Agenda and draft minutes

Local Plan Project Advisory Group
Wednesday, 10th July, 2019 9.00 am

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    Contact: Kate Batty-Smith  Democratic Services Officer

    No. Item



    To receive any apologies for absence.


    It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors N S Kenton and S C Manion.


    Appointment of Substitute Members

    To note appointments of Substitute Members.


    It was noted that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4, Councillor D P Murphy had been appointed as a substitute member for Councillor S C Manion.


    Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 37 KB

    To receive any declarations of interest from Members in respect of business to be transacted on the agenda.


    There were no declarations of interest.


    Notes pdf icon PDF 60 KB

    To approve the attached notes of the meeting of the Group held on 30 January 2019.


    The notes of the meeting held on 30 January 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Vice-Chairman.


    Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 51 KB

    The Project Advisory Group’s Terms of Reference are attached for information only.


    The Group’s Terms of Reference were noted.


    Local Plan Topic Paper pdf icon PDF 4 MB

    To receive the attached presentation and papers.

    Additional documents:


    The Group received a presentation from the Policy and Projects Manager (PPM).  He advised that topic papers would form the evidence base behind the strategy for the new Local Plan.   The papers would then be presented to the Planning Inspector as part of the examination process of the new Plan. 


    Members were advised that the Government had set a national target of 300,000 new homes being built every year for the next 20 years, a figure that could not be challenged.  At a local level this translated to the delivery of 629 dwellings per annum which would be a significant challenge for the Council.  Whilst housing was undoubtedly one of the most contentious elements of the Plan, it could create positive opportunities for improvements, such as employment and new leisure and retail facilities.  It was recognised that more work needed to be done during the Plan-making process to identify viability issues, in particular where affordable housing could or could not be delivered.  Whilst the existing Core Strategy (CS) had focused on population growth in Dover, growth in Deal and Sandwich had been constrained by issues such as landscape, access and flood risk.  Alternative growth options would need to be looked at carefully with a view to sharing it out equally across the district, considering issues such as whether growth in urban areas should be higher and the creation of new settlements. The shortfall in the number of developments delivered under the existing CS had been largely connected to problems with developments at Whitfield.  


    Councillor T A Bond questioned the extent of development in Deal, raising concerns about Deal’s infrastructure, including the closure of schools, an overstretched road network, an ageing sewerage system and power outage and waste recycling problems.  He suggested that any areas of agricultural land that were not Grade 1 or 2 should be allocated for development.  Mr Peter Ralph agreed that access and infrastructure were problematic, adding that local residents had genuine concerns about the adequacy of access at the proposed Woodnesborough development.  He referred to two sites in Sandwich that remained undeveloped despite gaining planning permission some years previously.  If developed, these sites would increase pressure on the local road network and education.    


    The Head of Planning, Regeneration and Development (HPRD) emphasised the challenge facing the Council in having to deliver 629 new dwellings when its growth strategy had failed to deliver the previous CS target of 505.  The new figure was an assessed need based on the Government’s standard formula and would be tested to ensure it was correct.   Failure to meet the target could result in the Local Planning Authority (LPA) being placed in special measures.  She agreed that infrastructure was crucial, which was why the Council was currently recruiting an infrastructure planner to lead on the Infrastructure Delivery Plan which would set out what infrastructure was needed, who would deliver it and when.  The LPA had delivered around 40% housing growth in Dover against a CS target of 70%.   


    Mr Pat Sherratt supported  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


    Update on Local Plan

    To receive a verbal update from the Principal Policy Officer.


    The Principal Policy Officer advised that most of the work on the land availability assessment had been completed.   The team had sifted through 500 sites, and the remainder would be brought to the Project Advisory Group in August.   Consultants were working on the SHMA and particularly whether 629 was an appropriate annual housing target.  The results of this work would be brought back to the Group.  It was hoped that the infrastructure policy officer and a senior policy planner (to look at gypsy and traveller needs) would be in place by the end of the summer. The team was working closely with the Council’s public relations team to decide how best to publicise and share work on the Local Plan to ensure that it reached as many people as possible.


    It was agreed that the update be noted. 


    Dates of Future Meetings

    The following meeting dates are scheduled:


    Wednesday, 7 August at 09.00am


    Wednesday, 14 August at 09.00am


    Wednesday, 21 August at 09.00am


    Wednesday, 28 August at 09.00am


    The dates of future meetings were noted.

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