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Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive apologies for absence and declarations of interest.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Harris and Mills.
Councillor Barker declared a personal interest as a County Councillor for Great Dunmow.
Councillor Dean declared a personal interest because his wife was a volunteer at, and a member of the trustees of, the Gardens of Easton Lodge.
In response to a statement from Councillor Redfern, the Chairman said Highways England were looking at turning the M11 into a smart motorway. The timing of community facilities and additional access to the proposed North Uttlesford garden community were both issues the council was aware of. The question of a buffer zone was an ongoing discussion. It was important not to underestimate development plan documents. They would be a crucial means of engaging with the local community.
To review action points from the previous meeting.
The Chairman said officers had not had much time to address the action points but that they would be followed up.
Councillor Lodge asked about a Highways England study which proposed a limit to additional houses built to the east of Saffron Walden, and how this proposal fitted in with allocations in the plan and existing permissions. The Chairman said officers would clarify this point.
To consider the Regulation 19 pre-submission draft Local Plan.
Councillor Barker said officers were working to fix typographical and formatting errors in the plan.
The Planning Policy Team Leader gave a presentation regarding the Regulation 19 Pre-Submission draft Local Plan. He said an amendment to Policy SP11 had been circulated to members. Officers felt this new wording was clearer.
In response to a question from Councillor Lodge asking how Uttlesford District Council could take account of the ONS’s reduced population forecast for the district, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the ONS would need to turn that population forecast into a household forecast. It would take four months to do this. Uttlesford District Council could only use the latest household projections to inform the plan.
The Planning Policy Team Leader said the government’s standardised methodology to determine a household figure for Uttlesford District did not take into account an additional number of houses to act as a buffer figure.
Councillor Barker said it was common for plan inspectors to suggest modifications to Regulation 19 Local Plans. An inspector was likely to do the same for Uttlesford’s plan.
Councillor Lodge asked whether it was appropriate to have wording in the main report referencing a potential east-west rapid transport scheme. The Director – Public Services said one of the main functions of the local plan was to provide a basis to seek external resources. Since funding for the scheme had not yet been found, reference to the scheme was suitable.
In response to points made by members throughout the discussion, the Chairman said work was ongoing to create a more consistent style to present equal weight to areas of allocations throughout the plan.
Members considered each chapter of the local plan individually.
The Chairman said the foreword to the plan would be rewritten.
The Chairman asked for a specific reference to installing a cycle link North Uttlesford Garden Community and Saffron Walden to the cycle path from Cambridge to Hinxton. The Planning Policy Team Leader said officers would look to be more specific on this wording.
Councillor Barker asked for reference to be included to the importance of mobile phone signal.
Councillor Lodge said there seemed to be a contradiction in retail policy between pages 63 and 146 of the agenda document, concerning the locations of facilities. The Planning Policy Team Leader said officers would look again at the wording.
In response to a question from Councillor Dean, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the affordable housing plan document would look to provide further detail on housing within the district. Work had not yet commenced on this document.
Councillor Dean raised concerns on the subject of carbon emissions from aviation and the need for a clear policy on night flights at Stansted Airport. Officers agreed to take these issues up with Councillor Dean after the meeting.
Councillor Barker said reference should be made as to when Carver Barracks was intended to close so that it was clear it could be available for the next local plan.
In response to concerns ... view the full minutes text for item 3.