To respond to a request from the Policy Development Panel on 9 May 2017 for information on these issues (report of the Director of Place enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Director of Place which responded to a request from the Panel for more information on Planning Design and Derelict and Dilapidated Buildings, in order that the Panel could decide whether or not to set up a Task Group on these topics.
Planning Design was considered first. The South Holland Local Plan 2006 remained the adopted development plan and Policy SG14 was the main design policy. The relevant sections of these were detailed within the report. Also detailed was Section 7 of the National Planning Policy Framework around required good design.
Although currently having limited weight in the determination of current planning applications, the proposed design policy framework in the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan, recently submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, was included for information.
The Panel considered the information provided, and the following points were raised regarding design:
· Aesthetics should be considered as part of design
· There was little variation in the general style of housing available throughout the District – more variation was needed. There should be more detail in design.
· The positioning of housing types within larger developments was important in order to build social cohesion.
· Density of housing – was there any way of influencing this?
Officers responded with a number of points:
· There was not a specific style of housing typical of the fen landscape, other than the traditional fen cottage vernacular, and more generic styles of housing had been built within the last 50 or so years.
· The emerging Local Plan took on some of the design issues raised. However, a policy that was too prescriptive would not be workable or be supported by the Inspectorate.
· An area that members may wish to consider as part of a Task Group was whether there were enough controls in the design policies, or whether they needed expanding. Did they provide enough scope to build on in the future? Were policies broad enough that there was confidence they would be delivered well within the next 30-40 years?
· Policies for the future were required. Recent builds should be considered rather than older ones to identify what worked and what didn’t, and whether policies affecting the new builds were satisfactory to deliver for the future
· Timing of a Task Group should be considered. Reviewing newer builds and how they worked should be done over a period of time, and would be a large undertaking. The Local Plan was currently undergoing an examination period and it was suggested that a Task Group be set up once this process was concluded.
· This area of work fell under the remit of the Planning Policy Team, and would need to fit in with the Local Plan process.
The Place Manager provided the Panel with an update on derelict and dilapidated buildings. He stated that the street scene, Pride in South Holland and derelict and dilapidated buildings sat under the same umbrella, and each were very different issues in their own right. The main issues centred around what the site looked like and what its consequences were (e.g. anti social behaviour).
There had been some notable successes with some sites over the last few years e.g. The New Inn at Pode Hole and the Chatterton Water Tower, and there had been some issues dealt with and some improvements made at others, including the Bull and Monkie site in Spalding. Ultimately, a Task Group looking at derelict and dilapidated sites would be ineffective as conclusions would be very difficult to come to due to each site being uniquely different.
A report was due to be presented to the Cabinet in September updating on the situation around street scene and untidy sites, and how the restructure of the Place Team would work to approach enforcement through one central, cohesive team.
a) That the report of the Director of Place, and the update provided by the Place Manager be noted; and
b) That a Task Group to look at Planning Design, with membership to be confirmed at a later date, be added to the Panel’s Work Programme, and that work commence in 2018 following the end of the examination period of the Local Plan.
(The Planning Development Manager left the meeting following discussion of this item.)