Date Published: 24 August 2021
Rutland County Council will hold a Special Full Council meeting next week to determine if Rutland’s Draft Local Plan should be withdrawn from examination.
All Local Planning Authorities must have a valid Local Plan that sets out where future housing, employment and other development will take place over a 15-year period. Local Plans are also used to decide planning applications and other planning matters.
The Council submitted Rutland’s latest Local Plan for independent examination in February 2021, following approval by Full Council. This was the product of five years of development and several rounds of public consultation, including focused consultations in 2018 regarding additional sites put forward for development, as well as a tailored consultation around the implications of including a proposed garden community at St. George’s Barracks in the Local Plan.
In March 2021, Councillors voted to decline the offer of a £29.4m Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) grant from Homes England that would have supported the early delivery of critical infrastructure around a St. George’s Barracks garden community. Since that decision, discussions have taken place between the Ministry of Defence (as landowner), the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Homes England and the Council to explore whether an alternative source of funding could be found to address the £29.4m gap.
Following the conclusion of these discussions, the MOD has confirmed that it has not been possible to secure an alternative to the HIF grant. As a result, proposals for the St. George’s Garden Village scheme are no longer viable in their current form. This, in turn, undermines Rutland’s wider development strategy and impacts the soundness of the Local Plan. It is therefore recommended that Councillors vote to withdraw Rutland’s Draft Local Plan from the current examination phase and begin work on preparing and submitting a new Local Plan.
The Special Full Council meeting to discuss the Local Plan is due to take place on Wednesday 1 September, starting at 7.00pm. The meeting will be held at Rutland Showground, as Rutland County Council’s offices continue to be used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.
Members of the public are able to attend this meeting. A maximum of 60 seats are available in the public gallery. Seating will be reserved for those presenting petitions, deputations or questions related to the meeting. Any remaining public seating will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
In view of these limitations, Rutland County Council is encouraging members of the public wishing to follow the meeting to listen to a live online audio stream. Details of how to listen, as well as copy of the agenda and reports for the Special Full Council Meeting, can be viewed online at: www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings.
Any petitions or questions for the meeting must be provided in writing to the Governance Team at Rutland County Council by 4.30pm on Friday, 27 August by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. These can also be sent by post to: Governance, Rutland County Council, Catmose House, Catmose Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP.