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Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and/or Non-Registrable Interests
Councillors Rachel Madden and Daniel Williamson declared Non-Registrable Interests in relation to agenda item 4 (Emerging Local Plan Review). Their interest arose from the fact that they had both received lobbying emails from residents in respect of various items of content within the Emerging Local Plan.
that the minutes of the meeting of the Local Plan Development Panel held on 5 July 2022, be received and approved as a correct record.
Panel Members received the report and were asked to consider the options, as set out, regarding the preferred approach for taking the Emerging Local Plan forward.
(In accordance with the Council’s Constitution and the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillors Rachel Madden and Daniel Williamson had previously declared Non-Registrable interests in respect of this item of business. Their interests were such that they stayed in the meeting and took part in the discussion and voting thereon.)
A presentation was given to Members by the Council’s Assistant Director for Planning and Regulatory Services which commenced with a precis of the current position including reference to the following:
· the Council’s Development Plan - Ashfield Local Plan Review 2002 and its neighbourhood plans
· the current Government deadline for local authorities to have a plan in place by December 2023
· all legislative and policy requirements for progressing a local plan
· the currently process enabling the Inspector to consider whether a plan is sound (NPPF Paragraph.35)
· the decision to pause the Council’s Emerging Local Plan following the former Prime Minister’s statement on building on brownfield land
· the Council’s ongoing engagement with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
· the new Conservative Party Leader’s future intentions including potential changes in the way housing need is identified and protection of Green Belt.
Members were then presented with the following four options for taking the Emerging Local Plan forward:
Option A – to continue to pause the emerging Local Plan
Option B – to take forward the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan to a Regulation 19 consultation without significant changes
Option C – to take forward a revised Local Plan reflecting the recent national pronouncements on the Green Belt and housing numbers whilst continuing to emphasise the locational advantages of Ashfield for employment and the skills growth associated with the Plan
Option D – any other options previously considered in relation to the Emerging Local Plan.
The presentation continued and the Assistant Director for Planning and Regulatory Services outlined all the benefits and potential risks for each option to enable Members to make a considered choice in relation to the Council’s next steps for progressing its Emerging Local Plan.
On conclusion of the presentation, Members debated the options and amongst other things, asked questions, made comments and raised concerns in relation to the following:
· the process and reasons leading up to the Council’s former Draft Local Plan being withdrawn in 2018 and how the Council’s Forward Planning Team had dealt with the change of direction
· the definition of Green Belt and Greenfields and the protection that such designation provided to Districts and their communities
· problems generated by the Council not having a 5-year land supply, its impact on enabling the Authority to plan strategically and its presumption in favour of developers
· preparatory development of the Emerging Local Plan and how all alternatives had been extensively considered by the Local Plan Working Group prior to it being presented to Ashfield residents for comment and response through the consultation process ... view the full minutes text for item LP.8