Response from Cllr. Kuldip Sahota to some of the points in the letter from SNC

Following our letter to Cllr Sahota on the 9th July, please find below his response.

The reply from Cllr. Kuldip Sahota does not respond to our questions about Labour Party policy now that they have decided not to rip-up the NPPF should they gain office at a national level post 7th May 2015 elections. We have pointed out the omissions in the response and hope that Cllr. Kuldip Sahota will provide a response to all the questions in the SNC letter:

Dear Mr Chadwick

The Marches Growth Deal 2014

Thank you for your e-mail dated 9th July 2014 on behalf of the Save Newport Campaign (SNC).

The Government Growth Deal announcement for the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Telford & Wrekin Council offers the Borough the potential opportunity to benefit from the receipts generated from Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) assets and to see these invested locally in delivery growth and employment. The move by Government reflects the success of the existing Stewardship Agreement with HCA, which has seen the Borough Council successfully deliver over 130 Ha of HCA employment development land to the market over the last 18 months.

As part of the negotiation, in response to the government’s offer to continue working with the Council we will be seeking the inclusion of HCA residential land assets within the existing Stewardship Agreement with HCA. We believe that through the Stewardship Agreement we can better manage the sites coming to market and benefit from a proportion of the land receipt to re-invest into delivery of infrastructure to support growth. You will be aware that the Growth Deal also brings forward potential investment in the Telford Growth Package, the Telford Eastern Gateway and the Telford Bus Station. This comprehensive package would support growth in Telford, together with the other LEP Urban Centres of Hereford and Shrewsbury to enable new sites for housing and employment to deliver a total of 5,900 jobs and 3,408 houses over the lifetime of the Deal.

This will assist the Borough in the preparation and delivery of the Shaping Places Local Plan and any growth proposed in the new plan when it is completed in 2015.

As you will be aware the Council included a number of Telford HCA sites in the recent proposed Housing and Employment sites consultation document. In addition the plan will need to ensure that local housing needs are met and employment opportunities are realised within the whole of Telford, Newport and the rural area. As you will also be aware the Council makes every effort to ensure that available and suitable previously used land (PDL) is prioritised for future development, but I understand that there is insufficient suitable and available PDL to meet the local need for housing in the Borough as a whole. In a recent letter to the Council the former Government Planning Minister, Nick Boles, congratulated Telford & Wrekin on its efforts to maximise housing delivery on previously developed land. You will know that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encourages the use of previously used land, but does not insist on it. I understand that what the NPPF policy does insist on is that the Council as Local Planning Authority meets its housing needs and this means that greenfield sites will be needed as well as brownfield. This is national government planning policy and it is my understanding that all local Councils must plan for this requirement.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Kuldip Sahota
Leader of the Council

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