Agenda item

Recommendations from the Cabinet

To consider the recommendations from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 6th July 2022.



The Chairman advised that a recommendation had been made at the meeting of the Cabinet held on 7th July 2022, which had been highlighted for Council’s consideration.


Bromsgrove and Redditch Duty to Co-operate


The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services presented a report on the subject of Bromsgrove District Council’s duty to co-operate with Redditch Borough Council.  Members were advised that this report had been considered at a recent meeting of the Strategic Planning Steering Group (SPSG), to which all Members had been invited.


Bromsgrove District Council and Redditch Borough Council had both commissioned Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessments (HEDNAs) to review housing needs moving forward.  This had identified that housing needs for Redditch Borough had changed since a previous assessment was undertaken and there was no longer a need for so many houses to be developed in the Borough.  For this reason, houses that had been due to be developed in Bromsgrove District to meet housing needs in the Borough were no longer required by Redditch and Redditch Borough Council had agreed to return these housing figures to Bromsgrove.  In this context, Bromsgrove District Council could determine how these houses should be allocated.


Bromsgrove District Council did not have a shared Local Plan with Redditch Borough Council and the two authorities’ Local Plans were being developed separately.  However, there was a need for the two Councils to continue to work closely together to ensure that there was a shared understanding about local housing needs.  The two Councils could also work together on a shared approach in response to the housing needs of the wider Greater Birmingham and Black Country Housing Market Areas (GBBCHMA).  The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) helped to clarify the Councils’ shared understanding on these points.


Members subsequently discussed the content of the report in detail and in doing so questioned the number of houses that had originally been due to be developed in Bromsgrove District to meet the previous housing needs in Redditch Borough.  Council was advised that this had involved the development of 2,241 houses in Bromsgrove District.


Reference was made to the MOU and the extent to which, by co-operating with Redditch Borough Council, there was a risk that Bromsgrove District Council would be expected to meet requirements for Redditch Borough Council to provide housing for the GBBCHMA.  The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services clarified that the MOU simply required the two authorities to co-operate.  There was a legal requirement on Councils, in terms of a duty to co-operate and the MOU enabled the Council to meet this legal obligation.    


Concerns were raised about the Council’s shared service arrangements with Redditch Borough Council and the implications that this might have in respect of meeting the needs of Bromsgrove residents.  In addition, concerns were raised about the speed with which the Council was progressing with work on a strategic transport assessment and the extent to which this would inform work on the Local Plan.  Members were informed that two separate groups of officers had worked on the Local Plans for Bromsgrove District Council and Redditch Borough Council respectively.  Furthermore, work remained ongoing in respect of the strategic transport assessment and this would inform the content of the next version of the Local Plan.


Members discussed the need for more social and affordable housing to be developed in Bromsgrove District.  Concerns were raised about the locations in which many new housing developments were occurring and the suggestion was made that further consideration needed to be given to the location and mix of housing in larger developments moving forward.


Council was advised that a lot of work continued to take place in respect of preparing the Council’s new Local Plan.  Members would have an opportunity to contribute to this process, as the various elements of the plan would be discussed at meetings of the SPSG, to which all Members were invited.  Members were therefore urged to attend future meetings of the SPSG.


The recommendation was proposed by Councillor P. Thomas and seconded by Councillor M. Thompson.


RESOLVED that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Bromsgrove District Council and Redditch Borough Council be agreed.



Supporting documents: