Agenda item


Cllr Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Economic Development will provide an update on the Joint Spatial Plan.  Presentations will be given by Lisa Bartlett, Director of Development and Emma Watts, Senior Planning Officer, B&NES, regarding Green Belt Permitted Development Rights and Planning Protocols.


Lisa Bartlett, Director of Development and Emma Watts, Senior Planning Officer from B&NES Council gave a presentation regarding planning issues as follows:.


·  Joint Spatial Plan – The Planning Inspectorate has rejected the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and the Council now has to reconsider its policies and set out the next steps in December.  This includes housing allocations such as how much affordable housing is required.  The Council is keen to move on with the local plan and will take on board any suggestions put forward by Town and Parish Councils.


·  Green Belt Permitted Development Rights – permitted development can be carried out without planning permission and frees up people to proceed with certain types of development. 


·  Change of use of agricultural buildings – the building must be capable of conversion.


·  Permitted development for agriculture and forestry.


·  Protocols for Town and Parish Councils including the process for referrals to the Planning Committee.  It is important when commenting on applications to give planning reasons as this will give more weight to a referral to Committee.  It is not standard practice to hold a site visit with Town or Parish Councils as there is not capacity to do this.  However, Planning Case Officers are happy to answer questions from local councils.


Officers then responded to questions as follows:


·  Cheryl Scott, Clerk to Keynsham Town Council, asked about the likelihood of development in North Keynsham being included in the local plan.  Lisa Bartlett explained that the Council is unable to finish its hearings due to advice from the Inspector and will now have to start again and reassess the plan.  The Green Belt will be reviewed in the light of the Inspector’s comments being mindful to produce a sustainable strategy for the whole of the West of England.


·  Lisa Bartlett confirmed that it would be appropriate for Keynsham Town Council to invite officers to a closed meeting regarding the Neighbourhood Plan for Keynsham.


·  Lisa also confirmed that some of the work carried out relating to infrastructure has translated into the Joint Transport Plan and that Transport and Highways officers are working on this.  Mandy Bishop confirmed that some consultation has taken place and officers are considering evidence in the light of the Inspector’s report.  This will be considered at the WECA Transport Board.


·  A query was raised regarding the protocols for Agricultural Need applications.  Parish Councils are not formally notified about these applications but sometimes become aware of them by other means.  Would the Council be prepared to review its consultation process?  Emma Watts stated that there is a different process for this type of application which the Council is unable to change.  Any Town or Parish Councils which have specific examples they wish to bring to the attention of B&NES Council were asked to email these to Lisa Bartlett.


·  Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council suggested that one person could be nominated from each Parish to be the contact person.  The perceived lack of communication can be frustrating for Parishes.  Lisa pointed out that timeframes are very tight and that Parishes can contact the Case Officer at any stage. There is also a notification function on the website where people can register to be notified of applications in a specific area. 


·  Keynsham Town Council also gave details of a recent planning application where the Town Council was referred to in the application but was not made aware of this fact.  Cllr Dine Romero stated that she was aware of this case and has asked Cllr Tim Ball to look into it.


·  East Harptree Parish Council pointed out that it is difficult to proceed with the rural allocation in the Neighbourhood Plan when the strategic development issues are not clear.  Lisa confirmed that it would be difficult to firm up Neighbourhood Plans but that the Council would facilitate those areas who wished to carry out some development in their area.  There is a slight delay and the Council will not be able to consult on a formal plan at this stage.


A copy of the presentation is attached as Appendix 2 to these minutes.