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Contact: Charles Hungwe
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from the following Members:
Councillor Gibson, substituted by Councillor Cohen;
Councillor Hornus, substituted by Councillor M. Saunders.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest form attached at the back of this agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.
Councillors Campbell, Cohen and K. Gregory noted that they had offered advice on the drafting of the proposed Thanet Local Plan as members of the Local Plan Cabinet Advisory Group.
Councillor Gideon, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel said that the drafting of the proposed Thanet Local Plan was a product of cross party working through the Local Plan Cabinet Advisory Group and significant time was spent working on the document leading up to the identification of the preferred options for Thanet.
The Chairman set-out the main purpose of the meeting as giving the Panel members the opportunity to ask and comment on the approach used in defining the proposed daft Plan, timetable and consultation process.
Ismail Mohammed, Interim Strategic Planning Manager led discussion with a power-point presentation. He said that community engagement at this early stage of drafting the proposed Local Plan was good practice as it afforded the local communities and stakeholders an early opportunity to articulate their views, and a process that was considered important by the Inspector. This informal consultation was not a statutory requirement in respect of the Planning regulations but was important all the same. Mr Mohammed said that the document was produced according to the statutory requirements and that the strategic objectives had to reflect the Council’s corporate priorities and that the Local Plan objectives had to meet the objectively assessed needs of the district.
The outcome of the “Issues and options” consultation, the communities response was that future housing development should be fairly distributed around Thanet and not be concentrated in one part of the district. The Plan should promote local economic development, create jobs and engender sustainable prosperity for Thanet whilst protecting strategic locations for the area that included the natural, built and historic environment.
The Plan will consider Manston Airport as an “Opportunity Site”. For which the Council will, in due course, prepare a separate Area Action Plan Development Plan Document.
The Plan aims to improve transport infrastructure to meet the increasing growth and development of the local economy; promote public transport, walking and cycling and reduce travel time.
Mr Mohammed said that the informal public consultation would need to be started in January 2015, leading up to the pre-submission document being considered by Cabinet and Council in time for formal public consultation from September 2015. He said that it was important to provide evidence to the Inspector at the Plan examination stage that Council had consulted local residents and neighbouring districts. The Inspector would have to determine the soundness of the Plan.
As part of the consultation, Council was planning to hold six road shows, engage young people; that included holding a 6th formers Conference or meeting each college. Email notifications and social media would be used to engage the public.
Councillor Nicholson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing & Planning Services thanked officers for the work done to produce the draft Plan. He said that it was important for the Council to move expeditiously through the informal and formal consultation stages in order to get the Local Plan in place by the set deadline. He hoped that the Plan could be adopted earlier than the stated ... view the full minutes text for item 440.