Your Councillors



4 December 2018


Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18


Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning Sustainability and Transport Committee

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Stuart Watson, Planning Officer, Strategic Planning




Wards affected



Executive Summary


This report provides a summary of the main issues that are reported within the Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18.



This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:


1.   That the Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18 be approved for publication on the Councilís website.







Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee

4 December 2018

Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18






1.1    Local Plan guidance states that local planning authorities must publish information at least annually that shows progress with Local Plan preparation, reports any activity relating to the duty to cooperate and shows how the implementation of policies in the Local Plan is progressing and are encouraged to report as frequently as possible on planning matters to communities.


1.2    The Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) is prepared in accordance with Regulation 34 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (ďthe RegulationsĒ). It is also has a broad remit not exclusive to planning, highlighting a number of important contextual matters such as deprivation, crime, and housing delivery.


1.3    The AMR 2017/18 focuses on monitoring indicators that help to illustrate the key features of the borough and monitors the policies set out within the Local Plan 2017. The AMR comprises:


         An introduction to the Authority Monitoring Report;

         A Maidstone Profile which demonstrates the wider demographic, social, economic and environmental characteristics of the borough;

         Development plan progress which includes a review of the Local Development Scheme (LDS), Local Plan review, Neighbourhood Development Plans, Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Duty to Cooperate;

         Local Plan performance, monitoring the policies set out in the Local Plan 2017. The key indicators monitored in AMR focus on General/Whole Plan, Housing, Employment, Retail, Gypsies Travellers & Travelling Show people Accommodation, Heritage, Natural Environment Ė Biodiversity, Agricultural Land, Good Design and Sustainable Design, Open Space, Air Quality, Infrastructure and Transport.


1.4    The AMR 2017/18 draws on an extensive range of data from the following sources:


         The 2011 census and updates

         The Office for National Statistics (ONS)

         Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government

         Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

         Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

         Department of Education

         Department for Transport

         Kent Police

         The Environment Agency

         Historic England

         Kent County Council

         MBCís Strategic Planning team, the wider Planning department and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) department.


The Key findings from the AMR 2017/18


Maidstone Profile


1.5    Maidstoneís population continues to grow and in mid 2017 there were 167,730 persons.† The largest residentís age groups in 2017 were 45-49 and 50-54 and they made up 15% of the total population.† In the thirteen years to 2015/16 the average total net migration inflow per year was 1,382 people.† Having climbed sharply since 2011/12, net migration fell for the first time in four years in 2015/16.


1.6    Since 2011 there has been a 6.3% rise in total dwellings in Maidstone, rising from 65,530 to 69,700.† In 2017 the average house price in Maidstone had risen to the same average as Kent.† Semi-detached houses formed the highest percentage of household sales in 2017, the first time since 2013.† There was a 33% fall in vacant dwellings in Maidstone between 2011 and 2017; vacant dwellings make up 1.51% of the total dwelling stock.


1.7    Professional occupation workers (resident population) continue to be the largest employment group for Maidstone (20%), followed by managers, directors and senior officials (17%).† Maidstone continues to have a low wage economy and there is a disparity between resident earnings and work place earnings, a trend reported in the last two AMRís.†


1.8    Maidstone has shown steady growth in the number of businesses from 2011 to 2017.† Medium size business (50 to 249 employees) in Maidstone saw the largest percentage growth of 26.3% during the period 2011 to 2017.


Social Profile


1.9    In 2017 35% of Maidstone residents over the age of 16 years have a degree or above.† Schools in Maidstone continue to perform well compared to County and National results with students gaining 5 or more subjects at GCSE (A* to C), standard pass (9-4) and for English Baccalaureate.† The number of persons taking up a trade apprenticeship in Maidstone has fallen for two years in a row, down from a peak of 5,400 in 2015 to a seven year low of 2,200 in 2017.


1.10 The number of 19+ year olds who consider themselves physically active continues to rise in Maidstone from 60.9% of the population in 2012 to 68.1% in 2017.


1.11 Between 2011 and 2017 Maidstone reported a lower rise in crime than the County, however over the 7 year period the rise in crime has been higher than the national average.


Built and Natural Environment


1.12 Maidstone Borough has a range of designated heritage assets, including a large number of Listed Buildings and 41 Conservation Areas, of which six are located in or adjacent to the urban area.


1.13 CO2 emissions rose sharply in Maidstone in 2016 after three progressive years of reduction.† There has been a reduction in the number of existing dwellings with an energy performance certificate lodged in 2017/18.† The number of new dwellings with energy performance certificates lodged in 2017/18 exceeds the number of reported dwelling completions.


Local Plan Review


1.14 During the period 2018-2022, the Council intends to produce a review of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan.† The Local Plan Review (LPR) as this document will be known will affect the whole of Maidstone Borough.† The council adopted a new Local Development Scheme (LDS 2018-2022) in July 2018 and the LDS outlines the programme for the LPR.


Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)


1.15 The Council formally approved the CIL Charging Schedule (CS) in October 2017 and the CS was implemented on the 1 October 2018.


Local Plan Performance


1.16 Key monitoring indicators (KMI) are reported within the AMR, the KMIís enable the Council to understand the progress being made towards its local plan objectives and targets.


1.17 There were no departures from the Local Plan granted in 2017/18.† During 2017/18 there were 64 appeals dismissed, 6 withdrawn, 3 disqualified and 22 allowed.† The main reason given by planning inspectors for allowing the appeals was disagreement on character and landscape matters.


1.18 Over the past seven years a total of 5,291 dwellings have been completed which represents a shortfall of 890 dwellings against the seven year target of 6,181 dwellings.† The five-year housing supply at 1 April 2017 demonstrates a surplus of 1,557 dwellings which represents 6.5 years' worth of housing land supply.


1.19 The council has established a self-build and custom housing building register (SBCH) and in 2017/18 there was one planning permission for SBCH granted totalling 1 plot.


1.20 Between 2015/16 and 2017/18 the Council secured affordable homes from qualifying sites close to the targets set out within Local Plan policy SP20.† During the monitoring years 2011/12 to 2017/18, there has been 1,583 affordable dwellings completed in Maidstone, and this represents 30% of all completed dwellings within the Borough for this period.


1.21 There has been a net loss of 17,715sqm in B class floorspace from completed permissions.† B1a floorspace has a net loss of 10,048sqm.† A further loss of B class floorspace can be expected from planning applications consented but not yet implemented.† In total there is expected to be a decrease of 2,795sqm across all B class floorspace from consents.


1.22 The percentage of those claiming job seekers allowance in Maidstone is 3.3%, a decrease of 1.8% since 2011.† There has been a steady rise in the number of jobs within Maidstone with 7,000 created between 2011 and 2016.


1.23 Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 there has been an increase of 2,142sqm in net sales area of comparison and convenience retail floorspace from completed permissions.† However, consented permissions result in a loss of 6,878sqm net sales.


1.24 At 1 April 2018, the Council can demonstrate 5.2 yearsí worth of deliverable planning traveller pitches. The Traveller Count published by MHCLG in July 2017 reported 582 caravans and 594 in January 2018.


1.25 There has been no loss of designated open space as a result of development during 2017/18.† 1.6(ha) of outdoor sport provision was secured in accordance with Local Plan policy OS1 (4).† In the monitoring year 2017/18 there were 16 major sites that qualified to make provision for open space, three sites had accepted viability assessments stating that no open space provision could be provided and the other 13 made provisions in line with Local Plan policy DM19 resulting in 12.93ha of on-site open space and payment for off-site provision totalling £369,569.


1.26 During 2017 Maidstone adopted and a new low emission strategy incorporating a new Air Quality Action Plan.† There has been a reduction of 5.84ug/m3 of No2 emissions since 2011.† In 2017/18 there were two applications granted for air quality mitigation:† 16/507464 34c Gabriels Hill approved for 22 flats was conditioned for bike lockers and racks, electric vehicle charging points and efficient, low NOx boilers; and, 17/504186 Kent House Romney Place approved for 6 flats was conditioned to provide 8 electric vehicle charging points. Also, in 2017/18 there were 7 submissions of details applications permitted to discharge conditions relating to air quality.


1.27 There were 31 applications granted planning permission with S106 agreements in the 2017/18 reporting year. 27 were able to provide all contributions sought.Three were able to provide some and only one application was unable to provide any developer contributions sought due to specific site viability issues.


1.28 The Council maintains an Infrastructure Delivery Roadmap that tracks the progress of all infrastructure projects listed in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP). For the reporting year, all projects remain on track to be delivered within the five year periods identified in the IDP. The delivery of planned development has not been affected by the non-delivery of infrastructure.




1.29 Results from the local plan indicators within the AMR 2017/18 make it clear that the Council continues to make good progress towards the targets set out within the Local Plan 2017.






A†††† The Committee resolve to publish the AMR 2017/18 on the Councilís website.


B†††† The committee do not resolve to publish the AMR 2017/18 on the Councilís website.


C†††† The committee request amendments are made to the AMR 2017/18 before publication on the Councilís website.






3.1    Option A is the preferred option.† The publication of the AMR 2017/18 will ensure the Council has met its duty to produce a monitoring report.† Further, an up to date monitoring report will help to inform the Local Plan Review.




4.       RISK


4.1† The report is presented for information only and has no risk implications.





5.1    Subject to a positive resolution from this Committee the AMR 2017/18 will be published on the Councilís website.










Impact on Corporate Priorities

No implications

Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)

Risk Management

No implications

Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)


No implications


Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)


No implications


Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)


No implications

Cheryl Parks, Lawyer (Planning), Mid-Kent Legal Services

Privacy and Data Protection

No implications

Legal Team


No implications.

Equalities and Corporate Policy Officer.

Crime and Disorder

No implications.

Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)


No implications.

Planning Officer (Strategic Planning)






The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report


         Appendix 1: Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18