South Essex Joint Strategic Plan

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Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23144

Received: 10/04/2019

Respondent: Thurrock Borough Council

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? Yes

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

Thurrock supports: commitment to ASELA, Brnetwoods commitment to review the plan to ensure any opportunities for additional growth and infrastructure identified in the JSP can be realised; that the review would be an effective mechanism to align the plans in the future.
However, it is considered that a number of the policies including SP02 should be amended to make reference to the circumstances and triggers in which the Brentwood Local Plan would need to be reviewed including failure to deliver the housing within the plan and /or a different spatial strategy or growth levels as a result of the policy approach following adoption of a South Essex Joint Strategic Plan.

Change suggested by respondent:

It is considered that a number of the policies including SP02 should be amended to make reference to the circumstances and triggers in which the Brentwood Local Plan would need to be reviewed including failure to deliver the housing within the plan and /or a different spatial strategy or growth levels as a result of the policy approach following adoption of a South Essex Joint Strategic Plan.

Full text:

Thurrock Council supports in principle the approach taken by Brentwood Council to accommodate its objectively assessed need within Brentwood's boundary, whilst recognising this is an ambitious growth agenda.

It is also recognised that Brentwood Council is committed as a member of the Association of South Essex Authorities (ASELA) to the long term South Essex 2050 Ambition and preparation of a statutory South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (JSP).

Since the summer of 2017 the leaders and chief executives of the South Essex Councils with the inclusion of Brentwood Borough Council and Essex County Council have also come together to develop a shared long term place vision for South Essex and develop the scope for greater strategic collaboration. By late 2017 work on the vision has resulted in the South Essex 2050 Ambition which includes agreement on the key policy themes to be supported, identifies six growth areas to be promoted and the establishment of new joint working arrangements including strategic planning.

In early 2018 the leaders and chief executives have committed to continuing with the vision and formalising the collaboration by forming an Association as agreed in a MOU and known as the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA). The aims of ASELA include providing place leadership, and the opening up of space for housing, business and leisure development by developing a joint spatial strategy.

More recently, as a member of ASELA, Brentwood Council have signed the Statement of Common Ground for the JSP and Planning Memorandum (MOU) in June-July 2018. A key issue for Brentwood is how the preparation of the Brentwood Local plan will align with the preparation of the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan.

The Brentwood Local Plan is being prepared in advance of the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan. The current timetable for the Brentwood local Plan indicates the plan being adopted winter 2019. The South Essex Joint Strategic Plan is at an early stage of plan preparation and development of the technical evidence base. The JSP will initially cover a plan period up to 2038 and therefore five years beyond the Bentwood Local Plan period but will not be adopted until 2021 at the earliest.

Thurrock Council supports the recognition in the Brentwood Pre-Submission Local Plan (Regulation 19) in paragraphs 1.35 to 1.38 in the commitment to joint collaboration undertaken by ASELA, the South Essex 2050 growth and place-making agenda and the preparation of a South Essex Joint Strategic Plan.

Thurrock Council supports the approach in paragraph 1.38 that the Brentwood Local Plan is likely to need to be reviewed at least in part to ensure any opportunities for additional growth and infrastructure in the borough identified in the JSP can be realised.

Thurrock Council supports the approach that a review of the Brentwood Local Plan would be an effective mechanism to allow the policies and growth set out in the JSP to be incorporated into the Bentwood Local Plan and for future alignment of the timescales of both development plans.

It is considered that a number of the policies including SP02 should be amended to make reference to the circumstances and triggers in which the Brentwood Local Plan would need to be reviewed including failure to deliver the housing within the plan and /or a different spatial strategy or growth levels as a result of the policy approach following adoption of a South Essex Joint Strategic Plan.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23950

Received: 14/05/2019

Respondent: CEG Land Promotions Limited

Agent: Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (page 17 - 18)

The Council helpfully explains the progress that has been made on the Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) and the collaboration that has occurred on this. However, CEG considers that the relationship between the Local Plan and the JSP should be made clearer. It should be clearly explained that adoption of the JSP will only occur after the adoption of the Brentwood Local Plan and because of the timing the Brentwood Local Plan will contribute towards some of the growth requirements of the JSP. To address this, some modifications are suggested

Change suggested by respondent:

South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (page 17 - 18)

The below modifications are proposed paragraph 1.38 to ensure the Local Plan is positively prepared and the relationship between it and the JSP is clearer:

"Work on the Joint Strategic Plan is at an early stage with adoption in 2020 expected after the adoption of the Brentwood Local Plan. The Brentwood Local Plan will contribute towards some of the growth requirements of the Joint Strategic Plan. early in that Plan. However, Following the adoption of the Joint Strategic Plan it may be necessary to review the Brentwood Local Plan."

Full text:

6 Submitted forms, commenting on the SA and on the Local Plan.
Form A:Chapters 1-3,
Form B Chapter 4,
Form C Chapter 5,
Form D Chapter 6,
Form E Chapter 7,
Form F Chapter 9
These representations deal with the following chapters in the Plan:
* Chapter 1. Introduction
* Chapter 2. Borough of Villages
* Chapter 3. Spatial Strategy - Vision and Strategic Objectives
In relation to Chapter 1, under Sustainability Appraisal, we also comment on the Sustainability Appraisal report (AECOM, January 2019).

