Agenda item

West Essex and East Hertfordshire Assessment of Employment Needs


In response to statements by public speakers, the Chairman said the number of houses Uttlesford District Council was working towards in its local plan was 14,100, and this figure had been examined a number of times. This was in comparison to the number generated by central government’s new methodology which was 16,200. If the Council’s plan went through on time, then Uttlesford would only need to build 14,100 houses.


In response to a statement from Tony Clarke, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the purpose of the report was to inform the local plans for Uttlesford and other councils in the FEMA area. Evidence used in the local plan had to be as up to date as possible, but there would always be new evidence emerging. The evidence in the report was recent and was appropriate to base the local plan on. The industrial land space requirement was 22ha and office requirement of 2-5ha, which was not a large requirement in the context of 16,000 jobs, but it was only taking into account the B-use elements of the forecast. The local plan would identify the land to meet this requirement. He would respond to Tony Clarke’s question about how many jobs there were in Uttlesford District at present and how many there would be in 2033.


In response to a statement from Michael Young, the Planning Policy Team Leader said the jobs growth figure for Stansted Airport related to a high level of growth. The estimated growth of jobs at the airport by the end of 2030 was about 10000, including direct on-airport, direct off-airport and indirect and induced jobs.


The working group considered the report.


Councillor Barker said there was a discrepancy between the moderated and preferred baseline figures for total FEMA jobs created between 2011 and 2016, despite the fact that this period had already passed. She asked who had decided what the preferred scenario was and what the rationale was behind the large difference in the moderated baseline figure and preferred baseline figure between 2011 and 2033.


In response to Councillor Barker, the Planning Policy Team Leader said he would speak to the consultants for an explanation on Councillor Barker’s point. This explanation would be circulated to the working group.


Councillor Dean said housing needed to be planned for. The process of working out the total number of jobs needed to be reconciled with the total housing number.


The Chairman said there needed to be the right amount of employment space in Uttlesford to match the planned number of houses. The report indicated the balance of employment space to houses. Employment would be a key aspect of the new communities.


Councillor Lodge said he would like to see further analysis of the figures in the report. He asked what the real effect of employment in new towns on commuting in Uttlesford would be.


The Planning Policy Team Leader said that garden community principles aimed to make the proposed new towns as self-contained as they could be. They would give people the opportunity to live and work in the same place, or to commute by sustainable means.


The Planning Policy Team Leader said the report was a piece of evidence which would be used to inform the local plan. The plan would need to monitor the implementation and impact of its key policies including employment provision. Officers would report annually to the Council on this once the plan had been implemented, examining the number of jobs that had been created in Uttlesford, whether that number reflected the planned growth of jobs and if not, what steps could be taken to resolve the issue.


The Chairman said one of the advantages of garden communities was that the balance of houses took account of the need for accommodation to be affordable for all residents of Uttlesford.


The Chairman said proposed new site allocations would be provided to members in advance of the meeting on 23 May. The Chief Executive had recommended there should be political group discussions with planners. Those discussions would be a good opportunity to talk about new site allocations before they were brought to the working group.


Tony Clarke and Michael Young spoke on this item. A copy of Michael Young’s statement is appended to these minutes


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