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Paper 4B - 29 January 1999 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

29 January 1999

SERPLAN MEMBERS POLICY GROUP MEETING - 10 DECEMBER 1998

Report-back from Councillor Paula Baker, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

FUTURE PROGRAMME OF WORK

1. The draft Regional Planning Guidance (SERP 500) was circulated and is being presented to Government. The period for consultation runs from January 4 to February 12. The SERPLAN Secretariat urged member authorities to register consensus and ownership of the strategy rather than seeking to reopen old debates, fearing that division among Local Authorities could allow other lobbyists (House Builders' Federation?) voice to hold sway at the Examination In Public (EIP). There was the feeling in the room that this was aimed at Milton Keynes who have argued vigorously for a higher housing provision. The EIP will be held at Cabot Hall (near Canary Wharf).

ROLE OF DISTRICT COUNCILS

2. A meeting of district members was held before the main meeting. It was agreed that the Chair of the districts group would write to Chairs and Directors of Planning in member authorities to reinforce the importance of the role of districts in SERPLAN and to start early consideration of how districts could get their voices heard at the EIP. Logically this could be via lobbying their County Council or local Association as well as using their own Counsel.

STATUS OF SERPLAN

3. SERPLAN is seeking statutory status. The London Planning Advisory Committee has statutory status and the Greater London Authority will too. It was felt the strategy would carry more weight coming from a statutory body than a voluntary one.

BUDGET

4. There is an underlying downward trend, but one-off costs in the coming year (the EIP) result in an increase of 4%. Districts contribution will be 1050 next year (1000 this year).

TRANSPORT ISSUES

5. A report from Peter Headicar (Oxford Brookes University) was received. This will form the basis for further work developing and prioritising transport investment needed to support the strategy. It is a lengthy report, some items of local interest are:-

the Southampton - Reading - Coventry rail route is identified as a core part of the strategic public transport network

doubt was expressed about the value of road improvements in reducing the economic problems of coastal areas, public transport investment was seen as having higher strategic importance in South Hampshire

DETR's multi-modal corridor study of the A3 Hindhead and Guildford was identified as high priority

The working group are likely to produce a paper on regional transport investment priorities in March, which will include cross border issues.

SUSTAINABILITY

6. A sustainability appraisal of the draft Regional Planning Guidance has been carried out and will be submitted to the Minister alongside the strategy. It analyses the inter-linkages of policies in the strategy. Overwhelmingly they were found to be complementary rather than contradictory. However I was concerned to see the criticism that the strategy gave no indication of how to evaluate environmental and infrastructural constrains against development pressures.

Note from Policy Manager

Tim Greenwood, County Planning Officer, also attended this meeting and has no comments to add to this report.

Last update: 21/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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