Agenda item

Questions of which notice has been given

Minutes:

1.       Councillor Farrell submitted the following question for the Leader of the Council:

 

“The High Peak Local Plan was adopted in 2016.  The NPPF states at paragraph 33:

 

Policies in local plans and spatial development strategies should be reviewed to assess whether they need updating at least once every 5 years, and should then be updated as necessary.  Reviews should be completed no later than five years from the adoption date of a plan, and should take into account changing circumstances affecting the area, or any relevant changes in national policy.”

 

We have been told that the Council is evidence gathering and will complete review of the 2016 Local Plan in Spring 2022.  Since the plan was adopted there have been changes in circumstances (declaring a climate emergency and the recent IPCC report , February 2022). Both underline the urgent need for the Council to act on its Climate Change commitments and make the updating of the plan even more urgent. 

 

Notwithstanding changes to the building regulations set to come into force to improve energy efficiency there is still much the Council can do.  Updating the plan would strengthen the case for environmental measures when considering planning applications.  Likewise, there is an urgent need to improve the biodiversity of the High Peak, which can be supported by a revised Local Plan.  The IPCC report underlines that biodiversity and action on climate change cannot be separated.

 

Can the Council now confirm a date for completion of the Local Plan review and that, pending decision by the Executive, it intends to update the plan by Spring 2023.”

 

 

Response from Councillor Anthony McKeown, Leader of the Council

 

“As outlined in the report considered by both the Local Plan Steering Group and the Executive, officers have undertaken a range of studies to update the local plan evidence base.

 

The work to update the evidence base is now ready to present to members and a series of Local Plan Steering group meetings will commence in May to provide members with the opportunity to consider the information that has been gathered. This will also include proposals for the development of a Biodiversity Strategy as well as details of possible planning measures to tackle climate change that have been developed with other local planning authorities and the County Council as part of Vision Derbyshire.

 

As well as considering the implications of the update evidence base, the implications of the new Environment Act 2021 will also be discussed. The Act will introduce a mandatory requirement for developments to achieve a 10% net gain in biodiversity by the end of 2023 irrespective of local planning policies but it is recognised local plans can have a role to play in ensuring that net gain supports wider policy objectives. 

 

In terms of the timetable to complete the review of the local plan, following the completion of the next round of Steering Group meetings, a report will be considered by the Executive in June to determine the next steps in the review process. If it is concluded that an update to the current Local Plan is needed, a detailed timetable for plan preparation will be considered in the form of a new Local Development Scheme.”

 

In response to a supplementary question the Leader of the Council stated that a timetable would be considered at the next meeting of the Executive following deliberations by the Local Plan Steering Group.

 

 

2.       Councillor Ashton submitted the following question for the Leader of the Council:

 

 

“Will the Leader please supply members with a spreadsheet of all minor planning applications that were RECEIVED over 8 weeks ago and not yet determined, including when each application was received?”

 

Response from Councillor Anthony McKeown, Leader of the Council

 

“Officers are working to prepare the information requested which should be available to members shortly. The planning system is unable to supply the requested information directly.”

 

In response to a supplementary question the Leader of the Council stated that increased numbers of applications were being received and that staff were being recruited to vacant positions.  An action plan has been produced by the Executive Director (Place) and the Head of Service to identify additional external support that may be required.

 

 

Supporting documents: