Agenda item

Places for Everyone Modifications

Report attached from the Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Growth.


It was agreed that Crispian Logue Assistant Director of Strategy, Planning & Regulation  would provide a presentation on the Places for Everyone Modifications prior to Public and Member Question Time.


Following Public and Member questions members were invited to ask questions.


Members asked questions regarding the impact on biodiversity on land included in the plan. In response Councillor O’Brien, Leader advised if the modifications are approved the law requires that applications will be made in accordance with the development plan. It has been concluded in the plan that they aim to provide protection, to mitigate, or compensate where this is not possible. Where there is an impact there is a requirement for biodiversity net gain of no less than 10%.


Discussions took place regarding the link road proposed and the requirement for a second secondary school. In response, Councillor O’Brien did advise that the link road is essential from the Council’s perspective. In addition Councillor O’Brien advised the infrastructure guarantee would commence through the master plan. At this stage it has been determined that two primary schools and a new high school would be required.


A Councillor sought assurances on the total number of homes new homes. In conclusion Councillor O’Brien advised the total number of homes anticipated to be delivered on Bury’s allocations by 2039 is 5,040. Members were advised they will receive further information regarding the figures following the meeting.


A member sought assurances regarding an alternative plan. In response Councillor O’Brien advised that December 2023 is currently the expectation for completion of the consultation on the proposed modifications to the plan. . If the plan does not proceed work already done can be used to inform a local plan process. Crispian Logue, advised some existing evidence is in place for a local plan already. Councillor O’Brien agreed that a refresher meeting for an all-party local planning group should take place within the next few weeks.


A member questioned if it is possible to withdraw from the Places for Everyone plan and formulate a local plan that makes the requested provisions in Walshaw. Councillor O’Brien advised it is not an option as a local plan has to go before planning inspectors and the plan would not get a different outcome. Crispian Logue, advised if a local plan was developed the green belt would still need to be used to meet targets as there is insufficient brownfield land to meet needs.


A member questioned the outcome from other authorities who withdrew from the plan. Members were informed if Bury was to withdraw it would have to be a full council decision then onto the Combined Authority and Housing Minister.


A member questioned if the HS2 withdrawal will impact the places for everyone plan. Members were informed that in principle the plan can be updated to take account for any changes that may impact the plan.


A member questioned if a change in Government could impact the plan. Members were informed that the delivery of any plan can constantly change and has already been changed. The council will continue to stay reactive and flexible.


A member sought assurances on the green belt additions that were removed from the plan in March 2023 and the risk of future development proposals on these areas. Members were informed that the council did not remove the request for areas to be added into the greenbelt. Some of the areas had a stronger case than other areas and were not accepted. The Leader advised the areas are unlikely to be developed on as they do have existing protections in place, the outcome of the Examination does not put them at any greater risk than they were before going into the process, and that all planning applications are determined on their own merits. 


At 21:38pm Councillor Rubinstein left the meeting.


In conclusion, Councillor Vernon stated that the Committee has held a reasonable discussion and people have been able to make their views known. Members and the public will be able to have their personal say in the consultation going forward if Cabinet accept to proceed onto consultation.


Following the approval process it was agreed that the Council motion of an all-party group be reconvened.


It was agreed:


  1. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee wished to place their thanks on record for the officers and Councillor O’Brien’s presentation and  attendance.
  2. Special thanks be given to Councillor O’Brien, Leader and Crispian Logue, Assistant Director of Strategy, Planning & Regulation  for providing a comprehensive update to the Committee.


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