Issue - meetings

Local Plan Resources

Meeting: 07/12/2017 - Cabinet (Item 91)

91 Resourcing the Delivery of the Local Plan pdf icon PDF 129 KB

(Planning & Governance Portfolio Holder) To consider the attached report (C-036-2017/18).

Additional documents:


(1)        That the establishment of a Strategic Sites Implementation Team be agreed to ensure the effective delivery of the required growth in housing and employment with supporting infrastructure, as proposed in the new Local Plan;


(2)        That a District Development Fund bid be made for two years in the sum of £278,010 per annum for 2018/19 budget, subject to review in 2019/20 for the 2020/21 budget once the ongoing revenue requirements were fully established, taking into consideration income streams realised;


(3)        That suitable Job Descriptions be developed and Job Evaluation undertaken to enable recruitment to commence for the new roles as soon as possible after resourcing agreed, in order to demonstrate commitment and progress at the Examination in Public; and


(4)    That the location of the new Strategic Sites Implementation Team within the Council’s management structure be determined as part of the Council’s new People Strategy.


The Portfolio Holder for Planning & Governance presented a report on resourcing the delivery of the Local Plan.


The Portfolio Holder reminded the Cabinet that, as a result of the publication of the Government’s proposed standardised methodology for the assessment of housing need, the Council had decided to bring forward the publication of the Regulation 19 Plan to December 2017, in order to ensure submission of the final Plan for Examination in Public before the end of March 2018.


The Portfolio Holder stated that, in order for the new Local Plan to be found sound at the Examination in Public, the Planning Inspector would need to be assured that the Plan was capable of being practically delivered. Key to this was the partnership approach for the development of major sites through masterplanning. This was an approach that the Council had previously agreed. Arising from a skills audit of the Council’s current capacity, a need for additional resources had been identified in order that personnel with the appropriate skills and experience could be recruited to commence this important work. It was proposed that a new Strategic Sites Implementation Team be recruited, consisting of the following roles with the indicative grades being subject to job evaluation:


            (i)         Implementation Manager – Grade 10;


            (ii)        Principal Planning Officer – Grade 9;


            (iii)       Development Surveyor – Grade 9;


            (iv)       Urban Designer – Grade 9;


            (v)        Land Drainage Engineer – Grade 8; and


            (vi)       Countryside/Conservation Assistant – Grade 5.


The Portfolio Holder proposed that the location of the new team within the Council’s management structure be determined during the implementation of the recently agreed People Strategy.


Cllr J M Whitehouse commented that having a team in place at the Council would be a better alternative than having to rely on Consultants to perform the work, although there could be recruitment difficulties if these posts were for a two-year fixed term. The Portfolio Holder responded that the process of implementing the Local Plan would not cease after two years, and it was expected that more staff would be needed in the future. However, this was the best estimate of the resources required at the current time by the Council to implement the Local Plan. The Cabinet could expect a report to be submitted to a future meeting to revise the Team when it was clearer what resources were required, and for the team to ultimately be cost neutral to the Council.


The Cabinet fully supported the proposals, especially as there was a need to develop a number of masterplans to implement certain elements of the Local Plan. The Portfolio Holder explained that Planning Officers were becoming available; however, a future request for market supplements could not be ruled out as commercial companies paid higher rates, as did companies and authorities based in London, which was adjacent to the District. It was reiterated that the recruitment of these resources would assist the Council in having its draft Local Plan being found as ‘sound’ at the Examination in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91