The Planning Policy Team Leader said this section of the report gave overarching summaries of each chapter.
In response to a question from the Chairman regarding emerging and adopted neighbourhood plans, the Planning Policy Team Leader said a new section could potentially be added to the Local Plan discussing neighbourhood plans in detail.
Councillor Barker said people liked Uttlesford as it was and did not want to see development on the intended scale. However many did not follow the Council’s progress with the plan, and so were unaware that it was doing its best to mitigate the impact of the new houses that would be constructed. Other districts round Uttlesford had to do the same and it was important to look at the big picture. The Council needed to keep emphasising that it was trying to mitigate the negative effects of the Local Plan.
The Chairman said there had been general collective support across Uttlesford for the way the plan was laid out.
Councillor Loughlin said there was a response made to the consultation on page 19 that said oral comments made at Local Plan forums had not been summarised in the report.
The Planning Policy Team Leader said he was unable to say how oral comments had been taken into account, because he had only joined the Council after the last forum had been held.
The Chairman said it was difficult to weight verbal comments, but it was also necessary to take account of them.
Councillor Mills suggested that a book be provided for people to write comments at future forums, and the Planning Policy Team Leader said staff members could also offer to minute statements for those uncomfortable with providing written responses.
Councillor Lodge noted summaries of representations made on retail on page 44, which said there were doubts that garden communities would reach the size necessary to support local retail centres. Encouraging those in new garden communities to travel to other towns for retail would be something the Local Plan should avoid.
The Chairman said the challenge was that shoppers would go wherever the best retail offers were. Shopping habits may well have changed by the end of the Local Plan period. However garden communities of the size planned would have attractive retail offers.
Councillor Lodge said an area which Council policy had failed was the provision of sports provision in developments. He hoped it was an area which the Council would be beefing up as part of its strategy.
The Chairman said he thought the aim to increase sports provision would come out in the strategy. He supported the principle of Councillor Lodge’s argument, but securing funding for sports facilities was a challenge. Developer contributions were the easiest route for securing funding. The increasing population and prominence of the wellbeing agenda meant further facilities were needed. The Council needed to be engaging with the appropriate people and would be failing in its duty if the consultation was not extensive. Sport was a key issue. The running track planned for Carver Barracks was a recent achievement on sport.
Councillor Dean said it was very important that the public be thoroughly engaged in the development of the sport strategy.
The Chairman said engagement would often be with the relevant sporting bodies too.
Councillor Mills said the reason for the long period of time it would take to complete the sports strategy was that it had a very wide brief, as it was looking at how the strategy would be implemented, as well as what was needed.
Councillor Lees entered the meeting.