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Draft local Barnet plan approved for consultation UK News

A consultation will take place on a plan designed to shape Barnet’s development as the borough faces a 15-year goal of building more than 35,000 homes.

The draft local plan, which sets out the council’s vision for growth and development from 2021 to 2036, was approved for consultation at a policy and resources committee meeting on Wednesday.

Forming the basis on which councilors decide on planning applications, the document includes 52 policies – up from 34 in the previous plan – and identifies 66 sites that could be used to provide housing.

The minimum housing target set for Barnet as part of the London Mayor’s plan is 35,460 over a 15-year period, or 2,364 new homes each year.

Council chief Cllr Dan Thomas (Tory, Finchley Church End) told the meeting the document – drafted following a previous public consultation – now included a policy to curb the over-concentration of gambling venues and how far away they can be from schools.

It comes after council was called on to tighten its policies when a decision to deny an application for a gambling venue was overturned by a city planning inspector.

But Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg (Liberal Democrat, Garden Suburb), who has campaigned for stricter policies around gambling establishments, said he was not convinced the local plan would be enough to prevent the cancellation of future planning refusals.

β€œ(The policy) focuses on regrouping,” he said. β€œIt’s not so much as the regrouping – it’s about whether or not we want to have adult play centers in the center of our neighborhoods. ”

Cllr Thomas said resisting the proliferation of adult play centers, as well as their concentration, was in the policy, so he felt that was covered by the plan.

Neeru Kareer, deputy director of council services for building planning and control, told councilors she felt officers had gone as far as they could on the adult play center policy.

Labor leader Cllr Barry Rawlings (Coppetts) has raised concerns over the definition of affordable housing set out in the local plan.

Cllr Rawlings said the council appeared to agree with the government’s definition of affordable housing, which he said was not affordable in Barnet.

He added that London’s plan defined affordable housing in a different way and suggested it should be followed more closely.

Ms Kareer said the local plan had to be in line with the London plan and that the Greater London Authority had not raised any issues with the council’s approach.

She added that definitions are often spelled out in additional planning documents and it was possible to look at local evidence on discounted products.

But Cllr Rawlings said, β€œI think we still have a lot of work to do to properly define affordable housing. My concern is that the local plan will prevent us from having this flexibility to ensure that affordable means affordable. ”

Cllr Thomas said there would be further discussions on the issue and said developments were already advancing with “a decent amount” of affordable housing.

Following the debate, Labor declined to back the plan over concerns over affordable housing and policies regarding high-rise buildings. Cllr Rozenberg abstained and the local plan was approved for consultation on the back of Conservative votes.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-17 14:50:59

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