Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Early Engagement on the Local Plan

To authorise consultation on the Early Engagement (Regulation 18) Draft and Site Assessments for a new Local Plan for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. To note that this document is the first consultation for the development of a new Local Plan and is a statutory stage.

Decision:

Resolved that –

 

1.    the Early Engagement (Regulation 18) Draft and Site Assessment documents for the purposes of public consultation (Annexes 1 and 2) be approved; and

 

2.    prior to consultation, the Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holders and opposition spokesperson(s) be given delegated authority to;

 

(a)  agree the branding and consultation collateral of the Issues and Options (now entitled Early Engagement);

 

(b)  make amendments to these documents and approve the consultation collateral.

Minutes:

Members considered a report which sought consultation on the Early Engagement (Regulation 18) Draft and Site Assessments for a new Local Plan for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, as set out in Annexes 1 and 2 of the Committee report. Members noted the final designed version which was tabled. It was reported that the new Local Plan, when agreed, would supersede the Kingston’s Core Strategy 2012, and the Kingston Town Centre Area Action Plan (K+20) 2008.

 

It was explained that this was the first public stage of consultation and development of a new local plan, which was statutory and would seek the views of Kingston’s varied communities and stakeholders about the future of the borough from 2019 to 2041.

 

The Committee noted that The Early Engagement document (formerly known as Issues and Options) and the Site Assessments were approved for consultation by the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee (SHAP) on the 8 November 2018. The decision was further considered by the Scrutiny Panel on 20 December 2018 following the submission of a Community Call-In. The Panel determined that the documents required more explanation and were incomplete. It was recommended that the final draft of the consultation document should return to a future meeting of the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee for consideration.

 

A number of members of the public raised concerns with the consultation documents. Particular concern was centred on why the Council had not challenged the 30,008 housing target, as set out in the Draft London Plan, for the 2019-2041 plan period. There were also questions raised as to why the Kingston had been designated an ‘opportunity area’.

 

By way of response it was explained that the Council had challenged the Housing target figures outlined in the Draft London Plan. It was explained that in order to mitigate any risk the Early Engagement needs to consult on a likely housing target, as the final targets were currently unknown, the current draft Local Plan, outlined in Annex 1 of the report, included those target figures. Officers explained that only the Mayor of London could designate opportunity areas but that the boundary is agreed at a local level and there is a question on this in the Early Engagement.

 

Many residents spoke against the list of potential development sites in Annex 2. By way of response it was explained that the sites shown in Annex 2 were not active developments and were merely a result of a ‘Call for Sites consultation’ which ran in 2017. It was explained that landowners, developers, agents and the public were invited to put forward sites for consideration, which could have potential to contribute towards future development in the Local Plan and help address Kingston’s future need for housing, economy and employment, education, healthcare and other uses. There are also sites from the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment. It was emphasised that the upcoming consultation was an opportunity for the Council to build local evidence on the suitability of each site and whether to take forward in the Local Plan. Residents were encouraged to take part in the consultation to raise their concerns on particular sites offered.

 

Voting:

 

For:                 Councillors Malcolm Self (Chair), Emily Davey (Vice-Chair), Tim Cobbett, Sam Foulder-Hughes, Lesley Heap, Jon Tolley and Sharon Young. (7)

 

Against:         (0)

 

Abstain:         Councillors Roy Arora and Nicola Sheppard. (2)

 

 

Supporting documents: