Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 16th November, 2011


Report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation


Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance on Upper Holton Road


Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to seek Cabinet approval of the draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Upper Holton Road Development Guidelines so that it may be published for consultation purposes.


1.             The draft Upper Holton Road Design Guidelines SPG be approved for public consultation purposes.

2.             That the findings of the public consultation exercise be reported in due course prior to formally adopting the SPG for development control purposes.

3.             That a copy of this report be referred to Planning Committee and Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To carry out public consultation on the draft SPG to provide additional weight as a material consideration in determining planning applications and appeals.

2.             To appraise members about the consultation responses and to seek approval of any further changes prior to the adoption of the SPG.

3.             To engage the respective Committees in the consultation process


2.             In 2008 Martin Tonks of MT Town Planning was instructed by the Council to undertake an appraisal of the five district centres in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The appraisal examined the vitality and viability of these centres, including the Upper Holton Road District Centre.  The purpose of the study was to provide baseline information to inform the emerging Local Development Plan (LDP).  The final report was received in March 2009, and has already been approved as a background study into on going work on the LDP.

3.             In relation to the Upper Holton Road District Centre, the report raised a number of concerns. Most notably, it was highlighted that the area suffered from a general lack of vitality, very poor environmental quality, high vacancy rates and a lack of care and investment.  The study did however indicate that the centre showed reasonable indicators of diversity appropriate for a local centre.  Consequently, the report recommended the following:

·               the Upper Holton Road District Centre should be re-designated as a local centre

·               that the centre should be consolidated around a retail core where further non-retail development should not be permitted

·               outside the retail core the Council should encourage land use change so that the area becomes predominately residential in character

4.             Members will be aware that the recommendations for Upper Holton Road set out in the Vale of Glamorgan Town and District Retail Centre Appraisal were adopted by Cabinet on 22 June 2011 (Minute No. C155 refers).  It was deemed beneficial to adopt the appraisal and its recommendations (for Upper Holton Road), prior to the adoption of the LDP, as they would be relevant in assisting the establishment of priorities and potential projects for both the Castleland Renewal Area and the Barry Regeneration Area Board.

5.             Members will also be aware that the Cabinet resolved that further work be undertaken on defining the Upper Holton Road Local Centre and that an action plan be produced for Upper Holton Road and submitted to Cabinet for consideration in the autumn (Minute No. C1355 refers).  This was in order to promote the regeneration of Upper Holton Road, and maximise the opportunities that the current designation of both the Barry Regeneration Area and Castleland Renewal Area present.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             A draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Upper Holton Road Development Guidelines has been prepared and is attached as appendix 1.  The SPG seeks to establish specific design guidelines for the future development of the Upper Holton Road local centre, as well as influence the pattern of land uses within the area.

7.             It is important to note that the draft SPG is one of three initiatives that seek to address issues that have been identified within the Upper Holton Road area. The SPG alongside the proposal to consult on a Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing Scheme, and provide changes to the Vale of Glamorgan Council Housing Renewal Area Policy 2010 - 2013 (both of which are also to be considered at Cabinet on the 16th November 2011), will be the basis of an overarching strategy or 'action plan' for this area. It is anticipated that if these three initiatives are adopted, a clear direction can become established that will assist with the future process of management, change and improvement for the area.

8.             With regards to influencing land uses, the draft SPG responds to the recommendations of the Vale of Glamorgan Town and District Retail Centre Appraisal (that were previously adopted by Cabinet) by identifying a core retail area, in which it is deemed prudent to consolidate retail activity.  Outside of this core retail area, the draft SPG advocates that the Local Planning Authority will favour the conversion of commercial properties to residential, where it can be demonstrated that the design of the conversion will enhance the overall quality of the property and the character of the surrounding area.

9.             The design guidance element of the SPG provides detailed advice in relation to replacement or alteration of shopfronts, the design of advertisements, as well as the conversion of commercial properties to residential.  The guidance highlights examples of best practice and seeks to add further weight to existing policies contained within the Unitary Development Plan; in order to improve the standards of new development and the condition of the built environment in this locality.

