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Contact: Rosemary ColeItems No. Item
apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs. M. Bunker, S. R. Colella and Mrs. J. D. Luck.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were received.
The minutes of the meeting of the Local Development Framework Working Party held on 15th October 2009 were submitted.
RESOLVED that the minutes be approved as a correct record.
The Working Party considered the contents of the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) for 2008/2009.
It was noted the Council was required to produce the AMR under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and that the report was required to assess both the implementation of the Local Development Scheme and the extent to which policies in Local Development Documents were being achieved. The report would be submitted to the Government Office of the West Midlands (GOWM).
During the discussion on this item, the Head of Strategic Planning reminded Members that the Council had originally been informed that the Report of the Secretary of State, setting out the proposed changes to the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) Examination in Public Panel Report, would be received on 16th December 2009. It had been anticipated that a verbal update could be provided to this meeting. The Head of Strategic Planning reported that unfortunately he had very recently received notification from the GOWM that the Secretary of State’s report would now be delayed until “the New Year”. Clearly this would have the effect of delaying the formal twelve month consultation period on that document and the subsequent revised version of the Draft Core Strategy.
Members expressed concern and disappointment that following the onerous RSS process, during which this Authority and other parties had been required to meet a number of stringent deadlines for submission of documents, the delay of the Secretary of State’s response report, with no indication as to the likely date of receipt, could now have an adverse impact on the production of the Core Strategy.
Members felt that the section of the report relating to the provision of affordable housing was unduly critical and requested additional wording to explain the position. A number of minor amendments were also requested.
(a) that a letter be sent to the GOWM, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Local Government Association expressing concern and disappointment regarding the delay in the receipt of the Secretary of State’s Report on Changes to the Regional Spatial Strategy; and
(b) that subject to the minor changes referred to above, the Annual Monitoring Report 2008/2009 be approved and submitted to the GOWM.
The Working Party considered a draft of an Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which had been amended to reflect comments made by Members at the previous meeting.
It was reported that the draft had been sent out for formal consultation and that the consultation period of eight weeks would end on 30th January 2010. Over four hundred letters and Emails had been sent out to individuals and organisations, including Parish Councils.
Members welcomed the document as being clear and easy to read. It was felt that the term “settlements” be used in place of “villages” in Policy AH9 and that there should be a definition within the document of Housing Need.
RESOLVED that the commencement of the formal consultation period on the Draft Affordable Housing SPD be noted.
Consideration was given to a report updating the Working Party on progress in respect of the Draft Core Strategy.
The Head of Strategic Planning confirmed that work was still progressing although clearly the implications of the RSS outcome would impact on the Core Strategy. Work was ongoing in relation to Strategic Site Allocations and this would be included in the next version of the Core Strategy. It was anticipated that the next version of the Core Strategy would go out to consultation in the summer of 2010 and would be coming forward for final approval this time next year.
RESOLVED that the progress made on the development of the Core Strategy be noted.
The Working Party considered a report which outlined the changes made to the RSS revision process in relation to Phase 3 and the implications for the Bromsgrove District.
It was reported that as a consequence of the delays in the revision of Phase 2 of the RSS, the format for the Phase 3 revision had been amended and Phase 3 issues would now be taken forward by way of Policy Statements and Recommendations as set out in the report. Attention was also drawn to the Options consultation which had taken place and the informal responses submitted by officers on behalf of the Council in respect of the issues which related to District Council role and functions.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.