ELDC Response to Public Letter about the Local Plan
Thank you for your letter. The Chief Executive has asked me to reply on his behalf, and you will also see that the Portfolio Holder for Planning (Cllr Ashton) is also cc’d as they are also aware of the issues you raise.
Your letter seems to suggest that the Council, in making planning decisions relating to Addlethorpe, ignores the Local Plan and the views of the community. This is not accepted and is disagreed with.
You raise 10 specific points relating to various applications, and comments previously made by residents and the Parish Council. Given the variance in applications and the issues that they bring, I will not go in to each in detail, however, I can assure you that in reaching its decisions the Council is mindful of the need to make lawful planning decisions in its role as Local Planning Authority.
The Council gives full regard to the policies of the Local Plan, as well as relevant material considerations – as required by statute. Such decisions are taken with regard to the ‘plan as a whole’. Additionally, due regard is given to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which is a material consideration. We also give regard to the views and comments of consultees, and representations received by the community. It is therefore a rounded judgement that is undertaken. That said, planning decisions can often be subjective and a matter of planning balance – where factors often push and pull against each other, and where different decision makers can legitimately reach different conclusions.
Our Planning Committee and Officer Reports clearly set out the basis of the decisions taken, and how, in our opinion, a proposal either complies or not with the policies of the development plan and how all matters including material planning considerations were balanced.
I can confirm that the Council is committed to making lawful decisions, and taking in to consideration the views of residents and the Parish Council. However, I cannot commit that such consideration will lead to outcomes which are to the satisfaction of the Parish Council and the community. Remembering of course that both the Local Plan, and the NPPF, seek to support and manage growth.
Planning can be incredibly emotive, and whilst I have sympathy with residents in the community in respect of ‘what’s coming next’, unfortunately this is not something within our power to control. Even if the Local Plan had a blanket, negative approach, it would not and could not prevent speculative applications coming forward which the Council would be duty bound to consult on, consider and determine.
We have had other dialogue on this matter, including my previous response to you, and as suggested if your Parish is concerned at the direction of the current Local Plan, they may wish to engage proactively with the Local Plan Review which is being undertaken.