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									*PART 1 – PUBLIC DOCUMENT                                         AGENDA ITEM No.


                                                                         8
TITLE OF REPORT: REGIONAL AND STRATEGIC PLANNING ISSUES

REPORT OF THE HEAD OF PLANNING AND BUILDING CONTROL
PORTFOLIO HOLDER: COUNCILLOR TOM BRINDLEY

1.      SUMMARY

1.1     To inform Members of the current positions regarding:

             National / Regional Issues, including Review of the East of England Plan;
             The Stevenage growth agenda, including the WA1M planning applications and
              SNAP;
             The growth agenda for the Luton conurbation, including the proposed Luton &
              Dunstable Northern Bypasses;
             North Hertfordshire Core Strategy & Development Policies DPDs; and
             The strategic transport agenda, including airport and rail development.

2.      FORWARD PLAN

2.1     This report to Cabinet is included within the Forward Plan.

3.      BACKGROUND

3.1     Members will be aware of, and familiar with, many of the issues surrounding the
        significant strategic planning issues referred to in paragraph 1.1 above. This report is
        primarily intended to provide Members with the current positions on these matters.

4.      ISSUES

 4.1        The East of England Plan Review

 4.2        EERA’s public consultation on the East of England Plan Review, focusing on 4
            scenarios for regional housing and economic growth to 2031, ended on 24 Nov 2009.
            Further to my report to October’s Cabinet, the Council’s response was duly lodged
            before the deadline date.

 4.3        Additionally, the Hertfordshire Infrastructure and Planning Panel (HIPP) met on 17 th
            November. A joint response on behalf of HCC and the Hertfordshire districts has also
            been sent.

 4.4        Stevenage Growth Agenda

 4.5        The Council has now signed a s106A legal agreement relating to the outstanding
            planning applications for the development of land west of the A1(M) at Stevenage.
            This has the effect of removing from further consideration the unilateral agreement
            and associated documentation submitted by the West Stevenage Consortium in
            2004-05. The way is therefore clear for the Consortium to submit a new unilateral
            legal agreement to the Secretary of State, and then for the Secretary of State to
            proceed to decisions.
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 4.6      Regarding the Stevenage and North Hertfordshire Action Plan (SNAP), an
          informal meeting has recently taken place between Stevenage and North
          Hertfordshire councillors to steer the next stage of SNAP preparation. A “proposals
          map” has been prepared, which together with appropriate text is being worked up to
          form the basis of a set of “preferred options.” Hopefully, these will be reported to
          Cabinet (and to Stevenage BC’s Executive) in January, where authorisation will be
          sought to undertake a period of public consultation in February and March.

 4.7      Luton Conurbation Growth Agenda

 4.8      On 3 Nov 2009, Luton BC resolved that it “strongly opposes the currently proposed
          housing development East of Luton” for reasons relating to traffic congestion on
          existing roads in Luton and to the “exceptionally attractive landscape” of the land east
          of Luton.

 4.9      As a consequence, a meeting of the Luton and Central Bedfordshire Joint Committee
          due to take place on 24 November, together with an associated Member Steering
          Group, was cancelled.

 4.10      The next Steering Group date is 8th December and the next scheduled meeting of the
          Joint Committee is 18th December. I will update the situation orally at the meeting.

 4.11     Hertfordshire’s Draft Economic Development Strategy 2009-2021

 4.12     Hertfordshire Works, the economic partnership for Hertfordshire, has commissioned a
          new Economic Development Strategy for the county. This builds on the outcomes of a
          visioning workshop held in July and the draft was launched at the Hertfordshire
          Forward conference on 6th November 2009. The draft is now out for consultation until
          Friday, 26th February 2010. The full draft document can be accessed through the
          following link:
          http://www.hertslink.org/hertfordshireforward/15communitystrategy/HertfordshireWork
          s/

 4.13     The draft strategy is a formal statement of intent, which sets out the aims, aspirations
          and measures by which the partnership will be judged. It’s vision is as follows;

          “By 2021, Hertfordshire will have a resilient and low carbon economy characterised by
          quality jobs, innovative and dynamic business, supported by a well skilled workforce
          and an entrepreneurial culture, where everyone has the opportunity to prosper and
          fulfil their ambitions.”

