Agenda item

Questions from members of the Public

The Chair, or his nominee, to answer any questions raised by members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 40.

 

Note: the deadline for questions to be considered at this meeting is 5pm on Tuesday, 2 November 2021.

 

At the time of publication of this agenda three questions had been received.

 

Decision:

Permitted questions were responded to, details of which will be included in the minutes of the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

Three questions were received from members of the public in relation to agenda item 10, Updates from Task and Finish and/or Working Groups.  Only two questions are admissible for each agenda item, furthermore one of the questions submitted was rejected by the Monitoring Officer as it did not fall within the remit of the Environment and Sustainability Committee.

 

Question 1 from Kath Sanders

 

“As Mr Nigel Rowe mentioned in Question 5 at the July Council meeting "The government has made it clear that infrastructure constraints should be taken into account when setting “a sustainable housing target” and work on this has not yet been done."

 

The answer to him and to several of my questions at the last full council meeting in July referenced the draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) which residents have not had sight of. One reason for not publishing it seems to be that it was only draft and another that it was awaiting a Part 2. This has not precluded the publication of other draft reports in the Local Plan process or other reports where a Part 2 followed. 

 

There seems to be no mention of the IDP in the minutes of the Environment & Sustainability Committee meeting on 14th September, I don't believe it was mentioned at the Extraordinary E&S Committee meeting last night (6th October) and it is not in the forward plan for the next meeting on the 9th November. The Local Plan Task Group does not publish minutes but, in the last verbal update to the E&S Committee meeting on 14th September, it was not mentioned either.

 

Please can you provide an update as to when the Infrastructure Delivery Plan will be made available to residents?”

 

Response from Cllr Beardsmore, Chair of Environment and Sustainability Committee:

 

“Work is continuing to develop the Infrastructure Delivery Plan in line with the proposed site allocations for the Consultation on the pre-Submission version of the Local Plan (Regulation 19) in 2022.  This further work includes the Part 2 element which will consider individual sites in greater detail, in regard to their infrastructure requirements if any are identified. We Members feel our residents should see the full picture rather than seeing Part 1 ahead of the Part 2 element.  To ensure that the IDP as a whole is a robust, evidence based document it is necessary to provide the most up-to-date information as a means of supporting the work on the new Local Plan.  The IDP has previously been through two rounds of consultation with service providers and other key stakeholders to establish their needs in the context of the Borough’s housing requirements and anticipated growth.  These consultations have allowed the relevant providers to identify where additional services would be required however not all providers have identified needs as a result of the proposed growth. 

 

The IDP, as a whole, will be published in advance of the Regulation 19 consultation, which the Council’s Local development Scheme states is to be held in February and March 2022.  Once published, the IDP will set out a clear picture of the Borough’s infrastructure needs, following discussions with the providers, as well as relevant traffic modelling and other essential evidence to support the proposed site allocations. The Local Plan Task Group is still reviewing all the sites to consider which should be taken forward as allocations and until that work is complete we will not be able to finalise Part 2 of the IDP but Members are aware of the need to make these decisions so that we can stick to our timetable for next steps on the Local Plan. Once this work is complete and the IDP is ready for publication, it will be brought back to the Local Plan Task Group and the Environment & Sustainability Committee prior to its public release.”

 

 

Question 2 from Nigel Rowe, OBE

 

“With persistent pressure from officers to press ahead with high-rise developments on several sites identified in the draft Staines Masterplan, has the Masterplan been validated in relation to the infrastructure it would require (highways and road access to the town, water supply and sewerage, schools and healthcare, etc)?  If not, when will this work be completed such that a Planning Inspector will consider it sound?”

 

Response from Cllr Beardsmore, Chair of Environment and Sustainability Committee:

 

“The masterplan referred to is known as the Staines Development Framework but is not yet complete. It is a work in progress following the recent public consultation on Objectives and Options. The Staines Development Task Group, including all Staines ward members, is meeting frequently to develop the key issues the Framework will address. Infrastructure is obviously an important element to support growth in Staines but this is being considered through the Borough-wide Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP), although some particular aspects such as highways and sustainable travel will also feature in the Framework where there will be proposals and initiatives on these subjects. As we have advised previously, work on the IDP is cannot yet be completed until all the sites for allocation have been finalised and this is what the Local Plan Task Group have been discussing. We are making progress towards this and once we have all the sites agreed, we can complete the work on infrastructure requirements at a more detailed level on a site by site basis. This will include school place provision, healthcare, roads and utilities as well as recreation and social and community infrastructure. It is anticipated that the sites will be finalised in the coming weeks. The IDP is fundamental to the delivery of the Local Plan and the Staines Development Framework so it will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate but as evidence to support those documents. Whilst it will undergo scrutiny, it is not a ‘policy’ document so it does not go through the same tests of soundness as development plan documents.”

 

 

Supporting documents: