Urgent Business (Agenda item 7)
To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.
Interim 5 Year Land Supply Update
The Director of Planning and Building Control presented this item of urgent business.
There had not been a formal change to the Council’s position on land supply; however, new information had come to light.
During the Planning Appeal process held for the residential development on Mallard Road in Watton, the Appellant sought to undermine the Council’s most recent statement on its 5 year land supply. They highlighted subsequent changes, such as developments that had not come forward in the timescales predicted. Within the context of this Appeal only, the Council therefore agreed that the demonstrable housing land supply should be reduced to 4.9 years at this point in time. Further work was now underway to finalise a new 5 year land supply and a report was expected to be presented to the next Planning Committee meeting on the 31 July 2017.
In addition on the 28 June 2017, the Council published its new Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment (CNSHMA). For Breckland, the data had shown that the annual housing target had increased from 598 dwellings per annum to 612 dwellings per annum. This increase had impacted the 5 year housing land supply from the September 2016 position.
Further to the above, Members were advised that the Council’s emerging Local Plan proposes a ‘stepped’ trajectory with a lower housing target for the first five years to reflect the increase in delivery that would come in later years as the Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUE) in Thetford and Attleborough were built out.
The Director of Planning and Building Control advised that whilst there was no formal change to the 5 year housing land supply, in the light of recent events, less weight should be given to the Council’s 5 year housing land supply when determining planning applications until the position had been formally updated at the end of the month.
In response to a question as to whether the 4.9 year figure included the 20% housing buffer, Members were informed that it had been included.
Councillor Duigan asked about the recent permissions granted outside the Settlement Boundary and whether any of these had started construction. Members were informed that these permissions would have been given a reduced time limit of two years to commence construction; however, a number of these, had not, as yet, come forward; therefore, to compensate, other housing had to be found. Councillor Duigan felt that a record should be kept on this matter.
Councillor Joel asked what methodology had been used to get to the 4.9 year position. It was noted that the 4.9 year position had been reached on the Liverpool approach as it was felt to be the most appropriate method.
Councillor Martin pointed out that the Attleborough SUE was still on track.
Members were provided with an update on the long running Scoulton Crematorium application that was granted permission and then was judicially reviewed in the High Court.
The Council’s Solicitor was pleased to report that judgement had now been received and Breckland Council had won the Judicial Review; costs had been awarded to the Council and permission to Appeal to the Court of Appeal had been refused. This had been an unequivocal judgement in the Council’s favour.