Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions
Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services Manager. Tel: 01483 444102 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from the Councillors Murray Grubb Jnr. and Julia McShane, from Honorary Freeman Jen Powell, and from Honorary Aldermen Mrs C F Cobley, Mrs S Creedy, Mrs C F P Griffin, J Marks, and L Strudwick.
Disclosures of interest
To receive and note any disclosable pecuniary interests from councillors. In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda. Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.
If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.
Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.
There were no disclosures of interest.
To receive any communications or announcements from the Mayor.
There were no communications from the Mayor.
To receive any communications or announcements from the Leader of the Council.
The Leader of the Council commented on, and thanked personally those councillors who were not seeking re-election on 2 May 2019.
To receive questions or statements from the public in relation only to the business for which this extraordinary meeting has been called.
The following persons addressed the Council meeting in respect of Minute No. CO110 below – Adoption of the Guildford Borough Local Plan: Strategy and Sites:
(1) John Rigg, on behalf of the Guildford Vision Group
(2) Ramsey Nagaty, on behalf of Fiona Curtis
(3) Annie Cross, on behalf of the Lovelace Neighbourhood Plan Group
(4) Karen Stevens, on behalf of Compton PC and Save Hogs Back
(5) Peter Elliott, GGG candidate for Normandy and member of the Save Hogs' Back Committee
(6) Julian Lyon
(7) Joss Bigmore, on behalf of Residents for Guildford and Villages
(8) Lisa Wright
(9) Kenneth Miller
(10) Amanda Mullarkey, on behalf of Guildford Residents Association
The Leader of the Council responded to the statements.
Questions from Councillors
To hear questions (if any) from councillors of which due notice has been given in relation only to the business for which this extraordinary meeting has been called.
(1) Councillor Bob McShee asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Spooner, the following question:
"In view of the short amount of time to read the 606 pages of the Council report and appendices relating to the Local Plan before the date of this meeting, and with the Easter Bank Holiday covering four days, as well as Councillors being busy electioneering they will not have had sufficient time to fully absorb the contents, does the Leader of the Council agree that the question as to whether the Council should adopt the Local Plan should be deferred until after 2 May 2019?"
The Leader of the Council’s response was as follows:
“I am very happy to confirm to Councillor McShee that I emphatically do not agree that the Council should defer consideration of the adoption of the Local Plan until after 2 May 2019. I would remind him that, at the last Council meeting on 9 April, he had originally proposed a motion asking the Council to agree to defer consideration of this matter until after the Borough Council Elections. By 25 votes to 14, the Council decided that it did not wish to defer. Nothing has changed materially since then.”
Councillor Paul Spooner
Leader of the Council
(2) Councillor Tony Rooth asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Spooner, the following question:
“In relation to the officer’s report on the Council agenda, could the Leader of the Council please explain:
(a) what does “quickly” in paragraph 5.5 mean for the required timescale for the Council to adopt a local plan?;
(b) what period of time does the draft local plan carry material weight (paragraphs 5.15 and 5.23 refer)?;
(c) whether any and/or all of the officer’s report, the Inspector’s Report dated 27 March 2019 (Appendix 1) and the AECOM Sustainability Appraisal Statement (Appendix 6) complies with the LGA guidance on publicity during the pre-election period which states that councils should “not publish report findings from consultation exercises, which could be politically sensitive”?; and
(d) what are the circumstances and timescales in which the three councils named in paragraph 5.21 have not made progress in plan making as to warrant government intervention, and the current position with regard to each of the three councils?”
The Leader of the Council’s response was as follows:
“In response to part (a) of Councillor Rooth’s question, “quickly” is not defined in this context, and does not indicate a specific timeframe so it must be taken to have its accepted meaning, that is “with little or no delay; promptly”.
In response to part (b), if a decision was taken not to adopt the Local Plan then the document can carry very little, if any, weight. The document will never progress to adoption so its content is not progressing towards adoption. NPPF para 48 states ‘A Local Authority may give weight to relevant policies in emerging plans according to ….’. This plan could no longer be described as emerging. If however the ... view the full minutes text for item CO109
Some appendices to this report are very large files. Smaller files, which will be quicker to download, are available on the Local Plan web page: https://www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan/examination
The Council noted that the Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites (“the Local Plan”), which had been submitted to the Secretary of State on 13 December 2017, outlined the spatial development strategy for the borough up to 2034. The Local Plan had set out the quantum and location of development based on an evaluation of our objectively assessed need (OAN) for new homes, employment and retail space and an assessment of whether this quantum of development can be provided in a sustainable way following consideration of other policy constraints.
The Local Plan was also concerned with the protection and enhancement of our environment, the provision of appropriate infrastructure to support the planned growth of the borough and the promotion of sustainable transport.
As part of the Examination in public, the Local Plan had been the subject of an initial 12 days of hearing sessions, in June/July 2018, into those issues the Inspector had considered necessary to explore further with all relevant parties. The Inspector had reached an interim conclusion that, subject to making necessary main modifications, which included the identification of further housing sites in the Green Belt, the plan could be found to be ‘sound’. The necessary main modifications were made to the plan and underwent a formal consultation for a 6-week period in late 2018. The consultation related to only the main modifications and not to minor modifications or the remainder of the plan. On completion of the consultation, the Inspector had considered the representations and decided it was necessary to reopen the hearing sessions to consider whether the OAN should be altered and whether the further housing sites were needed in light of new information, namely the 2016 based household projections. Two further hearing days were held in February 2019 that focused on the OAN and consequential changes to the plan. The Inspector then closed the hearing sessions and prepared his report.
The Inspector’s draft report had been received by the Council on 19 March 2019 and was subject to a ‘fact check’. This check allowed the Council the opportunity to query the accuracy of its contents, but it was not an opportunity to question the Inspector’s conclusions or findings. The Inspector’s final report, a copy of which was appended to the report submitted to the Council, had been published by the Council on 28 March 2019.
The Inspector’s report had focused on 11 main issues upon which he considered the soundness of the plan depended. The Inspector had concluded that, with the recommended main modifications (details of which were also appended to the report submitted to the Council), the Guildford Borough Local Plan: strategy and sites satisfied the requirements of Section 20(5) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and met the criteria for soundness in the National Planning Policy Framework. In particular, the Inspector had concluded that, in light of the 2016 based household projections, the further housing sites in the Green Belt were not necessary to be included in the Local Plan to ... view the full minutes text for item CO110
To order the Common Seal to be affixed to any document to give effect to any decision taken by the Council at this meeting.
RESOLVED: That the Common Seal of the Council be affixed to any documents to give effect to any decisions taken by the Council at this meeting.