Agenda item

Report on Public Consultation Responses on drafts of the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan

To seek approval for the approach taken in considering consultation responses to the three public consultation stages held in May 2013, January 2016 and July 2016 (report of the Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager enclosed)

Minutes:

The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager explained that his report concerned the need to formally consider all the public consultation representations and officer responses relating to the three previous consultation exercises, as in the last two cases, emphasis had been placed on discussing only the key issues arising from them in order to expedite the Local Plan’s preparation.

 

He reminded members that, in addition to the electronic versions of the public consultation databases that formed appendices to his report, hard copies of the January/February 2016 and July/August 2016 databases were available in the respective Members’ Rooms.

 

He stated that a full database relating to the first public consultation exercise conducted in May/June 2013 had been considered by meetings of the Joint Committee held in late 2013. However, as the Local Plan had evolved from the preparation of a Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document (DPD), which would be followed by one or more other DPDs, to a full Local Plan, a significant number of the officer responses and recommendations had had to be revisited to take account of this. For example, because the Strategy and Policies DPD didn’t address the allocation of sites for development, some of the officer responses to site-specific comments had been ‘representations to be addressed in the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD’; but now that the current emerging Local Plan included proposed allocations, such comments needed to be the subject of a considered response.

 

The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager noted that the second round of consultation, held in early 2016, related to the document titled ‘Draft for Public Consultation (including site options for development)’, which included a full set of draft policies and also a large number of site options for housing and other types of development, the locations of which were influenced by the emerging spatial strategy. The outcomes from this consultation exercise were discussed at a meeting of the Joint Committee on 22 April 2016, which considered a comprehensive summary of the material comments made on the contents of the document and approved a number of key issues to guide further work on the Local Plan. This led to a series of ‘Local Plan Steering Group’ meetings which gave more detailed consideration to site-specific matters and concluded in the selection of a number of ‘preferred sites’ for housing and other types of development.

 

He then noted that this work led to the Joint Committee, at its meeting on 24 June 2016, approving a document titled ‘Preferred Sites for Development’ for the purpose of a third round of  public consultation’. This took place over a period of four weeks in the summer of 2016, following which further Steering Group meetings were held to consider public comments on the settlement hierarchy and preferred sites, and, following the completion of outstanding evidence gathering (e.g. the Whole Plan Viability Study), redrafted policies.

 

The Deputy Joint Policy Unit Manager concluded his introduction by stating that undertaking proper assessment of the responses to three rounds of public consultation had been a considerable task, but he was confident that the material considerations arising from them had been properly taken into account in shaping the ‘Publication Version’ of the Local Plan.

 

Councillor Alcock commented that discussions on the Local Plan tended to concentrate on matters relating to residential development at the expense of other considerations such as employment and economic development. He accepted that many other issues other than housing had indeed been discussed during the preparation of the Local Plan but was of the opinion that the general public would not have perceived this to be the case.

 

AGREED:

 

That the recommendation be accepted.

Supporting documents: