LOCAL PLAN AND NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN UPDATE ( verbal)
- The PPM provided a verbal update on
the draft Local Plan, the aim of which was to submit early in the
New Year. He advised that the Regulation-19 consultation exercise
had taken place earlier in the year and that the team were
generating a condensed document detailing responses. Such
documentation would be provided as soon as possible, with ample
time for Members to fully consider ahead of its inclusion as an
Agenda Item. The PPM stated that
complications had arisen as a consequence of Nutrient Neutrality
(NN) guidance but that he had taken the view that it was in the
best interest of the Authority to submit the Local Plan for
examination within this administration. He contended that the
Council were in a better position with NN than it had been 6 months
prior and that there was greater understanding of the boundary and
consequences. Importantly, cost impactions were better understood
which would aid in the creation and implementation of mitigation
strategies. The PPM stated that whilst in abeyance with NN the team
were continuing to update the viability assessment across the
district including the cost assessment, green infrastructure
strategies, NN mitigation, elderly person accommodation and others
which would have a significant impact on the cost of development.
Additional costs for labour and materials had largely been offset
by building value increases.
- The Chairman considered the
implication regarding settlement development distribution was
reasonably fluid due to NN, she expressed some concern about
- The PPM stated that he felt it was
the right strategy to submit the draft Local Plan and affirmed that
he felt the plan was sound. He acknowledged that if Members
contended that changes were required following receipt of
representations that growth in one areas was too much, but that the
overall housing delivery figure was correct, modifications could be
made to redistribute. Critically, issues would arise if significant
changes were requested by Members, which would affect the timetable
of delivery and would result in the need for further
- Cllr J Punchard expressed his
support to process with submitting the draft Local Plan within the
current administration. He considered that serving Members were
more knowledgeable of the process and that new Members would likely
require extensive training to become more cognizant. Cllr J
Punchard asked if the dates specified in the plan could be pushed
back, rather than concluding in 2036.
- The PPM stated that the moving of
the plan period was theoretically possible but would need to be
grounded within a received representation, which it had been. He
noted that in pushing back the end date, the data used to inform
decisions was less reliable.
- Cllr N Dixon enquired when the
examination period would take place, as he was mindful of election
period in 2023.
- The PPM stated that should the
submission of the plan occur early 2023 that he would reasonably
expect an Inspector to be appointed and for preliminary hearings to
start by September 2023. He advised that most examinations of sound
plans took between 12 and 18 months.
- Cllr N Dixon agreed with submitting
the draft Local Plan within the current administration. He
contended that costs for labour and materials were still increasing
and that the cost implications of NN were still unclear and in need
of refining. Further, Cllr N Dixon contended that there was still a
significant issue around site viability and delivery.
- The PPM agreed that there would be a
residual risk of NN if the draft Local Plan was submitted within
the specified timeframe, and that a mitigation strategy and full
costings would be a work in progress till around May 2023, at the
earliest. He stated that following revisions of the NN affected
catchment map, areas of substantial growth were now not affected by
NN, and those which were would be revisited through redistribution
of development. He stated that he did not see the value in delaying
- Cllr N Dixon expressed the need to
ensure appropriate checks and balances.
- Cllr V Gay requested that if the
Regulation 19 responses document was to be lengthy, that Members
were ensured enough time to read properly.
- The PPM agreed that the document
would be circulated with plenty of time and that the team would
condense the information to key issues, avoiding duplications. He
advised that the submission Local Plan would need to be agreed by
- Cllr J Punchard enquired where NNDC
were at in comparison to other Local Councils.
- The PPM stated that all where at
various stages, and noted that Greater Norwich had submitted their
plan but were struggling to get it through examination due to
issues surrounding NN and travellers. He did not consider that the
outcome from the Greater Norwich plan would be received before
submission by NNDC, and therefore there was nothing to gain by
waiting and obtaining additional information.