Breckland Local Plan and the Strategic Housing Market Assessment Document
Report of Executive Member Growth, Gordon Bambridge.
Due to the size of these documents, the appendices to the attached reports can be viewed at Item 9 of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission Agenda, via this link:
The Senior Planning Policy Officer informed Members that the Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment formed the key element of the housing evidence which was required to support the Local Plan. The key element of the report was the housing target to be delivered across the district equated to 612 dwellings per annum for the Local Plan during the period of 2011 – 2036.
The Executive Member for Growth added that there had been a good debate of both the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), and the Breckland Local Plan at the Overview and Scrutiny meeting held on 6 July.
He went on to ask Members for an additional recommendation, which would be for Cabinet only; to approve the seventh revision Local Development Scheme (Appendix C) and publish on the Council’s website and make available as per the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004), as amended.
Councillor Cowen asked if the SHMA reflected the fact that Breckland looked to the Cambridge area, especially as Thetford would continue to grow and work continued with the A11 Technology Corridor. The Director of Planning and Building Control said the SHMA considered the best fit for the majority of the district which had an indelible link with Norwich based on current patterns of movement in the housing market and travel to work patterns.
Councillor Martin noted there had been a number of applications for Attleborough which in turn had made the Attleborough Link Road viable. He asked if the plan would continue to support growth in Attleborough. The Director of Planning and Building Control responded by informing Members that the update to the SHMA had identified that the number had increased by 400, due to people living in smaller houses, and it would be a combination of development and housing that would continue to see the performance against the need.
Councillor Cowen raised a number of points:
· Housing Policy 3 - why had growth been restricted when considering the difference of the 5-year land supply given Breckland were under-achieving.
· Housing policy 4 and 5 - over the next 12 months there would be no growth in the villages and wanted confirmation that there would be a flexible view on this.
· Housing Policy 13 referred to agricultural workers of which there were a number of industries that relied upon a large number of contractors within the agricultural industry, and was keen to ensure a flexible approach to this.
· It was noted that the Biomass Power Station had not been highlighted within the map.
The Director of Planning and Building Control clarified that the document was the pre-submission of the Local plan and were asking for comments on the soundness of the plan. The Plan would set out the way in which the Planning Authority would facilitate large scale development in Attleborough and Thetford. Housing Policy 3 would provide flexibility up to a point, but it would not be open ended as it could not be easily managed.
With regard to agricultural workers the policy related to national guidelines which set out the baseline.
The Director of Planning and Building Control said that following the question raised at the Overview and Scrutiny meeting regarding the policy relating to open space, changes would be made to the preamble and the glossary of terms to ensure that it was explicit that this included allotments as a form of open space. In addition changes would also be made with regard to the County Council’s minerals and waste Local Plan policies for safeguarding mineral resources.
The Strategic Planning Manager clarified that the Snetterton Biomass power station had was under construction, and as such, there was no accompanying policy in the plan. Therefore, there was no requirement for zoning on the policies map. He pointed out that once constructed the power station would appear on the Ordnance Survey base mapping that the local plan maps were derived from hence would be visible.
Councillor Claussen reminded the Members that the Mattishall map needed to be amended as per the Overview and Scrutiny recommendation and the site should not be within the document. It was confirmed this map would be corrected before submission to Full Council.
Councillor Wilkinson said a car was essential within the rural area but that housing should be developed within villages to allow families to move to be closer together.
The Chairman thanked the Executive Member for Growth, Members and Officers that had been involved in the Local plan, and recognised that this had not been an easy task.
Option A: Members agree that the Council publishes the Local Plan document in accordance with Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. Members further agree to submit the Local Plan to the Secretary of State for an Examination in Public by a Government appointed Inspector. Where minor modifications are needed prior to the submission of the Local Plan and/or any amendments to the Local Plan arising during the Examination in Public, Members agree that these be delegated to the Strategic Planning Manager in consultation with the Leader and Executive Member for Growth.
Option B: Members do not agree that the Council publishes the Local Plan document, nor agree to submit the Local Plan document to the Secretary of State for an Examination in Public by a Government appointed Inspector.
Members are asked to approve Option A in order to allow the timely progression of a sound Local Plan development framework for the District.
It was RESOLVED that:
Cabinet approve the seventh revision Local Development Scheme (Appendix C) and publish on the Council’s website and make available as per the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004), as amended.
Cabinet RECOMMENDS to FULL COUNCIL:
1) that Members endorse the Regulation 19 Pre-Submission Local Plan, Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment for a six week publication period be endorsed;
2) to agree that, following statutory public consultation, delegate powers to the Strategic Planning Manager in consultation with the Leader and Executive Member for Growth to submit the Local Plan, subject to any minor modifications for examination provided that no substantive objections have been submitted;
3) to delegate to the Strategic Planning Manager in consultation with the Leader and Executive Member for Growth to make minor modifications and amendments to the draft Local Plan prior to commencement of the Statutory Public Consultation;
4) to delegate to the Strategic Planning Manager in consultation with the Leader and Executive Member for Growth to agree amendments to the Local Plan arising during the Examination in Public.
In addition, Members considered the Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment as part of the evidence base to inform the Local Plan.