Issue - meetings

Local Plan - Main Modifications

Meeting: 06/12/2018 - Council (Item 156)

156 Local Plan - Main Modifications (Agenda item 13) pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report of Councillor Gordon Bambridge, Executive Member for Growth.


Due to its size, the Appendix to this report, the Schedule of Main Modifications, has been attached as a separate document.

Additional documents:


Councillor Gordon Bambridge, the Portfolio Holder for Growth presented the report.


He informed Members that the Council had agreed to sign-off the proposed Submission version of the Local Plan on 27 July 2017 for its final pre-submission publication (6 week consultation) and submission for Examination in Public. The Council delegated agreement of modifications during the Examination to Officers in consultation with the Leader and Portfolio Holder.


The Local Plan had been in Examination during the summer and, during the course of the Hearings the Inspector had requested a number of modifications be made to the Plan to ensure that it could be found sound. The full list of modifications had been set out in Appendix A to the report.


The vast majority of these modifications were relatively minor and uncontroversial and in many cases, helpful to the Council. However, in some areas these modifications were more significant. Councillor Bambridge highlighted the significant modifications (as below):


·        Use of an alternative method of calculating the housing land supply (the ‘Sedgefield method’) – this had the effect of increasing the housing requirement in the next 5 years as any backlog built up had to be dealt with more quickly;

·        An early review of the Plan to consider the housing numbers, employment policies and gypsies and travellers; and

·        Changes to the Council’s proposed rural housing policies (HOU4 and 5).

In light of these significant modifications, he felt it to be appropriate not to utilise the delegation, and that the matter be brought back to Full Council for Members’ consideration.


There were three options available to Members and the report set out the potential implications of each option, based on both planning advice and separate legal advice.


Option 1 was for Members to agree the modifications and in doing so, would result in a six week consultation process to begin in the New Year; this would allow the examination to progress.


Option 1 would allow the Council to progress with the Examination leading to having an adopted and up to date Plan, including new land allocations, to assist with day-to-day decision making.


The detriment of this option was that there would be a need to move forward with an early review of the Plan in an ambitious timeframe. This would also include policies where there could be wording introduced by the Inspector that the Council would have preferred not to have included.


Option 1b was essentially as Option 1, but this option sought to reopen the Hearing sessions to allow further discussion to take place on the modifications to the rural housing policies.


Option 1b would allow a proper consideration of the amended text of the rural housing policies to take place.  However, legal advice had confirmed that this was unlikely to be accepted by the Inspector as there was no guarantee of a different outcome. This approach would extend the Examination with the likely result that other areas of the Plan would need to be updated - potentially adding further delay to progress the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 156