To receive a verbal update from the Deputy Director for Places.
A verbal update was received from Cllr G Brown, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Planning, Property and Finance.
The verbal update mirrored the one given at Council on Monday night and a written copy had previously been provided to Members. The key points of the update included the following:
· Work continued on the sustainability appraisals for the different sites put forward, with the two larger sites, St George’s Barracks (SGB) and Woolfox undergoing a more detailed assessment to assess their viability and the developer’s ability to deliver the homes promised during the Plan period.
· The Council was still awaiting a decision from Government on the Housing Infrastructure (HIF) bid for SGB. The evolving masterplan had assessed that without the £30 million HIF funding the project in its current form would not be viable.
· The Council was continuing to lobby Government so that it could decide whether SGB could be considered as part of the Local Plan or not.
· It was still the Council’s intention to commence the Pre-submission consultation on all elements of the Plan, including the Spatial Strategy, proposed policies and allocated sites, in early 2020. This would be subject to input from the Scrutiny Committee and the approval of the Pre-submission by Cabinet and Council, all of which would probably necessitate additional specific meetings.
During discussions the following points were made:
· At the time the Council would have to make the decision about the Local Plan, all the information held relating to the Woolfox site would be reviewed
· In the event that the HIF bid was unsuccessful it would be up to the Ministry of Defence to consider the viability of the St Georges site and whether to increase the proposed number of houses.
· The statement of common ground document for the Stamford North project had been reviewed and rejected and very detailed comments had been sent back to South Kesteven District Council (SKDC). A revised document was expected back within the next 10 days.
· The Council also had concerns about the Stamford North memorandum of understanding (MOI) between Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) South Kesteven District Council (SKDC), the landowners and itself. One of the particular concerns the Council had was about the rate of development and avoiding a situation where one half of the site was developed but the rest was not completed for another 10 years. RCC was holding meetings with the landowners Burghley, their agent Savills, and the developers Larkfleet, in order to ensure that the housing and the associated development (eg. schooling) ran in tandem.
· LCC only wanted to be included in the document from a highways perspective as they were not a housing authority and could not be seen to be involved with any development.
· The design statement document could not be completed until a traffic modelling piece of work had been done.
· The current design brief for Stamford North stated that although it was not a requirement, the site could facilitate a GP surgery if this was decided by the CCG.
· In the design brief there was a requirement to have a new school. Money would also be available to Stamford Welland Academy and Casterton College to aid their expansion.
· It would be preferable to bring all three documents together (the SCG, the MOI and the design statement) for Scrutiny and Cabinet to review.
· The budget for planning policy was expected to be higher next year to account for the timing and delay to the Local Plan.
That the Committee NOTED the update.