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VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 23rd October, 2013.

 

Present: Councillor Margaret Wilkinson (Mayor); Councillors Richard Bertin, Janice Birch, Rhiannon Birch, Jonathan Bird, Bronwen Brooks, Lis Burnett, Philip Clarke, Geoff Cox, Claire Curtis, Rob Curtis, Pamela Drake, John Drysdale, Kate Edmunds, Stuart Egan, Christopher Elmore, Christopher Franks, Keith Geary, Eric Hacker, Howard Hamilton, Val Hartrey, Keith Hatton, Nic Hodges, Jeff James, Hunter Jarvie, Gwyn John, Fred Johnson, Dr. Ian Johnson, Peter King, Kevin Mahoney, Anne Moore, Neil Moore, Andrew Parker, Bob Penrose, Anthony Powell, Rhona Probert, Gwyn Roberts, John Thomas, Ray Thomas, Rhodri Traherne, Steffan Wiliam, Clive Williams, Christopher Williams, Edward Williams and Mark Wilson.

 

 

522     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors Maureen Kelly Owen and Audrey Preston.

 

 

523     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – 

 

Councillors Jonathan Bird, Geoff Cox, Kevin Mahoney, John Thomas and Rhodri Traherne declared an interest in Agenda Item No. 3: Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan Deposit Draft Plan 2011-2026 and left the meeting during consideration of the item.

 

Before leaving the meeting, Councillor Mahoney was asked to explain to Council the nature of his interest.  Councilor Mahoney indicated he had asked to be registered as a bricks and mortar traveller and that, as such, he considered himself to have an interest relating to a question to be asked during the meeting by Councillor Penrose.  He was advised that he would need to determine whether he had an interest in the entire agenda item and whether such an interest was of a prejudicial nature.  Councillor Mahoney indicated that, on that basis, he felt he needed to declare his interest and leave the meeting.

 

Councillor Keith Geary explained that his daughter was Mrs. Emma Reed, who had had an involvement in drafting Agenda Item 3 and would be giving tonight's presentation.  Having sought advice from the Monitoring Officer he had been advised that this did not constitute a personal interest and, therefore, it was not necessary for him to leave the meeting.

 


524     VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN DEPOSIT DRAFT PLAN 2011 – 2026 (DDS) –

 

Prior to the commencement of the debate, the Leader moved, it being duly seconded, that Standing Orders be waived to allow officers to speak on the agenda item as deemed necessary during the discussion.  He also referred Members to the following supplementary information to the report circulated with the agenda, copies of which had been tabled at the meeting:

 

·         Addendum of minor changes made from Cabinet Draft to Deposit Draft

·         Reference from Cabinet : 21st October 2013 as follows

 

"RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T it be noted that Community Liaison Committee and Planning Committee received a presentation and made no recommendations on the Draft Local Development Plan.

 

(2)       T H A T it be further noted that the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) discussed the Draft Local Development Plan, and moved a resolution to commend the Draft Local Development Plan to Cabinet and Council for approval.

 

(3)       T H A T the Draft Local Development Plan be further endorsed and be commended to Council on the 23 October, 2013."

 

Members received a presentation from Mrs. Emma Reed, Operational Manager (Development Services), detailing:

 

·         the process to date

·         details of meetings to which the Draft Plan had been submitted

·         pre-consultation timetable (i.e. detailing informal drop-in sessions for the public)

·         key elements of the Draft Plan

·         key Plan issues covering areas such as

-         housing requirement figures

-         affordable housing target

-         housing sites

-         gypsy and traveller site

-         employment land

-         transport proposals

-         tourism and leisure developments

-         educational facilities

-         health facilities

-         public open space

·         next steps (i.e. subject to approval at the meeting, a six week consultation period running from 8th November to 20th December 2013, which would again include public sessions at various locations throughout the Vale of Glamorgan).

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation reminded Members that the purpose of the report was to consider, and seek approval, of the Deposit Plan as a basis for a statutory six week public consultation exercise commencing in November 2013.  She alluded to the part that the provision of stable homes played in providing a foundation for moving forward in life and in building strong, cohesive communities.  Any development should be sustainable, should provide opportunities for employment, education, health care and community facilities, and also be mindful of transport needs.  She referred to Cabinet in November 2012 having agreed that a replacement Plan be produced in order to achieve a sustainable Plan.  That had then been agreed at Full Council in January 2013.  The aim in developing a replacement Deposit Plan was to achieve the right mix of development and associated infrastructure.  It was also designed to make consultation more accessible to members of the public in comparison with the previous exercise.  

 

Since being considered by Cabinet on 7th October 2013, the Draft Plan had been submitted to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment), the Community Liaison Committee and the Planning Committee.  It had also been to five "drop-in" sessions around the Vale of Glamorgan.  At those sessions virtually the whole LDP team had been available to discuss openly the content of the Plan.  For the majority of the meetings, Cabinet Members were also in attendance and able to talk to any member of the public who had concerns.  If approved, the Draft Plan would now be subject to open and full consultation over a six week period commencing on 8th November.  Her wish was that the consultation exercise would enable people in the Vale of Glamorgan to help the Council take forward a Plan which had already been independently assessed as more accessible, more sustainable and also a better fit with the LDP strategy than the previous version and to help make it even more sustainable.  Accordingly, she moved the recommendations of Cabinet as set out in the report to Council.

 

The Deputy Leader formally seconded the Motion but reserved the right to speak later in the debate.

 

Councillor Dr. Ian Johnson stated he wished to place on record his support for some of the changes in the revised Draft LDP.  These included the removal of sites around Weycock Cross which would have meant 700 houses in that part of Barry, the "joined up" thinking regarding housing and infrastructure, the changes in affordable housing provision in rural parts of the Vale and the evidence-based figures for windfall and smaller site housing.  However, he referred to the debate as not relating to specific elements of the LDP, but to whether or not the Draft Plan should be sent out for consultation.

 

He was of the view that the Draft Plan contained a fundamental problem in that, in spite of "overwhelming evidence to the contrary", changes in population growth and household numbers had not been taken into consideration.  He had long argued that the Vale’s population was growing at a slower rate than earlier estimates believed.  He referred to this having now been agreed by Welsh Government, who had substantially downgraded their population growth figures over the Summer.  What was originally an estimate for 143,000 people in the Vale in the 2006 estimates had now become 132,000 by 2026 (11,000 fewer people than originally envisaged).  That meant a population increase of just 6,000 between 2011 and 2026, and decreasing at the end of that time.  However, the target number of houses had not been changed and remained at 9,900 houses for that 15 year period

 

He was not in agreement with the view recently expressed by the Cabinet Member that the household projections justified the level of development proposed.

 

He referred to the 2011 census as showing that there were 2.32 people per household in the Vale but to the estimate underpinning the current targets assuming an average of 2.27 people in 2011.  In practice, this meant several thousand houses in the Vale.  He argued that if this trend continued at the same pace as the fall between 2001 and 2011 then, by 2026, the average household in the Vale would have around 2.18 people living there rather than the estimate of 2.13 which was being used.  He referred to the Welsh Government publishing their revised household projections in the near future and considered it appropriate to await, and incorporate, those figures into the LDP, before going out to consultation.

 

He alluded to around 2,000 people as living in shared accommodation, such as nursing homes, but taking into account the lower population growth and larger households, then by 2026 the need would be around 59,900 houses, i.e. approximately 3,500 fewer units than if the target housing figure under SP3 was built.

 

He alluded to the Director of Development Services having told the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) that the Council did not want to over-develop in the Vale, but he felt that would be the logical outcome of the current proposals.  He suggested that if the prediction for households size was anything above around 2.05 (stating that it was currently around 2.32), then the Vale would be at risk of over-development. 

 

Councillor Dr. Johnson did not believe it was possible for the public to give an informed opinion on the Draft Plan and surrounding documents, given his view that the statistics underpinning the Plan were open to challenge.  He felt that assessing the Plan, taking those household predictions and population growth into consideration, could mean a very different LDP and felt that the impact of potentially up to 3,500 houses  would go far beyond "focused changes" and would require once again drafting a whole new LDP Deposit Plan.

 

His hope was that the Cabinet would reconsider their intention to send the Draft Plan out to consultation and on behalf of Plaid Cymru, he moved an amendment to the recommendations as follows.  "That the Deposit Plan, Sustainability Appraisal Reports and Habitats Regulation Assessments not be approved for public consultation purposes because the housing target SP3 is not appropriate for the Vale of Glamorgan's projected population growth and household projections".

 

The motion was duly seconded by Councillor Franks.

 

Councillor Penrose asked how the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation could support and justify the proposal of a permanent gypsy and traveller site at Hayes Road, Sully, planned to be constructed on what was at present existing public open space used by residents, water sports enthusiasts and tourists.  He referred to a section of this site having already been previously promised to local residents and students at Beechwood College for use as allotments.  He referred to the site being flanked by Beechwood College (Wales' largest and only specialist residential college for students suffering with autism and spectrum disorders) and as also being in close proximity to Ty Hafen Children's Hospice. 

 

Councillor Chris Williams considered the seeds of poor highway links between Barry and Cardiff to have been sown many years ago under the former South Glamorgan County Council.  He felt that, since that time, the issue had been similarly overlooked, including, since 2003, by the South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA).  He questioned whether the Council had made a strong enough case to SEWTA and whether it should be working harder with Cardiff Council.  He considered that the Draft Plan would exacerbate the problem, not just for drivers in Dinas Powys, but for a significant number of drivers throughout the Vale.  He alluded to the fact that, when the A4055 was congested, drivers would be using the Wenvoe link.  As a result, the communities of Sully, Llandough and Penarth would also suffer as a consequence of much heavier traffic from Barry and Dinas Powys.  He referred to vehicle traffic and pollution levels at peak periods as already being dangerously high. 

 

He referred to the traffic impact of some 2,000 homes in South Barry yet to be built and to the further housing development planned for in the Draft Plan. 

 

In conclusion, he urged the Cabinet to look again at the number of homes planned and to prioritise locations and to negotiate with Welsh Government to reduce the number currently planned. 

 

Councillor Jeff James referred to a pre-election promise made to the people of the Vale of Glamorgan by the Labour Group stating they were going to scrap the LDP.  Instead of scrapping the LDP he considered the Administration to be simply "tinkering and tweaking".

 

He acknowledged the considerable amount of work undertaken by Council officers in producing a comprehensive document, but felt it did not meet all the relevant needs of the Vale.  He questioned the lack of inclusion of infrastructure improvements for roads, including the B4265 that the Labour and Llantwit First Independent Groups had previously called for.  He had identified improvements scheduled by the Welsh Government but little else.  He was disappointed that the employment element of the land either side of Weycock Lane and adjoining Weycock Cross had been taken out, considering it to be a lost opportunity for the small and medium businesses in Barry to grow into modern purpose-built units.  He was also disappointed that the HTV site was allocated, but that there was nothing regarding improvements to Culverhouse Cross.  He felt that those sites, together with the housing elements, would have seen a planning gain.  He suggested Weycock Cross would have seen a planning gain which would have seen the junction completely realigned, resulting in a massive improvement to traffic flows.  He suggested there would have also been a 30% allocation for affordable housing and this would have meant out of 700 homes, the provision of 210 much needed affordable homes.

 

Councillor James was also disappointed that the retail site in Rhoose Point was no longer allocated, which would make protecting the site much harder.  He expressed concern that the Metro proposals identified Barry as a site of secondary importance and did not even show a Metro link to Barry Island.  He considered the Metro proposals to be a material consideration, which should have been included in the LDP. 

 

He referred to the allocation of houses as constituting the biggest change.  He alluded to the detailed scoring of settlements, i.e. Barry had scored number 1, Penarth number 2 and Llantwit Major number 3, indicating that the three towns were the three most sustainable settlements for future housing development.  Based on the population estimates in the Appendix to the Draft Plan, he referred to a figure for Barry of 53,629, representing 42.5% of the current population.  Penarth showed 24,617, representing 19.5% of the population and Llantwit Major 8,632 which represented 6.8% of the population.  Together, this totalled 68.8% of the population but proposed new development in the three towns totalled only 36.6%, resulting in rural areas, in his view, taking a disproportionate level of housing allocation. 

 

Councillor James indicated he had carried out an assessment of the changes in the housing allocation from the previous LDP.  He referred to an allocation of houses in the current Draft Plan of 7,829, compared to 7,721 in the previous plan.  However, he pointed out that Barry had 759 houses less than the previous Plan, Penarth 220 less and Llantwit Major 175 less (a total of 1,244).  Comparing those figures to the rural Vale, Eglwys Brewis had gone from 0 to 675, Cowbridge from 187 to 561, Llandough 170 to 265 and Ystradowen had nearly doubled in its allocation from 45 to 85.  He stated that the total of 1,184 equalled virtually to a direct transfer from Barry, Penarth and Llantwit to the rural Vale.  The four towns, which together comprised 91,000 plus population out of the Vale’s population 126,000 represented some 72%, but had actually been allocated 3,489 houses out of a total of 7,829, equating to just 45.8%.  This left the rural Vale to take 4,240 houses, representing 54% of the housing allocated.  He moved that the Draft Plan be deferred for further consideration to address imbalances in the allocation of housing in the Vale of Glamorgan and to redress the wrong allocation of the site at Sully as a gypsy and traveller site.  Councillor Jarvie duly seconded the Motion.

 

Councillor Drysdale referred to Councillor Dr. Ian Johnson's detailed re-calculations of the assumptions that were in the projections behind the LDP, but stated that he was not convinced by his conclusions.  Referring to the projections document, he alluded to the complexity of the statistical calculations involved and to the number of assumptions that went into the projections forward in the figures.  With each of those assumptions the uncertainty would grow and accumulate.  As such, he felt that simply re-calculating did not produce any better conclusions.  He considered there to be three statistics in the LDP which provided a much better basis on which to look at things.  In the inter-cental period from 2001 to 2011, the population of the Vale grew by 6%, the number of households grew by 9% and the third figure was that, based on the historical average of house building in the Vale on a 15 year period it would produce over 7,000 homes in a 15 year period (considerably less than the 9,950 currently being considered).  However, in the last five or six years a recession had occurred and the house building had been much diminished.  For some time before that, insufficient houses had been built across the United Kingdom.  As such "pent up" demand existed, so the figure of 9,950 was likely to not be inappropriate. 

 

He referred to the need for the LDP to go forward and referred to the fact that figures due out from Welsh Government could be taken into account over time.  There were review points every five years during the LDP process, and he suggested that if the figures did change, it would not be by vast amounts.

 

Councillor Wiliam expressed surprise regarding Councillor James' comments as he had previously wanted to build on Weycock Cross and yet his Conservative colleague, Alun Cairns, MP appeared in the newspapers last week protesting vehemently against the development.  Councillor Wiliam felt this to constitute hypocrisy.

 

He felt the Draft Plan was not ready to be sent out for public consultation, considering it to be in need of re-thinking and improvement.  He made a number of suggestions which he considered should be addressed prior to the submission of an improved Plan to Council for approval prior to its release.

 

He considered the Draft Plan to be fundamentally flawed, given the absence of the Welsh Government’s updated projected figures.   He felt that the Council should await the release of that data as a possibility existed that the housing needs might be over-estimated by at least 40%.  He suggested that would have a massive impact on housing across the Vale, particularly at Barry’s Waterfront.  He welcomed the reduction contained in page 57 of the Draft Plan from 2,000 to 1,700 units, but, nevertheless, considered the figure to still be far too many, with far too little emphasis placed on leisure and retail. 

 

Councillor Wiliam referred to the Council's Tourism Strategy, as lacking both vision and ambition, given the lack of mention in the Draft Plan, of the "crucial and fundamental step" that needed to be taken, of linking the Island, the Waterfront and the Town Centre to each other.

 

He considered there to be viable solutions available concerning the development of a Marina and he referred to a need for a commitment in the Plan to investigate and follow them through.  He also stated that the issue of a coastal path linking the Island to the rest of Barry, and onwards to Sully and Penarth had still not been addressed in the Plan.  He was of the view that the Council should be major players in the future development of the All Wales Coastal Path if tourism was to be developed in a sustainable manner. 

 

Councillor Wiliam alluded to the need to encourage sustainable, economic development.  He stressed the need for the second road serving the Island to be provided as soon as possible, he considered that a permanent parking solution be implemented and that the area on Nell’s Point should be better utilised.   Hybrid issues of transport and parking needed to be looked at and "future-proofed" expansion of the Causeway itself, as a means of enhancing the visitor experience and also possibly easing future traffic and parking burdens.   He also felt there to be a need to look at increasing the frequency of trains to the Island to four per hour and to increasing the numbers of carriages serving the Island at peak times of year.

 

Whilst mention had been made regarding the electrification of the Valleys lines and to the welcome move to add a platform at Barry, Councillor Wiliam considered there to be insufficient detail of such in the Draft Plan.

 

Although welcoming the extension of Porthkerry Park, he felt it constituted a trade off for allocating additional space elsewhere for the Business Park next to the Airport.

 

He welcomed the concept of the Business Park’s elevation to become an "Airport City", but expressed concern as to whether the amount of space allocated for it was actually correct.  He also alluded to its delineation on the map and its possible effect on nearby farms.  He noted with regret that the idea of a railway spur to the Airport seemed to be one that was falling out of favour with the Welsh Government.

 

In conclusion, Councillor Wiliam stated that, whilst there were many things in the Draft Plan to be welcomed, because of some fundamental and glaring omissions that needed to be rectified and changes that needed to be made to the Draft Plan, he was unable to support it as it stood.

 

Councillor John disagreed with certain of the figures quoted by Councillor James, pointing out that Llantwit Major was allocated 205 more properties than in the last LDP and Deposit Plan.  This was because the Eglwys Brewis road area, just beyond the planned northern access road was in fact, part of Llantwit Major parish.

 

He referred to Members having had much more opportunity to consider the current Draft Plan that had been afforded in respect of the previous one.  He indicated it was necessary to progress matters, given the tight schedule of the Welsh Government and the risk of the Welsh Government assuming ownership of the Plan if the Council did not progress the matter.

 

He supported the Draft Plan, including the proposed new road in Cowbridge which would provide a western exit of the by-pass. 

 

Councillor Rob Curtis referred to comments from Councillor James regarding the Weycock Cross site, but felt it was clear that Conservative Group policy was, in fact, to provide housing on that particular site.  He referred to the consultation exercise in respect of the current Draft Plan as being far more extensive then previously undertaken.  He considered it to be a much more balanced Plan and to be equitable in terms of sharing the burden of extra housing.  He reiterated the fact that the Plan would be capable of review over time.

 

Councillor Franks indicated he understood why the Administration was in a rush to produce the Draft Plan and he referred to the critical letter from the senior government planner deploring the actions of this Administration in respect of progressing this matter some time ago.

 

However, he considered the price of such to be many questions left unanswered, particularly in terms of planning for too many houses, too large a growth in the population and underestimating the size of households.

 

He referred to a fundamental factor of increased road traffic and to the existing constraints in the Barry, Penarth, Dinas Powys and Sully areas.  However, he indicated that, in reply to a previous question at Council he had been informed that the Council had no proposals to undertake additional engineering works at the Merrie Harrier junction at this time.  He alluded to the Culverhouse Cross junction as already operating for a large part of the day at capacity.  He acknowledged the need for traffic not to queue back onto the high speed A4232, but stated that meant the priority to and from Barry was much lower than seeking to ensure there was no queue and tail back on the A4232.  Again, in reply to a previous question at Council he had been informed that the Council had no proposals to undertake additional engineering works at the junction at this time.  He considered there to be nothing in the Draft Plan that addressed such fundamental issues.   

 

He also referred to the omission of the Dinas Powys By-Pass stating that previous studies had stated that the route through Dinas Powys was a key problem area for the regional road network.

 

He welcomed the emphasis placed on public transport, but considered the Council's aspirations to have been seriously undermined by the current Welsh Government's actions.  Bus priority routes were only of use if there were adequate buses running on them.  He also felt there to have been a serious over-estimate of the capacity of trains at peak times.

 

Referring to the capacity of the Cog Moors Treatment Works, he had been unable to find reference in the Draft Plan to quantifying how much extra capacity was needed nor any views of Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water.

 

He referred to the Draft Plan as acknowledging that there were serious flood issues in Dinas Powys, Llantwit, Major and Cowbridge but felt the proposals would exacerbate the situation.  He was surprised to see the options of soakaways being proposals. 

 

Councillor Anne Moore understood that residents present at the meeting had certain concerns regarding the Draft Plan.  However, she was surprised that residents had not used all the opportunities afforded to them to seek clarification on what was being proposed and also to seek clarification on the process itself.  She referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) of which she was Chairman.  The meeting of the Committee on 8th October had been held specifically to deal with the Local Development Plan.  Members of the public were entitled to attend and make representations to the Committee but no members of the public had turned up or asked to speak.  Notwithstanding that, she referred to the formal consultation period over the next six weeks, commencing on 8th November, as representing a further opportunity for the public to make any representations.

 

Councillor Dr. Ian Johnson reminded Members of the following earlier Motion, which had been duly seconded.  "That the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report and the Habitats Regulations Assessment not be approved for public consultation purposes because the housing target SP3 is not appropriate for the Vale of Glamorgan's projected population growth and household size projections."

 

At that point, and upon request by the required number of Members, a recorded vote took place in respect of Councillor Dr. Ian Johnson's proposal, with voting taking place as follows and it being

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Motion be lost.

 

For the Motion

Against the Motion

Abstain

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

R.J. Bertin

Mrs. M.E.J. Birch

G.A. Cox

C.P. Franks

Ms. R. Birch

H.J.W. James

Mrs. V.M. Hartrey

Ms. B.E. Brooks

T.H. Jarvie

K. Hatton

L. Burnett

A. Parker

N.P. Hodges

P.J. Clarke

R.P. Thomas

Dr. I.J. Johnson

Mrs. C.L. Curtis

A.C. Williams

R.A. Penrose

R. Curtis

 

S.T. Wiliam

Mrs. P. Drake

 

C.J. Williams

J. Drysdale

 

 

Ms. K. Edmunds

 

 

S.C. Egan

 

 

C.P.J. Elmore

 

 

K.J. Geary

 

 

E. Hacker

 

 

H.C. Hamilton

 

 

G. John

 

 

F.T. Johnson

 

 

P. King

 

 

Mrs. A.J. Moore

 

 

N. Moore

 

 

A.G. Powell

 

 

Ms. R.F. Probert

 

 

G. Roberts

 

 

Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson

 

 

E. Williams

 

 

M.R. Wilson

 

9

26

6

 

Councillor Penrose referred to the meeting of the Planning Committee on 17th October, 2013, at which he had expressed great concerns regarding the number of houses in the proposed LDP and he indicated that he concurred with the views expressed earlier by Councillors Dr. Ian Johnson and James.  He alluded to the reserve site in Sully for 500 houses as being on what was, at present, a greenfield site and prime agricultural land in a rural area served only by two narrow country lanes.  He was perplexed as to why there had not been more brown field sites in the west of the Vale considered on derelict land in areas such as Llandow.

 

He pointed out that Members had instigated discussions of the matter by the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) prior to the LDP.  The principal of Beechwood College had spoken against it, as had the Vice-Chairman of Sully Community Council, both Vale Sully Councillors and members of the public.  However the advice given had been that representations would need to be made during the formal consultation period.

 

Councillor Fred Johnson, referring to the comments of Plaid Cymru regarding housing figures, pointed out that numbers could in fact go up as opposed to down.  He indicated that the Council would be very vulnerable if it did not have an LDP in place.  Residents of Sully would be in a very vulnerable situation because there were applications being put before the Council on sites around the Vale of Glamorgan which neither the Council nor the public actually supported.  He pointed out the Plan would be subject to an additional annual monitoring report and full review every four years. 

 

The Leader disagreed with the suggestion that the Draft Plan was being rushed, given that the Council had agreed to review the previous Plan in January 2013. The Council was required to produce an LDP and the previous Draft Plan had, indeed, been scrapped.  He acknowledged that the Welsh Government was looking for the Council to progress the Draft Plan.   The situation as far as the number of houses concerned was that the LDP housing figure was based on household projections and not just population growth.  Population projections only predicted the possible number of people, whereas households projected the number of households.  The Welsh Government 2011-based household projections were not due for release until the end of 2013, possibly 2014, and the Council could not afford to wait until then.  The household projections were still the proper starting point for the LDP and to calculate the number of dwellings required.   However, as already indicated, the Council would be able to review the LDP at certain stages.  The Council was working to an agreed timetable.

 

Regarding the proposed site for a gypsy and traveller site, he alluded to background documentation such as the independent Gypsy / Traveller Accommodation Needs Survey.   All of the potential sites had been assessed and the conclusion of the survey was that the Hayes Road site was the most appropriate option.   This was due to the projections put forward which indicated the Council needed at least 18 permanent gypsy and traveller pitches in the Vale of Glamorgan.  He pointed out that the Council was not reneging on a promise to use the site for allotments.  Whilst the Community Council had requested the provision for allotments to be made on the site, it had been made very clear at all stages that the Council was unable to commit to using the land for such a purpose.  Further  correspondence from Sully and Lavernock Community Council actually accepted the position, but asked that the Council prepare a report for the consideration by the Council's Executive as the Community Council felt there was sufficient benefit for both the Council and residents of Sully and Lavernock. 

 

Referring to Councillor James’ comments, changes had been made from the previous LDP, including deleting the Weycock Cross site because it was not considered appropriate.  Alun Cairns MP had been incorrect in stating that the planning application had been withdrawn.

 

He indicated it was incorrect to suggest there would not be junction improvements, as he understood that the Welsh Government was intending to undertake work at Sycamore Cross, Five Mile Lane and the approach to Weycock Cross.  He pointed out that the HTV site had been in the previous Plan.  Section MG16 of the Plan actually put out the areas intended for sustainable proposals.  He reiterated the position regarding the link road from the Waterfront to the Island.  The Council had negotiated with the Welsh Assembly Government to provide the funding.  The funding was available and the Council was negotiating with the Welsh Government lawyers and the developer's lawyers, with a view to the road being provided as soon as possible. 

