a) That the transport evidence and in particular the following conclusions be noted:
I. That unless significant changes occur in societal behaviours and expectations, there are significant limitations as to the extent to which the impacts of growth on the County’s transportation system can be mitigated in the future;
II. That it will be necessary to accept a proportionate and reasonable deterioration in traffic conditions in the Borough as a result of developments being permitted prior to the overall mitigation package being put in place;
b) That it be noted that the work and actions undertaken by officers since September 2021 (detailed in paragraphs 48 to 57 of the report), in particular that key highways and transport conditions set out in that report relating to the County Council’s in principle supportive approach to the draft Plan have now been fulfilled;
c) That the wider implications of the work be noted, including:
I. That the further work undertaken reinforces the concerns regarding the significant financial pressures on the County Council’s Capital Programme relating to infrastructure required to support housing and economic growth
II. That the expectation is that without new funding the County Council can only commit to constructing new infrastructure upon receipt of funds from developers. Whilst the County Council will always be mindful of its statutory duty to ensure that highway safety is not compromised, there could be adverse impacts of development, such as congestion, if sufficient developer funding is not secured through the planning process;
III. That these issues will likely occur in respect of all Local Plans currently in development across Leicestershire;
d) That the approach to the delivery of the highways and transportation mitigation package including through the development of area Transport Strategies to support Charnwood Borough Council to secure contributions to deliver infrastructure (detailed in paragraphs 36 to 37 of the report) be approved, noting the potential scale of the package’s cost (£150m) and the caveats and uncertainties regarding the cost (detailed in paragraphs 41 to 47 of the report);
e) That the basis for the County Council’s position as Local Highway Authority as detailed in paragraph 59 of the report be approved for the purposes of the Examination in Public;
f) That the County Council seeks to formalise the commitment to joint working with Charnwood Borough Council as identified in paragraph 59 of the report;
g) That the County Council as the Local Highway Authority offer its support for the draft Local Plan at the Examination in Public subject to (c) and (d) above.
REASONS FOR DECISIONS:
Adoption of the Local Plan will replace the existing Charnwood Core Strategy 2011 to 2028 (adopted 2015) and the Saved Policies of the Borough of Charnwood Local Plan 1991 to 2006 (adopted 2004). The Plan will provide Charnwood Borough Council (CBC) with a plan-led development strategy to 2037. Given the location of Charnwood close to the City of Leicester and close functional connectivity to communities living and working in Blaby, North West Leicestershire, Melton and Hinckley and Bosworth, the content of the emerging Local Plan is particularly important to this area and the wider Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (LLHMA).
The EiP is scheduled to start on 28 June and run over three (non-consecutive) weeks. LHA officers will be attending hearing sessions, either in support of CBC or in the Authority’s own right, and it is therefore important that the LHA’s position is clearly established prior to this.
In considering the County Council’s position, it is important:
• to understand the wider context regarding the impacts of future growth on the County’s road network;
• to have up-to-date information regarding the Plan’s transport evidence base; and
• to have a clear understanding of the proposals for mitigating the impacts of growth in the Borough of Charnwood, the impacts of the identified Plan/Borough wide mitigation package and its deliverability.