Agenda and minutes

Local Plan Cabinet Committee - Thursday 17th October 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: V. Messenger  Tel: (01992) 564243 Email:


No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

The Chairman will read the following announcement:


“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent, repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being made available for those that request it.


By being present at this meeting, it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in your image becoming part of the broadcast.


You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights, and if you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.


Please could I also remind Members and Officers to activate their microphones before speaking.”

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The Chairman made a short address to remind attendees that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

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There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Member Code of Conduct.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Cabinet Committee held on 22 November 2018 (previously circulated).

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That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To note the Cabinet Committee’s Terms of Reference, as agreed by the Leader of the Council in June 2012.

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The Cabinet Committee noted its Terms of Reference, as amended by the Leader of the Council in June 2012.


Presentation - Local Plan Update

(Interim Assistant Director (Planning Policy and Implementation)) To receive a presentation updating the current position of the Local Plan.

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The Interim Assistant Director (Planning Policy) gave a presentation to members that provided an update on the current status of the Local Plan. The same presentation had also been shown at the Members Briefing prior to this Local Plan Cabinet Committee meeting.


The Local Plan Submission Version (SV) had been submitted for examination in September 2018. A series of public hearings had been held by the Local Plan Inspector from February to June 2019. Appendix 6 had been submitted in addition to the Local Plan SV as part of the LP policy and set out the site specific requirements for each site allocation.


The Inspector’s response was received by the Council on 2 August 2019 and had contained a number of actions that the Council needed to take. It set out further work that was required including a number of main modifications. The main modifications included a sustainability appraisal and an updated Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) as the Inspector had not been able to prove beyond all reasonable ‘scientific’ doubt, the robustness of the HRA, which would involve undertaking additional transport modelling and air quality modelling. The Inspector had accepted the proposed housing requirement of 11,400 new dwellings, employment areas and traveller sites for the District. Further discussions with Transport for London (TfL) would be required in connection with the Local Plan sites at Loughton and Debden Station car parks in relation to the limit of the height of the developments, as a greater quantity of development was being proposed by TfL than in the Local Plan. A review of site capacity work in the South Epping masterplan was also required as was the deletion of the proposed allocations at Jessel Green (Loughton) and Limes Farm (Chigwell).


The undertaking of additional scoping work in order to meet the Inspector’s concerns had taken longer that Planning Policy had hoped and there would be further sustained appraisal work. Updating and revising the transport and air quality modelling would be necessary for the HRA to understand the vehicle fleet mix for traffic using the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (SAC). A meeting had been arranged for early next month with Natural England to update and agree the methodology to be used. This would feed into a final mitigation strategy addressing both the recreational impact on the Forest and the air quality impact across the whole of the District.


In relation to what the Council was doing regarding the current position with planning application permissions, a statement was available on the website. A review of all planning applications was underway to see which ones could be granted, if there would be no increase in average daily travelling. The Council was taking further legal advice in relation to the extent that other planning applications could impact on the SAC and air quality, and a report on this progress would be going to Cabinet in December 2019.


When the additional work had been completed, a formal 6-week public consultation would be required. The Inspector would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Presentation - Quality Review Panel

(Chairman of the Quality Review Panel) To receive a presentation on the activities of the Quality Review Panel.

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The Interim Assistant Director (Planning Policy) outlined the background to the Quality Review Panel (QRP) that started in 1924 at the Royal Fine Arts Commission until 1999. It then came under the Commission for Architecture and the Build Environment (CABE) from 1999 to 2011. Regional panels were set up from 2009 and the Design Council CABE took the lead from 2011. The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPFF) of 2012 reviewed the current design quality standards. This was reinforced by the NPPF updated in February 2019 that reinforced design arrangements. QRPs strived to achieve an emphasis on design. Therefore, good design was important and a key aspect of sustainable development.


The Council had set up this process and the QRP was established in April 2018 primarily to try and improve design in the District and the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town developments. There were a number of design policies within the Local Plan. In the Local Plan SV there was provision that all schemes of 50 plus homes, 5000 square metres of commercial floorspace and other floorspace were expected to go to the QRP. This would also include smaller complex schemes or possibly those that were locally significant. The QPR, chaired by P Maxwell, was comprised of eighteen environment and build design experts, and its Terms of Reference were on the website. The Panel acted as a critical frame to ensure the delivery of high quality developments. The Chairman of the Panel and four other members reviewed developments and provided a written report. Reviewing developments was easier to do in the preliminary stages and these reports would be confidential. The reports would be non-confidential when planning applications were submitted to the Local Planning Authority and would be appended to any subsequent planning committee meeting. The Local Plan design policies strengthened policy DM9 (high quality design) and policy SP3 (place shaping).


The Chairman of the Panel, P Maxwell, gave a brief overview of his background as a design director, who had worked in the public sector developer side for fifteen years spanning suburban to infrastructure developments. He was involved with the regeneration of Stratford. This incorporated the design of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Chobham Manor neighbourhood for 5,500 homes, and the cost construction risk of the Stratford waterfront development that included the University of East London and the ECL Partnership. The QRP reviews would see projects through the pre-application phase to the final planning application stage with support from the planning and urban design officers of the Council and Garden Town, who would highlight when it was appropriate to go to the Panel. Most Panel members were senior director level in their specialisations.


Nearly every site visited by the Panel so far was remarkable in a different way, but it was often shocking that applicants did not understand. The QRP was there to give critical but helpful advice and challenge the sense of place. It was there to look at inclusivity. Would these homes be open and equitable for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Any Other Business

Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, together with paragraphs (6) and (24) of the Council Procedure Rules contained in the Constitution requires that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.


In accordance with Operational Standing Order (6) (non-executive bodies), any item raised by a non-member shall require the support of a member of the Cabinet Committee and the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee. Two weeks’ notice of non-urgent items is required.

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The Cabinet Committee noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration at the meeting.


Exclusion of Public and Press


To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):


Agenda Item No


Exempt Information Paragraph Number





The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the Proper Officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.


Background Papers

Article 17 of the Constitution (Access to Information) define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:


(a)        disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based;  and


(b)        have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.


The Council will make available for public inspection one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers for four years after the date of the meeting. Inspection of background papers can be arranged by contacting either the Responsible Officer or the Democratic Services Officer for the particular item.

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The Cabinet Committee noted that there was no business which necessitated the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting.