Agenda item

Submission Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Development Plan Document (Agenda Item 6)

Report of the Strategic Director (Business Transformation).


The Environmental Planning Manager introduced this item.


Members’ views were sought on the content of the revised Core Strategy and Development Control Policies as amended in the light of the comments received on the Preferred Options document, which was the subject of consultation between January and March 2008.


The purpose of this stage in the process was to refine the document for submission to the Secretary of State to reflect the responses to the consultation and to ensure the document was sound.


The Inspector would examine the submitted Strategy and Policy documents as to their soundness, effectiveness, justification per the evidence base and were procedurally correct.


No fundamental matters had arisen from the comments received under the consultation process which would require the documents to be set aside.


The statutory consultees had responded that they found the documents sound, although some amendments had been requested.


Members were reminded that the Core Strategy Issues and Options had been considered firstly in 2005, followed by the Preferred Options in the same year.  Subsequently, the evidence base had been firmed up and the Issues and Options had gone out to consultation in 2007, with further consultation on the proposed policies in 2008.  The results of the consultation had been reported back at each stage.


Amendments to the draft submission documents were highlighted within the document in bold type or strikethrough.  Many of the amendments were of a minor nature but changes of any significance would be highlighted during the Panel’s consideration.


It was the officers’ view that the submission documents were sound and procedurally correct.


Following the Panel’s consideration today, the matter would go forward to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on 2nd October, Cabinet on 14th October and concluding with Council on 6th November, 2008.  Adoption on 6th November 2008 would confirm that the submission documents were considered to be sound by the Council.


The documents would then be published for public consultation for a period of six weeks during December 2008 and January 2009, giving a further period for public comment, following which the documents would be formally submitted to the Secretary of State in February 2009.  Public examination was expected to take place around September 2009.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer explained that Appendix A to the report was a schedule of the Preferred Options policies and Submission policies. Appendix B contained the revised Core Strategy and Development Control Policies incorporating changes in response to the comments made at the Preferred Options stage in accordance with Regulation 26.  Each of the policies in the Appendix was preceded by a copy of the comments received.


The Panel then proceeded to consider each policy in turn and the Panel’s comments and recommendations are given in the schedule appended to these minutes.  A summary of the consultation comments received and the officers’ response was given in respect of each item.


The Executive Member recorded her thanks to all the Environmental Planning Team and to Members for their hard work in the production of the Core Strategy and Policies document.


         RECOMMEND to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission that the report be noted and the revised Submission Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Development Plan Document be recommended to the Cabinet, subject to the following amendments as set out in the attached appendix:


(1)         Revised Spatial Vision (page 23) – Delete the words “making it the District’s second largest settlement by 2026” from the new fourth paragraph;

(2)         Revised Spatial Strategy (pages 72-76) – Confirm the allocation for 50 new homes in the Local Service Centre Villages of Weeting and Harling as proposed.

(3)         Revised Policy CP1 Housing (pages 108-111) – Cabinet be asked to review the 25 dwellings threshold for Local Service Centres in conjunction with the question of a community infrastructure levy for every house.  (Illustrative scenarios to be worked up for Cabinet and Council’s consideration.)

(4)         Revised Policy CP3 Employment (pages 125-128) – Cabinet be asked to consider strengthening the reference to the rural areas in this policy;

(5)         New Policy CP5 Developer Obligations (pages 144-145) – Amend paragraph 3 to read: “Site specific infrastructure requirements to be addressed through developer obligations may include the following …”

(6)         Revised Policy CP8 Natural Resources (pages 165-166) – Amend the wording in paragraph 3.52 to clarify its meaning and to make reference to statutory requirements;

(7)         Revised Policy CP11 Protection and Enhancement of the Landscape (pages 183-184) – Insert cross-references and amendments to strengthen the reference to mineral extraction and river valley landscapes and to include reference to the Dereham Green Infrastructure Study;

(8)         Revised Policy CP14 Sustainable Rural Communities (pages 209-211) – Delete item 4 on page 209 and replace all references to “food shop” with “convenience store for the supply of day to day goods”;

(9)         Revised Policy DC2 Principles of New Housing (pages 223-225) – Delete the word “exceptionally” in paragraph b. and amend the wording in paragraph d. to make the meaning clearer;

(10)    Revised Policy DC3 Replacement Dwellings and Extensions in the Countryside (pages 227-228) – Delete paragraph a. on page 227;

(11)    Revised Policy DC4 Affordable Housing Principles (pages 236-238) – Reduce the affordable housing target from 40% to 35%;

(12)    Revised Policy DC5 Affordable Housing on Exception Sites (pages 241-242) – Clarification to confirm whether an exception site has to physically adjoin a settlement boundary;

(13)    Revised Policy DC16 Design (pages 294-295) – Further strengthening of the wording as proposed;

(14)    Revised Policy DC19 Community Facilities, Recreation and Leisure (pages 305-306) – Replace the term “food shop” by “convenience store for the supply of day to day goods” to be consistent with Policy CP14 and amend the term “bus station” to “bus interchange” (page 306);

(15)    Revised Policy DC21 Parking Provisions (pages 312-313) – Further amendments as indicated.


Note:  Mr. R. Childerhouse left the meeting during discussions in regard to Weeting Local Service Centre in regard to paragraph 3 on page 74 of Appendix B.


Supporting documents: