To receive any disclosures of interest from councillors under the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, or contact with applicants/objectors under the Planning Code.
a) Disclosures of interest under the Members’ Code of Conduct
There were none.
b) Declarations of interest under the Council’s Planning Code
Councillors C Bateson, A Brar, M Gibson, T Lagden, R Noble, R Sider BEM, R Smith-Ainsley, B Spoor and J Vinson reported that they had received correspondence and/or telephone calls from the applicant in relation to application 21/00010/FUL but had maintained an impartial role, had not expressed any views and had kept an open mind.
Councillors C Bateson, M Gibson, T Lagden, R Smith-Ainsley and J Vinson reported that they had received correspondence and/or telephone calls from the applicant in relation to application 20/01112/FUL but had maintained an impartial role, had not expressed any views and had kept an open mind.
Councillor R Smith-Ainsley reported that he had attend meetings with the Chief Executive, Residents Associations’ representatives and residents in relation to application 20/01483/FUL but had maintained an impartial role, had not expressed any views and had kept an open mind.
The Principal Planning Officer provided the Committee with an update to the National Planning Policy Framework that was revised on 20 July 2021 and sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. The main changes that Members should be aware of are as follows:
Improve design quality, including a new requirement for councils to produce local design codes or guides
Updated policies aiming to improve the design of new developments:
· Changes to the overarching social objective of the planning system (paragraph 8b) to include the fostering of ‘well-designed, beautiful and safe places’. The old version had merely required a ‘well designed and safe built environment’
· Introducing a new test that development should be well-designed (paragraph 133). This says that ‘development that is not well designed should be refused, especially where it fails to reflect local design policies and government guidance on design, taking into account any local design guidance and supplementary planning documents such as design guides and codes’.
· It goes on to say that ‘significant weight’ should be given to ‘development which reflects local design policies and government guidance on design, taking into account any local design guidance and supplementary planning documents such as design guides and codes’. Significant weight should also be given to ‘outstanding or innovative designs which promote high levels of sustainability, or help raise the standard of design more generally in an area’, the new paragraph 133 says.
· Para 128 states that in order to ‘provide maximum clarity about design expectations at an early stage’, all local planning authorities ‘should prepare design guides or codes consistent with the principles set out in the National Design Guide and National Model Design code, and which reflect local character and design preferences’.
An emphasis on using tress in new developments – para 131
Adjusting the presumption in favour of sustainable development for plan-makers – para 11a
Meet the development needs of their area; align growth and infrastructure; improve the environment; mitigate climate change (including by making effective use of land in urban areas) and adapt to its effects.
New limits on the use of article 4 directions to restrict PD rights – Para 3
Should only be used where it is ‘essential to avoid wholly unacceptable adverse impacts’, for example the ‘loss of the essential core of a primary shopping area which would seriously undermine its vitality and viability. In ‘all cases’, article 4 directions should be ‘based on robust evidence, and apply to the smallest geographical area possible’.
Councils should ‘retain and explain’ statues rather than remove them – para 198
Encouraging faster delivery of further education colleges, hospitals and prisons – para 96