To consider the draft Cabinet report attached.
The Interim Assistant Director (Planning Policy & Implementation)) introduced the regular quarterly report that would be going to Cabinet on 20 July 2020. Following the recent Executive Briefing, the final report included a few updates, particularly to the spreadsheets. Members received regular updates on the strategic masterplans, concept frameworks, other sites within the emerging Local Plan and the schemes that would be going before the Quality Review Panels. A workshop on the draft Green Infrastructure Plan had been held last week and the consultation would end on 16 July 2020. The final Green Infrastructure Plan would go to Cabinet in October 2020 for approval. Officers continued to progress work on the Main Modifications (MMs). The third tranche of Main Modifications (MMs) had been submitted to the Inspector in early June 2020. As completion of the MMs was scheduled for the end of September, the Implementation Team expected to go out to consultation on the MMs in October 2020.
Cllr R Bassett referred to site LOU.R9 (Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton) and remarked that this land had previously been owned by the College, but since sold to a developer who was submitting this application for 139 residential units.
Councillor S Heap said he was keeping an open mind so as not to fetter his discretion, but from the way some of the applications were presented, such as the Dowding Way, it looked as if the Council wanted this rather than for it to be decided. The Interim Assistant Director replied that all current applications were on this list. The spreadsheets in the report just provided an update and information for members on what was coming forward for sites of more than six dwellings or for a certain quantum of floor space. The Implementation Team dealt with the strategic sites and the strategic implementation sites.
Councillor C McCredie thanked the Interim Assistant Director but had concerns on how current the report was and how relevant the figures in the report were. For the South Epping site, the Inspector wanted numbers reduced. For the Old Laundry site, Epping, currently undergoing a virtual public hearing, so the Council might lose most of those dwellings as it was up to the Inspector. On 1 Buttercross Lane, this had come before the Council twice for six apartments, but the latest application was for a house and three apartments so less than was planned for. On Broadbanks, the application for nine dwellings was not acceptable to Epping Town Council and there were other applications that recommended refusal. The Duke of Wellington PH had been recommended for refusal. Therefore, there was concern that all these potential developments as part of the Local Plan might not happen. The Interim Assistant Director replied that the full list included allocated and unallocated sites. Some of the sites you mentioned were not allocated with the Local Plan, but anyone could submit a planning application. The Council and the South Epping site promoter were in discussions on the number of units, but this was subject to the Inspector’s decision. Epping Laundry site was currently awaiting the Inspector’s decision.
That progress of Masterplans and Concept Frameworks, including the use of Planning Performance Agreements and the progress of other proposals at preapplication and application stage be noted.