Contact: Carol Hargreaves 0161 474 3203
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2022.
The minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 22 March 2022 were approved as a correct record.
RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2022 would be amended to reflect that Councillor Bagnall was not in attendance.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors and Officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
Councillors and Officers were invited to declare any interests that they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
No declarations of interest were declared.
To consider a report of the Strategic Head of Place Making and Planning.
The Working Party is invited to comment and provide feedback on the draft “Our housing” policies.
Officer contact: Richard Wood on 07800617505 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Strategic Head of Place Making and Planning submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which set out draft policies relating to housing.
The following comments were made/issues raised:
· Members asked about accessibility standards and walking times and how this was measured? In addition, Members wanted to know whether the topography of the walking distance was taken into consideration? In response, Members were advised that these points would be investigated, and a response provided to Members as soon as possible.
· Members felt that the self-build and custom build homes section needed further information especially with regard to how this process would work. Members felt that any barriers to self-build and custom build homes needed to be removed.
· The final draft relating to self-build should have clear steps outlining how this can be achieved. In response, Members were advised that officers would look at how guidance could be provided.
· Members felt that in section one, further clarity was required around the term ‘existing housing’.
· Members emphasised the issue of garden grabbing and stressed how important it was to monitor this. Members did acknowledge that this was not necessarily an issue across the whole Borough.
· A short discussion took place around affordable housing and whether existing bands could be used to calculate this?
· Members made the point that specialist accommodation should be for a range of different people with different needs that was properly integrated in the community rather than just in specialist settings. Accessible dwellings such as bungalows are at risk of being lost.
· Members questioned whether there would be standards for new houses in relation to room sizes, amenity spaces and bin spaces and so on.
· The possibility of allowing the conversion of bungalows to two storey dwellings was also raised.
· How could the local plan ensure that the infrastructure necessary for large numbers of dwellings would be put in place?
· Members acknowledged the hard work that has gone into the report but felt that the documents needed to be more accessible and easier to understand.
· Would it be possible to look at best practice from elsewhere in relation to walking standards and other issues? In response, Members were assured that best practice in other areas was always taken into consideration.
· In relation to housing for older people, Members asked where information could be found as to what is required in order to demonstrate need. In response, Members were advised that it depends on the type of accommodation being looked at and that this information was shortly to be updated by the strategic housing team.
· Members asked whether the targets for affordable housing in the town centre were ambitious enough and how the housing was going to be kept affordable?
· With regard to Houses of Multiple Occupation, Members asked what could be done to look at the number and quality of them and also whether they would be a threat to the viability of affordable housing? Does the policy go far enough?
· A short discussion took place regarding children’s residential care and how this was reflected in the plan.
· Members asked when the best time would be to submit comments on the Local Plan. Members felt that the consultation process needed to be robust and accurate, and that it may be worth taking extra time to get the process and communications correct. In response, Members were advised that the timetable was tight, but comments were welcome at any time.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.