Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH
Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer.
Welcome and Introduction
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
The Next Steps for the Rotherham Local Plan
The Council is preparing a Local Plan for Rotherham. This is a statutory requirement under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the Localism Act 2011. This was previously called the Local Development Framework, however, the title has been altered to bring our plan into line with the National Planning Policy Framework. The documents contained within the Local Plan will remain the same – the Core Strategy and a supporting Sites and Policies document.
Work on the Local Plan continues with the Council intending to consult in January/February, 2013 on minor changes to the Core Strategy prior to its submission to Government. In Spring 2013 we also intend to carry out full public consultation on a draft Sites and Policies document, including a Policies Map showing land earmarked for development across the borough.
The Planning Policy Manager presented information about the progress of the Rotherham Local Plan, highlighting the following issues:-
(a) Local Plan information
: long term planning for the future prosperity of the area;
: the decent homes initiative;
: protection of the environment;
: ‘deciding our own destiny’ and setting a local target for house building;
: the increase in the price of housing and also house sales reducing because of the state of the economy;
: more people are now on the Borough Council’s housing waiting list;
: a local study of the Dinnington, Anston and Laughton Common area has revealed a limited supply of housing and social housing;
: the Local Plan Core Strategy will cover the next 15 years;
: development is to take place in the Rotherham urban area (Bassingthorpe Farm site at Greasbrough);
: significant development is also happening at Waverley;
: some growth of housing development will take place in principal settlements, eg: Dinnington, Wath-upon-Dearne, Brampton Bierlow, Bramley and Wickersley;
: the Sites and Policies document will specify sites for development, the policies will inform future decisions on applications for planning permission and will include information about conservation areas and sites of special scientific interest;
(b) Consultation about the Local Plan
: consultation will take place with Elected Members, Parish Councils, Area Assemblies, the general public and the local media;
: there will be improved pre-publicity about consultation events, including the use of email messages and letters sent to consultees;
: there will be the use of web-based consultation;
: stakeholder seminars will take place, as well as workshops and public drop-in sessions; there will be various meetings, perhaps jointly with several Parish Councils in one area;
: the Borough Council was asking how best to engage with Parish Councils in considering the Local Plan
(c) Progress to be made during 2013
: consultation about the Core Strategy and the focused changes which have been made to the document;
: consultation about the Sites and Policies document;
: submission of the Core Strategy to HM Government, after which there will be the public examination of the document, probably during the Summer 2013;
: adoption of the Core Strategy later in the year;
: consultation at the time of publication of the Sites and Policies document.
After the presentation, discussion took place on the following issues raised by the Parish Councils’ representatives:-
(a) (Dinnington) The Dinnington Green Belt Group has engaged in dialogue with the Borough Council’s Planning Service, in the past and now question whether in fact any material change is being made to the Core Strategy and to the strategic housing land availability assessment; there is a shortage of social housing in the Anston and Dinnington area and emphasis ought to be placed on the provision of social housing for Rotherham people, rather than for people from elsewhere; is it the case that any land taken from the existing green belt is more likely to be used for larger, executive-style housing, than for social housing?
In response, it was acknowledged that there has been a constructive dialogue between the Borough Council and the Dinnington Green Belt Group. Ultimately, local planning authorities will be allowed to establish their own targets for future housing development. Rotherham and Sheffield are closely linked in terms of the economy and the housing market. Private house builders are required, via their planning permissions, to provide a minimum amount of affordable housing. The focused changes have revealed that, whilst some 1,300 houses are to be built in the Anston and Dinnington area, over a period of 15 years, the net increase resulting from the Core Strategy focused changes will be 40 additional houses, a factor which is regarded as having a minimal impact.
(b) (Dinnington) An issue concerning the environment and the availability of cultural and recreational facilities.
In response, assessments are always made of the environmental impact of new development; of the impact upon agricultural land; the nearness of housing to transport corridors; however, the planning process is not an exact science and is always a balance between the impact on the environment and providing homes and jobs in the best locations.
(c) (Wickersley) A request made for specific detail about future house building in the Bramley, Ravenfield and Wickersley area, which is very attractive to prospective developers. In reply, it was emphasised that the expected Borough-wide distribution of new housing would not be altered simply to accommodate high demand in specific districts. The requested information will be provided.
(d) (Wickersley) A reference to the community infrastructure levy (CIL), which will replace the current ‘community gain’ achieved by the use of Section 106 agreements as part of planning permissions. How will Parish Councils be able to benefit from the new levy ? Would the levy be channelled into areas by means of the Borough Council Area Assemblies, or will use be made of the local knowledge of Parish Councils?
In response, it is anticipated that this issue will be included in future public consultation exercises, as the Core Strategy must be in place before the CIL system is introduced. Early experience of the levy (eg: Newark and Sherwood District Council) has shown that the system has not provided significant amounts of ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
Any Other Business
Parish Council representatives raised the following issues:-
(1) Dinnington Road/Worksop Road, Woodsetts
During the current period of inclement weather, a heavy goods vehicle had experienced difficulty travelling through the village of Woodsetts. Subsequently, the Streetpride Service had ensured that there was sufficient gritting of this length of highway.
(2) A57 Highway Improvement Scheme
The requirement for road diversions, during the time of this highway improvement scheme, was causing some difficulty in the neighbouring parishes of Anston, Dinnington and Woodsetts and was made worse by the recent snowfall. The Borough Council was asked to investigate the specific difficulties caused by the movement of heavy goods vehicles along (i) New Road, Dinnington; (ii) Penny Piece Lane, North Anston; and (iii) the B6060 Ryton Road, North Anston.
(3) Winter maintenance of highways
The meeting placed on record its appreciation of the work of the Streetpride Service in gritting the roads around the Borough, during the recent period of snowfall and in responding promptly to difficult areas and to requests from the public.
Councillor Smith thanked the Parish Councils’ representatives for their attendance and closed the meeting at 7.35 p.m.