Agenda item

Questions from Councillors

To hear questions (if any) from councillors of which due notice has been given in relation only to the business for which this extraordinary meeting has been called.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Paul Spooner asked the Lead Councillor for Climate Change, Councillor Jan Harwood, the following question:

 

“The published agendas for the Executive on 26 October 2021 and Full Council on 1 November 2021 included Regulation 19 Consultation on Local Plan: Development Management Policies and the Local Development Scheme 2021.

 

Shortly prior to the Executive the items were removed from the agenda on the basis that more time was needed to consider comments. Can the Lead Councillor explain why, after two and a half years since the change of administration in May 2019, this important part of the Local Plan has been ‘pulled’ at the last minute and advise the Council on the repercussions of this delay for the community across the Borough in not having up to date Development Management Policies and can the Lead Councillor provide a new timeline for progressing the Local Plan to Regulation 19 and through to adoption with an updated Local Development Scheme 2021”.

 

The Lead Councillor’s response was as follows:

 

“The Development Management Policies item expected at Executive last week has been delayed in order to consider a number of minor amendments as requested by the Joint EAB. We expect this item to be brought back to the Executive at its next meeting on 23 November, with a view to submission to full council at its meeting on 7 December. This short delay is unlikely to affect the consultation timetable.

 

Given the strength of feeling amongst all councillors on the topic of development management and planning, we are hoping to achieve wide apolitical support for these important policies. We believe a small procedural delay is worth it to make sure these last-minute amendments do not have unintended consequences”

 

Councillor Jan Harwood

Lead Councillor for Climate Change

 

In response to a supplementary question, the Lead Councillor confirmed that the report and papers on the agenda for this meeting would not be reissued for subsequent consideration of this matter.  Councillors who had received a hard copy of the papers were requested to retain them. It was anticipated that any changes would be of a fairly minor nature.

 

In response to another supplementary question in which the lead councillor was asked to confirm whether the 71 amendments proposed by the Joint EAB to 26 policies would be robustly considered and brought back to the Executive as mentioned, the Lead Councillor confirmed that this had been the reason for the delay, as the Executive was not comfortable in recommending the policies to Council and were currently working through attempts to reach a broader consensus.

 

In response to a further supplementary question, in which the Lead Councillor was asked to consider referring the proposed amendments to the DMPs to the Climate Change Board to enable it to review their impact on climate change, the Lead Councillor responded by stating that every member of the Climate Change Board was already represented on the Joint EAB.  The Lead Councillor felt that as these issues had been robustly and extensively covered by the Joint EAB, it was not necessary for the Climate Change Board to repeat the process.

 

In response to the final supplementary question regarding anticipated timescales, the Lead Councillor confirmed that he hoped reaching a broad consensus on the DMP document would be worth the small delay of approximately two months in respect of the commencement of the Regulation 19 consultation.