The Castle Point Local Plan wheels of Motion turn Notoriously Slowly.
It was apparent from the debate during full council that nothing had progressed following cabinets “noting” of the requirement to compile a List of Brown field land Register, Part 2 of which would be granted Planning in Principle to support Housing supply within the Local Plan.
Cabinet Councillors spoke of forming a committee to consider appropriate land to be included in the Brown field Register and a similar debate during full council indicated no appointments made, nor meetings planned, in the meantime following the cabinet’s decision! With August arriving few meetings are usually scheduled due to holidays.
This Brownfield register may be seen as the mainland residents Green Belt life saver, as many brown field sites have been rumoured to have already been identified on Canvey Island.
As with all cpbc committees the balance of power rests with the mainland councillors so we can expect the development land identified to receive a Planning Inspector’s response to raise concerns on “the consequences of this on the distribution of growth across the Borough!”
However there is an opportunity for CITC to partake
“Notification for parish councils and neighbourhood forums of proposal to enter land in Part 2 of the Brownfield register;
Where the council of any parish, or a neighbourhood forum, (“the relevant body”) in the area of the local planning authority have—
(a) requested the authority to notify it of a proposed entry of land in Part 2, and
(b) the land to which the proposed entry relates is within the area of the relevant body, the local planning authority must notify the relevant body of the proposed entry by serving requisite notice on it”
The driving force on compiling this Register, expected complete by the End of 2017, appears left to councillors with leading officers now having taken consultation only positions.
It appears that the first point of debate should be, but will most likely be disregarded, what constitutes Brown field land.
If you were to simply swallow what some local protagonists claim, Green Belt is held akin to:
“And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England’s mountain green? And was the holy Lamb of God On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
Rather than: Green Belt serves five purposes:
- to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
- to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another
- to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
- to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
- to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land
This is recognised by Chelmsford City Council;
In their Local Plan Preferred Options Document they state:
“Green Belt A national planning policy designation given to land. Green Belts were designated to stop the uncontrolled growth of large cities and towns. The Green Belt can include both greenfield and brownfield sites in areas with both good and poor landscape value.”
Our local Castle Point councillors will do well, if they were indeed intending to work towards bringing forward a Local Plan rather than extending the process indefinitely, to first understand and absorb this definition.
Of course that may not be their most important driving force!
Government regulation and advice on the compiling of Registers of Brownfield Land includes:
The regulations require local authorities to prepare and maintain registers of brownfield land that is suitable for residential development. The Order provides that sites entered on Part 2 of the new brownfield registers will be granted permission in principle.
The proposals came in to force in mid April 2017. Local authorities will be expected to have compiled their registers by 31 December 2017.
The (Government) department’s rigorous new burdens assessments ensure local planning authorities receive the relevant resources to meet their statutory obligations. We have written to authorities informing them of the grant funding that they will receive to cover their new responsibilities.
We (the Government) intend to publish statutory guidance to explain our policy for brownfield registers in more detail by Summer 2017. It will also set out our expectations for the operation of the policy and the requirements of the secondary legislation.
Brownfield registers will provide up-to-date, publicly available information on brownfield land that is suitable for housing. This will improve the quality and consistency of data held by local planning authorities which will provide certainty for developers and communities, encouraging investment in local areas. Brownfield registers should include all brownfield sites that are suitable for housing development irrespective of their planning status.
Local planning authorities who are required to develop a Local Plan under Part 2 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 will be required to have a register covering the area of the local plan.
The regulations set a process for identifying suitable sites, including the requirements for keeping a register and the criteria for assessing sites. (The regulations also set out the requirements for publicity and consultation where an authority proposes to enter sites on Part 2 of the register.) There is a duty on local planning authorities to have regard to the development plan, national policy and advice and guidance when exercising their functions under the brownfield register regulations.
the timescale is realistic. Local authorities already collect and review information on housing land as part of the well established Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment process and the requirements for preparing registers are aligned to this process as far as possible. Seventy-three local planning authorities have piloted the preparation of brownfield registers and their experience has helped to shape the policy and requirements.
Putting a site on Part 1 of a register does not mean it will automatically be granted permission in principle. Local planning authorities will be able to enter sites on Part 2 of the register which will trigger a grant of permission in principle for those sites suitable for housing-led development only after they have followed the consultation and publicity requirements, and other procedures set out in the regulations and they remain of the opinion that permission in principle should be granted. Those sites which have permission in principle for housing-led development will be clearly identified by being in Part 2 of the register.
Where a site on a register is considered to be deliverable within 5 years it can be counted towards the 5-year housing supply. Local planning authorities will be required to indicate whether sites are ‘deliverable’ when entering data on their registers.
Local planning authorities must take into account the National Planning Policy Framework when identifying sites to include in their brownfield registers. The Framework has strong policies to protect the natural and built environment and conserve and enhance the historic environment. It also requires authorities to ensure that a residential use is appropriate for the location and that a site can be made suitable for its new use.
Brownfield registers complement the existing Local Plan processes for identifying sites that are suitable for housing. When preparing their plans, local planning authorities are required, through the preparation of Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments to identify housing sites on brownfield land and other land that is suitable for housing. The regulations ensure that the process of identifying suitable sites for the brownfield register is aligned to the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment process, and so proactively supports the plan-making process.
Permission in principle will settle the fundamental principles of development (use, location, amount of development) for the brownfield site giving developers/applicants more certainty.