Venue: The Auditorium, Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot, OX11 7NE
Contact: Steven Corrigan Democratic Services Manager
Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.
Urgent business and chairman's announcements
To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business relating to matters on the agenda and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman.
There were no urgent items.
The chairman agreed, in accordance with provisions in council procedure rule 44, to allow councillors to speak for longer than five minutes. Council agreed to suspend council procedure rule 45 insofar as it limits councillors to speaking once.
Members of the public who wish to address Council on the agenda item for this meeting must register to do so in writing or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5.00pm on Monday 14 May 2018.
The chairman advised that a number of members of the public had registered to address Council. Council agreed to extend the public speaking time to allow each member of the public who had registered to speak three minutes to make their address.
Council received addresses from eight members of the public.
Ian Goldsmith, Chairman of Cuxham with Easington Parish, addressed Council against the inclusion of the Chalgrove Airfield site in the local plan. He stated that the traffic from the new housing would adversely impact on the village. He urged Council to support option two: removing the Chalgrove Airfield housing allocation from the local plan and to put an end to the uncertainty.
Ann Pritchard, Chairman of Chalgrove Parish Council, addressed Council against the inclusion of Chalgrove Airfield as a strategic housing allocation site. Whilst welcoming Cabinet’s revised recommendation she urged Council to remove the Chalgrove Airfield site from the local plan. She stated that more sustainable alternative sites existed closer to Oxford and Science Vale. She stated that it was not feasible to build on an active airfield site, that Martin Baker is the sole manufacturer of ejector seats and that the forced relocation of Martin Baker, a major employer, would result in job losses.
Caroline Baird spoke on behalf of Save Culham Green Belt. She welcomed Cabinet’s recommendation to reassess sites capable of becoming site allocations and believed this was necessary before releasing Green Belt land for development. She urged Council to review the housing numbers now that the government required lower housing numbers. She stated that Culham is not a suitable strategic housing site. There were no exceptional circumstances to build on the Green Belt, the existing road and rail infrastructure was insufficient for the proposed development site, employment opportunities would not be available locally for the new residents and the development itself would lead to the merging of Culham with Abingdon and Didcot.
Steven Sensecall, from Carter Jonas representing UKAEA, urged Council to support option three (retain Chalgrove Airfield with an additional site). The anticipated growth at Culham Science Centre, Science Vale and the Didcot Garden Town project required improved highway infrastructure and housing. Any delay in the delivery of the local plan could impact on the economic potential of the district.
Michael Tyce, representing the Campaign to Protect Rural England, addressed Council. He stated that the housing numbers contained in the local plan are in excess of local need. A reduction in the numbers to reflect the government’s revised housing numbers would allow for the removal of both the Chalgrove Airfield and Culham sites (the former being undeliverable) and remove the need to meet Oxford City’s unmet housing need. In his view the Growth Deal is driving the housing numbers and sacrificing the Green Belt.
Paul Boone spoke on behalf of Chalgrove Airfield Action Group expressing cautious support for Cabinet’s revised recommendations whilst supporting option two and the removal of the Chalgrove Airfield site. He stated that Martin Baker would oppose any attempt by Homes ... view the full minutes text for item 104.
At its special meeting on 27 March 2018, Council voted against submitting the Local Plan for independent examination in its current form and asked Cabinet to reconsider two of the options set out in the report of the head of planning to Cabinet on 20 March 2018 (Option 2 and Option 3) and report back to Council. Option 2 includes replacing the proposed allocation at Chalgrove Airfield with another site(s) and Option 3 proposes adding an additional reserve site(s) to the South Oxfordshire Local Plan which could come forward for development in the event that Chalgrove failed to deliver.
At its meeting on 10 May 2018, Cabinet will consider a report on the South Oxfordshire Local Plan. The report of the head of planning, which Cabinet will consider on 10 May 2018, has been circulated to all councillors with the Cabinet agenda.
Cabinet’s recommendations will be circulated to all councillors prior to the Council meeting.
If Council wishes to discuss the confidential appendices to the report of the head of planning it will need to vote on the exclusion of the public and press in accordance with the paragraph set out at agenda item 6.
At its special meeting on 27 March 2018, Council voted against submitting the Local Plan for independent examination in its current form and asked Cabinet to reconsider two of the options set out in the report of the head of planning to Cabinet on 20 March 2018 (Option 2 and Option 3) and report back to Council. Cabinet, at its meeting on 10 May 2018, considered a further report on the local plan. Copies of this report, the supplementary papers for Cabinet and Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 10 May 2018, were made available to all councillors prior to the Council meeting and published on the council’s website.
The chairman reminded councillors that Council was not considering the merits of specific alternative sites at this meeting.
She advised that the decision taken at this meeting will be final and take effect immediately. If Council wished to discuss the confidential appendices, it would need to vote on the exclusion of the public.
Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 10 May 2018, on the local plan.
Councillor Felix Bloomfield, Cabinet member for planning, moved and Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader of the council, seconded Cabinet’s recommendations as set out below:
1. subject to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirming that submission of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan in January 2020 would not significantly impact on the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal or the freedoms and flexibilities proposed as part of it, to ask officers to reassess all sites capable of forming a strategic allocation promoted through the local plan (to 2033) process up to the end of the Regulation 19 publication period (including all strategic sites proposed in the October 2017 Regulation 19 document) and to bring a draft Regulation 18/Regulation 19 document (as required) to Cabinet and Council to seek approval for publication for consultation; and
2. in the event that such confirmation from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is not forthcoming to the satisfaction of the head of partnership and insight and the head of planning, in consultation with the leader of the council and the Cabinet members for planning and partnership and insight by no later than completion of the site filtering exercise (expected July 2018), to adopt option 3, set out in the head of planning’s report to Cabinet on 10 May 2018, and to ask officers to bring the Regulation 19 (October 2017) document including proposed additional reserve site(s) to Cabinet and Council to seek approval for publication for consultation.
In moving the recommendations Councillor Bloomfield noted that the report submitted to Cabinet provided more detailed timetables for both options 2 and 3, further information regarding the process for considering alternative or additional sites, and reflected the fact that the council could now demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.
He acknowledged that the council needed to progress the local plan to ensure a supply of housing land to meet the needs of its communities and help Oxford ... view the full minutes text for item 105.