Within our response to question no. 5 below, reference is made to specific pages, paragraphs and/or policies.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Duty to Cooperate (page 14)

Paragraphs 1.11 to 1.15 of the Local Plan briefly describe the Duty to Cooperate, its legal requirements in this regard and its commitment to cooperating with neighbouring authorities and key organisations on strategic planning issues. Paragraph 1.14 indicates the Council will publish a Duty to Cooperate Position Statement to describe the ongoing engagement and provide an update on the activities undertaken so far.
The Duty to Cooperate was introduced by the Localism Act 2011, and is set out in section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. It places a legal duty on local planning authorities to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of local plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters. This is picked up in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which makes it clear that (paragraphs 25 - 27):
(a) strategic policy-making authorities should collaborate to identify the strategic matters of relevance;
(b) effective and ongoing joint working between strategic policy-making authorities and relevant authorities is integral to the production of a positively prepared and justified strategy; and
(c) in order to demonstrate this, statements of common ground should be produced (in accordance with the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) and made publicly available so as to ensure transparency.

The Position Statement makes it clear that engagement with a wide range of stakeholders has taken place over several years which is noted and supported, as it demonstrates a significant effort has been made. CEG can confirm such an effort has been made by the Council with them over the Dunton Hills Strategic Allocation. However, at present CEG is not convinced that the Position Statement demonstrates that the Council has complied with the duty. The Council itself describes the document as a 'snapshot' and an 'initial summary' suggesting more is being done.
The PPG places much more emphasis on statements of common ground as how strategic policy making authorities can demonstrate that a plan is based on effective cooperation and that they have sought to produce a strategy based on agreements with other authorities. The Council has not yet provided the level of detail set out in the PPG and this will need to be worked up in due course.
The PPG also indicates that as the duty relates to the preparation of the plan it cannot be rectified post-submission so if the Inspector finds that the duty has not been complied with the examination would not proceed further. It might well be the case that there is further evidence, to which the Council can point in demonstrating compliance with a duty but it does not appear to be publicly available.
CEG understands that discussions with various authorities and prescribed bodies are well advanced and that an updated Position Statement will be prepared prior to submission to fully document the level of cooperation and the extent of agreement reached.
It is noted that the Position Statement refers to Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV) and consultation with Homes England but makes no reference to consultation with other relevant authorities or prescribed bodies which CEG knows has occurred. The updated Position Statement and relevant Statements of Common Ground should explain the full extent of the cooperation and agreement that has been reached in relation to this Strategic Allocation, as CEG is aware that it has been very extensive.
Sustainability Appraisal (Local Plan, page 15) & Interim Sustainability Appraisal (January 2019)
The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 makes clear that local planning authorities must carry out a process of sustainability appraisal alongside plan making. This approach is reinforced in the NPPF which states that local plans and spatial development strategies should be informed throughout their preparation by a sustainability appraisal that meets the relevant statutory tests. Sustainability appraisals are required to demonstrate how the plan has addressed relevant economic, social and environmental objectives and avoid significant adverse impacts, wherever possible.
The Council has prepared Interim Sustainability Appraisals throughout the preparation of the Local Plan and this has informed the Spatial Strategy. The latest Interim Sustainability Appraisal explains the seven alternative development scenarios considered and the reasons for supporting some scenarios over others. There is an assessment of each scenario against economic, social and environmental topics based upon the relevant evidence base for each topic. This assessment explains why some scenarios rank higher than others. The Interim Sustainability Appraisal is sound and has been prepared in accordance with legislative requirements and the NPPF.
CEG supports the conclusion regarding DHGV but considers that the Council should supplement the assessment of the options - this could be more empirical and provide a fuller explanation of the conclusions reached, with more cross reference to the outcomes of other evidence base. Furthermore, in considering landscape issues the assessment does not deal with the landscape capacity of sites or areas to accommodate new development.
South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (page 17 - 18)

The Council helpfully explains the progress that has been made on the Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) and the collaboration that has occurred on this. However, CEG considers that the relationship between the Local Plan and the JSP should be made clearer. It should be clearly explained that adoption of the JSP will only occur after the adoption of the Brentwood Local Plan and because of the timing the Brentwood Local Plan will contribute towards some of the growth requirements of the JSP. To address this, some modifications are suggested in response to question no. 6 below.
Chapter 2. Borough of Villages

CEG supports the characterisation of Brentwood as a Borough of Villages and the Borough Profile (February 2019) evidence base which describes the unique nature of a market town and surrounding villages set amongst countryside as fundamental to the Borough's character. CEG considers that it is entirely appropriate that this characterisation forms a central part of the Vision set out in Chapter 3 of the Local Plan.

Fig. 2.2 (Brentwood Borough Hierarchy) in the Local Plan draws from the existing and proposed settlement hierarchy diagrams set out in the Borough Profile, and shows in plan form how well the Local Plan proposals reflect the Borough of Villages character. This includes the DHGV proposal, which presents a very positive response to meet the Borough's housing needs and will fit into the hierarchy of settlements in the future as set out in Fig. 2.3 (Settlement Hierarchy) in the Local Plan.

Chapter 3. Spatial Strategy - Vision and Strategic Objectives

The Spatial Strategy identifies two growth areas which align with transport corridors; the Central Brentwood Growth Corridor and the South Brentwood Growth Corridor, within which DHGV is proposed. Development outside of these corridors will be limited to retain the local character of the Borough (paragraph 3.21).

The NPPF recognises that the supply of a large number of homes can often best be achieved through planning for larger scale development, such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns (paragraph 72). The approach of planning for DHGV is consistent with this and retaining the local character of the Borough.

CEG supports the Vison, the Driving Factors, the Overarching Aims, Strategic Objectives and the Strategic Allocation of DHGV as part of the South Brentwood Growth Corridor set out in Chapter 3. The Spatial Strategy and Development Principles will deliver the Vision. Given the importance attributed to Brentwood as a Borough of Villages and the need for Brentwood to meet its housing needs, the Spatial Strategy is sound; it is positively prepared, justified and consistent with national policy.



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