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To note any substitution of Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.
The following substitution of a Committee Member had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.
Councillor S Johnston for D Bennett.
To note apologies.
Anapology for absencewas received from Councillor D. Bennett.
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2016 (previously to follow).
The Minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2016 were not available and consideration of them was deferred.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS
To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on the Agenda.
Councillor M Cowan and Councillor S Johnston both declared an interest in items on the agenda as appropriate by virtue of being members of Hertfordshire County Council. Councillor S Boulton declared an interest by virtue of being a member of North Mymms Parish Council.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME AND PETITIONS
Up to fifteen minutes will be made available for questions from members of the public on issues relating to the work of the Panel and to receive any petitions.
(a) Public Petition – Stop Symondshyde Green Belt Development
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 42 a petition was presented and the petition organiser, Mr. J Gardner addressed the meeting.
‘Welwyn Hatfield Council are considering a major redevelopment of 1130 dwellings in the Green Belt adjacent to Symondshyde Great Wood. We strongly oppose the suggested development and ask you not to proceed with it into the consultation. It would destroy the rural and historic character of the local countryside and overload the local country lanes.
· The loss of recreational resources for walkers, cyclists and horse riders;
· Impacts wildlife;
· The site would be a major encroachment into the Green Belt corridor which is contrary to Government policy;
· The impact on local lanes, Coopers Green Lane and Marford Road;
· It adjoins Sandridge parish.’
(b) Public Questions
Notice of the following questions had been received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 31 -
1. Question to the Chairman, Councillor Stephen Boulton, from Mr. Peter Miller, Water End Residents Group
‘During the Local Plan process this Panel and the Planning Officers have consistently reiterated their desire to protect the Green Belt and to “Leave no stone unturned” in their assessment of sites.
North Mymms Parish Council (NMPC) recently submitted a considered proposal for a development at WeG8 New Barnfield in conjunction with Hat11 that would satisfy the proportional distribution of the OAN for North Mymms and minimise the harm to the Green Belt in the Parish by developing a brown field site in accordance with the NPPF.
There was no mention of this proposal at the last CHPP meeting on the 13 June, presumably because in the HELAA, WeG8 was found to be unsuitable because part of the site is an allocated waste site within the Hertfordshire Waste Development Framework.
The HELAA states that no decision has been made by the waste authority to alter the site allocation and because of the uncertainty of uses by the landowner (HCC) the site is considered unsuitable.
We find this perplexing because HCC are the promoters as well as the landowners of the site and one would assume that the significant financial benefits of developing the entire site for residential use would be a prime motivator for altering the site allocation.
Before the Panel rubberstamp the proposed submission, will you please satisfy yourselves that absolutely “no stone has been left unturned” with regard to New Barnfield and that there has been sufficient dialogue between WHBC and HCC?
It is extremely important that you do this because the NMPC proposal for WeG8 has now been given substantial weight by the inclusion of adjacent HAT11 in the proposed submission and you now have the very real and genuine opportunity to save the large open areas of Green Belt in North Mymms that have been proposed at BrP4 and BrP7.’
The Chairman read the following answer to the question:
‘Welwyn Hatfield has had a number of meetings with the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority regarding ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
Report of the Director (Governance) presents the Proposed Submission Local Plan to Members for their consideration and requests that the Proposed Submission Local Plan together with the Policies Map, Sustainability Appraisal and Infrastructure Delivery Plan be recommended to the Cabinet for publishing for public consultation under Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning ((Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 as amended.
The report of the Director (Governance) presented the Proposed Submission Local Plan to the Panel for their consideration. Members noted that Appendix A comprised the draft Local Plan, Appendix B the Policies Maps, Appendix C the Sustainability Appraisal Report and Appendix D the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
The Panel also received a presentation from the Head of Planning which explained that the UK had a plan-led planning system and the Council had a duty to prepare Local Plan. The Council also had a duty to co-operate with adjoining authorities and other bodies. The Local Plan covered the period 2013-2032 and contained strategic vision, site allocations and development management policies. Policies Maps showed allocations and designations and there was a Sustainability Appraisal as well as an Infrastructure Delivery Plan. Once adopted, planning applications would have to be determined in accordance with Local Plan policies, unless material considerations indicated otherwise.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expected Local Plans to deliver sustainable pattern of development –
“Local Plans should meet objectively assessed need for development, unless any adverse impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh benefits, when assessed against policies in the Framework as a whole or specific policies indicate development should be restricted.”
Consultation responses had favoured that growth be more fairly distributed to towns and villages around the borough; raised concerns about impact of growth on green belt and infrastructure; warned against risk of settlements merging; and queried scope for new settlements.
However, exceptional circumstances existed to release land from the green belt as there was a significant shortfall against objective assessment of need and socio-economic impacts of not meeting housing needs and not creating new jobs.
The results of the Objective Assessment of Need were as follows -
Independent consultants recommended the need for 5.4 hectares (138,000 square metres) of new employment land over plan period
Proposed Submission identifies sites for 116,400 square metres new employment land on urban and green belt land
Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)
Independent consultants recommended the need for 12,616 - 13,433 new homes over plan period
Proposed Submission identifies sites for 12,082 new homeson urban and green belt land
With regard to sources of housing supply, the target was based on objective analysis of suitability, availability and achievability of all promoted urban and green belt sites and subjective analysis of green belt purposes, transport issues, infrastructure capacity, etc.
· Allowance for windfall 1,315
The target equated to 49% in urban areas and 51% on green belt and Areas of Special Restraint (ASR) sites. Also, the target equated to 74% in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield and 26% in villages and rural areas.
With regard to sources of employment land, based on objective analysis of suitability, availability and achievability of all promoted urban and green belt sites and subjective analysis of green belt purposes, transport issues, infrastructure capacity, etc the position was:- ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
Report of the Director (Governance) requests the Panel to recommend the Cabinet to approve the content of the Stage 1 Green Corridor document for informal consultation alongside the draft Local Plan, with a view to proceeding to Stage 2 of the Green Corridor proposals, once any responses to the consultation have been taken into account.
The report of the Director (Governance) updated Members on the progress of work looking at opportunities to enhance green infrastructure, specifically with reference to the Council’s proposal to develop a green corridor running east to west across the borough between Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield (as identified in the previous Local Plan consultation document January 2015). This was being undertaken in the context of proposals for major housing development sites in this area.
A copy of the Stage 1 Green Corridor document was set out at Appendix A to the report which explained the policy and area context for the green corridor, identified the results of consultation with land owners and key stakeholders, and then set out the vision and objectives for the green corridor, identifying projects and proposals that would help to deliver these. Once fully developed, it was intended that the document would provide a framework for taking forward the Council’s plans for a green corridor to support the Local Plan, and provide an important element for the master planning of the strategic growth sites around Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield. The following maps were tabled –
· Proposed Location of Green Corridor
· Area Descriptions
· Strategic Green Links
· Existing Rights of Way and Cycle Routes
· Major Development Sites
That the Cabinet be recommended to approve the content of the Stage 1 Green Corridor document as set out at Appendix A to the report of the Director (Governance) for consultation alongside the Proposed Submission Local Plan, with a view to proceeding to Stage 2 of the Green Corridor proposals, once any responses to the consultation have been taken into account.