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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 31/10/2006
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME: UPDATE



Summary & Purpose
The Council approved its Local Development Scheme in February 2005. This document was submitted to the Government Office at the beginning of March 2005. The Government Office approved the document on 8th March 2005.

Since then there have been two occasions where officers have had to write to the Government Office requesting an adjustment to the timetable, the most recent as a consequence of the judgement in the European Court of Justice in October last year against the UK Government as it had not properly transposed the European Habitat Regulations into UK law.

The Government Office has agreed to the adjustment of the timetable, and the Council must now formally agree to amend its Local Development Scheme. The new Scheme can then be placed on the Council’s web-site.

It will also be necessary to inform the Inspector appointed to consider the Council’s Core Strategy at the forthcoming Public Examination that the Scheme has been formally amended.

APPENDIX E
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
31ST OCTOBER 2006

EXECUTIVE - 31ST OCTOBER 2006

Title:
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME: UPDATE
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and Purpose:

The Council approved its Local Development Scheme in February 2005. This document was submitted to the Government Office at the beginning of March 2005. The Government Office approved the document on 8th March 2005.

Since then there have been two occasions where officers have had to write to the Government Office requesting an adjustment to the timetable, the most recent as a consequence of the judgement in the European Court of Justice in October last year against the UK Government as it had not properly transposed the European Habitat Regulations into UK law.

The Government Office has agreed to the adjustment of the timetable, and the Council must now formally agree to amend its Local Development Scheme. The new Scheme can then be placed on the Council’s web-site.

It will also be necessary to inform the Inspector appointed to consider the Council’s Core Strategy at the forthcoming Public Examination that the Scheme has been formally amended.

Quality of life implications – social and community implications:

The production of a Local Development Scheme is a requirement of the new development plan system established under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. This report brings the current Local Development Scheme, which was approved by the Government Office in March 2005, up to date following correspondence with GOSE.

E-Government implications:

Wherever possible the Council will undertake consultation electronically. This document will also be made available on the Council’s web-site.

Resource and Legal Implications

There are no direct resource or legal implications.

Background

1. The Council approved its Local Development Scheme (LDS) in February 2005. This document was submitted to the Government Office at the beginning of March 2005. The Government Office approved the document on 8th March 2005.
2. In September 2005 officers wrote to the Government Office to request an adjustment of the timetable of both the Core Strategy to give the Council more time to consider the representations that were received during the Core Strategy Preferred Options and Policies consultation and to ensure that the Core Strategy and its sustainability appraisal were both sound and fit for purpose.

3. The Government Office acceded to this request and agreed that the date of submission of the Core Strategy be put back from the end of September 2005 to the end of December 2005.

4. A report would have been put to Members seeking formal authority to amend the LDS. This was delayed because of the judgement in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) at the end of October 2005 against the UK Government for not properly transposing the European Habitats Regulations into UK law. The effect of this judgement was that it was necessary for the Council to undertake an Appropriate Assessment of the Core Strategy to assess its impact on European sites of Nature Conservation (Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation).

5. It was not until the end of February 2006 that the (then) ODPM wrote to all Local Authorities to explain that, in response to the judgement, the Government proposed to amend the UK Habitat Regulations. The letter also explained the interim arrangements that were being made until those amended regulations came into force.

6. Following correspondence between your officers and the Government Office it was agreed that the submission of Waverley’s Core Strategy should be delayed until the end of July 2006 in order that an Appropriate Assessment could be made.

7. The Appropriate Assessment did not require a change to the Core Strategy. As Members will be aware this study concluded that the Core Strategy would have an adverse effect on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area but that this could be mitigated by making improvements to Farnham Park. Members will also be aware that a draft mini-mitigation plan was also prepared to demonstrate how this mitigation could be delivered.

8. The Core could therefore be submitted following the Council resolution of 13th December 2005. The Core Strategy was submitted on 31st July 2006.

Proposed changes to the timetable of the Core Strategy and Housing DPD resulting from the need to undertake an Appropriate Assessment.

9. The current timetable for the production of the Core Strategy is:
10.
11. The Government Office has agreed the following revised timetable (letter of 31st July 2006 refers):

12. The current timetable for the production of the Housing DPD is:
13. The Government Office has agreed the following revised timetable (letter of 31st July 2006 refers):
Recommendation

It is recommended that:

1. the revised timetable be endorsed and that the revised scheme shall have effect from 13th December 2006 (the day after the meeting of Council); 2. the revised LDS be placed on the Council’s web-site; and 3. the Inspector be informed that changes have been formally approved by the Council.

Background Papers (DoPD)

Correspondence between Waverley and GOSE dated 9th September 2006, 14th September 2006, 19th July 2006, 28th July 2006 and 31st July 2006.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Peter Hartley Telephone: 01483 523297

E-mail: phartley@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/O&S3/2006-07/132