Agenda item

Local Plan Housing and Employment Development Requirements


            (Councillors Hart and Johnson left the meeting during its consideration and took no part in the discussion or voting thereon.)


            The Assembly considered a report that sought agreement for appropriate housing and employment development requirements for the emerging Staffordshire Moorlands Preferred Options Local Plan.


The adopted Core Strategy made a commitment to undertake an early and comprehensive review of the plan for the period 2016 – 2031 to take account of longer term development requirements. The review of the Core Strategy would also roll it forward into a single local plan combined with site allocations.


An objectively assessed need for housing in the range of 235 to 330 homes per year has been identified in an updated assessment published in February 2017. However, an annual affordable housing need of up to 432 had also been identified. An assessment of employment land requirements concluded that 13ha to 27ha of land was required to meet the needs of the district up to the year 2031.


The report provided an assessment of the relevant evidence, national policy and guidance to recommend housing and employment land requirements to be taken forward into the Preferred Options Local Plan consultation. Other elements of the Preferred Options Local Plan, including site allocations would be considered in June.


It was recommended that an annual housing requirement of 320 homes per year (close to combined jobs growth scenario) was taken forward into the Preferred Options Local Plan on the basis that the scenario:


·           Most closely accorded with the housing policy set out in the NPPF as it fully met demographic housing needs and helped to address the affordable housing need. It also increased the scope to provide specialist housing such as Self-Build and Custom Build

·           Supported the provision of approximately 870 additional jobs up to the year 2031. This would help to set a positive economic strategy for the District in line with to Paragraph 21 of the NPPF

·           With a pro-active approach to delivery taken by the Council, is “aspirational, but realistic” when considered in the context of an historic average delivery rate of 178 homes per year

·           Was deliverable in terms of the supply of suitable housing land, the scope to release land from the Green Belt and infrastructure capacity

·           Was consistent with the requirement agreed by the Council in 2016. The majority of sites required for this level of development were not found to give rise to significant landscape or heritage impacts, including on the setting of the Peak District National Park

·           Provided a balanced range of social, economic and environmental effects as set out in the Sustainability Appraisal the most consistent with the four aims of the Corporate Plan (2015-2019) when read as a whole


An employment land requirement of approximately 27ha was recommended up to the year 2031 for the Preferred Options Local Plan on the basis that:


·         It was at the top of the OAN range for employment and so closely corresponds with the proposed housing requirement to support sustainable development

·         Provided the greatest scope for business growth and wider economic benefits as identified in the Sustainability Appraisal

·         There was a sufficient supply of suitable sites to accommodate this level of development

·         This option was more closely aligned with the Government’s economic aspirations as set out in the NPPF and the recent Industrial Strategy


            It was PROPOSED and SECONDED that the recommendations be APPROVED.


            Members considered the details of the report in considerable depth and raised questions as to why site specific information was not included in the report.  It was explained that it was necessary for the target to be set by councillors first before sites could be assessed and options presented to members in June 2017.


            It was PROPOSED and SECONDED that the question be put.


            Upon being put to the vote, the PROPOSAL was declared CARRIED.


            As an AMENDMENT, it was PROPOSED and SECONDED that the consideration of the matter be deferred to the June meeting of the Council Assembly and considered with site options.


            Upon being put to the vote, the AMENDMENT was declared LOST.


            Upon being put to the vote, the ORIGINAL PROPOSAL was declared CARRIED.


RESOLVED  -     (a)       That the background evidence and subsequent analysis referred to in the report and accompanying appendices be considered.


(b)       That the recommended housing and employment land development requirements be supported for consultation purposes for the Local Plan Preferred Options as set out in Chapters 3 and 7 of the report.


(Councillor Alcock voted against the proposals.)


Supporting documents: