Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions
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This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Democratic and Electoral Services Team Manager will read the following announcement:
“The chairman would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).
If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.
This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.”
The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any item on the agenda.
(a) Pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct, Councillor S Murray declared a non-pecuniary and non-prejudicial interest on item 4, Adoption of the Epping Forest District Local Plan 2011-2033, by virtue of being an ambassador of the Epping Forest Heritage Trust.
The Chairman welcomed Councillors and members of the public who were seated in the public gallery and watching via webcast. She advised that before we moved to the substantive part of the meeting that she would like to make some opening remarks.
Local Planning Authorities were required by legislation to develop local plans, and the Government had stated that Local Planning Authorities should have an up-to-date local plan in place by the end of 2023.
The Epping Forest District Local Plan 2011–2033 has been found ‘sound’ following independent examination subject to a number of Main Modifications. The Local Plan formed part of the Council’s Statutory Policy Framework. The spatial strategy and housing requirement established through the Local Plan accords with the approach agreed by way of Memorandums of Understanding entered into by the Council through the ‘Duty to Cooperate’.
The Council wrote to the Inspector requesting that they recommended such modifications to the Submitted Local Plan as may be necessary to make the Plan sound and legally compliant. The Inspector has found the Plan Sound subject to a number of modifications.
Those modifications now needed to be accepted in their entirety and no further changes could be made to the Plan as now proposed to be modified. This meant that it would not be appropriate to discuss the contents of the Plan.
(Councillor N Bedford) To present a report regarding the Adoption of the Epping Forest District Local Plan (2011-2033).
Mover: Councillor N Bedford, Place Portfolio Holder and Deputy Leader
Councillor N Bedford stated that after a considerable amount of time that he was pleased that Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) had been given the green light, by the Independent Planning Inspector, to adopt the Epping Forest District Local Plan.
Councillors will see from the report there were two choices; (1) to agree to adopt the plan with the incorporation of all of the recommended modifications, or (2) not to adopt the plan. It was important that we have an up-to-date policy framework to enable the Council to properly manage and control development in the district and to ensure that we can fully protect our natural resources and environment.
Once the plan had been adopted, the Council would have a clear and robust strategy against which planning decisions for new homes could be made (including affordable homes), jobs and community facilities required over the next few years supported by the new infrastructure and, at the same time, protecting the environment. The new plan provided certainty for our communities as to what development would happen and where it would happen and this made it clear to developers the high standard that we expect from development within this District.
On 14 December 2017 EFDC agreed to publish, for comment, the Submission Version of the Epping Forest District Local Plan covering the period 2011-2033 and to submit the Plan to the Secretary of State for Examination. The submission plan was also endorsed as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and enforcement decisions to which the Council have been able to use it for that purpose. At that same meeting the Council gave authority to officers to write to the independent Inspector appointed to carry out the Examination requesting recommendations of any modifications as may be necessary to the submitted Local Plan, to make the Plan sound and legally compliant, in accordance with section 20(7C) of the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act.
The plan that was recommended to adopt was a modified version of that same plan. Those modifications have been identified by the Inspector as being necessary in order for the submission plan to be found sound. Importantly, the modifications do not change the spatial strategy agreed by this Council or the housing requirement established for the District, which was based on our own assessment of need, not a nationally derived figure. The requirement can be met from the reduced number of allocated sites and reduced capacity of some sites within the final Plan. The modifications do not change our approach to a provision for jobs within the District through the protection and expansion of our employment floorspace or the approach to protecting our valuable natural assets including Epping Forest and the Lee Valley. Nor, crucially, do they change our approach to securing the infrastructure and services needed to support the development proposed.
This Council, by agreeing to publish and submit the plan, accepted that part of the plan’s ... view the full minutes text for item 78.