WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING [SEPTEMBER 18 2020] – AGENDA 7b – MOTION ON GOVERNMENT PLANNING CONSULTATION
7b Motion on Government Planning Consultation
To consider the following motion, submitted by Cllr Bradbury, notice of which was given on 21 August 2020:
‘This Council notes the Government’s consultations on changes to the current planning system alongside the consultation on the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper, and welcomes the focus on building on brownfield sites, better energy efficiency standards and the requirement to enhance bio-diversity.
This Council also welcomes simplifying the planning process and the proposal to replace S106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy with a new Infrastructure Levy and to apply it to permitted development. However, it believes that planning should be kept local with public participation at its heart, with sufficient funding for local infrastructure that flows to the infrastructure provider. Therefore, the County Council must have a statutory role in the operation of the new levy and secure an appropriate share of the funds that are raised.
However, the Council calls for an urgent review of the housing allocation algorithm which concentrates housing numbers in the suburbs and rural areas, which already have an infrastructure deficit, and away from towns and cities, which post Covid-19, are crying out for regeneration of town centres and high streets. The Council registers its concern over the impact that this algorithm will have on West Sussex regarding:
(1) The almost doubling of housing targets will impact the environment, loss of agricultural land, building on flood plains and the county’s ability to combat climate change. The county already suffers from a lack of infrastructure such as roads, public transport, rail, and others and has just experienced water shortages in some areas;
(2) Insufficient account is taken of the areas covered by national parks, AONBs and coastal flood plains, leading to mass development outside of these areas;
(3) The need in rural areas is for affordable rented housing. The change to affordable housing thresholds would mean that in approximately 70% of small parishes no affordable housing contributions would be required on sites of fewer than 40 to 50 dwellings, this would mean that no affordable housing would be delivered in these communities which will be catastrophic for their sustainability.
Planning is not just about housing and it will be important to understand how the proposed changes to the operation of the planning system impact upon the County Council’s statutory minerals, waste and other planning functions.
Council also supports the recommendation in the Glover Review to give AONBs statutory consultee status for planning applications in their area to strengthen their role in the planning system.
This Council therefore calls upon the Cabinet Member for Environment working with the Leader to liaise with the district and borough councils and Members of Parliament in making these points in the response to the consultation.’