 

He considered the Plan to be much better than the previous one and it had been independently assessed as such. The previous Plan had not included the same amount of houses in the primary, secondary and tertiary settlements.  He was aware of concerns expressed regarding certain proposals in Cowbridge, but he considered the town centre to be failing and in need of an insurgence of people.  The Plan also provided for the road infrastructure from the A48 through to a link to Llantwit Major.  Having talked, and listened, to the people of Cowbridge, the Cowbridge Market site had been removed.  Negotiations had taken place with the market operator and with a community interest company.  The Council was happy to work with them because it was not felt to be a good place to put housing within the Vale, even if the site was within Council ownership.  In conclusion, he commended the Plan to Council, stating it would be foolish to have delayed, deferred or refused it. 

 

Councillor King reminded Members that the Draft Plan was being recommended for full and proper consultation to allow everybody to contribute their views.   As far as housing was concerned, he felt it essential that homes were built to provide for future generations.

 

Regarding highway improvements, he frequently observed the traffic congestion around the Merrie Harrier Junction and was delighted that the Draft Plan acknowledged that such junctions need tackling.  Nevertheless, he felt there were still certain junctions / roads missing and he would be submitting suggestions as to what needed to be added.  He referred to the Draft Plan as meaning the Council would be able to award planning gain for Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy.

 

Councillor Dr. Ian Johnson referred to having made the point very clearly at the Council meeting in January 2013 that he was concerned about the number of houses contained in the previous LDP.  That was why he had voted in favour of scrapping it.  He recognised the concerns expressed by Councillor Fred Johnson that figures could go up but that would only be if they were the "right numbers" as opposed to out of date numbers.

 

Councillor Hodges considered the Draft Plan to be progressing on time and that a small delay could be made, given that the LDP would not be adopted until the Spring of 2017.  He felt that the potential over-population of the Vale with unnecessary houses needed to be addressed now and not in the future at various review dates.  He stated that more houses did not make cheaper houses, but simply led to "feeding the market".  He suggested there were thousands of houses that were not affordable within the Plan and that they were in areas of the Vale of Glamorgan that did not require them

 

Councillor Wilson referred to significant housing development which had already taken place in Penarth, such as Cogan Hall Farm and the Marina.  Consequently, Penarth was now really full and possessed little room for further housing, a point acknowledged by the Draft Plan.  The Draft Plan looked at housing needs in the western Vale and he disputed the suggestion that this would not include affordable housing.  He felt it would be more likely that bus services would be maintained if communities themselves became more sustainable.

 

Councillor Bertin stated he wished to echo some of the comments made by Opposition Members earlier in the meeting.  Whilst welcoming some of the changes, he also had some real concerns.  He was pleased that the Weycock Cross site had been taken out.  He felt it was important that the Council waited for the figures from Welsh Government before proceeding, given it could make a significant difference to the Plan.  He expressed his appreciation of the work undertaken by officers under what he regarded as rushed circumstances.  Referring to the addendum of minor changes tabled at the meeting, he queried whether the Draft Plan contained more "major mistakes".  He felt that the Council should not rush the Draft Plan.

 

Councillor Burnett, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, indicated she would attempt to address most of the points made by Members.  She reminded Members that the document was strategic in nature, designed to guide future plans within the Vale of Glamorgan.  As such, it could not possibly contain every last action envisaged / proposed between now and 2026.  She suggested that not all Members had fully read the document, pointing to sections MG16, MG2 and MG26 which addressed some of the issues raised. 

 

She reiterated the point that the population figures were based on the existing figures.  There would be new figures, but there would be new figures throughout the whole period of the Plan.  The Council would be able to adjust for those figures before the Plan went to the Inspector, as well as every four years as part of the ongoing review provisions. 

 

In relation to the siting of the gypsy and traveller site, the Plan was based on much greater independent evidence than the previous Deposit Plan.  If it was considered that the independent evidence was incorrect, then Members should make their comments in the consultation period. 

 

Within the Plan, transport infrastructure was dealt with much more comprehensively than in the past one.  The Dinas Powys By-Pass was actually mentioned in there, albeit not as a strategic direction because the Plan had to deal with things that were deliverable within the Plan period.  However, if it had not been included at all, the Council would find it difficult to flag it up to Welsh Government if such a time became available. 

 

Referring to Councillor James’ comments, she was surprised as her understanding was that the retail plan for Rhoose had not been in the previous Plan.  She was really pleased that the same people who had appraised the sustainability of the last Plan had appraised the new one and viewed it as significantly more sustainable and a better fit with the LDP strategy than the previous one.  She did not "recognise" many of the figures that Members had quoted.  For example, the Ystradowen figures were wrong.  In terms of sustainability of the rural economy, in 2007 in consultation with communities in the western Vale they had actually said that the strategy ought to be more mindful of the sustainability of rural communities and that rural communities needed more development to ensure that their community centres, schools, pubs and other facilities were more sustainable.  That aspect had been looked at very carefully to ensure that the rural communities within the Vale of Glamorgan continued to be sustainable. 

