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Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive any apologies and declarations of interest.
Apologies were received from Councillors Howell and Loughlin.
Councillor Barker declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of Essex County Council.
Councillor Dean declared a personal non-pecuniary interest as a member of Stop Stansted Expansion and as his wife was a member of the Board of the Gardens of Easton Lodge.
To consider the Regulation 19 pre-submission draft Local Plan.
Councillor Lodge said he wished to speak first. The Chairman said the motion would first need to be proposed and seconded.
Officers gave a presentation on the Regulation 19 pre-submission draft Local Plan.
The Director – Public Services gave a summary of the reports and documents for consideration, and reminded members of the sequence of events since the meeting of the Planning Policy Working Group on 31 May. Cabinet had generally agreed the changes proposed by the Working Group, and accepted additional changes proposed by members, which were identified in the papers before Members. The Leader had, at the meeting of Cabinet, agreed to consider further some of the points raised in public speaking and in the subsequent debate on these points by portfolio holders present. Consequently the Leader had made an urgent executive decision on these matters, which were included in the papers for consideration by Full Council, together with the officer advice on matters related to all the sites that the Leader agreed to consider further post Cabinet.
The Director – Public Services said all reports as just described were therefore set out for clarity and transparency, and as many of the changes particularly affected Chapter 3, this part of the report had been re-provided in full.
The Director – Public Services then spoke on a further issue which had arisen since the Cabinet meeting. This issue was the publication by the North Essex councils of a letter received from the Inspector appointed to examine their plans. The letter advisesd those councils of the steps that the Inspector considered necessary for the common section1 element of those councils’ respective local plans to be made sound and legally compliant. The Chief Executive had written to all Members of Uttlesford District Council about this matter.
The Director – Public Services said whilst the letter was not about the Uttlesford Local Plan, there were some key issues that were relevant to its preparation, which were: additional evidence about trunk road improvements; the proposed rapid transport system for North Essex; delivery of market and affordable housing.
The Director – Public Services said the proposals before Members did not seek to predetermine that the garden communities could only be delivered using the locally led development corporation. At examination, the Council’s case would be supported by promoter representation. The North Essex letter confirmed how Inspectors had been asked by Government to work with councils in order to get a sound plan. This council had prior notice of the strength of evidence its inspector would be likely to need to see, and a window to further strengthen the case as required before submission, if it accepted the recommendations tonight. The proposals before Members were in locations benefitting from a stronger housing market than parts of North Essex, they did not include a proposal on the scale of Braintree/ Colchester borders and rapid transit was a simpler proposition in the Uttlesford context linking to the local and regional interchange at the airport.
The Director – Public ... view the full minutes text for item 2.