Issue - meetings
Local Plan Review – Employment Land Requirements
Report of the Head of Planning and Infrastructure
The Principal Planning Policy Officer presented the report to Members highlighting the results of the recent assessment of the need for employment land within the District.
An initial discussion was had on the office space requirement and a number of sites were mentioned. As the Committee was not the appropriate place to discuss individual sites, it was agreed for Members to discuss the matter outside of the meeting with officers if desired.
In response to a question from a Member, the Planning Policy Team Manager explained that the report was to note the work undertaken to date and not to make any final decisions. He reported that more work was required but due to the uncertainty of the upcoming HEDNA, flexibility was required as guidance may continue to change. Officers would continue to plan with the information available going forward.
A Member commented on the need to set aside and protect specific sites from being used as warehouses. A plea was made from the Member in relation to Policy EC2 part 2 and its threat to the countryside, he asked that the utmost be done to obtain a realistic figure for the amount of employment land actually required and that suitable sites be identified and allocated in the right place to satisfy the needs. During this discussion, Councillor D Bigby proposed that the following recommendation be added to those already stated within the report:
‘The Planning Policy Team , when considering the allocation of employment land in the Substantive Local Plan Review, take into account the Committee’s strong preference that the Revised Local Plan will not include current Policy EC2 part 2 and current paragraph S3 or their equivalents.’
The proposal was seconded by Councillor J Legrys.
The Planning Policy Team Manager strongly advised Members not to support the proposal at this time as much more work was required to ensure flexibility and removing the policy would take away that flexibility. He accepted that there was a need to look at the wording of the policy, but he felt it was too premature to make a decision at this stage. He assured Members that the policy would be addressed in the review.
A lengthy discussion ensued on the proposed recommendation and a number of questions on clarity of facts within the report were answered by officers. During these discussions, it was also agreed that Members receive a regular written briefing note on progress as proposed for the previous item.
The motion for the additional recommendation was then put to the vote and was lost.
The officer’s recommendations were moved by Councillor G Hoult, seconded by Councillor R Boam and it was
1) It be noted that the findings of the economic evidence for the Substantive Local Plan Review with respect to Future Employment Land requirements and start up workspace.
2) It be noted that further work would be done to assess the implications of the findings for the Substantive Local Plan Review and that these would be reported ... view the full minutes text for item 32