Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Cabinet Decision: 5th July 2007
Title of Item/Report
Core Strategy Development Plan Document Preferred Options Local Development Framework
Record of the Decision
Cabinet was asked to consider and approve the Core Strategy Development Plan Document Preferred Options for public consultation.

Members noted that the Core Strategy was a strategic document that set out the vision and spatial strategy for meeting the known and anticipated development requirements to 2021. It included a key diagram which showed broad locations (not specific sites) of development to meet specific requirements and also included a limited suite of generic criteria based development management policies. A Monitoring Framework and Implementation Plan were also requirements.

In developing the Preferred Options for the Core Strategy, a wide consultation exercise had been ongoing, including a public consultation exercise in May/June 2006 and internal meetings during the early part of 2007.

Cabinet was provided with a draft Preferred Options Paper for the Core Strategy. This gave a brief overview of Stockton Borough, identified drivers for change, suggested a vision and strategic objectives for the area, and set out the beginnings of policy development which would guide the Council in implementing key strategies, both Council strategies such as the Sustainable Community Strategy and wider Tees Valley initiatives such as the Stockton Middlesbrough Initiative.

The Core Strategy DPD Preferred Options supported the Council's drive for regeneration of the Borough, in putting forward a strategy which would increasingly concentrate housing development in the core urban area, giving priority to previously developed land. The provision of employment land would follow this pattern, but recognised the importance of existing industrial estates, specialist clusters such as the chemical industries, and prestige employment sites. Emphasis was placed on sustainability and accessibility, in line with national and regional policy guidance. Improvements to the transport network, and the creation of an integrated public transport system were fundamental in achieving the council's spatial vision and objectives.

In seeking to achieve the spatial vision and objectives, the Core Strategy Preferred options sets out the direction for eleven key policies. These were:

Core Strategy Policy 1 Spatial Strategy
Core Strategy Policy 2 Transport
Core Strategy Policy 3 Sustainable Living
Core Strategy Policy 4 Economic Regeneration
Core Strategy Policy 5 Retail and Other Town Centre Uses
Core Strategy Policy 6 Community Facilities
Core Strategy Policy 7 Housing
Core Strategy Policy 8 Provision for Gypsies and Travellers
Core Strategy Policy 9 Protection and Enhancement of the Urban Environment
Core Strategy Policy 10 Protection and Enhancement of the Rural Environment
Core Strategy Policy 11 Minerals and Waste.

The Core Strategy had been tested against, and informed by, sustainability objectives as set out in the Sustainability Appraisal which accompanied the Strategy.

In preparing the Core Strategy DPD Preferred Options, the Local Development Framework Member Steering Group had been kept informed of progress and invited to comment on emerging documents. At the Member Steering Group held on the 12 June, subject to a few minor amendments which had been incorporated, the Group agreed that the Core Strategy DPD Preferred Options be referred to Cabinet and Council.

It was explained that the Core Strategy was scheduled in the Local Development Scheme to go out for public consultation in September/October 2007. This would be a six-week statutory period as set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2004. Once agreed by Council, prior to the start of the formal consultation period, it was intended to run some workshop sessions with the Area Partnership Boards, Themed Groups and Parish Councils to raise awareness and understanding of the document and processes.

Feedback from the consultation process would be fed into the next stages, leading to adoption and publication viz:-

Preparation of the Submission Draft of the Core Strategy DPD
Submission to the Secretary of State (May 2008
Consultation on the Submission Draft (May/June 2008)
Examination of the submitted Core Strategy (November 2008)
Receipt of Inspector's binding report (May 2009)
Adoption and Publication (July 2009).

Members discussed the Preferred Options and accompanying sustainability document and agreed them for public consultation.

RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. the contents of the report be noted.

2. the Core Strategy DPD Preferred Options be approved for for public consultation.

3. authority be delegated to Officers, in consultation with the LDF Member Steering Group, to make any necessary minor amendments to the contents of the document prior to the public consultation period.
Reasons for the Decision
There was a statutory duty for all local planning authorities to adopt and keep under review the development plan for their respective areas. Under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, the Core Strategy is a development plan document that would set out the Council's vision and spatial strategy for meeting known and anticipated development requirements to 2021.

Planning Policy Statement 12: Local Development frameworks stated that "Local planning authorities should prepare development plan documents taking into consideration the process of continuous community involvement……..and should front load the preparation of development plan documents by facilitating early involvement and securing inputs from the community and all stakeholders".

It was necessary to seek the approvals from Cabinet prior to its formal presentation to Council in later this month.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in this item as he was a member of the Tristar Homes Limited's Management Board

Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not applicable.
Attachment

Date of Publication: 09 July 2007


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