Notes for website of Steering Group Meeting – March 2021

Notes for website of Steering Group Meeting,
Kidmore End Parish NDP Steering Group

3rd March 2021 7.30pm

Zoom video call

2. Declaration of interest

No change from the last meeting.

3. Minutes of the last meeting

Agreed with no matters arising.

4. Discussion on Meetings with SODC

The following notes were circulated to the Steering Group before the meeting.

1) Notes from the sub-group meeting on 26th January to prepare for the 1st meeting with SODC on 28th January
2) Questions for SODC, sent prior to the meeting and used as a framework for the meeting
3) Notes from the meeting with SODC on 28th January. These have been agreed with SODC and include their response to a further question posed after the meeting.
4) Notes of the follow-up sub-group meeting on 9th February
5) Draft notes from the 2nd meeting with SODC on 15th February 2021. Note at the time of the Steering Group meeting these had not yet been finalised with SODC.

a) 1st meeting with SODC, 28.1.2021
A small group meeting was held prior to the 1st meeting with SODC post the consultation. The purpose of the meeting was to agree the questions the group wanted to pose to SODC relating to the new Local Plan and from feedback that arose from the consultation.

The 1st meeting with SODC covered points related to Policy H8 and H16 in the Local Plan, housing targets and the proposed allocation.

The Steering Group have read the meeting notes (which have been agreed with SODC), the topic points have been discussed and there are no further questions. The main points from the meeting are covered as part of the agenda items below.

b) 2nd meeting with SODC 15.2.2021

The 2nd meeting was to discuss CFS10 and the feedback from the landowner as part of the consultation. SODC’s position on the evidence gathered to date is that the proposed allocation of CFS8 is more appropriate than CFS10 and that there haven’t been any significant changes in recent times that would alter the assessment of the CFS10 site. SODC considered the landscape, which CFS10 forms part of, as a green space made up of the school playing fields, the cemetery, CFS10 and the woodland surrounding it and have indicated that this could be deemed as the edge of the village as it leads on to open countryside. Both sites were evaluated on the basis of a maximum size of 0.49 hectares. In reality, CFS8 is likely to be closer to 0.2 hectares.

At the time of the Steering Group meeting, SODC have not finalised the notes from the meeting.

The group discussed the draft minutes from the 2nd meeting with SODC on 15.2.2021

Following discussion of the points raised by SODC, the Steering Group agreed that the rating for CFS10 should not be changed to a green site, so the site CFS10 remains rated as amber.

Following the meetings with SODC, the sub-group had asked for the allocation to be included on the agenda of this meeting so that the pros and cons could be discussed in detail and so that another vote could be taken.

5. Allocation

One of the questions for the first meeting with SODC was to clarify the benefit of including an allocation in the context of the adopted SODC Local Plan 2011 – 2035. This Local Plan remains consistent with previous advice given by SODC that it does not require the parish to meet a housing target and so an allocation is not required. However H8 suggests a 5-10% increase if a smaller village is completing an NDP.

There are a number of complex considerations when deciding on whether or not to include an allocation in the NDP which the Steering Group discussed.

If SODC has a 5 year land supply then speculative development is more challenging for a developer, however if the 5 year land supply is not maintained, then with an allocation in the NDP, SODC will only need to demonstrate a 3 year land supply for an NDP with an allocation to be protected from speculative development. This would be based on the criteria within the NPPF being met.

The 5 year land supply is recalculated each year and could drop if one of the big sites in the Local Plan doesn’t progress forward with development. The Parish has large speculative sites along our borders and in other parts of the Parish, which would put us at more risk of large scale speculative development if SODC cannot demonstrate a 5 year land supply. The Covid pandemic could impact the speed of development on the strategic allocated sites within the SODC Local Plan and therefore there is a benefit to the Parish of having this protection.

If an allocation is removed from the plan, the plan would need to be updated and a second Regulation 14 Consultation would take place. This would prolong the creation of the NDP without which the parish is more exposed to speculative and inappropriate development.

The survey responses indicated that the majority of residents in the parish are still in favour of the proposed approach in the draft NDP. Residents’ feedback has consistently been in favour of smaller, more affordable housing, which is unlikely to be built unless part of an allocation within the NDP.

The Minister for Housing has recently (Dec 2020) changed the method of assessing local housing need. There will be a 35% uplift in the numbers for Greater London and for 20 larger urban areas and cities, including Reading. So Reading Council will be under greater pressure to increase their housing numbers.

With the country lacking homes and councils being told to build more houses, having an NDP which demonstrates a positive approach to development, could help to counter developers who try to override the policies within the National and Local policies. The extent to which it might help is unquantifiable and difficult to predict.

Having an NDP and an allocation allows us to define how many houses we think is appropriate for our parish and on which sites.

It was recognised by the group that there are no guarantees with planning and we cannot be certain what the future will hold with regard to planning policy. The best the Steering Group can do is make a reasoned, well informed decision for the protection of the whole parish at this time and for the immediate future.

SODC have consistently supported the approach we have taken, have confirmed that our process has been robust and support the proposal to allocate and to put forward CFS8 as the proposed site.

The group voted on whether to include an allocation with the NDP: 9 voted yes, 2 no and 1 abstained.

6. CFS 8

With the majority of the group voting in support of an allocation, the group then voted on whether to continue with CFS8 as the proposed site for 3 – 4 smaller, more affordable houses.

The group voted for the inclusion of CFS 8 as the allocated site: 9 voted yes, 1 no and 2 abstained.

7. Writing the Consultation Statement

The full feedback from stakeholders, landowners and detailed feedback from residents has been included in the Consultation Statement which has been tabulated.

At the time of the meeting the priority is to complete the Consultation Statement by updating the parts already drafted and by responding to the feedback from the consultation. This will be in four parts:

1) The introduction
2) Table of events and communication
3) Results of the consultation: stakeholders and detailed feedback from residents
4) Results of the consultation: the survey
It was agreed that there need to be a number of steps taken.

The first step is to complete the Consultation Statement with a draft document which shows which points will be noted, reviewed or action taken.

When the draft consultation statement amendments have been completed this draft will be circulated for comment and agreement by the group

The wording will then be updated in the draft plan to correlate with the agreed amendments in the consultation statement. Each chapter expert will need to update their section and then group member will co-ordinate with the designer to produce the updated Plan.

At the same time Appendices D1-6 will be updated by the Bluestone consultants (see agenda item 10).

Bluestone will complete the Basic Conditions Statement. They will need the consultation statement and updated plan and updated amendments to do this.


Group members will update the introduction.

Group member will update the communication section.

Group members will work on SODC and OCC feedback on the Consultation Statement.

Group member will continue on the other parts.

Group member to ensure resident feedback from the survey is included in the Consultation Statement.

Group members will mark up CFS10 and the other landowner sites.

Everyone will only work from version 3.

The group agreed with this plan of action. As drafts are completed they will be circulated by email for group members to comment on when the piece of work is at the stage for comments

Once this is completed this will be sent to Group member.

8. Survey Results

A discussion was held about how and when to feed back the feedback from residents, with appreciation for the need to present all the information in context and to be transparent about the feedback received.

SODC have advised that the next step in the NDP process is to complete the Consultation Statement which will include all the feedback. A draft survey document has been produced. This will form part of the Consultation Statement, showing the graphs and charts which represent the feedback from each village. The qualitative comments received from the survey will be included in the Consultation Statement. The full Consultation Statement along with the quantitative survey results will be communicated together in order to provide the complete picture.

Note on the process: The Consultation Statement, survey results and updated plan will first be presented to the Parish Council. If they agree with the updates, the Parish Council will submit the documents to SODC as part of the Regulation 15 process. SODC will conduct another 6/7 week consultation (Regulation 16) during which residents, landowners and other stakeholders will have access to all the documentation regarding the outcome of the Regulation 14 consultation and can submit comments.


Group member to ensure the main points from the survey are included in the Consultation Statement.

9. Update on Policies

Group members are currently working through policies. They have proposed moving the gap policy wording into Character policies in order to make it clearer.


Group members to continue their work on the policies.

10. Update on Village Character appendices

Bluestone consultants have had a look around the parish in order to provide input into the Village Character appendices as well as getting some maps produced.

Bluestone consultants will provide a short list of guidelines for each village based on the assessments they make.

They have also suggested they draw up a plan of what the allocated site could look like including hedgerows etc. for inclusion within the NDP.

The work will be completed by the end of March.


Group member to continue to oversee the work Bluestone consultants are doing.

11. Grants

Group member has secured a grant for the Basic Conditions and the update of the Village Characteristics. The end of grant form needs to be completed by the end of March.

When the new grants start in April, SODC have advised us to ask for a grant from Locality for the SODC led consultation (Regulation 16).

12. Feedback to Parish Council

Group member provided a brief written report to the Parish Council for the February meeting as there was limited information to provide at that time.

An update will be provided for the next Parish Council Meeting in March, including the minutes of the last meeting on the proviso that they have been agreed by SODC and the Steering Group.

13. Next Steps

The main focus is on the completion of the Consultation Statement to enable the updated NDP to be put forward to the Parish Council.

14. Reading Golf Club Update

A second application has now been submitted (for 257 houses). KEG is working hard to raise publicity regarding the details of the applications. The Community Infrastructure Plan is the main document relating to SODC. The Parish Council will be giving official feedback. The end of the consultation period is the 18th March.

15. AONB

The planning application for CFS4 has been re-submitted and a decision is expected at the end of March.

16. Date of Next Meeting

Next meeting tbc.




Steering Group Meeting
7.30pm on 23.3.2021
Zoom meeting

1. Apologies

2. Declaration of Interest

3. Minutes of last meeting { some parts of the minutes have not been agreed with SODC

4. Review and discussion of consultation statement

1. Introduction
2. Table of Events
3. Regulation 14 consultation survey feedback 2020/21
4. Regulation 14 consultation feedback via email

5. Review of draft design completed by Blue Stone for CFS 8

6. Grants

7. Feedback to parish council

8. Submission to council

9. Next steps

10. AOB

11. Date of next meeting

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