10.        The general composition of the document is as follows:

·               Background

·               Purpose of the Guidance

·               Existing National and Local Policy Guidance

·               Identification of Core Retail Area

·               Shop Front Design Guidance

·               Advertisement Design Guidance

·               Design Guidance for the Conversion of Commercial Premises to Residential

·               Information on the need for necessary consents

·               Appendices (containing map of area to which guidance relates and background information).


11.        Area specific development or design SPG is an approach that has previously been undertaken by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and is consistent with the approach taken by many other Local Planning Authorities throughout England and Wales.

12.        In recommending the adoption of the draft SPG it should be recognised that all various interested parties, businesses, traders and organisations will have the opportunity to respond to the content of the document. It is anticipated that once the abovementioned consultation exercise has been undertaken, a further report will be presented to Cabinet to set out the views obtained and the way forward in response to the views expressed.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

13.        The SPG is being prepared by officers within the Economic Development Unit, of the Planning and Transportation Division, and within existing budgets.  There are therefore no additional resource implications associated with this report.

14.        The SPG will not result in any significant impact upon climate change.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.        Section 38(6) of The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, requires that, in determining a planning application the determination must be in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.  Meanwhile Section 70(2) of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990, also specifies that where a local planning authority deals with an application for planning permission, the authority shall have regard to the provisions of the development plan, so far as material to the application, and to any other material considerations.

16.        The Welsh Government's document, Unitary Development Plans Wales (2001) advises that Supplementary Planning Guidance may be a material consideration in deciding planning applications.  It indicates that substantial weight will be given by them in making decisions on matters that comes before it to SPG which derives out of and is consistent with the development plan, and has been prepared in the proper manner. SPG should be prepared in consultation with the general public, businesses, and other interested parties and their views should be taken into account before it is finalised.  It should then be the subject of a Council resolution to adopt it as supplementary guidance.

17.        If adopted the SPG may be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications/appeals.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.        None arising directly out of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.        It is not proposed to produce the SPG bilingually, at this juncture.  This is in line with previous SPG that has been produced, and because the document contains technical matters, which are therefore, generally only published in English.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        The Planning and Transportation Service Plan 2011/12 sets a corporate improvement objective to "protect and enhance the Vale's natural and built environment".  The preparation and adoption of this SPG would significantly assist the achievement of this objective for the upper Holton Road area.

21.        Additionally, the production of town centre action plans are considered as important initiatives to regenerate and revitalise urban areas of the Vale, in line with the corporate priorities of the Economic Development Service Plan 2010/11.

22.        The SPG will also contribute to the Council’s corporate priority “to work with partners to develop a sustainable community which maximises opportunities for economic growth, social improvement, environmental regeneration and protection”.

Policy Framework and Budget

23.        This report is a matter for Executive decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

24.        Local ward members from Castleland and Court Wards have been briefed as well as the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration. No adverse comments were received.

25.        Further consultation has been undertaken on the draft SPG with designated officers from relevant service areas of the Council to incorporate their views and expertise.

26.        If approved, the draft SPG will be the subject of a public consultation exercise in accordance with the Council's approved protocols for consultation.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

The Vale of Glamorgan Town and District Centre's Retail Study - Martin Tonks (July 2009)

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004)

Unitary Development Plans Wales (2001)

The Vale of Glamorgan Adopted Unitary Development Plan 1996-2011 (UDP)

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Housing Renewal Policy 2010 - 2013


Contact Officer

Lewis Conde - Assistant Regeneration Officer - 01446 704782


Officers Consulted

Head of Planning & Transportation

Head of Public Protection

Operational Manager Development Control

Operational Manager Countryside & Economic Projects

Major Projects Manager

Legal Services – Committee Reports

Finance ICT & Property - Committee Reports


Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.