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Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive apologies for absence and declarations of interest.
Councillor Barker said Councillor Rolfe had asked her to chair the meeting as he was running late.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Loughlin and Ranger.
Councillor Barker declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of Essex County Council, and because she had made representations regarding the Local Plan.
Councillor Rolfe entered the meeting.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the meeting on 20 November 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman subject to the following amendment to PP29:
The Chairman said that officers had asked for a more fundamental, rather than light-touch, update of the sustainability appraisal. This was identified as a modification of option 3 in the report.
The Chairman said that he had been informed of the update to the sustainability appraisal about a week before other members. Officers had asked for a more fundamental, rather than light-touch, update of the sustainability appraisal. This was identified as option 3 in the report.
To consider the Local Plan – Update Sustainability Appraisal.
The Planning Policy Team Leader gave a summary of the report and the Sustainability Appraisal. The Sustainability Appraisal had been updated and was to be published for a representation period. It would then be submitted, as well as comments made during the representation period, to the Inspector for consideration alongside the Local Plan. The updated Sustainability Appraisal indicated that the strategy in the Local Plan was the most appropriate to deliver its objectives.
In response to a Member question, officers said previous legal advice shared with members of the Planning Policy Working Group had given guidance on the Council running the submission of the Local Plan and the consultation on the Sustainability Appraisal in parallel. This advice was subject to legal privilege. Officers would check whether it could be circulated more widely.
In response to a Member question, the Chairman said that the Sustainability Appraisal included references to alternative sites not included in the Local Plan. These could be brought into the Local Plan if other sites were found to be problematic to develop.
In response to Member questions, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the Local Plan would inevitably have some negative impacts, only some of which could be mitigated. Mitigation measures would not be addressed in the Sustainability Appraisal
The Chairman asked that officers try to correct many of the spelling errors in the Sustainability Appraisal.
Cllr Redfern and D Hall spoke on this item.
To consider the Local Plan – representations update.
The Planning Policy Team Leader gave a summary of the report. Officers had summarised the representations from the Regulation 19 representation period in the summer and the Addendum of Focussed Changes representation period in the autumn. The summary of the representations and the full representations themselves would be submitted to the Secretary of State alongside the Local Plan in January.
The Planning Policy Team Leader noted the Regulation 19 representation period differed from the Regulation 18 consultation period, in that the former only gathered representations to pass onto the Inspector at the Local Plan examination, as opposed to gathering representations to which the Council would respond by seeking to amend the Local Plan.
The Planning Policy Team Leader noted it was expected the Water Cycle Study would be complete in February and the Sport and Recreation Study would be complete in April. The Heritage Impact Assessment would be updated and may also be submitted later than the Local Plan. The Stansted to Braintree Rapid Transit System Progress Update and the North Uttlesford Mass Transit Opportunities Study were also still ongoing and might be submitted a week later than the Local Plan.
In response to a member question, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the two transit studies were very much focusing on specific areas, rather than links between the north and south of Uttlesford. Councillor Rolfe said the Council was taking account of links between north and south Uttlesford. Highways England was looking into turning north Junction 8 on the M11 into a smart motorway and there was discussion with the rail network about links between the airport and the north of the district. There was nothing regarding rapid transit systems, but this was something that officers should keep in mind.
The Planning Policy Team Leader said officers were aiming to submit the Local Plan and supporting documents on 18 January. The examination was likely to start following the district elections on 2 May.
Councillor Rolfe said there would be another meeting of the group in order to review supporting documents which had not yet been received.
K McDonald spoke on this item.
The meeting closed at 6.35.