Agenda, decisions and minutes
Venue: Remote Meeting
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Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations and advise Members accordingly.
Councillor Healey declared a personal interest.
As detailed in the recommendations.
Prior to the introduction of the report, Councillor Roberts expressed his thanks to Councillor Bithell, the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy), the Service Manager – Strategy and their teams, for their work on the Local Development Plan which would provide security to the Council in the coming years.
Councillor Bithell introduced the report and explained that, following submission of the Local Development Plan (LDP) for examination in Public by the Council in October 2020, the formal hearing sessions of the Examination took place between 13th April and 20th May 2021.
Following the examination session there remained two outstanding issues to be resolved:
· Inspector’s concerns relating to the sustainability of aspects of the Warren Hall Strategic Mixed Use Development Site; and
· New targets issued by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in January 2021 controlling phosphate levels in the River Dee and Bala Lake Special Area of Conservation (SAC) designated rivers.
Following a further hearing session requested by the Inspector to consider her concerns relating to Warren Hall and where the Council and interested parties gave further evidence, the Inspector directed a change be made to the LDP, to remove the housing element of the mixed use development on sustainability grounds. Critically, that change did not impact on the soundness of the LDP or result in the need to provide alternative sites elsewhere, given the level of housing flexibility built into the plan.
The issue of phosphates was more of a technical or procedural nature in the context of maintaining the soundness of the LDP, requiring the Council to demonstrate that the plan remained compliant with the Habitats Regulations and that the development within it would not adversely affect SAC protected rivers. The Council had done this by strengthening key policies that protected the water environment and resources, as well as producing a mitigation strategy jointly with Wrexham County Borough Council who were at a similar stage in their LDP Examination. The Dee Catchment Phosphorous Reduction Strategy (DCPRS) proposed levels of mitigation to be considered and put in place following plan adoption, some of which were the responsibility of the Council but where others were for other key stakeholders such as Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW), the Agricultural Sector, and developers to take forward.
The DCPRS proposed joint working to achieve reductions in phosphates levels with a Nutrient Management Board (NMB) to be set up. Wrexham Council were taking the lead of establishing the NMB and Flintshire would assist and participate. In order to demonstrate that the Strategy was being implemented, further work had already been commissioned to assess the feasibility of developing wetlands adjacent to waste water treatment works. The Strategy was appended to the report.
Following resolution of all outstanding matters the Council had prepared a schedule of changes to the Plan that had resulted from the Examination and which the Inspector considered were necessary to maintain the soundness of the LDP. Those were known as Matters Arising Changes (MACs) and as a final ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
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