The Principal Planner provided the Task Group with information, as attached. It included a recap of the current situation, summary of key milestones, current focus, and next steps.
In response to questions the Principal Planner explained that Statements of Common Grounds were specific for each area and would be submitted as part of the examination process. He explained that the NNPF in relation to requirements for flood risk management had changed and this had resulted in the Environment Agency raising an objection on a West Lynn allocated site. Agreement between the Environment Agency and Council was being sought for a way to overcome this objection and allow for timely submission of the Local Plan. It was also clarified that the Environment Agency were the lead flood authority for Major Water Courses, which affected the West Lynn site.
The Chair explained that processes had changed a lot and a Statement of Common Ground was required from key partners.
In relation to timescales, it was anticipated that the plan would go out for public consultation and be adopted in Spring 2023. Officers would be mindful of any purdah implications.
Councillor Kemp made reference to the West Winch Strategic Growth Area and the Chair advised her that she should direct her questions to the West Winch Stakeholders Forum as in terms of the Local Plan, West Winch was an allocated site. Councillor Kemp was also advised that she would have the opportunity to make representations as part of the Local Plan consultation process.
Councillor de Whalley raised concerns on flood risk and felt that this had been underestimated in many areas. The Principal Planner explained that the Environment Agency and Norfolk County Council did regularly revisit and revise their flood risk information and any planning applications would be based on the information available at that time.
The Principal Planner provided information on a South Lynn Site (Wisbech Road), which was being promoted by Homes England. The site could come forward as a windfall site, however Homes England would like to see it as an allocated site.
The Chair explained that the GI-RAMS Policy had now been adopted by the Norfolk Strategic Planning Forum. It represented a package of measures for Norfolk as a whole (delivery led by Norfolk CC/Natural England). It would not materially affect the Local Plan, but would require further factual changes and corrections.
Councillor Moriarty referred to the Statement of Community Involvement which was dated 2017. The Principal Planner explained that this would soon be reviewed, but the Local Plan review was prepared on the basis of the 2017 document.
Councillor Kemp commented that a holistic approach to Harding’s Pits and the surrounding area was important, and that greenspace should be retained.
In response to a question about Neighbourhood Plans, the Principal Planner provided information on the relationship between the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan and how the Council and Neighbourhood Planning Groups should work to ensure that Local and Neighbourhood Plans complemented one another.
The Task Group was also informed that HBF stood for House Builders Federation, and acronyms could be added to the glossary. The Principal Planner responded to questions from Councillor Moriarty relating to AM05 and explained that this was at the request of King’s Lynn Civic Society and did not materially change the plan, it was a change to wording.
Councillor de Whalley referred to the Green Infrastructure Plan and that it was dated 2010. He asked if the Norfolk wide Plan would replace this. The Principal Planner explained that factual changes could be incorporated, and revised documents would be cross referenced as required.
In response to a further question from Councillor de Whalley, it was explained that in terms of SSSI’s and specialist sites, each policy was underpinned by several plans and policies and signposting, and cross referencing took place, however the Task Group had to be mindful of the level of detail included in the local Plan and what was appropriate. Technical issues (e.g hydrological catchment areas) would be addressed through engagement with Natural England/Local Wildlife Trust and cross referencing from Local Plans to GI Plans.
Councillor Kemp referred to greenspaces and that the NNPF reiterated protection of these. The Principal Planner advised that NPPF Updates were being taken on board throughout the plan-making process.
Councillor Sandell referred to the Sports and Leisure Facilities Review which was being looked at across the Borough.
AGREED: An update on GI-RAMS be presented to a future meeting of the Task Group.