Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel
Thursday 6th September 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Gurdip Paddan 

Items
No. Item

84.

SUBSTITUTIONS

To note any substitution of Committee Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19 – 22.

Minutes:

The follow substitution of Panel Member had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22:-

 

Councillor J.Boulton for Councillor S.Boulton.

85.

APOLOGY

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor S.Boulton.

86.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 August 2018 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 August 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

87.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS BY MEMBERS

To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor P.Zukowskyj declared a non-pecuniary interest in items on the agenda as appropriate by virtue of being a Member of Hertfordshire County Council.

88.

REVISED NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK (NPPF) JULY 2018 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which was published on 24 July 2018. It sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. 

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which was published on 24 July 2018.  It set out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.

 

The revised NPPF can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-planning-policy-framework--2

 

The report noted that the revised NPPF replaced the previous National Planning Policy Framework published in March 2012.  Alongside the publication of the revised NPPF, the Government updated Planning Practice Guidance on viability, the standard methodology for calculating housing need and published a Housing Delivery Test measurement rule book. 

 

The fundamental planning principles contained in the original NPPF are unchanged. The purpose of the planning system continued to be to contribute to sustainable development (of which there are three dimensions: economic, social and environmental). The revised NPPF retains a presumption in favour of sustainable development and reaffirms that the planning system should be plan-led.

 

The revisions to the NPPF focused more strongly on the delivery of homes to meet need and put greater responsibility and accountability on councils for the delivery of housing. It should also be noted that the revised NPPF goes much further than the previous NPPF in terms of promoting high quality design of new housing and places.

 

The report outlined the key revisions to the NPPF and identified any potentially significant implications for the Council as the local planning authority.

 

Officers advised that a report was presented to the Panel on 12 April 2018 detailing the proposed changes to the NPPF, their potential implications and setting out the Council’s proposed response to the consultation.  The Panel made comments on the proposed response and authorised the Head of Planning to prepare and submit a final response in consultation with the Executive Member for Planning. 

 

The following points were made:

 

·         Will there be any combining of local authorities to meet the housing requirement?  It was difficult to provide a response at present.

·         The tests of soundness relating to the examination of plans had slightly been amended due to the revised NPPF.

·         The need to co-operate to a greater extent with neighbouring local authorities.

·         Effective use of land – easier to build on brownfield sites then green belt.

·         One of the greatest risk in respect of the revised NPPF surrounds the introduction of a Housing Delivery Test.  Consideration was given to the number of homes which are built significantly below the identified number that need to be delivered (below 75%) then the Council would have failed the test and its policies would therefore be rendered as out of date.  Concern was raised in respect of control being taken away from the Council when determining planning applications.

·         There will be added pressure on the Planning Team due the extra work required.

 

            RESOLVED

 

That the Panel notes the revised NPPF and the identified implications of the revisions for plan-making and planning decisions.

 

 

89.

GREEN BELT STUDY STAGE 3 AND NEXT STEPS pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Report of Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), which considers the findings of that Green Belt Study and the implications for the Local Plan. It considers the next steps and different approaches the Local Plan could take in identifying sufficient land to meet the Objectively Assessed Need for Housing.

 

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Green Belt Study stage 3 and the next steps.  The Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan had been submitted and was currently undergoing public examination by an independent inspector. The inspector had indicated that the Plan was not currently ‘sound’ as it did not meet the objectively assessed need for housing. The submitted Plan contained sites for 12,000 homes but the housing need was acknowledged to be about 16,000 homes to 2033. The inspector had therefore asked the Council to carry out a further Green Belt Study to seek to identify additional sites for housing.

This report considered the findings of that Green Belt Study and the implications for the Local Plan. It considered the next steps and different approaches the Local Plan could take in identifying sufficient land to meet the Objectively Assessed Need for Housing.

The Green Belt Study and its accompanying appendices had been published on the examination pages of the Council’s website (reference EX88) http://www.welhat.gov.uk/article/6938/Examination-Documents

Section 7 of this report identified a number of risks associated with different development strategies and the risk of the inspector finding the plan unsound, defaulting to the NPPF standard methodology for calculating local housing need and/or the Council having its plan-making powers removed.

Members received a presentation on the Local Plan and Green Belt Study which covered the follow:

·      Local Plan - Objective need is for about 16,000 homes

·      Green Belt - Main characteristics of green belts is their openness and permanence

·      Green Belt Study - NPPF requires Council to consider sustainable patterns of development when deciding which green belt land to release

·      Washed-over Villages - Study reviews whether villages that are currently covered by green belt should remain so, and if not, could any of them be expanded to deliver new homes

·      Parcel Assessment

·      New Settlement

·      Findings and next steps

Members gave consideration to the three approaches listed within the report and the implications to each approach. Approach three would be quicker but the harm to areas within the green belt would be high.  Concern was expressed regarding high density building and harm to green belt land together with meeting housing numbers.  The use of employment land was discussed and Officers advised that there would be implications for the Borough in terms of the Housing Delivery Test and the five year land supply with the longer timescale associated with Approach One.  This was a difficult decision and one that had to be balanced taking into account the situation and being guided by the inspector.  The implications of having planning powers removed from the Council were discussed together with the potential impact on the community.

In respect of the Green Belt Study, one member observed that it was very objective in respect of NPPF purposes and harm judgement and pointed out that residents, parish councils and community groups could have very subjective thoughts on which bits of green belt they consider to be most important and worthy of protection in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

FIVE YEAR LAND SUPPLY pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), which provides an interim update to the five year land supply (5YLS) which, although the Council is not required to publish, is supportive to the ongoing local plan examination, as well as being beneficial in assisting with planning application decisions and appeals. The five year land supply position is presented as of 31/05/2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), which provided an interim update to the five year land supply (5YLS); although the Council is not required to publish an update but it supports the ongoing Local Plan examination, as well as being beneficial in assisting with planning application decisions and appeals.  The five year land supply position was presented as of 31 May 2018.

 

The report noted that where the strategic policies in local plans are more than five years old, the assessment of local housing need should be used.  This has been defined in the |national Planning Policy Framework (Annex 2) as the number of homes identified as being needed through the application of the standard method set out in national planning guidance or a justified alternative approach.  Given that there is the potential for imminent changes to the standard method approach, as well as the fact that the Draft Local Plan is now going through examination and gaining increasing weight, it has been concluded that using housing target identified in the Draft Local Plan was a justified alternative approach in this instance.  This approach would be tested at the Entech House planning inquiry which opens later this month. 

 

Concern was expressed regarding land owners looking at sites that become available and how small sites can contribute towards the housing target and their bearing. The Panel discussed the scenarios presented within the report which explored the Council’s published method in order to assess what impact they would have on the 5YLS.  It was noted that the National Planning Policy Framework requires that either a 5% or 20% buffer be added depending on whether an area had seen ‘significant under delivery of housing over the previous three years’.  The five year land supply has been met in all scenarios with the impact of the differing methodologies summarised below:

 

Methodology

Five Year Land Supply

Published Method – 5% buffer

6.62

Scenario A – 5% buffer

6.41

Scenario B – 5% buffer

5.97

Published Method – 20% buffer

5.91

Scenario A – 20% buffer

5.71

Scenario B – 20% buffer

5.36

           

RESOLVED

 

That the Panel notes the update to the five year land supply and that this will now be formally published on the Council’s website.