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Apologies for absence and declarations of interest
To receive any apologies and declarations of interest.
There were no apologies for absence or declarations of interest.
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2020 be agreed as an accurate record.
To consider the Issues and Options report.
The Local Plans and New Communities Manager presented the report.
In response to questions, officers clarified the following about the Issues and Options stage of developing the new Local Plan:
· The Community Stakeholder Forum will be considering nine local plan themes over a seven-month period. For each topic, there will be an online presentation given by an external speaker, followed by an online discussion by the forum. Both the speaker’s presentation and a link to the full forum meeting will be available for residents to access on the website.
· To date, the Community Stakeholder Forum have met twice, and a small number of residents have already engaged with the consultation, following these meetings. It not unusual for consultations to receive a low level of responses when they first open, and officers expect it to gain traction as it is advertised further through methods such as social media and a leaflet drop.
· All nine local plan themes will remain open throughout the consultation.
· Officers will be working with multiple organisations, including the Environment Agency and Water Board, to provide evidence around infrastructure within the new Local Plan.
· The membership of the Community Stakeholder Forum is published on the Council’s website and officers are currently gathering short biographies on each individual to include alongside this which will establish why they have been chosen to represent their special interest area.
· The forum structure is an entirely new idea for developing the Local Plan and the membership of the Community Stakeholder Forum came from officers asking networks for nominations of people they think would be appropriate.
· The Special interest areas originated from a report which was previously present to and agreed by the working group.
Members raised concerns about the membership of the Community Stakeholder Forum, particularly around the recruitment process and the bias to the north of the district. It was confirmed that the panel is not intended to represent the whole community, but rather to generate a conversation for the public to comment on, however officers recognised that the majority of members were from northern areas of the district so ensured that the outstanding vacancies were sourced from southern areas. Councillors thanked officers for listening to members and changing the process in light of their concerns.
In addition, members requested that officers consider holding another Town and Parish Council Forum as this would allow another opportunity for stakeholders to engage with the consultation.
RESOLVED: That the proposed approach set out in this report be noted.
To consider the Call for Sites report.
The New Communities Senior Planning Officer presented the report and introduced the three options for mapping to accompany the call for sites.
Members discussed their preferences and indicated that, should content maps be chosen, officers consider including addition information on the maps, such as Metropolitan Green Belt and healthcare facilities, including those across the district border which are used by Uttlesford residents. They recognised that, in developing a new local plan, there was an opportunity for fresh thinking and that the plan needs to reflect changing needs in areas such as employment, transport, internet and climate change.
In response to further member’s questions about the Call for Sites process, officers clarified the following:
· A Call for Site will be put out and officers will then seek to develop a strategy with options for delivering the Local Plan. By developing a strategy, submissions can then be assessed on whether they can satisfy the requirements set out.
· The assessment criteria will also consider information not currently included on the maps, such as GP surgeries and Metropolitan Green Belt.
· If officers do not receive submissions which satisfy their strategy’s requirements, they will then approach local site owners and ask them to consider putting their site forward.
· The transport forecast for Stansted Airport is out of date, along with the evidence base which was used to inform the previous Local Plan. Officers are in touch with the Department for Transport and have requested guidance to support transport assessments. This, however, does not impact the Call for Sites.
· Officers will consider a range of site for residential and commercial use. In the case of larger sites, they could also be considered for mixed usage.
Councillor Lees proposed, and Councillor Reeves seconded, a motion that the group recommend Option 3. This was agreed unanimously.
1. the Group’s preference for option three for the mapping to accompany the call for sites be confirmed.
2. the proposed approach to preparing a site submission form, subject to any amendments agreed with the Portfolio Holder, be endorsed.
To consider the LPLG’s draft meeting schedule for February – June 2021.
The group noted the draft meeting schedule for February to June 2021.