Report of the Director of the Built Environment.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of the Built Environment detailing revisions to the Proposed Submission Draft City Plan 2036.
Officers reminded the Committee that the Court of Common Council had approved the Plan for consultation in May. However, this consultation could not then take place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. The City Corporation was now in a position for a revised consultation to take place but, before doing so, the Plan needed updating to reflect changes to the Use Classes Order and Officers had also taken the opportunity to update the document in reference to the Climate Action Strategy and to incorporate references to the impact of COVID. With regard to COVID, Officers reminded Members that the Plan was looking at a 15 year period until 2036 and that, although there were very significant impacts due to the pandemic in the short-term in the City, it was felt that the evidence as it currently stood suggested that the City would recover and that the Plan would provide a strong and stable strategy for enabling the City to continue to be a world leading financial and professional services centre going forward.
The schedule of changes being put to Members today would, if approved, also go to the Policy and Resources Committee and finally the Court of Common Council for approval prior to being put out for consultation. The schedule had been considered in detail and agreed by the Local Plans Sub Committee.
Officers went on to suggest that some of the recommendations set out within the report be amended. The recommendations had been written on the basis that Government guidance was very clear that consultation on a Plan at this stage meant that it should not subsequently be amended and should be submitted by the local authority to the inspector with the representations received. Officers were, however, aware that they may be a circumstance where the Committee may wish to look again at the Plan if material changes are required following consultation. With this in mind, an amendment to the recommendations was suggested such that a new recommendation was inserted to seek Member agreement to any material change required to the Plan following consultation should be brought back to this Committee for consideration. Officers would then subsequently amend the following recommendation such that only non-material changes to the Plan could be agreed by the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Committee.
The Chair thanked a Member who had suggested this change prior to the meeting and asked if he wished to add anything further at this stage. The Member stated that he was keen to see a Plan in place if possible and one that was looking to the longer-term, beyond any immediate difficulties over the coming months. He was also keen to hear back from consultees and to leave it so that this Committee could consider again any material changes required.
RESOLVED – That Members:
· Agree the proposed changes to the Proposed Submission draft Local Plan set out in Appendix 1 and that it be published for consultation, subject to the approval of the Policy and Resources Committee and Court of Common Council;
· Agree that, following consultation, the Plan, the public representations and other supporting documentation be submitted to the Secretary of State, for Examination;
· Agree that any material changes required to the Plan following consultation should be brought back to this Committee for consideration;
· Authorise the Director of the Built Environment, in liaison with the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Planning & Transportation Committee, to compile a list of further non-material changes to the Local Plan in response to public representations and submit this to the Secretary of State; and
· Authorise the Director of the Built Environment to make further non-material amendments and editorial changes prior to public consultation and submission to the Secretary of State.