Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Local Development Framework Steering Group Minutes

Wednesday, 3rd June, 2009
Conference Room 2 Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Robert Cook (Chairman), Cllr Mrs Jennie Beaumont, Cllr John Fletcher, Cllr Colin Leckonby, Cllr Roy Rix, Cllr Mick Stoker, Cllr Mick Womphrey
D Bage, M Clifford, Mrs J Hall, I Nicholls, Mrs C Straughan, Mrs R Young ((DNS), Mrs T Harrison (LD)
In Attendance:
No other person's were present.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Ross Patterson and Cllr Steve Walmsley
Item Description Decision
Cllr Mrs Beaumont declared a personal non prejudicial interest in relation to the Rural Housing Needs Study item due to being a member of a Parish Council.

Cllr Womphrey reflected on the fact that he had previously made known his views predetermining any application for storage of hazardous waste in the anhydrite mines, by way of signing a petition objecting to any future development.
CONCLUDED that the minutes of the meeting held on 28th April 2009 be approved..
CONCLUDED that the report be noted.

1. The report be noted.

2. Updates will be provided at each Local Development Framework meeting.
CONCLUDED that the report be noted.
CONCLUDED that the report be noted.
CONCLUDED that the report be noted.
4.30 - 5.30pm


Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 28th April 2009.
Members were provided with a summary of progress of the Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) towards independent examination and adoption, for Members' information.

The Submission Draft Core Strategy and its supporting documents had been submitted to the Secretary of State on 27 May 2009. This began the independent examination process.

Prior to this, the Publication Draft Core Strategy had been published at the end of October 2008, coinciding with the beginning of an 8-week period within which representations to the Plan were invited. As a result of the responses received during the consultation, minor amendments to the Publication Draft Core Strategy had been proposed. A schedule of the proposed changes, together with amended versions of the Habitats Regulations Assessment, the Sustainability Appraisal, and a Consultation Statement including a schedule of representations had been considered by:

• Planning Cabinet on 8 April 2009;
• Cabinet on 16 April 2009 and
• Full Council on 6 May 2009.

An Inspector would be appointed by the Planning Inspectorate to conduct the independent examination, assisted by the appointed Programme Officer, who would carry out the associated administration work. All of the representations submitted at the Publication stage of the Core Strategy would be considered, as part of the Inspector's assessment of the ‘soundness' of the Core Strategy.

Following submission, the estimated timetable for the examination procedure was as follows:

• Pre-hearing Meeting Week 8(w/b 13 July)

• Hearing opens Week 14 (w/b 24 Aug.)

• Inspector's Draft Report for fact checking Week 26 (w/b/16 Nov.)

• Inspector's Final Report Week 29 (w/b/7 Dec.)

Once the Core Strategy DPD had been amended in line with the Inspector's recommendations (which would be binding on the Council), the Core Strategy DPD could proceed to adoption as quickly as possible (early 2010), dependant on it being found to be ‘sound'.

Members discussed possible venues for the Hearing.
Members were reminded that JBA Consulting had been commissioned to undertake the update of the Stockton-on-Tees Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA). JBA Consulting had submitted the initial draft Scoping Report for the SFRA Update. The SFRA steering group had met with JBA Consulting to discuss the report. Members were provided with a report which provided a brief summary of the Scoping Report and of some of the comments made at the steering group meeting. It also provided Members with feedback on the request made at the Local Development Framework MSG meeting of 28 April for the different sources of information held by the Council relating to flooding to be collated and made available to JBA Consulting.

JBA Consulting had produced a Tees Valley SFRA Project Master Plan which would include three 'surgeries' with the Stockton SFRA steering group. These would be an opportunity to review progress with the level 1 and the level 2 SFRA.

Members queried whether the deadline would be met and were advised that everything appeared to be on track.

Members also queried if the development at Bowesfield would be held up and were advised that the builder had commissioned a flood risk assessment but Officers were waiting to see what happened.

Members requested updates at each Local Development Framework meeting.
Members received an update report on progress in the production of the Joint Tees Valley Minerals and Waste Core Strategy and Site Allocations Development Plan Documents and Sustainability Appraisal. Endorsement of the First Publication Draft Reports and Sustainability Appraisal for a six-week period of public consultation beginning in August 2009 was sought.

Members were reminded that the Tees Valley Joint Strategy Unit was preparing a Joint Minerals and Waste DPDs including the Core Strategy and Policies and Sites document.

The First Publication Draft Report was a key milestone in the preparation of a development plan document and represented the final stage in the production process prior to submission of the documents to the Secretary of State. Following this the documents would be submitted to the Secretary of State in December 2009, with an examination into the soundness of the documents occurring during 2010.

