Core Strategy

Mavis Skillerton made this Freedom of Information request to Northumberland County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Northumberland County Council,

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act I request the following information;

What progress has been made in developing a core strategy since the withdrawal of the emerging strategy in June?

With regards to the now withdrawn emerging core strategy, what assessment has the council made of the costs of developing the now withdrawn document?

What assessment has the council made of the robustness of the existing planning policies of the former district and borough councils in relation to the new national planning policy framework?

What assessment has the council made on the robustness of adopted local plans now the emerging core strategy has been withdrawn?

What assessment has the council made on the likelihood of developers appealing negative decisions where a local plan has been adopted but is not in line with the policies of the former district council where the local plan is based?

Has the authority allocated a financial budget to planning appeals as a result of the removal of the core strategy? How much?

What advice was provided by the chief planning officer to the Conservative group, portfolio holders or the leadership of the council prior to the removal of the core strategy?

Since May 2017 how many applications already given consent have been returned to the council to amend the number of 'affordable homes' on the site?

What is the total reduction of affordable housing on pre consented applications since 2017?

How many affordable homes are included on schemes passed since May 2017, what site and how many?

Yours faithfully,

M Skillerton

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 3230  

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information which will be dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this matter please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 3230   

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information received on 16 October 2017
concerning withdrawal of core strategy This request is being handled under
the Environmental Information Regulations.

The Council confirms that it does hold certain information covered by your
request, however we believe that we need further time in which to provide
a full response to you.

We estimate that we will have reached a decision by 11 December 2017 and
we will write to you then.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of your response to the Information Governance Office:

EIR Officer
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF

[Northumberland County Council request email]

Information Commissioner

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with
in accordance with the requirements of the Act at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745 / Fax: 01625 524 510
Email: [email address]

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely

EIR Coordinator -
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Dear Northumberland County Council,

This request is now long overdue. Can you please advise when it will be responded to?

If this is not forthcoming before the weekend I will be requesting an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Mavis Skillerton

Northumberland County Council

6 Attachments

Our Ref: 3230

 

Our Ref: 3230  

 

Dear Enquirer,

Request for Information 

I refer to your request for information in relation to the Core Strategy. 
The Council have considered your request for information under the terms
of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. In our view the request
falls within the scope of the broad definition of environmental
information contained within Regulation 2(1) of the Regulations. 

Right of Access 

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide that a public
authority that holds environmental information shall make it available on
request. The Regulations create a general right of access to environmental
information held by public authorities subject to various exceptions. A
public authority may refuse to disclose environmental information if an
exception to disclosure applies and the public authority decides that in
all the circumstances the public interest in maintaining the exception
outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. 

The Council has carefully considered whether the information requested can
be disclosed under the Regulations.  

1.  What progress has been made in developing a core strategy since the
withdrawal of the emerging strategy in June? 

Since the withdrawal of the Core Strategy in July 2017, Officers have been
working closely with Members in understanding the reasons for the
withdrawal in more detail and seeking clarification on the vision,
objectives and key strategic planning issues necessary to inform
preparation of a new plan. A number of meetings of the Council's Local
Development Framework Member Working Group have taken place and from these
it has been agreed that the Council will prepare a full Local Plan from
the outset rather than a Core Strategy. The timetable for the preparation
of the Northumberland Local Plan (set out in the Local Development Scheme)
was agreed by Cabinet on 23rd November 2017 and can be viewed via the link
below. Work is now well underway on preparing the new plan and its
supporting evidence base to allow for consultation to take place in line
with the timescales set out in the LDS. 

[1]http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Plannin...

2.  With regards to the now withdrawn emerging core strategy, what
assessment has the council made of the costs of developing the now
withdrawn document? 

The total cost between 2009/10 to 2016/17 i.e. from the start of work on
the Core Strategy up until submission to Government, was £1,191,073 which
comprised specialist consultancy support, consultation and printing costs,
and staffing costs for officers employed full-time on the Plan. The figure
does not include any apportionment of other officers, managers or Members
time during the specified period as their time was not recorded. An annual
breakdown of the costs is provided below: 

2009/10 = £78,041

2010/11 = £148,935

2011/12 = £49,149

2012/13 = £84,975

2013/14 = £84,000

2014/15 = £224,726

2015/16 = £362,645

2016/17 = £158,776.   

3.  What assessment has the council made of the robustness of the existing
planning policies of the former district and borough councils in relation
to the new national planning policy framework? 

The weight to be attached to individual policies within the Local Plans
and Core Strategies of the former district and borough Councils is
assessed in the context of the advice set out in paragraph 215 of the
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This states that (in
determining planning applications) due weight should be given to relevant
policies in existing plans according to their degree of consistency with
the Framework i.e. the closer the policies in the plan align to the
policies in the NPPF, the greater the weight that may be given to them. 

4.  What assessment has the council made on the robustness of adopted
local plans now the emerging core strategy has been withdrawn? 

Please refer to the response to the question above. 

5.  What assessment has the council made on the likelihood of developers
appealing negative decisions where a local plan has been adopted but is
not in line with the policies of the former district council where the
local plan is based?

The Council is not able to carry out an assessment of the likelihood of
developers appealing refused planning applications as all applicant's have
the right to appeal in the event that their application is refused. 

6.  Has the authority allocated a financial budget to planning appeals as
a result of the removal of the core strategy? How much?

The Council has not allocated a financial budget to planning appeals
following the withdrawal of the Core Strategy. 

7.  What advice was provided by the chief planning officer to the
Conservative group, portfolio holders or the leadership of the council
prior to the removal of the core strategy?

Copies of two advice notes prepared by the Head of Planning Services
entitled "Northumberland Core Strategy Briefing Note" (prepared on 10th
May 2017) and "Core Strategy - Briefing Note" (prepared on 4th June 2017)
are enclosed. These set out the advice provided by the Head of Planning
Services to the leadership of the Council and the relevant portfolio
holder prior to the plan being withdrawn. Copies of reports to Full
Council on 5th July 2017, prepared by the Head of Planning Services, are
also enclosed setting out advice to all Council members prior to their
consideration of the motion seeking to withdraw the emerging Core
Strategy. 

8.  Since May 2017 how many applications already given consent have been
returned to the council to amend the number of 'affordable homes' on the
site?

None 

9.  What is the total reduction of affordable housing on pre consented
applications since 2017?

Please refer to the response to the question above 

10. How many affordable homes are included on schemes passed since May
2017, what site and how many? 

Please refer to attachment 1.

Advice and Assistance 

The Council recognises its statutory duty to provide advice and assistance
under Regulation 9 of the Regulations. Subject to the provision of the
Regulations, the Council is seeking to be transparent and open it is
response. 

Representations and Reconsideration 

If you consider that the Council has failed to comply with a requirement
of the Regulations in relation to your request, you have a right to make
representations under Regulation 11. Representations must be made in
writing to the Council no later than 40 working days after the date on
which you believe that the Council failed to comply with a requirement of
the Regulations. 

Any representation should be addressed to: 

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF 

Email: [2][Northumberland County Council request email] 

Enforcement and Appeal Provisions 

Should you remain dissatisfied following the above process, you have a
right under the Regulations to apply to the Information Commissioner for a
decision as to whether your request has been dealt with in accordance with
the requirements of the Regulations. The Information Commissioners address
is: 

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF 

Telephone no. 01625 545745
Fax no. 01625 524510 
Email: [3][email address]

Yours faithfully

EIR Coordinator - Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF 

Email: [4][Northumberland County Council request email] 

References

Visible links
1. http://track.vuelio.uk.com/z.z?l=aHR0cDo...
2. mailto:[Northumberland County Council request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[Northumberland County Council request email]