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Friday, 22 June 2012

Quotes from Officers at Planning Committee - Mr Bell, Head Of Planning

So does the core strategy have significant weight, very significant weight or limited weight?  Do you have to take your pick from the lucky dip?

Mr Bell spoke a few times during the Planning Committee.  His first comments of the evening are during public question time.  He responds to a question about the credance of the emerging core strategy posed by a member of the public:
"The amount of credence given to an emerging core strategy is based on the stage that the core strategy has reached and it is also based on an assessment of whether the allocations in it have been through any kind of consultation process, and that has to be weighed against the actual need of a particular development coming forward.  And certainly, the Inspector's decision in the Commonhead appeal set a very clear precedent that the draft core strategy carries a very significant amount of weight in the decision making process."

The Planning Officer's report on Tadpole Farm contains a section on the Status of the Swindon Borough Core Strategy and Development Management Policies 2026 (pgs. 34-36):
"It is considered that the policies contained within that document, including the allocation of Tadpole Farm as a key site in which to sustainably accommodate the future growth of the Borough in the short term, do carry significant weight and must be taken into consideration when reaching the decision on this application" (point 63, pg. 35).
Later on the same officer reports that:
 "the Secretary of State's decision on the Commonhead Inquiry which was issued on the 19 March 2012 confirms that the site allocations within the emerging Core Strategy do carry a significant degree of weight" (point 104, pg. 46).
However, on quoting directly from the same Secretary of State's decision, ORA note that in point 8 it says:
"The Core Strategy and Development Management Policies 2026 Development Plan document (DPD) is a material consideration. However this is some way from adoption so it has been afforded limited weight."