Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, presented the report.
Members asked about the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land designations, and the decisions made by the inspector on those points. The Strategic Planning Manager responded that the Inspector’s intent was to aid the Council by removing the Green Belt designation at the Gypsy and Traveller sites and extensions at Woodmansterne and the Metropolitan Open Land designations at Rosehill Park for a secondary school. Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning, added that the Inspector removed the designations to remove the barriers to subsequent planning applications, however this was against the opinion of the officers.
Members asked for clarification on affordable housing and what was classed as affordable, expressing their concerns. The Strategic Planning Manager detailed that the Local Plan had proposed a boroughwide target of 50% for all new housing to be affordable (including private sites and sites developed by Registered Providers). However the Inspector had recommended that the target should be changed to 35% for private developments. Further explanation was given to different types of affordable housing such as London Living Rents and shared ownership.
In reference to Paragraph 4.8 of the report, members sought information on the Beddington Farmlands. The Strategic Planning Manager outlined that with predicted housing and population increase in the borough, the council had identified a need for 40.500sq m of new industrial floorspace and had argued that all this floorspace could come through the intensification of uses on existing industrial estates. However, the Inspector decided that the existing industrial land could only provide an additional 20,000 sq m. Therefore, he recommended that in order to make the plan sound a further 20,000sq m of industrial land (or 4.4ha) should be allocated on open space at Beddington Farmlands.
At the discretion of the Chair, resident Emily
Brothers addressed the committee under
standing order 10.1 in regards to Metropolitan Open Land at
Rosehill Park and housing regeneration.
In response, officers highlighted that:
Members then queried what the protections were for Areas of Special Local Character. The Strategic Planning Manager responded that the Local Plan now gives the same protections awarded to Conservation Areas.
Finally, Members asked what impact the Mayor’s London Plan could have on the Local Plan, and how could residents engage with the London Plan. Dean James, Senior Planner, confirmed that when the new London Plan is adopted it would supersede Local Plan policies if there were a conflict. The Senior Planner assured the committee that the London Plan was a consultation draft, and had yet to go through an Examination in Public and would need approval from the Secretary of State. It was confirmed that the website links and email address for the consultation would be made available on the council website.
The Chair thanked members of the cross-party, cross-committee Local Plan Task and Finish Group. The Chair also thanked officers for their work put into the plan, praising in particular their conduct at the hearing.