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Monitoring Report 1: Progress Report - Local Plan Document Preparation and Duty To Co-operate

This report is one of a series of topic based reports which together constitute the Christchurch and East Dorset Authorities' Monitoring Report.

These reports will be regularly updated. The date that the information was last updated is indicated alongside each table/section as appropriate. Further topic areas can be viewed in the Christchurch and East Dorset Authorities' Monitoring Report.

Document preparation

The following table sets out progress on all Local Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), against the targets/milestones set out in the joint (Christchurch and East Dorset Councils) Local Development Scheme (version 3 July 2018)

Local plan documents and supplementary planning documents

Supplementary planning documents
Plan/DocumentLocal Development Scheme (LDS) Progress to dateComments (i.e. on target or reasons for delay)

Local Plan Review

Regulation 18 Consultation September 2016 (LDS version 2, July 2016)

 

Regulation 18 Consultation Published for 6 week consultation 28 September 2016 to 9 November 2016

 On target

Local Plan Review

De-couple the Local Plan Review into separate reviews for Christchurch and East Dorset pending Local Government Review (LDS version 3, July 2018)

Completed

On target

Local Plan Review

Initial draft/options consultation September 2017 (version 3, July 2018)

Initial Draft options consultation  completed July – Sep 2018 

Delayed due to local government reorganisation and the need to produce two separate plans

Local Plan Review

Submission Consultation (Regulation 19) Feb - March 2019 (LDS version 3, July 2018)

Delayed to allow further transport modelling to be undertaken to inform housing strategy. Currently planned for Autumn 2019 subject to decisions by the new unitary authorities to either continue with these plans or abandon in favour of authority wide plans.

Delayed

CIL Charging Schedule

Adoption September 2016

Adopted By EDDC and CBC September 2016 and brought into effect on 3 January 2017

On Target and  no planned current updates

Dorset Gypsy and Traveller Sites Joint DPD

Pre-submission consultation October - December 2016

The Dorset Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Show people Sites DPD was put on hold pending an updated Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessment - which was completed in November 2017. A revised timetable for production of the DPD  has now been deferred until after Local Government reorganisation in April 2019

Delayed due to local government reorganisation 

Joint Heathland Mitigation SPD

Adoption September 2016

Adopted by EDDC and CBC September 2016

On Target and no current planned updates

Housing and Affordable Housing SPD

To update and consult on revised draft document 

Consultation July 2018.  Adopted by EDDC and CBC December 2018

On Target 

Statement of Community Involvement

Adoption July 2016

Adopted July 2016

On Target and no current planned updates

 

Table last updated January 2019

Joint working/duty to co-operate

The Councils have a "Duty to Co-operate" with the relevant local authorities and prescribed bodies (section 110 of the Localism Act). The Authorities' Monitoring Report is required [Town and Country (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012] to set out details of what action the local planning authority has taken to fulfil the Duty to Co-operate requirements. This is set out below for the respective years:

Duty to co-operate activity undertaken 2012 - 2013

In 2013 the Council published a  Duty to Cooperate Statement which set out how the councils met their Duty to Cooperate requirements as part of the Core Strategy preparation. This statement also explains the Duty to Cooperate and lists the prescribed bodies.

Duty to co-operate activity undertaken 2013 - 2014

Much of the detail of meetings and actions relating to the duty to co-operate for this monitoring year relate to the development of the core strategy, and are set out in the duty to co-operate statement submitted to the core strategy examination (and dated March 2013). The core strategy examination was held in September 2013, and the plan was adopted in April 2014, so the focus of actions on Duty to Co-operate had already taken place.

That said, there were a number of other meetings, discussions and cross boundary projects in the monitoring year which relate to the duty, as follows:

 

  • project board meetings of the Three Towns Travel project board, a funded sub-regional transport corridor improvement project across South East Dorset on the A35 transport corridor. These meetings were to manage projects in the final year of the project, and involved Christchurch, Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset county councils
  • two meetings with Dorset education authority to discuss future school provision in Christchurch
  • an introductory meeting with the marine management organisation to discuss future liaison on marine plans for the South West
  • regular liaison meetings with neighbouring authorities in New Forest (District and National Park Authority)
  • attendance at a conference hosted by the Dorset local enterprise partnership  to discuss future housing growth in Dorset
  • regular planning policy managers meetings (quarterly) to share information on local planning issues and work plans
  • regular meetings of the Dorset Strategic Housing group
  • initial meetings to launch a renewable energy landscape impact study and a strategic housing market assessment
  • renewable energy landscape study was progressed with Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset and Purbeck Councils
  • regular meetings of the Dorset-wide Sustainable Energy Planning group to discuss issues around renewable energy

Duty to co-operate activity undertaken 2014 - 2015

Two particular issues were the focus of cross boundary discussions under the duty to co-operate in this monitoring year - progression of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for Eastern Dorset, and progression of a revised Heathland Planning Framework SPD.

The SHMA for Eastern Dorset was launched in 2013 - 2014 but progressed substantially during the 2014 - 2015 monitoring year. The SHMA was finally adopted in late 2015. This assessment was undertaken by consultants and project managed by Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership, with regular liaison meetings with the other partner Councils (Poole, Bournemouth, Purbeck, North Dorset and Dorset County).

The revised Heathland Planning Framework SPD saw extensive officer meetings with Natural England, and adjoining local authorities to develop a framework for Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Payments (SAMM) to be included in the SPD, with main heathland payments coming within the CIL charge. Again this work was led by Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership in liaison with Natural England and Poole, Bournemouth and Purbeck Councils.

In addition to these main projects, there were a number of other meetings, discussions and cross boundary projects in the monitoring year which relate to the duty, as follows:

 

  • an initial meeting with Dorset County Council to discuss future minerals and waste sites plans for the area
  • regular liaison meetings with neighbouring authorities in New Forest (District and National Park Authority)
  • attendance at a cross boundary gypsy & traveller seminar to discuss future progress on a sites DPD.
  • regular planning policy managers meetings (quarterly) to share information on local planning issues and work plans
  • regular meetings of the Dorset Strategic Housing Group
  • renewable energy landscape study completed with Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset and Purbeck Councils
  • regular meetings of the Dorset-wide Sustainable Energy Planning Group to discuss issues around renewable energy

Duty to co-operate activity undertaken 2015 - 2016 (updated 18 October 2016)

This monitoring year was primarily focused on three projects related to the duty to co-operate, creation of new officer and members structures to discuss strategic planning in Dorset, the progression of the next stage of the Gypsy & Traveller sites DPD, and initial discussions on an updated Workspace Strategy for Dorset.

Following increasing concern on a possible vacuum on cross boundary "strategic" planning in Dorset, officers established a new structure of officer and member meetings to facilitate discussion on cross boundary planning matters. The Strategic Planning Policy Managers Forum (SPPMF) was to meet every 2 months to discuss issues in detail, with a member-led strategic planning forum to meet as required. All Dorset authorities were represented on both groups, with New Forest District Council and representatives from the LEP and LNP also attending the member forum. Officer meetings began in October 2015 and the first member forum was held in November 2015.

One of the first decisions to come from the member forum was to agree the process for progression of the Gypsy & Traveller Sites DPD. Members resolved that the DPD would be progressed using in-house resources (having progressed through 2 previous stages using consultants), and a revised timetable was to be created. A series of subsequent officer meetings were held to progress this and work is ongoing.

The Preparation of a revised Workspace Strategy for Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole commenced in autumn of 2015 and was led by Christchurch and East Dorset Councils. The revised Workspace Strategy has been prepared jointly by the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole local authorities in association with the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.

The main objectives of the Workspace Strategy are to:

  1. To establish employment Land projections for the Dorset LEP area and the Eastern and Western Dorset HMAs (as functional economic areas) for B1, B2 and B8 use classes to 2033.
  2. To balance employment land demand / supply and provide recommendations regarding the provision and distribution of land and premises across the Dorset LEP area and Eastern and Western Dorset HMAs.

