Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent

Contact: Committee Section 

Items
No. Item

30.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

31.

To sign the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2019 were signed by the Chair.

32.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

33.

Delegated Decisions - Cabinet Members

To report any decisions made by Cabinet Members under their delegated powers.

Minutes:

No decisions other than those already circulated had been made.

34.

Local Plan - Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The following report seeks Cabinet approval of the Statement of Community Involvement, attached at Appendix 2.

The Statement of Community Involvement sets out the Council’s approach to consultation on planning matters such as the Local Plan, Planning Applications and Neighbourhood Planning. The current Statement of Community Involvement was adopted in March 2007; it is therefore necessary for the Council to review its Statement of Community Involvement.

Additional documents:

Decision:

It was agreed that the Statement of Community Involvement be approved and published on the Council’s website.

 

Minutes:

The Director (Planning & Development) introduced all three Local Plan reports and noted that his role had changed to enable him to focus on Housing Strategy and Development, Development Management and Planning Policy, which includes the delivery of the Local Plan in accordance with the updated Local Development Scheme which was being submitted for approval. He confirmed that resources were in place to drive forward and deliver this process.

The Planning Manager (Policy) introduced the Statement of Community Involvement which set out how local and statutory stakeholders would be consulted as part of the plan making and decision taking processes in terms of planning. The principle behind this approach was to provide greater clarity and transparency to stakeholders whilst fostering local ownership of both the strategic approach taken in planning terms and decisions taken.

A complete refresh of the Statement of Community Involvement was required rather than minor changes. However, the approach continued to be one that followed the requirements of Government regulations and best practice. 

The following points were raised during discussion on this item:

·                     Following a question about the range of the consultation process, it was confirmed that the main Local Plan document would be submitted to Cabinet before being considered for approval by Council for formal adoption.  However, the supplementary planning documents of the Local Plan, such as the windows and doors guidance document, can be adopted by Cabinet. The officer also confirmed that approval would not be sought from any Member-led review groups.

·                     It was noted that the Strategic Environment Cabinet Committee would be part of the consultation process.

·                     Attention was drawn to paragraph 5.13 of Appendix 2 and Members were advised that the Council was required to meaningfully engage with neighbouring local authorities on strategic cross-border issues for example, not being able to meet housing targets. For Kent County Council this cross-border discussion might include education, highways, waste and minerals. During the process of the preparation of our Local Plan documents, the duty to co-operate was with the Borough Council. Conversely for KCC’s mineral and waste plans, the duty was within them. As they produce their own Local Plans, other local authorities will have their own duty to consult and co-operate on cross-boundary issues.

·                     It was confirmed that whilst social media would be used to promote the consultation such channels would not be utilised for two-way correspondence. Potential consultees would be directed to the Council’s online consultation system and comments would be submitted using a standard format. The system would also provide general global feedback on the progress of the consultation and any oncoming deadlines. Consultees would also be reminded of response deadlines by appropriate means e.g. letter, by email and by social media.

·                     It was acknowledged that since the last Statement of Community Involvement had been published in 2007, the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 had introduced new requirements regarding the involvement of interested parties including parish councils who can prepare their own Neighbourhood Plans. The officer confirmed that the Council did engage with the parish  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Local Plan - Draft Development Management Policies Document pdf icon PDF 148 KB

The following report seeks Cabinet approval to consult on the draft Development Policies Document attached at Appendix 4 in January-February 2020.

The Development Management Policies Document sets out detailed policies which once adopted would be used to determine planning application for development in the Borough, along with policies set out in other documents which together form the Borough’s adopted development Plan.

Additional documents:

Decision:

It was agreed:

1. That the Development Management Policies Document be placed on public consultation (January-February 2020) under Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

2. That the Assistant Director (Planning) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Strategic Environment be authorised to agree changes to the document before publication, including further changes that maybe needed as a result of the iterative Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment process.

 

Minutes:

The Planning Manager (Policy) reported that the main purpose of a Development Management Policiesdocument was to provide detailed policies to help determine day-to-day planning applications and to build upon the more strategic policies of the Local Plan Core Strategy.

The Stage 1 consultation version of the document had been revised in light of comments received and changes made to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Planning Practice Guidance. This meant that some policies had been modified, some policies deleted and new policies added. There had also been changes to the NPPF such as the introduction of Build to Rent and Affordable Private Rent which would be dealt through the Local Plan Core Strategy Partial Review rather than this document.

