Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Link: Video recording

No. Item


Apologies for absence and substitutions


Councillor Miller was replaced by Councillor Falconer.

Councillor Gavin James sent apologies.



Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Urgent matters

To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.



There were no urgent items.


Minutes of the meeting held on 4th July pdf icon PDF 224 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.


The minutes of the meeting held on 4 July were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Local Plan Update pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Contact Officer:        Jo Brombley


The Council’s current local plan was adopted in May 2016 and requires review prior to May 2021. An initial review of the plan has been completed which concluded that the council should progress an update to the plan at this stage. This was agreed by full council in May 2019.


The key factor driving the need to update the Plan at this stage is publication of new Government guidance in 2018 which states that if an area’s local housing need figure has changed or is likely to change significantly as a result of the introduction of a new method for calculating housing need, then an earlier review is likely to be required. Evidence suggests that the borough’s Local Housing Need (LHN) is highly likely to change as a result of the introduction of the Government’s standard method in 2018.


The report outlines potential issues for inclusion in the Local Plan Update, in order to seek members’ initial views on its scope.


The Leader of the Council introduced the Local Plan Update report. The Leader commented that he was in communication with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on a regular basis to ensure that they were aware of the long-term aspirations of the borough and the requirement for combining infrastructure improvements with the plan. 


The Planning Policy Manager discussed potential areas where the update could focus and explained that the review of the Local Plan represented a significant piece of work. Legislation required a review of all the policies, but not necessarily to update all, as a number were currently working effectively and well. That said, legal requirements would still require considerable evidence based work to justify that current policies were fit for purpose.


It was confirmed that work would be undertaken in conjunction with key infrastructure partners to support the plan.


The committee commended the report and made the following observations and comments:


·         It was clarified that it was not currently possible to calculate a housing allocations figure due to general uncertainty. It was reported that the figure was likely to be higher than the current requirement for 850 dwellings per annum, but would change at least once a year due to the calculation being based on frequently updated population projections and affordability data. The new figure would be imposed on the borough in May 2021, when the Local Plan was five years old.


Concern was expressed at the new method of calculation and particularly any proposed increase to the 850 new homes housing figure, and how the government’s statutory target of 300,000 homes a year would be apportioned across the country. Members were opposed to the number being increased.


The Leader commented that he was due to meet with the Minister for Housing Communities and Local Government and would make representations that the government should focus on quality and to raise the standard of buildings rather than the number.  He further stated that he would lobby for a housing figure appropriate to the borough.


·         There was a general view from members that the current Local Plan was working well and that policies should only be changed where changes were necessary in light of national guidance.


·         Clarification was sought in relation to the suggested introduction of a more prescriptive housing mix policy.  It was explained that in support of the Local Plan a new strategic housing market assessment would be undertaken which would help to inform the size and type of dwellings required to meet local need.


It was noted that the current Local Plan policies CN3 (Housing Mix for Market Housing) and CN4 (housing for Older People), were quite high level. Officers explained that a more detailed policy approach could provide a stronger negotiating tool. It was suggested that the Local Plan update should consider including a policy on Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), and a clearer and tighter approach to viability. Two-bed above ground floor flatted policy should also be considered.


·         It was queried whether the policy that allowed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19/19


Review of work programme pdf icon PDF 184 KB

The Committee is asked to note and review its Work Programme and to receive updates from the Lead Members of Task and Finish Groups.



The Committee reviewed its work programme.


·         The Chair reported that he was in discussions with the Portfolio Holder for Homes and Families, and the Service Lead for Housing and Social Inclusion in relation to including a paper in response to Cllr James flatted development work suggestion form.

·         It was requested that the agenda for the 7th November include an update from the Management Companies Task & Finish group.

·         Democratic Services Officer to arrange a further meeting of the SS9 policy Task & Finish group.