Throughout the production of the Workspace Strategy a project steering group led by Christchurch and East Dorset Councils has met on a regular basis with representation from all the BDP local authorities and the LEP. The revised Workspace Strategy was completed and published as a shared evidence study in October 2016 and replaces the 2008 and 2012 Workspace Studies.

In addition to the major projects there were a number of other meetings, discussions and cross boundary projects in the monitoring year which relate to the duty, as follows:

  • two meetings with Dorset Education Authority to discuss future school provision in Christchurch
  • a further meeting and seminar with the marine management organisation to discuss progress on marine plans for the south west
  • a liaison meeting with Wiltshire Council on gypsy & traveller provision and issues
  • a LEP workshop at Bournemouth University to inform the strategic economic plan
  • regular liaison meetings with neighbouring authorities in New Forest (District and National Park Authority), including attending New Forest National Park Local Plan Review - Neighbouring Authorities Workshop
  • regular planning policy managers meetings (quarterly) to share information on local planning issues and work plans
  • regular meetings of the Dorset Strategic Housing Group
  • officer meetings to conclude the SHMA

Duty to co-operate activity undertaken 2016 - 2017

The most formal Duty to Co-operate meetings continue to be the Strategic Planning Forum (composed of 2 elected members from each of the Dorset Councils together with New Forest District Council, and representatives of the Local Enterprise Partnership and Local Nature Partnership). Discussions at the SPF have focussed on the Housing White Paper and continuing moves toward more focused cross boundary planning as encouraged by Government. The SPF is to meet more regularly (presently ad hoc), in 2018 to discuss the potential for cross boundary plan making in Dorset.

The forum continues to be supported by an officer group (the Strategic Planning Policy Managers Forum) which advises the group on strategic planning issues in the County and progress on local plans.

The Government's recent proposals for a formal Statement of Common Ground on housing provision will undoubtedly be at the forefront of the officer and member forum's work in the year ahead.

The Dorset Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Show people Sites DPD was put on hold pending an updated Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessment - which was completed in November 2017. A revised timetable for production of the DPD is shortly to be agreed.

 

Duty to co-operate activity undertaken 2017 - 2018 and 2018 - 2019

The most formal Duty to Co-operate meetings continues to be the Strategic Planning Forum (composed of 2 elected members from each of the Dorset Councils together with New Forest District Council, and representatives of the Local Enterprise Partnership and Local Nature Partnership). The frequency of these meetings has increased to every two months in recognition of the amount of cross boundary planning issues and current progress on local plan reviews across Dorset.

The forum continues to be supported by an officer group (the Strategic Planning Policy Managers Forum) which advises the group on strategic planning issues in the County and progress on local plans.

The Government's recent proposals for a formal Statement of Common Ground have seen work progress on an initial draft Statement pf Common Ground for Dorset. This sets out:

  • a short executive summary
  • a section setting out which authorities are involved with the SOCG, as well as setting out the role of the Strategic Planning Forum
  • a map of the area covered by the SOCG
  • an outline of the main cross boundary issues to be addressed, particularly housing, infrastructure provision, community facilities and the natural and historic environment
  • a summary of the position of local plans in Dorset
  • a section on housing need, including current housing requirements and delivery rates
  • discussion on the potential for a strategic green belt review
  • further sections dealing with employment and commercial development, infrastructure, community facilities, and the environment

The Strategic Planning Forum has discussed the SOCG and recommended that the document should be approved by sovereign Councils prior to signing. The SOCG was subsequently approved for signing by Christchurch Borough Council and East Dorset District Council in January/February 2019.

As part of the Christchurch and the East Dorset Local Plan Reviews, Duty to Cooperate letters were sent to adjoining Councils (including in the New Forest) to ascertain if there was the prospect that they could offer unconstrained land to assist with the housing needs of our two areas. Unfortunately, no adjoining Council was in the position to assist with this request as all are under similar pressure to deliver housing in their areas in the face of significant constraints.

The Dorset Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Sites DPD was put on hold pending an updated Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessment - which was completed in November 2017. A revised timetable for production of the DPD is shortly to be agreed, but has been deferred until after Local Government Reorganisation in April 2019.

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