How effective is the Withdrawal Method? Castle Point Planning to give it a Go!

Following on from the last evening’s Castle Point council meeting to debate the Local Plan2016 previously previewed HERE.

Regional strategies were disbanded in 2010, it has taken 7 long and expensive years for Castle Point Council and neighbouring Boroughs to realise in place of these strategies that they should have been working with neighbouring Boroughs to organise mutually beneficial Housing strategies rather than having Housing Numbers imposed on them!

There appears an acceptance amongst councillors, rightly or wrongly, that the Housing Supply figure of 100 dwellings per Annum is inadequate, and will be adjusted upwards! Whether the confidence in relying on the re-adopted out of date 1998 Local Plan is misguided will, no doubt be examined by developers.

The position now is that a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been approved by all 5 South Essex local planning authorities, as a way forward in compliance with the required Duty to Cooperate part of the Local Plan process.

Having attended the Duty to Cooperate Hearing held by the Inspector and attended by members of the other 4 South Essex planning authorities, we must hope that a line is drawn under the aggressive and non-cooperative approach towards Castle Point representatives!

If not cpbc will be as uncomfortable within the MoU partnership, as the UK appear to have been in the European Union!

It appears now that work on the Local Plan will move further outside of cpbc members control. More strategic work and decisions will be taken at MoU level, which will be in the hands of officers and the Leaders of councils. Their decisions will be difficult to reject, however there remains the possibility that having completed the attempt to cooperate, despite failure, the Duty to Cooperate will have been complied with!

Having steered Castle Point council in this direction, an Inspector will expect to see some tangible results, not just a “we tried” but “we failed” pretence exercise, before a New Local Plan MkIII is (re) submitted.

A show of hands was not called for following the “debate” as the necessary agreement to follow cpbc recommendation to withdraw the Local Plan2016 and seek to comply with the Duty to Cooperate, was agreed by the majority of members.

Cllr Stanley having opened and closed the debate just about managed to stop himself saying “I Told You So”!

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2 responses to “How effective is the Withdrawal Method? Castle Point Planning to give it a Go!

  1. Indication of serious failings

    Purpose of Report presented to Full Council at last night’s meeting

    “This report considers the findings and Report of the Planning Inspector appointed to examine the Council’s New Local Plan.

    This report advises that the appropriate course of action for the Council is to withdraw the New Local Plan in the light of the Inspector’s Report.

    The report also advises of the significant co-operation underway on strategic planning matters with neighbouring authorities to create a strategic planning framework for South Essex.

    Finally the report recommends that a further report be received in due course, giving consideration to future plan-making in the Borough, involving a review of the processes to improve evidence examination and plan-making, as well as proposing a new Local Development Scheme, as a work programme to guide the formulation of new planning policy for the Borough”

    To report that this Council needs to undergo examination as to how it can improve it process seem un-defendable, given the abandonment of its Core Strategy, amendments to the New Local Plan and the failures of the 2016LP.
    It will never be divulged the actual cost from public funding that has been squandered to get to this point. The time and effort involved has been incredible, but more importantly, the anguish endured by our community has been and still is totally unacceptable.

    The Borough remains in the safety of its Adopted 1998 Plan. This is good news for Canvey as there are some significant policies that benefit our Islands community, such as infrastructure, still awaiting fruition. The content 1998 Plan is worthy of a revisit should the authority decide make it available.

  2. 30 March 2017 Housing minister gives green light to controversial local plan

    Housing minister gives green light to controversial local plan
    The housing minister has given Bradford’s local plan the go ahead after a delay caused by concerns regarding Green Belt boundaries.

    Bradford Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy was put on a temporary hold by the minister of state for housing and planning, Gavin Barwell, following a technical intervention from Shipley MP Philip Davies.

    There were concerns the plans, due to be adopted last October, would alter the boundaries of the Green Belt.

    However, in a letter sent today, Mr Barwell wrote: ‘The Secretary of State acknowledges that the Plan does not alter the existing boundaries of the Green Belt and that any future changes to Green Belt boundaries will be through the preparation of Site Allocations.’

    While the plan focuses on identifying housing development on brownfield sites, it acknowledges some areas of green field and Green Belt land will inevitably have to be used due to the ‘sheer scale’ of housing needed.

    Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, welcomed the housing minister’s decision.

    ‘The Plan is sustainable and prioritises brownfield sites,’ he said.

    ‘Before the Holding Direction was issued, a Government Planning Inspector had already indicated that the plan was sound.

    ‘Now the Government has accepted the judgement of their own inspector, we can get on with the rest of the process to make sure that development in our district isn’t a developer free-for-all.’

    Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: ‘From the outset everyone knew that the Local Plan obviously complied with all the planning rules set by Government and therefore it would have been odd for Government to find their own rules defective.

    ‘My biggest concern over this last few months has been that developers would put an application in on Green Belt anywhere in the district and without a Local Plan we would have been powerless to stop them.

    ‘The Secretary of State confirms our view that Green Belt should only be developed in exceptional circumstances. We agree. We have as much concern about the countryside and want to protect it as much as anyone else.’

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