Agenda item

Elmbridge Local Plan: Strategic Options Consultation - Summary of Consultation Responses




(a)       the Summary of Consultation Responses document be published; and


(b)       all consultation responses received be published on the Council’s consultation portal.


(Link to Council Priorities: P3)


The Portfolio Holder for Planning Services considered a report that detailed the summary of consultation responses received as a result of the Elmbridge Local Plan: Strategic Options consultation that had been undertaken in December 2016 for a 10-week period.


The consultation had focused on the key challenges facing the Borough, three potential strategic options for seeking to meet the Borough’s development needs, and other planning issues such as infrastructure provision that a new Plan would need to address.


The Portfolio Holder noted that the Council had received nearly 3,800 responses to the consultation from residents and other interested parties which had generated just under 50,000 separate comments.  Whilst the consultation document had stated that the Council would prepare a Consultation Statement that would respond to the issues that had been raised in the comments received together with details of how the Council would seek to address them, in light of the significant number of responses received, the Council’s ability to prepare the Consultation Statement by May 2017 had been impacted. 


In addition, the Portfolio Holder acknowledged that during the Strategic Options Consultation, the Government had published the Housing White Paper “Fixing our broken housing market” which set out proposals to change national planning policy in areas that could affect the approach taken by the Council in preparing its new Local Plan.  As further consultation by the Government was expected in Summer 2017, it was considered premature for the Council to respond in detail to the comments received to the Strategic Options Consultation.


With regard to the Summary of Consultation Response, the Portfolio Holder noted that this had been prepared so that residents and other interested parties could see the key issues that had emerged from the responses to the Strategic Options Consultation as well as providing assurance that the comments had been registered, read, and reported to Members.     


Whilst acknowledging the significant amount of work that had gone into producing the Summary of Consultation Responses document, the Portfolio Holder thanked the Acting Planning Policy Manager and her Team for the huge effort undertaken in collating this useful and interesting historical document.


Prior to consideration of the report, in addition to some minor typographical errors that needed correcting, the Acting Planning Policy Manager highlighted a small number of amendments that were required to the document before publication, which included:


·           Page 25 (of the agenda), Paragraph 4.3 be amended to read that three petitions had been received.  In this regard, the third petition, that contained 323 signatures, had been received from Cobham Residents in opposition to Parcel 14;


·           Page 75 (of the agenda) – having plotted the ‘other sites within the Green Belt’ using the Council’s Geographic Information System (GIS), it was confirmed that the Old Tiffinians Sports Ground and Allotments along the A309 Weston Green / Thames Ditton areas were not in the Green Belt.  In this regard, it was proposed that these two sites be removed from this section and included under the heading ‘Sites within the urban areas’; and


·           Page 199 (of the agenda) – it was noted that 5 pages had been omitted from ‘Appendix 5 – List of Consultees’, and therefore prior to publication, the document would be updated accordingly.


The Portfolio Holder invited Councillor A. Kelly, who was present at the meeting, to comment on the report.  Whilst agreeing that the document was very interesting, Councillor Kelly highlighted the following two anomalies that required amending:


·           Page 42 (of the agenda) – Paragraph 8.6 – the figure ‘2,153’ be amended to read ‘153’; and


·           Page 129 (of the agenda) – Paragraph 11.67 – the first sentence be amended to read ‘Many respondents stated that the Council should not ‘ruin’ or fundamentally change an area.’.


In addition, the Portfolio Holder requested that the following be amended:


·           Page 21 (of the agenda) – the word ‘ask’ in the last row and middle column of Table 1 be amended to read ‘answer’.


The Portfolio Holder enquired how racist / offensive comments made by respondents would be dealt with.  It was pointed out that the Council had been very clear about the process regarding the removal of offensive / racist comments.  The Head of Legal Services and the Acting Planning Policy Manager agreed to discuss this further.


Subject to the above amendments together with the correction of minor typographical errors, the Portfolio Holder welcomed the comprehensive document and supported its publication and accordingly




(a)       the Summary of Consultation Responses document be published; and


(b)       all consultation responses received be published on the Council’s consultation portal.

Supporting documents: