Agenda item

Agenda item

Local Plan Review - Update

Report of the Head of Planning and Infrastructure


The Planning Policy Team Manager presented the report to Members.


Councillor D Harrison stated that it was good news to now know the figures but raised concerns over the possible need for ‘Big Sheds’ and lorry parks and the effect on the climate. He questioned that if the figures were split equally between the districts and boroughs, where would they go in the district. He urged caution when discussions took place as to what the authority wanted or needed.


The Planning Policy Team Manager understood the concerns raised as other authorities would push that they were unable to take any further development. In relation to ‘Big Sheds’, he clarified that in terms of the unmet need it included warehouses but not strategic warehousing. He informed Members that the authorities need to work collectively and that the need was in Leicester City, with which NWL did not have any common boundaries.


Councillor J Legrys stated that it was a good report and had great sympathy with officers as they were trying to deal with the situation whilst in lockdown. He noted that it was an update report but added caution as to how the need would be distributed in a democratic way, as there needed to be considerable transparency in the decision-making. He accepted that the city needs to expand beyond its boundaries but some authorities would refuse to take any additional amount required.


The Planning Policy Team Manager advised that the key matter in trying to ensure transparency was the collective work that officers were carrying out to look at reasonable options, which would then be subject to an independent appraisal and engagement with the Planning Advisory Service. He informed the committee that the technical information would be shared with the Member Advisory Group and then to each local authority which would show the reasoning of the re-distribution.


Councillor J Legrys noted that it was not just transparency with elected members but also with the public and asked that the whole process be explained well.


Councillor T Saffell stated that he was of the same opinion as Councillor J Legrys and that until all other possibilities had been exhausted the authority should not take any unmet need off Leicester City.


Councillor D Bigby stated that he felt that good points had been made on the need for transparency during the process and, as part of that, he asked that it was ensured that the committee was kept up to date on what was being discussed behind the scenes rather than the final figures just being put before the committee for agreement. He expressed concerns that the review was behind on the set timescales, which could not be helped, but felt that it would be useful for a revised timetable to be shared. He also felt that the committee was being drip-fed information but seeing a detailed roadmap as to how everything would be dealt with and when would be useful as there were a number big issues, such as the specific energy efficiency measures that we need in new housing to deal with the climate emergency; the allocation of housing and employment land to cover our own local need, irrespective of Leicester's needs, and looking for potential sites for stations on the Ivanhoe line and how that will be dealt with, that needed to be considered.


The Planning Policy Team Manager advised that in relation to the timetable, now that the figures from Leicester were known there was a series of logical steps to go through. He highlighted that the next one would be gaining some idea of the household projections were going to say with the 2018 figures due to be published by the end of June. He did not wish to guess what the household projections would be but it was projected that there would be an increase of 15% in the population figures. Once known the figures would be applied to the Government standard method adding that changes to the method had been announced but due to the COVID-19 situation it was unknown if the work had been carried out. He noted that irrespective of any changes to the method, with the publication of the household projections the authority would have a much firmer footing to move forward. He stated that officers would wait to see what they said and gauge how much needed to be done, which would then inform the timetable. He understood the comments re drip-feeding and advised that reports on the housing and employment would come to a future meeting once the requirements were known.


Councillor J Bridges advised Members that the Portfolio Holder would keep Members of the committee updated on the discussions that were had by the Member Advisory Group as to the distribution of the unmet need.


The officers recommendation was moved by Councillor R Johnson, seconded by Councillor R Boam and




1)    The current position in respect of the partial review be noted;


2)    Leicester City has now declared an unmet unemployment land need be noted;




3)    The process for agreeing any redistribution of unmet needs be noted.


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