Housing minister Sajid Javid has suggested that Thanet council will not get special treatment over its failure to publish its Local Plan and he may intervene to take control.
Since Councillors of Thanet Council failed to vote the Local Plan to the next stage on 18th January, political group leaders met on 30th January to be briefed on the next steps of the Local Plan process.
TDC wrote to the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid on 31st January to suggest the minimum next possible steps to be taken.
It suggests a review of the current housing sites and a further call for sites to identify any more suitable locations, which has already been commenced.
It suggests identification of sites for the 2,500 houses displaced from the Airport site, or 3,900 should the Government’s proposed calculation method be enforced.
It also suggested review of the Sustainability Appraisal, Habitat Regulations Assessment work, Transport Strategy and others as required.
TDC suggests this process is likely to take 8-10 months and be in a position to publish a pre-submission draft plan by December 2018 and submit by April 2019.
They mention the proposed clause to defer the allocation of the airport site for 2 years, allowing time for RSP’s DCO to be submitted and considered.
The letter also confirms that TDC have received external planning advice advising that the draft Local Plan would be considered sound.
You can also read the full letter here: https://www.thanet.gov.uk/media/4110317/Rt-Hon-Sajid-Javid.pdf
However, in a report today, Sajid Javid has rejected claims the Government has agreed to an extended deadline “There is no special treatment for any council”. He did not commit to whether Govt would step in but wishes to review what TDC have said.
Clearly he won’t be keen to offer loopholes to Government intervention, given the precedent it would set for the other Councils that have also been warned.
He apparently “sidestepped” a question about whether he had discussed the possibility of an extended deadline with the area’s MPs Sir Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay.
You can read more about his comments here: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/thanet-council-warned-over-local-plan-159670/