Agenda item

Local Plan - Draft Development Management Policies Document

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.

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 the iterative Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment process

 

Supporting documents: