Venue: Council Chamber - Epsom Town Hall, https://www.youtube.com/@epsomandewellBC/playlists. View directions
Contact: Email: email@example.com tel: 01372 732000
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.
No declarations of interest were made by Councillors regarding items on the agenda.
Public consultation on the Draft Local Plan (2022-2040) was undertaken between 1 February 2023 and 19 March 2023. Following the closure of the public consultation an extraordinary Council meeting was held on the 22 March 2023 where the decision was made to pause the Local Plan and to allow specified tasks to be undertaken.
The Licencing and Planning Policy Committee on the 24 September 2023 agreed to recommend to Full Council that work on the Local Plan is un-paused.
This report recommends that Council un-pause the Local Plan, to enable all necessary work to be progressed, so that the Local Plan can be submitted for examination within the transitional arrangements set by the government.
The Council received a report presenting the recommendation of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee on 24 September 2023 to un-pause the Local Plan.
Councillor Steven McCormick MOVED the recommendations in the report.
An amendment to the recommendations was MOVED by Councillor Christine Howells and SECONDED by Councillor Steve Bridger.
The proposed amendment was as follows:
“The Council is asked to:
i. The work that has been undertaken in line with the decision by full Council on the 22 March 2023 to pause the Local Plan.
ii. That whilst the current version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires the Council to start with the Standard Method housing number, the NPPF also allows for a lower number to be used if that starting point is unachievable in light of local Greenbelt, Flooding or other specific constraints.
iii. That the current draft Local Plan has already set a precedent by using a much lower target. However, this target was only achieved under proposals to build on high-scoring Greenbelt land, and sites subject to flooding. The available evidence base clearly demonstrates constraining factors and provides strong reasons for excluding these sites from housing development plans.
(2) Un-pause the Local Plan with immediate effect, subject to the LPPC preparing and approving guiding principles that must be followed in the preparation of the Regulation 19 Local Plan.
These guiding principles will support the preparation of a ‘sound’ plan, as defined in NPPF para 35, and promote a sustainable pattern of development as defined in NPPF para 11. They include the following components, which balance the various competing needs of the borough and can be fully supported by the available evidence and the NPPF.
i. The housing target will be informed by the standard method. It will recognise the local constraints including, but not limited to, flooding, high performing Greenbelt land, heritage assets and irreplaceable habitats. It will provide the optimum level of housing achievable through the use of brownfield and previously developed Greenbelt land, as supported by the evidence base. This is in accordance with para 11 and section 13 of the NPPF, and can be achieved without exceeding 6 stories in height.
ii. Significant levels of proposed housing should be truly affordable to local workers and those with assessed need.
iii. The land availability assessment will be reviewed and updated in order to maximise the use of brownfield sites. This will include Council-owned land and mixed-use sites, in full compliance with government guidance, involving developers where necessary to identify potential solutions to apparent constraints.
iv. The evidence base sets out the high performing nature of the major components of local Greenbelt land, the existence of significant flood risks and transport infrastructure challenges, and other compelling local constraints. We will reflect these constraints in the Local Plan with the clear objective of avoiding redrawing Greenbelt boundaries.”
Councillor Steven McCormick (as proposer of the original motion) did not accept the proposed amendment, and accordingly the amendment was debated by the Council.
Following ... view the full minutes text for item 28.