Venue: Council Chamber - Epsom Town Hall; https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5060353160306434576
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To take any questions from members of the Public.
The Committee received two written questions from members of the public.
The Chair of the Committee gave a verbal response to the first written question. A supplementary verbal question was asked, and a verbal response was given.
The Chair of the Committee gave a verbal response to the second written question. A supplementary verbal question was asked, and a verbal response was given.
Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in respect of any item of business to be considered at the meeting.
No declarations of interest were made by Members in respect of any items of business on the agenda.
A report on the Local Development Scheme (LDS) – a project plan that sets out the timetable to produce new or revised Development Plan Documents which will form the Council’s Local Development Plan.
The Committee received a report on the Local Development Scheme (LDS) – a project plan setting out the timetable to produce new or revised Development Plan Documents which will form the Council’s Local Development Plan.
The following matters were considered by the Committee:
a) Additional costs: The Chair confirmed that there are no known additional costs expected in relation to the extension to the timeline, and that the funding for the Local Plan previously brought to the Committee still stands.
b) Additional risks: A Member enquired as to whether there are any expected risks additional to those outlined in 3.11 of the report (continued absence of a 5-year housing land supply and the additional measures introduced through the Housing Delivery Test). The Chair confirmed that a risks and issues log is being kept and monitored, and there are no additional risks that could cause further delay expected to come forward.
c) Revisions to the NPPF: The Planning Policy Manager explained that changes to the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance at a more advanced stage in the Local Plan preparation could cause a delay and was listed amongst the risks as set out in the Appendix to the report. He confirmed that close monitoring of national changes will be required, and that any changes would be dealt with as and when they arise, when information becomes available to proceed as required.
d) Resources for programme slippage: The Head of Place Development confirmed that the Local Plan budget set aside for progressing to Regulation 19 has taken into account the resources that will be required in order to deal with potential programme slippage that could be caused by a high level of response during public consultation.
e) Potential delays following 2023 local elections: A Member enquired about the challenges that could be faced as a result of the potential changes to Council Membership following the May 2023 local election, in the event that the Local Plan is delayed by unforeseen circumstances. The Chair explained that the evidence base would exist and the Officers’ background tasks would be complete, but some items may need to be revisited. He clarified that it is difficult to accurately predict what effects such an eventuality might have on the Local Plan until it occurs. The Head of Place Development confirmed that the risk is listed on the risk register.
Following consideration, the Committee unanimously resolved to:
(1) Consider and approve the revised Local Development Scheme (November 2022) at Appendix 1 of the report.