 

Referring to Councillor Wiliam’s comments, her understanding was that the Weycock Cross application had not been withdrawn and she alluded to the fact that any delay would mean that the Council was more vulnerable to applications by developers.  She referred to planning permission having already been given for 2,000 properties on the Waterfront.  She acknowledged linking the Island development through the Waterfront up into the town centre was important and very much part of the Council’s strategic direction. 

 

She indicated that transport issues had been covered and would continue to be so.  However, in terms of congestion, she considered it was not all about building more roads, but also a case of looking at innovative solutions.  She referred to the remodelling of the Baron’s Court junction. 

 

In terms of Welsh Water / Dwr Cymru and their views on matters such as drainage, in any planning application there were statutory consultees and she expected them to be commenting on the Deposit Plan.  She pointed out that soakaways were actually seen as a sustainable drainage system.

 

She referred to the slight delay that had occurred, in that it had been intended that the Draft Plan would be out to consultation around September / October.  That time could be caught up, but the Council could not take the risk of ownership of the Plan being assumed by the Welsh Government, leaving the Council unable to make key decisions and vulnerable to developers.  The figures currently being worked on were the latest available correct figures.

 

Summing up, Councillor Burnett referred to the Draft Plan as having been independently assessed by the same people that assessed the last Deposit LDP and to it being deemed to be significantly more sustainable and a better fit with the Strategy.  She thanked officers and the Director of Development Services for the considerable amount of work they had put in to pull together such a comprehensive amount of evidence to underpin the Plan, to attend all the meetings and to engage with members of the public in such a positive and professional way. 

 

Councillor James reminded Members of his Motion, as duly seconded, to the effect that "the Draft Plan be deferred for further consideration to address imbalances in the allocation of housing in the Vale of Glamorgan and to redress the blatantly wrong allocation of the site in Sully as a gypsy and traveller site".

 

At that point, and upon request by the required number of Members, a recorded vote took place in respect of Councillor James' proposal, with voting taking place as follows and it being

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the Motion be lost.

 

For the Motion

Against the Motion

Abstain

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

G.A. Cox

Mrs. M.E.J. Birch

R.J. Bertin

C.P. Franks

Ms. R. Birch

P. Clarke

Mrs. V.M. Hartrey

Ms. B.E. Brooks

 

K. Hatton

L. Burnett

 

N.P. Hodges

Mrs. C.L. Curtis

 

H.J.W. James

R. Curtis

 

T.H. Jarvie

Mrs. P. Drake

 

Dr. I.J. Johnson

J.D. Drysdale

 

A. Parker

Ms. K.E. Edmunds

 

R.A. Penrose

S.C. Egan

 

R.P. Thomas

C.P.J. Elmore

 

S.T. Wiliam

K.J. Geary

 

A.C. Williams

E. Hacker

 

C.J. Williams

H.C. Hamilton

 

 

G. John

 

 

F.T. Johnson

 

 

P.G. King

 

 

Mrs. A.J. Moore

 

 

N. Moore

 

 

A.G. Powell

 

 

Ms. R.F. Probert

 

 

G. Roberts

 

 

Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson

 

 

E. Williams

 

 

M.R. Wilson

 

14

25

2

 

Members then voted on the substantive Motion remaining, i.e. the recommendations of Cabinet of 7th October 2013, as set out in the report to Council, and it was

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report and the Habitats Regulation Assessment be approved for public consultation purposes.

 

(2)       T H A T a six week public consultation on the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report and the Habitats Regulation Assessment takes place prior to Christmas during November and December 2013 and that any representations received after the close of the consultation period are not accepted and not regarded as duly made.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, be authorised to agree the arrangements for the public consultation exercise.

 

(4)       T H A T the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, be authorised to make any necessary minor typographical changes and associated amendments to the Deposit Plan proposals and constraints maps as well as the associated background documents.

 

(5)       T H A T, following the close of the public consultation on the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal report and the Habitats Regulation Assessment, the Director of Development Services be authorised to undertake a six week public consultation in respect of any alternative sites promoted for development through the Deposit period.

 

(6)       T H A T a further report be presented to Cabinet in 2014 on the representations received to the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report, the Habitats Regulation Assessment and the alternative sites promoted through the Deposit period.