Agenda item

Guidelines on submitting the LDF Core Strategy (Agenda Item 6)

Report of the Strategic Director for Transformation.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer presented the report, which advised Members on the closing stages in the preparation for the submission of the Council’s Local Development Framework Core Strategy and Development Control Policies document to the Secretary of State.


The report outlined the process and consultations that had taken place to date and explained that the next step in the process was effectively the Council’s final opportunity to shape the document before it was submitted for Government Inspection and subjected to Public Examination.


Completion of the final document should involve no more than minor amendments, as any changes made should be within the scope of previous discussions and agreements and the submission document should focus on the comments received from the public consultation process and show how the Council had responded to those comments.  It was also the opportunity to reinforce and bolster the submission documents to demonstrate that they met the tests of soundness (as set out in Appendix A to the report).


The documents were due to be submitted in November 2008 and the documents that would be considered by the Panel at its next meeting would be very similar to those presented previously, with only minor wording modifications made to enhance their overall soundness.


Following that, the documents would be submitted in accordance with the new Regulations and would be published and made available for comment for a period of six weeks, during which time key stakeholders (as listed in Appendix B of the report) would have the opportunity to submit representations, which would be referred to the Secretary of State for examination as part of the submission material.  The purpose of this publication stage was to gather representations on the soundness of the development plan document, including a conformity statement from the Regional Planning Body.  If there were any grave comments about the soundness of the document at this stage, there was an opportunity for the Council to withdraw its document and return to an earlier stage of the plan production.


The Panel was invited to note the contents of the report as an introduction to the next phase of the work programme for the Panel over the forthcoming months.


A member referred to the statement on flexibility of the Core Strategy in Appendix A (paragraph 4.4.6) as he understood that national policy would be changed in the future to require combined conformity with the regional economic strategy in addition to the regional spatial strategy.  He asked whether the Council’s LDF had sufficient flexibility to accommodate such a change.


The Environmental Planning Manager replied that it was expected that the Government would produce new policies but such changes would take time before they took effect.  The Core Strategy had been developed to allow for changes and, at this stage, national and economic strategies had been embedded in the LDF as far as possible.


A further question was asked about what, if any, national or local performance indicators the Council would be required to meet in regard to the Core Strategy and their impact on the Council’s Annual Delivery Plan.


It was explained that there were existing performance indicators in place, such as national PI 159 on land supply, together with other regulations and guidance on monitoring LDF and it was felt these could be covered through the Annual Monitoring Plan.


A member stated that one of the key requirements of LDFs was to support the sustainable community strategy and asked how this would be monitored by the Council, for example through Development Control Committee or the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.


The Environmental Planning Manager advised that monitoring would be carried out by the Environmental Planning Team in the main, supported through the links with Development Services.  The monitoring processes would pick up and highlight any changes on progress which could then be addressed as or if necessary.


     RESOLVED that the report be noted.


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