Agenda item

Integrated Development Programme Local Investment Plan (Agenda item 10)

Report of the Executive Member for the Planning, Health and Housing Portfolio (Paul Claussen) and the Executive Member for the Economic and Commercial Portfolio (Mark Kiddle-Morris).

 

The Integrated Development Programme Local Investment Plan is attached as a separate document.

Minutes:

The report sought Council’s approval to publish the Authority’s inaugural Integrated Development Plan and Local Investment Plan (IDP/LIP) document (see Appendix A of the report).  The document was, in summary, a means of prioritising infrastructure investment and delivery aligned to the Council’s adopted Housing, Economic and Planning Strategies as well as reflecting the funding opportunities available going forward and the asset investment activities of utility companies within the area.

 

The final document had been prepared in liaison with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in order to meet its requirements for a Local Investment Plan (LIP).  Future HCA funding going forward would be dependent on the agreement of the LIP and consequently the document had been through a consultation process with the HCA including peer review.

 

The final document also met the requirements of an Integrated Development Plan which was principally an Infrastructure Planning document designed to underpin economic development investment.  Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Regional Growth Fund (RGF) proposals were required to promote those projects identified in IDP/LIP documents in their area.

 

The adopted IDP/LIP document was a delivery document.  It would provide a focus for Council investment and activity as well as influencing the activities of others to ensure that a set of deliverable local Council priorities were taken forward as part of a “single conversation” with key partners.  The document was a ‘live’ document with a recommendation that it be reviewed on an annual basis.

 

The Executive Member for the Economic and Commercial Portfolio stated that the document identified critical housing need.  The following overall recommendations had been put forward as the basis of the wider single conversation Breckland would need to engage in:

 

In the immediate short term (the 15 months to April 2012):

 

1.      Work to include Snetterton Utilities and Thetford Electricity Sub Station as priorities for the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) going forward;

2.      Develop and finalise a CIL document for the District with specific CIL tariffs for Thetford, Attleborough and Snetterton Heath;

3.      A formal decision would be taken to pursue an LABV for Breckland subject to further investigation on viability;

4.      Adopt the LDF Site Specific Policies and Proposals document to help deliver 2,743 homes;

5.      Review the Sustainable Community Strategy with 6 key tangible local projects to take forward; and

6.      Work closely with the HCA on the Thetford Planning Performance Agreement process and estate regeneration and the growth plans in Attleborough.

 

In the short-medium term (by April 2014):

 

  1. Investigate Tax Incremental Financing (TIFs) in relation to the Attleborough Distributor Road and Snetterton Utilities;
  2. Finalise the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP) and Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan (ASHAAP); and
  3. Maintain a dialogue with Anglian Water Services in respect of Attleborough Waste Water Treatment Works.

 

The Principal Planning Policy Officer stated that in the time of increased financial pressures this piece of work would be part of a single conversation delivering against housing and wider infrastructure priorities. 

 

Page 91 of the report (the top table) identified 24 projects which had been put against three types of packages, spatial, thematic and long-term.  The total cost of delivering these projects would be in the region of £72m (page 177 of the report demonstrated how each project had been broken down and the funding provider/options for funding).   The Principal Planning Policy Officer emphasised that, at this stage, there was no one funding solution for Breckland and that a menu of funding options would be required.  Developer contributions in themselves were unlikely to cover the cost of all the investment priorities and therefore continued public sector intervention would be required from Central and Local Government.  There were many good ideas surrounding the various Council projects and he hoped that this formed a key basis for future work going forward.

 

The Executive Member for the Corporate Development and Performance Portfolio queried the aforementioned first short to medium term recommendation in relation to the development of the Attleborough southern distributor road (see page 161, section A5 of the report) which would link the A11 with the A1077 Buckenham Road.  He stated that the consequences of the routeing of an Attleborough southern by-pass could be catastrophic for the village of Great Ellingham.  A by-pass from Breckland Lodge would encourage increase in the quantum traffic user through the village centre and would be grossly inequitable in relieving traffic for the town of Attleborough, only to place the burden on a neighbouring village.   Norfolk County Council described Great Ellingham as being a ‘sensitive location’, as much of the length of the road had no pavements and was unsuitable for development as a distributor route as it had poor road alignment and was of varying widths.  He also felt that routing such a distributor road would impose great problems on neighbouring villages.  He asked how this document linked in with the Attleborough Action Plan (AAP).

 

In response to the above concern, the Growth Programme Manager pointed out that no actual route had yet been agreed and the Transport Study that was being undertaken would highlight what was required.

 

The Principal Planning Policy Officer explained that the provision of a distributor road had already been set out in the Core Strategy but the precise route would be determined through the AAP.  However, the cost and how it would be funded was dependent on recommendation at 2.2 of the report.  It was a requirement of the Council to formally submit the document to the HCA to allow for funding to be drawn down.

 

The Executive Member for the Corporate Resources Portfolio was delighted to see that Snetterton energy supplies had been mentioned several times in the document as this would be critical to unlock the potential for employment.  The Vice-Chairman agreed and pointed out that the energy solutions were crucial to the whole development/expansion of Attleborough.  Referring to the CIL, he asked at what point the Officers would be able to provide the Council with an indicative figure.   The Executive Member for the Planning, Health and Housing Portfolio advised that a Working Group had recently been set up for just that and would be meeting in early March.

 

Option A

 

Members agree that the Council published the IDP/LIP document including any amendments from Cabinet.  Members further agree to submit the IDP/LIP document to the Homes and Community Agency (HCA).

 

Option B

 

Members do not agree that the Council publishes the IDP/LIP and not submit the document to the Homes and Community Agency.

 

Reasons

 

Members were asked to approve Option A of the report to enable the Council’s prioritised housing and infrastructure projects to be submitted to the HCA for sign off.  Agreeing the contents of the IDD would also help the Council to steer future project investment decisions and underpin the emerging work on a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) document, as well as any Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV) or investment activity that it might wish to pursue.

 

Not agreeing and submitting the document to the HCA would result in the Council not being able to agree a Local Investment Agreement in respect of the future projects that the HCA could contribute funding towards.  This was likely to adversely impact upon the delivery of housing projects in the District.  Not agreeing the document would also fail to take advantage of the opportunity to use the IDD to shape future Council investment decisions.

 

RECOMMEND to Council that the Integrated Delivery Document be endorsed and published and be formally submitted to the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA).

Supporting documents: