Venue: Astley Room - Castle
Contact: Geoff Durham 742222 01782 742222
Apologies were received from Councillor Helena Maxfield.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive Declarations of Interest from Members on items included on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest stated.
Consideration was given to a report informing Members of the consultation on the draft Issues and Strategic Options Paper which would be starting shortly. The Committee was asked to provide comments for the consideration of Cabinet.
The Councils Head of Planning and Development Shawn Fleet gave a presentation to Members which outlines the headings in the document. It was emphasised that the document was not a site allocation one but a process of engagement with the public, local communities, developers and stakeholders. A copy of the presentation was sent to Members of the Committee.
The Chair thanked officers for their work on the document.
Councillor Dave Jones referred to the scoping report stating that there were a large number of figures which made it difficult to interpret the locations of, for example ancient woodlands and areas of biodiversity and asked that when it went out to consultation, the public could be sure of the exact location of the sites. This could be through the use of additional maps or a list of locations.
Councillor Jones referred to options appraisals and housing need. He enquired whether the measures had accounted for the changing nature of work in response to the Covid pandemic with more people working from home.
Councillor Jones referred to the benefit of having a railway station in one of the towns, stating that this was a good idea. He would like to know more about the UK BAP Priority Habitats contained within the scoping report to see the locations of those. Biodiversity was also important and the report gave a proposal to take a large piece that was an exceptionally biodiverse plot of land within Keele Golf Course.
Councillor Jones proposed that, in addition to sending the documents to Cabinet for discussion, that it be recommended to Cabinet that the item be sent to Full Council for consideration.
The Council’s Planning Policy Manager, Jemma March stated that the figures could be looked at in order to make them easier to interpret as could the UK BAP information. With regard to the link with Covid, some of the evidence contained within the document was looked at last year and as the document evolved, the increase in working from home was discussed. The evidence would be updated between now and the next stage to cover this matter. Regarding comments on specific sites, these would be welcomed.
Councillor Paul Northcott stated that the aim was to get the Plan together in its draft form, submitted by 2023 and was a tight schedule. Members had been given the opportunity to feed into the process and to make comments. Brownfield sites were running out and therefore the Council needed to know what alternatives were available. The Local Plan would incorporate Town Deal investments and HS2.
Councillor Mark Holland felt that it would be helpful for the public to be exposed to more detailed information where possible and asked that Cabinet agree to more information being given when the document goes out to consultation ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972
There was no Urgent Business.