The Planning Services Manager confirmed that the main purpose of the meeting was to focus on the feedback arising from the consultation on the Preferred Options report and consider the way forward in preparation for the meeting of the Working Group on 24 September 2013 and next stage of the overall process. The outcome of the consultation would inform preparation of the Publication document which was the next stage of the process following which there were a number of other stages in preparing the LDF document culminating in a public examination in late 2013/early 2014.
It was confirmed that the consultation had been completed by April 2013 and that 420 responses had been received, 390 from local residents and community groups and the remainder from statutory organisations.
It was noted that the largest number of representations received related to the Brookfield site but that in respect of Nunthorpe only 16 objections had been received, 1 from the Parish Council, 1 from the Community Council and 14 from other anticipated objectors. Coulby Newham generated the next largest number of objections of approximately 92.
The Group was advised that in general terms the main areas of concern arising out of the consultation centred on:-
lack of greenfield land and open space;
use of brownfield land should be a priority;
new housing not required;
lack of jobs;
impact on road networks;
lack of education provision;
concerns around funding.
Reference was made to other issues which had been raised by the Highways Agency, Sport England and Natural England. Such issues covered the need for changes to strategy, further clarification and impact on nature all of which would be the subject of further discussion at the meeting to be held on 24 September. Specific reference was made to the joint transport study with Redcar and Cleveland Council, on the required infrastructure, Leisure Needs Assessment and Playing Pitch Strategy.
With regard to the objections from Sport England in relation to Prissick because of the impact on open and recreation playing fields it was suggested that this could be overcome with the Playing Pitch Strategy for the area.
In terms of Natural England it was noted that the objections which were currently being investigated centred on technical issues relating to the overall process.
The Group's attention was drawn to the main objections with regard to the major sites.
The main issues raised in relation to land at Brookfield related to the loss of open space and a key element was the road from Low Lane to Mandale Road alongside housing. Such a road would assist with the housing development at Coulby Newham and Hemlington Grange.
It was pointed out that the removal of Stotford Walk (65 dwellings) would provide opportunity for further open space and assist in bringing two communities together.
The main issues relating to land at Coulby Newham included the future of Lingfield Farm area, the setting of the listed building, impact on historic landscape, and impact on views from the south as indicated by Newby Parish Council. It was indicated that there could be further planting to enhance the area and there would be a landscape buff. It was confirmed that the proposals would be further examined before the next stage of the process.
In response to Members' questions it was noted that whilst overall building numbers were still not yet on track it was expected to be on track next year. A number of sites were going well such as Strait Lane and St Mary's Green. Nunthorpe area was regarded as one of the best housing sites in the Tees Valley.
The main objections in relation to land at Nunthorpe were lack of open space (open space strategy just completed), loss of agricultural land, housing not needed and impact on road network. Concern had been expressed regarding access off Guisborough Road. An indication was given of the proposals to help open up the area including a park and ride facility.
It was intended to engage further with the community on the objections raised prior to the submission of the plan.
In terms of the land at Stainton it was noted that there was an opportunity to extend further in probably six months time. The main objections related to loss of open space, loss of agricultural land, improved road network needed and loss of local facilities.
Reference was made to a recent meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board when clarification had been sought as to the opportunity for Members' input on the intended use of Section 106 Agreements and the extent to which they could be used for affordable housing. It was pointed out that Section 106 Agreeements could be used for roads, schools or open space and that Members had an opportunity to be involved during the process of negotiations.
An indication was given of the work to be undertaken before the final stages. It was acknowledged that the timescales were tight. One of the issues was the extent of affordable housing.
Reference was made to the complexities around Section 106 Agreements and future changes. Although they were to remain they would be limited.
Reference was made to some minor changes to the plan at this stage in respect of transport and open space. It was indicated that given the objections it was important to ensure that the evidence was robust in taking the plan forward. In terms of the overall process it was intended to complete the studies supporting the evidence base and arranging meetings with respondents.
It was intended for the plan to be submitted to Council at its meeting to be held on 16 October and the six week consultation period would be in November/December 2013 with the final submission in February 2014.
In discussing the transport element an important aspect would be the improved footpath and rail network and reducing the need to use the Marton Corridor. It was also noted that there would be further refinement around the population figures.
AGREED as follows:-
1. That the information provided be noted.
2. That the LDF be progressed on the basis as outlined.
3. That an updated document be presented to the meeting of the Working Group to be held on 24 September 2013.