The document set out the overall vision and strategic objectives for minerals and waste policy in the Tees Valley. Members were informed that:

• No new sites were allocated for mineral activity but sites submitted by operators for Haverton Hill and Augean Waste for the Port Clarence site did contain elements that would produce alternative aggregates materials.
• With regard to the allocation of sites for waste handling, the following sites were proposed for allocation in Stockton:
- Port Clarence (proposed by Augean Waste) for a range of advanced waste, treatment technologies focused primarily on the treatment of hazardous waste
- Haverton Hill (proposed by SITA) proposed expansion of existing facilities (energy from waste, household waste recycling and green composting facilities) for treatment of municipal solid waste and commercial and industrial waste.
- Household Waste Recycling Centre (proposed by Stockton Council) - a previous site at Bowesfield was considered to be unviable. However, the document contained a policy identifying an area of search for sites for this development.

Billingham Anhydrite Mines were not discussed within the document. NPL Estates submitted the former anhydrite mines at Billingham for consideration as a site allocation for waste management purposes for the storage of hazardous waste, such as ash and other residues, from energy from waste facilities. The proposal was to store 100,000 tonnes a year for a 20-year period. However the Preferred Options document supported the Port Clarence site for this in preference to the anhydrite mines because it was considered that it took a more sustainable approach to the management of waste than simple storage. Therefore, it was not considered necessary at this stage to include reference to the Anhydrite mines within the document.

In response to a query regarding the storage of low level hazardous waste in the Anhydrite mines under Billingham, Members were advised that NPL Estates had not submitted a planning application.
Members were provided with a report on the findings and recommendations of the Greater North Shore Study and how the findings of the Study would be incorporated into planning policy documents for the area.

The Council, together with Tees Valley Regeneration, the Stockton-Middlesbrough Initiative, English Partnerships (now part of the Homes and Communities Agency) and One NorthEast jointly commissioned the Greater North Shore Study. The purpose of the Study was to inform planning policy development for the area to guide future change in the area over the next 15 years with an overall objective to ensure that any future change protected and enhanced the forthcoming prestige North Shore development.

Originally it was intended that the outcome of the study would be a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and the study had been undertaken with the requisite community involvement and had been subject to Sustainability Appraisal. However a number of policy recommendations emerged from the study and, as members were aware, an SPD could not contain policy. It had therefore been agreed that the policy recommendations of the Study would be incorporated into the Regeneration Development Plan Document (DPD) and that any design elements would be incorporated into an SPD at some future date.

Discussion took place regarding the consideration of opening up the barrage bridge to link Teesside Park, North Shore and Stockton High Street which would also alleviate congestion on A19 and A66. However the bridge would require strengthening and Members understood that it was Stockton-on-Tees Borough Councils aim not to detract from Stockton High Street.

Members were advised that no changes were being proposed to the area as Stockton Borough Council wanted to protect North Shore and Stockton High Street.
Members were advised that Policy CS8: Housing Mix and affordable Housing Provision in the Publication Draft Core Strategy DPD stated "The requirement for affordable housing in the rural parts of the borough would be identified through detailed assessments of rural housing need". It was intended to commission consultants to carry out a Rural Housing Need Study. A key stage of this study would be engagement with Parish Councils. The views of Members were welcomed as to how to do so most effectively.

The Tees Valley Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and Local Housing Assessment (LHA) Update (January 2009) identified an annual deficit in the provision of affordable housing for Stockton Borough of 866 dwellings. The Report also broke the requirement down on a housing sub-area basis. A need of 27 affordable dwellings per year was identified for the rural housing sub-area.

The SHMA/LHA Report provided the starting point for assessing rural housing need. However, to address this need more detailed information was required. As such a Rural Housing Needs Study would be undertaken. The aims of the study would be as follows:

• To identify the level of affordable housing need for local people in each of the rural parishes in the borough (assuming there was a need) and the appropriate housing tenures and dwelling types for the meeting of the identified need.
• To establish the general level of support for a small development of affordable housing for local people with a proven need.

The study would have three stages. These would be as follows:
• Stage 1: Parish Council Liaison
• Stage 2: Carry out Household Survey
• Stage 3: Produce overall Rural Housing Needs Report

A key objective of the study was to attain a statistically robust rate of return for the Household Survey. Therefore it was important that Stage 1 of the study the Parish Councils were fully engaged and represented in order to achieve this the consultants could work in partnership with a Rural Housing Enabler (RHE).

Three possible basic approaches to Stage 1 had been identified. These were as follows:
i) The consultants / RHE (if the services of an RHE were also engaged) to host a stakeholder engagement event with Parish Councils at a central venue in Stockton.
ii) The consultants / RHE to work in partnership with Parish Councils and jointly host "cluster" events, that was to say Parishes would be grouped into clusters and a single meeting open to residents would be held for each cluster in a suitable local venue.
iii) The consultants / RHE to attend a meeting of each individual parish Council, with these meetings being open to residents.

The views of Members concerning the relative merits of the suggested approaches or suggestions of alternative approaches were welcomed. There would be different cost implications for each of these approaches.

The consultants had been invited to attend the Parish Council Liaison Forum meeting of Monday 15 June. This was in order to give a presentation on the study and then host a question and answer session.

Members queried whether a consultant had been appointed and was advised that a consultant had been selected but not appointed.

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