Kedzlie had raised, and advised that officers were not looking to dispute their importance. At the present time, they were simply promoting a broad location for the RFI and did not possess any details relating to how the proposal might evolve.
If the proposal was to be developed further, it would be through a private-sector initiative, and not a public-sector one. It was not known whether a planning application for the RFI would come forward before the Local Plan proposals were adopted. Should a planning application be received, the Local Planning Authority (LPA) would require substantial amounts of information to inform its consideration of the proposed development, particularly in respect of landscape and other environmental impacts and highway and traffic matters. Unfortunately, major infrastructure schemes had to go somewhere and, in the case of the RFI proposal, it had to be well related to existing railway infrastructure. The broad location currently identified did not involve any loss of residential property. However, it was located in close proximity to the village of Deeping St Nicholas.
In relation to the loss of high-quality agricultural land, there was no escaping the fact that the great majority of the South Holland District contained either Grade 1 or Grade 2 land. In respect of the impact of such a proposal on house prices, it would not be a valid planning consideration. It was also recognised that there were no ‘planning blight’ issues at the present time.
The Joint Policy Unit Manager concluded by stating that no new location or other options relating to the RFI proposal had been promoted through the public consultation exercise.
Councillor Gambba-Jones supported of the general principle of what was intended in respect of the RFI proposal. There were, and there would remain to be, concerns about the impact of the proposal on the settled community, and as with any development, there would be an impact. The proposal was not a casual exercise. It was being promoted in the context of a significant number of limitations on site identification; specifically, it had to be near a railway line and near to Spalding. If less work had been undertaken in 2010 (i.e. leaving the two areas of search to the north and south of Spalding), there would have possibly been double the amount of objections at the present time. The proposal was all about supporting business. The food industry had presented the idea which it was keen to see progressed.
The Chairman endorsed the comments made by Councillor Gambba-Jones and added that if should the proposal be taken forward it would be dealt within the correct and appropriate manner.
That the recommendations contained within the Appendix relating to the heading ‘Economy’ be approved.
The Forward Planning Officer advised that there were 123 representations on the section, classification of which was as follows: 65 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 2 were Representations beyond the remit of the Local Plan or to be addressed in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD; 6 were Objection - further work required which could result in a change to the approach; 33 were Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 17 were Objection - no change to the approach was required.
The Forward Planning Officer stated that one of the objections requiring further work had been made by the Environment Agency (EA) and concerned the absence of the issue of regeneration in the policy approaches; and another concerned the re-opening of Littleworth Railway Station. However, those matters were to be addressed in the Economy and Transport sections respectively. Other objections requiring further work suggested that the Policy Officers should look above and beyond current Building Regulations e.g. Code Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and compliance with Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREAM) standards.
Councillor Gambba-Jones queried what aspirations there were for the provision of trees and open spaces which actually enhanced residential amenity. The Forward Planning Officer advised that those matters could be considered through the Site Allocations Development Plan Document process. He also cited Boston Woods as a good example of a joint local authority/private sector initiative in respect of creating new woodland.
Councillor F Biggadike expressed the view that South East Lincolnshire tended not to acquire the parks and open spaces due to the extensive coverage of high-quality agricultural land. He did not think that the South Holland District would be able to obtain any further woodland. Councillor R M Rudkin queried why the South Holland District could not aspire to further woodland provision, as she considered that if Boston Borough could achieve it then so could the South Holland District.
The Chairman supported the comments made by Councillor Gambba-Jones.
That the recommendations contained within the Appendix relating to the heading ‘Environment’ be approved.
Community, Health and Well-being
The Forward Planning Officer advised that there were 43 representations on the section, classification of which was as follows: 24 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 3 were Representations beyond the remit of the Local Plan or to be addressed in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD; 4 were Objection - further work required which could result in a change to the approach; 10 were Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 2 were Objection - no change to the approach was required.
The Forward Planning Officer reported that the big issue that had come out of the representations was in relation to the delivery of community infrastructure, for example, community open space. This issue would be addressed through the Infrastructure Delivery Plan or further along in the plan-making process.
