Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Council Chamber Council Offices Market Street Newbury
Contact: Stephen Chard (Democratic Services Manager)
Declarations of Interest PDF 303 KB
To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.
There were no declarations of interest received.
To consider and deal with the business detailed in the requisition for an extraordinary meeting dated 1 February 2023, signed by the requisite number of Members PDF 238 KB
Purpose: To consider the business detailed under Item 3 in the agenda pack.
The Council considered a report (Agenda Item 4) concerning a proposal for consideration by Council as detailed in the requisition signed by Members dated 1 February 2023.
MOTION: Proposed by Councillor Lee Dillon and seconded by Councillor Tony Vickers:
That the Council:
“1) abandon the consultation on the Local Plan which commenced on the 20th of January 2023, so that all relevant issues can be rectified and/or clarified and thereby avoid the risk of the Local Plan Review submission being dismissed as unsound by the Inspector on the basis of a defective Regulation 19 Consultation: and
2) undertake a new Regulation 19 Consultation in the future once these omissions and errors have been rectified.”
Councillor Dillon introduced the motion and thanked the Chairman for holding the extraordinary meeting to consider the issue. He said that Members would not be surprised that there were sites that had been allocated that people were not happy about. He had concerns about the Thatcham North East site but that was not what the motion was about. The motion was about the body of evidence that was being presented for the consultation. The risk of not having a sound local plan were well known and if the Council did not have a local plan then there was a risk that development would be led by developers. He believed that if the plan was submitted in its current form then it would be unsafe and this could stop the Thatcham North East site as well as other development sites. The opposition could just do nothing and let the Local Plan fail but there was more to the plan then site allocation, and there were a number of policies that needed to be considered from building standards through to energy and environmental issues. It was important to have a plan that the Inspector could sign off.
Councillor Dillon continued by saying that there was a lack of evidence in the Regulation 19 consultation. He mentioned that the growth study was flawed as it only looked at one site and therefore the score did not include other possible sites. The study was based on 2,500 homes for Thatcham but the consultation talked about 1,500 homes. There was no traffic impact study on neighbouring parishes. He mentioned that there was a call for a new school but there was no funds put aside for infrastructure. If the Council wanted an approved Local Plan the consultation should stop with a new Regulation 19 consultation to take place once all the missing parts had been rectified and an evidence base in place.
Councillor Alan Macro said that there was a lot to be concerned about with the Local Plan but wanted to talk about the transport plan and air quality report. The Air Quality Assessment that was part of the consultation documents was based on the Local Plan running to 2037, not 2039 which it now should do. This affected the traffic levels forecast for the end of the plan period ... view the full minutes text for item 2.