Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chorley
Contact: Ruth Rimmington Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resolved (unanimously) That the minutes of the General Purposes Committee held on 11 March 2021 be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chair.
Declarations of Any Interests
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.
If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.
There were no declarations of interest received.
To receive and consider the report of the Director of Planning and Development.
The Executive Leader and Executive Member (Economic Development and Public Service Reform), Councillor Alistair Bradley, presented the report of the Director of Planning and Development.
The report provided an update on the evidence and strategic policies for housing for the new Central Lancashire Local Plan and considered the provision of robust highways assessments for planning applications.
Councillor Bradley reported that the three Councils of Chorley, Preston and South Ribble were committed to preparation of a joint local plan which would include both strategic and development management policies, for use when determining planning applications. Commissioning housing evidence and preparing an agreed approach to the distribution of housing need was a critical part of the plan-making process.
The existing Core Strategy for Central Lancashire included a shared approach to the distribution of housing and this commitment was ongoing, with a clear expectation that the new Local Plan would redistribute the housing requirement in such a way to reflect local trends, market conditions and signals etc. This was important as it enabled the three Councils to prepare a Local Plan which would meet future local need and be tailored to Central Lancashire as opposed to England as a whole.
Housing numbers alone are not a sustainable way to plan and therefore it was important Chorley plans for what it needed and not what national policy dictates. Development in Chorley should be plan-led, informed by robust evidence and an annual requirement which meets local need and was transparent to the community.
Members noted the impact of the Government 5 Year Housing Land Supply requirement debated the Government standard method of calculating housing need. This had led to a number of planning consents being granted at appeal on Safeguarded land sites with Chorley Council being deemed by Planning Inspectors as not having a 5 year supply of deliverable housing land supply.
These decisions were based on using the Government Standard Method of housing need which for Chorley currently requires 542 new homes to be delivered each year. A 5% buffer is required in the 5 year supply calculation which takes the annual requirement to 569 dwellings. Chorley cannot demonstrate a 5 year supply of housing using this figure.
However, if the figure for the emerging Local Plan was used as specified in the agreed Statement of Common Ground (SOCG )Chorley would be able to demonstrate a supply of deliverable homes equivalent to at least 5.4 years including a 5% buffer.
Members discussed the increase in working from home following the pandemic but noted the evidence base for the figures quoted.
Moving forwards it was considered that the existence of the SOCG should be a material consideration for making decisions on planning applications as a material consideration for decision making. The weight to be attached to the SOCG in making decisions on planning proposals would be for the Planning Committee on a case by case basis.
The supplementary recommendation was debated, with members, including the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Alan Cullens, and Councillor Alan Platt ... view the full minutes text for item 3.