There was a small thud on the doormat today … as councillors received their draft copy of the “Core Strategy Preferred Options Document”.
It’s a fairly big document by council standards – 123 pages long. If you want to, you can download the whole thing at the council website from here – it’s
6.9 MB. 3.7 Mb
The officers report that accompanies the document has some important details in it. For example:
Things are still vague about exactly where housing will go:
The Core Strategy does not set out detailed development control policies or specify the exact location of land for future development. Such details will be included within other Development Plan Documents that form part of the Local Development Framework. These Development Plan Documents must conform to the policies within the Core Strategy.
This is how the consultation process will go:
It is intended that the Rochford Core Strategy Preferred Options document will be subject to a six week period of public consultation and participation. Subject to Members agreeing the Core Strategy Preferred Options, arrangements are in hand to prepare for the community consultation and engagement in accordance with the requirements of the Council?s adopted Statement of Community Involvement. A draft of the consultation proposals is attached at Appendix A.
The results of the consultation will be used to inform the preparation of the Submission version of the document. The Submission version will be subject to further consultation before being scrutinised by an independent inspector at
an examination in public. If the plan is found to be sound by the inspector the Council may then adopt the Core Strategy.
3.9 The Core Strategy is scheduled to be submitted to the Government for independent examination in August 2009.
Officers are warning us that if we don’t push ahead with this, Government Planning Policy Statement 3 on Housing may force us to give out planning permissions :
The Government has indicated through the recent publication of revised Planning Policy Statement 12 that it is essential for districts to make rapid progress in the preparation of their Core Strategies. In particular, in relation to residential development, Planning Policy Statement 3 on Housing explains very clearly that: ?Where Local Planning Authorities cannot demonstrate an up-to-date five year supply of deliverable sites, for example, where Local Development Documents have not been reviewed to take into account policies in this PPS or there is less than five years supply of deliverable sites, they should consider favourably planning applications for housing, having regard to the policies in this PPS including the considerations in paragraph 69?. Furthermore, PPS3 also points out that Local Planning Authorities should not refuse planning applications solely on the grounds of prematurity.
Without an adopted Core Strategy and a five-year supply of housing land, the District will be vulnerable to speculative applications for housing development, which may not be in accordance with the Council?s vision for the area. Ad hoc applications for housing development will also put at risk proposals for the delivery of new infrastructure.
The last point is an interesting one, especially the phrase “having regard to the policies in this PPS including the considerations in paragraph 69”. If you are really keen on this subject you can download th PPS 3 from here (601kb)
Paragraph 69, for example, says:
69. In general, in deciding planning applications, Local Planning Authorities should have
? Achieving high quality housing.
? Ensuring developments achieve a good mix of housing reflecting the accommodation
requirements of specific groups, in particular, families and older people.
? The suitability of a site for housing, including its environmental sustainability.
? Using land effectively and efficiently.
so if the council didn’t implement a plan the government probably WON’T allow a developer to build on an unsuitable, unsustainable site – it’s just that it would be left to a government inspector to decide what’s suitable and what’s not!