Date Published: 14 October 2020
Rutland County Councillors have unanimously approved the Council’s response to Government proposals that seek to make significant changes to national planning policy.
Full Council on Monday 12 October set out to review the Government’s new Planning White Paper, called “Planning for the Future”, which is intended to streamline and modernise the current national planning process.
The White Paper was launched in August 2020 and all local authorities have until 29 October 2020 to provide their feedback as part of a wide-ranging consultation.
The Paper proposes several key reforms, including:
- Simplifying local plans and creating three different categories of land to be identified for future Growth, Renewal, or Protect
- Providing identified Growth areas with outline planning approval. These areas would be designated for substantial development, such as new settlements or urban extensions
- Proposing that Renewal areas would also be considered favourably for development, but within a specified criterion
- Ensuring Protect areas – green belt, conservation areas and areas of outstanding beauty - remain untouched
Following a detailed discussion, all 23 Councillors present at the meeting voted unanimously to approve the Councils response to the White Paper Consultation, which raises a number of questions about the Government’s proposals.
“I would very much like to thank all Councillors for their contribution last night. We agree that the current national planning regime in England is too complex and needs reform. As it stands, Plans take too long to prepare, assessments of housing need and environmental impacts have become overly complicated and more is needed to improve the design quality of new developments. In its current form, the White Paper is short on detail and there is little to explain how many of the ideas it contains will be taken forward. This was picked up by many Councillors as part of last night’s discussion. Elected Members were also keen to emphasise the need for more affordable housing, as well as appropriate engagement with residents – which appears to be diminished by the government’s proposals – and the important role that planning has to play in protecting the environment. Last night’s debate was extremely constructive and having the unanimous backing of Councillors will mean we’re able to provide the strongest possible response to the Government’s consultation. In addition, we will also be objecting strongly to the government’s new methodology for calculating housing need, which suggests that Rutland should be looking build some 300 new homes per year.”
Councillor Gordon Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning
Having been presented at Full Council, the Planning White Paper will be discussed by the Council’s Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 22 October. Cabinet will then be asked to consider the Council’s formal response to the White Paper Consultation on Tuesday 27 October.
The agenda and reports for Full Council on Monday 12 October 2020 can be viewed on our Meetings page.
Minutes from the meeting will be published within seven days of the meeting date.