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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 12191

Land at Honeypot Lane – draft Local Development Plan

Request

1. Background

As a resident of Honeypot Lane, I am concerned that the ‘Land at Honeypot Lane’ has been included as a ‘preferred site’, with a potential for 250 homes, in the recently
published draft Local Development Plan.

I have made representations about this and have signed the Petition that has been referred to next Tuesday’s meeting of the Planning and Licensing Committee. The
Petition seeks the removal of this land from the draft LDP. I have also been in contact with each of the Local Ward Councillors, Leaders of the Political Groups on the Council and have also written to the Chairman and Members of the Committee referred to above.

Nevertheless, one particular issue remains unanswered, and although I have received assurances that the lead Officers serving the Working Party on the Local Development
Plan have stated that the escalation of this land to a ‘preferred site’ was apparently agreed by the cross party working group, no one seems able, or willing, to produce a formal record of that decision and who was party to it.

Certainly the fact that this was ever discussed by the Working Group has been disputed by others, some of whom are on that Working Group.


2. Request under Freedom of Information

I wish to see a copy of the formal Minute containing the decision of the Working Group to escalate the status of the Land in Honeypot Lane to a “Preferred Site”
or, alternatively, a copy of any Report back from the Working Group to the Planning and Licensing Committee, or other appropriate Committee, or full Council, and the Minute endorsing such action.

I should also like to have a copy of the ‘terms of reference’ of that Cross Party Working Group so that I may see the extent of the powers delegated to it.

Response

 In response to your request, proposed housing allocations were brought to the LDP Member Working Group on 12 January 2016. Summary notes and actions are attached, which were agreed by the LDP Member Working Group on 26 January 2016.

The proposed spatial strategy was brought to the Member Working Group for discussion, which included sites that were consistent with the strategy for how we meet development needs whilst retaining Borough character. Land at Honeypot Lane was assessed to be one of the sites that was consistent with this strategy, because although it is a greenfield Green Belt site it is surrounded by physical defensible boundaries. The Member Working Group was advised of this.

The LDP Member Working Group meets informally and has no formal status in the Brentwood constitution. No votes are declared/counted. Items related to LDP preparation are presented to the Group for information and input before being taken to Planning Committee or Ordinary Council, as agreed in the terms of reference for the group (see attached).

Pages 31 and 32 of the Draft Local Plan provides the rationale for how sites have been proposed, within the context of Figure 5.2 Our Approach (considering the Borough’s settlements and transport corridors to identify sustainable locations for growth), and Figure 5.4 Sequential Selection of Sites (setting out how sites have been considered in order according to land type and within the context of the spatial strategy). The “Spatial Strategy” chapter provides more detail on this (page 28 onwards).