Agenda item

Gloucestershire Statement of Common Ground

Report of the Leader



The Leader of the Council introduced the report and explained that the Gloucestershire Statement of Common Ground (GSoCG), has been prepared by the six local planning authorities of Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire County Council, and GFirst LEP with the process overseen by the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee (GEGJC) since 2019. Since the initial draft produced in May 2020, numerous revisions have been subject to further discussions at Gloucestershire Leaders Board, more locally the GSoCG has been reviewed by the council’s Planning and Liaison Member Working Group.


The statement, as now presented, includes a series of 37 very broad and high level agreements dealing with a range of environmental issues and land use matters including addressing the climate and ecological emergencies, housing and economic needs, the Green Belt, transport provision, the natural environment and green infrastructure, health and social infrastructure, infrastructure delivery and minerals and waste. The 37 broad agreements are those highlighted in the yellow boxes throughout the document contained in the appendix.


The Leader highlighted that reaching agreement on how to address these strategic planning matters has been a long and challenging process.  Identifying the key issues for collaborative action is a key milestone in partnership working and provides us with a platform against which to drive positive change.


The Leader advised that currently there is still the Duty to Co-operate, local planning authorities are required to prepare and maintain several statements of common ground, which document the cross-boundary matters being progressed and progress in co-operating on them. The GSoCG is one of these statements.  She reminded Members that through the JCS and the Cheltenham Plan examination stages a variety of statements of common ground were agreed on a variety of topic areas.  These form part of the overall management and delivery of these plans.


The Leader advised that once the statement has been approved by all signatory bodies, the intention is that an action plan will be developed and reported to the GEGJC. Progress on collaborative and any relevant joint working will be reflected in future iterations of the statement which should be kept up to date. Any proposals for changes to current strategic planning arrangements or changes will be reported for decisions to Cabinet or to other meetings of this Council, as appropriate. She undertook to ensure that Cheltenham member engagement is used to advise progress on this through the Planning Member Liaison Group and the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Strategic Plan member group. 


Finally, the Leader committed to providing briefings as appropriate through Cabinet and Council.


The following responses were given to questions :


  • Local Green Spaces were covered in the Local Plan, not the Joint Strategic Plan;
  • The next review would be the Joint Strategic Plan enquiry-the planning liaison member working group would be kept informed;
  • The industrial strategy, which had been led by the Local Economic Partnership, incorporated education in terms of facilitating employment opportunities into the area.


In the debate that followed, Members acknowledged the significant efforts of the Leader and officers in contributing to the statement which had taken a significant amount of time to arrive at. It was recognised that there was still work to be done on persuading other JSP parties to reach consensus on detailed matters on the environment and the climate emergency.  The document would mature over the coming years and it was hoped that agreement would be found. 




The Gloucestershire Statement of Common Ground as set out at Appendix 2 be approved.


Supporting documents: