Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Policy Committee - Tuesday 7th June 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions

Contact: Jane Fulton (Ext 37611) 

Media

Items
No. Item

47.

Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declaration of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the items or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:

 

a)             the item they have the interest in

b)             whether it is a pecuniary/personal interest and/or prejudicial interest

c)             the nature of the interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest made.

48.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 166 KB

The Committee will be asked to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Planning Policy Committee held on 25 January 2022, as attached.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 January 2022 were approved by the Committee and signed by the Chair.

49.

ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA THAT THE CHAIR OF THE MEETING IS OF THE OPINION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A MATTER OF URGENCY BY REASON OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Minutes:

The Chair notified Members that there was to be a new consultation on the A27 looking specifically at the traffic in and around Walberton. This consultation was likely to occur before the Committee’s next meeting on 27 July 2022 but at this stage there were no further details available to discuss at this meeting, and the Chair would therefore keep Members informed as to how they could make their comments and receive a response in due course.

50.

Public Question Time

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes).

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that there had been no questions from the public submitted for this meeting.

51.

Start Times

The Committee is asked to approve its start times for meetings during 2022/23.

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that the start time for the remaining meetings of Planning Policy Committee for 2022/23 be 6pm.

 

The Committee

 

RESOLVED

 

That the start time of all remaining meetings of the Committee for 2022/23 would be 6pm.

52.

Arun Local Plan Update - Six Month Review pdf icon PDF 338 KB

This report briefs Members on matters arising from national policy and any other matters that would inform whether a decision should be taken by the Committee to resume the Arun Local plan update or continue the current pause until 2023

Minutes:

Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report which briefed Members on matters arising from national policy and whether a decision should be taken by the Committee to resume the Arun Local Plan update or continue the current pause, previous agreed by Committee and Full Council, until 2023. He explained that a Planning for the Future White Paper (and an emerging Planning Bill) signalled some significant changes to the format and process of preparing Local Plans and the concern with proceeding with the update was due to the timetable involved and the risk the Local Plan Update would not be fit for purpose by the time it was ready. He further explained that, six months on from the decision to pause, much had changed including a new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Levelling Up White Paper having been published in February 2022 which signalled a move away from the aforementioned planning bill. He highlighted the four key themes of the Levelling Up white paper [on pages 10 and 11 of the Agenda Pack] and the change in emphasis on the role of planning, in that it was now more narrowly focused on making the best of the current system. He concluded that the above suggested to Officers that there was now no reason to delay and that the Local Plan Update should be resumed.

 

Members (and non-Committee Members invited to speak) then took part in a full debate on the item where a number of points were raised including:

·       the understanding from Government that the housing numbers target, and as a consequence the 5-year housing land supply, would be removed and whether in resuming the update the housing numbers target would have to be looked at again when the Council came to exploring the evidence base

·       that by this time next year the Local Plan would not be up-to-date unless the revising of it is started within 5 years and the implications for determining planning decisions in this situation, and, therefore given the long lead times involved in the process, the need to resume the Update

·       the lack of a timeframe within the recommendation with regards further detail being made public by Government on the Levelling Up bill and the difficulties in reaching a decision without the context of that roadmap

·       the impact to housing targets if the Plan was resumed

·       the unachievability of housing targets when considering what developers had managed to deliver and the increases in building prices

·       the impacts for policies, such as biodiversity net gain and water conversation, and the consequences for future housing developments if the Plan was not updated with the most up-to-date evidence and practices

·       the issues caused by ‘planning by appeal’ in areas outside of those identified for development and whether any assurance could be gained for residents that the Update and its evidence base would offer some level of protection against this

·       a review of the local plan not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Arun Infrastructure Topic Papers - A27 Junction Improvements; Wastewater Capacity; Water Neutrality; Housing Market Absorption pdf icon PDF 490 KB

This report provides the Committee with a progress update on the emergent infrastructure issues affecting plan making under the ‘Duty to Cooperate’, collated as a topic paper to be addressed as part of preparatory work to inform Arun’s Local Plan update, when this resumes.

Minutes:

Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report which provided a progress update on the emergent infrastructure issues affecting plan making under the Duty to Cooperate’, to be addressed as part of the preparatory work to inform Arun’s Local Plan update, when this resumed. It was confirmed that the Housing Market Absorption Study was no longer part of this report and would not be brought to this meeting. He highlighted:

·       the ongoing work involved in the Duty to Cooperate with Chichester District Council given Chichester’s changed approach and potential impacts to infrastructure and housing number requirements

·       continuing talks with Southern Water about wastewater capacity

·       establishing communication with Natural England and the Environment Agency about water and nutrient neutrality

·       non-strategic development infrastructure, accumulative impact and its role in traffic mitigation

·       for the Local Plan update, that the topic papers where appropriate become Statements of Common Ground, to set out clearly with our infrastructure partners and Local Authority neighbours, what we do and do not agree with and where any evidence gaps are, and these then can be used at examination to support the Plan in cases of dispute.

 

Members (and non-Committee Members invited to speak) then took part in a full debate on the item where a number of points were raised including:

·       the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ not being in the Levelling Up bill but common sense to discuss these matters with our neighbours. The closed Oving crossing on the A27 was given as an example of the impacts on traffic and infrastructure across wider areas

·       concerns over the actions of Southern Water on water neutrality in exporting water outside of the District, the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ being paramount and the need for assurances that Arun fully understands Southern Water’s forward capital programme and that it supports the Council’s endeavours

·       the extended timescales of many third party providers and the challenges in delivering multi-party projects

·       recognition of the current work involved with achieving water and nutrient neutrality and what still needed to be done (removing rainwater from the sewage system, technological improvements into new housing, water efficiency and the Water Cycle Study, nutrient neutrality in Pagham)

·       the need to engage with Portsmouth Water seeking clarification and resolution of their self-confessed network capacity issues

·       Pagham Harbour and the need for nutrient assessment in order to work towards achieving nutrient neutrality

·       the difficulty of getting a meeting with Natural England regarding nutrient neutrality

·       surface water penetration into the sewage system being an issue particularly for older properties and reducing the amount of older housing stock as a solution to this infringement

 

The Planning Policy Team Leader and Group Head of Planning provided Members with responses to all points raised during the debate, including:

·       Officers having been engaged with Southern Water for the last year on their strategic 25-year drainage and wastewater management plan, of which a draft version would shortly be open to consultation. It was hoped that a consultation response could be reported to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Arun Housing Delivery Test Result 2021 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

This report briefs the Planning Policy Committee on the Housing Delivery Test result for November 2021 which was published by the Government on 14 January 2022.

Minutes:

Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report which briefed the Committee on the annual Housing Delivery Test result for November 2021 which was published by Government on 14 January 2022. It was the national indicator on housing delivery and compared the previous three years’ housing delivery to the housing requirement over the same period.

 

Members then took part in a full debate on the item where a number of points were raised and responded to by the Planning Policy Team Leader, including:

·       being pleased to hear that a consultant was being taken on to look at outstanding planning permissions with the aim of moving them along the system

·       the impact of the 20% buffer in delivering the revised housing numbers

 

The Committee noted the report.

55.

Arun Local Plan Update - Tourism Hospitality and Visitor Economy Study pdf icon PDF 191 KB

A review of Arun’s visitor economy has been undertaken with the objective being to provide a review of the provision of tourism infrastructure across the Arun District planning area alongside an assessment of future demand. This includes to how the sector might grow together with the spatial implications of this growth, to support emerging planning policy in the new Local Plan.

 

Whilst this study has been commissioned for planning purposes, its outputs are far-reaching and need to be shared with a wider audience in order to maximise the up-take of the opportunities identified.

 

This report provides a summary of the study and seeks endorsement for both it and the proposed recommendations/actions that the council may wish to take forward.

 

Minutes:

Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report which provided a summary of a review undertaken into Arun’s visitor economy. The study sought to provide a review of the provision of tourism infrastructure across the Arun District planning area alongside an assessment of future demand, including how the sector might grow and the spatial implications of this growth in supporting emerging planning policy in the new Local Plan. He highlighted the findings of a study done on the tourism and visitor accommodation sector and its importance to the local economy, with the District receiving 4 million visitors and direct spend of £221 million supporting over 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

 

Members then took part in a full debate on the item where a number of points were raised including:

·       the rise in the number of AirBNB accommodation in the area, especially in Arundel

·       the impact of the District’s demographics on the accommodation requirements of visitors

·       the lack of mentioning significant stakeholders in the report (the Town Councils, the Regeneration Board, Bognor Regis BID) who are coming together to support regeneration across the District

·       Bognor Regis having needed a mid-range mid-priced hotel for a long time

·       support for appropriate AirBNB accommodation in the area as it was what people wanted

·       an increase in the Leisure and Hotel sector resulting in a corresponding increase in jobs whilst unemployment in the area was significantly below the national average, and the need to coordinate to ensure a labour supply (with the past experience of Butlins having to accommodate additional staff in order to expand given as an example)

·       the need to reinvigorate relations with Northbrook College which offered a range of Leisure and Hotel sector courses

·       previous difficulties in attracting hotels to the area and whether a specific allocation of a budget could be used to help facilitate interested parties

·       concern for holiday accommodation development in the countryside and a preferred focus on town development

·       the need to support the delivery of good quality events with good quality accommodation and associated infrastructure (for example, park and ride)

·       the need to consider different types of people and the different types of experiences they may be seeking

·       support for smaller developments that could be countryside-based (e.g. camping, glamping)

·       the need for any development to take onboard Arun’s key theme of sustainability

·       from a planning perspective, the lack of hotels in the area could be telling us something about the market and the need to know more about the expected demand and what needed to be catered for before decisions on what and where could be made

·       a clear indication that the Council was seeking to support tourism across the District

 

Following further discussion Cllr Thurston proposed an amendment, that ‘sustainable’ be added to recommendation 2 before ‘tourist accommodation development’ so that the recommendation would read:

 

2.    The Council take a pro-active approach (as set out in section 1.7 bullet 4) to bring forward sustainable tourist accommodation development through  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Biodiversity Net Gain Study - Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

This report updates the Committee on the outputs of the Biodiversity Net Gain Study which will help to inform the Local Plan update (when it resumes) and, the methodology for securing Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) through development management decisions and planning obligations.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that this item was now withdrawn and had been deferred to the next meeting of the Committee on 27 July 2022. The Chair explained that it was deferred because there was a need to check the cross boundary implications of the study with neighbouring authorities and stakeholders before the item could be properly considered. In addition, there were some recent initiatives on nature recovery projects that related to Arun that were not yet reflected in the study and it was considered that these would be helpful for inclusion.

57.

Outside Bodies

Minutes:

The Committee noted one report from Councillor Thurston on the South Downs National Park Authority.

58.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 190 KB

The Committee’s Work Programme for 2022/23 is attached for the Committee’s information.

Minutes:

The Planning Policy Team Leader noted that Southern Water’s Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan consultation started in June and a consultation response might need to be added to the Work Programme. He also confirmed that work relating to the Local Plan update timetable via the Local Development Scheme (LDS) would be coming to the next meeting. One Member suggested the inclusion of a seminar for Members on the issues of sustainability.

 

The Committee then noted the Work Programme.