Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 13th March 2008
Title of Item/Report
Local Development Framework: Revision of the Local Development Scheme (LDS) and Update on the Employment Land Review Stage 2
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report relating to the Local Development Scheme and an update on the Employment Land Review Stage 2.

The Local Development Scheme was the project plan for the preparation of the documents that would comprise the Local Development Framework (LDF).

As part of the Annual Monitoring Report, the Council assessed its progress against the milestones identified in the LDS for the preparation of LDF documents and where there had been slippage, the LDS had to be revised accordingly. The revisions subsequently had to be agreed with Government Office for the North East (GO-NE) and the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) before the Council could formally adopt it.

It was explained that for Stockton, whilst progress since April 2007 had been good, it had become apparent that the timetable proposed in the Second Revised LDS (published in April 2007) could not be maintained and required revision.

Members of Cabinet were advised that the main changes were:
• Core Strategy would be submitted in September instead of May 2008.
• Preferred Options for Regeneration Development Plan Document and Yarm and Eaglescliffe Area Action Plans would now be published in September instead of May 2008 consultation purposes.
• The Environment DPD Issues and Options report would be published for consultation in January 2009 instead of January 2008.

Members were provided with a copy of the revised timetable.

It was advised that the Employment Land Review (ELR) was part of the evidence base for the LDF and would inform and support policies in the Core Strategy and Regeneration Development Plan Document (DPD).

Members were reminded that the Council completed Stage 1 of the ELR in autumn 2006. In Spring 2006 Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) and Storeys: SSP (SSP) were appointed to undertake Stage 2. The work adopted a methodology advocated by a Communities and Local Government (CLG) guidance note and researched the local economy and the future employment land floorspace and land requirements.

Members of Cabinet were advised that Stage 2 of the study concluded that:

• For the LDF period (2007 - 21) Stockton Borough required 191.3 ha of employment land, an average take up of 13.6 ha per annum.
• For a 25 year supply 340.3 Ha of land was required. Given the time period of this projection this requirement was uncertain and would require monitoring.

It was noted that the above figures would be used within the Council’s Core Strategy and would also be used in Stage 3 of the ELR which would identify which sites should be allocated, through the LDF, to meet employment land demand and provide for economic growth. Stage 3 of the ELR was expected to commence in the near future.

RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. The revised timetable for the Local Development Framework as detailed in the Local Development Scheme (appendix 1) be agreed.
2. Future amendments to the Local Development Scheme be delegated to the Head of Planning in consultation with the Chairperson of the Local Development Framework Members Steering Group.
3. The conclusions of the Employment Land Review Stage 2, which would be used to as a basis for the development of employment policies in the LDF, be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
The Planning and Compensation Act 2004 requires local planning authorities to prepare and publish a local development scheme, which is a public statement of the local authority’s programme for the production of local development documents. The scheme should be revised as necessary, and when doing so local planning authorities must comply with the procedures set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2004.

The Employment Land Review is a study that will provide the supporting evidence to enable the Council to identify an up-to-date and balanced portfolio of employment sites in its Local Development Framework. Guidance on the process of undertaking this study is provided in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s (ODPM) Employment Land Reviews: Guidance Note 2004. It is a three stage process and this report outlines the findings of stage 2 of the process.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not Applicable

Date of Publication: 17 March 2008

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