Public Question and Answer Session
- Meeting of Local Plan Committee, Wednesday, 27th May, 2020 5.00 pm (Item 30.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 30.
To receive questions from members of the public under rule no.10 of the Council Procedure Rules.
The Chairman welcomed Mr Bedford, Chairman of the Willesley Environment Protection Association (WEPA) to the meeting and asked him to put his question forward to officers.
Mr Bedford addressed the Committee.
‘The Local Plan Review Emerging Options Consultation document of November 2018, sought views on various issues which included on page 20:
How can the Local Plan help to address issues relating to health and wellbeing?
Health in Planning
It is recognised that there is a close relationship between planning and health and that planning can contribute to positive health outcomes in a variety of ways, for example, provision and access to green spaces and community facilities, public realm and social interaction, good quality housing, sustainable travel, protection of amenity and safe and accessible environments.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) identifies that the social role of planning is ‘to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities’ and specifically states that policies should aim to achieve the creation of healthy, inclusive and safe places.
The document stated that the Council is currently working with partners to develop a Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the final strategy will be finalised shortly.
It was suggested that the Local Plan could include a strategic policy to be read alongside other policies that address the wider determinants of health. This policy could form part of the strategy section of the Local Plan and given its status as a strategic policy it would apply to all development proposals.
Question 24 asked - Should we include a policy (or policies) to address health and wellbeing issues as part of new development?
WEPA’s response was Yes. This positive response was also made by Packington Nook Residents Association, Natural England, Measham Parish Council, David Bigby, Ruth Mulvany, Canal and River Trust, National Forest Company, Packington Parish Council, Ashby Civic Society, DJ and SC Smith, and Lesley Birtwistle,
Question 25 asked - Should we have a strategic policy which would support the health and wellbeing of North West Leicestershire’s residents?
WEPA’s response was Yes. This positive response was also made by Packington Nook Residents Association, Natural England, Measham Parish Council, David Bigby, Canal and River Trust, National Forest Company, Packington Parish Council, Ashby Civic Society, and Lesley Birtwistle.
Will the Local Plan Committee support the inclusion of these policies in the reviewed Local Plan?
The Planning Policy Team Manager provided the following response:
‘The responses received in respect of the Local Plan Consultation undertaken between November 2018 and January 2019, were considered at a meeting of the Local Plan Committee of 26 June 2019.
A copy of the report and the appendices can be viewed from this link.
Officers are continuing to work to address health issues as part of the Local Plan review.
The Chairman asked Mr Bedford if he wished to ask a supplemental question.
Mr Bedford asked:
‘In the Local Plan Review Responses to Consultation Update report to this Committee of 26th June 2019, the officer’s response states that “the inclusion of some form of overarching approach would be appropriate.”
I would therefore ask whether there has been any further progress in developing specific policy revisions under the Substantive Local Plan Review which address Health and Well Being? If so, what are they, and, if not, when such draft policies may be presented to this Committee for consideration? Especially considering that the Council’s Health and Well Being Strategy was adopted by Cabinet in Feb 2019 and one of its stated objectives is to “Ensure health and wellbeing is at the forefront of strategy development when considering the Local Plan”.
Also, has there has been any progress on producing the Open Spaces Needs Assessment and Strategy which is a key objective of the adopted Health and Well Being Strategy?
The Planning Policy Team Manager advised that nothing further had been produced in terms of the Health and Well Being and officers were currently working on the strategy and different aspects that they may wish to include in the plan. He advised that officers were also considering if something could be included in the plan around take-aways and fast food restaurants and health grounds but noted that the proposal was in the very early stages. He informed Mr Bedford that it was intended to include the piece of work in the consultation that was due to be held later in the year noting that it would not be a fully drafted plan but was likely to be rather an iteration of ideas. He added that it would then be considered by the committee. In relation to the open spaces strategy he noted officers were currently looking at how to proceed with the work as it had been identified as a gap in the Council’s own evidence base.
The Chairman thanked Mr Bedford again for his question and attending the meeting.