Venue: The Auditorium, Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot, OX11 7NE
Contact: Ron Schrieber, Democratic Services Officer Democratic Services Officer
To adopt and sign as a correct record the Scrutiny Committee minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2017.
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2017 were agreed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.
To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman.
There is an agenda supplement to consider the petition received in respect of the proposed development at Chalgrove Airfield and provide comments to Cabinet.
To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak.
Anyone wishing to speak should contact firstname.lastname@example.org by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 12 September. Full information about the speaking rules can be found on page 47 of the Council’s constitution which can be accessed by following this link: http://democratic.southoxon.gov.uk/documents/s11870/ConstitutionJune2017.pdf
The list showing the members of the public who had registered to speak was tabled at the meeting.
To receive the report of the head of planning.
Due to the length of the appendices to this report, some will only be available online. However, there will be a hard copy available at the council’s offices in Milton Park and at the meeting for consultation purposes.
Appendices as follows:
1a and 1b: Local Plan 2011 – 2013 October 2017 version (omitted from paper pack).
2: Key proposed changes from the previous version (omitted from paper pack).
3: Consultation Report September 2017 (omitted from paper pack).
4: Technical note: Local Plan HRA progress (included).
5: Technical note: Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal (included).
The committee considered the report of the head of planning services on the key proposed changes to the emerging Local Plan for South Oxfordshire. The report and addendum provided details of petitions received in respect of proposed developments at Chalgrove Airfield and Culham.
Councillor John Cotton, Leader and Cabinet Member for the local plan, introduced this item. Also present to answer questions were Adrian Duffield, head of planning services, Holly Jones, planning policy manager, James Gagg, transport planner and Hannah Guest, planning policy team leader.
Councillor Cotton reported on the extensive consultation undertaken on the Second Preferred Options version of the Local Plan which had resulted in approximately 7,666 responses. He also stated that the proposed developments of Chalgrove Airfield and Culham would provide approximately 6,500 new homes. Removal of either site from the Local Plan, as requested by the petitioners would require alternative sites to be identified causing further delay.
The report identified a number of key issues upon which most of the consultation responses were focussed. Accordingly, the committee heard registered speakers as part of its consideration of each key issue.
Duty to co-operate
Michael Tyce, representing the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England addressed the committee. His points included:
· The figure of 3,750 homes to meet Oxford City’s unmet housing needs was unsound and unsupported by evidence and so should be removed from the Local Plan;
· There was a requirement for the council to demonstrate that it had worked with neighbouring authorities on cross boundary issues, including unmet housing need. This would be one of the first tests that the Inspector will consider in their examination of the Local Plan; and
· High density housing enables more affordable homes to be built. Rather than having a minimum density of 30 homes per hectare, the Local Plan should include a target density of 60 homes per hectare.
Geoffrey Botting and Robin Pierce representing Woodcote Neighbourhood Plan Group/Parish Council addressed the committee. Their points included:
· Whist the total allocation of housing for larger villages had increased by 12% from the original figures, Woodcote’s allocation had increased by 90%;
· Woodcote had been treated unfairly compared with other large villages such as Goring; and
· The Neighbourhood Plan should determine the level of housing development.
In response to these comments the Leader and officers stated that:
· The figure for Oxford City’s unmet housing needs was an assumption based on the best evidence currently available. This number could change in the future.
· 30 houses per hectare was the minimum density so higher density developments were possible. However an amendment to this wording could be considered.
· The number of houses required in larger villages was for guidance. It would be for the Neighbourhood Plan to support a higher or lower number based on an assessment of capacity.
Members of the committee expressed support for higher density housing developments, where appropriate.
Proposed strategic allocations
a) Chalgrove Airfield
Ian Goldsmith, representing Cuxham with Easington Parish Meeting, addressed the committee. His points included:
· There ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
To review the attached scrutiny work schedule. Please note, although the dates are confirmed, the items under consideration are subject to being withdrawn, added to or rearranged without further notice.
The work schedule was noted.