Councillor Gambba-Jones referred to his previous comments, namely, how the creation of those areas of open space that benefited the public and contributed to their well-being was best achieved. He responded to Councillor Biggadike’s earlier comment by stating that it only cost £7,500 per acre to deliver good-quality open space, and that he retained his hopes and aspirations in that regard. Councillor Gambba-Jones added that, in the wider context, when talking about community, health and well-being, he thought that PEDALS would be disappointed if progress was not made on developing some sort of cycling strategy. He considered that the local cycle network was poor and queried whether there was a way of developing a cohesive plan to bring some of those ‘niggling’ bits of cycle paths together. If it was not possible to achieve then a stop should be placed on their provision. Careful thought had to be given to how such matters were to be integrated in the future.
Councillor C N Worth mentioned that there a countywide Health and Well-being Board had recently been established and would be implemented once consultations had finished. He stated that it would be useful to seek feedback from the Board and its partners (the Clinical Commissioning Groups [CCGs]), of how they could impact on that area of the Local Plan. He requested that officers write to the Board asking whether it could make a presentation to the Joint Committee about its role.
a) That the recommendations contained within the Appendix relating to the heading ‘Community, Health and Well-Being’ be approved; and
b) That guidance be sought from the Health and Well-being Board in relation to comments that had been raised, above.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer advised that there were two policy approaches featured in the section: transport overall and the Spalding Western Relief Road (SWRR). A total of 62 representations had been received on the section, classification of which was as follows: 24 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 13 were Representations beyond the remit of the Local Plan or to be addressed in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD; 6 were Objection - further work required which could result in a change to the approach; 4 were Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 15 were Objection - no change to the approach was required.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer stated that, overall, there was a good level of support for the proposals. However, a number of comments were not within the remit of the Local Plan, for example, changes to policy on parking fees, pot holes, highway safety and large- scale road improvement programmes. Other comments included the need to modify the A17, A52 and A16 roads from single to dual carriageways. Concerns had also been raised that there was no mention of the Boston Distributor Road, which had been the subject of significant discussion at meetings of the Local Plan Steering Group. It had been concluded that, due to a lack of evidence regarding delivery, it could not be included as a proposal in the Local Plan.
In respect of the SWRR, there was some support for it. However, questions had also been raised on the need for it and its influence over decisions regarding the location of development. A couple of areas had been identified where further work was required, specifically those relating to how it would be delivered.
Councillor M Brookes referred to the Boston Distributor Road (BDR) and voiced concerns that there was no reference in the Preferred Options for seeking funding and delivering, parts of the BDR, as piecemeal development opportunities arose. He requested that provision for realising such opportunities be included in the emerging Local Plan. Whilst he accepted the delivery constraints relating to the promotion of the BDR, he did not understand why the aspiration to deliver the BDR could not be featured.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer confirmed that the Preferred Options document did identify the BDR as an aspiration.
The Deputy Joint Unit Policy Manager reported that a recent meeting had been held to discuss the BDR, which had involved Boston Borough Council’s Head of Built Environment and Development, Councillors P Bedford and M Brookes, along with County Council officers with a view to gathering evidence which could support a more positive approach to the delivery of the aspiration.
The Deputy Joint Unit Policy Manager indicated that the BDR could be safeguarded through other documents, which would suggest how future development could support its delivery. However, he emphasised that although it was key that the BDR continued to be treated as an aspiration, it also be made clear that further work in relation to it would continue behind the scenes during the plan period. The Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4) only had a 10-year horizon and there was certainly ‘a hook’ in it relating to the BDR and the current preparation of the Local Plan.
Councillor Brookes requested the inclusion of a provision in the emerging Local Plan which could be used to ensure that developers were kept aware of what was being sought in respect of the BDR.
Councillor Gambba-Jones raised the need to consider bus routes, as he felt there was a need to learn from the limited experience of how they operated in new housing developments. Looking forward, if encouragement was going to be given to the building of a large swathe of housing, questions were going to be asked about the provision of bus services to support its occupants. One of the current hurdles experienced in established residential areas was the unsuitability of the roads to accommodate bus transport because of the amount of on-street parking. He stated that the provision of bus routes should be considered in the overall planning for new, large, residential developments.
Councillor Gambba-Jones queried whether, ultimately, the only realistic way of funding the SWRR was through a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Having regard to the issue of developer contributions, Councillor Gambba-Jones raised the issue of housing going ‘next door’ (i.e. to another LPA) under the ‘duty to cooperate’. For example, if it were decided that Boston Borough was unable to accommodate several thousand more houses to meet its needs, and under the duty to cooperate it was agreed that the South Holland District was the most suitable place to relocate it, there would be a question about which authority should receive the benefits of that development.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer offered the view that if the houses were built within the South Holland District the money would go into South Holland District Councils CIL pot.
That the recommendations contained within the Appendix relating to the heading ‘transport’ be approved.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer advised that a total of 25 representations had been received on the section, classification of which was as follows: 17 were Support - no change to the approach was required; 13 were Representations beyond the remit of the Local Plan or to be addressed in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD; 6 were Objection - further work required which could result in a change to the approach; 1 was Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required; and 1 was Objection - no change to the approach was required.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer stated that there was a good level of support for the section. However, there had been a request for more detail on how proposals would be delivered. In response, he indicated that it would come through the Infrastructure Deliver Plan (IDP).
The Senior Planning Policy Officer reported that concerns had been expressed on too much reliance upon developer funding but he advised that it was a reality in the current economic climate. In response to comments seeking to promote the role of projects, such as the Boston Distributor Road and the Boston Barrier, the Senior Planning Policy Officer reiterated the officer view that the two issues should not be deemed as critical infrastructure for the purpose of delivering Local Plan proposals.
Councillor Gambba-Jones sought confirmation from the Senior Planning Policy Officer that the expression ‘delivery’ covered the delivery all the Local Plan development proposals plus supporting infrastructure and enquired as to whether the IDP would be a discrete document which would address what was deliverable/undeliverable.
The Senior Planning Policy Officer advised that, essentially, a lot of work was to be undertaken on the subject. The majority would be addressed through the IDP and, specifically, the broad locations for growth. The next step after confirmation of the broad locations would be to be draw up infrastructure schedules for them in association with the developer interests. At a recent conference, Keith Holland from the Planning Inspectorate had made it clear that local planning authorities (LPAs) needed to ensure that developers were ‘signed up’ to the infrastructure and other requirements being sought in respect of particular proposals. If such agreements were not achieved by examination then plans would not be deemed sound.
Councillor Gambba-Jones sought clarification on seeking a major piece of infrastructure where it was unclear as to how it would be funded and whether LPA’s would have to ensure that developers were signed up to its delivery. The Senior Planning Policy Officeradvised that, before developers were signed up, LPAs would need to know the source of infrastructure funding, have an infrastructure schedule in place and, where necessary, have prioritised the delivery of the infrastructure.
Councillor Gambba-Jones expressed concerns and questioned the next stage of plan preparation. He felt that there was a need to understand the relationship between delivery and the site allocations process as soon as possible.
The Environment Agency Officer requested clarification regarding how the Boston Barrier would be addressed and whether officers were seeking support for it. The Senior Planning Policy Officer advised that the Boston Barrier was not classed as critical to the delivery of the Local Plan proposals and that the IDP needed to focus on critical pieces of infrastructure.
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager sought to allay the concerns expressed by the Environment Agency Officer and advised that it was always intended that the Boston Barrier would be represented in the Local Plan but would not be treated as a critical piece of infrastructure, as it had not been said that without the Barrier, development would not take place. In the longer term it was expected that the Barrier would improve the economy and the standard of flood defence in the area. Therefore, from that point of view it would be represented and supported but the Local Plan would not be saying that it was critical.
That the recommendations contained within the Appendix relating to the heading ‘Delivery’ be approved.
Key Diagram, Glossary of Terms and Appendices
The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager advised that there were 10 representations on the Key Diagram section, classification of which was as follows: 8 were Support - no change to the approach was required; and 2 were Objection - no change to the approach as required. The Glossary of Terms had 1 Objection - a minor change to the approach may be required (to clarify an issue).
That the recommendations contained within the Appendix relating to the heading ‘Key Diagram, Glossary of Terms and Appendices’ be approved
Members noted that the next meeting would be used to consider the remaining representations, and to deal with matters which had been categorised under the following headings:
· Housing Growth and Flood Risk;
· Sustainable Development and Spatial Strategy;
· Housing; and
· Promotion of Housing Sites.
Owing to the sensitive and contentious nature of the remaining items, it was agreed that the information would be presented separately for each heading, rather than compiled into one appendix, so that members could process the information more readily.
a) That the recommendations within each heading be approved, for the purpose of informing future work on the preparation of the Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document (DPD), subject to the comments received from members; and
b) That the remaining headings be considered at the Joint Committee’s next meeting, in the format proposed and agreed by members.