Agenda item

The Council's draft response to the Government's 'Planning for the right homes in the right places' consultation

Decision:

RESOLVED that subject to the amendments above and the comments made at the Local Plan Working Group, the Council’s response to the Government’s ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’ consultation, as set out at Appendix A to these minutes, be agreed.

Minutes:

(Link to Council Priorities: P3)

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning Services considered a report which set out the Council’s proposed response to the Government’s consultation paper ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’.

 

In February 2017, the Government had published a new White Paper on housing entitled ‘Fixing our broken housing market’ that set out a number of proposals that the Government believed would support local planning authorities and developers to deliver more land for housing and to ensure that development on this land would come forward more efficiently and quickly.

 

Whilst much of the detail contained within the White Paper was subject to further consultation, on 14 September 2017, the Government had published a consultation paper entitled ‘Planning the right homes in the right places’ which outlined a number of the Government’s proposed planning reforms in more detail.  The headlines of the consultation included:

 

·         a new standardised methodology for calculating Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN);

·         proposed measures to improve joint-working with neighbouring authorities and other appropriate bodies under the Government’s Duty-to-Cooperate;

·         the continued requirement to plan for a mix of housing needs and to consider viability as part of the plan-making and decision-taking processes; and

·         proposed measures to increase planning fees.

 

As the Government’s proposal would have implications on the continued preparation of the new Elmbridge Local Plan and the operation of the Council’s wider planning services, the Portfolio Holder noted that presentations on the key details of the consultation had been given to both the Local Plan Working Group and the Affordable & Social Housing Working Group at the meetings held on 3 October and 19 October 2017 respectively.

 

The Portfolio Holder acknowledged that the Local Plan Working Group had considered the draft response at its meeting on 24 October 2017 where a number of comments and amendments had been made.  In this regard, an updated response was tabled at the meeting for further consideration.

 

Whilst supporting the amendments suggested at the Local Plan Working Group, the Portfolio Holder requested that the following revisions be made to the Council’s response prior to its submission to the Government:

 

·             A glossary of terms be attached to the consultation response to provide an explanation and where appropriate, definition, of the acronyms used within the response.

 

In addition, where the response refers to Regulation 18 and 19, the definition of these Regulations be included as footnotes within the response;

 

·             Q1(a)(3) – in the sixth paragraph, the word “dupe” be amended to read “dpa”;

 

·             Q3 – the third sentence be amended to read “… standardised methodology being imposed if the proposed standardised methodology is not amended to address the concerns …”;

 

It was also agreed that the Head of Planning Services would split this sentence if appropriate;

 

·             Q4 – the response be expanded to include reference that the Council agrees with the approach that in circumstances plan makers can deviate from the proposed methodology;

 

·             Q5(a) – the last sentence be amended to read “It also ignores Councils which have consistently delivered above their adopted housing target.  Elmbridge has consistently exceeded its target by approximately 20% each year for the last 6 years.”;

 

·             Q5(c) – the Head of Planning Services expand the response to include wording that reflects that the Council was one of the authorities not included in the list of exceptions;

 

·             Q10(b) – the word “my” in the second sentence of the first paragraph be amended to read “may”;

 

·             Q11(b) – the word “rudimental” in the second sentence be amended to read “rudimentary”.

 

In addition, in the last sentence, the word “in” be deleted;

 

·             Q13 – the first sentence starting with “Yes”, be deleted; and

 

·             Q16 – the Head of Planning Services expand the response to include reference to how land values on a site by site basis could affect viability assessments.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning Services also took the opportunity to thank the Head of Planning Services and the Acting Planning Policy Manager for all the work undertaken in preparing the comprehensive consultation response.

 

RESOLVED that subject to the amendments above and the comments made at the Local Plan Working Group, the Council’s response to the Government’s ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’ consultation, as set out at Appendix A to these minutes, be agreed.

Supporting documents: