To consider the report of the Chief Planning Officer, outlining initial considerations for the SAP review. The report highlights that the CSSR was adopted by Council on 11th September, so an immediate review of the SAP in light of the revised lower housing target is now needed.
Further to the minutes of the meeting held, Monday 24th June 2019, the report of the Chief Planning Officer invited the Panel to note the initial considerations in reviewing the SAP housing allocations.
The report details that the Core Strategy Selective Review (CSSR) was adopted by Full Council on the 11th September, and the SAP Policy HGR1 requires the Council to undertake an immediate review of the SAP, to look at whether there is a need for additional housing; this would be in light of the lower housing target.
The Head of Strategic Planning presented the report, and provided some background context and history on the position of the SAP, and highlighted:
· The Adopted Site Allocations Plan (2019) identifies land for 59,718 homes between 2012 and 2028;
· 46,352 (net) homes will be needed as set out in Policy SP6 and this takes into account the need to add demolitions of housing and discount a windfall allowance;
· The technical exercises of work required to be completed to inform the evidence base will include:
o Extending the plan period
o Discounting housing sites already built between 2012-2017
o Taking account of past delivery rates in individual market areas
o Look at the up to date deliverability of the housing supply
o Consider the effect of any permissions granted since adoption of SAP (check for changes to SAP site capacities or large windfalls)
o Consider the need for buffers and flexibility
· The indicative timetable – Submission by late 2020, and adoption by mid-2021.
Discussions with the Panel, highlighted the following matters:
Brownfield Sites. A Member commented that in order to come forward with any additional housing sites to meet the housing needs up to 2033, a comprehensive review of brownfield sites would be needed. In response, the Head of Strategic Planning explained that the infill of brownfield sites would be reviewed against the Spatial Policy 1 (SP1): Location of Development; it was averaged that over the last 5 years, brownfield permissions averaged at approximately 74%. In addition, Members were informed that sites they wish to recommend for allocation, or on which they have further information, officers can assess these against existing records. In addition to this, a Member queried the formalities of replacing a Greenfield site for a Brownfield site in the SAP; it was confirmed that those Greenfield sites already adopted as housing allocations, will remain allocated, and this wouldn’t be an option through the SAP review.
Gypsy and Traveller site provision. A Member requested to receive further clarity on the terminology of a ‘Gypsy and Traveller site’. In responding, officers explained that the term related solely to permanent caravan provision. Additionally, it was reiterated that the Inspector had agreed the plan is sound, subject to those sites being monitored, and should the required 13 sites not be met by 2023, an individual site review for provision will be required.
CS Spatial Policy 7 – Housing Distribution. Further information was sought on how all of the Housing Market Characteristic Areas (HMCA) would benefit from the distribution of housing, and raised concern around the deliverability in providing additional sites before 2033. The Head of Strategic Planning explained that officers would take into account the level of need, the availability of sites and the infrastructure in each HMCA; the SAP includes 50k homes which the Inspector considered deliverable. Additionally, it was added that the Inspector considered and accepted those sites put forward from Members of the Panel.
Climate Emergency. Following the Climate Emergency declaration, Members’ sought clarity on how climate issues will be fed into future planning applications, and identified the need to introduce recommendations which reflect the future sustainability of developments. In responding, the Chief Planning Officer explained this would be an on-going process, taking on board the Inspector’s and Members’ comments, and identifying broader issues. Moving forward, it has been acknowledged that policies would be embedded in a more strategic fashion.
Density. A Member suggested that the density of residential land use be reviewed, as an extra technical exercise for officers to undertake as part of their remit of work. The Panel were informed that the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) strengthened the council’s available land supply; providing a stronger indication on the additional land needed. It was noted that site capacities were indicative and could be higher. Furthermore, the Chief Planning Officer added that an integrated approach would be taken, and work would be undertaken with the university to model density.
a) To note the contents of the report and the discussions held at the meeting;
b) To note the intention to receive a further report in due course.