Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 26th November 2009
Title of Item/Report
Local Development Framework Annual Monitoring Report
Record of the Decision
Members considered a report relating to the completion of the fifth Local Development Framework Annual Monitoring Report (AMR). It was explained that the report had to be submitted to the Secretary of State before the end of December 2009. The AMR contained information about how the Council had performed against Core Indicators set by the Department for Communities and Local Government relating to Business Development, Housing, Environmental Quality, Minerals and Waste.

The Report was based on the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009, known as the ‘reporting year'. It must be submitted to the Secretary of State no later than the end of December 2009.

A copy of the report was provided for members' consideration and it was noted that it would enable the Council to:

assess progress towards meeting the targets set out in the Local Development Scheme, and provide a basis for amendments in timetabling, as necessary
strengthen baseline data against which to monitor performance in the future
identify further gaps in the knowledge base, to enable systems to be put in place to collect information required for monitoring
look at the existing Local Plan policies to assess their effectiveness.

During the year 2008/09, a number of the key milestones set out in the Local Development Scheme (LDS) 2008 were not met. With the agreement of Government Office North East, a revision to the Local Development Scheme was published in March 2009. This took into account the changes required by the June 2009 revision to Planning Policy Statement 12 as well as those required by the Planning Act (2008). Allowances were also made for the need to prepare further studies to supplement the evidence base and the effect of staff loss and turnover.

Progress on the LDF during 2008/2009 included

The Preferred Options consultation for the joint Tees Valley Minerals and Waste Core Strategy and Site Allocations DPDs, which ended on 8 April 2008.
The Publication of the Core Strategy DPD in October 2008, followed by an 8 week consultation period.

Significant further progress has been made on the Core Strategy since the reporting year ended. This included:

submission to the Secretary of State on 29 May 2009
a pre-hearing meeting on 5 August 2009
a consultation on significant proposed changes relating to affordable housing
hearings between 21 September and 2 October 2009
a further consultation on a variety of proposed changes made by the Council in response to discussions during the hearing sessions

The Inspectors report on the Core Strategy's soundness is anticipated in late December.

Some facts included in the AMR that may be of interest to Members were provided:

Although the number of gross housing completions had reduced significantly since 2007/2008, the Council has continued to meet its housing target as set out in the Regional Spatial Strategy of 600/annum between 2004 and 2011.
The percentage of housing built on previously developed land continues to increase and in 2008/2009 was 72.5%. This was well above the Government target of 60% and slightly above the RSS target of 70%.
Of the 604 dwellings completed in the Borough in 2008/2009, over 20% were defined as affordable.
Take-up of employment land was just below 13 hectares, the proposed target set in the Core Strategy DPD.
The percentage of waste disposed of through landfill of just over 8% and was still one of the best (lowest) in the country.

The Annual Monitoring Report should be submitted to the Secretary of State by the end of December 2009.

RECOMMENDED to Council that it note and endorse the Local Development Framework Annual Monitoring Report for 2008/09.
Reasons for the Decision
Local planning authorities must prepare a Local Development Framework (LDF) which comprises a folder of Development Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents. These documents would deliver the spatial strategy for the area and replace the 1997 Local Plan. Development Plan Documents (DPD) contain policy and are subject to Independent Examination by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State, whilst Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) expand polices set out in DPDs or provide additional detail.

The policies contained within LDF must have a robust and credible evidence base. As Stockton's LDF progresses, the AMR would become an increasingly important tool for assessing whether policies are performing as intended and whether targets are being met. As well as monitoring the effectiveness of existing policies, it would also contribute to the development of new policies in the future.

This report was presented to Cabinet to endorse the findings of the AMR which may influence policy development and inform any amendments to the Local Development Scheme.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not applicable
Attachment

Date of Publication: 30 November 2009


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