Date Published: 27 December 2019
Rutland County Council’s Cabinet has approved a number of proposals to inform the ongoing development of Rutland’s next Local Plan, which will be considered by Full Council in January 2020.
Rutland’s Local Plan sets out where any additional new housing, employment or other development may be needed in future years and is currently being reviewed.
Cabinet on Monday 23 December was asked to consider and approve a number of key points in relation to the strategy which informs the location of future development sites (the Spatial Strategy) after this was discussed by Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 19 December. Cabinet approved:
- Growth objectives for Rutland’s next Local Plan in terms of housing and employment land
- The distribution of development including the principle of establishing a garden community in Rutland to meet housing and employment targets
- With the granting of Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) funding, a garden community on the site St. George’s Barracks in North Luffenham is both viable and suitable for redevelopment as a new garden community in the new Local Plan
- The revised Local Development Scheme which sets out a timetable for producing the Local Plan and associated development plan documents
Under an exempt item, owing to its commercial sensitivity, Cabinet also reviewed the terms and conditions of the £29.4million HIF grant that has been offered to Rutland County Council to support the proposed redevelopment of St. George’s Barracks.
Both the Local Plan Spatial Strategy and HIF funding were discussed by Rutland County Council’s Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 19 December.
Scrutiny members listened carefully to three questions and seven deputations from members of the public, highlighting an unusually high level of public interest in the Spatial Strategy. They then noted the following:
- The need for more affordable housing in Rutland, recognising that young people in particular have difficulties raising both deposit and mortgage for a home in the County, and that more social rented housing is needed
- The importance of jobs that pay higher than the living wage in Rutland, and that the Council works with neighbouring authorities to attract appropriate businesses to the area
- Concern about risk and how well this had been assessed
- Accepting the concept of a garden community in Rutland
Members of the Scrutiny Committee also voted to continue with the process of considering HIF funding, while noting there are still a number of unknowns around the HIF conditions and therefore some risks to the Council.
Cabinet will consider the next stage of the process that informs the development of Rutland’s new Local Plan at another meeting on Tuesday 21 January. Prior to this, a further, Special Meeting of the Growth Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee has been rescheduled to take place on Thursday 16 January 2020, allowing more time for Scrutiny to review the Local Plan documents.
“Rutland is moving closer to having a new Local Plan covering the period from 2018 to 2036. This is important because without a valid Local Plan we run the risk of getting inappropriate development which fails to provide the right jobs and homes in the right places. There still needs to be further discussion by Scrutiny, Cabinet and Full Council before we can publish our pre-submission draft of the Local Plan, after which it will need to be sent for independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate. All of this will take place in full view of the public, with further meetings taking place throughout January. When prospective developers suggest sites to include in our Local Plan we have to consider each one individually, on merit, by applying the same tests to work out if they are viable and sustainable. As part of this latest Local Plan Review we have been asked to consider two large sites that have been put forward for possible new garden communities: Woolfox and St George’s. As part of the Local Plan process, we have suggested that a garden community in Rutland would help to provide the new jobs and homes we need locally to help meet identified needs for the County. However, on the balance of information provided to planners, it has been suggested that only St. George’s is both viable and suitable for inclusion in the next Local Plan. This is one of the recommendations that Councillors will now be asked to consider and decide on at Full Council on 27 January, as part of the next stage of the Local Plan.”
Councillor Leader Oliver Hemsley
Full Council on Monday 27 January 2020 will take place in the main Council Chamber at the Council’s Catmose offices, starting at 7.00pm.
Rutland County Council will continue to provide a live video stream covering all non-exempt items at listed meetings relating to the Local Plan Review.
The agenda and reports for Full Council on Monday 27 January 2020 will be published online prior to the meeting.
Minutes and a record of decisions made at Cabinet on Monday 23 December 2019 will be published online in the next seven days.