To deal with any questions on notice from Members of the Council, in the order in which they have been received.
The Chairman opened the item by explaining that 7 questions had been submitted for consideration at the meeting. For 2 of these questions, as permitted in the constitution, the questions would be asked by Members on behalf of those Councillors who had submitted the questions. There would be no subsidiary questions but the group leaders had agreed on this occasion that a maximum of 30 minutes would be allocated to consideration of Questions on Notice.
Question submitted by Councillor J. King
Councillor R. Hunter asked the following question on behalf of Councillor J. King:
“In January 2020, this council resolved to develop a new open spaces and Section 106 policy to a establish a presumption that BDC will adopt land on new estates where it meets the adoptable standard as agreed by the Council. Could the Portfolio Holder for Planning please update council on progress made and advise when this policy will be published and implemented?”
The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services responded by commenting that Council had debated this issue at some length and determined that its ability to influence the matter was limited. That said, in accordance with Council’s wishes, Officers had written to the Government requesting that they revisit the primary legislation that governed developers and third-party providers in respect of open space maintenance provisions. In addition, the work being undertaken by the Council in enabling the adoption of open spaces more generally, when and where appropriate, was on the Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny Board’s work programmes and would be considered in September 2021.
Question Submitted by Councillor R. Hunter
“The rapid growth in house prices in rural areas during the pandemic has been widely reported in the media. One analysis suggested that house prices had rocketed by an average of 27% in Bromsgrove over the last twelve months. Has the time come to rethink our approach to new housing development in this district, focussing more on affordability for local residents?”
The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services responded by explaining that the current Bromsgrove District Plan had an Affordable Housing Policy (BDP8), which aimed to secure up to 40% affordable housing on greenfield sites and up to 30% on brownfield sites, for sites of 11 or more dwellings. These percentages secured homes to meet the needs of local residents on the authority’s Housing Waiting List. These percentages were set during the preparation of the current Bromsgrove District Plan and were subject to a Viability Assessment to ensure that what was required in terms of affordable housing provision was financially viable and therefore deliverable.
Since the start of the Plan period (1st April 2011), 665 affordable homes had been built, predominantly on sites allocated in the Plan. As of 1st April 2021, there were 280 affordable homes that had secured planning permission, some of which were under construction. This figure included 202 affordable homes at Whitford Road. The Perryfields site would secure an additional 394 affordable homes.
In addition to this, the current ... view the full minutes text for item 29