 4.14     The context for delivery of the strategy is an economy which has stalled in the last 8
          years. Rather than jobs growth, there has in fact been jobs loss. The aspiration is to
          turn the trend around and regain Hertfordshire’s position as one of the economic
          engines of the East of England. Also, there is of course a planned step change in
          housing provision over the period, if the East of England Plan targets are to be met.
          And finally, the Hertfordshire Strategy must accord with the Regional Economic
          Strategy.

 4.15     The draft strategy has 5 key economic objectives:

          1. Creating a vibrant low carbon economy;
          2. Stimulating enterprise, innovation and inward investment
          3. Developing a well-skilled workforce
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          4. Providing quality locations and infrastructure, and
          5. Creating vibrant towns and vibrant communities.

 4.16     For each of these, the draft strategy sets out priorities and sets out how future
          success can be measured in the form of various indicators. To achieve the
          objectives, the strategy emphasises the need to harness the support and commitment
          of a wide range of organisations – in the public, private and third sectors. Five key
          factors are identified which will underpin delivery and the success of the strategy:
          leadership (the role of the Hertfordshire Works Board); partnership working;
          resources (value for money); aligning agendas and grasping opportunities (being
          proactive).

 4.17     Finally there is a section on monitoring and review.

 4.18     It is difficult to argue with the vision, objectives or means to achieve the objectives set
          out in the draft strategy. Indeed, it deserves full support, and it is therefore
          recommended that a response to the consultation be submitted on this basis.

5.      LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

5.1     The Terms of Reference for Cabinet confirm that they should exercise the Council’s
        functions as Local Planning Authority except where functions are reserved by law to full
        Council or delegated to the Strategic Director of Planning, Housing and Enterprise.

5.2     The Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) Regulations 2004 reserve to full
        Council the adoption of final DPD’s. However, decisions prior to the final adoption can be
        made by Cabinet.

6.      FINANCIAL AND RISK IMPLICATIONS

6.1     The matters in this report do not raise any new financial or risk issues.

7.      HUMAN RESOURCE AND EQUALITIES IMPLICATIONS

7.1     There are no new HR or equalities implications arising from the contents of this report.

7.2     The Council recognises the changing nature of equality legislation and incorporates
        national legislation and regulations into its scheme and services as appropriate, as set
        out in the Council's Corporate Equality Strategy. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act
        2000 extends the provisions of the Race Relations Act 1976 to cover all the activities of
        all public authorities. It makes important extensions to public authority duties.
        Equivalent statutory duties have been created for disability by the Disability
        Discrimination Act 2005 and for gender by the Equality Act 2006. These duties divide
        into a general duty and specific duties.

8.      CONSULTATION WITH EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS AND WARD MEMBERS

8.1     Councillor Brindley has been kept fully informed on the matters set out above.

9.      RECOMMENDATIONS

9.1     That the Strategic Director of Planning Housing and Enterprise respond to the
        consultation to reflect NHDC’s strong support for the emerging strategy.

9.2     That the other matters covered in this report be noted.
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10.      REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

10.1    1. To ensure that the Council’s views are considered in the consultation; and
        2. To ensure that Cabinet is aware of current evidence and developments.

11.     ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS CONSIDERED

11.1    There have been no alternative options considered.

12.     APPENDICES

12.1    None.

13.     CONTACT OFFICERS

13.1    David Scholes
        Strategic Director of Planning, Housing and Enterprise
        Telephone      :       01462 474836
        Email          :       david.scholes@north-herts.gov.uk

13.2    John Ironside
        Regional and Strategic Developments Manager
        Telephone     :       01462 474626
        Email         :       john.ironside@north-herts.gov.uk

13.3    Andy Beavan
        Local Development Framework Manager
        Telephone    :      01462 474317
        Email        :      andy.beavan@north-herts.gov.uk

13.4    Katie White
        Acting Corporate Legal Manager
        Telephone     :      01462 474460
        Email         :      katie.white@north-herts.gov.uk

13.5    Jodie Penfold
        Group Accountant
        Telephone     :       01462 474332
        Email         :       Jodie.Penfold@north-herts.gov.uk

13.6    Kerry Shorrocks
        Head of Human Resources
        Telephone     :   01462 474224
        Email         :   kerry.shorrocks@north-herts.gov.uk

14.     BACKGROUND PAPERS

        None other than published documents.




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