Members were asked to note that the proposed Policy DM:22 Local Green Spaces set out a clear policy for protecting and managing Local Green Spaces. However, the designation of land as Local Green Space would be done via the Site Allocations element of the work currently being undertaken and this would be reported to Cabinet in January 2020.

The following points were raised during discussion on this item:

·                     Members noted that the Draft Development Management Policies Document did not cover strategic policies and a partial review of these would be submitted to Cabinet for consideration in January 2020. The officer confirmed that the Local Plan Core Strategy Partial Review would address strategic matters arising from changes to the NPPF e.g. Build to Rent.

·                     It was noted that the consultation responses included in the report were mainly from developers and other interested parties who had staff resources to go through and respond in detail to the Draft Development Management Policies Document. However, there were not many comments from public. Cabinet was advised that this was not unexpected considering the detailed nature of the policies. In response to concerns that just relying on these views which were often trying to promote developer aspirations could be limiting, Members were reassured that as well as considering the views submitted, officers reviewed and made professional judgments on each response and proposed change, and accompanying explanations would assist the Planning Inspectorate when examining the plan. The Assistant Director (Planning) confirmed that interactive policy discussion at meetings of Regulatory Board (planning), appeal decisions and High Court judgements were used to inform officers when making these judgments. Another issue was the Government changing their previous approach to, for example, housing space standards. However, the officer confirmed that Members were a fundamental part of the decision-making process with regard to the Local Plan. 

Resolved that:

1.         the Development Management Policies Document (attached at Appendix 4 of the report) be placed on public consultation in January to February 2020 under Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012; and

2.         the Assistant Director (Planning), in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Strategic Environment. be authorised to agree changes to the document before publication, including further changes that maybe needed as a result of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Local Plan - Local Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Cabinet approval is sought for the Local Development Scheme.

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) places a statutory duty on the Council to maintain an up-to-date Local development Scheme. The revised Local Development Scheme would fulfil this requirement.

Additional documents:

Decision:

It was agreed that the Local Development Scheme be approved and published on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

Cabinet was advised that the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) placed a statutory duty on the Council to maintain an up-to-date Local Development Scheme. The revised Local Development Scheme would fulfil this requirement.

Cabinet was advised that the Local Development Scheme set out the timetable for local plan documents that the Council would be producing in the coming years. The timetable provided details regarding key milestones and highlights when decisions would be needed from Cabinet or Council. In summary, the Council would be going out to consultation in January and September 2020 followed by submission of the documents to the Planning Inspectorate by February 2021. After submission, the timetable was dictated primarily by the resources available at the Planning Inspectorate and the nature of the objections received from stakeholders.  Section 8 of the Local Development Scheme also included a high level risk assessment.

The following points were raised during discussion on this item:

·                     Officers confirmed that, with the assistance of Members and in the knowledge of the risks identified, there should be no slippage on the proposed timetable. The Director (Planning & Development) confirmed that this process was a joint effort between Councillors and officers and he thanked Members for their support.

·                     The Planning Manager (Policy) confirmed that he has happy with the good, clear guidance received from Members

·                     Members were advised that work on the Local Plan was undertaken alongside the Council’s Corporate Plan in an effort to shape the future of the Borough. It was considered to be of the highest priority which was why the three comprehensive documents had been submitted to reassure Members that officers had a good grip on the process. It was recognised that this was a significant piece of work, but given sufficient resources and the continued co-operation of Members, the timetable was achievable.

The Chair advised that officers and the Portfolio Holder would be held to account during this process and he hoped that all Members of the Council would work together to safeguard the future of the Borough and to avoid haphazard, unwanted developments in the area.

In addition, the Chair reported that individuals, who were rightly perturbed, had complained about the failure of the Borough Council to undertake the Green Belt Review and update the Local Plan had threatened a Judicial Review. However it was important to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work undertaken by the Assistant Director (Planning) and the Planning Manager (Policy) and their colleagues and the Chair hoped that this enthusiasm would continue and the process would speed up in the next 4 to 5 months.

Resolved that the Local Development Scheme (attached at Appendix 2 of the report) be approved prior to its publication on the Council’s website.

37.

Minutes of the meeting of the Gravesham Joint Transportation Board held on 11 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet noted the minutes of the meeting of the Gravesham Joint Transportation Board held on 11 September 2019.