In the Meeting of the Council, December 1st 2016, attended by members of SuMA, although there were only minimal discussions in connection with Manston, the draft Local Plan was also mentioned which will continue to be very important in the new year when it goes out for Public Consultation for a final time.
These are the extracted, relevant comments from the meeting which formed the Leaders’ Report section.
Councillor Chris Wells said:
“Following review from Scrutiny, the draft Local Plan now moves to Cabinet on December 8th prior to six weeks public consultation commencing on or about 9th January 2017. Scrutiny recommended and cabinet will accept, a review of rejected housing sites and understanding for the public consultation that further evidence can be accepted during the coming phases and a clear indication for the consultation that a mixed use designation for the airport site does not exclude aviation use but it does not guarantee aviation only use. Thereafter there is a final chance to present commentary to the Inspector at the pre-submission stage around June 2017 prior to the planned examination in public. Given the Local Plan technically began in 2011, we have no room left in any timetable for manoeuvre or delay. The risk of delay includes taking over of the plan by DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) or indeed subject to amendment before parliament right now, intervention by the County Council. Either would mean local councillors having little or no influence on housing and site-planning decisions, something I think we all understand would be a dereliction of or duties and responsibilities.”
Councillor Bob Bayford:
“I welcome your comments with regard the Local Plan, particularly the emphasis on the fact that it’s not too late to submit evidence and actually influence the final outcome. I do however think that your comment that a mixed use designation for the Manston site doesn’t preclude aviation is a bit disingenuous; true, there could be some activity of light aircraft up there but I doubt there are any serious airfields that have got 2,500 houses stuck in the middle of them.“
Councillor Jennifer Matterface:
“The Local Plan. Well, I did dip into the six volumes, fortunately it could be taken piece by piece but I’d like to remind the leader that the delay, 2011, was largely due to a change in the government which kept moving the goalposts when it came to the national planning policy framework. And I would hope that there would be some kind of precis for the public who are being asked to consult because if the overview and scrutiny panel had only a week to read it there is an awful lot for the public to read and they have only been given six weeks.”