Agenda item

Charnwood Borough Council's Local Plan.


The Cabinet considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and Director of Environment and Transport which advised of the current position of the Charnwood Borough Council’s Local Plan, the initial outcomes in respect of the latest period of the public consultation and the associated potential effect on the Interim Transport Contributions Strategy.  This item was urgent as Charnwood Borough Council had sought a response from the County Council by 5 January 2024.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 14’ is filed with these minutes.


The Cabinet noted comments from Mr. M. Hunt CC, a copy of which is filed with these minutes.


The Cabinet stressed the need for appropriate infrastructure to be in place and hoped that Charnwood Borough Council would work with the County Council to develop a viable plan.




a)     That the latest position regarding the Charnwood Borough Council’s Local Plan Examination be noted, including:


i        The latest evidence indicating that the adoption of the Local Plan is expected to result in a funding gap of at least £120m in terms of funding for highways and transportation measures and infrastructure from developer contributions; and


ii       That to date, still no agreement with Charnwood Borough Council has been reached that would give effect to the implementation of the Interim Transport Contribution Strategy (ITCS), and neither has the Borough Council proposed any alternative approach to securing developer contributions to mitigate the cumulative and cross-boundary impacts arising from the Local Plan’s spatial strategy;


b)    That it be noted that Charnwood Borough Council as the authority responsible for making the Local Plan and ensuring its effective delivery, is required to demonstrate that the Plan objective to increase the use of sustainable travel modes can still be fulfilled;


c)    That the principles set out in paragraphs 35 to 38 of this report be agreed as a basis for the responses to Charnwood Borough Council or the Inspectors as part of the ongoing local plan examination process and the Director of Environment and Transport, following consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member, be authorised to respond to requests for information arising from or relating to the Examination of Charnwood Borough Council in line with these principles;


d)    That the Director of Environment and Transport, following consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member, be authorised to update the draft ITCS as required, ahead of consultation, to take account of the issues set out within the report at paragraphs 32 to 50 below;


e)    That the Director of Environment and Transport, following consultation with the Cabinet Lead Member, be authorised to make such refinements to the ITCS as might be required for it to become the Transport Contributions Strategy, at the point of the Charnwood Local Plan being adopted.




Charnwood Borough Council undertook a further consultation on additional Local Plan evidence from 27 September to 8 November 2023. The consultation included information on the whole plan viability as well as the approach to mitigating transport impacts of growth arising from the Local Plan spatial strategy. The viability evidence suggested the ability of the Plan to provide sufficient developer contributions to deliver education, highways and transport requirements was limited. The County Council responded, as did a number of other organisations and individuals. 


It is the responsibility of Charnwood Borough Council to consider the consultation responses and respond as appropriate. In addition, as the Local Plan-making authority, Charnwood Borough Council is also responsible for demonstrating that the proposed spatial strategy appropriately reflects a wide range of factors and considerations including sustainability and viability.


Charnwood Borough Council has approached the County Council for support in responding to the queries arising from the consultation and any subsequent required responses to the Inspector. The delegated authority to respond will allow sufficient time for the County Council officers to consider the consultation responses and any subsequent impact on the approach to managing highways and transport impacts through the transport strategies and ITCS.


Non-implementation of the ITCS, and the absence of any alternative approach from Charnwood Borough Council, risks further developer contributions being missed and continued difficulties in covering shortfalls to key infrastructure mitigation, increasing levels of financial risk to the County Council. It is therefore necessary for the County Council to work with Charnwood Borough Council to analyse the consultation responses and amend the Strategy or agree an alternative approach as necessary to ensure implementation can take place.


As previously agreed, the County Council will undertake a 6-week consultation on the ITCS, to provide an opportunity for interested parties to view the proposed mechanism and underpinning evidence. As a number of comments have already been received, it is proposed to review the current draft of the ITCS in light of those and make amendments as necessary prior to the consultation.



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