Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Tuesday 1st February 7.30pm

Planning Advisory Group

Under minutes of the previous meeting a revised draft policy DM30 on back garden land was circulated and a request for comments made, to be submitted by email within a week.

The Five Year Housing Land Assessment item was taken first. Dean James advised that the council is required to assess and demonstrate its ability to maintain a five year supply of deliverable housing sites to meet the targets in the London Plan. The draft replacement London Plan sets a minimum target for Sutton of 210 units per annum. The assessment considers sites under construction and sites with planning permission to determine the likely resulting provision of units. It then looks at sites that have been included in the Sutton UDP and unallocated brownfield sites where it is known that they are likely to be developed. The estimates are cautious as the situation can be volatile, however it is expected that the borough will achieve its targets over the five year period.

Jeff Wilson advised of the proposed revised Local Development Scheme as the result of budget constraints.

Next there was discussion about the planning aspects of the Localism Bill. It was noted that there was potential for local residents to misinterpret the intentions of the bill around Neighbourhood Planning as an opportunity to protect their areas, whereas the bill’s aim appeared to be to encourage additional housebuilding. A local resident association chair who attended the meeting confirmed that that had been his first instinct when the bill was publicised. Concern was expressed about the lack of detail in the plan and number of uncertainties. It was felt that it would be useful to advise residents of the opportunities through our local committees, but the number of questions that might be raised to which we could not yet supply answers made us decide to wait awhile. Mr Wilson thought it might be useful if the local authority set out a programme of neighbourhood plans to be worked on in conjunction with residents, and this was judged to be a good way forward, but again more information was required before work could begin. I had concerns that the bill introduced additional levels of bureaucracy rather than removing them, despite the good intentions of the bill.

Sally Blomfield then presented the proposed Sutton Town Centre policies for inclusion in the Site Development Policies DPD in place of taking forward the Sutton Town Centre Area Action Plan. These were agreed for recommendation to the Executive.

Patrick Whitter presented the draft Interim Planning Guidence on Climate Change Mitigation to go out for public consultation. This would set out the key principles for minimizing carbon dioxide emissions as material considerations for development control purposes in advance of the adoption of the Site Development Policies DPD. The IPG sets out guidelines on energy efficient design and layouts, protocols for decentralized energy network opportunities, requirements for energy assessments, and the basis of carbon offset negotiations through s106 agreements.

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February 17, 2011 - Posted by | Committee Meeting

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