By way of introducing the agenda item for discussion, the Leader of Council said that the Local Plan supported the Council’s Corporate Plan priorities and was important for meeting the priority to promote inward investment and job creation. Together with the Council’s Economic Growth Strategy, it set the framework for achieving the Council’s economic ambitions. Not only did it help to deliver the economic strategy, it also made provision for new housing to meet local needs, supported the growth of the workforce, and other development requirements, and supported the provision of key new infrastructure. He further raised a number of key points as follows:
1. The Local Plan was not therefore a stand-alone document, as it set with other Council documents to try to achieve the Council’s wider ambitions for the area. These included the Economic Growth Strategy; the Housing Strategy and the Corporate Plan in particular.
2. Following the decision by Council on 18 January 2018, the Cabinet report before Members set out two options for taking the Plan forward. Those options were:
i. To publish the draft Plan for comment as recommended to Council in January (this is the recommendation of officers); that is, with the Airport site allocated for mixed-use development; or
ii. To publish a draft Plan which provides the opportunity for the Development consent Order (DCO) process for the Airport to continue, and re-allocates the 2,500 dwellings from the airport site to other locations within the district.
3. Under Option (2), draft Policy SP05 would be deleted, and replaced with text that recognised the existing use of the Airport and acknowledged the current Development Consent Order (DCO) process for the site. This approach also provided the opportunity for any other interested parties to pursue the operational use of the airport through agreement with the landowners or through becoming an indemnity partner as part of a potential CPO process with the Council.
4. The statement regarding existing use was not a policy statement but recognition of the current planning status of the site. The current Policy EC4 (and other Airport-related policies) would not be continued or replaced with equivalent policies in the new Local Plan.
5. However, Policy EC4 and related policies would continue to carry weight in planning decisions until the new Local Plan was adopted, and officers had been asked to make that clearer in the report and in the proposed Local Plan text. The alternative housing sites were set out in the report under consideration at paragraph 2.16.
6. This distribution would meet the criteria described in the report at paragraphs 2.12 and 2.14. Para 2.14 further indicated that:
· Housing development should be focused at urban areas or the urban edge and larger villages;
· That any housing distribution should avoid any additional traffic loading of the Haine Road corridor (as advised by KCC Highways), and should be well-related to the road network improvements proposed in the draft Transport Strategy, including the Inner Circuit;
· Housing development should not be located ... view the full minutes text for item 505