Agenda item

Joint Core Strategy: Proposed Main Modifications

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning seeking approval of the proposed main modifications to the June 2014 Pre-Submission JCS for the purposes of undertaking formal public consultation into Post Submission Proposed Main Modifications to the JCS.

 

 

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

 

The opportunity is given to members of the public to put questions to Cabinet Members or Committee Chairs provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers.

 

Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

 

A period not exceeding three minutes is allowed for the presentation of a petition or deputation provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

 

*Please note that Public Questions, Petitions and Deputations must relate to the business for which the Special Meeting has been called.*

Minutes:

37.1       Councillor Organ (Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning) presented his report which sought approval of the proposed main modifications to the June 2014 Pre-Submission Joint Core Strategy (JCS) for the purposes of undertaking formal public consultation into Post Submission Proposed Main Modifications to the JCS. He stated that the JCS was a result of joint working between Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Councils to provide a robust plan to guide growth over the next fifteen years. He noted that the Council had last considered the JCS in June 2016 when Members noted the Interim Report of the Inspector.  The Inspector supported the spatial strategy of the JCS and had made clear the modifications she considered necessary to steer the JCS to adoption. He advised that approval of the proposed main modifications would enable JCS Officers to undertake formal public consultation in November/December 2016. There would be further public hearings in the New Year following the public consultation. He also advised Members that some of the Ministry of Defence land holdings in Aschurch may not be released during the plan period and any shortfall would be addressed in the plan review process. In moving the recommendation, he commended the modifications to Council and urged Members to support the recommendation as amended in the addendum to the Council agenda.

 

37.2       The motion was seconded by Councillor James (the Leader of the Council).

 

37.3       Councillor Hilton (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) believed that the Council should accept the modifications to enable work to proceed on the City Plan. He agreed with the Inspector that the Churchdown allocation be removed from the Strategy, but he questioned the allocation at Twigworth and the proximity to the airport. He believed that the Inspector should have considered an allocation at Highnam which would have created a good community close to the City Centre. He was disappointed that the Inspector had removed the requirement for ten per cent renewable energy and he believed that an opportunity had been lost by setting the level of affordable housing in large developments at twenty per cent for Gloucester while Cheltenham and Tewkesbury remained at forty per cent.

 

37.4       Councillor Haigh (Leader of the Labour Group) noted that it was important to move the main modifications to the public consultation stage. She referred to the five per cent uplift to boost affordable housing but regretted that this could not be achieved by other means. She welcomed the strategic allocation at Winnycroft which was supported by many residents in the ward. She believed that it was important that all three authorities should benefit from the JCS which she believed had moved away from sustainable greener solutions probably driven by affordability. She welcomed the report and stated that the Council should work with the County and other District Councils in Gloucestershire to deliver this housing.

 

37.5       Councillor Morgan believed that it was right and proper for the modifications to progress to public consultation although he disagreed with the five per cent uplift as he believed that the additional 683 homes would put additional pressure on green field sites around Gloucester.

 

37.6       Councillor Melvin supported the recommendation, but questioned the additional 1365 homes at Twigworth due to the risk of flooding. She stated that the proposed housing may be on higher ground but asked how this could be justified to local residents.

 

37.7       Councillor Stephens referred to the five per cent uplift and stated that councils had failed to deliver the social housing needed in the County. He asked how the Council could deal with the increasing homelessness crisis in the City without the uplift.

 

37.8       Councillor James advised that he agreed with some of the concerns raised, but noted the need to progress the strategy. He shared Councillor Morgan’s view on the five per cent uplift which he believed was a blunt instrument and he believed that the amount of affordable housing that could be delivered would depend on viability. He stated that the leaders of all three Councils had challenged the Inspector’s views but she had made clear that she would not move in regard to the modifications. He shared concerns regarding the numbers proposed for Twigworth. He referred to pages 65, 66 and 73 of the report and delivery of the regeneration strategy. He believed that retail review should be completed more quickly than the two years stated in the modification. He was keen to accommodate as much of the City’s growth within Gloucester’s boundaries as possible and believed that the Strategy was as good as it could be.

 

37.9       Councillor Organ thanked Members for their comments. He stated that Councillor Hilton’s comments were well made points and he believed that greener development would be achieved in the build process due to the Kyoto Agreement. He supported Councillor Stephens’ comments regarding affordable housing, but noted that older people had housing needs as well as younger people. He believed that a balance was needed and he expressed a preference for the redevelopment of brownfield sites rather than greenfield development. In conclusion, he noted that the recommendations represented an important step forward and were vital for the County.

 

37.10   RESOLVED that the Council:

 

(1)        Approves for public consultation the proposed main modifications to the June 2014 Pre-Submission Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy as set out in Appendix 1 to this report (including proposed modifications to the Proposals Map and Key Diagram) as those it endorses and considers necessary to make the JCS sound.

 

(2)      Delegates authority to the Chief Executive of Tewkesbury Borough Council, the Managing Director of Gloucester City Council and the Director of Planning of Cheltenham Borough Council in consultation with the relevant Leaders of each of those Councils to make minor changes to the proposed main modifications and proposed modifications to the Proposals Map and Key Diagram in terms of formatting, presentation and accuracy, including any minor changes arising from the consideration of the proposed modifications by each of the Joint Core Strategy Councils, prior to publication for consultation purposes.

 

(3)            Agrees that Appendix Ai “Indicative Site Layout - Twigworth urban extension”, Appendix Aii “the City of Gloucester Proposed Primary Shopping Area, Primary Frontage and Secondary Frontage”, the “Addendum for Council – Primary Frontages” and Appendix B “Superseded Development Plan Policies on Adoption of the JCS” be incorporated into the proposed Main Modifications to the June 2014 Pre-Submission Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy as set out in Appendix 1 to this report (including proposed modifications to the Proposals Map and Key Diagram) as those it endorses and considers necessary to make the JCS sound.

Supporting documents:

 

 
 
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